prerecs are done!

Last week I received my final grades for Microbiology and A&P part 1…A in Micro and B in A&P!! Considering that the last half of the semester was quite hellish in my personal life, I am very happy. I am so grateful for online schooling! I could not have done any of this without the option. I was very nervous at first to attempt not one but two labs online again, considering that my first attempt didn’t work out well. This semester was actually great. I enjoyed both classes. I felt like it was the first time in all my prerec classes that I was able to apply what I was learning to real life. Next semester I will take A&P part 2 and Human Sexuality, both online again. I am grateful for a break right now. I am going to be studying for the HESI placement test during this break but I’m not hitting it too hard, not yet anyway. My brain feel so fried both from school and emotionally.

Last week, my childhood best friend passed away. It was so unexpected and tragic. My heart cannot take anymore loss or bad news. I work Christmas Day so we are celebrating on Christmas Eve, a day which I am really looking forward to celebrating with family…

Merry Christmas everyone. I’m hoping to post a “year in review” soon.

the month from hell

It’s no surprise that I have been MIA the last several weeks and usually I’d say that is because of school, which is true, but not the whole story. School has been crazy-busy. Less than two weeks and I’m done with this semester! Micro is going really well and AP is not so bad either. Overall, great class, great professors, just tons of work.

The rest of the story is a personal one. I stopped writing my personal blog almost a year ago and I really don’t miss it. This is a great space for me to write about what I want to my readers to see and sometimes it’s personal. Just over a month ago, my mom was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. This news has rocked our family. She is young, healthy, fit and has the best attitude of anyone I know. We are very close and thankfully, live 5 minutes from each other. Maybe at a later time I will go into more detail of what the last month has been like but for now, I will leave it at “the worst month of my life-the month from hell”. My anxiety, which was already heightened with stress from work and school, reached a new level and I have had to take steps to get that back under control. I feel much better now. Two weeks ago tomorrow, my mama had a double mastectomy. Probably one of the scariest days ever, next to the early days that Logan spent in the NICU. Not knowing and waiting. We had a great support system here for all of us. Today, she is doing great. She is healing well, though still quite sore. This is not the end. It is just the beginning. There will be at least one more surgery for reconstruction and there will be treatment. Treatment for cancer. I never imagined I’d have to say that, especially about my mama. But it is what it is. So here I am, busting my ass to get through the rest of the semester, take care of my family, and support my mom and dad as they go through their own hell, cancer.

For the Pumping and Working Mama

**I originally posted this on my personal blog almost a year ago. This my work, not someone else’s just in case you feel like you’ve seen it before. Maybe you have. ;)  ***

December 2013:

I’ve been working and pumping for almost 4 months now since returning to work in August. The first two months really were a huge learning curve as we struggled with a nursing strike, weight gain, and using the wrong-sized flanges. I thought I’d list out what has worked for me as a pumping mama. I hate it and I think I always will, BUT…I love that my baby girl is still getting my breast milk and that my supply has been great since day one. Things I’ve learned in the process…

  • Prep the night before: I have to make sure that I am washing and drying my parts every night otherwise my morning is totally rushed trying to get everything cleaned and organized.
  • Keep your pump in the same spot: Like most mamas, I am super forgetful especially when I have so many other things I’m trying to think of as we leave the house. I always put my pump in the same spot on the kitchen counter ready to go so that I won’t forget it in the morning.
  • Don’t forget anything! I did this once–thought I had the little white valves in and nope…weren’t there. Thankfully I work in a hospital and was able to find some!
  • Do things while you pump: I like to watch you tube videos. I catch up on Ellen and Conan, two shows I don’t get to watch regularly. I also like playing a game or updating Instagram. This all distracts me from what I’m doing.
  • Make a few videos of you nursing your babe: I love watching some videos of Evie nursing while I pump. It helps the let down, it makes me smile and releases more oxytocin. This too makes the pumping process more enjoyable.
  • Eat and drink: I often have to pump on a regular break so I make sure to have a full water bottle and something to at least snack on. You need those extra calories and hydration for all the pumping you’re doing.
  • Don’t pump at home…unless you have to. I keep the pumping just for work and have rarely had to pump at home. This makes nursing more intimate and helps me only associate pumping with work. Then I dislike it less. :)
  • Lastly…just keep reminding yourself that you’re doing a great job! It’s tough work pumping and working. It can be exhausting and interrupts your day. So much of my time is dictated by when I need to pump but I’m totally used to the routine now. It takes time to get comfortable with it all so just keep hanging in there if you’re still trying to figure it all out. I does get easier!

half way

The semester is already almost half way over! And I just started a new class on Monday. It’s an accelerated Microbiology class that is 100% online. My A&P class is also totally online. I love doing my classes this way, though it makes for a very busy schedule as I have to lay everything out so that I can complete assignments and exams on time. Both classes are covering the same thing right now so studying is actually easier and more effective because I am learning it twice in two different formats. After these classes end in December, I will be applying for nursing school! Truly cannot believe this day is nearing. Wow!

In other news, work is going great. I feel like almost every day I can learn something new. I experienced my first postpartum hemorrhage about a month ago. As far as PPH goes, it was a rather atypical situation and I’m glad I was able to experience one that would not normally present the way that it did. The amazing part was that, though it was scary, I did everything I was supposed to. I work with such a great team of nurses that we all flowed together to get control of the situation and treat the patient. It was amazing to watch and experience. The adrenaline rush was overwhelming. And the best part? It didn’t scare me away from this profession! In fact, it only made me want it more. I bonded with my patient as we helped her out of a scary situation and it only made me want midwifery even more.

Have a great weekend! I am still taking submissions for birth stories. None on the board right now so send them along!

Sarah

Notes from a Reasonable Direct Entry Midwife

Sarah:

Incredible letter/article. These words are words I hope to embody one day as a CNM.
“Though I believe deeply in parents’ rights of choice regarding both care provider and setting for the births of their children, I also believe that midwives have a core responsibility for self-identifying our own limitations in training, experience and skill as care providers for higher risk pregnancies.”

Originally posted on Academic OB/GYN:

Today I had the pleasure of talking shop with my brother’s mother in law, Joni Dawning, a very experienced direct entry midwife in Eugene, OR.  Joni has been attending births for over twenty years, and she has been a great resource to me over the years I have known her.  I hold her in great respect, as she is the kind of midwife that I think is a great resource to her community.  She provides a service to her clients that is greatly desired, but at the same time sees herself as a part of a larger system of birth service provision that includes hospitals and obstetricians.  Unlike some direct entry midwives (or CPMs in some communities), she respects the limits of what she can offer, and does not see a hospital transfer as a failure in any way.

Recently in Oregon there have been some deaths during attempted breech…

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Check these out!

Hello!

I have seen some great articles, videos, and randomness around the internet lately. Here are some of my faves. Have a great Monday!

Dear Mom who has decided to give birth at home- The writer talks to you like you’re best friends hanging out at a coffee show and she is genuinely curious and concerned about why you’d chose to have a home birth. Great questions. The comments has an interesting discussion going on too. And it’s quite snarky, just warning ya.

A Love Story 8 Years in the Making- I am a HUGE fan of Casey Neistat. He is an incredible videographer and this video just brings happy tears to my eyes!

10 Reasons I’d Never Ever Have a Home Birth- I’m sharing this more for all the statistical links within the post than anything else. If you’re considering home birth, this article has great info.

9 Ways Childbirth Looks Different Around the World-Super cool article about different traditions and practices around the world! I have taken care of women who have some of these cultural practices and it’s incredible to learn and witness something different.

That’s all for now! Please feel free to share other articles and links you think I’d like to see. Also, MORE birth stories please! :)