Dear, it's okay! I know and realize that you're feeling very overwhelmed right about now and I remember how those wonderful hormonal shifts during pregnancy can be..it's like an emotional roller coaster, huh? I think you'll do wayyyy better than you're giving yourself credit for here. You have many facets of knowledge that are, whether you remember them now or not, are deeply imbedded in your wonderful grey matter upstairs! It truly IS just like remembering how to ride a bicycle once you start pedaling again! You don't necessarily fall over, you usually regain your balance, pedal away and the rest takes care of itself! I say this with no blind faith. I once was away from nursing longer than my personal level of faith in myself was comfortable with and retook a course of refreshment for RNs just to satisfy myself with my clinical skills. I'd been teaching for quite a while (nonnursing clinicals...to cnas, not lpns nor rns...) and had done other desk type nursing jobs
...wanted to reenter the clinical arena as a rn again. It was just what I needed. But you know what? I didn't even need that refresher course. I sailed right thru it with flying colors. I could've done the reentry without it, after all. I just needed that little bit of clinical support from another nursing instructor to give me a little push out of the ol' nest, that's all.
You'll do fine no matter whether you return to work as a nurse after baby's here and settled in and you're ready, or if you decide to return to school and become an RN. You're already doing what is a totally miraculous gift from God above. Mothering. That is a not to be substituted miracle in and of itself. The giving of life. Bringing forth into the world. And loving until we draw our last breath. Children are awesome presents to the world and to us and they should come first, which I'm sure, you realize. You will do fine. Just take it one thing at the time. One battle at a time. First, you're almost due. Great. You've been doing like the doc wants to insure a safe and successful pregnancy/delivery. OK. That's almost here now. How neat! A Christmas baby! Next, after getting home, settling in to some kind of schedule, healing, bonding, enjoying that little bundle of delight, only then should you even worry or wonder about going back to work and in what capacity. So you didn't enjoy correctional nursing? Neither did I. I lasted about six weeks, tops. Wasn't for me. I've had lots and lots of nursing jobs that weren't a good "fit". That's the beauty of nursing. You can find a job in lots of different capacities. Not just hospitals or LTC facilities. So, take heart, head up, anxiety to the side or on the backburner or out the window of your soul altogether. Now, take a deep breath or two. You are about to experience birthing. That in itself is all you need to concentrate on right now. The rest of life after that will work itself out. You'll see. Merry Christmas