January has been a bit of a slow month here. It’s not unusual for midwives to walk in the door after shift and report that it was “kinda boring” or to arrive on shift to find the patient board wiped clean, everything stocked, all the beds made up and nothing to do but wait. I am headed off to swing shift today. Hopefully I will get to see Vince and his mom – they are scheduled for a checkup today and then I wouldn’t mind catching a sweet little miracle. 21 days is quite awhile to not catch a baby here…but I am not complaining. I have enjoyed some of the really slow shifts getting to know the other midwives better. Everyone has a unique (and meaningful) story and we don’t always have time to just sit and listen…or even to sit and be listened to. My last shift was a bit disheartening when I was endorsed a labour at shift change and ended up having to transport her to the hospital at 4:00 in the morning. Although she appeared to be labouring well, and her husband was so sweet, supportive, and helpful, she didn’t make any progress during the night. I nearly cried with her as I told her I would have to take her to the hospital. It was a sad ride in the ambulance as we rode through the dark streets. I handed my cell number to her husband and asked them to text me when their baby was born. As I left her at the hospital I tried to give what little encouragement I could – “I only had to bring you here because it’s the rules that I have to follow, you are very strong and I believe that you can do this” . It was a great relief and happiness when that evening I received a text “Mam Larissa I have baby boy, normal delivery, 7 am this morning”. Still, even the relief is sometimes bittersweet, we follow the rules set for us so that we can continue to help as many patients as possible, but it is heartbreaking to think that just 3 more hours in the clinic could have spared Jacky and her husband the expense of the hospital.