Call the Midwife s11e02 Episode Script

Series 11, Episode 2

1 JENNIFER: Each new morning commences with a still point, that moment when sleep ends, when we become alert and pause, poised on the edge of everything the day will bring.
KNOCKING AT DOOR So much is unknown, but we start with the familiar "This is where I am.
"This is what I do.
"This is the life I am given and will love.
" Every day, we strive to make the best of what we have.
They say a smile costs nothing, a kind word likewise.
Leave it.
The sun when it shines on our face is free.
But what of the courage it can take to simply live? Take the last train to Clarksville And I'll meet you at the station You can be here by four-thirty Cos I've made your reservation MUSIC SWITCHES OFF Busy day today.
Doctor Turner is holding his monthly cytology clinic.
There's quite a few ladies to be screened.
Attendance has been steadily growing since it started, so I think Sister Frances and Nurse Franklin will be very busy.
Nurse Corrigan will stay at the maternity home, Sister Hilda is on district duty, and Nurse Anderson Nurse ROBINSON and I will cover home visits.
Vivien Thomson, have I seen her before? No-one's seen her, not this time.
She's failed to attend any of her ante-natal appointments.
Hey, behave! Hello, nurse.
Fuss over nothing, if you ask me.
I've done it three times before.
Good job you was quick.
I've only just come off me shift and still haven't had breakfast.
It's important not to skip meals, especially when your body is running for two.
Where do you work? I'm a cleaner at St Wilbur's.
Erm, is Mr Thomson not around to help? No, he's He's very busy.
I can't see a cot or a pram, and Baby could arrive any day now.
Would you like to borrow anything? I've got a drawer and a few blankets, and I've always had plenty of breast milk.
It's all I need.
Your blood pressure's a little high.
Nothing to worry about, but I'd like to pop back later in the week to keep an eye on it.
Suit yourself.
But you needn't bother.
I know what I'm doing.
Once you've done it once, it's like falling off a log.
And I'm good with babies.
I'd do it all again, if I could.
Let's just focus on this one for the time being, shall we? Mrs Amala Mohammed? Oh, hello, Mrs Mohammed.
How are the little ones? Very well, thank you, Sister.
The children can wait in the toy area.
Go on through.
Date of birth is March 2, 19397 That is correct.
So, I'm going to take a small sample of cells from your cervix.
Yes, I understand.
Well, that's a very good start.
You'd be amazed the number of women who don't know where their cervix is.
We even had one gentleman who came in to have his checked, which was a slightly awkward conversation.
Oh, don't worry.
It's not painful and it won't take too long, I promise.
Mrs Janis Cowper? Follow me, please.
Special day today.
I bought a new pair of hip huggers especially for the occasion.
Mint green.
It's not often our patients are quite so enthusiastic about this procedure.
Oh, no.
I just mean, it's my one-year wedding anniversary today.
Oh! Well, in that case, I believe a congratulations are in order.
Paper, isn't it? Well, yes, but I shouldn't think paper knickers would have quite the same appeal.
Talking of topping and tailing, my next appointment's at the hairdressers.
We're going up west this evening.
Fancy hotel.
Might even see you in the ante-natal clinic before the year's out.
Just relax your knees out to the side.
I was thinking of getting a fringe, like Jean Shrimpton.
Do you think it would suit me? I'm probably not the best person to ask.
Deep breath in.
Ouch! Sorry.
There you are, you're all done.
Have you had that rash for long? A few days only.
I think it is my new washing detergent.
Thank you, Mrs Cowper, you can get dressed now.
Is something wrong? Well, hopefully, it's nothing to worry about, but your cervix is a little inflamed.
So, if you don't mind, I'd like to refer you to St Cuthbert's.
Just goes to show how important these tests are.
Better to sort things now, before I start a family.
Doctor, do you have a minute? Mrs Mohammed, I'm afraid you and your children have scabies.
It's an infection caused by tiny mites which lay their eggs under the surface of the skin.
That's what's causing this rash, which can become quite itchy and sore.
Please don't upset yourself.
I know it sounds unpleasant, but it is completely curable.
And if you don't have adequate bathing facilities, you can take your children, and anyone else who you live with, to be treated at the cleansing station.
You take a hot bath and a nurse will cover your body in a lotion that you leave on the skin to dry.
If you wait here, I'll speak to the receptionist and write the address down.
Do we know which school her children attend? I'll find out and ask Miss Higgins to give them a precautionary call.
Well, let's hope it's an isolated incident and we've caught it early.
You should probably be in bed.
Brush your teeth.
If you do suspect any new cases, you're to let Miss Higgins know straight away, so that she can identify close contacts and refer them for treatment as quickly as possible.
Those who are pregnant or new mothers will be treated by a midwife.
Volunteers will be needed to work at the cleansing station if there's a serious scabies outbreak.
Every inch of the body needs painting in benzyl benzoate, and it takes time.
PHONE RINGS Good morning.
Doctor Turner's surgery.
Miss Higgins? I don't think she's arrived yet.
Well, that's odd.
You can set your watch by her, normally.
Sister Frances, has Miss Higgins called in at all? No.
No, I did think it was a bit unusual.
She's usually the first one here.
Baby's heartbeat sounds nice and strong.
What will happen to the little one when you go back to work? I won't have to for a while.
Landlord's suspended the rent.
On account of the hole in the roof? Yep.
I knew he wouldn't have the money to fix it, so I figured it was worth getting a bit chilly.
You made the hole? Well, it was going to come down sooner or later, so I gave it a helping hand with a broom handle.
KNOCK AT DOOR I'll answer it? Yeah.
Good morning, Nurse.
May I speak with Mrs Thomson please? Yes, come in.
I'm afraid your son was caught shoplifting earlier this morning, madam.
Antony? No, there must be some kind of mistake.
I'm sorry, Mum.
What were you thinking? I've begged and pleaded with you, Antony! You numbskull! You! Sit down, Mrs Thomson.
What did the boy take? Nappies and some baby clothes.
Clearly, these are the actions of a concerned child, not a petty thief.
I'll pay for whatever he took.
There will be a referral to the Juvenile Liaison Department and an officer will be in touch.
In the meantime, try and stay out of trouble.
I thought it might be that time of day.
Oh, you are kind, Sister.
Two biscuits! I only ever get one off Miss Higgins.
Have we heard from her yet? Not so far.
Also, I wondered if you'd managed to book in a referral for Mrs Cowper yet? I believe she's actually at St Cuthbert"s today, having tests.
We'll know more when the results come in next week.
She put a brave face on it, but I could tell she was worried.
I'm worried.
But let's see how she gets on.
You've not been itching at all? Well, run along and have your lunch, then, dears.
How many are we referring for treatment? Nine, so far, along with their families, of course, which will bring the number much higher.
Next, please! Scabies is so contagious.
We need to print out posters and information leaflets as soon as possible.
I'll speak to the local medical officer this afternoon.
If we don't act quickly, a full-scale scabies outbreak feels inevitable.
Still no answer, I'm afraid.
I'm going to drive round to her house en route to my rounds.
Miss Higgins! Well, where have you been? We were starting to worry about you.
I | was just manning the phone.
Everything all right, Miss Higgins? I would have thought it was perfectly obvious that everything is not.
I was burgled last night.
Oh, Miss Hig That's awful.
I I've only just got back from the police station.
I came downstairs this morning to find the living room ransacked.
Ornaments smashed to smithereens, great big muddy footprints smeared across my Kashmir rug, a hole in my kitchen window.
Gosh, that must have been terribly distressing.
Now, you mustn't even think of working today.
You need to go home.
I will do no such thing.
I don't believe I can ever set foot in that building again.
Good afternoon, Miss Higgins.
Please, make yourself at home.
You are welcome to stay with us for as long as you like.
Hello, love.
Sorry to bother you at work, but I just bumped into a friend of mine who's gone into labour.
Oh, right.
I said I'd stay and mind the children until the baby arrives.
You don't mind, do you? Of course I don't mind.
I probably won't be back till tomorrow morning, though, OK? OK.
There's some leftover casserole in the fridge.
OK, bye.
Love you.
I love you, too.
Would you like some ham, Miss Higgins? I believe Miss Higgins has already said no.
I could prepare something else.
If there's anything that takes your fancy.
No, thank you.
Miss Higgins has had an eventful day.
I expect she would benefit from some quiet repose.
Nurse Crane, would you be so kind as to show Miss Higgins upstairs? I've made up the spare bed in my room.
I must admit to feeling rather at sixes and sevens.
I'm sure you'll feel better in the morning.
Poor Miss Higgins.
This has quite knocked the wind out of her sails.
I think it's absolutely disgusting that someone should rob an old woman like that.
Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head and honour the face of the old man and fear thy God.
Miss Higgins is not old.
She's mature.
That that's what I meant.
Respect for one's elders used to be the bedrock of civilisation.
Antony's on washing-up duty.
His idea.
He just wants to help.
He's a good lad, really.
I'm sure no-one will press charges, in the circumstances.
You don't understand.
That hoity toity social worker will think it runs in the family.
What runs in the family? Colin, my eldest, he's in borstal.
Chip off the old block.
I was only a couple of years older than Antony now when I married my first husband.
Childhood sweethearts? Oh, I wouldn't say that, no.
Archie was a soldier back from Dunkirk.
Swept me off my feet, and then across the floor.
I was never sure if he was always just like that, or if it was the war what done it.
I was pregnant with Antony when he got sent down after a pub brawl.
Oh, it was a blessing, really.
I struggled with drink for a few years after that, and that's when social services got involved.
They were dark days.
But then I met George's dad, and he helped me dry out.
And that's all that matters now.
Precious, all anyone wants is to help you look after your family.
I can do that by myself.
I don't need help.
I see.
Well, thank you for trying.
I'm afraid Mrs Cowper wouldn't come to the telephone when her neighbour mentioned I was calling from the surgery.
Is there a problem? St Cuthbert's have telephoned.
Apparently, Janis Cowper didn't attend her appointment this morning.
I've just finished my shift at the maternity home.
I could pay her a visit, if you like? Do you have time? I can't go this afternoon, and, well, the sooner we can persuade her to come to the surgery, the better.
I have her address.
If you wanted, you could deliver Mrs Cowper's results yourself.
A good rapport goes a long way in situations like this.
What, you'd trust me to do that? Absolutely.
Well, you and I can go through the histology report together and I'll explain the findings.
But it won't be an easy conversation.
I'd like to do it.
Hello, Mrs Cowper.
Your neighbour told me I might find you here.
Your new hairstyle suits you very well.
Did the doctor send you? Means it's serious, doesn't it? Well, I don't have any symptoms.
I'm fine, I'm perfectly fine.
When I was little, I was terrified of needles.
I remember hiding in a wardrobe the morning I was supposed to have my smallpox vaccination, only I stood on a rusty clothes hanger, and I ended up needing three stitches in my foot and a tetanus injection.
And I still had to have the smallpox a few weeks later, by which time it was the school holidays.
My arm ached so much, I couldn't go swimming in Scarborough.
Looking back | think that was God's way of teaching me how important it is to face your fears.
I'm afraid the tests confirmed you have significant cervical cancer.
The good news is, thanks to your diligence, we've caught it early.
And with prompt treatment, there's an excellent chance that you'll make a full recovery.
What kind of treatment? You'll need an operation.
To remove the cancer? Yes.
And then I'll be cured? That's what we'd expect, yes.
So, I'll be able to have children then? The doctors need to perform a radical hysterectomy, Mrs Cowper.
I'm afraid they need to remove your womb.
That should do it.
Just needed a washer replacing.
Ah, very kind.
And I've left you some vegetables on the counter there.
Cauliflower and a cabbage.
Don't agree with my digestion.
Very thoughtful.
Have a good evening.
Goodnight, Fred.
Penny for them? I know we're lucky we have such a kind landlord, but is it wrong to want more? I'd like my own home, Cyril.
We work hard.
We deserve it.
Of course we do in a just society.
But it was hard enough to find somewhere to rent.
You know how difficult it is for people like us.
And how's it going to change if we don't challenge the status quo? We can't lay the blame on society if we don't even try.
We'd need to save at least £500 for a deposit.
I know.
Our own house? Our own home.
I'll think about it.
It's all right.
Would it help if I locked your bag in the trunk for safekeeping? No It's not the loss of my belongings that upsets me.
Only small items of value were taken in the burglary and a little loose cash.
But all these years I've worked so hard to make a home for myself, to embrace my independence.
It feels like a violation.
An intruder has entered my house at night while I was sleeping.
How will I ever feel safe again? How about if I lock the door? Would that make you feel better? Yes.
Good morning, public health information.
Public health information.
Please take the time to read.
Scabies information.
Morning! Scabies information.
Tootle pip.
Have a cheery day.
Any news from Sister Frances? I spoke to her at breakfast this morning, and she is bringing Mrs Cowper in to discuss the hysterectomy at half past nine.
Ah, that's excellent.
Uh Oh, you gave me the notes for Miss Roper.
I have known for some time that you are literate, Doctor Turner.
My next appointment is with Mr Lewis? Oh, dear me, so it is.
Still not sleeping well? I'm afraid the bed linen at Nonnatus House is of a rather inferior thread count.
Good morning.
How can I help? I wanted to talk to you about Mrs Thomson.
My name's Ruth Palmer and I'm the family's social worker.
If it's about the unfortunate incident with her son, he only had his mother's best interests at heart.
As we all do.
Is it your opinion that she's struggling to cope? I think Mrs Thomson would benefit from any additional support we can offer.
Then we're agreed.
As you may be aware, the family contraceptive clinic are working with local councils to trial a new service aimed at problem families, like the Thomsons.
"Problem" families? We've been asked to refer mothers who aren't coping well with large families for contraceptive advice.
It's just one of the ways we might be able to help.
Mrs Thomson might be a little challenging at times, but she's making the best of a very difficult situation.
But perhaps her situation wouldn't have become so difficult if she'd had access to contraception.
Many of the women I have dealt with are extremely grateful for the option to limit their family size.
I'm sure they are.
But Mrs Thomson is already nine months pregnant.
Exactly, and the months after giving birth are very unpredictable in terms of fertility.
When are you next seeing her? She has a check-up this afternoon.
Why? We haven't always found Mrs Thomson receptive to our intervention in the past.
I wonder if you might have a word with her? There's nothing else you can do? I wish there was.
And what will happen if I don't have the operation? The cancer would spread.
But could I live long enough to start a family? I can't say how quickly it would spread, but even if you did become pregnant, it would put a huge additional pressure on your body.
Really, the sooner you have this operation, the better.
All these years I've always looked after myself so carefully.
Never smoked, watched what I ate.
Barely been off a day sick in my life.
And then something like this happens.
It just feels so unfair.
I know.
It must be a terrible shock.
But we're here to support you and your husband in any way that we can.
Oh, Philip How am I going to tell him? I thought I might go to the cinema on Thursday and catch that new film with Jane Fonda.
Bachelor Girl Apartment? Have you read the reviews? I don't think it will enhance your character.
I'm not trying to enhance my character.
If you wanted to do that, you'd accompany me to the medicinal baths.
Oh, it's my day off.
Try telling that to the poor children of Poplar, flaying their skin to ribbons while they queue for hours to be seen.
Gentlemen present the greatest obstacle.
They are too proud to come forward.
True, but we're still making headway.
As a result of our leaf letting campaign, many more have been referred for inspection.
If we don't all roll up our sleeves now, it will mean extra work for work for everyone in the long run.
It's still a little on the high side.
You know, you really shouldn't smoke.
We ran a campaign on the dangers just last month.
There wouldn't be so many adverts for it if it were really that bad for you.
Mrs Thomson, I wondered if you'd given any thought to the type of contraception you will use after Baby has arrived? No.
I have not.
Why are you asking me that? The few hours I'm awake between working and looking after my children, I tend to spend worrying about whether one's going to go to prison and if the other one's ever going to get out, let alone paying the bills and putting food on their plates.
I understand.
It's just, your social worker came to see me Wait, wait, wait.
You've been speaking to my social worker? She thinks I'm an unfit mother, doesn't she? You do, too.
Of course I don't.
For your information, I've no need of contraception because Mr Thomson walked out on me the moment he knew I was in the family way.
He never liked competing for my attention, and I think he probably had a bit on the side, too.
I'm sorry.
You should have said Why? It's none of your business.
I knew if the social worker found out I was by myself, she'd be back asking questions.
And if people saw her coming and going, they'd think I couldn't cope.
And I'm a proud woman, Nurse Robinson.
I may not do a good job of looking after meself, but I ALWAYS put my children first.
There we go.
Get that back done.
Is it cold? Is it tickly? Fie-fi-fo-fum! Who wants to get rid of that itchy tum? Sounds like they're having a very jolly time in here.
A noisy time, certainly.
Hot off the press.
To distribute as you see fit.
Thank you.
Would you like to take your lunch? You've been here since the crack of dawn.
No, I'm still raring to go.
Fresh as a daisy, me.
Oh, good.
But there's no sign of scabies.
I did run you a bath and there's a fresh bar of soap on the sink.
Is this really necessary? Cleanliness is next to godliness.
I don't want people judging us.
What's got into you this evening? Scabies isn't anything to be ashamed of.
Surely, in your line of work, you should appreciate that more than anyone? You're right.
This isn't about scabies.
I received a visit from a social worker this morning.
She wanted me to persuade one of my mothers to accept contraceptive advice.
Against my better judgment, I agreed.
It wasn't my place, and now I've lost my patient's trust.
So, win it back.
It won't be easy.
Buying a house won't be either.
But it won't stop us, will it? NURSE CRANE GRUNTS Good heavens.
Is it really necessary to fling yourself around quite so violently first thing in the morning? The reverberations might bring another ceiling down if you're not careful.
It's quite impossible to concentrate on my book with all your huffing and puffing.
The Language of Flowers.
I found it in the parlour.
It's really most fascinating, Riveting, I'm sure.
Boys! Time to get up.
Breakfast is on the table.
There's no need to linger.
I shall be some time about my ablutions, as I always take a bath on Thursday mornings.
I could draw up a rota, if it would help to know in advance? You not going to eat that? I'm not hungry.
You didn't each much yesterday either.
Or the night before.
Are you all right? There's something I need to tell you, Philip.
By, up.
This sounds serious.
You're not pregnant, are ya? I mean, you've been a bit moody the last few days.
Tired, off your food I'm right, aren't I? I knew it! Oh, wait till I tell the lads at work.
I'm going to be a father.
I'm going to be a father! Bye, love! Morning.
Little one must be due any day now.
Uh, yeah.
Get the door, will you, Fred? Thanks.
Didn't you notice her scratching? What, and that's a crime now? Oh! We cannot be too careful, Fred Buckle.
We've got a business to think about.
People don't want to be buying their daily bread from a shopkeeper becrusted in pimples.
It's already three o'clock.
We're going to have to start turning people away if the queue gets any longer.
Oh, I've created an overflow station.
It's not glamorous, but there's a large basement area we can use to speed up the process.
So, once patients have been bathed, they go straight downstairs for treatment.
VIVIEN WINCES Mum, are you sure you don't want me to call Nurse Robinson? I told you, I'm fine.
It smells delicious.
Thank you, Phyllis.
I might have a sandwich instead.
Cold food is served at tea-time.
I'd be happy to make you a sandwich, if you'd rather.
Thank you, that's very kind.
Nothing extravagant.
Cheese and tomato would suffice.
On wholemeal bread with butter, not margarine.
Right you are.
Mature cheddar or Red Leicester would both be acceptable, provided they're evenly sliced, and placed between the tomato and the bread to prevent the bread from going soggy.
All duly noted.
Tomatoes lightly salted, of course.
Of course.
If it's not too much of an inconvenience.
I've just had a call from Antony Terry.
His mother is in labour.
Quite advanced, by the sounds of it.
Midwife calling.
Antony, if you open that door even so much more than a whisker, you'll wish you'd never been born! She didn't want me to call you.
I don't know what to do.
How frequently are the pains coming on? I don't know.
I know you love your mother and you want to respect her wishes, but it is very important that I examine her, VIVIEN GROANING for her sake and the baby's.
Scabies is nothing to be ashamed of, nothing at all.
I know I let you down last time I saw you.
My enquiry was insensitive and presumptuous, for which I sincerely apologise.
But, Mrs Thomson, all that matters now is delivering your baby safely.
Vivien, please.
If you're going to be poking round in me nether regions, we should at least be on first name terms.
I wonder if we might be able to stick a public health poster up in your window, Mr Romano? Va benissimo, facia, non c'e' problema.
Matthew? What brings you here? Oh, I, uh had some business to attend to at one of the warehouses.
Dressed as Inspector Clouseau? Might I interest you in one of our posters? Oh, no.
I didn't realise posh people got it, too.
I feel like the Queen Mother after Buckingham Palace was bombed, finally able to look the East End in the face.
You need to get yourself down to a cleansing station.
I was on my way to a private clinic, actually.
Do you get a better class of mite if you pay for it? Nancy.
You know they have to paint every inch of your body? Every inch.
Erm, well, look, I I'd better go.
Erm I'll see you soon.
Promise me you won't tell the social worker about the scabies.
I promise.
Now, please, put it out your mind.
We can treat you later.
She'll use it as an excuse to take the baby away from me.
Especially if she knows I'm on me own.
She'll see it as neglect.
She will do no such thing.
I haven't slept in days.
I keep having nightmares about Antony going to prison, about losing the baby Precious, you've got to try and stay calm.
You need all your energy to manage your contractions.
If you panic, it's going to make it so much harder.
Ta-da! You're home early.
I wanted to spend some more time with my beautiful wife and mother-to-be.
There's no baby, Philip.
But Never mind.
There's plenty of time.
There'll never be any baby.
I don't understand.
I've got cancer, Philip.
The doctors need to cut out my womb.
You're doing really well, Vivien.
Short, sharp pants.
No I can't do it.
I can't do it I can't do it! But once you're better IF I get better.
Of course you're going to get better.
The operation isn't reversible.
No, but No.
So we'll never be able to have children.
Look at me, Vivien.
You know what you're doing.
You're good at having babies, remember? Not many women could cope with all that life has thrown at you.
Your baby is lucky to have such a brave and resourceful mother.
No-one is going to take your children away, no-one.
I can see Baby's head.
I need you to be strong now.
Antony, do you think your mum is up to this? My mum can do anything.
Vivien, are you ready to meet your baby? I'm ready.
Use this contraction to push Baby out, precious.
VIVIEN SCREAMS I'll understand if you want to leave me.
In some ways, it'd be a relief.
No-one would blame you.
Women are supposed to be able to bear children.
It's what you expected when we got married.
I've let you down.
Oh, come here, petal.
During the biopsy, I felt like a piece of meat on the butcher's slab, prodded and poked, bits of my insides being scraped out by a strange man who talked about me like I was a collection of cells.
Not a living, breathing person.
And I did it by myself, without telling you, because I didn't want you to see me like that.
I wanted to stay special.
It's too late now.
I'm not special any more.
I'm spoiled.
You should leave now, Antony.
I'm not going anywhere.
I want him to stay! Slowly Slowly does it.
Now, take a breath.
BABY SQUEALS Oh, Mum! BABY CRIES It's a girl, precious.
It's a beautiful baby girl.
Meet your new baby daughter.
Hello, little one! Leftover lunch.
I'm afraid the bread was a little too chewy for my taste.
I'll eat it if it's going spare.
Did you want to be on your own? When I'm alone, I want company.
And when I'm in company, I want to be by myself.
Isn't that ridiculous? Sounds like me before my monthlies.
Oh, thank goodness those days are behind me.
I'm ever so grateful, of course, for everyone's kindness.
But it's quite exhausting feeling grateful ALL the time.
I fear it makes one rather bad-tempered.
Ah, I shouldn't worry about that.
Have you ever tried to have a conversation with Sister Monica Joan before breakfast? NANCY GIGGLES On the one hand, it makes a very pleasant change to be looked after.
But it's difficult too, you see, when you reach a certain age and you're used to your independence, to adapt to other people.
Different routines.
Well, yes, I suppose it must be.
I'm sorry for barging in on you.
You're a busy man, you haven't got time.
I'm a doctor, Mr Cowper.
I make time.
Would you like to take a seat? Tell us about Janis.
We had an appointment with the surgeon this morning, but she refused to get out the car.
She's really struggling with this diagnosis, isn't she? Yes, she is.
All I want to do is look after her, but she won't let me - and I don't know how to change that.
She will adjust.
But there's a lot for both of you to take on board.
I've told her, I don't mind about not having children.
But I do mind.
I really, really mind.
Further down the line, you can consider adoption.
I can even talk to you about my own experience of that.
But not now.
Things are too raw.
The most important thing is we get your wife onto an even keel.
I need to put the thought of kids to one side, don't I? Just think about her, not some dream we had.
That's right.
I'm just worried everything I say will come out wrong.
Well, just keep talking, Mr Cowper.
And keep listening.
You're doing better than you think.
BABY CRYING What are you doing here? Social work.
Janis? She can't have gone far.
I'll help you look for her.
She wants me to go see a doctor so he can stop me having any more children.
Tell me you haven't come here now to discuss that.
I came to see the baby and reassure Mrs Thomson that the shopkeeper her son stole from has agreed not to press charges.
But that's not all.
I merely suggested referring her to the family contraceptive clinic.
It's in everybody's best interests, and I'm happy to come back when her husband gets home so we can discuss it all together.
I'd like you to leave now.
I need some privacy to make the necessary postpartum checks.
There she is.
We've been looking everywhere for you.
I followed them here, like a madwoman.
I can't stop noticing all the children and babies.
All the experiences I'll never have.
And I can't stop wondering if anything will fill the gap my womb leaves behind, or if I'll just be walking round with a big hole in my insides forever.
What do women do when they don't have children? Because the only ones I can think of are feminists and nuns, and my knowledge of the Bible is sketchy at best.
I don't want to change the world.
I was happy with a small life.
Perhaps if you focus on the things you can do, rather than the things you can't.
You'll find you still have plenty of choices.
It won't be the same.
I won't be the same.
You'll think me less a woman You're more than a collection of body parts.
I love YOU, Janis Cowper.
Children might have been the icing on the cake, but you're my be-all and end-all.
And we can still have lots of adventures.
Just not the ones we imagined.
I must have dozed off.
Don't you need to be somewhere? Sister Julienne agreed to cover my afternoon visits.
You needed a rest.
Do you want to have a wash and get dressed? The boys will be home soon.
I can make you all something to eat.
Have you thought of a name yet? George likes Elizabeth.
Antony thinks she looks like a Julie.
And what do you think, Vivien? I don't know.
Maybe Miss Palmer's right.
I'm a terrible mother.
I can't even hold me baby.
My milk hasn't come through yet.
Try and be patient.
Worrying about it will only make it worse.
I asked Antony to buy powder and a bottle so he can feed her when he gets home from school.
I can help you with that, if it's what you want.
I don't know what I want.
It's normal to be feeling low a few days after giving birth.
Your body's making huge adjustments.
You mustn't take anything Miss Palmer said to heart.
It's nothing personal.
She's just doing her job.
Oh, can you bring it round the back, Fred? It's a special order and I don't want it on display with scabies going round.
Bit much, ain't it? I can't risk contaminated customers unwittingly passing scabies on to others.
Morning, Mrs Buckle.
Good morning, Lucille.
What can I get you? I'd like a 50 gram crochet wool in baby pink, please.
Oh! That'll be two and three, please.
Those are for later, Fred.
I've got council surgery straight after shop shuts.
Can anyone drop in, or do you need an appointment? It's a drop-in surgery after seven o'clock.
VIOLET CLEARS THROA Oh, afternoon, Sister.
Have you heard anything more from the Cowpers? I think Janis knows what she needs to do.
She's just struggling to let go.
I can't help thinking it should have happened to me instead.
Someone with no need of a womb.
Nothing like that should ever happen to anyone, Sister.
If I might have your attention for a minute, Sisters.
Are those recorders? Oh, not any old recorders.
A descant, alto and rosewood bass from my childhood days in the Punjab.
Might I ask why you have chosen to furnish us with this information while we are engaged in restorative quietude? It is my intention to treat you to a musical soiree.
Oh, it's wholly unnecessary.
It's the least I can do to thank you for the generosity you've shown me over the last two weeks.
You've all been so very patient with me.
I forgot my envelopes.
Lucille, Cyril.
What can I do for you? Are you aware the council is trialling a new scheme proposed by the family contraceptive clinic? Yes.
Now, I believe the idea is to help to educate vulnerable women into making VIOLET CHUCKLES .
responsible choices.
Why? This policy troubles us.
Well, we're simply encouraging mothers with insufficient resources to, well, limit their family size.
"Problem" mothers? Hmm, I think I may have heard that term.
Often, these families create an avoidable drain on finite resources.
One of my patients was approached about this not long after giving birth.
How do you think it makes her feel that she is being blamed in this way? Are her babies any less deserving of a place in the world because their mother struggles to pay her rent? Of course not.
I understand many women, rich and poor, will benefit from better access to contraception.
But surely it must be at their discretion? No-one has the right to decide who is worthy to be born.
They are beautiful instruments, I know.
Fortunately, the burglar didn't have the sense to steal them, as the bass is rather valuable.
It was certainly a a wretched oversight on his part.
I brought them here in the hope of playing more regularly.
When you get home.
Have you given any more thought to when you might return to your domicile? We'd be very happy to help with any moving arrangements.
I could use my car.
Or mine.
You don't have a car.
No, but, uh, I'd get one if necessary.
So kind of you all, but I gave my notice to the landlord over the weekend.
RECORDER PLAYS I was just calling to see how you are after your treatment last week? Er, much better, thank you.
Though it took the poor nurse quite a while to apply the lotion.
It turns out I'm impossibly ticklish.
And Jonathan? Er, he had more of a rash around the neck, but, erm, thankfully, he's much less vain than his father.
You should come see us again.
He's growing up so fast.
He took his first steps this week.
Oh, how wonderful.
Isn't it? Hmm Well, perhaps I could drop in later this week.
He'd love to see you.
Erm we both would.
SCATTERED CLAPPING Oh, Colette can play that on recorder, too.
Next time we should all sing along.
I only know the first verse, but I could just repeat that over and over.
If you don't mind, I might just leave it there.
I must confess, I'm a little out of practice, and it it's left me rather breathless.
So, if you Good evening.
THEY CLAP Goodnight.
Someone has to say something to Sister Julienne.
And secure alternative lodgings for Miss Higgins forthwith.
I couldn't.
It'd hurt her feelings.
Don't be so soft! And don't get me wrong, I know how it feels to start over with nothing but a suitcase to call your own, but the longer you keep giving her special treatment, the more she'll feel she needs it.
She needs to get back on her own two feet before she forgets how good it feels.
Well, I think that's us told.
Being juvenile is a fault that improves daily.
Sister Frances? I brought a few donations for the toy area.
That's very kind.
Just a few of my favourite toys.
I was holding on to them for when I had my own children.
You know, there are still other ways to have a family.
I know.
And I promised Philip I'll consider adoption.
But these toys belong to my past and a different future.
I've been trying to do what you suggested, thinking about all the things I could do after the operation.
And if recovery goes well, I think I might train as a hairdresser.
I know it's not as noble a calling as a nurse or a midwife, but, having a good haircut can make you feel a lot better about yourself, and that's got to be worth something.
I think it's worth a great deal.
I've just been to see the rector and have good news to report.
He's agreed to let Miss Higgins stay in the cottage.
Tom and Barbara's cottage? It seems strange to think of anybody but them living there.
But we can't live in the past.
It's the perfect compromise.
Thank you.
That's settled, then.
All that remains is for you to inform Miss Higgins.
Me? Oh, look! Oh, boys, look! Thank you.
You're welcome.
I can see Baby's putting on weight beautifully.
No sign of a rash.
And you've all had your treatment at the baths? We have.
I've had mine, too.
Thankfully, numbers are finally on the decline, so it looks like the worst is over.
You might like to open this.
What's it say? It's from the social worker, agreeing to remove me from her referral list in response to a letter from Nurse Robinson, pastor and a local councillor.
It means no-one is going to make your mother do anything she doesn't want to.
Hear that, Antony? From now on, you're going to be changing Connie's nappies.
Connie? Short for Constance.
Cos she never gave up on me.
That doesn't mean I have to have another baby though, does it? No, it does not.
And she's got permission from the rector for you to live there, and it's a lovely little cottage, just across the forecourt, so you'd only be a stone's throw from Nonnatus House if ever you needed a cup of sugar, or even a cheese and tomato sandwich, and you'd be able to enjoy your own space and a lot more independence.
So, how does that sound? Or, of course, if you'd rather not, you can stay here for as long as you like.
You misunderstand.
The tears are tears of relief.
Relief? Truth be told, I fear I was rather hot-headed giving notice to my landlord, but I didn't want to say anything for fear of sounding ungrateful.
Oh? You've all been so terribly kind to me, but I'm afraid you're impossible to live with.
Oh? Nurse Corrigan leaves all manner of flotsam and jetsam in the bathroom, Sister Hilda listens to endless drivel on the wireless, you talk in your sleep, and Nurse Franklin's perfume gives me a terrible headache.
I mean, after the burglary I couldn't imagine ever living on my own again, but staying here these past two weeks has reminded me just how happy I was in my own company.
Oh, well I'm glad to have been of service.
Hello, over here! One more's enough.
Oh, careful of the china.
Ah! I have to tell you all this is the happiest day of my life.
JENNIFER: We can be courageous when we stand on solid ground, when we know who our friends are, when we know what we should do, when we are able to say "This is who I am.
"This is what I cherish.
"This is what I take, and what I give back in exchange.
"Sometimes, we can choose our paths.
"Sometimes, our only choice is how we make our journey.
"Alone and resolute, or trusting in those who can uphold and guide us.
" "Solitude is not armour, "and the need for others is not weakness.
"We are all at our strongest when we find our self hood "and embrace it.
"Just enough company, just enough space.
"And always, always the exact amount of friendship "and of love.
" Oh! Sister, what's the matter? She can't be setting events in train from her couch of anguish, and I am content to step into the breach.
Come away.
The likes of him shouldn't even be around here.
Meths drinkers are like rats.
If I can just keep it a secret for a bit longer
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