I’m running head-long to the finish line! I’m only 10 short months from having my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree and waiting to take my NCLEX exam. I have cried, I have screamed, I have laughed, I have considered quitting, and considered bankruptcy. Some days I think that I’m going to be the most amazing nurse (and eventually midwife) ever, then there are some days that I wonder who on Earth would turn me loose in a hospital.

Last semester I have my OB/Pediatrics clinical rotation and I have to say Peds is not for me. I can not handle the slightly older or chronically ill children, my poor heart can’t compartmentalize it and I know I would be a disaster every day of my life. However, I LOVED my OB clinical. I had the most amazing instructor (she’s one of those bubbly, super-positive people) that believes a lot of the same things that I do about birth and pregnancy. Amazingly enough, I’ve found the educational side of nursing is very much in line with what I believe, however I have been made fully aware that habit/tradition is very engrained in the nursing profession. Although we are taught as fresh nursing some very important things, clinical experiences has shown that often those very important points are not followed or even known often of the time.

I witnessed three vaginal births while I was on my rotation which was fantastic, however I was most disappointed that I didn’t get to observe a Cesarean section. I know that sounds very strange, since I believe that they are often overused and unnecessary, but I wanted to actually see one. I have not ever been physically witness to one, and I feel that I need to witness one. Maybe during my practicum I’ll have the opportunity to see one (if I get the OB practicum that I apply for).

My blog has been seriously lackluster lately, but being a full-time student, a full-time (up until recently) employee, and a business owner has completely sapped me of all time available to do anything else. Some days I’m not even sure if I’ve managed to eat. Thankfully, I get a little bit of time during the summer to myself, which I guess is why this blog get’s most of it’s infrequent updates during the summer.

Wish me luck! I’m almost finished!

…another chance to get behind. I’ve been neglecting the blog lately. I started working on the redesign months ago and life kept getting in the way. I keep promising myself that I’ll make it a point to write more, and then I decide that my family time is more important.

This summer has been busier than last for sure. I’m still working full time, and my personal business has been busier than usual (which I consider a very good thing). Last semester tried to kill me. I did not do nearly as well as I felt I should. It was my first semester officially in the nursing program and taking my first clinical rotation.

Clinicals were over 2 hours away from me and lasted all day. The snow was so bad that we didn’t get to go to clinical for almost the first five weeks. We were all so far behind that no one felt they could keep up. I managed to pull it out in the end and manage 2 Bs and 2As. Not my best grades by far, but I consider it reasonable.

I’m officially halfway through!

I’m very proud of that. I’m very proud that I have stuck it out this far. I actually think I’ll like being a nurse while I’m working on my Master’s Degree. I like classes, clinical, and learning all of the new things. It’s very different from what I’ve always known. Computers and networks have always been my “thing” and now it’s like a different world has opened up. I’m scared, but who isn’t when they step outside of their comfort zone?

I still have a long way to go and I’m not sure how I will get there, but I’ll get there. Let’s just hope that I don’t have to make too many more sacrifices along the way.

…and I’m winding up. It never fails to stress me out to no end the closer the semester gets to starting. I’ll be actually in nursing courses this semester finally and I think that scares me even more.

Father Unexpected and I have been trying to make the most out of the little time we have left before I go back to 19 + hour days and working all waking hours. We attempted a backpacking trip with a friend, which failed miserably, and we’ve got to spend some time to ourselves (although it was because he had surgery).

K-Kitten has been living it up this summer, we enrolled her in dance school this summer and she has fallen in love. So much so that we decided to keep letting her go this fall. I can’t believe she will be 4 already this fall :( She’s grown up on me and I of course wish that I had more time.

I’ve been trying to rent my books, and they’ve changed how they give out our financial aid money this year. Instead of getting our aid refunds the day school starts we get it three weeks after school starts, so in order to continue saving money I have to buy my books out of pocket (to get the cheaper online rental prices and avoid the bookstore inflated prices). I had to pay $60 for a parking pass to even park on the main campus this semester too! Insanity.

I’m ready though. I’m ready for the next three years to fast forward and to become a nurse and be more on my way to being the midwife I hope to be. I don’t want to waste the time with my daughter, but I want to get back to being a better mom, one that can actually spend some quality time with her all year round.

… and the wife works and the husband stays at home. That’s my life by the way. I’m a web designer, nursing student, network engineer, and mom. I’ve always been a horrible housewife, but I’m good at making money. My husband has a job, he’s currently hurt and off on workers compensation, but his job was 48hour shifts. A majority of the time (all the time currently) is spent at home. When he’s not home we have childcare arranged, usually family. Even though I make a reasonable amount of money (we’re better off than some and worse off than some), we could not afford daycare or babysitting so it was a simple choice at the time to make that Father Unexpected would stay home when I couldn’t and the odd day that he couldn’t we would arrange with family to help out.

That’s great. It was working great. I know there has to be some role-reversal jealousy since FU grew up in the “man should provide” kind of household, but he keeps it to himself. And therein lies the problem. He keeps everything to himself. I go looking online for maybe some stories and advice on what to do and everyone that writes talks about stay at home moms, how they feel unappreciated because their work is just as hard… etc… etc. Well I know that what he does at home is tough stuff… the problem is the lack of stuff lately.

What can you say when your husband says “I just couldn’t get anything done today because K-Kitten was a nightmare today”, and they say it almost every day… and when they say they didn’t get anything done, they really mean ANYTHING. I don’t know how to approach the topic without sounding condescending and mean. I know that it’s hard. I did it for a while. I also know that I can’t go to work for 8 hours, come home work on contractor work, do the dishes, a load of laundry, sweep, pick up toys, brush K-Kitten’s teeth, read her a chapter out of her book, and manage to sleep every day either.

The resentment is forming. We talk about getting a new cooler. We’re low on cash, we want to get a new tent for a camping trip, so I suggest we take the old cooler (that we already have that just needs to be cleaned). Nothing is said, no argument, no statement. The day we go to leave we stop to get ice. He goes in… comes out with a new $20 cooler. It’s not like $20 is going to break the bank, but we had talked about it and he basically says “I know you’re mad, but we needed the cooler”. It’s becoming easier for him to ask for forgiveness than to talk to me about anything.

It’s all becoming a strain. A strain to the point of considering marriage counseling. I can’t possibly be the only working mom in this boat can I? My husband is amazing, but I don’t know how to get down to what’s really causing the strife between us. Men really need to learn to talk effectively. I think it should be a requirement.

… about my birth experience or what prompted me to make such drastic changes in my life. It’s not that I’ve just been hiding in the shadows and trying to shuffle everything to the back burner, but in the beginning I talked, I shared, I tried… and most people don’t want to listen. In an effort to educate myself I read, I researched, and I tried to let go of the feeling that I harbored that I felt were biasing my thoughts.

The facts of the matter still remain. I had a successful birth, which immediately discredits my feelings to a vast majority of the population. I should be perfectly happy that I didn’t have any complications, that my daughter arrived in this world healthy. I am grateful that my daughter is here, happy, and healthy. I’m not in any way grateful of the way I was treated in her arrival. If you have read my birth story then you know that by most standards I had a typical birth. I was in the hospital, attached to fetal monitors, an IV drip, nurses, doctors, students, bright lights, gowns, stitches, pitocin injections, staydol, and paperwork.

Did I need nurses telling me that I was “scaring everyone on L&D”? Did I need a student nurse with her hand in my vagina while I transitioned from 8cm to full dilation so she “knew what it felt like”? Did I need to be answering admission questions two hours after arrival because they thought they would have “plenty of time” for that later? Did I need to be told to stop pushing because “they just paged the Doctor” and he was on his way? Did I need a dose of staydol added to my IV “to take the edge off” when I clearly stated that I wanted no pain medication? Did I need nurses pushing Lorcet after delivery because I’d “really want it when my epidural wore off” (the epidural that I never had)? Did I need to walk to the nursery to get my daughter, because they said they would bring her back in “a little bit”, two hours later?  Did I need a Doctor that cut an episiotomy without even so much as asking or a warning before my daughter was even crowning? Did I need to have a shot of pitocin to speed up delivery of the placenta because five minutes was too long and they “needed to stitch me up”? Did I need a Doctor that really thought it was appropriate to say “well you just gave birth without much help” when I said the stitches hurt? Did I need to be laid on my back for checks and other procedures while I pleaded with my husband and nurses to “get me up” because it hurt so badly?

Yeah, my daughter was born. She was perfectly healthy, my labor was relatively short at just 3 hours and 24 minutes from hospital arrival to delivery. I left the hospital two days later a completely different person. Not just in the sense that I was now a mother, but in a broken, hopeless, and utterly defeated sense. Not a single person asked me how I felt during any process, procedure, or during my stay. Not a single postpartum appointment addressed any feeling of resentment, disappointment, or even depression. No one noticed that I woke up in the middle of the night crying for several years dreaming of my birth experience. Even now, when I think about it like this, I cry. Why? It’s not because things went “wrong” it’s because of the things that were going right were dealt with completely wrong.

So why don’t they ask? Because it doesn’t matter to them if I’m broken. They did “everything” to make sure my daughter came out healthy, damn the consequences to me, my mental health, and my general health. I still have general pain from my episiotomy, I have problems in my right hip that my current providers believe may have been from having my legs/knees twisted and pressed toward my chest during labor by nurses holding my feet. Sometimes it hurts to walk and even sit. Even postpartum depression to providers doesn’t address labor and delivery resentment. I’m labeled as greedy, ungrateful, a hippie.

I say it’s unfair.

So now, I’m back in school. Two semesters down, six to go. I was inducted to Phi Kappa Phi last semester and I have been accepted to the pre-nursing curriculum this fall. Next spring I will be applying to the Nursing Program and hoping for the best. I don’t want to be a nurse. I want to be a Midwife, this is a step toward that goal. I will not stop until I reach it. I will not be the person that wishes for change and does not help create it. I will not stop.

Just Keep Moving…

… and just keep smiling.

I’m reminded oddly lately that I have to keep my head up. It’s quickly becoming overwhelming all the things I’m trying to accomplish at the same time. I’m doing web development, working a regular 9-5, and learning all the bones in the human body all at the same time. Anatomy is going to be the death of me by the way, I have horrible memorization skills and it’s showing.

I was waiting in the common area on campus last week for my next class to start when a girl from my math class asked to use my phone. She sat beside me as she talked to her family, well more argued, but I was trying not to eavesdrop. When she finished talking she made a passing statement that she didn’t think she could do this, that she was ready to quit. I asked her why she felt that way?

She proceeded to tell me her story. The story of how last year her uncle had shot her. She showed me her scars and how she has a prosthetic eye. She told me that she has only been back to school for a few weeks and she feels like she’s drowning. She told me that she had no idea what she wanted to do before her ordeal and now she wants to be a nurse, but has no idea where to start.

I reminded her that she could do it if she wanted to. As anyone would, she said that she did not believe that she could. I helped her look up the 2 year application and told her she should talk to her advisor. She has a few weeks before the deadline for next semester. I proceeded to tell her that being shot, recovering, and coming back to school took an incredible amount of bravery and strength, that that bravery and strength is all she needed to do whatever she wanted to in life.

She seemed skeptical of me. I pulled up this picture on my phone. This was my Christmas gift from Father Unexpected. An UltraScope Stethescope long before I’ll be able to use it. It’s my most meaningful possession.

Remember Why

Remember Why

“When you do something, do it because you care, not because you need the money, or need the prestige, or have something to prove. When you succeed at something, you have to know why you’re doing what you’re doing, why the bad always comes with the good, and why you’re there. Always Remember Why”

She cried. We hugged. She said she was going to talk to her advisor. She thanked me for talking with her and went on her way.

I don’t know her name, but it did remind me to Remember Why I’m here. She should remind us all to remember everyone has their own struggles. We should never pass judgement, we should always care.

My Fall Semester Classes and Grades :)

… has such a double connotation. I find myself being very careful to avoid saying that I’m proud. I find it very difficult to express excitement and joy over my good grades or my accomplishments. I don’t want to look like a braggart, I don’t want to look smug, and I don’t want to be a bitch. Being prideful is supposed to be a cardinal sin after all, right?

However, I am excited that I have done well so far! Finals were last week. I received my grades yesterday and I wanted to shout to the world that I got straight A’s. I didn’t. There were a couple ambiguous posts on Facebook by my family and close friends but I’m almost embarrassed to say that I did well. I did well while working a full-time job, running my own business, and going to classes on-campus full-time. I never thought I would be able to pull off excellent grades and do all that I have been doing. I can do this!

During my Chemistry class I actually found myself hiding my grades from my other classmates. The first exam I was the only one to ace the exam… effectively blowing the curve. The fourth exam (which I was exempt from taking) ended up with a 17 point curve. I really hated to hide my grades, again, I didn’t want to appear smug. I worked very hard for those grades, staying up sometimes until 3 or 4am every night just to get what I could stuffed into my brain.

I am so very tired. I’m only a few days in to my month long hiatus from school, but I’m weeks behind on other things that have to be caught up on. I’m missing my family very much lately even though I’ve not really been away. This is hard, not that I did not expect this, but if I did not want this so badly and if I did not know this is what I am supposed to be doing, it would be my immediate choice to stop.

Really though, I wanted to share this story… a realization of sorts.

A week before finals, I was driving home from my Statistics class. It was already dark, cold, and raining when I left campus. I stopped and bought some gas and started the 30 minute trek to my house. About 10 minutes into the drive I was overwhelmed by the thought that this semester was almost over. I’m really on my way to doing this. I’ve got a long way to go and a short time to figure out how to get there, but I’m moving.

I cried.

And I cried gator tears.

There has never been a moment in my life that I have felt more purpose, more right, more anything. It was almost like the feeling you get of loving someone with all your heart, except a little bit more… I thought of all the bad in my life in the past four years, all the work and strife, and nothing I could think of could override the voice that said “If I only help one woman, all of this will be a small price to pay” – I hope everyone can find this kind of purpose in their life. I can honestly say, that I did not expect to find anything like this.