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

working nights

I’ve been working nights for nearly 4 months now and I can say with slight sarcasm in my voice that it is killing me slowly. I’ve never worked nights before, nor have I worked 12 hour shifts and I am certain the combo of the two makes the last 3 hours absolute torture. I’m sure this is true for day shift, but at least they get to sleep during the night like humans are supposed to.

I usually work 3 nights in a row. Night one is usually the hardest. I try to stay up late the night before, go to bed for a few hours, play with the kids in the morning and I’m usually crawling for my pillow by noon. I sleep til 5, get ready for my night, eat, nurse Evelyn, and making sure I’m not forgetting anything. I have to leave my house by 615 to get to work on time. Depending on the unit and my assignment, most nights start off with a bang for the first 2-4 hours, running around stocking, helping nurses and winding down the patients for night time. Unless of course I’m sitting with a one on one (24 hour supervision). Those nights are either smooth with sleepy patients who are just fall or wondering risks, or they are rough with detoxing, hallucinating, aggressive patients. Since I’m on the support team, I float between two hospitals in, technically, 6 different units though I typically stick to 3-4 of those units most of the time.

Anyway, by midnight I am starving and ready to hit up the caf for some coffee, eggs and bacon. The next 5 hours are usually fine, sometimes I get a little draggy and need another cup of coffee but by 4/5am I am DEAD tired. I can feel my body literally shutting down. I can feel how confused it is that I’m even upright and eating. My stomach is an absolute wreck (night gut) no matter what or how much I eat. My eyes are burning and my head feels heavy. Heavy like I’m tipsy or something. My body does not like working backwards.

My drive is usually 30 minutes and I’m blaring music, talking to my husband and drinking cold water to stay awake. By the time I get home, I’m ready to nurse Evelyn, eat breakfast and head to bed. I usually try to snuggle with Logan before I kick everyone out of the room. I hate saying goodnight to my babies who just woke up. They are both the absolute sweetest in the mornings.

Sleeping is terrible. I don’t have black out curtains, but I do use white noise and a face mask. It’s dark enough, but not super dark. My stomach usually wakes me up, both hungry and crampy from being off schedule. I usually drift in an out of sleep for the next few hours til I wake up around 5 again.

And repeat. Night 2 is usually not as bad and night 3 is hit or miss depending on how good my sleep is the day before. After my 3rd night, I have to switch back so I try to only sleep til 1 or 2 in the afternoon and then I’m an absolute bear to be around. I’m tired and cranky. All I can do is lay on the couch with the kids, which is really hard to do when the weather is so nice. I’m trying to make more plans because having plans to be out makes it easier to stay awake but by the time we get back home I am beat.

All this to say…I’m hoping for a day shift soon. AND, I know babies come at night. I can handle being on call someday when its part of a rotation. But every week? Ugh….no thank you. BUT. The job is amazing. I really love it. I love the nurses and the people I meet. I love what I’m doing and I belong here. Working nights is worth it.

two births

photo (5)

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.

a month

The last month or more has just been insane! I finished my customer service in heath care class–I admit I didn’t do as well as I should have because the class was cake, I just didn’t plan for it well. It was at the end of the semester for only a few weeks and I let a few things slip. Oh wells. On November 26th I took my state test in which I passed both the written and skills exam and OFFICIALLY became a CNA in the state of Colorado! Pretty awesome! I was worried about the skills, then when I arrived and took the written exam I was more worried about that! No one taught us about foot drop! (what is that?!) Anyway, it worked out great. The following day we headed on vacation for Thanksgiving and since then until last night, our month was go-go-go! Holidays, work, family events, Christmas shopping…you name it, we did it! I also ended up with a horrible head/neck issue that is FINALLY coming under control thanks to a great chiropractor.

This has been a great year and I’m hoping that it ends even better! I have an interview in less than 2 hours for a clinical CNA position in the hospital I am already employed with working nights in the NICU, post-partum and peds units! I am SO SO hoping for this job! Three 12 hours shifts a week (or so), leaving plenty of time for school and family time. This would surely make my year! If you’re the praying type…please shoot some up my way if you don’t mind and if not, send good thoughts! This is the ONLY way I will get any hands on experience working as a CNA as I will not, without a doubt, work as in long-term health. It’s not for me and if you have ever worked in long-term health, even if for 3 clinical days (like myself), then you know what I mean. Bless those who do it every day. The elderly and dying need people like you! It’s just not me.

As always, here are some great links I came across over the last month. I hope that whatever I share is interesting and fun. I do it for two reasons-to share with you all and to save for myself. I know these are things I will keep coming back to over the years as I am in school and maybe even when I’m catching babies. You never know.

Hope you all had a great Christmas! I WILL share before the New Year if I get this great new position.

Links o’ Love:

Labor Nurse: awesome  letter to all labor nurses (and any nurse, really) for all the amazingly hard work it is to be a nurse.

The Gut, Microbes and Poop: post by Holistic IBCLC about food, digestion and breastfeeding.

Lotus Birth: Article about this type of “cutting of the cord”. You preserve the placenta in a basket of sorts with lots of herbs, to keep the stench at bay, and allow for the cord to fall off the baby on it’s own. In other words, you don’t actually cut the umbilical cord. Once the placenta is delivered, it is kept near mama and baby (as baby is still attached) until the cord dries out. Super interesting!

And what’s a link of posts without some amazing birth photography! Incredible births;  incredible photographer!!

Adelaide Birth Photography in Australia

I’m a CNA!!

Whelp, friends, I completed everything I needed to do to become a certified nurse aide! 30 hours of online work, 40 hours of classroom work and 24 hours of clinicals in a nursing home. On November 26th I will take the state exam and *hopefully* be certified in the state of Colorado as a CNA! It’s all very exciting. This is really the first step in my nursing career and wow…here we are! Small leap in the right direction.

The last 10 weeks were an absolute whirlwind. I felt like I was barely home. Mondays I had a 4 hour lab after working  hours and was away from my home and family for a grand total of 15 hours!! I was not only exhausted, but sad that I was barely seeing my babies. It was hard, but well worth it. They were able to have some valuable time with daddy while I worked hard to further my career. Family time, I know, will always be something I will sacrifice as I go through school and especially once I am a practicing midwife. By the time that happens, though, the kids will be older and in school. It won’t (shouldn’t) be as hard.

My weekend of clinicals was crazy. I cannot believe how hard CNAs work!! My hat is off to you. Rolling patients, lifting, changing, feeding, cleaning caths…wow. HARD HARD work. I am glad I have those skills now, but I am certainly not cut out for geriatric care.

So what now?! Well, I am still working at the hospital in patient admitting. I applied for a position with the women and family team as a CNA and I know everyone up there so I really hope that I get it! I have not seen a denial email yet so…no news is good news, right? If that doesn’t work out then I will just keep my eyes open for more opportunities. Since I’m already in the system I have a great advantage.