I am late for swing today because I was attending some fantastic presentations by some fellow volunteers so I hurry to pull on my scrubs, throw my supper in the fridge and head into the birthroom. Some girls have moms and babies waiting for checkups but the patient board says there is just two labours and one patient who is under observation – she is just about too far past her due date and we are hoping she will go into labour before the end of the day or she will need to go to the hospital. One of the volunteers that has left has a mom and baby check come in so someone on shift takes the chart and starts the check, I grab a pen and chart her findings for her – its easier than trying to remember. Soon the clinic calms down as evening arrives and its just those of us on shift and our two labours and one observe. I decide to eat my supper and work on some math problems in case it gets busy later on. Shortly before seven one of the midwives calls for a charter and an assist – its my turn to assist as my fellow first year volunteer (Rahel) has had a more recent assist than myself. It’s not long before I am cleaning off a new little baby and wrapping him up in towels and a small hat to keep him warm. This mother has done very well, no tears and not much bloodloss so the midwife is able to take over care for both mom and baby quite quickly. I complete the rest of my duties, tidying up the room, cleaning up the instruments, and restocking the birth cart so it’s ready to go for the next time. After its all cleaned up I sit down on the couch to fill out my paperwork, get appropriate signatures from my supervisor, and update my birth book where I keep records of all the births I attend. I am not sitting very long before Kuya escorts in another woman. “Labour” he calls out as he reaches the birthroom door. The other midwives are busy with patients at the moment so my supervisor indicates that I should check in this woman. I have her wash and change in the bathroom while Kuya brings me her chart from upstairs. I admit her to a cubicle and begin taking vital signs: pulse, blood pressure, temperature, heart tones of the baby. Afterwards I report everything to my supervisor who ducks in to do an internal exam on the patient – she is 8-9 cm dilated so she will be staying. I write her info on the board. The supervisor decides we have done all we can for the observe patient and she will need to go to the hospital, so we prepare to transport. The supervisor asks if I will go along, so Rahel takes over monitoring the patient I checked in. The supervisor and I drop the patient off at the obstetrical emergency room and give our report to the doctor. As we walk back in the door of the clinic, another labour soon follows. I notice that one of the midwives already has another labour and although she is admitted her info has not been put up yet – it is starting to get busy. Rahel checks in the new patient and starts on vitals while I grab the chart of the recently admitted patient and start to put up her info. I have just finished her last name when I here her midwife call out “SROM” (her water has broken spontaneously). I start to write that on the chart, thinking I will just get it down, quick write the rest of the info on the board and then head into the cubicle…but right after the midwife calls “SROM” I hear “head out, baby out” and I drop my marker and run into the cubicle. I immediately look at the clock: 8:56 and write down the time that the baby was born. The handling midwife and my supervisor are already present and they call for Rahel – its her turn to assist. She ducks in from the next cubicle and starts cleaning off the baby and getting him warmed up. I continue to chart and hand over supplies as needed. Our supervisor has ducked out to check on the new patient in the next cubicle and she calls the other midwife in, and as I am trying to finish charting for the current birth I here her call my name – it is my turn to assist again. I place the chart on the chair, yank a pair of gloves out of my pocket and pull them on as I head into the next cubicle. This one takes a few minutes and I monitor the baby’s heart rate with a doppler in between the mother’s contractions. Soon a new baby boy slides into the midwife’s hands – its her second catch of the evening. I get him cleaned off, but he is reluctant to cry and stays quite a dark colour. Our supervisor starts to give him oxygen in hopes that he will start to pink up a little more. A few minutes later he still is a bit of a funny colour and is struggling for breaths so we prepare to take him to the hospital immediately. The midwife puts him in some clothes, hooks him up to portable oxygen, hands me the tank and we hurry out the door. After leaving the baby at the emergency room (another story for another day) with its father taking care of it and the report given to the doctor we head back to the clinic – its shift change so patients are endorsed to the next shift. Some midwives need to stay and complete paperwork, but Rahel and I gratefully climb into the ambulance for the ride back to our dorm.