Wednesday, October 3, 2012

CALL THE MIDWIFE

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

For your viewing pleasure, I recommend a show on PBS. It's a gift to us from the BBC, and the title is Call the Midwife.

The first episode begins with young nurse and newly qualified midwife Jenny Lee arriving for duty at what she thinks is a small private hospital. Instead, it's a convent.


Nurse Lee not only has to become accustomed to living with nuns, including one who seems a bit daft but is very sweet. She has to learn to deal with London's East End tenements and the accompanying chaos and squalor because she goes to the patients' homes -- such as they are.

Her first patient is a young woman preparing to give birth to her 25th child! Nurse Lee is invited to join the family for a meal, which means everyone sits at a table, spooning food out of a pot placed in the middle. It's also considered quite shocking that the patient's husband remains in the room during the birth.

This show provides a fascinating look back at 1950's London. The midwife travels on her bicycle over the cobblestone streets in all kinds of weather, dealing with tragedy and triumph brought about by love. The nuns and nurses, all midwives, deliver 80 - 100 babies every month. Keep in mind that the birth control pill was not yet available. In fact, any method of birth control was generally not available, especially to the poor. Call the Midwife is based on a memoir by a midwife, whose words are included as narration at times.

The show is on Sunday evenings. You should check your local TV listings for times. It is NOT appropriate for children, unless you want to give them a rather shocking lesson in where babies come from.

If you missed the first episode, you can watch it at http://video.pbs.org/video/2284744812.

Now, speaking of giving birth at home, do you know which U. S. President was the first to be born in a hospital?

I'll let you answer the question, and then I'll tell you if anyone is right about the president. And no fair asking Google for the answer.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

P.S. Jo-Anne Meadows answered the question correctly. The first U. S. president born in a hospital was Jimmy Carter.

22 comments:

  1. I was about to contact Google, then I read what you said. I'll wait for the answer because I'm clueless.

    Thanks for the info about Call the Midwife. When I have time to watch television again, I'll check it out.

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    1. I know you're extremely busy, and I know why. Best wishes to you as always.

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  2. Now that Sheldon is marrying a Brit I feel like I should become more devoted to BBC.

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    1. And you need to pick up on the correct use of language, such as, "Brit, did you see the advert regarding the new mobile?" And of course mobile is pronounced with a long I. I assume you call him Brit.

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  3. Its interesting to see something like this actually come to the screen and 'try' to tell the truth of an era...

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    1. I love programs that help me learn something, especially history.

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  4. This sounds really interesting!! Haven't seen it up here, but will keep my eyes open. Thanks. Love BBC shows, movies, and mini-series. ;)

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    1. Do you watch Downton Abbey, Rita? It's my favorite. I believe season three starts in January.

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  5. I'm totally clueless on the prez business, so please tell us...NOW!...lol. I heard about the midwife show, but haven't had a chance to see it yet

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Jimmy Carter! That knowledgeable young woman, Jo-Anne Meadows, came up with the correct response.

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  6. Ooh! I gotta check that show out. Thanks!

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    1. It's really good, Stephanola. I think you'll like it.

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  7. I MUST watch the first one. Thank you for supplying the url to it. But if you're giving birth to your 25th child, WHY would you need a midwife? I'd think you wouldn't even know it was being born by then!

    "Look behind you mom! It fell out!"

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    1. That's hilarious. Watch the show and you'll see that the lady having #25 ends up in desperate need of care.

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  8. Ok I may be wrong but the first president born in a hospital was Carter..........am I right and don't ask me how I know that it is one of those things I heard somewhere and it has stuck in my head....

    Now the show Call the Midwife sounds like a show I would love.....I will have to keep and eye out for it to be shown here........

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    1. Well done, Jo-Anne. It was, indeed, Jimmy Carter.

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  9. 25th child? My gosh, what's wrong with that woman? Didn't she learn that childbirth is not fun after the first one? LOL!

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    1. When sex is involved, some people never learn.

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  10. I loved that series so much I bought the book! Actually there are three. Jenny ends up working in a Marie Stokes clinic, marries and has two daughters of her own. It is her autobiography, she died last year.
    Downton Abbey has just started it's third season...and I'm not giving out any spoilers, but it is a real gripper!

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  11. I guess I got addicted to this show. I watched series 1, 2, and 3 in a couple of weeks. Now I have to wait for season 4. But maybe it's on PBS? I'll check.

    I was looking for this review forever. I had no idea it was posted in 2012.

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