By K. Michelle Doyle, LM
I love watching Call the Midwife with my husband-of-a-midwife sitting next to me. There are so many aspects of my job that he loves: mothers, babies, compassion, kindness. Watching this series gives us time to enjoy a bit of midwifery together (sprinkled with social history and fab hairstyles) episode by episode.
One of the things my husband loves best about watching Call the Midwife are the acts of kindness. In Episode Seven, we were witness to many of these: Sister Evangeline, gruff as she can be, giving secret moped lessons to Fred, keeping his masculine pride intact. Jenny sharing tea and time with a new client, a Jamaican woman abhorred by her neighbors because she is Black. Sister Monica Joan, realizing that her mind is slipping away, prays for divine protection for her earthly family ("My Mind is unraveling like an old rope' she says. "Protect us all from these devils that plague me," she prays.) Her Sister Julienne promises her, "We will make sure that when you forget, we remember." The beautiful island woman, laboring alone and afraid, walks for blocks, supported, literally and emotionally, by her no-longer-hateful neighbor. Then just before the credits roll, that same neighbor is seen carrying a milk glass tea service, about to serve the new baby's family.
My husband reminds me that acts of kindness, random and frequent, are also what we love about midwifery. They are a form of healing, of true midwifery, of being 'with woman'. At this very moment, somewhere in this state, the nation, or the world, a midwife is tenderly holding a hand, listening lovingly to a woman's very personal history, or simply slowing down from her busy schedule to share some tea and time with a lonely client.