April 22, 2012

Racing Season

Finally, it's road racing season again!  My competitive side has been waiting since last November for it to come around again.  Ok, so I could have run a few 5K's in the cold months, but I'm not a cold weather runner.  Today I ran my first race, a 10K.  It's the first time I ran a 10K race.  I'll be honest, a 10K race is a bit intimidating because it seems like those that run and are fast, run it faster than my 5K pace.  I just didn't want to come in dead last and feel silly.  Today though, I figured I'd run.  I went to work, reported off at the end of my shift in a timely manner and was able to get down to registration with time to spare.  I signed up, and it was only in the 40's...usually not a temperature I like to run in.  It was a very informal race - no race bib numbers, no "official" time, etc.  It was just mapped out over a college campus.  Finally we were off, and I started off feeling pretty good.  The course was terrible wasn't great.  It wound all over campus and it was sometimes hard to figure out which way we were supposed to go.  Twice I had to stop and try to figure out which way I was supposed to go.  Thankfully, I chose correctly.  Others did not.  I was probably in the first 1/3 of the pack and as we're running the last 1-2 miles, a few groups of girls that I know were behind me were suddenly way ahead of me.  I'm pretty sure one of the places where it was confusing which way to go is where they turned.  And by turning early, they skipped probably an entire mile of the race.  No one ever passed me so I know that had to be the case.  I initially thought "Dang it!  I turned wrong and I'm running more distance than I should be!" but 2 other runners were right ahead of me and I just followed them to the finish line.  Turns out we were correct.  I think I was the last to cross the line, something I dread, but my time was 1:02:18.  They had a clock we could look at as we crossed the line so I at least had a time to go with my effort.  I was pretty happy with my time and I wondered if maybe it wasn't exactly 10K but I had tried out my friends garmin and it did say that I ran 10K.  Plus those other people didn't run the entire distance.  I'm sure they were pretty pumped when they saw their time, but if they ever run another 10K race again, they'll be sorely disappointed in their time because of missing that last mile or so.  Saturday is a half marathon I'm running.  I had been very worried about how I was going to do, but I think it will be fine.  I won't be breaking any records because I'm not adequately trained, but this 10K  gave me hope.  I felt good at the finish, I didn't walk at all, didn't even drink any water to rehydrate.  My competitive drive is back and I'm ready to run.

April 18, 2012

Skin to skin

A few months ago, my hospital's entire healthcare system implemented a new protocol that I actually really, really like. They want newborns to be placed skin-to-skin for at least 30 minutes after birth, if possible. It doesn't have to be right from the womb to the chest. And moms don't have to have their baby skin-to-skin because some women just aren't comfortable with it. But for most cases, babies now go directly onto moms chest and stay there for 30 minutes or more. I LOVE this!! It's something some of us have been doing anyway, but I do like that the whole system recognizes the benefits of keeping the baby and mom together. It's amazing how wonderful skin-to-skin contact is. If the baby is cold, the mother's body will adjust to raise the baby's temp, will cool if the baby is hot, the baby's heartrate and breathing are regulated, all because of that skin to skin contact. We've noticed APGAR scores are higher. A typical score is 8 & 9 and very rarely are there scores of 10, but lately, even the most conservative nurses are assigning 10's! The only 'problem' with this? I cry sometimes. Ok, ok, so I tear up pretty easy, but I just love it. Maybe it's because that's what I wanted with my kids and I fondly remember holding Caleb skin to skin in the recovery room. Whatever the reason, it's not uncommon for me to have tears in my eyes when moms are holding their sweet new babies on their chest. I think maybe because it's a different reaction when they hold their naked baby on their skin, compared to holding their swaddled baby. One mom, who's first baby was born before viability, was terrified of something going wrong, terrified that something would happen to this baby. She was so afraid, she refused to read anything about pregnancy beyond 22 weeks. She delivered by c-section, I was able to keep baby in the OR with the mom we went back to her labor room to recover (gone are the days of the 'recovery room'!!) She was scared of this baby and didn't know quite how to hold him and was so uptight, so I helped her get her baby skin to skin. Within a minute or two, she was relaxed and didn't let that baby go. It was just beautiful. After I gave him a Leboyer bath(2 hours later), he went back skin to skin and we wheeled out of the labor room to postpartum. I'm not sure that baby spent much time in the cribette! Another mom, who had been very, very sick a few years earlier held her baby skin to skin and the entire family started to cry because at one point, they thought they would lose her...now here she is with her newborn. As usual, I walk out of the room with tears in my eyes. Another mom laboring with her 3rd was open to the idea of skin to skin, but wasn't completely sure but said she'd try it. With the other 2 babies, the old routine was done....baby taken to the warmer, wiped off, meds given, weighed, all that stuff done while mom is taken care of. It wasn't done with any intention of separating them, it's was just how it was done. This time, she delivers a healthy baby who we place immediately skin to skin. She stays that way for a good hour and within 10 minutes, that baby was looking for the breast to nurse. It isn't always possible, sometimes the baby needs help to transition to life outside the womb, or mom isn't stable enough, but for the majority of healthy deliveries, it's been a wonderful change. I just have to keep tissues in my scrub pockets.

April 4, 2012

Things I've learned so far this week

It's only Wednesday, but so far, I've learned quite a bit.

1. Gak and furniture = not a great combination. To remove green gak from your furniture, a hot iron over a rag will work for the most part. But not completely. Works well on berber rugs, too.

2. Scentsy wax won't burn you if you get it on you, but it's a P.I.T.A to get off of a wall. A plastic cup works wonders for scraping it off and keeping the wax pieces from going everywhere.

3. Easter egg hunts are put on by grandmothers as a payback for what their kids did when they were young. The kids have a blast, but those little plastic eggs are full of candy, gak, play-doh, tiny markers, etc. All sorts of things that will get the kids wired and they can then redecorate their parents house in the amount of time it takes to go to the bathroom. It comes full circle. In several years, I will put on an Easter egg hunt...like I said, full circle.

4. Trying to run more than 4 miles after working three 12-hours shifts in a row isn't a good idea.

5. Black clothing is an allergen for toddlers. The instant you pull on that black shirt, their noses will run, they will sneeze if held too close to it and they will wipe their snot all over your shoulder. Hmm, maybe I need to have a snot colored wardrobe.

6. I *could* have been a grandmother by now...and could have been a grandmother for 4 years if I had a baby when I was 14 and then my kid had her 1st at 14. Ack.

7. A waiver from the state health department will cut the cost of putting up new siding and windows because we are able to do it ourselves, or with a group of people willing to help us do the work. It will be a considerable chore, and a major clean-up of the inside of the house to minimize lead dust, but it's a feasible solution. :)