July 29, 2009

Onto another Stage...

I realized today that Isaiah is officially no longer nursing. It was time, regardless of the pregnancy, but it is still a little sad. A little more than 19 months. Not too bad. He probably would have nursed for several more months, but I had wanted my body to myself again (ha ha!) and now, I just don't feel like nursing while pregnant. I know some women do that and even tandem nurse their newborn and toddler. Uh uh, not for me. I have enough problems with my uterus contracting when it shouldn't once I hit about week 26. I don't need to be nursing and adding to that. Isaiah seems to be doing quite well with it. For about 1-2 weeks, he'd crawl in my lap, position himself to nurse and then kick when I wouldn't let him. You should have seen the bruises on my mid thighs from his heels! And he wouldn't let me hold and rock him at the end of the night. Until last night. I was lying on the couch because I'm super tired, and he grabbed his blanket and cup and laid down next to me. After he finished his drink, he dropped it on the floor, then curled up next to me and fell asleep. It was very sweet. I let him lay there until I eventually woke up to Husband telling me I should go to bed. So I think he's okay with it now, although I'm sure if I offered it, he'd nurse. So, I decided it was time to remove the breastfeeding ticker, and I'm taking a chance and put up a pregnancy ticker. I probably should wait until I at least have my next appointment next Tuesday, but what the hell. I'll take a chance this baby isn't going anywhere!

July 28, 2009

Nurse Lochia's 12-step Program

Dear Doc that insists on being a P.I.T.A, here is my 12 step program to behaving like a professional:

1. If you are on call, please answer your pager or cell phone by the 3rd time I call you. I don't have time to make multiple phone calls to track you down...and if, because you didn't respond to my calls in a timely manner and your patient delivers before you arrive, please refrain from chewing my ass. I gave you ample time to get there, if you'd just answered your F#$king phone!

2. It is very difficult to read your mind. If you are not on call, but want to come for your patients delivery, fine. But you have to tell us that. Otherwise we won't call you, because those times that you aren't on call and don't want to come in, you rip us a new one. Let us know what you want. I do not enjoy a good butt chewing.

3. Just because I work nights doesn't mean I'm ignorant. I have more experience than half of the dayshift. I am a good nurse.

4. I don't know your schedule. I am truly sorry if you are called for delivery and it's your baby's time to eat, or the nanny's not there, or you have shampoo in your hair. That is bad timing, but I did not plot to ruin your schedule.

5. If you are on call, please expect to be awake. As one doc told me "I expect to be awake, and sleep is a blessing". Yeah, I know it sucks, but I have to call you about patients that come in. I have no control over labor, so sorry if you have to come in for a patient to deliver at 2a.m.

6. Speaking of control over labor, just because a patient was 2 cm and didn't need an epidural at that point, does not mean that she won't be uncomfortable, 7cm and want an epidural in an hour. I didn't lie to you just to wake you up as you crawl into bed. I may be evil, but not that evil. And just because at 11pm, labor is closed, or there are no labor patients, doesn't mean that we won't end up with a full house in 2 hours, with patients wanting epidurals or needing a c-section. We don't control the forces of labor in the community.

7. If I call you in the middle of the night, it is because you need to know what's going on with your patient. I will give you some slack when you are grumpy at 2:30 a.m, (as I am probably the most unpleasant person to wake up, just as anyone whose been around me in the morning will attest to) but there is a limit.

8. I don't enjoy waking you up at night. Really. Nothing personal, but the fewer times I have to call you, the happier I am.

9. However, I will enjoy calling you at 3a.m for delivery when you send in a G6P5 at midnight for induction. That's asking for trouble. Really, midnight sucks for the patient. I know you do that so they will deliver during the daylight, but seriously, they get no sleep and are exhausted from the beginning. That leads to more breakdowns, more tears and more formula supplementation by breastfeeding moms who are just exhausted. And could you please explain to your patient that even though they will be there at midnight, that you won't be coming in to break their water until 8AM?

10. I am a professional. I am educated. I am human. Please treat me as such. I treat you with respect, please do the same for me. We are, in fact, on the same side. We both want to provide great patient care. Can't we work together?

11. I am human. I will make mistakes. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but so will you. I don't scream at you in front of your co-workers. Please extend the same respect to me. Thanks.

12. Most of your fellow MD's are pleasant to work with. Don't give them a bad name by being a jerk. Watch them. Take notes. Please.

I hope this list helps you to become less of an ass. Thanks for your time.

Very Sincerely Yours,
Nurse Lochia

July 23, 2009

Once a worrier, always a worrier

Today I went to see Doc because I started having lower groin/abdominal pain and left lower back pain. It continued today and into the morning. Of course, being the worrier I am, I immediately started worrying that it was an ectopic pregnancy. I had been on the mini-pill and there is an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy if you get pregnant while taking it. I hadn't had any bleeding and the pain wasn't bad, just annoying and there, so I called the office, basically for reassurance. Even though part of me was worried, the rational part figured it was just ligament pain or something totally unrelated to the pregnancy. Well, they told me to come in this afternoon so they could rule it out. Then I really started to worry. But, all is well, pregnancy is in the uterus. I had wondered about my EDD because I had a period June 1 and then June 10 some spotting. Based on the 6-1 I would be 7w4d, but I was measuring 5w6d. There was a heartbeat of 101. Doc said it was a little low, but said it was probably because it's so early and that we'd check on 8-4 to make sure everything was still going okay. I'm trying not to worry, but the next 2 weeks are going to be very, very long. Another interesting thing was when she did the sono, there was the yolk sac with the little flutter of a heartbeat and then what looked to me like a smaller empty sac. Doc didn't say anything about it, so I don't know for sure, and I didn't ask, but I'm kinda wondering if it wasn't initially a twin pregnancy and that one of them stopped developing. I guess it doesn't really matter at this point, all I want is for this little bean to stick around. So, new due date of 3-19-10, and hopefully in 2 weeks, I'll see a good strong heartbeat. Keep your fingers crossed.

July 21, 2009

How We Got Here

I think most people have figured out by now that we had a little surprise here a couple weeks ago. Yes, I am pregnant again! Now that the dust has settled and I've had time to process, I am now excited as most expectant mothers are, although a bit apprehensive at the same time. Let me explain. This will probably be a long post and I am going to be completely honest about my feelings as they happened, feelings that some people may be appalled at, and I will promptly remove any negative comments left as I don't need any more guilt or judgement. I do a fine enough job at that, thank you very much! So, that said, over the last few months, I'll admit that seeing Isaiah growing and becoming less and less of a baby kinda pulled at that desire for babies. And I even wrote this post about that. I think also working in OB and seeing pregnant women and newborns contributed to that. I had wondered if I had in fact wanted another baby, or if it was just a little nostalgia now that my youngest was getting older and that there wouldn't be anymore. And I had realized that was all it was, nostalgia. I liked pregnancy and babies, but not enough to have another. There's much more to it than being pregnant and holding a newborn. I had started running again, something I have loved since high school and it made me feel like Nurse Lochia the woman. Don't get me wrong I love being wife and mother, but I believe that you have to have something outside of those roles. So this spring summer, I've been running races, training for the ultimate goal of a half marathon this fall and I've never felt better. I was getting in shape, my times were good for me and I had reconnected with an old H.S. friend. I felt like I had it all: a loving husband, beautiful children and I was reaching personal goals. My confidence has never been higher. I had decided shortly after Isaiah was born, that I would take bcp and after he was weaned, I would get an IUD placed. That way, should we decide in a couple years to have another baby, it could be removed, or more likely, Husband could get snipped and the IUD would be in place to prevent a pregnancy until he had a sperm count done that said we were in the clear. I am religious pill taker, so I had no worries of a pregnancy. I took the pill everyday at 8:00 a.m, give or take one hour. A couple weeks ago, I realized that Isaiah was almost weaned. A girl I work with had one placed and said that they had her take a pregnancy test before her appointment. So I bought one with the intention of taking it, knowing it would be negative (ha ha!) and then I'd make an appointment. Okay, a few nights later, all the kids were asleep and Husband and I were up watching tv. I suddenly felt like I could vomit out of no where. I ran upstairs and I did indeed vomit. I wasn't really consciously thinking about anything, but something made me take that test. I sat there looking at the test, like I have when I've taken tests to make myself feel better that I was not pregnant, and thought "okay, there's the control line, good, I'm not pregnant, not that I ever thought I was, but, oh, wait, shit, that wasn't the control line, OMG there are 2 dark lines, no, that can't be right, crap, no way, oh no, am I seeing this right, yes, I am, crap!" And as you can see, it wasn't a faint line. It appeared this way right away.

I sat there for what felt like eternity, just staring at those 2 dark lines, feeling my heart pounding in my chest. Remember, we had pretty much decided that 3 was it. Denial started kicking in. I thought "if I just throw it away and leave the bathroom and not tell anyone, it will go away. This can't be real" Panic then took over and I had a bit of a nervous breakdown. I had just read in the paper that Plan.ned Par.enthood was using pills instead of the traditional way, and I hate to admit it, but for a split second I thought about that, until I realized that I really wouldn't want that and couldn't do that. I then hoped that I would miscarry. I'm telling you, I was completely freaking out. And I kept thinking, if I just forget about it, it won't really be happening. After about 30 minutes, I realized that this was in fact happening and that I had to go downstairs and tell Husband. It took me 5 minutes to quit crying to tell him. When I started thinking about things that had been happening over the last couple weeks, it made sense. My milk was really drying up fast, I had been extremely exhausted even after getting plenty of sleep, my runs were sometimes slower than they had been, I felt bloated and gassy and the last couple evenings, I'd felt just a tad nauseated. I chalked it up to other things, but then realized, duh, it was because I was pregnant. After that night, I woke up feeling much better about it. And over the next couple days, I went from being upset about the pregnancy to optimistic. I wish I hadn't felt the way I did initially, and should something happen and I do miscarry, I'll carry some guilt with me. But I had come to a place where I was happy with my family and had started doing something purely for me, and that part I don't feel guilty about, but I had moved on from the childbearing chapter to the next where I raise the family I have. Like I said, everyone needs something that makes them feel like a woman and not just a mother/wife/labor nurse. I've also come to realize that this was completely out of my hands. Something kept me from getting a tubal after Isaiah was born, and I think God decided "Well, they need another child, and she's about to have an IUD placed so it's now or never". I still wonder how we will manage 4 children. For a few months, we will have 3 in daycare, 2 kids will have to share a room and of course there's the financial aspect. Plus we had a rocky spot in our marriage after Isaiah and I worry about that. But, God doesn't give you more than you can handle, and although I feel like we're going to be overwhelmed, He knows us better than we know ourselves. We'll be fine.

Now when it comes to my EDD, I'm not completely sure. I had my first period since Isaiah was born on May 22. Then again June 1st, then I had some spotting June 10. So my best guess is that June 1st was the first day of my LMP and that the 10th may have been implantation bleeding, so that's how I came up with 3-7-10. But I don't know. I will have an sono 8-4 to verify gestational age and to see if it's a viable pregnancy and I'll know better then. I am very excited at this point, and since I've been running 3-5 miles most days, I plan to continue as long as my body will allow. I actually have a 5K race 8-8 that I'm signed up for. Instead of the half marathon at the end of August, I'll just be doing a 5K. I even found a shirt I'll order once I see a heartbeat that says "Runner with Child" and on the back it says "I'm pregnant and I'm ahead of you". (make sure you check out the back!) It's a cool site and I'll probably get a tank top. I also found a site that I can get a shirt that says "Yes, I'm pregnant again, and yes we know what causes it" because I know once people find out, we'll hear all sorts of dumb things. No need for worries about me not wanting this baby. It was just the initial shock and surprise because really and truthfully, I was religious about taking that pill, and I NEVER missed a pill and hadn't ever been later than 1 hour taking it. It never even crossed my mind that I would actually get pregnant. I know some people will be skeptical and think "Oh, she forgot one time", but if you know me, you know that isn't the case. So far I'm feeling pretty good, some nausea on and off, and I'm of course tired. I was a bit crampy last week and that freaked me out, even though I knew it was normal. I'm anxious to find out a EDD for sure AND to make sure that little bugger is alright. Of course, I'm not showing yet (although since this is the 4 time, I'm sure I'll look pregnant or fluffy in only a matter of a few weeks), but here is the first of the belly shots, at somewhere about 5-7 weeks gestation, 6w3d if my EDD of 3-7-10 is right. So thus starts another journey on the rollercoaster that is pregnancy...hold on tight!

PS: Prisca, can I be invited to your blog?

July 20, 2009

July 14, 2009


What a week the last week has been! I realized this a.m. that Isaiah is probably a week away from being completely weaned. He nursed for about 2 minutes yesterday and that was the only time he's nursed since Saturday afternoon. He's almost 19 months and that's exactly the age Clara was when she weaned. It will be nice to have him weanede, but sad at the same time because it's another piece of evidence that he's growing up. And at some point, there will be a last time.

Husband and I also had a discussion about our finances. We have a pretty tight budget and with kids, an old house and, well, life, so we decided we needed to really pull in the reigns on where our money goes. I'll admit it, a lot of money is wasted on dumb things and short trips to the town store to pick up just milk which costs $3.29 when it only costs $1.98 at the big store I usually get groceries at. Not only is the small town store more expensive, we also end up picking up other things we didn't need because we think "well, we're just getting milk, so chips or whatever won't be that much". But it adds up. So we will be having a weekly meal plan. I've heard that saves a ton of money. We'll see how well we can stick to that. I also plan on having a list before I get groceries and getting ONLY what is on the list. I always have a list (I LOVE lists, by the way) but I always end up buying things not on the list. We also started a savings account at a credit union and will be having a bit of money directly deposited out of our checks every 2 weeks into that account as well. Another cushion is always welcome. I'm also planning on picking up extra shift while we are short staffed. With the way the economy is, the hospital has decided to do away with our annual raises based on performance, and they are doing tiny quarterly raises for everyone...if the Hospital meets budget. So basically, even though they said we could potentially get a .5% more than the usual annual raise with this system, there will probably be no raises this year. Which, I guess since some hospitals are laying off nurses, I'm thankful to still have a job...and work in a department that it's possible to pick up several extra shifts.

There are other changes at the hospital as well. The bigwigs are still in talks with a larger healthcare system about us becoming part of their system. Maybe there won't be much change, or maybe there will. None of us know, but it does in fact look like we will be consolidating with them. That would mean more money available for the hospital to continue with the plans for the new building which will have a new OB dept, a big name healthcare system behind the hospital, and potentially better benefits. They will probably make some changes, too. As long as I can still do my weekend, I'm fine. They have said in a few meetings the COO has held to answer staff questions about the coming change, that they would not get rid of the weekend option. There are so many of us doing the WEO that it would completely change how every department staffs and does their weekends. So, I figure it's safe and worst case, they just don't fill positions as people leave. But, I don't really know. Another change is regarding anesthesia. We currently have 2 anesthesia groups that work at the hospital, but a contract was just signed this past week so at some point in time, there will only be one group providing anesthesia at the hospital. And of course it's the group that we are less familiar with. That's been causing an uproar! But,we've been told we'll now have CRNA's doing epidurals, we'll have better anesthesia coverage and we will no longer have grumpy docs refusing to come in and put in an epidural because they don't want to get up out of bed, or because their call ends at 7AM and its 6:15AM. So, hopefully it's a positive change.

So in home life and at work there are so many changes going on around here, some small and some huge! All positive so far. Jacob is now 6, I have 2 more races I'm planning on running. One 5K August 8 in Husbands hometown, if I can get someone to switch my Friday night shift for Saturday night. August 22 I had planned on a half-marathon, but will probably just do the 5K race they have that day. We'll see how I feel when August rolls around! I had races I wanted to do through the end of the year, but they may be on hold for now. It's hard to plan too far in advance with children!

July 13, 2009

6 Years Already!?!

This morning at 4:23 a.m., my "baby" that made me a mother officially turned 6 years old. Everyone says it over and over, but good God, time has gone by so fast. I remember clear as ever the morning he was born. I remember pushing and watching in the mirror amazed at the mop of black hair. I remember the first time I held him, being so completely overwhelmed I didn't even cry (which if you know me, is amazing) but just stared at him in awe, and giving him a kiss on the forehead, feeling that overwhelming realization that this is my son! I can still see that sweet little baby sleeping in the bassinet the his first night home, even though yesterday he said "Mom, watch this!" as he scaled barefoot up the door frame in the living room. Yeah, just like Spiderman! I remember him loving his monkey-head rattle and his stuffed Tigger. Now he wants Indiana Jones lego kits, Transformers and Nerf guns. I remember rocking him as a baby, Jacob sucking on his paci with his head and body curled to mine like he was nursing. Today, I got a huge bear hug that almost knocked me over. Six years ago, I knew he loved me because he calmed when he heard my voice. Today he can write "I love you Mommy because you play with me". It's been a good 6 years! Happy Birthday "Big Man".

July 7, 2009

Feeling a bit low

Sometimes its really disheartening working in labor and delivery. I know that most people think "oh, it must be so nice to sit and rock babies all night" but ask any labor nurse and she/he will tell you there is little sitting and rocking babies. If only. Don't get me wrong, it is awesome to see a mother bring her baby into the world. There's nothing else like witnessing a birth of a baby and the birth of a mother. Lately, though, it seems like there have been so many women having babies that, really, probably shouldn't be. Or family situations that really suck. This last month it has been an oddity to see a mom and dad, who are together and excited about their coming baby. Instead, its been filled with a drunk moms who couldn't keep peeing from her pants (and yes, it was urine not amniotic fluid), moms who dabble in cocaine and pot, but "I don't smoke cigarettes", parents whose other 8 children have been taken away by DCFS, abused mothers, dads who commit suicide or who die from an overdose on drugs, homeless single mothers, some who fled an even worse situation who see living at the shelter a huge improvement, moms who come in seeking drugs, etc. Seriously, it's been like this. It's heartwrenching to see these people in such horrible situations and know that they are bringing an innocent child into the mess that is their life, and that there is little, if anything, that I can do about it or help them. Yeah, I'm supposed to keep a certain professional emotional distance from patients, but damn, it's hard when you see that the best meals the mom has had in months is the hospital food and that this sweet, innocent little baby may have a very hard life. I wish there was a magic wand we could utilize in these situations and just wish away the hardship for these families.

July 5, 2009

Life with an almost 6 year old

When you're pregnant, you are told of all the many, many safety items you will need: crib, door knob covers, toilet lid locks, refrigerator locks, cabinet locks, safety gates, pads around sharp corners, etc., etc. What they don't tell you about is after a few years, you as parents will need a few safety devices of your own, namely: a lock on your bedroom door. That's right. This is a required item that all parents should make sure that they have if privacy matters to you. If you haven't guessed, one night while Husband and I were, er, um, spending time together, we look up to the sound of our door opening and our eldest son standing in the doorway, asking what the noise was that woke him up. Now don't get too carried away with the visualizations or anything because it didn't seem like we were being especially, um, loud, but it happened anyway. It's bad enough that the whole incident happened. Here's what makes it worse: he told my parents. And then my Dad said "hey, Jacob told me you guys woke him up the other night". Good God help me! After the 30 seconds it took me to figure out what he was talking about, I felt the color drain from my face, and then I realized that Jacob would probably tell other people. How does that come up in a 6 year old's conversation?!?! "Hey Grandpa, can I watch SpongeBob? And guess what I saw Mommy and Daddy doing last night..." But anyway, we don't have a lock on our door, so even though the door was closed, our intrepid son set out to investigate the happenings in his parents bedroom. A lock will be purchased and installed very soon!

July 3, 2009

Running Goal #2

Tomorrow morning, early early morning, I will be getting ready for a 5 mile race. This feels like my first "official" race, complete with the paper number you wear and the timing bracelet. There is a running club here in the area and they do a run from one large park to another. This is only my 3rd race ever, and it's the second step in my goal to a 1/2 marathon. Of course, it's supposed to rain in the early morning, but thankfully, the weather is supposed to be 70's - unheard of for this area on the 4th of July. I'm running the race with the old friend who got me into running back in high school. We hadn't seen each other for years until we reconnected on Facebook(my new addiction), and we ran the 5K I did a few weeks ago. It seems weird to say, but I'm very excited for this race tomorrow. I honestly don't think I'll be able to run the entire 5 miles, but maybe, since I'll be running with such a large group, I'll surprise myself. I even bought a new running outfit for the occasion. Regardless, running and actually doing races has been a HUGE self-confidence booster. Just to know that after 30 years, 3 kids and 2 c-sections, my body can still allow me to run miles feels really awesome. I can only imagine the rush after I finally run a 1/2 marathon, but one step at a time! Wish me luck!