A New Midwife:
“I can never down tools till I’m all set up and ready to go again! I’ll just go and pop these over, nice meeting you Nurse Lee,” spoke Sister Bernadette and left to leave Sister Julienne and Nurse Lee to finish their conversation.
Sister Bernadette made her way to the trusty autoclave, even if its services had been used for many years by Nonnatus House it still got the job done. The Order had taught Sister Bernadette the difference between necessity and convenience. It would have been convenient in purchasing a new autoclave, but the vow of poverty prohibited such notions. The autoclave would do just fine and allowed Sister Bernadette a break to reflect on previous events.
The birth from earlier that day, a case that could have taken a turn for the worse when it came to breech babies but had resolved itself. Faith in the Lord, along with her ten year service in district practice and midwifery afforded her the tools in turning the baby. But for Sister Bernadette, she didn’t allow these small victories to go to her head.
Small moments by herself allowed reflection on what she could fix next time, to analyze any improvement for future cases. Her thoughts made her oblivious to the outside world and had failed to notice a tall figure from behind her, who was carrying a medical bag full of instruments of his own.
“Oh Doctor Turner,” surprise evident in her voice.
“Sorry to have frightened you. I just came over to use the autoclave. Mine seems to have a mind of its own these days.”
“Not at all Doctor. I can take those for you.”
“You sure? I noticed your name was first on rotation.”
“I’m quite sure and just because I was first on call doesn’t mean I can’t help you out.”
“Thank you, Sister,” a smile of professionalism was exchanged between the pair, but their small talk ended there. Quietness followed and unknowingly, the pair was desperate to fill the void. It was Doctor Turner who spoke up first to break through the silence.
“Anything interesting as of late?”
“Well, Mrs. Driscoll’s pregnancy was presented as a breech birth, but I was able to turn baby. And a new midwife has joined our ranks. Other than that, all is well.”
“Great work as always Sister. Were you able to meet the new midwife?”
“Just now actually, she seems highly capable.”
“I’m sure she is, she would have to be in order to keep up with your own skills.”
“I don’t know about that Doctor, my skills aren’t a standard for others.”
“I wouldn’t be sure Sister Bernadette.”
She was about to protest further when they were interrupted by Sister Julienne’s presence.
“Ah, Doctor Turner, I was just about to ring you.”
“Good afternoon Sister Julienne. I came over as I was in the need of your autoclave, but what can I do for you?”
“A simple consultation for one of my progressing cases, if you would kindly follow me to my office.”
“Of course,” following Sister Julienne out, but not without signaling a goodbye nod to Sister Bernadette.
Sister Bernadette found herself alone in cleaning both their instruments, but was happy to do so. Doctor Turner worked extremely hard for the patients of Poplar and had a great partnership with the Nonnatus House, there was no other GP like him. Sister Bernadette did not feel obligated in cleaning his tools, she wanted to, especially if it meant the alleviation of unnecessary work off his mind.
It was never a dull moment in the daily lives of Poplar residents and the medical professionals who found themselves in the thick of things. Nurses, nuns, and doctors alike had experienced different encounters from a number of patients. Especially for a new midwife that found herself in the delivery of premature baby. A case that was a testament of shear love and determination of the mother thought Sister Bernadette.
Sister Bernadette had previously delivered Conchita’s now second youngest child, a pregnancy that was straight forward, apart from the mother’s swollen ankles. Her mind drifted to her own abilities and thought about what she would have done if present for Mrs. Warren’s latest pregnancy. Such thoughts ended when Doctor Turner made his way to the parish hall’s kitchen.
“Sister,” a smile evident on his face, along with dark circles acquired from the Warren pregnancy from the other night.
“I heard about Mrs. Warren’s baby. It must have been a great ordeal.”
“Yes,” but their discussion didn’t progress any further and Sister Bernadette thought it best to leave Doctor Turner alone with his tea. She could finish hers at another time.
“I best be getting on then Doctor Turner.”
“You were surely missed.”
“From the birth. Nurse Lee had everything under control, but you surely missed,” he downed the rest of tea and gathered himself to leave.
“Well, the cavalry awaits. See you on the other side, Sister.”
“Yes,” she too downed her cup and followed Doctor Turner in greeting new and old patients of the day. A smile evident on her face at the thought that her abilities did not go unnoticed and were in fact needed in the underserved area of Poplar.
Moments either witnessed or unseen for my favorite couple, Turnadette. Join in on the hiatus challenge (this should be quite fun or troublesome)!