a new year

Usually, I write an end of year post that summarizes my favorite posts and memories from the year. I am having a hard time doing that this year for a number of reasons but mostly because if I didn’t document it here, I have a hard time remembering what happened each month that was significant. Poor excuse, I know, but I will attempt to note some highlights from this past year and hopes for 2017.

A year ago today, I had already submitted every detailed document, letter, and transcript to the only nursing program in Colorado that would be good enough for me. I was anxiously waiting for the WORD that I had been accepted. There was little doubt that I wouldn’t get in, but I had to be realistic and not get my hopes up too high. It was 8 days later that I received the greatest news of 2016 that I had officially been accepted into the nursing program. SO EXCITED!

The first half of the year was spent preparing for school by doing the background check, drug test, and med calc practice exams. I purchased books, scrubs and waited for the day I would officially start nursing school. There was this surreal feeling that lingered in the air as each day passed. I worked, I played with my family, and I finished up a couple classes online. It was a surprisingly smooth transition from working full-time to being a student full-time.

Once school started, there were days where I felt 100% comfortable and as if this was exactly what I had been waiting for and there were days I dug my head into my hands, bawled like a baby and wished for just one extra point on an exam or comp to pass. It was the largest, most thrilling, life-changing roller coaster I had ever put myself on. And I’m still going.

Last week before Christmas, I finished my second semester of nursing school and could not be more proud of myself and the amazing students I get to go through this with. I have made some life-long friends. I want the professors to be forever-mentors. My heart is so full of love, gratitude, acceptance, and joy for the last year. Not one bit of it was easy and I know without a doubt that easy is boring. I like the challenge. I like the learning and more than anything, above all the content, people and time spent studying, I feel closer to God that I have in years. My Spiritual health (which EVERYONE HAS, with or without believe in God or a higher power) has grown beyond measure. I pray that this coming year is full of learning, joy, love, and grace in all aspects of my life. I pray for forgiveness and understanding when I’m not there for my friends or feel weak and too tired to be social.

You know I love you all for being here, loving and supporting me. I could not get through any of this without my amazing husband, children, family and friends. THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart. May 2017 bless you in amazing ways.

Love, Sarah

7 months

My last post is over 2 months old and I have been thinking about writing an update here for days. I did the math the other day and I have been in nursing school for 7 months. That’s pretty crazy! My concept of time is all over the place. Some days I don’t even know what the date is and before I know it, the month is over! The amount of material and the experiences I have had so far have been life-changing. There is not a single doubt in my mind that I am exactly where I belong. So let’s catch up…

The last post I talked about taking my Pharm comps. That Friday, we were leaving for California for a weekend family vacation to Disneyland and so I was focused on studying and packing. My comps were in the morning and I was ready but very nervous. I always get nervous before I have to perform (more on this later). My scenario was pretty straight forward and I passed! So we left the hospital and headed to the airport for a whirlwind vacation to California with my cousins and despite how quick it was, we enjoyed every second of it. It was also a great treat before starting my Med/Surg class.

Med/Surg was a class that I had been so looking forward to. It was as if I had been through these basic classes to get to the real deal when it comes to nursing medicine and practice. I love learning about diseases and why they happen and am rarely grossed out from things. Week 5 we had comps before we were to head into clinicals. The week of comps was a disaster for me. I had so much happening with work and class that I had no time to practice my skills (NG tube, trach care/cleaning, wound care). I had one day to get it right and I just prayed that I would do well.

I was in the first group of the morning to go. I was up early and ready to rock it. I knew my scenario and just didn’t know what skills or meds I would be giving. Long story short, I failed. I was absolutely devastated! I just had poor time management. I wasn’t organized and I let my anxiety get the best of me. Thankfully, my proctor was so sweet and reassuring that I would get it the next time. She had tons of great tips and I worked on those things and my skills all weekend. By Tuesday, I was ready to really rock my comps and I did. I was, however, terrified that I wouldn’t pass. Another fail and I’d be out. It’s that strict. I get it. Nursing has to be strict because we are dealing with the life of another human and our skills have to be perfect.

After week 5 comps, we started our clinicals in the hospital. I was SO excited to finally get my hands on real people with real issues to apply what I had learned so far. That is how I learn best. Our clinical instructor is wonderful. She told us right away that our time in clinicals was about learning and not about the care plan, though we still needed to do them, she wanted us to focus on the experience. So my first day of clinicals I went to the OR! I followed an awesome OR nurse who was willing and happy to teach. I got to learn more about sterile procedures. I did try to insert a folly cath and I missed but it was a good try! Last week I was able to see an EGD, colonoscopy and a heart cath with stents! I have had great patients with really complicated issues, all of which have really helped me through the critical thinking process. I also placed two IVs with success! Overall, great experience so far.

After fighting off every other germ this fall, my body finally succumbed to strep this weekend. I have been in bed for 2 days and I haven’t had strep since I was a kid! I cannot believe how miserable this is! The timing could not be worse! Next week we have two finals and finish our clinical rotation so send up prayers and good vibes that I can get through the next two weeks PASSING exams and clinicals so I can enjoy Christmas.

I’m hoping that it won’t be another two months before I write again, but that is just a testament to how busy nursing school keeps me. I am so proud of myself. I have never worked so hard in my life and I know that all the blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice is well worth the reward in the end.

new year, now what?

I have to admit that I am not all puppies and rainbows about a new year right now. I feel like the last few months have been so taxing that I haven’t even had time to think about all the great things I know that 2015 will bring me. This month, even while off school for a few more weeks, will be busy. I am preparing to take the HESI A2 entrance exam. I am hoping to take that in a week or so. It’s a big deal because if you don’t get 75 or better you can only take it once a year and that means no nursing school. I am sure that won’t happen. I am doing the practice tests and have a study guide. I have strong and weak areas to work on.

I am also getting everything else together that I need to apply for nursing school. This includes transcripts, background check, and more. I have nothing but positive happy nervous energy surrounding this.

Last week I had my first mammogram. I am to have a mammo every year now, followed by an MRI 6 months after the mammo. This means I will now be screened every 6 months for breast cancer for the rest of my life. This is well worth it to hopefully prevent and/or catch anything that may appear super early. I have a small, pebble-sized lump that is being ultra-sounded next week. It is not concerning. I have had fibroadenomas (benign lump) before. Then again, so had my mom. We have fibrous breasts. Screening is critical. I did do the BRCA 1 and 2 screening and it came back negative. However, my lifetime risk is 25.4% of getting breast cancer, hence the screenings. This is the first time in my life I have ever been considered high risk for anything. What a trip.

And lastly, as per tradition, I ought to list a fewΒ goalsΒ I am happily looking forward to this year:

  • Getting into nursing school
  • Taking a human sexuality class- I never have and am sure it will be fun and interesting
  • Seeing my son start kindergarten
  • Get some home improvement projects done like painting and new fixtures (HA! In my dreams!!)
  • Pay off all medical debt
  • Pay off all cc debt
  • Take a family vacation
  • Read something (anything!) for fun
  • unplug more from social media and TV
  • Start a weekly family game night
  • See my mom complete treatment and be cancer free (really, the ONLY thing I could hope for)
  • START nursing school

See? Not too much to ask for. I will say that while goals are great, I have learned over the last few months that sometimes it is better to just take each day one at a time. I love looking forward to things, but sometimes life needs us to slow down and if I have learned anything from my mom having breast cancer and my best friend dying, it’s to slow down and love and enjoy the day we have right now, right this second. Happy New Years everyone.

on life (currently)

Again, I want to welcome all my new readers! I had no idea the impact my post on home birth would have and I am so grateful for all the positive feedback. Nearly 1000 views in one day! I broke a record you guys!! Thank you!!!! I am assuming that any negative thoughts are being kept to yourself–that’s fine. I respect that. If you know me personally, then you know the last thing I want is to hurt anyone. However, there is a place for this conversation and I encourage you to share your thoughts, no matter what they are. As I said, it’s a very touchy subject. So welcome. And thank you for being here!!

A few weeks ago I decided that this midwife-to-be needed to share more personal posts. This is one of them. An update on life.Β 

Last week I worked 3 nights in a row. Around 5am one morning, we had a very precipitous birth come in! Baby came as I pushed the delivery table into the room and mama was still on the bed she was brought up on from the ER. It was incredible! The adrenalin rush of everyone finding their place and job was amazing to watch. The midwife was actually there, which I feel is rare for a night time delivery which is so fast! Dad told me they thought baby would come in the car, but thankfully they made it in time.

I went home, slept and came back only to have ANOTHER precipitous birth! Mom was at 4cm complaining of pain and pressure. Then like that she was crowning! The other tech made the delivery table just in time for baby to come, delivered by an amazing nurse. He had a nuchal cord X1 and I have to be honest–I just learned what that meant! Nuchal cord means that it’s wrapped around the neck and X1=1 time. This made me recall a mama we had awhile back who had a non-reactive stress test. Baby heart tones were poor and she was nearly 41 weeks. She was taken to the OR and baby had the cord wrapped around SIX times!! YES…SIX!! Baby was fine. πŸ™‚

Anyway, after two precips in one day, I was ready to roll! I am on a birth high!! I am so happy to be in this profession and cannot wait to learn more. I was thinking to day that, after a month off, I am ready for school again! Hahaha…I am thankful for a summer off with my kids though, and once I start class in August I know I will be so busy I will be wishing we were back to the time off.

I’ve been marathon-watching Big Love. I love watching shows about weird and interesting lifestyles. I watched it way back when it was still on but missed several seasons so I started over. I love the family dynamics.

Evie is down to nursing one time a day. I am feeling so much peace about it! I did not think it would be this easy. I think the thought of weaning was more saddening than the actual act of doing it. It feels natural and I’m letting her be the guide. Tonight, she nursed once side but refused the other. And so it goes…