Sometimes even a dead shift is an eventful shift. As I sat down on the couch in the birth room yesterday afternoon for swing I looked around at our team for the afternoon. Just four of us. We would be taking over from a couple of midwives who came down from the North to fill in and a couple of interns. All the staff and students from the clinic are taking a much-deserved break to attend a retreat. As much as I prayed for the babies to come…I hoped they would wait at least until after 5 when we would likely have finished handling all the postpartum checkups of moms and babies whose midwives were gone on the retreat. Surprisingly, there weren’t very many, and working together we finished seeing everyone quickly. The supervisor on shift had been a midwife at the clinic during my first year before leaving to have a family. She had brought her daughter along to shift and the small girl entertained us as we relaxed and waited for the labours to appear. Soon thunder rumbled outside and the first drops of rain started to patter on the roof. Nothing unusual – this has occurred most evenings lately. A friend of the supervisor arrived with pizza and cake to celebrate the little girl being 11 months old. The rain came down harder. One labour arrived and I checked her in, and showed her to postpartum – while not yet in very active labour, she had a history of giving birth pretty fast. With her home being far away and the streets beginning to flood, we would let her stay and sleep for the night. The rain just kept on coming. Soon somebody went into the kitchen – and stepped in a couple centimetres of water. We all filed out of the birth room to survey the situation. Water was pouring in under the kitchen door. We got mops and buckets and scoops and towels and started bailing – but we weren’t getting far. Eventually the guard went outside and started bailing water out of the narrow corridor between the kitchen door and the property wall. The water in the kitchen started to decrease. As the water level lowered, the guard found the source of the problem, a blocked drain was preventing the water from escaping. After mopping the last drops from the floor, we all settled back in the birth room with pieces of cake to wait for the next shift to arrive.