two births

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Two births. Two mamas. Two babies. Two nights ago. I finally witnessed two vaginal births in person. No more you tube! There is nothing like it. Birth in person is something of its own outside of my own births and watching one on TV. I’m still having a hard time finding my words to describe how amazing they both were, but the point is that I have no seen it and everything I have felt in my heart without ever having seen a birth in person (outside of the OR) has been reaffirmed. I’d be lying if I said I was afraid that I’d go through all this hard work in school and find out it wasn’t what I wanted. Not the case. This is exactly what I want.


After 5 or so weeks, I am finally off of orientation. The team is great. I love everyone I work with. I’m learning so much as a CNA. I feel so blessed that I am able to dive right into hospital care as a CNA and that I don’t have to go the long-term care route at all. So to those of you who did have to do that first, I’m sorry and thank you. It’s not my cup of tea at all and I’m glad there are nurses out there who do find geriatrics their thing. That’s why there are people like me, where my thing is placentas and babies. It all works out.

So what have I done in the last month? I started out orienting in pediatrics. That is a crazy mix of sick babies and kids, gyn post ops, suicidal ideation and ODs. There I learned how to stay on top of vitals for different post op sedations, how to remove a folly, do bladder scans, stock, and do whatever my dear nurse needs.

Next up was post partum. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this, of course. I love when a mama comes over from having just birthed her babe and calls me to help her to the bathroom for the first time. The look of euphoria and delirium is just priceless and makes me relish in those first moments as a mama. I am so proud of be working right there with her as she learns some of those crazy ins and outs of taking care of your post partum body. I don’t, however, miss it myself. ;) There I learned how to remove buff caps, measure output, assess clots and bleeding, bathe babies, footprint babies, take vitals on mom, and stock. The nurses are just incredible.

Next was NICU. I’m going to be honest- I’m not a fan. I am a NICU mom. The NICU nurses are some of the most amazing nurses out there. I am so thankful we have such an advanced NICU that is well equipped and supported to manage just about any scenario and babies 28 weeks and up. BUT. You guys, this is hard. I went home the first day so emotionally and physically exhausted that I couldn’t even sleep or cry if I wanted to. My brain was fried. If we weren’t stocking, we were rushing around preparing for an admit. I learned that you don’t tough a baby without being delegated to and even then, you might be able to change a diaper or replace a paci. I rocked and cuddled 34 week babies who’s heads were smaller than the palm of my hand. Life is truly incredible that it can be sustained when so delicate. But it was so hard on me emotionally. My last day there we had a fetal demise. I actually saw this little baby, lifeless at nearly 24 weeks and it was the first time I’d ever witnessed that in person. I was running on fumes and the lack of food and emotions had me nearly passing out as my blood sugar dropped. It was rough. However, it is absolutly incredible what our team does for the family when this happens. I knew we had a system and that the baby was honored in a special way, but I had no idea until I saw all the steps that went into preparing photos, hand prints, foot moldings, clipping hair (if any), and scrap-booking everything. Since I work nights, I won’t be working in NICU very often, if ever. It was a good experience and I sorta know what to do if I’m ever to work in there.

Lastly was the birthing center. I made it into another birth in the OR. It was incredible. I’m a huge advocate for trying to birth that babe the way nature intended, but it’s pretty dang awesome that we have the tools and skills to help mom and baby out when the time is right. I love wearing hospital issued scrubs (no laundry for me!). I will also not be spending much time there either unless there ends up being a ton of sections in one night (unlikely).

So for the last month I have been working in the nursing world. I am excited and nervous as hell. I am more of a hands on learner so I love that everyone shows me how to do things. The first time I removed a buff cap my hands were shaking! But now I got it down. 

Have great weekend!

back in the day

I saw this on another nursing blog. WOW we truly have come a long way!

The following job description was given to floor nurses by a hospital in 1887

In addition to caring for your 50 patients, each nurse will follow these regulations:

1.  Daily sweep and mop the floors of your ward, dust the patient’s furniture and window sills.

2.  Maintain an even temperature in your ward by bringing in a scuttle of coal for the day’s business.

3.  Light is important to observe the patient’s condition.  Therefore, each day fill kerosene lamps, clean chimneys and trim wicks.  Wash the windows once a week.

4.  The nurse’s notes are important in aiding the physicians work.  Make your pens carefully; you may whittle nibs to your individual taste.

5.  Each nurse on day duty will report every day at 7 a.m. and leave at 8 p.m. except on the Sabbath on which day you will will be off from 12 noon to 2 p.m.

6.  Graduate nurses in good standing with the director of nurses will be given an evening off each week for courting purposes or two evenings a week if you go regularly to church.

7.  Each nurse should lay aside from each pay day a goodly sum of her earnings for her benefits during her declining years so that she will not become a burden.  For example, if you earn $30 a month you should set aside $15.
8.  Any nurse who smokes, uses liquor in any form, gets her hair done at a beauty shop, or frequents dance halls will give the Director of Nurses good reason to suspect her worth, intentions and integrity. (this one cracks me up!)
9.  The nurse who performs her labors and serves her patients and doctors without fault for five years will be given an increase of five cents a day, providing there are no hospital debts outstanding.

I’ll Always be a Student

Before I found my passion in birth and midwifery, I thought I would be a teacher and before that, I had no clue where I was going. I declared a major in business for good measure and after my 2nd year, realized I had a strong affinity towards English. I had a pretty ridiculous English professor who was disliked by a lot of students, but I loved him. I thought he made learning language arts fun and interesting. I read The Catcher in the Rye three times between the 3 classes I had with him and decided I’d best be an English teacher. I did well in his classes, and all other English classes I had. I transferred to a university, met my  husband in our senior seminar class, and graduated with my BA in English. I thought that putting off a year before teaching school would be a good idea. And then it was another year. And then I was pregnant! And here we are. Teaching English was never a passion. I just liked it and did well enough to convince myself I’d want to teach it. Not so. I birthed my first baby and just like that, a calling appeared.

Despite my wavering from becoming a teacher, I have also learned that I LOVE learning. I love school. I’ve always had to work hard at it, too. I was not the kind of student who gets straight As easily. I have to work my butt off sometimes, depending on the class, for a B! And yet, I still love it. I love that I am always challenging myself and furthering my knowledge of something I am so incredibly passionate about. It really is a great feeling.

That said, I recently found an incredible blog, Notes From A Student Midwife, and we could not be more alike. For the first two years after Logan’s birth, I denied this passion for midwifery. I didn’t let myself want it. I considered becoming a doula and childbirth educator and none of that felt right, nor was it conducive to our family.

Anyway, this lovely lady writes a great blog that I can identify with strongly. She’s just a little ways ahead of me in nursing school (I’ll be applying in the fall or next winter–I hope!) and this post is awesome. If you are applying for midwifery programs, here is a great list she breaks down on how to do it. I’m leaving it here for you, dear readers, and for myself so I may look back on it when that time comes. Happy Friday!

The Interview