jaelpn 10,642 Views
Joined Dec 21, '05.
Posts: 48 (65% Liked)
"I survived that First year." I believe those words were what I whispered quietly as I finished my first year of being a Nurse. ...and also being a first time mother. It seems to go hand-in-hand. You can prepare, study, read other's experiences, but until you actually experience that first year... you can only hope it's a smooth transition. My daughter was born February 11th, 2015. When I had her, I had 7 years of nursing experience under my belt. I haven't been in the hospital as a patient since I was in grade school with a fractured arm. Instead of being the nurse caring for a patient, I was the patient.
It's kind of crazy how you can go into the bathroom, pee on a stick and come out with these 2 pink lines...and the world stands still. It's in a blink of an eye that your life changes. It is like when you are waiting for that final "Pass or Fail" on your nursing NCLEX.... and you see "PASS", you realize all the hard work and dedication was well worth it.
The way you are in labor, you struggle through the labor pains, the back labor, the hard pushing, the burning... "oh she has a full head of hair!" ...and you are pushing with all your might to be able to see that precious face you have waited to see through all the months of pregnancy.... you are hoping, dreaming and ready to take on this new adventure. And finally, that moment arrives.... you give your last ounce of strength, whether it be labor (or your last amount of strength in nursing school) and out comes the most remarkable gift. When my daughter was placed on my chest, the world truly stood still at that moment. Those precious hands, those toes, her big eyes taking in the new world around her... that moment will always be the most cherished.
So when my first year of being a nurse is thought upon, I remember the struggle. You are in that learning phase, yet are set free. You get a few weeks of orientation and then are on your own. As much as being in the hospital for a few days, once you place your baby in the car seat, and put that key in the ignition, you are set free. She is now completely you and your husband's responsibility. The struggles of sleepness nights, having to wake up to breastfeed and finding that latch was difficult. But as she learned how to latch on, and I learned to find a position comfortable for the both of us, it became easier and easier.
Maybe this is why, it too, is called "Nursing."
Such is the same as when you are in that first year of being a nurse, you are learning how to become comfortable with yourself, your judgement and how that effects the people you are taking care of. There are milestones in parenthood just as there are milestones as a nurse. It's all about caregiving. Not going through the motions... but actually C.A.R.E. giving. You make the best judgement you can, and sometimes reaching out to others is ok. 2nd opinions are sometimes needed, and yet your intuition kicks in. You want the best outcome not only for your baby, but for your resident, as well.
When my daughter was still in the hospital, her bilirubin levels were high. It scared me as a mother, because I was just ready to go home. I was scared- did she have to stay in the hospital longer? ....did she need to be on bili-lights? So I was reaching out... and kindness of others were reaching out, praying for us, praying that the next blood test would come back with better results. I tried everything, from placing her closer to the window to let the sunlight in... feeding her constantly to get her little system going. Then the nurse comes in. You linger on every word she has to say, because she is that link between you and the doctor. "Do you want to hear the good news or the bad news first?" ...being the optimist, I chose the bad news... because whatever the bad news is, there is good to follow. "The bad news is, in 2 days you have to bring her back in to see the pediatrician." ...."The good news, you are being discharged. Congratulations on being a new mommy. She is beautiful."
Watching her learn to roll over on her side, to being able to sit up on her own, learning to crawl and cruise around the furniture all on her own brings a smile to my face. Those first few independent steps she takes catches my breath. Then she falls. Then picks herself right back up and tries it again. She is learning just as we are learning. It is all about taking baby steps.
You don't become a nurse overnight. You take baby steps. You hit milestones. You don't give it- you try, try again. Life is all about the experiences, and you know what? It's all worth it. We lean on others in the tough times, and we give each other hope when it is needed.
It is what brings moms, and nurses, TOGETHER. We lean on each other through the good and bad. It is just in our nature. It is our way of nurturing.
I glance up from my medication cart just in time to see Mary coming down the hall with a frantic look on her face. Often, this kind of look from a resident means either...
A) They are in dire need of a bathroom NOW or
B) Something is going to cause me to have a long night of paperwork.
Mary is holding a framed picture of herself that appears to be a few decades old.
"Have you seen this person?" she innocently asks.
"I can't find her anywhere." ...
I stop what I am doing at my med cart, look up at her and see the confusion on her face. The look on her face tells me she is quite puzzled that she can not find the person in the picture anywhere.
The young woman in the picture is smiling, curly brown hair flowing down her back as she smiles back at the camera . The lady standing in front of me has white hair that was set at the "beauty parlor" and looks a lot like the young lady in the picture except for a few more wrinkles, and her smile has faded to a confused expression.
This is the real picture of a woman who is suffering from Alzheimers. She does not recognize herself any longer. Sometimes I think we all lose a little bit of ourselves through the years. We are always trying to "find our place in the world" ...searching for who we are, what we want to be and where we need to go in our lives. As quickly as we find out what makes us happy, that fleeting moment tends to escape us and we are back to square one.
I've come to the realization that I am never quite comfortable with "me" ... there is always something that I am hoping to change. I am just another face in the crowd. Looking back through old pictures, I have found that my life has changed. I can no longer look at myself and see the person staring back at me in the picture. I've changed, I've grown to be a much different person than I was as a child.
Maybe this is how Mary feels.
"Have you seen this person?" ... maybe she is just wondering where the time has gone. How fast life moves- and how far we come in wisdom.
"Yes, Mary... I have seen this person. She has aged gracefully and is loved by many." ... as Mary looks down at the picture, there is a tear that forms at the corner of her eye.
"I was a catch, wasn't I?" she says, as she places the picture frame in the basket of her walker. I smile, and know that the rest of my night at work has to go ok, because somehow, my heart has been touched by an angel.
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