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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Life on Board

Just before 5am on 17th September 08 a baby girl was born on B ward of the Africa Mercy. The mother was here as a caregiver for her son who was onboard for a surgery to his hand. Though only eight months into her pregnancy, she began feeling pains at 1am. Fortunately we have a nurse on board who is a midwife and so she was called, along with the physician, to see the safe delivery of the baby. The baby arrived at 4:41, weighing 4lb 9oz. (2.08kg).
For the midwife it was a bit of a confidence boost to successfully deliver a baby without all of the tools she normally has when she is at home in Australia. During the ward devotional, the counselors gathered around the newborn and prayed a blessing over her. One declared her name to be Mercy and the mother smiled in agreement. The childs father visited in the afternoon and said it was a very nice name for her. Interestingly, their son was not even scheduled to be on board the ship, He was on a waiting list for an operation on his hand and they came on Sunday because another patient had cancelled and opened a spot for him.
As Captain, Tim has many hats to wear, and one of those jobs includes being the onboard birth and death registrar where he must record all birth and deaths that happen on the ship and issue certificates. So although it meant extra paperwork for him, it was paperwork that he enjoyed. He was able to meet and congratulate the parents on their new addition, not something he gets to do everyday!

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