December 17, 2011

High risk or Homebirth?

I've decided that I'm a schizophrenic labor nurse. Let me explain. I love high risk OB. I like having to be extra vigilant, looking for subtle changes in a patients condition. I even like when a patients condition means they need delivered RIGHT NOW and we have to get her ready immediately to deliver. Now, before anyone blasts me for hoping for emergencies (which I don't), lets look at what I really mean by that. If an ICU nurse says she likes taking care of her patients, does that mean she hopes for people to be critically ill? No. Emergencies in obstetrics do and will happen. Do you want a nurse who loathes taking care of emergencies, or someone who likes it? I would want someone who doesn't mind because she knows how to handle herself and take care of the woman, not forgetting that there's a scared mother there. I always pray before coming on shift that there are NO emergencies, but I'm ready if one should happen. At the same time, the more high risk patients I care for, the more I want to take care of someone with minimal or no interventions. A nice all natural birth. A mom who comes in at the end of labor just ready to push her baby time for anything but to catch the baby. Love that! My attitude toward home birth has changed drastically during my time as a labor and delivery nurse. When I first started in OB, I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to deliver at home. Now, I understand. At times, I wish I could get out of the hospital setting with continuous monitoring, epidurals, hospital policies, etc and support women birthing their children at home. Just to get back to good ole' fashioned birthing of babies. Maybe I'm glorifying it a bit, but it just sounds like fun. The woman surrounded by the comforts of home and friends/family. See what I mean? How can I like high risk AND think attending a home birth or a no intervention birth at a birthing center? I guess it comes down to the fact that I just like taking care of pregnant women. The majority of the time, there's no need for all the interventions. But I also see that there are times that interventions are necessary to ensure the health of mom and baby. So, there you have it. I'm a labor nurse who enjoys high risk OB but would love to support women in an out of hospital setting as they have their babies.

November 22, 2011

Work, running, life

Long time, no blogging. It's been a little busy around here and I'm finding that juggling 4 kids, 3 in school, activities, work and all the extra meetings I've been going to, and running...really just life in general has made it hard to keep up. We're only a few months away from moving into our new building at work and we're working very hard to make sure we're ready. It's been pretty slow at work because the other hospital opened it's new birthing center about a month or so ago. It really stinks that we've been slow because I'm craving deliveries and every time the phone rings, we hope it's ER. More often than not, it's the other hospital, calling for prenatal records for patients who have gone over there for the new building but had initially planned to come to us. We're fairly certain once we open, it'll swing back because everyone wants the "new", but right now, we're able to do one on one care, which is every nurses dream. Anyway, with it being slow, it's also allowing us to work on the process of going from a LDR to a LDRP. I have concerns. I just don't know how it's going to flow, how we're going to know what's going on in the department, but part of it is I haven't taken a tour of the new building. I figure I'll wait a month or two when all they'll really be doing is putting in finishing touches and I'll be able to visualize the department. It's just going to be different and it will take some getting used to. We'll adapt because we're a pretty flexible staff and we're already making big strides in the right direction. We now are doing skin-to-skin with almost every delivery (unless mom doesn't want to or the baby needs some extra stimulation), I'm on a tachysystole group and we're working on developing standing orders for how to deal with tachysystole, either spontaneous or pitocin-induced tachysystole. Along with this, we will have a pitocin checklist that must be filled out prior to starting pitocin and thankfully, we have good support from the physicians so far.

Outside of work, I've been running, working towards my next race. I had been debating on whether I should run a half marathon or a full marathon in April. I've decided that I just don't have the motivation to run in the cold, so I'll just be doing a half marathon. Ok, so I know that sounds ridiculous, "just" a half. I am running the marathon again next October and I already have my training plan. My hope is that I can really train properly and shave off a decent amount of time. I *think* I may be able to finish in 5 hours if I really start working slowly towards that goal now. But even just finishing in 5:30 or 5:45 would be fine. We'll see where the next 11 months take me.

October 25, 2011

New Father

A couple was admitted when the mom-to-be started labor. Labor progressed nicely, and then it was time for delivery. She wasn't my patient, but I had interacted with the very nervous, excited father to be, answering his many questions, reassuring him that everything looked fine, etc. The doctor arrived and after about 10 minutes, I head this loud whoop come from the room. Not like what you would hear at a graduation, but a loud excited yell, you could say. A couple minutes later, the excited father emerged from the room, found his father and mother that were waiting in the hallway, grabbed his father and sobbed for he was so overjoyed that his child, his son was finally here. I couldn't stop the tears that came to my eyes. The pure overwhelming joy was evident. I was witness to the most "amazing moment" of this man's life. I've seen many overjoyed couples, families in my time in L&D but never to this extent. It was very touching, and I was honored I was able to witness that moment in this family's life.

This, my friends, is one reason I have the best career on the planet.

October 24, 2011

Chapter closed

Last week, I emptied my cabinets of all the empty breastmilk storage bottles that have been sitting there, collecting dust. I put them in a bag, packed up all my breastpump pieces and put them away for the last time. I have officially closed the childbearing/lactating stage of my life. I had been holding on by a thread, hoping that Caleb was going through a phase, that he'd start nursing again. My plan all along with him had been to let him nurse as long as he wanted. Well, I guess up to 2 years, maybe a month or two more, because he would be the last baby I nursed. He nursed for the last time in early September and I pumped religiously, trying to keep up my supply, trying to make enough milk for one bottle on my 4 days off. I finally tired of pumping and not getting anything more than half an ounce from the right side and drops from the left. Honestly, I am a little sad, but not like I thought I would be. I held out and he did get breastmilk until he was 1 year, but he's been done. It was so much easier to just nurse him in the middle of the night. Now if he wakes up and wants a drink, we have to go downstairs and get him a bottle. No more falling asleep as my sleepy baby falls asleep nursing. While a little sad that phase is over, I also feel free. I finally have my body back to more supporting someone else, either through pregnancy or breastfeeding. I enjoy not having to hook myself up to a pump. Its nice that I can give Caleb a bottle and he will drink it an fall asleep for his nap. I do miss that connection, that feeling of being very feminine, womanly, motherly. But, here I am, looking back at that chapter of my life, satisfied and very happy. Since October 2002, I have either been pregnant or nursing, with the exception of 16 months. I breastfed for about 5 years. I have been pregnant for about 156 weeks, or 3 years. I will look back on those years with joy, pride, tenderness and much love. I look forward to the next chapter eagerly.

October 15, 2011


What a fantastic experience! I'm still enjoying the feeling that I finished a marathon! The week leading up to the marathon, I packed my bags, and made sure I had everything as organized for the weekend as I could. I was scheduled to work Friday night and I had hoped to get out of that shift, but ended up working the entire 12 hours. I came home Saturday morning, went to bed until 10am and then decided I needed to get up and get the van packed. We left about noon for the expo, picked up a friend who was coming with us and we were on our way. I did manage to sleep for about 2 hours on the way. It was about 3:00 when we got to the expo, picked up my timing device, packet, and signed up for the pace team then we headed to the hotel. I was exhausted and really wanted to sleep, so we ordered food and I went to bed about 6:30 while Husband and his friend went to the hotel lobby and watched movies on the laptop. I expected to not sleep well at all, but surprisingly, I was pretty relaxed. I managed to sleep right up until the alarm went off at 4am. All of us were up and ready to go and headed to the train station that was just 4 blocks away at about 4:45. I'm such a small town girl, so it was exciting in a way to just ride the "L" downtown...something I've never done before. It was still dark when we got downtown and shortly after 6:15am, I said goodbye to Husband and went to go check my bag, stretch and find out where my start corral was. The energy before the start was amazing. There were people from all over the world there, milling around, all hoping to accomplish the same thing. Most people think marathon runners are crazy, and even ask "Why would you want to do that to yourself?" But everyone there that day knew why. Finally, I headed down and got to my start corral and was amazed at how many people were behind me in the open corral. I couldn't even see my pace team sign they were so far behind me. I knew that would be trouble, especially since 3:50 was the slow pace team in my seeded start corral. I positioned myself in the back and off to the side. About 6 minutes after the signal to start, I crossed the starting line and we were off. I knew I was running too fast but with as many people that were running, I didn't have much choice, otherwise I'd be trampled. The crowd was amazing! The cheers, the clapping and excitement was incredible. The first 5 miles flew by. I kept looking for others in my pace team, but at this point, the slowest pace team member I saw was 4:00. My plan was to run 4miles, walk 1 mile and I decided I better try to stick with that plan, so i walked a tad at mile 5. I felt silly because everyone around me was running, so I only walked maybe a quarter mile and took off again. My pace team average mile pace was supposed to be split the first 10K was 11:18. Way too fast. I tried to slow down, knowing I'd never hold that pace the entire way. I did manage to slow a little and my split from 1oK to half was about a 12 minute mile pace. Still too fast, but I was still feeling pretty good. Saw Husband at mile 12 and he managed to get a few good pics of me still smiling and running. Mile 16, it started to get tough, and decided I needed to walk a mile and used one of my energy gels. It help a bit. I hit the wall at mile 18. I expected this because the longest training run I had done was a very unpleasant 17.4 mile run, and second longest run was 14 miles. I managed to run(slow)/walk on and off until about mile 20. At this point, my shoulders were sore and my left hip was bothering me, so I started to walk, and managed a good clip, but walking. I saw Husband at I think it was between mile 20-21. I was walking and he tried to encourage me on, asked if I was going to start running at mile 21. I said yes, and he and his friend took off to meet me down the line. I got to mile 22 and my muscles started cramping up like nothing I'd ever felt before. They were so tight, it felt like they would snap. I knew I had to keep moving or I'd never be able to finish. The mental part of the race was very tough at this point. Here I've come so far, covered more miles than I ever have before, but I still had a long way to go. I did a lot of praying at this point. Most people at this point were walking more than they were running. I also had given up on finding my pace team. I did see someone with a 5:00 pace team bib, but I didn't care...I just wanted to get to the finish. Mile 23 was the worst. I was so sore, my muscles were tight, I was tired and I wanted to be done. Saw Husband at this point and I told him "no more marathons. This sucks, I want to be done, I think I'm in Hell." The guy walking just ahead of me kinda smiled that smile that said "yep, I feel the same way". Husband tried to walk with me for awhile, but I wasn't in the mood to talk. I was focused only on finishing, even if that meant I had to walk the rest of the way. Mile 23 I think really is the devil's country because your energy is spent and you still have a 5K left to cover. In normal circumstances, that never seems too far, but after putting in 23 miles, it seems like a million miles. I used my last energy gel, hoping for a boost. I jogged a bit here and there, not much, but got to mile marker 24. A lot of people were off on the side of the road trying to stretch out their taut calf muscles. I just kept moving, stretching my legs as I walked. When I saw mile marker 25, I almost cried because I knew I would make it. With 1 mile left, I finally saw my pace team. A lot of good it did me to sign up with a pace team. With 800meters to go, I saw my 2 cousins who came out to support me and they walked with me a bit and I thought, "Ok, I can run a half mile to the finish". I tried and my muscles seized up and my legs weren't working properly. My right leg went out to the side and my left foot cramped up with my toes pointed out. I realized then I wouldn't be able to run anymore if I wanted to finish. So I walked fast. Finally, finally I saw that beautiful banner that said "FINISH". Yes, I walked across the finish line, along with several others, but I finished. They gave me one of those space blankets, a bottle of protein enhanced drink and put a finishers medal around my neck. It felt awesome. After getting my picture taken, I walked to get my bag and meet up with Husband at the mile 27 post race party, where I had a ticket for a free beer. After walking there, I finally felt that maybe I was safe to sit. Finally, Husband and his friend found me and I stood up to go get my free beer and suddenly it didn't sound good at all, and I was slightly nauseated standing up. So for about 5 minutes, I sat and changed my shoes and just tried to enjoy the moment. We met up with my cousins for a bite to eat. My legs were sore, I was walking very, very slow, but I was moving. After eating a bit, we went back to the hotel and headed for home. That's when the exhaustion set in and I was in and out of sleep the whole way home. After we pulled in the drive, I realized I was going to have to get up the stairs in order to get inside my house. It was a challenge. My legs were so sore and tight. I took some ibuprofen and after winding down and talking with the kids I went to be. The next day, the soreness was worse. Holy cow, was I sore! It was all I could do to get up and down the stairs and to just walk. Thankfully my MIL stayed to help with the kids. By Wednesday, I felt fine. Today, my legs are itching to go for a run.

My official time was 6:07:34. Not fast, but faster than I had hoped. I hoped only to finish in less than 6:30 and I did. And I came in right behind my pace team. I know it sounds corny, but it was a very empowering moment for me when I finished. It was something I always said I wanted to do, but never thought I actually would run a marathon. It was the toughest thing physically I've ever voluntarily done, and the mental aspect was equally difficult. But the reward is so sweet. Yeah, I had to walk the last 6 miles, but I finished, and finished faster than my goal. It was something that I did on my own, no one could train for me or run it for me. I made a lot of mistakes in not training enough. Being placed in a seeded start corral was also a big factor. If I had been in the open corral, where I belonged, I could have started out slower and not worn myself out as fast as I did. Maybe I could have finished faster. But I'm happy. And even though the words "no more marathons" came out of my mouth several times that day, I want to run another one, but this time train the proper way with enough time. If I can do that and hold my usual pace, I think I can finish in 5 hours. The pace I ran at the beginning of the marathon was a comfortable pace for a 6 mile run...if I can train to that pace, my estimated finish was a little over 4 hours. I don't know if that's doable or not, but 5 hours I really think I can do with proper training. Anyway, I finished, and now I can say I've done a marathon!

October 7, 2011

Marathon in 2 days!

I've been pretty quiet lately, not for lack of things going on or things I want to talk about, but because it's been pretty busy around here. The marathon is on Sunday and I'm trying to get my last minute stuff done. I'm done running until Sunday. I'm still pretty nervous about my lack of training and preparation. I could have done a lot more, but I didn't. I think I'll be ok because I'm not going out there to run a fast race, or to even run the entire thing straight through. That I'm not ready for. I'm sure I've talked about this before, but I have a plan. Tonight I have to work (not a good move on my part) and then tomorrow morning I'll come home and go right to bed. Husband's parents will be down early and Husband will go do our mandatory volunteer work at the kids games from 9a -11a. Then he'll come home, and we're leaving at noon. We're heading straight for the expo to get my participant pack, bib and timing device and from there we'll check into our hotel. Depending on how things go, we may meet up with a cousin of mine, but his wife is expecting and due any day and pretty uncomfortable so we're going to just see how she feels. Plus, really, I need to rest as much as I can. At the expo, I'm signing up with a pace team of 5:45 that runs 4miles/walks 1 mile. I've read that for your first marathon that you should run/walk and just take in the experience that is the marathon...and then go all in for your second. So that's my plan. I hope it works out for me. I have my pre- and post- race bags ready to go with my clothes for the race, with my name written in big block letters on the front, my energy gel, running shoes and socks, ipod playlist is ready to go and charged. Post race I have a change of clothes, sandals, baby wipes and a bottle of water. I'm ready as I can be. One concern I have is the weather. The usual temp is about 66 degrees, but the forcast is calling for mid to upper 70's. Fine for the morning, but because I'll be running into the afternoon a bit, that could be a little warm. But I'm pushing fluids now, making sure I'm well hydrated ahead of time. Plus I guess I ran the half marathon in warmer temps than that, I just wanted 60 degree temps. We'll see how it goes!

September 24, 2011


Early this past summer, I was on my way home from work, and it was probably around 7:30am or so. I noticed a line of corn knocked over, like a car had veered off the road into the field. Sure enough, as I got further on, there were a couple emergency vehicles and an SUV in this little valley between cornfields. I figured someone lost control over their car, and went off the road. Since the SUV was upright and appeared undamaged, the lights weren't flasing on the emergency vehicles, and no one appeared to be moving too quickly, I assumed everyone was just fine. Turns out a mother and nurse was on her way to work that morning, had a heart attack and had died there in the field. That straight line where her SUV went through the corn is still very visible. Someone placed a cross at the place where she entered the field. Every day I drive home, I see that path and I wonder if her family drives that direction. How painful of a reminder that path through the corn must be. As harvest season is upon us, I wonder, when the farmer harvests that field, will it be a relief to see that sad reminder of her last few moments? Or will it be painful, to see that the scar left on the field is gone, even though the scar on their hearts left by her absence remains?

September 21, 2011

One Year Ago...

At 3:47 am, I met my handsome little Caleb face to face! What a ride it was getting him here! I reread my birth story and I can see the anxiety and frustration in my "voice". I am much more at peace with how things went than I was a year ago. Happy Birthday little guy! It's been a wonderful first year!!

September 16, 2011

T-3 weeks!!!

The marathon is coming up in 3 weeks!! AACK!!! I'm starting to freak out more and more as M-day gets closer. I gave up on the idea of a 20 mile run before the big day. Yesterday I did get in a 17.4 mile run and I did it in 3:25, so I feel better. And I'm not really too sore today, surprisingly. Yeah, my calves are a little tight and my hips are a little stiff, but not bad at all. After my half marathon, I was pretty sore for a few days, so I expected more ache after 17 miles. Guess that's a good sign! My average mile pace was 12.5 minutes, so it's much better than what I expected. The pace team I'll be running with runs a 13some minute mile, so seeing my average mile pace was just a tad faster felt good. I will say that the last mile or so of the run, I was hurting a bit. My quads were on fire and my feet were starting to protest. I wasn't out of breath or anything, in fact I could have had a conversation with someone, but my muscles were unhappy. That does concern me a bit because I will still have 9 more miles to go. I'm hoping that a slightly slower pace and the adrenaline of running my first marathon will help carry me through, although I know at probably mile 19-20, I'll hit the wall and it will be a battle to finish. Next week starts my tapering...part of me wants to try another long run of at least 16 miles, but I I know I need to be kind to my body and let it recover completely before running 26.2. I'm still waiting on my packet to come in the mail that I have to take with me to the health and wellness expo so I can get my number and chip. Once I have that, the only thing left to do will be to figure out what shirt to wear. Oh, yes, I've heard that the marathon shirt is important. I'm still tossing a few ideas around in my head, but haven't decided what to do yet. I still have a little bit of time left. When I run, I run alone...and the only things to see are corn and bean fields. Ok, so know that we're in harvest season, I see the occasional harvester, and I'll have you know I run faster than a combine harvesting corn! Anyway, so my runs are boring, lonely and lack scenery. Marathon day I'll be running the streets of downtown Chicago. How amazing will that be?! Plus there will be thousands of people there cheering me on. I think that will help the miles go by much quicker than they do when I run on my own. That's my hope anyway.

September 7, 2011

About a Month Left until M-Day

It's been a busy few weeks around here. School is in full swing, big kids are busy with football and cheerleading, and I'm trying my darndest to get out and run. The marathon I am running is coming up in 1 month and 2 days. I am so not ready for it. I still can't believe I'm really going to run 26.2 miles, willingly. I've been reading up on training and other people's first marathon experiences. I don't know if the stories help or are making the fear worse! A common theme is people are sore for a week after running, can't walk down stairs, and are ready to throw in the towel and quit as they enter the devil's territory at mile 20. Most people train for months for a marathon, getting in a few 20 milers ahead of time. The longest I've run is 14 miles. I've gotten in several 10-14 mile runs, but no 20 milers. And I'm not sure I'll get one in. This really isn't how I wanted to train for my first marathon. I wanted to feel more ready. My goal is to run at least two 16 milers beforehand. The biggest problem I have is finding the time to do these long runs. I'm not fast at all, so I need a block of 4 hours or so if I want to get in a 16 mile run. I did 14 miles in 2:50. That's a lot of time to block out of a day when you work full time, have kids in activities and the sun starts setting earlier and earlier. I do have a plan. My main goal is just to finish it in under 6:30 because that is the cut-off time to be an "official" finisher. I'm not worried I can't do the distance, I know I can do the 26 miles, I'm just worried I can't do the miles fast enough. If I'm going to run the damn thing, I sure as hell want to be an official finisher! I'll be signing up with a pace team of 5:45...that way I'll start out slow, have someone to pace me, and if need be, I can slow down a bit and have some time to play with to come in under 6:30. Holy cow, I could be running for more than 6 hours! Most people who run marathons probably have a goal to come in under 4 hours. I can't even imagine being able to run that fast for that long at this point. There are times I think that I must have some kind of mental illness because I'm going to run it, despite the lack of adequate training in my mind, and after reading the stories of how miserable people feel during and after the race. But there is also something else common in marathon stories - that sense of accomplishment. The feeling that people get when they cross the finish line, that they did something most people never will. A marathon is a purely personal, solo victory. There isn't a team to help you if you start to slow down and run out of steam. No one can train your mind and body to run for hours. No one can run it for you. I can only imagine what it will feel like when I finally cross that finish line, knowing that I accomplished something I thought I never would. After 4 kids, with the youngest being only 12 months, I will have completed my first (and maybe last) marathon. Who knows, maybe this will be the first of several marathons. Guess we'll have to see.

August 27, 2011

2 years

Just remembering...2 years ago, I miscarried baby #4. While the pain of that loss has been eased in a way with the birth of Caleb, it's still sad. There was a little life there with us, if for only a brief time. And that little child led us on the path to bringing Caleb into our lives. If that child had lived, we wouldn't have this precious little 11 month old. At the same time, I wanted that child here. One day, I'll meet that soul I believe. But for today, I'm remembering...

August 21, 2011

Half Marathon....check!

I did it! I finally ran a half marathon! I've been training since, I think April and this past Saturday, I actually ran it! And it was awesome! My main goal was to finish, but because I have such a competitive nature, I had really hoped to come in under official time was 2:25:19! I beat my goal time by 20 minutes. I'll admit, it wasn't easy. I felt great for the first 7 miles. I have a tendency to start out way too fast. It's easy to do because there are so many people at the start and everyone sort of moves in a the adrenaline of running a race kicks in. At the 1 mile mark, I was at 8:58. It was a much faster pace than I should have been running for a half-marathon. I tried to slow down, but I hit 2 miles at 19min, 3 at 29min, 4 at 39 minutes on up to 6 miles...then I started slowing down. The toughest mile was 8-9. I did manage to run to mile marker 9, but then I had to walk a little past the water station. (I walked through all the water stations because I'm not coordinated enough to run and drink from a solo cup...but it was only a few steps). Miles 10-12 were pretty tough and I was ready to be done. Finally, I could see the flag and a hill to go over the interstate and get back to the track. A guy there said we were only half a mile away. Thank goodness! I knew my kids would be at the finish and I wanted them to see me finish running, so I walked up the hill and ran the rest of the way. Seeing my kids at the finish line was the boost I needed to finish strong! It's a sort of cruel joke that you get to the track and you can see the finish line...but you have to run a lap before you cross! When you are tired, even after running 13 miles, a lap can seem like forever! I gave Isaiah a high five as I got onto the track and as I came around to the side that the finish line was on, Isaiah ran along the fence as I crossed the line! It was an awesome feeling! I'm pretty sore this am. Stairs are not my friends, especially if I have to go down. But I accomplished a goal! I'm still celebrating but I've got some major, major training to do to be ready for a full marathon. At mile 12, I had serious doubts about whether or not I can be ready for 26 miles so soon. I still have doubts, but I've got to try. But for right now, I can say I've run a half marathon and I'm looking forward to doing it again!

August 11, 2011

Murphy's Law of Motherhood

You have sports practice for 2 of your 4 kids at 5:30, and you managed to feed them a healthy yet satisfying light meal at 4pm, get them water for practice, they are dressed (which is something for a momma who know nothing about football gear), baby is fed AND bathed after a blow-out diaper, the 3-year is excited for the park, and you *think* you have everything you need for the baby in the to-go-baby-bag should he get hungry/need a diaper change/want a toy, but you thought wrong. As soon as the 2 kids take off for their respective fields, and the 3 year old is outside ready to go play on the swings, the baby will projectile vomit his entire supper as you open the van door to pull him out of his carseat. And while you have wipes and a diaper, you realize you forgot a change of clothes.

Murphy's Law of Motherhood #567

August 5, 2011

"From that day on, if I was ever going somewhere, I was running!"

Love that movie, Forrest Gump. Anyway, since May, I've been training for my first half marathon, which is coming up on the 20th! My training has been going very well, I'm up to 12 miles, which is the farthest my training schedule has me run, until race day anyway. I'm ready, I will probably have to walk a little bit here and there, but my goal isn't a great time...I just want to finish the 13.1 miles and be able to say that I did it. It's been a huge stress reliever for me and in a way, giving me confidence. Each mile I add to my long run has been therapeutic and given me a renewed confidence in my determination and physical ability. I never thought I'd get to a point where I could say "Yeah, I can run 13.1 miles, I'm ready".

I haven't even run that half marathon, but I'm already looking forward to my next challenge: a full marathon. I entered a contest to win an entry to a marathon. They asked for people's stories as to what their motivation to run is. I still don't know why I did it because I'm sure not ready to run 26 miles, but something made me submit my story, my motivation. And guess what? I now have an entry into a marathon this October! I'm pretty nervous about it because I didn't really think I had a chance, so I was quite surprised when I saw I was among the winners. My initial thought was "Oh, crap! I can't do this! Not that soon!" but as I thought about it, there was a reason I submitted an entry. Something pushed me to do it. And I meant every word, that I want to be a role model for my children. I want them to see firsthand that even though the road to attaining a goal might be tough and take many miles, if you believe in yourself, work hard and give it all you've got, you can reach that goal. That's exactly what I'm going to do. It's going to take a lot of time, sweat, hard work and determination, but I will do this. I will complete a marathon this year. Eek!!!

Here's my story:
I've always considered myself a runner and thought that one day, I would run a marathon. After getting married and starting a family, I found it hard to make time to get out and run. I'd still get out when I could, ran a few 5K's, but I never really made the time to push myself and train for that marathon. It became just a pipe dream. Last year, after a difficult pregnancy, and preterm delivery of my 4th baby, I slipped into that dark world of post-partum depression. Determined to find myself again, I started running, setting a goal to run a 5K, 5 mile race, 10K and then a half marathon in August. I have successfully left post-partum depression behind me, ran that 5K, a 5 mile race, and I'm prepared to run a half marathon, looking ahead to running that first full marathon. Not only do I run for myself, but for my 4 children. I don't want them to think any dream, goal or aspiration is out of reach. I want them to know that if you set your mind to do something, work hard and believe in yourself, that you can do anything.

August 1, 2011

Telephone Triage

One weekend, the scrub tech answered the phone and got this panicked look on her face. She had wide eyes with a look of panic and said to whoever was on the phone "You need to come in but I'm going to have you talk to a nurse". It was a grandmother to be and she said "My daughter is pregnant, (went through a whole health history), her water broke and the umbilical cord is hanging out. Do we need to come into the hospital?" Now this is not unheard of, it rarely happens, but I can remember someone who had come in because she had something hanging out of her vagina, and it was indeed the cord, and thankfully it hadn't been compressed too much....I think because the baby was transverse or breech, but baby was delivered and fine. But it is a true emergency. After a few quick questions, it was determined that it sounded like a cord, and since you can't assess over the phone what is going on, and because of the potential serious nature of a cord prolapse, she was told "Yes, you need to have her get into a knee-chest position, hang up and call 911". Thankfully, anesthesia was already in house, we had an OB doc there who had just finished a delivery who had overheard the phone call, OR was opened and we were all ready. We figured she'd already have a IV in from the ambulance ride, doc would do a quick sono to make sure we had a reason to deliver urgently and we'd were ready. So a bit later, she rolls in, smiling, sitting up on the cart and we quickly check to see if we in fact have a prolapsed cord. The patient states "Oh, I pulled it out". Everyone is dumbfounded, and she holds up an emesis basin....with her mucus plug in it.

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief, the tension lifted like a heavy blanket. There was never any doubt that we made the right decision to tell her to come in. We aren't allowed to give out info over the phone, all we can say is call your doc or come in, because you can't assess over the phone. This is a perfect example.

July 21, 2011

Wanted to share

I came across this today on another blog, Birth without Fear, and although almost 2 years have passed since my miscarriage, I found this very comforting. Thought I'd share it with you. I believe it is an excerpt from the book Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo.

Mommy, I have two sisters,” Colton said.

I put down my pen. Sonja didn’t. She kept on working.

Colton repeated himself. “Mommy, I have two sisters.”

Sonja looked up from her paperwork and shook her head slightly. “No, you have a sister, Cassie, and…do you mean your cousin, Traci?”

“No.” Colton clipped off the word adamantly. “I have two sisters. You had a baby die in your tummy, didn’t you?”

At that moment, time stopped in the Burpo household, and Sonja’s eyes grew wide. Just a few seconds before, Colton had been trying unsuccessfully to get his mom to listen to him. Now, even from the kitchen table, I could see that he had her undivided attention.

“Who told you I had a baby die in my tummy?” Sonja said, her tone serious.

“She did, Mommy. She said she died in your tummy.”

I knew what my wife had to be feeling. Losing that baby was the most painful event of her life. We had explained it to Cassie; she was older. But we hadn’t told Colton, judging the topic a bit beyond a four-year-old’s capacity to understand. From the table, I watched quietly as emotions rioted across Sonja’s face.

“It’s okay, Mommy,” he said. “She’s okay. God adopted her.”

Sonja slid off the couch and knelt down in front of Colton so that she could look him in the eyes. “Don’t you mean Jesus adopted her?” she said.

“No, Mommy. His Dad did!”

Sonja turned and looked at me. In that moment, she later told me, she was trying to stay calm, but she was overwhelmed. Our baby….was–is!–a girl, she thought.

Sonja focused on Colton, and I could hear the effort it took to steady her voice. “So what did she look like?”

“She looked a lot like Cassie,” Colton said. “She is just a little bit smaller, and she has dark hair.”

Sonja’s dark hair.

As I watched, a blend of pain and joy played across my wife’s face. Cassie and Colton have my blond hair. She had even jokingly complained to me before, “I carry these kids for nine months, and they both come out looking like you!” Now there was a child who looked like her. A daughter. I saw the first hint of a moisture glint in my wife’s eyes.

Now Colton went on without prompting. “In heaven, this little girl ran up to me, and she wouldn’t stop hugging me, ” he said in a tone that clearly indicated he didn’t enjoy all this hugging form a girl.

“Maybe she was just happy that someone from her family was there,” Sonja offered. “Girls hug. When we’re happy, we hug.”

Colton didn’t seem convinced.

Sonja’s eyes lit up and she asked, “What was her name? What was the little girl’s name?”

Colton seemed to forget about all the yucky girl hugs for a moment. “She doesn’t have a name. You guys didn’t name her.”

How did he know that?

“You’re right, Colton,” Sonja said. “We didn’t even know she was a she.”

Then Cotlon said something that still rings in my ears: “Yeah, she said she just can’t wait for you and Daddy to get to heaven.”

“Our baby is okay,” she whispered. “Our baby is okay.”

From that moment on, the wound from one of the most painful episodes in our lives, losing a child we had wanted very much, began to heal.

But now that we know our little girl doesn’t have a name yet, we constantly tell each other, “I’m going to beat you to heaven and name her first!”

July 20, 2011

One month

One month from today, I'll be running my first half marathon! It's a little scary that I only have 1 more month to prepare myself physically and mentally for this challenge. I know I'll be able to finish it, I just want to be able to do it without being last or completely miserable. I've been slowly increasing my distance and I'm up to almost 11 miles, which takes me about 2 hours to run. After I finish those long runs of 10 miles, I am pretty sore and tired. The first time I ran 10 miles, my body just ached all day and all night. I couldn't sleep because of it. It wasn't pain. It's hard to explain exactly what it was, but my muscles were definitely screaming at me that first time. Since then, it's been easier each time with less aching afterward. I only do one long run a week, and the day after is a rest day, so my body can rest and recover. This next month, I will be really focusing on my endurance for about 2 weeks. Two weeks before the race, I will do the only 13 mile run of my training. One week before I'm running a 10K and the week leading up to the half marathon is an easy week of one 2 mile run, two 20 minute runs and then resting up for the big day. I'm excited and nervous already, but I can do this!

July 12, 2011

Random tidbits

Tomorrow, my first "baby" is going to be 8 years old. I can still remember like it was yesterday watching him being born in the mirror, being in awe that Husband and I had created a life and that I was a mother. I can still remember looking into his little face just moments after he was born and knowing what it means to totally and instantly fall in love with someone. He's come a long way from that 7lb 7oz newborn! He's a typical skinny 8 year old boy who loves baseball and football, is able to assemble those massive lego kits (which I STILL can't figure out) and he can navigate the computer as well (if not better) than I can!

Caleb is almost 10 months! He's becoming a chunky little boy and I just love it. He is still nursing, although most of his calories come from formula and table foods. And I'm ok with that. Every once in awhile when a mom on post-partum comes up with multiple bottles of milk she pumped and I'm barely able to eke out 3 oz when I pump, I do get a little bit of milk envy, but then I remember that I was once a milk machine too, just not with Caleb. He's crawling everywhere, and he likes to pull himself up to stand. The other night, he started cruising the length of the coach. Before long, he'll be running! I'm not quite ready for that!

In less than 6 weeks, I run my first half-marathon! Eek!! It's been so hot and humid lately that I haven't been able to get out and run. The heat isn't so much the problem - it's the humidity. But I've gotten in a couple 10 mile runs and if I can get a few more of those in, like one once a week, I think I'll be ok. The week before the half, I'm doing a 10K, which I realized is less than half of a half marathon, but it's a sort of warm up to the "big" one. I did get new running shoes and they feel great on my feet...can't wait to be able to get out and run in them, hopefully tonight.

July 8, 2011

Behind the nurses station on the night shift

What do L&D nurses do when the unit is (dare I even utter the word) slow? Well, we come up with ways to entertain ourselves, like fashioning stylish outfits from hospital supplies. For holding the monitors on pregnant bellies, we either use belts or these beige girdle things that come in a huge roll. It's elastic fabric that they step into and pull up over their stomach. The scrub techs measure them and cut out appropriate sized girdles from the massive roll. Most people actually like them better than the belts, as do the nurses because they tend to hold the monitors in place better for when a patient is shifting around in bed, they can be held at a tilt with a wash rag over it, and some moms just like the support. Others hate them. One night, I decided that these girdles would make a beautiful mini skirt and tube top. So I donned them over my scrubs. It was a good look. The next night I came in, I found a long "evening gown" in my mailbox. So, like any good model, I tried it on, and then we accessorized it. A pair of white mesh underwear became a lace belt around my waist. In order for me to walk, we had to cut a slit up the side, up to the mid-thigh, which was very sexy given the blue scrubs I was wearing underneath. We thought the orange peripads would look great around the bottom, but decided against wasting too much in the way of supplies. So we used a few of the gold hearts that hold the temp probes on the babies - it added a bit of bling. A necklace could be fashioned out of IV tubing with blood tubes taped to it. And for the perfect shoes? Why those brown hospital socks with the treads on the bottom, of course! If we were going to go all out, we thought we could stain some areas with betadine for a patterned dress. The perfect purse, no doubt, would be that high-style foley bag. Most of the "details" we didn't actually add...we didn't want to waste much in the way of hospital supplies, but 2 pairs of underwear and about 6 gold hearts were used. Our style show lasted all of 15 minutes before we had to get back to work. Here's a picture of just the "gown", before we put a slit in the side and added our flare to it. It's lovely. I'm sure you're all jealous.

July 6, 2011

Half Marathon

Over the last several weeks, I've been training for a half marathon. It's a life goal of mine and I'm happy to say that I think I might actually just be able to run one! It's been hard though, I won't lie. I've had to work to make time to get out and run and to build up my endurance. The morning of the 4th, I ran a 5 mile race right after getting off of work. It was hot and my time wasn't the greatest, but I am telling myself I'm slower than I was 2 years ago because I'm training for a half marathon, not 5K's or 5 mile races. My pace is slower. The last 2 weeks, I've managed to do a 10mile long run once a week. It takes me about 2 hours, and I'm a bit sore when I'm done. The first time I ran, I ran right after working my 3rd night shift. It was the only time I could do a morning run and have the kids already at the sitter. It went pretty well, but my muscles were quivering when I got done. Seriously, I looked at my quads and they were twitching. I did stretch for quite awhile, and then went to bed for a few hours before getting the kids. I didn't actually sleep because my body wouldn't let me. I'm not sure how to describe it because I wasn't in pain or anything...I can't really describe it. I must have slept for a little bit because when I got up around 3pm, my legs hurt. Last night I did the 10mile course again and it was much better, but I still didn't sleep as great as I normally do. The half marathon I'm signed up for is August 20th. The weekend before I'm running a 10K in Husband's hometown, and I took the whole weekend off for the half marathon. I've got a lot of work to do to get myself physically prepared for running a 13.1 mile race in August. I'm also mentally trying to prepare myself, too. I know I can do it, and I WILL do it. And even though I'm sure in the middle of the race, I'll be wondering "WTH did I get myself into?", it will be worth it. It's something I'm doing purely for me, to know that even after 4 kids I can still run 13.1 miles. I also think it will be healing for me, too. I'm at peace (for the most part) with my pregnancy/delivery experience with Caleb, but there's still part of me that feels like my body failed me and him: by delivering early, and by not producing enough breastmilk for him, even though I made a ton with my other kids and I've done just about everything I can to increase the supply. But we have to supplement with formula, something I never did before. I'm pretty sure it was due to him not have as strong of a suck since he was 34 weeks. Anyway, I'm looking forward to it, which I realize sounds a bit crazy, kind of like a woman looking forward to labor. I'm up for the challenge and the reward after it's done will be worth it!

July 2, 2011

You know you've got work on the brain when...

...when you are dreaming that a couple of your friends are pregnant and came over to your house because they think they are in labor. They didn't come because they want you to time their contractions, help them decide if they are in labor or anything like that...they came because they want you to help them have a out-of-hospital water birth. At your house, in your tub. Amazing the things the mind comes up with when you are sleeping!

June 29, 2011

Childbirth Education

I mentioned that I've been pretty burned out lately, and I was thinking that I need something different to change things up. Either that or a long vacation. Not from patient care. That is what gets me through my shifts. It's the other B.S. that goes on. Anyway, one of the doctors is looking for a new office nurse and I thought "Hey, talk about timing. I'm getting frustrated to the point where I understand why nurses leave the bedside and go to offices and here's an opportunity". It's one I didn't make, though. I couldn't actually leave l&d, I'd miss it too much. I realized that I just need to do something different, maybe 1 day a week doing NST's and whatnot in an office, just to have one day of work where I'm not waking someone up, or arguing with someone to come in. Then one night this past weekend, the nurse who is in charge of all the childbirth education classes the hospital has asked if I would be willing to teach next year. My initial reactions was no, but the more I thought about it, the more I decided that I would do it. She was getting ready to work on next year's class schedule and a couple people who are currently teaching aren't going to next year. The timing is perfect. The commitment isn't too time consuming, just one night a week for 4 week classes. Plus it wouldn't be until next year that I would start teaching. Already, my attitude is a bit better. She said here in the next couple weeks, she'd chat with me about what I want to do. She needs someone to teach the typical childbirth education class and someone to teach the smaller c-section awareness class. I'm excited about this. This is just what I needed at just the right time.

June 19, 2011

Burn Out

I'm getting burned out. I'm in desperate need of a vacation, or something. I used to wonder why nurses would leave L&D for offices or Monday-Friday dayshift jobs, but I think I've figured it out. Here's a quick list of things I'm tired of:

1. Working so short-staffed that we are all just running from the moment we clock in to the moment we leave. The worst part is feeling like you can't give good care because you have too many patients and not enough nurses.

2. Arguing with physicians to get them to come in. Don't get me wrong, most of the docs I work with are great. But some aren't. Yes, I want you on the way to the hospital when you have a multip present at 8-9 cm and wants to deliver in the tub. And yes, I would like you to come see my preterm patient who has quite a bit blood running down both of her legs.

3. Scolding by physicians. Really? Do you have to yell at me if a patient comes in ready to rock and she vomits and her baby delivers before you got there? I didn't do it on purpose. And on the flip side, please don't yell at me if you have to wait 15-20 minutes until the patient delivers. Or getting my arse chewed because I've called too many times...not for ignorant reasons, but because patients come in. I HAVE to call and tell you that you have a patient that is here and in labor. It's not an option to have one of your children tell me that you are occupied and without a phone (you are on-call for several other physicians) and unless it's an emergency, that you will call back in an hour (because you are taking a nap).

4. Lack of sleep. I'm so tired of being tired. Night shift is wearing me down right now. My body wants to go to sleep every night and not have to switch from sleeping during the day on some days and at night.

5. Unpleasant coworkers. Yes, I know they are everywhere, but the morale is so bad right now. I had someone flip out because another nurse got pulled from post-partum to labor and a stool softener got missed in the process. Really? It's a stool softener, not a big deal if it's an hour late.

I know that all comes with the territory, but sometimes, it just gets you down. I will say that it helped immensely to have an awesome delivery last night. She had a pretty horrible birth experience with her first, but after she was holding her new baby, she kept saying how thankful she was that her labor with this baby was so much better of an experience. So that's why I keep going back...for those patients who need someone to advocate for them, someone to help them have the birth and healthy baby that they want, someone to argue with their doc to come in to see them, someone to work in the middle of the night, someone to do what's right for the patient so they can have a healthy baby. I'll get out of this funk here soon.

June 13, 2011


We are in to the full swing of summer, and let me tell you, it is crazy up in here! Not only are we busy here at home with baseball games, bible school and just the daily stuff, but it has been crazy at work, too! Last weekend was one of the busiest nights I've ever worked. Maybe not the busiest, but pretty dog-gone close. It was one of those nights where it started off quiet...then all chaos broke loose when multiple patients came up at a time...and all of them were active labor. It was just nuts! And of course, we work short-staffed on weekends and nights because, well, don't you know that everyone sleeps at night? And just try calling people in on a weekend night too, see how many people will answer their phones, let alone come in. I actually ended up working a double shift Sunday night into Monday. It was the first time I've worked that many hours and when I got into the van to drive home from work, I didn't feel too bad. I called my SIL to talk to someone to help keep me awake, just in case, but about a mile or two from home, she had to let me go. Then out of no where I was in my driveway. I have absolutely no memory of how I got home. I've spaced out driving before, when I'm going somewhere I go to on a regular basis, like work, but this was different. This wasn't just a spaced out. This is memory gone, like I was almost asleep, under anesthesia or just teleported from one spot to the other. It really freaked me out and still does. Thank goodness I got home ok.

Around here, it's just been the usual summer stuff, except this year we have 2 kids playing baseball, so twice as many games, twice as many assigned concession stand dates. This past Saturday, Clara had a game at noon and I had to work concession. Fine, except Husband was working. Thankfully, Clara's game was at a park just outside of town and I was able to watch Jacob and Isaiah play on the equipment while I worked. Caleb had a good time in one of my wraps up on my back. It was funny watching people's reactions when they realized he was there. For awhile, he was banging his toy keyring on my back making noise. He did fall asleep eventually. At 4:00, Jacob had a game so I carted all 4 kids out again. Clara and Isaiah ran around, played with some other kids and at one point, Caleb was being squirmy, trying to climb all over me. This one mom was there watching her nephew and she had one kid who looked to be about 3 years old. He was being a typical defiant 3 year old, and she was trying to get him to behave. I really wasn't paying much attention, because 3 year olds act up from time to time, but when she finally sent him to sit with his uncle, she looked at me with Caleb and said "See what you have to look forward to?". I just smiled. At 6:00pm, I usually head to work, but Husband had just gotten to the field to relieve me so I could run home, grab my lunch and breastpump and head out the door, barely making it on time. I know, I know, when all 4 are older and in stuff it will be even busier. I will say we are getting better at time management and figuring out how to get this kid here when the other one has to be somewhere else. We're learning, slowly, but we're learning!

May 30, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes

I was talking with the kids about school, etc. and they asked me if I went to the grade school they go to. I said "No, I went to Hometown Elementary, in the town Grandma and Grandpa live". They then asked me if I had music class like they do, and I said "yes, I had music class and even sang in the chorus in H.S.". To which they replied "Wow, Mommy, how can you remember something that happened soooo long ago?!?!?

Husband overheard it and started cackling in the background, until I reminded him that he is the same age.

May 27, 2011

Baby Wearing

When I was pregnant with Caleb, I knew I was going to have to do something to help keep my hands free so I could chase after the other kids. I had been interested in baby slings/carriers/wraps when I was pregnant with Isaiah, but they scared me. Plus they aren't exactly cheap and I was afraid to spend the money and either hate it or not be able to figure it out. So it wasn't until a coworker gave me her Moby wrap that I tried them out. I loved the Moby! It was a little overwhelming at first when I unfolded the thing and the fabric just kept coming. I'm not exactly sure what I thought it was going to be, but it surprised me. I used it on a pretty regular basis and a month or so ago, I decided I needed something that wasn't so stretchy and had a bit more support. I thought I knew what I wanted, but I hadn't ever tried out any other carriers. I found that a lady in town sells baby carriers that I decided to try them out. She holds these babywearing demos and has people try out all the different types of carriers to see what you are the most comfortable with, and which works with your baby. I ended up with a long fabric wrap, a bali breeze. That's the pattern I got, too. It's very pretty I think. It's a big long piece of fabric, like the Moby, but there's no stretch. You can do all sorts of carries with it - it even comes with a cd to show you the different types and how to do it. I even got Isaiah up in it comfortably! I'm still learning but I love it! I actually figured out how to carry him on my back and he just loves it. I have to have Husband "spot" me to make sure I have the fabric stretched out nicely and that it's up high enough, but I'm getting better at it on my own. Tonight I got him in it on my back and he fell asleep. I know these things have been out there for a very long time, but I wish I would have discovered them when Jacob was little. I get all sorts of looks from people in town when I "wear" Caleb, because you really don't see too many people out with their baby in a wrap, especially on their back. Most people have their baby in a stroller, like what I always did, but it's really hard to push a stroller in the grass. Well, it's just easier to carry him then to push the stroller, I guess. I told Husband that with the way people look at me, like I'm some big hippie or very, very pale tribal woman, I think I might get me some birkenstocks, a long tied dyed dress and grow my hair out long and then go wearing Caleb around. Hey, I have to entertain myself somehow!

May 24, 2011

On the road towards that half marathon

I signed up for a half-marathon about a month or so ago, to be run in August. Now, when I signed up, I was (and I'm still not) any where near half-marathon ready. Not even 5K race ready. But it's been a goal of mine for a long time and I figured I better get on with actually doing it instead of just talking about it like I have been doing for years. I have been getting out to run when I can, but with just life in general, it's pretty tough some times to make the time...and to not make excuses as to why I can't get out and run. This past weekend, the town I live in had a 5K for the town festival. A couple friends of mine were planning on running and I agreed that if it wasn't raining, I would run. Even though I didn't think I was ready. I'll admit, I really, really hoped it would rain. And yes, I realized that not wanting to get out and run doesn't seem like the attitude a woman wanting to run 13 miles in August should have. But I just don't want to make an idiot of myself. Anyway, I wake up and the sun is shining. Rats. Have to run. Plus my mom was coming up to watch the kids so I could run, and since she has to drive an hour, I figured I better make it worth her trip. So I got dressed, my mom came and I took myself down to sign up. And I ran it. And most importantly, I finished it!! Not a great time, 31:55, but considering I wasn't quite ready to run 5K, I'm very happy with my time. Plus I finished and have gotten that addiction to road races back....which means I'm now actually excited (and a bit nervous still) about the half-marathon. The adrenaline that kicks in and the feel of competition really works wonders for my persistence to keep running when I want to stop. And as for my time, a cousin of mine who runs marathons and helps people train said that my 5K times would slow down when I started training for a half because the pace is different. So I feel good. I ran that first race post-baby #4. My plan is to run a 5K in June, this 5 mile race on July 4th, even though I work a 12 hour shift the night before, and a 10K the weekend before the half. My official training starts Monday. On the schedule, the weekend before the half I'm supposed to run 6 miles so a 10K is perfect. I'll maybe fit in a 5K race sometime in June, but I'm even more motivated now. It's time to hit the road!

May 4, 2011

Just Made Me Smile

On a fairly regular basis in L&D, we get patients that hit the door in the transition phase of labor, ready to birth their baby. No time to do much, other than get her pants off, make sure the baby isn't hanging out and get the doctor/midwife there for delivery if possible. Sometimes, labor just moves so quickly at that point, and there's no way for the doctor to get to the hospital in time and it ends up being an RN attended delivery. This was the case with this one momma, 3rd baby, who hit the door sitting in that tell-all position in the wheelchair: sitting off to the side, gripping the siderail as her body pushed her baby toward the outside world. We managed to help her get her pants off, got her onto the bed and I was able to get a pair of gloves on right before as she pushed her baby into the world. It was that fast! Mom was glowing and very proud that she had given birth the way she had always wanted to: no IV access, no monitors, no pain meds, just good old fashioned, medication free labor and delivery. The best part for her? Her first two children were born by c-section. The first was for failure to progress after an elective induction, the other was a scheduled repeat c-section. Made us all smile.

May 3, 2011

What I've learned (so far) as a Mom O'Four

I know I have just started up the mountain of learning that lies ahead of me as a Mom of 4 kids. I can't even fathom what the next years will bring: 4 teenagers, 4 kids in activities, 3 boys to eat me out of house and home, 1 daughter's hormones to drive us all crazy, etc. I'm sure some of you experience moms of 4 (or more) will laugh at my naivete. But so far, here is what I learned about being a Mom of 4 kids, 7 years old and younger:

The house will never be clean so long as the kids are living at home. Unless we win the lottery and I can afford to hire a nanny, a few maids, a cook, landscaper and even then, it probably still wont be clean.

The dirty laundry is like a rabbit - it reproduces all the time and produces too many offspring to control.

As soon as I fold the last load of laundry, everyone will go to bed and you are left with the towels and dirty clothes for 6 people...that alone makes up a load of laundry.

Until the kids are older, I will have either drool, spit-up, snot or dried boogers on my clothes (this WILL end when they're older, right? right??)

A baby carrier is a must, and I'm not talking a carseat or stroller, I mean a baby-wearing carrier, sling or wrap. You need your hands free to chase after the older kids, and hold onto the 3 year old who wants to climb the paper towel display at Wal-mart.

Hide the markers. Otherwise you'll find a mural on the wall...or when you leave the room to go to the bathroom, when you return, the baby will have a green mustache.

If 2 kids are playing baseball/softball, there will be a night when they each have a the same two different towns. And that will be the night that Husband works too late to make it home.

Don't leave shaving cream out. Or glue. Or baby powder.

No matter how stressful the day is, nothing can beat these things: a tickle match in the living room with the kids. Watching them sing at the school spring concert. Getting beautiful works of art made with crayons(on paper). A big hug from each kid. Snuggling with a sleeping baby with the 3 big kids up close to you. A big opened-mouth baby grin and giggle. Hearing "I missed you so much" after a long night at work or "I love you" as they run off to play.

April 27, 2011

On the road again

I signed up to run my first half marathon this fall. I've got a TON of work to do to be ready for it. I had signed up to run one last May, but a week after registering, I saw that second line on the pregnancy test, so I didn't run. I briefly considered running, but I was, I think, 15 weeks pregnant and didn't want to chance it. So this is the year I will finally run 13.1 miles. As far as training goes, I'm starting from square one. I'll admit, I haven't been out running much. It was hard over the winter with the weather and it getting dark so early, I didn't get out. I've been out a couple times and I'll tell you, it's not good. Instead of looking like the seasoned runner, I look like a 30-something, out of shape mom of 4, with extra weight around her waist attempting to do something athletic to lose weight. Oh, that's right, I AM 30 something out-of-shape mom with 4 kids and weight to lose. Anyway, so far I can run 2 miles but have to walk a bit in the middle. I did come up with a 12 week training program that I will start the last week of May. Until then, I have to work on getting my distance up to 5K again. I plan on running the 5K they are having here in my hometown the second to last week of May, and then I start to train. The week before my half, I'm going to run a 10K in place of my "long run" that Saturday. Then on August 20th, it's race time! Husband is on board with my training and finally crossing this off my list of things I have to do. He's going to take that Saturday off so he can be there at the finish line when I run (or crawl) across the finish line. My main concern is the heat. I have run at this event before, the 5K, and I know the course goes out into the country, among the corn and bean fields, and even though the race starts at 7am, it will be hot. Very hot. Oh, and I'm not a morning person, so 7am is really early for me. Husband thinks its hysterical that I'm willing to go run a race at 7am, which to me, is an awful time to have to "do" anything, unless I've been up all night, then 7am isn't so bad. I did request to take that weekend off because I have a feeling I'm going to be wiped after the run. And I'm going to want to celebrate, or have a nice long soak in an epsom salt bath to ease my aching muscles. So, let the training begin!!

April 24, 2011

Easter Parenting (almost) Fail

This year I was so proud of myself for buying the kids Easter basket stuff ahead of time. I am notorious for putting it off until the last minute, then scrambling trying to get stuff together. For 3 years when Jacob and Clara were little, I actually recycled these 2 stuffed bunnies for Easter. Yes, I'm horrible. I've always been good going over the real reason, but when it comes to the Easter Bunny, I tend to wait until the last minute. I do fine with Christmas, Valentines Day, birthdays. Anyway, this year I actually got stuff ahead of time and stashed it where they wouldn't be able to find it. I was very proud of myself. No re-gifted toys this year! Flash forward 3 weeks. I went into work the night before Easter, got busy with an awesome delivery and it gets to be about 2:00am before I make a realization: I didn't put the kids baskets together and Husband has no idea where stuff is at, and it's 2:00am, I can't call him to tell him. Well, I suppose I could have, but that really wouldn't have been very nice. My only hope was that I got off of work early enough to get home before the kids woke up, gather up their Easter baskets that are scattered throughout the house, put stuff in them and hide them. As I'm walking out, Husband calls and says "The kids are pretty upset with the Easter Bunny". Parenting Fail. I come up with a plan that I hoped would work. I told him to where the bags of goodies were hidden, and had him put them outside with the baskets. I got home from work, assembled said baskets and came inside and said to the kids "Hey, guess what I found outside!". The kids come to the conclusion that the Easter Bunny didn't leave stuff in their baskets earlier because they didn't set them out. Phew. Thanks to my stealth mommy skills, Crisis is averted.

April 20, 2011


Tomorrow, little Bubs will be 7 months old. I can't believe it. It still seems like yesterday that I was pregnant with him. he is finally starting to put on some weight. Over the last month or so this has been going on, he's had multiple blood draws for various things, sweat testing, GI consult, etc. After the first consultation with GI, she gave us zantac for reflux, and I was told to give him about 3 oz of this special order formula called pregestimil. It is incredibly expensive and apparently tastes awful. I really tried to get him to take it, but as soon as he started sucking on the bottle, he'd gag and throw up all the bmilk he had just had. So, go figure, he hadn't gained in a week or so, and then I was told to quit nursing and mix the pregestimil so it has 24 cal/oz instead of the usual 20cal/oz because she didn't think he was getting enough from me. I was devastated. I also knew that wasn't going to work because he didn't like the formula mixed regularly, so he sure as hell wasn't going to take it concentrated. Plus you don't take a 6 month old breastfed baby and say "Ok, no more nursing" and have it go well. But I tried it, pumped to keep up my supply because I really didn't agree with no more breastfeeding, especially because it wasn't that they thought he had an allergy to something in it, it was that they thought he needed more. So why not just supplement with regular formula. It was awful. He cried all evening and all night, refused the bottle, and he kept looking at me with those big beautiful eyes, pleading with me to feed him. Finally, at about 11pm, I said to heck with this, nursed him and gave him a bottle of regular ol' enfamil, mixed to be 24 cal/oz, which he took. We also started adding a few drops of safflower oil to his baby food, for extra fat. So I called our pediatrician, told her what I was doing and she said to go with that because if he's refusing the other formula, then it isn't doing any good. And guess what? He started gaining. The zantac helps with all the spitting up he had been doing, and the extra calories from the formula has helped. He put on 1 pound in a week. He was only 11lbs 9 oz a month ago...hadn't even doubled his birth weight at 6 months. Last week he was 12lb 8 oz, Monday he was 12-15, and Tuesday he was already up to 13-5. Different scales, but still a gain. I had worried about my milk supply since I went back to work. Caleb was never as aggressive of a nurser like the other kids were, and add to him being early, I didn't pump before going back to work as much because I was busy, and I don't always get to pump at work and you get inadequate supply. I know I could work a bit harder to build it up, but honestly, I don't have time. I am taking fenugreek and blessed thistle to help amp up my supply and it helps a bit, I get about 1/2 - 1 oz more when I pump when I take the herbs. So that's where we are: Caleb still gets to breastfeed, he's putting on weight with the supplemental formula and spitting up a little less. I don't understand why we had to jump right to this special formula. It's so expensive and I now have 2 cans that won't be used. I'll donate the unopened can, but the other was a waste. For a 16oz can of the stuff, it was $44. A can of regular enfamil, same size? $13. Yeah. It's that expensive. Husband tried it (he's weird) and he said it's horrible. You can tell by looking at it when it's mixed up that it has more fat in it because it almost looks oily. But, the good news is that he's healthy, we can lose the Failure to Thrive diagnosis and everybody's happy.

And here's my little bubs:

April 19, 2011

Great night at work

I love when I have such a great night at work. Let me count the ways that made it such an excellent night:

1. As I walked out of the house to go to work, it decides to start raining like crazy. A serious downpour, right on to my freshly styled "do". My hair looked awful by the time I got to the van, but I figured "Hey, I'm saving a patient a trip to the OR because I'm having a bad hair day". (a superstition among my coworkers that if your hair looks good, then you'll end up in the OR with a surgical cap on your head)

2. I tripped over the monitor cables in a patient room and looked like a complete ass as I stumbled - but I didn't fall, or trip on the IV tubing so I guess you could say that was a plus.

3. Spiked a bag of fluid and the dang "spike" went through the plastic on the IV bag and lactated ringers solution started spraying me in the face. That was great fun. And let me tell you, it isn't tasty.

4. I was sitting at the desk and noticed a wet spot on my scrub top pocket. I looked at it and said to the girls there with me "What the hell? Why is my shirt wet?". Looked a bit closer and realized my left breast had leaked breastmilk through my bra, and the pocket on my shirt and I hadn't realized it. Yes, I am a dumbass. Now the irony is that we had to start supplementing Caleb because I'm not making enough milk (story for another day), and I haven't needed nursing pads for a couple months, and the left breast always made less than the right. So NOW it decides to overachieve?!? WTF!?!?

5. And finally, the best part of all? Had a patient's mother ask me how far along I was. I told her my baby was almost 7 months...7 months OUTSIDE of the womb. I knew I was still carrying 10lbs of pregnancy weight, but really? TGIT (Thank goodness it's Tuesday...the start of my "weekend")!!

March 31, 2011

Phone Triage

You just never know what kind of phone calls you are going to get in the middle of the night. I don't know what it is, but something about the time between midnight and 3:00 am brings out the most intelligent questions. My guess is that people go to bed and lie awake just thinking about something that has been bugging them all day, pregnancy related, and then decide to call L&D. Or they want to mess with us. Either way, I've gotten some strange ones, like the grandma to be who called because her daughter who was 13 weeks pregnant was trying to poop, but couldn't finish the job. Her question was how to get the turd that was half-way out, all the way out of her anus. This past weekend was full of odd phone calls and while not as bizarre as the poop call, here are some of the gems I fielded:

"Um, yeah, I just found out I'm pregnant and I have a question for you. I just had sex earlier tonight and I was wondering if I could get pregnant with another baby while I'm pregnant with this one? I would shoot myself if I got knocked up with twins!"

"Can a chick have anal sex if she's pregnant?" Call was made by a man

"I accidently put nipple cream on my hemorrhoids. Is that ok?"

March 22, 2011

labwork and sono and doc appointments, Oh My!

Its been a busy couple weeks for us. As I mentioned, we have had some issues with Caleb and his weight. It started I guess about 3 weeks ago. He started spitting up after eating, more like projectile vomiting large amounts after most of his feedings. He never acted sick, always had a good appetite, kept having wet and dirty diapers, etc. Nothing seemed too off. I didn't think too much about it, figured he wasn't burping good, and this was something I did as a baby. It gets to be close to 2 weeks I guess, and over a weekend (our furnace was out at the time, but that's another story) Husband mentioned that Caleb had been pretty fussy, not wanting to sleep. Come Tuesday am, he mentions he was making odd noises when he was breathing, like he was sighing after each breath but it only lasted a couple minutes. I went to feed him at daycare after I got off work that morning, and he seemed to be his usual self, he did vomit all over me but seemed fairly happy. When I picked him up that afternoon, he seemed pretty sleepy. He usually gets very excited to see me but he went right back to sleep after I loaded him up in the car seat. My mommy-intuition kicked in and I decided that I would take him to the after hours clinic, just to make sure he didn't have something like RSV. I get there and the first thing they do is weigh him - only 11lbs 8 oz. I immediately start to panic because I swore that was what he weighed at 4 months. The NP saw him, said he had an ear infection, but lungs were good but the real issue became his weight. The next day, we went to Hospital for a pyloric sonogram to rule out pyloric stenosis. Caleb hated it, but it was fine. He also had some blood drawn and a urine sample done. All the labs were fine except his albumin was low. So that bought us a trip to the Children's Hospital in Bigger City for a sweat test to rule out cystic fibrosis. Now even though I knew it was impossible for him to have it since I am not a carrier, I still was a bit anxious about it. It of course came back negative. By now, it's Friday and he had stopped vomiting. We've started solids and try to supplement with a bottle of formula a day. But in true style of my children, he refuses the formula, will take bmilk out of a bottle just fine, and doesn't really like the solids. I would just supplement with bmilk, but I don't really have enough stored. I'm down to six 5 oz bottles in the freezer. I took him back for a weight check on Wednesday and in a week, he was up to 11lb 10 oz. I actually think he gained more because the initial weight of 11-8 was in a diaper, and this one was without. But the fact that he's 6 months and still hasn't doubled his birth weight and is gaining so slowly is concerning. We saw a pediatric GI doc yesterday and she was actually very encouraging. She said a 2oz weight gain in a week was great. She also thinks he may have reflux, which could explain why he hates solids like he does, so we now have zantac for the little guy. She also thinks that this whole thing stemmed from the ear infection/virus he had, and he dropped weight from the vomiting. The low albumin she said wasn't really a good indication for his current nutritional level, so she wanted to have a pre albumin done, along with repeat CMP and urinalysis. She was very pro-breastfeeding and wants me to try to get him to take 6 oz at a feeding (a no go so far) and if I don't have enough bmilk to supplement, she wants us to give a high fat formula (which I still need to pick up from the pharmacy) and try to get about 4 oz of that in him a day. We will have weight checks every week for 4 weeks and we'll follow up with her then. If he doesn't put on much weight, then she'll give us the high calorie version of this formula. But she was fairly confident he'd be fine. I did have my moment on my way to work last night because the diagnoses for him are GERD and Failure to Thrive. I remember learning about failure to thrive in nursing school and the way they presented it, it made it sound like the parents were doing something wrong. That isn't the case, but there's a sense of dread over that diagnosis. Plus it just makes me sad that once again my body is "failing" me and not providing for him like I want to, and should be able to. And even though I know that really isn't the case, all you mommies out there know what I mean - no matter what, there is still that part of all of us as moms that makes us feel guilty. So last night on my way to work, I let myself cry about the whole failure to thrive diagnosis. But, he is a happy boy, meeting his milestones like he should and hopefully we can plump him up.

And as a bonus, here's my cute little bubs:

March 14, 2011

Let's talk about Stress, baby

I never plan on being so just happens.

But in my defense, it's been crazy. Almost 2 weeks ago, our furnace stopped working and it took 5 days to get it straightened out. It was fixed last Tuesday and let me tell you, 50 degrees is WAY too cold in the house! At the same time the furnace man came, I was at the doctor's office with Caleb, just to be sure he was fine because he'd been throwing up after eating. Still pooping and peeing no problem, eating regulary, happy and content, but not sleeping as well at night. And he wasn't spitting up, but projectile-almost-emptying-his-stomach throwing up. He hadn't been too fussy and was still happy, so it was about 2 weeks this went on. I decided last Tuesday to take him in because Husband said he had a short period of time where it seemed like he was struggling with breathing - sounded to me from Husbands description that he was grunting, like a newborn who's lungs aren't quite mature and they start to tire. Caleb seemed fine in the a.m. when I fed him before going home to bed, but he wasn't his usual self when I picked him up. Mother's intuition said to take him in, just in case he's got RSV since my Fabulous new insurance refused to pay for the Synagis vaccines he was getting to prevent it. I really thought it'd be a pat on the shoulder, and an "He's just fine Mommy, quit worrying" kind of appointment since he wasn't really acting too sick. Nope. At almost 6 months, he's only 11lb 8 oz - the same as he was at his 4 month appt. That made Mommy completely freak out and bought us a pyloric sonogram, blood work and a urine sample. I also now know how they do a sweat test. And we get to see a pediatric GI doctor in a week. Yep, it's been, shall we say, a wee bit stressful here. I'd update more, but my bed is calling me after a long stressful night at work that included one true emergency.

March 4, 2011

Mass Chaos

Time is apparently getting away from me...I don't think I've ever been such a slacker about posting! Work has continued to be chaotic. We are short staffed, we have mandatory call, and even with the call schedule, we are still short staffed. One night a couple weeks ago, we had 3 labor nurses on...and started the night with just a couple laboring patients. Then the gates opened and everyone, and I mean everyone, came in in transition! I think we had 6 admissions, all wither 7 or 8 cm. About the time I was unplugging the bed to take one of my patients to the OR for a c-section for failure to progress, another mom came in, 33 weeks, complete and breech. So mine got bumped and we had to rush to get her prepped. By the end of the am, no one really had assigned patients - we just went to each room, doing what needed to be done. "Ok, she needs an IV, this woman is waiting for an epidural, this room needs an exam to check for dilation. It was unsafe, but the charge nurse on that night did everything she could to get us help. But no one answers their phone at night, except one day shift nurse who came to help, but we needed about 2 more nurses with what we had going on. I can't remember the total number of admissions/deliveries/patients that night, but it was unsafe patient loads. At one point, the anesthesiologist that was doing the c-sections/epidurals we had going on was just standing at the desk, waiting for them to get our second OR up for my c/s that was bumped for the breech 33 weeker, and it was getting crazy, with patients needing things right now. So I handed him the lidocaine I had pulled for an IV start in one room and said "Here, help me, start her IV in room 6". He said "You can't get it?", to which I said "Well, I have to go into room 3 because she is going to deliver right now, and that patient needs her IV and wants an epidural, plus my patient who was bumped needs to go to the OR once they get it ready. If I could clone myself to do it, I would, and I don't think you want to go be the labor nurse & nursery nurse for the patient who is delivering. Please help". So he did. Patient delivered, baby was skin to skin with mom (love it! we're trying to do that more and more), give quick report to a post-partum nurse who was back to help with the recoveries, and out the door I go to help with the epidural for the patient I sent anesthesia to see to start her IV on. Epidural in, charge nurse comes in to monitor patient for 20 minutes after the epiural and I head back to the OR with my patient. It was crazy. The house supervisor had come up and was trying to help, but unless you work in OB, there's not much you can do but start IV's, and answer call lights. If one more thing would have come in, I think we all would have crapped. But we survived the night, patients delivered healthy babies, they didn't have great nursing care, but we really did the best we could do and tried our best not to look too harried! All my charting from midnight on was done after passing off to the dayshift...I didn't get home and to bed until about 10am. We need more nurses, but no one seems to be able to pull any out of their arse. Hopefully management will figure something out, but unless we get some experienced labor nurses in and fast, I have a feeling this will continue. February is statistically a SLOW month for us, has been the slowest since I worked there, so who knows what the rest of the year will bring!

March 1, 2011

Quote of the day

Said by a scrub tech when she explained why she decided to get a nursing degree instead of a business degree:

"I decided to go ahead and do nursing because I can make more money as a nurse than I can if I get a business degree and go work for Big Insurance Co. in town."

All us nurses who were in hearing range stopped, looked at her, and then laughed hysterically to ourselves. Money isn't the reason any of my coworkers or I went into nursing, it was for patient care. If we were looking for a big salary as an RN, we'd be sorely disappointed.

February 14, 2011

Dear Lovely Twin Ladies,

I apologize for last night. Work was super busy and I didn't have time to empty your compartments of the liquid gold you so diligently make for my child. It is much appreciated and I didn't make time for you last night, and I know how much you look forward to the emptying with either the pump or baby, and I am truly sorry. And I do understand your confusion when you hear crying babies and you aren't being taken care of. But is it necessary to make yourselves so firm that everytime I turned the wrong way, it felt like a boulder, or a tight water balloon, ready to pop? Mrs. Bladder was also ignored, but perhaps she is used to the neglect because she didn't cause any leakage and really didn't bother me until the end of the night, when I realized I hadn't peed all night, but then again, I ignored Thirst and Hunger, so there really wasn't too much to irritate her to begin with. I understand you are a bit more hormonal than she is, but really? Did you need to leak that liquid gold clear through my scrub top? I know that first time dad, who's wife was laboring and planned to breastfeed, sure enjoyed the show you put on. I can still see the mortification on his face when he realized what had caused the headlight style design on my scrubs. I know my caring coworkers sure enjoyed seeing that display of your abilities (I can still hear them laughing...) Message was received, I will not ignore you again for a full 12 hours.

Humbly Yours,
Nurse Lochia

February 10, 2011

You know you're a mother when..

When you go to a health screening and it's not until you get home that you realize that you have breastmilk spit-up on your shoulder and one side of your nursing bra is unsnapped.

Or when you start making lunch and your 3 year old comes down the stairs, sans pants, asking you to wipe his butt. You grab the wipes and realize he's covered in poo. A bath is necessary so you take him upstairs to the tub and you find his poopy underwear in his room, poop smears on the hardwood floor, on his freshly laundered comforter, on a towel and smeared all. over. the. toilet.

Or when you are rushed out of the shower because the baby is hungry and it's not until the next morning that you realize in your haste to get dressed, you put your underwear on inside-out.

February 6, 2011

Gimmee a Pee!

Something wonderful has been happening in our house... Isaiah is potty trained!!! YAY!! We decided with Isaiah to do things a little different this time around. Part of it, I'll admit, is because I'm lazy. I just didn't want to spend hours upon hours sitting in the bathroom, or forcing fluids down him, or getting him to sit on a potty chair while watching tv. Jacob and Clara were both 3 before they were potty trained and I don't think anything we could have done would have made them use the toilet any sooner. Yeah, some kids are completely potty trained before they are two. A nurse I work with was one of those lucky mothers, both her boys were out of diapers before they were 2, and I hate her for it. Ok, so I don't really, I'm just insanely jealous. I just don't think my kids were willing to give up the diaper until they were 3. With Isaiah, we never bought pull-ups. Maybe they work for some kids, but I think they were a hindrance for mine. We used them with the older 2, but really, I think they are just glorified diapers that still allowed them to poop or pee in their pants with little consequence. I figured I'd just go straight to underwear, and that way he would be really wet/dirty, not like how it feels and be more motivated to use the toilet. I bought underwear for him about a month ago and we'd put the underwear on over his diaper, and encourage him to use the potty. About 2 weeks ago, after changing a monster, nasty poopy diaper one morning, I decided I'd had enough. He would go on the potty sometimes, and he knew when he needed to go - he just wouldn't always want to do it. So I put him in underwear. Said today was as good as any to jump right in. He fought me for a bit, but eventually he decided that it was pretty cool to not have diapers on, plus I told him how happy I was, how happy his teachers at school would be, etc. I loaded his backpack up with plenty of underwear and pants/socks, shirts, etc and sent him off to school after lunch. His teachers are more than willing to help with the whole potty training thing, and I had told them my plan a week or so earlier. He came back in the same clothes, and we've been good since. He did have a couple accidents. The first one, he completely emptied his bladder, the next was just a dribble, and we only had one poop in the underwear but other than that, he's done fabulous! Those accidents helped him to realize that it doesn't feel good to go in his pants. He hasn't had an accident for a week, and while we still do diapers at night, he is completely daytime potty trained! I did promise to buy him a toy once he was using the toilet so I took him to the store and let him pick out a toy...that was a 30 minute ordeal, but it was fun. Over this last month, we've really seen major changes in Isaiah - he's talking more, he no longer demands a drink for bed, he sleeps all night (HUGE!!!) and now he's out of diapers! It sure feels good!

January 24, 2011

Get into the groove...

It's been awhile...guess I've been pretty busy lately. Work has been hectic, but I've had a string of wonderful births and I think I can finally say that Momma has her groove back! One weekend, I came on shift and took a laboring mom who had just gotten an epidural and the last she was checked she was 4cm. After report, I go in and introduce myself and check her cervix: 10cm and the baby's head was L-O-W. So called Doc, patient delivered and it was a nice, easy delivery. I get everything settled with the new family, baby is nursing like an old pro and I walk to the desk to give them some time alone. About that time, a patient came in after she fell on ice. She said she managed to keep from landing on her stomach, thankfully. She was in her late second trimester and needed some lab work, continuous monitoring, and a sono to make sure that everything was fine with the baby and placenta. Soon as I get her settled and gave a dose of terbutaline to stop the few contractions she was having, another patient comes in, preterm and contracting. I get her admitted and call the doc and got some needed terbulatine to stop her contractions. I'm running in between my two preterm patients, both contracting and needing terbutaline and labs. Thankfully, the pretermers settled and I was to keep the one who fell for 4 hours and then she could go if everything was stable, and the other I was given a discharge order. The charge nurse had been checking on my delivered mom while I got through these admissions, otherwise I would have never gotten in to check on her. Things start to settle for the moment, so I get my delivered mom moved to post-partum. As I'm heading in to discharge the now stable preterm patient, our OB/OR tech comes around the corner...and she's moving at a pretty good clip. I look at the patient and immediately understand why: the mom is sitting in that tell-all position that every OB nurse/tech/doc knows well. She's got sweat on her brow and upper lip, panting and sitting off to one side of the wheelchair, hands clenched around the wheelchair arms so tightly her knuckles are white. Me and my stellar critical thinking skills decide that I would have to discharge my patient later. We manage to get the patient in bed, pants off and I check her and she's 9cm. One of my fellow weekend-option coworkers came in to see if I needed help. We work together like a well-oiled machine. Within 15 minutes, we had her admitted, IV in (yes, I know an IV isn't always necessary but she wanted us to try to get her an epidural, but we all knew it wasn't going to happen), assessment and admission complete, delivery set-up done, and the infant warmer set and ready to go. I started to think that the doc wasn't going to make it in time, but the OB got there just in time to put on a pair of gloves and catch. Mom did fabulous. She had really wanted an epidural but her labor went too quickly and she was so in control that she really didn't need it. I think it was more the idea of not having one that was scary to her. Thankfully, the rest of the night seemed to be a bit calmer. I was able to finally discharge my preterm patient. It had been awhile since I had done a Leboyer bath (well, a modified Leboyer if you want to be technical) so I was able to help the parents give their new baby a bath. Since it was such a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am birth, the mom said it was nice to be able to slow down, and just support her baby's head as he floated and kicked a bit in the warm water. Thankfully all the labwork and sono results came back normal on the momma who fell, so she was able to go home at the 4 hour mark. At the same time as all the action I was in on, there were a couple more births and other things going on, but by the time dayshift had come in, we had all but one of the delivered patients moved out to post-partum, and all the other outpatients were treated and discharged. It looked to them like we had a quiet night sitting at the nurses station, reading the paper and chatting while the patients sleep...that's all that happens at night, you know. ;)