A few days had passed since the incident of her misgivings, brief moments spent on entertaining other thoughts. Sister Bernadette had reasoned her actions on hearing the personal experiences of the nurses, reasoning it was only natural to think of such things. As the days followed, Sister Bernadette found her resolve reinforced by her work and duties.
First came the contraceptive talks, first introduced by Doctor Turner, but turned to the sisters and nurses when he became too busy. Sister Bernadette found herself the usual candidate for his lectures while each nurse had her chance leading the talks. Sister Bernadette, along with Nurse Franklin chose to accompany Chummy for her first talk, which was shaky at first, but they were relieved when Chummy found her footing.
With one task completed another took its place, one which required the nuns’ spiritually for the residents of Poplar. The recent case of Frank and Peggy called for the Sisters’ prayers, their understanding, and care. It was left in the hands of Sister Julienne and Nurse Lee, but Sister Bernadette continued to pray for the pair.
The week was filled with a number of tasks, but the least expected one was a home birth at Nonnatus House. Life had presented an unusual situation for the nuns and nurses, in the unlikely form of a pregnant sow. Sister Bernadette informed Fred that his pig was in fact pregnant, but with the absence of a veterinarian, she found her skills called upon. The time came for Evie to deliver her litter of piglets, but the birth was not progressing well.
“That’s another one that didn’t make it Sister Evangelina,” spoke Sister Bernadette, turning to Fred, sadness evident on his features.
“I’m sorry Fred.”
“Do not seem wite, does it?”
“Sometimes these things happen Fred, but we’ll keep trying.”
Within moments of their exchange, Fred’s hopes were in fact answered in the form of thriving, healthy piglets. In no time at all, Fred was over the moon when Evie was able to successfully deliver a few healthy farrows. Smiling from cheek to cheek at her glorious feat and sharing the experience among his Nonnatun family.
After the successful birth, they all allowed Evie to rest with her piglets as Sister Evangelina and Fred shared a welcomed cup of tea. Chummy and Constable Noakes went off to talk in privacy as Nurse Miller took over the calls, while both Sister Julienne and Nurse Lee went up to rest.
Sister Bernadette volunteered to clean up and after putting away the last of the materials, heard rapid knocking on the front door. Opening it to reveal the familiar face of Doctor Turner.
“Sister, I sorry. I came as soon as I could.”
“Fred called, he said there was an emergency,” confusion evident in his furrowed brows and wondering why Sister Bernadette was so calm. Fred had explained, rather franticly, over the phone that there was an emergency at Nonnatus House and needed him to come once he was able to.
In turn, Sister Bernadette was equally confused by Doctor Turner, thinking the only emergency of the day was Evie and soon realized what he meant.
“Oh, Doctor Turner I’m sorry. It was Fred’s pig you see, she was giving birth and at first, it wasn’t looking well.”
“Yes, he must have been in a rush to help Evie and forgot to call you back or to tell the rest of us he called you.”
“I see,” an exhausted laugh escaping him, “well, I’m glad everything resolved itself. I was at my surgery when he called and finished all my appointments before heading here.”
“I’m sorry again Doctor Turner, would you like to come in for tea?”
“No, it’s quite alright. I should get going,” smiling at her offer and then noticing dried mud on her right cheek.
“Sister, you actually have mud, right there on your cheek,” his hand outstretched towards her face and resisted the urge in using his sleeve to wipe away the mud.
“Goodness, I must have been too absorbed to noticed,” using her hand in an attempt to rub the mud away, “thank you for pointing that out Doctor Turner.”
“Don’t mention it, I best be getting off then,” reaching for the door, but turned back for a brief moment “and congratulate Fred on my behalf Sister.”
“Will do Doctor and please, tell your son he’s more than welcome to visit the litter.”
“Thank you Sister.”
Ending their exchange with smiles and heading their different ways to rest before the start of a new day.