This opening episode sees newly qualified midwife Jenny Lee arriving at Nonnatus House. Believing she has been sent to a small private hospital, Jenny is initially surprised to find herself at a convent. Via Jenny, we are introduced to the series world and its regular characters - the Sisters (Julienne, Evangelina, Bernadette and Monica Joan), her nursing colleagues Trixie and Cynthia, and the jovial handyman Fred. Initially daunted by her surroundings, which are so different to anything she has witnessed previously, Jenny gradually begins to find her feet.
The story of the week focuses on the first case Jenny is allowed to handle alone - the care of Mrs Conchita Warren, during her 25th pregnancy. Conchita is married to Len Warren, an East End painter and decorator who fought in the Spanish Civil War. He brought Conchita home with him after hostilities ceased - a living, breathing and very beautiful souvenir.
Conchita speaks no English, as according to Len there has never been any need, and spends her days caring for her enormous family. Her case appears to be routine, but when freezing smog descends on London events take a turn for the worse. Conchita slips, falls and goes into labour at 30 weeks gestation - suffering from severe concussion. Jenny, alone in the house with Conchita and her husband, must draw on all her reserves of skill and courage if Conchita and her premature child are to survive.
This episode also features Pearl, whose indomitable spirit rises above a dose of venereal disease; and Muriel, whose home delivery shows us the best and worst that the system has to offer.