Drama about midwives in 1960s London. Sister Julienne learns about a new culture as she helps a family at a difficult time, while Sister Monica Joan struggles with her eyesight.
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In 1963, it seemed
humanity knew no bounds.
Our horizon stretched into infinity as we tour through
the atmosphere venturing into the galaxy itself.
The universe felt so vast, it dwarfed us.
There were times the wait was more than we could bare.
-Nurse Franklin, what's the matter?
My chain's come off, my brakes are slack and my bell's stopped ringing.
But the bike's all right though!
Rosie, keep your hand away from the needle.
I don't want you hurt, or a machine put out of action.
And neither does Mr Gani.
Where is the boss today?
One boss is away attending to a family matter.
And the other one is standing right in front of you.
Strawberries again. The torments of Prometheus are summoned to my mind.
You'll have to pretend you're at Wimbledon, Sister.
Do you have any plans, Nurse Anderson?
They have a gospel choir at my church,
and I'm going with my friend Sybil.
I'm meeting with my Spanish class for an evening of sangria
and Iberian snacks.
I had to concede failure in my pursuit of chorizo sausage
for them, but I've made shift with some spicy luncheon meat.
Nurse Franklin? Do you have you any plans this evening?
I thought I might sort out my nylons drawer.
Or my manicure tray.
Or I might even get out my Keep Fit manual
and finally master the half-clam scissor lift.
There really is no end of things one can do with a whole,
free Friday night.
-Where is she?
Come. Sit down.
I need to talk to you.
Parveen? Cousin, let me see you!
-Saddiq? What is it? Is she ill?
It is quite unexpected.
We are blessed.
What is this? Have you brought a husband?
Mere abbe ne palaey, sari gal mithi ho si?
What is she saying? Arranged it?
When I went home for my father's funeral.
My mother had already decided.
Your family agreed.
You have taken another wife?
I am so sorry.
You are the father?
Do not be sad.
I feel sick.
There's a busy district list this week,
which I am handing on to Sister Winifred.
And if you'd take the post-natal patients,
Nurse Anderson, I'd like you to spend some extra time with
Mrs Diller, one of those twins isn't gaining as she ought.
Meanwhile, just two bookings-in for you, Nurse Franklin.
You can have a bit of an easy wicket for a change.
Phyllis! I, I don't want an easy wicket!
But in my view, you need it.
You've had a bit of a setback in the romantic stakes,
and I dare say poor Mr Dockerill is drilling and filling
at the dental department with a face as long as yours.
I need to keep busy! Work will be the perfect cure.
Nursing is about curing patients, Trixie.
Not our own broken hearts.
And I am not going to overstretch you
until you can give of your best, again.
Thank you, Mrs Gani.
Sister will help you to dress, and then take a blood sample.
This won't hurt, Parveen.
I promise you.
Is she ill?
Or is something the matter with the baby?
There is nothing to suppose the baby is anything other than healthy.
And your wife seems well.
It says here that she is 15 years old.
I wouldn't say anything that is untrue.
She is 15.
That's below the legal age of marriage here,
but that is none of my concern.
The fact that she is a very young first-time mother is.
Just think how grateful the knees of the faithful will be!
If the fingers of the faithful were doing their share,
we wouldn't have got roped into this.
Valerie and I are benighted heathen
and Lucille doesn't even go to this church!
We are all one congregation under God.
Would you pass the Penguin biscuits, please, Trixie?
Just look at this poor lady astronaut.
The moment she puts on her helmet, her bouffant will be ruined.
Where immortality is concerned, the coiffure is an irrelevance.
Valentina Tereshkova's name is destined to echo down the centuries.
Ooh, I get this little shiver every time they say
"first woman in space".
Just the idea that there'll be other girls, going all that way.
Doing all those things.
My gran can remember people throwing stones at a female bus conductor.
Have you mislaid something, Sister Monica Joan?
I have parted company with my bodkin, and sought to retrieve it.
There are needles aplenty in my chamber,
I shall take this hassock there and sew until Compline.
Mrs Loretta Campbell?
Would you like to wait in here? I won't be a moment.
Sorry for the delay.
What do you have in there? A sneaky piece of cake?
Something like that. I, I get peckish.
I don't know what that is.
But it doesn't look like cake.
I can't help myself. And I'm so ashamed.
Oi! You're on private property!
When I find a device that belongs to me secreted in your outhouse amongst
your dibbers and your trowels and your long toms, it would appear
to me that it is not I who requires a reminder of proprietary rights!
Look, I'm sorry, Sister Monica Joan! I didn't realise it belonged to you!
Must I have everything monogrammed,
like garments going to the laundry?
Marked, like the possessions of an infant?
You could have started a grass fire.
It upsets me when you upset yourself, Sister.
I require this.
And I require that it is not moved,
when I place it somewhere for safe keeping.
Perhaps we can attach it to a piece of elastic around your wrist.
When I took the veil,
I vowed to surrender the world of the senses.
But some senses, it seems,
are harder to relinquish than their counterparts.
We'll sort something out.
Lots of women crave different foods when they are pregnant.
Pilchards, gherkins, sherbert lemons.
Believe me, I've seen it all!
It was marmalade sandwiches when I had my first.
Apart from the fact that I can't stand marmalade,
it never seemed so strange that I had to eat them in secret.
The good news is that in every single case,
the urge goes away as soon as the mother gives birth.
What if it hurts the baby?
My sister-in-law couldn't stay away from strawberries,
and her poor little girl came out with a bright red
mark right down one side of her face!
That would just have been a coincidence.
When an expectant mother feels compelled to keep eating
certain things, it's called "pica".
-There's a name for it?
And whole chapters in obstetric text books.
You're almost ready to have this baby so you won't...
I'd give anything to just want a marmalade sandwich!
..so you won't be suffering for much longer.
-I did not choose this.
Our families did. I cannot blame you.
I cannot blame her. What can I feel? What can I do?
I don't know.
What we had wasn't everything we wanted.
But the business became our child.
It grew, it cost us sleep,
it made us proud.
It showed me what love is.
What it means to be husband and wife.
When we met, when we were married,
we did not know what those words meant.
And we learned to share everything.
But we cannot share this.
Bit more tightening, and you shouldn't have any more trouble.
You look after us so well, I wasn't aware there was any trouble.
that's the way of the world, isn't it, Sister?
Full of pickles and predicaments, we don't always notice them.
Are you in a... a pickle, or a predicament, Fred?
Not me. Sister Monica Joan.
Or more particularly, her eyes.
I wondered if her sight was deteriorating.
It is so very common with age.
I reckon it's a lot worse than she's letting on.
She's using a very strong magnifying glass, only in secret,
and without it, it's like she's almost blind.
Why isn't she admitting it?
I don't know, Sister. Pride?
And perhaps she fears nothing can be done.
Or - begging your pardon, Sister Julienne -
the fear that something can be.
Well, she never was too keen on medical intervention.
Remember the carry-on with the Mass X-ray van?
She locked herself in the bathroom, I had to get my ladders out!
Your care for her then did you credit, and does you credit now.
And I must match it with my own,
and make sure that we give her the help she that needs.
Midwife's here, Loretta.
Hello, Mrs Campbell.
You seem to be doing nicely. Looks like I'm just in time.
I don't know about nicely.
I've got an ironing pile the size of Ben bloody Nevis
and five pounds of potatoes still to peel for the tea.
Well, I'm going to look you over, get you settled
and then we'll see about bringing a neighbour to help.
Nutty slack on the chest of drawers is never a good sign.
I feel sick at the thought of it.
Smuggling it round in my hankie, or my handbag,
running into the toilets with it.
Eating it behind closed doors.
I try not to give in, Nurse, I, I really do.
And when you do give in, do you feel better?
I feel bloody brilliant, Nurse.
For a minute.
And then it all begins again...
I think it is a wonderful achievement and I think we might be
able to persuade the wife, it would be a good idea if I could,
to get her to go up there for a little while.
You're blocking the view, Sister.
There she is!
Isn't this marvellous?
I'd give anything to see my family on a screen like this.
I wonder if she felt lonely up there by herself?
She would have had no time to feel lonely.
She is a fearless adventurer, fulfilling her destiny!
A perfectly formed, and might I add, angelic looking, baby girl.
She's all right.
Look at her. I didn't hurt her after all.
See, nothing to feel guilty about.
You must feel proud of her, Mr Campbell?
Oh, I do. You're a trooper all right, Loretta.
A baby sister! What do you reckon to her, Robert?
Do you like her?
She's absolutely picture perfect.
She's definitely all right? She didn't come to no harm?
And you'll probably find the cravings will vanish now she's here.
You don't want a bit of coal to munch on with your sherry?
I do not! You can throw every last lump in the fire.
Now that's worth toasting!
Isn't it? Oh.
I'm on duty, I'm afraid.
What's the harm? It's only a granny's tipple.
Hardly a drink at all.
KNOCK AT DOOR >
You have a visitor, Sister.
It is not convenient.
I am engaged in my spiritual reading for the day.
It's Doctor Turner.
I won't detain you long, Sister.
But it would be good to have a chat for five minutes.
I am a stranger to the artifice of "chatting", Doctor Turner.
And so are you.
If you invade my chamber, I must presume that your purpose is
malignant, and I insist that you retreat.
Just five minutes, and then you'll have all day to do your reading.
With the magnifying glass a little bird told me about.
There's no need for you to keep it a secret any more, Sister.
This must be one of the strongest lenses available, Sister.
But it won't brighten colours,
or take away blurring of things in the middle distance.
You know nothing of my visual acuity.
No. I'm just guessing.
But I am guessing that you have cataracts.
And I know that there is plenty we can do.
May I sit down, Parveen?
You are a nurse.
Midwives are special nurses who help the baby to be born,
and make sure the mother has all the help she needs.
My mother is in Pakistan.
Is that her? Oh, she looks beautiful.
Mumtaz my cousin.
This her house.
Could Mumtaz bring you to clinic next Tuesday?
I can check you over now,
but if you come to clinic you can meet some other mums.
Mumtaz work in factory.
Where's your husband?
In photograph? Here.
No, no. I meant your husband.
-Not your cousin's.
-He is my husband.
He marry me.
But he marry her first.
I shall submit neither to the knife,
nor Doctor Turner's mountebank mould pills.
I care not what remedies he suggests.
Penicillin has not even been suggested,
because your eyes are not infected.
The lenses have simply clouded over with age
and an operation will restore them.
Milton lost his sight at 43,
and the verse he wrote upon the topic is pitiful indeed.
"Blind among enemies, O worse than chains, dungeons, beggary,
"or decrepit age."
And I don't doubt that he would have leapt at the chance of surgery.
I am a far greater age than he.
I have curated and collated in my mind
an entire library of books,
into which I can retreat when the light deserts me.
And if you could rely upon your mind,
I would willingly let you go there.
But you cannot.
And I will not abandon you to darkness.
KNOCK AT DOOR
Sister Julienne won't say Grace till you come down,
and the flan is going cold.
Cold flan? I can't possibly have that on my conscience.
I couldn't believe what I was hearing at first.
Two wives. That is bigamy!
Not according to the law in Pakistan.
A man can take up to four if he has a mind to.
But this is a Christian country. And this is where they live now.
There was a bigamist lived down our street
when I was growing up in Leeds.
He was a commercial traveller in women's hosiery
and he had a second wife and family on the go in Fleetwood,
plus a mistress in Nuneaton he was trying to get engaged to.
I feel sorry for the first Mrs Gani.
First wives are often stronger than you think.
The world would be a far more harmonious place were
we less concerned with the imagined strengths and frailty of others.
If we weren't alert to the frailties of others,
there's a great deal of caring that wouldn't get done.
I will go and see Parveen Gani, and her family.
Here's Sister Monica Joan's referral letter.
Mr Greswell doesn't have a very long waiting list.
The sooner the better, I think.
Before she decides to flee Nonnatus House disguised as a washer woman.
She needs to be accompanied to hospital by someone she can trust.
And it sounds as though Sister Julienne is in her bad books.
Let's see when they can fit her in.
I'll take her myself, if she hasn't come round to the notion.
Why don't you go and lie down?
So that you are resting when the midwife comes? Go on!
I don't want rest. And I don't want this.
Don't want what?
You hating me. Your husband to be my husband.
And this. I don't want this.
The midwife has come to see Parveen.
Obviously she has come to see Parveen.
If your blood pressure is raised,
it means we need to look out for other signs of complications.
But this is a very healthy reading.
Have you discussed where you want the baby to be born?
There is a choice?
Hospital delivery is available,
but we encourage home birth where possible.
Do you have any children of your own, Mrs Gani?
Thakkeh maar da.
She says it's kicking.
I think that's an elbow.
-Oh, good morning.
Your ankles are looking lovely and slender, Mrs Campbell -
you're already losing that puffiness.
And Baby's latching on like a professional.
Have you got any Anadin?
I don't carry proprietary medications, Mr Campbell.
Might I surmise you've been wetting the baby's head?
Half-drowning it, more like.
He was down the Black Sail till all hours,
and he kicked it all off with that sherry he had with Nurse Franklin.
Did he indeed?
I reckon Nurse Franklin would rather have had some Tio Pepe,
you see it on the adverts.
But she didn't seem to mind that it was only Bristol Cream.
We'll try Baby on the other breast in a moment.
When Mr Campbell has repaired elsewhere.
-KNOCK AT DOOR
Oh, hello Phyllis!
I was offered a box of Milk Tray by a grateful patient this afternoon.
Slightly shop soiled, but I couldn't resist.
Help yourself - though I'm afraid I beat you to the lime barrel.
A box of Milk Tray isn't the only thing you were offered, is it?
-Or the only thing you couldn't resist?
I don't know what you mean.
You drank sherry at the Campbell's house.
Yesterday, after the baby was born.
They put me on the spot.
I want you to tell me it was an isolated incident.
A momentary slip.
But I don't think you can, can you?
A little brightener now and again isn't the end of the world.
It's the end of your being in control of things.
However much you might try to argue otherwise.
And I do try. Lately, I've almost managed to convince myself...
-Trixie, have you stopped going to your meetings?
-Are you sure?
-I'm not a child!
You're a nurse, and a midwife, Trixie.
And there are rules.
Rules you've broken.
As well as the promises you've made to yourself.
are you going to report me?
Not this time.
But you must keep attending your meetings, Trixie.
I'll go back. I promise
You did stop going, then?
I am afraid Parveen is not here.
Because I wanted to see you.
One handkerchief, neatly pressed and ready for action.
I know not why you insist on my taking such a thing.
Do you envisage tears, in addition to the gnashing of my teeth?
No, I envisage us putting our best feet forward
and approaching this appointment in a positive and optimistic manner.
I suggest you wear your black veil, in case we want to pop
into a nice little cafe I know of on our way back from the hospital.
It's called the Black Kettle Cafe
and has quite the reputation for its custard slices.
Spit spot, Sister.
Let's not keep Fred waiting.
I am familiar with the strain
that a baby can bring within a family.
Not every baby is welcome or wanted.
I have seen confusion, and distress and heartbreak, in my time.
I feel many things.
But it is best that I do not discuss them.
Parveen's child is not my child.
And her pregnancy is not your pregnancy.
I knew nothing of it, until she arrived.
I knew nothing of the wedding, until she arrived.
Everything was decided by others, and done by them.
I am forced to accept,
and accept, and accept.
Just as I had to accept that I would never have a baby.
I am so very sorry that you are in this situation.
Oh, good morning, Mr Dockerill.
Good morning, Nurse Crane.
As nobody on these premises has expressed
a desire for emergency dental attention, might
I presume that you've called because you'd like to see Nurse Franklin?
Yes. But I don't know if she'd like to see me.
She's on her rounds, as it happens.
But please be advised that what that young lass doesn't
need at this precise moment in time is a romance with a man who
is effectively married.
Trixie meant the world to me, Nurse Crane.
And she still does.
I will not do anything that would distress, or hurt her.
Because what she does need is a friend.
She is 15.
I was 15 when I married Saddiq, in Pakistan,
and I can still recall the terror that I felt.
But he was hardly older than I was.
You were children together.
And we grew together.
Grew up together.
She has been forced to lie with a man more than twice her age.
Saddiq is a good man, and gentle.
I know him.
But she does not.
I feel rage, and grief.
And my marriage.
And I do not see the child in front of me, with an infant in her belly.
..think only of the children that I can never have.
And I despise myself!
I do not.
I will book Parveen into the maternity home to have her baby.
She will get excellent care, and it will give you
the chance to come to terms with what is happening.
I will never come to terms with it.
And yet I must try.
If you could remain as motionless as possible it will assist me...
Yes. You have bilateral cataracts - that is to say, one in each eye.
They both require surgery.
You must put me under the knife?
Not the knife, Sister. The scalpel.
It's a delicate surgery, thoroughly tried and tested.
And my understanding, Mr Greswell,
is that general anaesthesia would be deployed?
Mmm-hmm. Of course.
I can promise you, Sister, you won't know a thing about it.
One small scratch on the back of your hand,
you'll be away in fairyland.
If you assume that an enforced visit to an imaginary realm will
reconcile me to your butchery, sir, you are mistaken.
Sister Monica Joan, I'm sure Mr Greswell will be more than...
It... It is not necessary for Mr Greswell
and I to waste any more of one another's time.
Mr Greswell was remarkably courteous, all things considered,
and said he would leave Sister Monica Joan on his waiting list.
-But she remains intransigent?
And she went straight to her bedroom and slammed the door.
I suspect I shall be leaving this tea on the landing.
But if she doesn't have the operation, she will go blind.
Will she have to go back to the Mother House - the one thing she's dreaded?
If she is to lose her sight,
it's best that she remains somewhere familiar.
And that we help to prepare her.
You were right to bring Parveen in - her waters have broken,
but her contractions are yet to start.
She must come home?
Given the situation, I think it's best for us to keep
her on the ward to monitor her progress.
We can give her caster oil to encourage the labour
and hopefully we won't have to wait too long.
We will contact you as soon as there is any news.
I'm not convinced this is fully showerproof.
My offer of chauffeur service still stands.
Thank you, Phyllis.
But taking the bus is part of my routine.
If I can bag the top deck, front seat,
left-hand side then it sets me up for my entire evening.
I can understand that.
Off you pop.
Get yourself back in the swing of it.
Mr Gani, hello, It's Sister Julienne...
from the Maternity Home.
Parveen's contractions have begun.
Young mothers often labour very quickly, so if you...
and Mrs Gani would like to come in?
The baby's coming.
Shall we gather round, ladies and gentlemen?
Are you joining us?
Not this evening.
You're doing really well.
Good girl, good girl...
Parveen. Mumtaz is here...
You timed it perfectly - Baby's almost here.
What do I...
What can I do?
Help her by talking in Punjabi.
The head's about to be born.
We need to take this slowly, Parveen...
Parveen very slow...
Sirr aavnda peya, tu aistaa kar.
Don't push too hard.
Zyaadaa zorr naa laa.
Encourage her. She's doing really well.
Haa edhaa! Tu acha karr ree hai, Parveen.
Tu karr sakh ni a!
The head is coming.
Tu karr sakh ni a, shabash!
You're doing so well.
Sirf mohnday 'un.
Fair thoo zoor lagaa.
Well done! Well done!
You have a little boy, Parveen!
You have a son!
You have a boy?
He's so beautiful...
And you are very, very clever.
Look at his fingers!
And his hair...
Look at what you have done.
You did it also.
You helped me.
Looks like you dodged the worst of the rain, then?
Yes. I got off very lightly.
Salaam mera beta.
I telephoned the Royal Institute for the Blind
and spoke to an exceptionally helpful lady.
There are a great many things on offer to people whose sight
In due course, you may wish to consider a white stick.
We can put that notion to one side for the time being.
But without the surgery, you are going to have to
prepare for a future where things are very different.
The lady suggested you might start learning Braille.
I managed to pick up some books for beginners, from the library.
You love books so much, Sister Monica Joan.
And many of the great works are printed in Braille,
so once you've mastered it, you can read them in translation.
It seems that I am in translation now.
There are other words for my condition.
But I can't recall them now.
What an unexpected pleasure.
Sorry. Would you have preferred it if I'd called first?
I was about to remind you there are rules about kissing in the vicinity of this doorstep.
Well, it can't matter, surely, if we're just friends.
No. I don't suppose it can.
I'm seeing a bit more of the old sparkle.
Oh, I'm so glad.
She got a gold star in her essay entitled "My Rabbit", and wants me
to show it to you when she's allowed to bring her exercise book home.
I'd love to see it.
Even if it means seeing me too?
I don't want to do anything that adds to your unhappiness, Trixie.
-Who told you I was unhappy?
-A little bird. Well...
A slightly bigger bird, admittedly.
But a very concerned, and caring one.
She had no right discussing my personal business with anyone.
I care too.
Oh, sorry, Sister.
I didn't mean to interrupt you.
These flowers were going spare from the allotment,
Sister Winifred said to leave them in here for the altar.
Not much scent, for a hybrid tea.
They are roses?
My mother was intensely fond of her rose garden.
She taught me the name of every bloom.
Souvenir de Malmaison.
I don't know what these are.
Other than prone to mildew and a bit on the thorny side.
If I were in a more jocular cast of mind,
I might say the same about myself.
But you're feeling a little bit out of sorts, aren't you, Sister?
I can scarcely see that they are flowers at all.
I don't drink all the time.
I have rules, and - by and large - I stick to them.
You know how self-disciplined I am.
And I know how brave you are,
and how fragile, how proud.
And I know you'll do everything you possibly can alone, before you ask for help.
I'm not asking for help.
But you need it.
Thank you for allowing me to say that.
When I first took the veil, I fought it.
I performed the tasks required,
but inside I resisted every rule
and questioned every regulation.
Well, that's human nature, isn't it?
It was my nature.
And still is.
I could always hear God's voice,
I was merely reluctant to let Him have the final word.
Sister Monica Joan, if you don't have this operation,
He will have the last word.
And you will lose your eyesight altogether.
But if that is what He intends?
The greatest lesson I learned from the religious life was acceptance.
It was hard but supremely worthwhile.
I should perhaps not abnegate it now -
..surrender to blindness.
If you submit to blindness then you'll be throwing all sorts
back in to God's face!
Will you e...explain your meaning. If you can.
People trying to help you. You're rejecting that.
Medical science can help you. You're rejecting that, too! And...
And if you believe that God created the world then
He made all of those things possible
and I would be a little bit fed up with you, if I was the man upstairs.
"The man upstairs" knows my reasoning.
In which case, he also knows you're scared.
We all get scared, Sister.
I was scared at El Alamein.
I bet that lady astronaut was scared,
when they put her in her rocket.
Think of all the things that she's seeing now.
I have decided to suffer the surgeon's knife.
If an ingenue of 26 can travel through the earth's
atmosphere at orbital velocity,
then a woman as ancient as myself
can face her fear of the scalpel.
Sister Monica Joan.
Having a cataract operation really isn't comparable to
going into space.
I look upon the astronaut, and myself, as Brides of Science.
And courteously invite you to do likewise.
I'd come in with you if it were allowed.
But instead I'll sit tight here until you're finished.
I managed to pull some strings and lo and behold
Sister Monica Joan's name is on the cancellations list!
Time is of the essence, lest she should change her mind again.
She has changed it once already...
How did you get her to agree?
It would appear that the credit should go to Fred.
Is that Baby Gani?
Sadly Mother still isn't interested in feeding him herself.
I almost wish I'd encouraged a home birth.
With less support from us,
Parveen might have been more inclined to engage with him.
What about the other Mrs Gani?
It's such a very delicate situation.
Mrs Gani. Hello.
What are you doing here?
I just came to speak to you about the baby.
It is not my child.
I know how hard this is for you Mrs Gani
but he's so little.
He needs all the love he can get.
I said go. Please.
SHE CRIES OUT
Mrs Gani? Oh, goodness.
-Let me take a look.
I'll call Doctor Turner.
I know what's said in there is private,
but did anything help tonight?
In a way.
Then why do you look so sad?
Because I realised something.
We can't keep seeing each other, Christopher.
But I want to help.
I don't think you can.
Just because we're not together, doesn't mean I don't care any more.
And I still do too.
But that's precisely why this can't go on.
You have to look to your future.
And I have to look to mine.
God willing, there's a lot of life left to live for both of us.
Take care of yourself, Trixie.
You should make a full recovery,
although I'd keep up the painkillers for a day or two.
-It's been well sugared.
You have taken care of me very well.
I heard you speak of the baby.
Is he unwell?
Just a little unsettled.
Perhaps because motherhood isn't proving easy for Parveen.
How can motherhood be hard? She's given birth.
Her body has prepared her.
Motherhood is about so much more than a physical process, Mrs Gani.
I don't know any more about that than you do.
I think we all know more about love than we might realise.
I'm a doctor, but I'm a father too.
I have a son to my late first wife, an adopted daughter,
and a little boy who was born after my second wife
and I had given up all hope of ever having a baby of our own.
For you, the miracle happened.
But the miracle wasn't that a child was born.
It was that my wife and I had found ways to embrace what we were given.
We built a family out of several disparate elements,
and at least one major surprise.
Is it a happy family?
Not necessarily average.
And a bit chaotic sometimes.
But it works very nicely.
So you are saying that I must embrace what I am given...?
We are saying if you can open your heart to Parveen...
..then maybe you can find a way you can all thrive.
The baby most especially.
Oh, lass! What for?
For putting you in such a difficult position with Sister Julienne.
For being less than honest with you,
when you deserve nothing less than the truth.
And for not turning up for duty tomorrow.
Because I'm going to have to turn my attention to something very pressing,
that means going away for a while.
I'm not one for biblical quotations and well you know it.
But my mother always used to say, "Sufficient unto the day is
"the evil thereof".
Which is just another way of saying you can start afresh in the morning.
And you can.
I promise you.
Oh, Mrs Gani!
I was about to take Baby through to the Nursery for his bottle.
You aren't feeding him yourself?
It's too hard...
I can remember my grandmother telling me "To feed the baby,
"one must feed the mother."
Let's get you something to eat, hm?
You asked to see me, Nurse Franklin.
-Yes, I did.
-And I'm glad.
Because if you hadn't, I would have been forced to ask to see you.
I can do better than this, Sister Julienne.
I believe you can.
And we both know that you must.
I'm granting you leave of absence for six months,
to enable you to seek help for your problems.
Once you are yourself again, you may return to your position.
You go with our love.
And our prayers.
Sometimes one small gesture...
can give us the strength to do enormous things.
A little generosity can unleash great tenderness
leading in time to deep real love.
And a single conversation can change your mind, a life.
The world is no bigger than the people who inhabit it.
And together or alone we are closer than we know.
It seems he may have been suffering from smallpox.
I need help. But you must keep it a secret.
You said you didn't want any balloons or a welcoming committee.
That's why we didn't tell them we were coming home.
She's suffering such anguish -
so terrified of another forceps delivery that
she doesn't want to give birth.
-I'm not doing it, Kenny. I can't...
Sister Julienne is drawn into the heart of a different culture when she is called upon to help a Pakistani family. Having come to terms with her own childlessness, Mumtaz Gani is heartbroken when her husband Saddiq brings home a second wife who is eight months pregnant. Sister Julienne must help Mumtaz come to terms with this new addition to her family.
Elsewhere, Trixie struggles to cope after her break-up with Christopher and looks for comfort at the bottom of a bottle. But it is not long before she can no longer conceal her struggle with sobriety. Sister Julienne and Dr Turner are convinced Sister Monica Joan needs cataract surgery, but before having the first consultation she must acknowledge that her vision is impaired. At clinic, Lucille meets a woman with pica - but this is no ordinary craving, as Mrs Campbell cannot stop eating coal.