Call the Midwife Wiki

Ruby Cottingham is a character in Call the Midwife. She is played by Becci Gemmell.


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Mother of three boys Ruby Cottingham first appeared in S05E04 pregnant with her fourth child. The child was delivered by Caesarean section at St. Cuthbert's, but was born without any limbs at all, and the surgeon said "Oh, God. Another one". Sister Julienne was in theatre at the birth, and knew Ruby desperately wanted a little girl, but there was no way of determining the limbless baby's sex. The baby died shortly after being born, and Sister Julienne told Ruby the child was a girl.

Ruby returns in S05E08, first seen when Delia and Patsy are sat talking in a café when Delia spots her. She tells Patsy she's seen her there before and she's always slipping gin into her coffee. Patsy notes that she looks familiar. Later, Dr. Turner learns Distival is being withdrawn from sale as one of the ingredients, thalidomide, has been blamed for a recent spate of babies being born deformed. Dr. Turner had prescribed Distival to Ruby as a sedative. Sister Julienne finds Ruby at the café, and Ruby tells her she keeps trying to make her little girl go away by giving her a name, but she can't pin her down. Sister Julienne then tells her Distival caused some damage that was the reason her baby was born so poorly, and that it's been withdrawn from sale. Ruby takes a bottle of Distival out of her coat pocket, but she takes one last pill before handing the bottle to the Sister.