I am supposed to still be sleeping – I have had swing shift yesterday and night shift tonight, but in the absence of sleep I guess I will sit here and recount my adventures of the past week. It started with a busy night shift late last week, I came on shift just as a little girl made her entrance into the world. And an entrance it was, she came barreling out with both her hands up by her neck (nuchal hands) and once she started to cry…well wow, she could really cry. Because I was simply there for the pleasure of watching her first breaths, I soon slipped out to listen to endorsements. Each previous shift endorses or transfers the care of their patients to the oncoming shift. They detail the events as the patient has progressed through labour and note any important information and finally pray for the oncoming shift and the patients. One of the endorsements on this night was a mom and a baby boy with a irregular heartbeat who had been moved into the postpartum wing. After endorsements, my supervisor Ate May asked me to go and check the vitals of the mom and baby – everyone else was busy. I felt my stomach sink in fear. I know that Ate May will always check my work but I was scared. She has much more confidence in me than I have in myself. I was afraid that I would check the baby’s heartbeat and hear nothing unusual – what if something was really wrong and I couldn’t hear it and because Ate May trusted me, the shift was busy, and everyone else needed her attention the baby did not get checked as soon as it needed. So I took a deep breath, grabbed a stethoscope and BP cuff, told myself that my imagination was running away with me, and marched off to the postpartum wing. Somewhere in my walk across the hallway, all my visayan words fled my brain and I desperately hoped that the mom understood at least some english. Upon my arrival in their postpartum cubical I found not only mom, baby, and father, but also close to 8 other family members. Yikes! Now I had an observation party as well. I sat down on the bed next to the sleeping baby, tried to explain to the mother that I would just check her and the baby, popped the stethoscope into my ears, and pressed the bell against the baby’s small chest. Thump, thump, thump, pause, thump, thump, thimpity-thump, pause, thimpity-thimpity-thump, thump, pause. There was no mistaking that, not a good sound but one that I was glad I could actually hear. I checked the rest of the vitals and headed back across the hall to Ate May, who came right away to listen. She decided that the baby would need to be transferred immediately to the hospital. Because there is often only standing room in the hospital ER, and the mother had given birth not that long ago, the father, the baby, a sister, myself, and another midwife set out for the hospital. It was very busy at both hospitals we went to, so eventually we ended up leaving a referral letter for the doctor and instructions for him to call the clinic when he finally saw the baby. Upon returning to the clinic I found the baby girl whose birth I had been at earlier resting under a heat lamp in the baby check area. She was starting to fuss and cry so I picked her up to give her a cuddle. She was lonely because her extravagant entry had caused some problems with her mother, who needed to be taken to the hospital. The hospital does not accept care of the baby as well as the mother so she needed to stay with us until a family member could come get her and take her home. When the midwife returned I was surprised to learn that I shared a name with the baby I was holding. The parents had asked her to name the baby and so she chose a name she had loved for a long time, Larissa Dawn, I just happened to share part of it. The night quieted down after all the action so baby Larissa and I got to spend some time cuddling on the couch while I studied my visayan words.