Archive for April, 2010
Its kinda funny how fast things change in life. One minute Im a happily pregnant woman contemplating and stressing the plans for my baby shower, recovering from my own demons of pregnancy loss. And then the next I am laying in bed fighting to make it to
Viability (24 weeks).
The anatomy scan was great. The baby looks perfect, measuring exactly right and beating me up from the inside. Heart rate 150, active, 4 chamber heart, ventricles in the brain are beautiful, 4 limbs, 10 fingers, 10 toes. The baby is perfect.
Even better news is that my placenta is posterior but away from the cervical opening (os) so no more worry about Placenta Previa. Excellent.
Then the sonographer starts getting quiet. She stops explaining and repeatedly measures the same area over and over. Finally she says that my cervix is opening on the fetal side and it appears like I am starting preterm labor. I feel my heart drop to my knees. She leaves the room to get the DR.
She returns with the dildocam and needs to do an internal measurement. The rest flew by as I barely was able to breathe.
Within 10 minutes I was sitting in a room with a MFM doc, high risk Ob and the lead staff OB doc for labor and delivery. My cervix is measuring between 1.4 and 1.6cm. Normal is 4cm. 3cm is ok zone. Less than 2.5cm is very concerning. Less than 2.0cm is alarming. And I sit at 1.4cm with pressure, which puts me in the “tighten your asshole” zone. For as early as I am this is disasterous.
Another 10 minutes and I am being strapped into the monitors on L&D to watch the heartbeat and to Watch for contractions.
The doctor comes in and says that they are going to monitor me For a few hours and if there are any contractions then I will be staying at the hospital until I deliver.
After 2.5 hrs of monitoring there are no contractions and the DR decides I can go home. On bedrest. I was told to
Return on Monday for more testing and informed that I should be bringing a bag with me and I should be prepared
To stay at the hospital.
On the way in to the hospital I was wearing my pretty jewelry, hair done, makeup on, cute smirk.
On the way out of the hospital I am wearing a blood band for possible transfusion incase of abruption, hair messy and damp, makeup smeared from crying, with no smile.
This is not my life. I did NOT just have to postpone graduation until the baby arrives, I did NOT just get told that I wont be moving until after the baby, I did not just get put On bed rest.
This isnt me. I dont deserve this. Ive
Paid my dues. Im supposed to be allowed to bring home a live baby.
Im in complete shock. In the matter of a second my life changed. I was so sure that everything was going right that I sent out invitations to the baby shower.
I jinxed it.
Dear Baby Bean,
I am getting ready to go to your BIG anatomy scan. At this appointment your Daddy and Papa will find out whether you are a boy or a girl. I wont know for sure if you are team pink or team blue until your party in June. I am so excited to get to see you again and to see how big you have gotten.
I hope that you are awake during the exam so that we can see you moving around. And I wonder if you will be sucking your thumb during this appointment again. I am just so excited to see you.
Really my baby, I dont have a preference at whether you are a boy or a girl. Every day I wonder and every day I come to a different conclusion. But for the sake of this record I will stick with my guess that you are a boy.
See you in a little bit my sweet little bean. Grow big and strong and keep holding on!
Wanna know a sure fire way to know that Im not going to clinicals? How about spending all night in L&D. And no, I wasn’t there for clinicals. I got to be a patient on L&D last night for about 9 hours under observation.
The catalyst to this enjoyable little excursion was a generous amount of bright red blood that spontaneously appeared and was unprovoked. Bright red blood is never normal in pregnancy, it can be benign, but is not normal. I called L&D and asked what they suggested and due to my history of loss they recommended that I head in to be checked out.
Needless to say I was pretty freaked out about seeing the blood. And upon checking into L&D, started to sob. I was scared, actually terrified was more like it. The staff was wonderful and just further cemented the fact that I want to join the ranks of the L&D nurses. I changed into a gown, they put me onto the monitors and baby had a great heart rate of 140′s, no contractions on the toco. All that is wonderful!
A couple hours later the doctor came in to do and exam and informed me that they were going to be extra cautious because my previous ultrasounds had a question as to whether my placenta is clear from my cervical os. (If it isnt clear, then I am at a higher risk of abruption). So he did a speculum exam and noted that I have an increase in blood vessels around the os (opening) of my cervix and that there was some scant bleeding from the cervix itself.
After a slew of questions the doctor said that I likely have a “Hyperemic Cervix”. This just means that I have an increased amount of blood flow to my cervix and that can make me have incidents of bleeding. He suggested I lay down and rest while he ran some blood work.
7 hours later, after no sleep for any of us, he returned to discharge me. No real restrictions, but I now need a follow up sooner than expected and I have instructions to return if there is any more bright red blood.
So why does this keep me from clinicals today? Because I didnt sleep at all last night, and I dont feel that I can be a safe provider of care under those circumstances. My last day will have to be postponed until next week.
A quick shout out of thanks to my Father, who sat by my side all night and is still heading into work. What a great guy to go with me so that I didnt have to be doing all this alone! Thank you Dad!
Long story short: A little scare, all is well. I am fine and baby looks great! Ultrasound tomorrow for anatomy scan and to get more information about placental location.
Today marks my last day of the first half of mentorship. Now is time for the second half and I will be going to….THE ED!!
Im so excited!! I was unsure of where I wanted to go and now that I know I am going to the ED, I am thrilled! So exciting!
But back to today….Im filled with emotion. I am happy, sad, excited and terrified. But mostly I am just in awe of the fact that I made it through and that I am absolutely amazed with my mentor!
13 hours…thats all that is left of this part. 13 hours…..
Chosing a childs Godparents is a huge decision. It is one that my Hubby and I have been talking about since before conception. We knew the people we wanted as Godparents, it was just a matter of asking and hoping that they agreed.
A few weeks ago I asked my closest friend G to be Baby Beans Godmama. I was excited and nervous because I knew that she would be the best person for this job. When she said “yes” I was so happy I wanted to cry.Tonight we contacted T and asked him to be Godfather. He excitedly agreed too. This baby is going to be so loved! We are so blessed to have people in our lives that will love our baby as much as their own.
Thank you guys!
Today we asked your Tio Tto be your Padrino. This means that you have Tia G as your Madrina and Tio T as your Padrino. This is amazing for you baby. They are the most loving people and they love you so much already.
They both have so much that they can teach you. Tia G is a brilliant, educated and loving woman who has knowledge and abilities that are out of this world, she will make sure that you love crafts and books! Your Tio T is a fantastic, soft and gentle man who will be able to teach you all about sports and how to hoot and holler at games. Im sure he has already decided that you will be an LA fan.
These two people are going to be your special people. Ones you can go to with questions, concerns, or just to get away from your Daddy and I. They both have been a part of our lives and have brightened them with every minute we have spent with them.
Love them as much as they love you. We chose them because we knew how perfect they would be for you!
I saw a man die recently. Watched him code, watched CPR, watched intubation, assisted with CPR, watched him regain life (according to the tele monitor)….and moments from that I watched him take his last breath.
I am always amazed at how quickly people run the codes on the floor. You hear a code “blue” and then staff drops everything and starts running with equipment. Its like watching a symphony. Everyone is perfectly in sync.
As my time with this mentor is coming to an end, I find that I have learned more about myself as a person and a Nurse while working with her than I have ever learned in my life. Ive learned about the practicle side of nursing, the side that involves more than starting IV’s and giving medications. I learned more about critical thinking in 80 hrs than I did in 20 months of school.
The powers that be matched me with the perfect mentor. She is patient, kind, assertive, and f*cking brilliant. Im amazed by her. And honored to have been told by her that I will be an excellent RN.
Now is the down slope of the hump. Time to move on to my last half of mentorship. A new mentor, new location, new everything. But it is my final countdown, never again will I be doing clinicals like this for the first time. The conclusion that is imminent is overwhelming. Its hard to imagine how close the finish line is. Soon the patients will be mine, the decisions will be mine, and I will be using my “nursing judgement”.
So….the baby shower invitations went out last week. We decided that instead of a run of the mill baby shower, we would do a gender reveal party instead! Originally we had chosen not to find out the gender, and we are still tossed up about whether we really want to know, but since we have sent out the “Big Reveal” invitations….I guess we will be finding out!
The big ultrasound is this Friday, and we have arranged for the ultrasound tech to tell my Father the gender and then he will share it with my Hubby. I am not going to find out until the day of the party! We also decided that we will be revealing the baby’s name at the party. That is the most exciting part for me!
So my dear readers….does anyone want to post a guess of what we are having?
Here is the list for my family so far:
Papa (My dad)- Girl
Grandma (my mom)-Boy
How far along? 19 weeks (Although the ultrasound says 19 weeks 4 days)
Total weight gain/loss: Havent weighed in this week, but I would guess I am still down about 12 lbs.
Maternity clothes?: Finally found a couple of cute summer dresses!
Stretch marks? The one is obvious, but there are two more that are starting.
Sleep: Its difficult because I have so much heart burn and reflux.
Best moment this week: Playing music for the baby and feeling a reaction to the music. Tap tap tap!
Worst Moment this week: The return of morning sickness…..I hope it was just a fluke, but two days of praying to the toilet gods….
Movement: I felt my first real hard punch/kick this week, it really kinda hurt! Otherwise there are alot of flutters and taps throughout the evenings and right after I eat.
Food cravings/aversions: Aversions to meat. Cravings for hot sauce, and then I end up with horrible heartburn!
Belly Button in or out?: Mis-shapen innie still..
Gender: I think boy.
What I miss: Coffee, chocolate, carne asada.
What I am looking forward to: Hearing peoples reactions about the baby shower invitations! And seeing the baby on the ultrasound again on Friday!
Weekly Wisdom:Some times you just have to take a little “me” time.
Milestones: Reassuring tapping and movement. It makes me smile every time I feel it!
Symptoms: Heart burn, reflux, constipation, nausea….It is the week of GI issues!
I have two more days left of mentorship on the Resp floor after today. Then I will be halfway done with mentorship!! I should find out sometime next week where I will be going for my second half. It is much less stressful than waiting to find out about the first half.
There are some options of where I could be put. The instructor asked me what my preference is and I explained that I still really want to go to L&D. Unfortunetly there are not enough mentors for L&D so I cannot go. Sad. Very sad. I told her that I would love to go to the ED, but I understand that there are some people who are using this as a working interview so if they need to go there, I would be happy to withdraw.
I am hoping for either the ED, or the ortho floor. Anything else would just be mentorship….and I know that there is nothing that I cannot achieve. I can do it. Im just ready to be done.
A few days ago I posted a poem about the “knots” in our lives.
In that prayer it talks about removing the “have nots, do nots, and can nots”. I got to thinking alot about that the other day. I think that those “nots” are the ones that plague my mind and keep me from enjoying my life to its fullest. It is really easy to get caught up in the things you havent accomplished instead of your successes. Its simple to think of the “can nots” instead of all the things you are capable of.
The biggest thing that troubles my mind is the “might nots”. Those are the things that seem to hold me back the most. I think about what could happen and that this baby still “might” not happen. No matter how wonderful everything is going, I am reminded and humbled by the fact that nothing is for certain and that until the day that I am holding this wonderful living breathing being in my arms, there is not certain fate that she/he will be born. I need to banish that “might not” from my mind to free myself to be able to enjoy all the mights.
In the silence I am tortured by the thoughts of the “could nots” that have happened in my life thus far. I punish myself for not completing school sooner, for having a failed first marriage, for losing babies, for not being a better friend, daughter, sister, or person. Those could nots are things that I need to release myself from so that I can relish in all the things that I CAN do.
The prayer really touches my soul when it says “Remove the Am nots that I have allowed to hold me back”. I think that this is true for everything I have said above and even more that I cannot put into words. I cannot live my life in “nots”. I have to be kinder to myself, and treat myself more like I do the people around me.
I am a good person.
I am a strong person.
I can do it.
Today is the day we send balloons up in the sky for my Father in Law.
I was able to go and visit him at his cemetary when I was in Cali last year. It was a wonderful experience and I felt closer to him having been able to touch his head stone. Today he will be in my thoughts and prayers.
I am forever thankful to him for giving me a wonderful husband! I wish that he were around to be able to sit and talk with, there is so much I would like to know. But for now, I will tell you to say “Hi” to my Grandpa and to kiss my babies.
We love you!
Last night we headed to Seattle to go to Buenos Aires Grill with our family from Utah. I have to say that this retaurant is on my “must go back” list! It was fabulous! The food is Argentine style and the flavors just melt in your mouth. I tried the Del la Casa salad for my appetizer. I loved the dressing! Delicious!
Then for my main course I had the Ravioles ai Funghi de Ricotta. Good lord that was good. The porcini cream sauce felt like heaven in my mouth. My sister ordered the Medio Pollo al Limon, and being the picky kiddo that she is she didnt like it, so she ate some of my ravioles and I ate her chicken. It was nice to be able to share the meals and try everything!
They are known for having excellent steaks, but since the pregnancy keeps me from being able to really enjoy meat I didnt go for any of the beef. I wish that my hubby had been able to go with us, but I know he is enjoying getting acquinted with his new ship.
It was so nice to get to see family, but really difficult to say good bye! Hopefully they will be able to make it back out for my graduation!
What are your favorite restaurants?
“What made you decide on Nursing?”, this was a question that has been posed to me repeatedly over the last few years and although I have always wanted to be a Nurse, there was one major push in my life that made me actually decide to do it.
I can recall a conversation with my Grandpa, telling him what I was considering. I told him that I didnt think I could do it. I knew it was going to be hard, and I was sure it was going to be harder than I could manage. My Grandpa was a man of few words, when he spoke it was time to listen. So when he told me that I could do it, that I should do it, I listened. He funded my first quarter of prereqs. He listened as I worried about school and just told me to keep going. When he got sick with Mesothelioma, I was crushed. I was in the hospital sleeping next to him for many nights.
I would show up after everyone had left, stay in the uncomfortable “chair-bed” and I would hold his hand. If he needed something, I was there. I saw how the nurses treated him, saw how much they did for him. Saw the dignity that they restored him and I knew I had to be one of them. Even in his death he gave me inspiration to continue on with my goal.
Every time I have considered quitting, I have thought about him. It has made me keep going. I would never want to do anything to let him down. Never. And so, when it got harder I thought back to those times. I closed my eyes and remembered his voice. He gave me the strength to keep going.
He is what made this all possible. Without him I wouldnt be where Im at. Without him I never would have been able to realize my dream and make it happen.
So what made you do it?
This weekend I joined a friend of mine in her excursion to find kittens at the shelter/humane society. I was so looking forward to seeing all the animals and getting to love up on them. I was barely able to contain my excitement. I love animals.
And I saw a bunch. Unfortunetly the humane society isnt a happy place where animals are given new homes. I know it accomplishes that. But sadly the looks on the faces of those dogs and cats (and even a bunny here and there) wasnt excitement but instead was sadness. Adandonment.
Seeing the lost looking dogs who had been surrendered by their families, the ones who are too old to be given new homes. The ones who look excited when the door opens but then their tails stop wagging when they see that it isnt their “people” but just random people. It broke my heart.
The excitement I had while looking forward to seeing the animals was gone and instead was replaced by heartache for those pets. Those family members. I have to make myself think that those owners surrendered their animals for the reasons that they could not change. But I cant help but wonder if they could have tried a little harder.
Their eyes will haunt me.
How far along? 18 weeks (Although the ultrasound says 18 weeks 4 days)
Total weight gain/loss: According to my OB’s scale I am still down 15lbs.
Maternity clothes?: No change here. All maternity clothes. Now rotating three bras and none of them are incredibly sexy…Im turning into Boobzilla.
Stretch marks? Still just one, but no doubt it will multiply. Im lotioning up like crazy. Anyone have suggestions?
Sleep: Now I have some insomnia. I am awake from 0300-0500. No exception.
Best moment this week: Seeing the regular OB Midwife and being told that I dont need to return for 6 weeks! I am so excited! There are only two more visits with her until the big move! And recieving my first baby shower gift in the mail!
Worst Moment this week: The vivid dreams cause alot of anxiety. I dreamt about my uncle last night.
Movement: Tons of tapping! I asked the midwife and she said it is probably kicks that I am feeling. Its amazing!!
Food cravings/aversions: Just Slurpees. I could drink one just about every day.
Belly Button in or out?: Mis-shapen innie still.
Gender: I think boy. But I keep getting girl signs from everything.
What I miss: Coffee…I want to drink coffee!
What I am looking forward to: Getting the baby shower invitations in the mail so that I can get them addressed and mailed off.
Weekly Wisdom: There is nothing more reassuring than being a “normal” pregnant person.
Milestones: Definite movement from the baby.
Symptoms: Heartburn…tons of heartburn. The midwife started me on Zantac. I hope it helps.
I am measuring at 20 weeks now, my uterus is even with my navel. I feel the most movement at my flanks. I can only imagine how huge Im gonna be when I deliver! And to imagine that I am still down like 15lbs from my prepregnancy weight. Kinda ridiculous!
Im just in awe of the way the female body changes to prepare for carrying a baby. My back has started to arch, my body is so front heavy that I often go to bed with some back and hip pain. The heartburn has started to get bad, most likely because of the extra pressure on my stomach.
I can feel the little tapping that you are doing. It startles me everytime. I figure that by the time I am used to the feeling you will be about ready to make your appearance. Ive found that you dont like it when I sit indian style or when I am leaning over, because that is when you start tapping like crazy. So when I really want to feel you move, I sit that way to annoy you. Sorry kiddo!
Your Grandma Mary and Papa Roger sent me the first gifts for your baby shower. I cant believe you have belongings of your own already. Papa Roger sent you your carseat and stroller, as I sit and stare at the equipment I cant help but imagine your perfect tiny body sitting in there.
You have a wonderful family that cant wait to meet you. Everyone is excited to meet you! Your Daddy and I are already madly in love with you, and so very proud of all the huge growth you are doing. Keep up the good work little one!
There are many things that Ive learned in clinicals for my mentorship this term, but so far these are the ones that seem to stick out the most.
- No matter how old or how sick you are, your family is never ready to watch you die
- 60 year old men will still cry when their mothers are hurting
- Home ventilator care is tedious
- Multiple Sclerosis is a horrible awful slow miserable way to go
- A spouse who doubles as a care taker is Gods gift to the patient and the nurse
- A patient can go from fine to coding in a matter of a blink
- 150bpm does not always follow the text book and sometimes the patients are asymptomatic
- Sometimes output of 15ml/hr is an accomplishment
- Hydralazine is an amazing medication
- Some people NEED pain medications and wont take them
- People have the right to refuse care, even if you disagree
- When the day is done, its ok to come home and pray for your patients
- People die. No matter how hard you try to prevent it.
Ive done 40 hours of clinicals in 3 days. It was a busy, amazing, overwhelming, incredible, and terrifying 3 days. I learned more in 40 hours than I have in 20 months of nursing school.
Im having a hard time leaving the patients at home. I see some of them in my dreams, I pray for them at Mass. I worry for them. I search the newspaper for their faces in the obituary section. I cry when I find them.
I love it and yet it is exhausting.
Or atleast thats how I feel! I have been loving all the new commenters! And all the emails! Thank you to everyone who has sent me words of support, and encouragement! And an even bigger thanks to those who have just popped in to introduce themselves! I love you guys/gals!
So here is my question, anyone have suggestions for some good blogs to read? My reader is seriously outdated! I want to read about you guys! And I need some suggestions for awesome blogs!
So tell me…who do you read?
I had a sad encounted with a patient. Not much I can get in to on it, for HIPPA reasons. But I will share how it made me feel.
That was a big part of this experience, I feel something. For every single patient. I dont know if it is a new level of compassion or it is pregnancy related. But either way I am so sensitive to my patients and their struggles. I hurt when I see them hurt, I cry for their families.
Hospice is a wonderful asset to the hospital community. My own grandfather was able to make use of the hospice services and I know first hand how great it is. But I really saw them save the day with this family. I saw hospice make things better and the nurses are so compassionate and comforting to the family.
I want to be like that. I want to be the type of nurse who brings compassion with me to every shift. I feel like that is the type of nurse I am turning in to, I just hope I dont end up jaded.
But what does DNR mean to you? What condition would make you decide to be a DNR?