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Abigail Bissette was a expectant mother who appeared in Series 4, Episode 2. She is portrayed by Cherrelle Skeete. She and her husband Terence did not know they were expecting twins, but were overwhelmed with grief upon learning that one of their twins was stillborn.

Overview Edit

After immigrating to the UK sometime before the episode, Terence found a good job as a bus driver, and he and his wife were able to obtain a brand new council flat in a tower block. When Abigail found out she was pregnant, and began to feel foetal movement, she remarked that the baby constantly moved, like she was "dancing".

We first see Abigail running after her husband's bus, trying to get him his lunch before he drives off, though she is 3 weeks from her due date. Sister Winifred, knowing Abigail from previous appointments, scolds her that she shouldn't be running. Abigail happily brushes it off, and gives Terence his sandwiches, though he tells her playfully to go home and put her feet up.

At the antenatal clinic, where Sisters Winifred and Monica Joan are explaining to a group of first time mothers (including Abigail) about nappy care, Abigail remarks that she's bought a washing machine. Another woman is very snooty about Abigail and her privileges. When the same woman remarks that she won't be dressing her baby in wool clothes, Abigail jokes that she wants her baby warm, and hasn't been warm since coming to the UK. Abigail is shown to be very warm, and social, not at all being put off by other people's standoffish attitudes towards her.

Later that night, when Terence gets home from work, he tries to help her out of the chair, but Abigail refuses kindly. He tells her she's "magnificent". Terence puts on some music for them, and he feels his wife's belly, calling the baby a "Calypso baby" due to her constant movement.

A few days later when Nurse Gilbert comes for a home visit, the nurse finds that Abigail's blood pressure is a bit up due to stress. Abigail tells Barbara that since she first began to feel movement, the baby has been a "dancer" but now she's gone "quiet, like she danced herself to sleep". Barbara assures her that baby should start moving again soon. However, when Barbara tries to find a heartbeat with her Pinard, she has difficulty, though she doesn't worry too much. When Barbara goes to phone for a doctor to help, and she can't get through, she phones for an ambulance.

At the London Hospital Antenatal Ward, Abigail is made to have a bath, and is admitted for bed rest. Terence comes to visit, and tells her to keep smiling as it is good for the baby. Later in the night, after a night nurse refuses to let her go herself to the bathroom, insisting that she use a bedpan, Abigail sneaks out of the ward to find a bathroom. In the hallway, she is stunned to see a woman come through on a stretcher, crying and bleeding heavily. The woman attempted to give herself an abortion, and was coming through to the ward because the foetus may still be alive, much to her horror. Terrified, Abigail leaves the hospital and rushes back to her home, still in her night dress. Once home, she collapses crying to Terence's arms.

The next day, Dr. Turner comes by to visit, inquiring why she left the hospital. Abigail says she didn't feel safe there, and now wants to have a home delivery.

A short while later, Abigail goes into labour, and Patsy and Barbara are sent to help her. Barbara easily finds the baby's heartbeat, much to her and Abigail's relief. Patsy assures her that she will be able to have a home delivery as she wanted.

Sadly, when Abigail gives birth to a baby girl, Barbara turns the baby over to get her breathing, only to find that the infant was stillborn. The nurses are devastated, and hurriedly cut the cord, as Patsy wraps the baby up, explaining to Abigail that the baby was very sick in the womb, and probably died several days earlier. Patsy takes the baby away, and Barbara holds Abigail as she begins to wail for her baby.

Patsy brings the baby through to the kitchen, where Terence is waiting, and he excitedly asks what the baby is, thinking the bundle Patsy is holding his living child. Patsy says it was a girl. She lays the baby in the sink, concealed within a towel, but Terence manages to see the baby's foot. Shakily, Patsy asks a shocked Terence to ring Nonnatus for a doctor and a more experienced midwife.

A while later, Dr. Turner arrives to examine Abigail, only to find that she is on the bed writhing in pain. Patsy expresses that she thinks the placenta may be trapped in the cervix, but the doctor quickly discoverers that Abigail is having another baby. The doctor explains to a gobsmacked Abigail that while her first baby passed away days earlier, her second was still alive, and kicking. With Patsy encouraging her, (as Barbara was too overwhelmed to remain in the room) Abigail begins to push. Part way through it, Abigail begs Dr. Turner not to hurt the baby; "you can hurt me, but don't hurt the baby!". Patsy assures her that she's safe.

When Nurse Crane (and subsequently Sister Evangelina) arrive, they comfort Nurse Gilbert as she cries, and tend to Terence, who is grief stricken.

Abigail gives birth without assistance, to a screaming baby boy. Abigail begins to cry, both out of immense relief/joy and boundless grief. The doctor brings the baby to meet Terence, but as Terence holds him, he says he doesn't know how to be happy, because he has one child alive, and one dead both on the same day. Dr. Turner tells him to let the baby hold his finger to "let him know you're here." Sister Evangelina takes the stillborn baby girl back to Nonnatus with her, and numbly asks Nurse Franklin to call the undertaker.

The next day, Patsy and Barbara stop by for the first of their two daily visits, and find that Abigail hasn't stopped crying since the birth, nor has the baby. Terence says, "he hasn't slept, we haven't slept. It's like he's crying for two, and Abigail crying for us all". Despite this, Abigail and Terence decide to name their son Terence Jr.

When Reverend Hereward comes by to council the Bissette's through their grief, Abigail says she doesn't know how she can explain to her son that he has a sister, who she doesn't know, who she never even held. Tom asks if Terence saw the baby, and Terence says "I saw her foot. It looked so cold".

Stillborn babies were not allowed to have religious funerals, nor were they permitted to have graves of their own (they would have been put in a public lot, buried in with a stranger). Concerned on how this will impact the parents, Tom seeks out Sister Julienne for advice. She cannot offer much besides the offer of prayer, but agrees with Tom that the Bissettes need something more, something private that they can hold on to, a memory of the lost child.

A while later, Sister Winifred and Sister Monica Joan arrive to help Abigail finish the baby booties she had been working on. When Abigail says she was a different woman when she began the booties, Sister Monica Joan wisely proclaims "'A mother is a mother still, the holiest thing alive'".

A wake is held at Nonnatus House for the Bissette baby, with the midwives, nuns, and Dr. Turner present. Reverend Hereward says that although the church does not have baptismal rights for stillborn babies, the bible has a verse where God says "'I have called you by your name, you are mine'." He says the Bisettes will think and speak of their daughter often, and that they will give her a name.

Abigail and Terence name their daughter April, after the month she was born. The booties, which Abigail finished, were to be separated - one going with April to the grave, while the other remained with Terence Jr. so he will always remember the twin he lost. Tom blesses the booties, and Abigail places one on Terence Jr.'s feet.

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