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Betty Marwick is a mother of five expecting her sixth baby, she handles her hectic life well but when the latest addition to her brood is born with a deformity her once great confidence is shaken. She was played by Lisa Ellis

Overview[]

Betty Marwick lives with her husband Donny and five children in a flat, her children are known to be very wild, and she hardly ever sends them into school. Her oldest Keith is a teenager and often goes up west with his friends on a motorbike, while Donny was away on a container ship somewhere near Newfoundland. Valerie Dyer is sent to do a home visit and tells her that her blood pressure was looking very satisfactory, Betty was confident and said to Dr Turner “I could do this in me sleep” after he suggested she deliver in hospital. She had also arranged for her neighbour Mrs Girton to sit with her other children as she delivered.

When Betty goes into labour both Valerie Dyer and Lucille Anderson are sent to attend to her, they have a little bit of trouble getting Betty to bed for examination. She is taking care of her rowdy children who are running all around the flat. Betty delivers a baby boy, Nurse Anderson is worried when she sees the baby, Betty is overjoyed to have another boy and plans on naming him Kirk, after actor Kirk Douglas saying she loved him in the film “Vikings”. Valerie and Lucille look worried, the baby had a condition called cleft lip and palate, he had an opening or split in the upper lip and roof of the mouth. They try to tell her not to be alarmed but she is, they explain the situation and show her baby Kirk and she is tearful.

Betty is brought into the maternity home with Kirk, Dr Turner and Nurse Trixie Franklin examine him. Dr Turner explains he will need an operation to repair his lip, one he would be able to have straight away but the operation needed for the inside of his mouth wouldn’t be able to happen for several months. Kirk begins crying and Betty is afraid he’s in pain, but Trixie and Valerie explain he’s just hungry and set her up with a pump which confuses Betty. Kirk cries through most of the night and most of the other mothers at the maternity home want her moved to another room. Betty is despaired and frantic having been up all night, she explains that Kirk wouldn’t take the milk she is offering.

Later after feeding him Valerie suggests, she puts her finger in his mouth to better picture what was going on. Betty is worried she’d hurt him, but Valerie assures her that Kirk wasn’t sore, it was just the way he was made. Betty is shocked at how far back it went, but after that she is able to get Kirk to take to the milk. Once Betty is told of the bigger picture in terms of operations, it doesn’t make her feel better and she didn’t want her other children left with strangers. Valerie suggests the other children come and visit Kirk, but Betty didn’t want that as he would frighten them, so Valerie suggests showing them a picture of Kirk before they see him in person.

Once the other children are shown a picture, they go to visit Kirk together and are pleased to meet their newest brother. Betty goes home with the children as Mrs Girton was struggling to cope with the wild and naughty children, despite the protests of Valerie she leaves.

When Betty gets home, she is struggling with making formula for Kirk, as she was making it her daughter Lynette wets the bed. Betty is having a hard time at home; she tells Valerie she was sent a list of follow up appointments as her boys where fighting in the kitchen. A very stressed Betty has no time to but any formula, she says it was so much easier with the other children. As it seemed like things couldn’t get worse Dr Turner is called as Kirk breathed in some of the milk whilst feeding and Keith is brought home by Sergeant Woolf on account of reckless driving with his friend and is let off with a warning, infuriating Betty.

Valerie makes tea for Betty who tearfully admits in the night that when Kirk was crying, she wondered if it would be better to let him slip away, she thought that made her a monster, but Valerie says it doesn’t. She thinks back to when she had Keith, her mother was still alive and her auntie Rita who both attended as well as an unknown nun (possibly Sister Evangelina) , she had a hard time getting his head out but when she did, she got a round of applause from the three in the room and her husband from the outside. She then decides she wants Kirk to put up for adoption.

Before anything could start with the adoption Valerie goes to help Betty help herself. One thing she decides to do is talk to the new man of the house, Keith who she decides should help out around the house, she also makes the other children go to school to give Betty some peace. She tells him he is on quartermaster duty, when one bottle of formula runs out, he would go and get another. When Keith, Betty and daughter Lynette are going out for a walk with Kirk, Keith calls out the women gossiping about him. While Betty admonishes him, she grins when he isn’t looking. Things are looking up when Kirk gains three ounces, Betty decides against adoption after all.

On the day of Kirks operation, her husband Donny arrives home and claps for her and says the baby is gorgeous. The Marwick family go to attend the Whitsun bank holiday beach outside Nonnatus House and have a wonderful time together.

In the 2021 Christmas Special, her son Kirk is chosen to be one of the bridal attendants for the wedding of Nurse Lucille Anderson who helped deliver him. He met her outside the church with another four boys and girls Lucille delivered, Betty made Kirks outfit and said that she would never forget her. Betty was most likely also in attendance at the wedding.

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