For all the momma nurses out there...

  1. Hey y'all, I'm a circulator in the OR and I'm 34w3d preggo. I was originally planning to work right up 'til D-day, but this last week my pregnancy has really started catching up with me physically. I am significantly slower-moving during cases (my OR turnover times are suffering too), and the mobility required to quickly open things/connect tubing and wires/place foot pedals/assist with intubation/etc is becoming an issue... I can't fit in small spaces now like I used to and crawling around under the table to pass cords through to the other side makes me see stars when I stand back up. And I'm generally always breathless which is not helped by those green ugly masks I wear. Not to mention wearing lead for c-arm cases is almost more than I can physically take since the maternity lead is like instantly adding 15lbs to me. Note: My BP has been high for me, but still in a safe range (130s/80s) and my pregnancy has been healthy (despite 24+ weeks of terrible morning sickness and recently tremendous fatigue) per my OB.

    So my question is for y'all, any nurses but especially OR nurses... Is it wussy or ridiculous of me to go out of work around 36 or 37 weeks? I hate to be a complainer and I know there are some bad ass circs and scrubs who have worked up to D-day... It's silly but I'm afraid it makes me less of a woman or less of a nurse to go out early? What have y'all's experiences been like? Thanks for taking time to read... I never knew circulating could be so freakin exhausting!
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Feb 8, '14
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    About RN in training

    Joined: Feb '11; Posts: 387; Likes: 509


  3. by   RunBabyRN
    I don't think it's a bad thing. I was a phlebotomist when I was pregnant with my son, and all that bending over the draw blood KILLED my back while pregnant, to a point where I left in tears a few times because I was in so much pain. I BEGGED my doctor to take me out. It was a small hospital, so there was no way I could perform other duties while pregnant (there was not enough other stuff for an entire shift, even; we all pitched in here and there to get it done).
    I can only imagine the fatigue of having to wear the lead while pregnant and circulating!
    I say do what feels right for you. Don't try to be a bad ass and wait it out if it's just too much, because ya know what? Making a person IS EXHAUSTING!!!
  4. by   Delicate Flower
    I say it doesn't matter what anyone thinks. If you can financially afford to take off early, and you don't feel well enough to perform your job, then take off! Nobody gets a medal for working right up to delivery. If you can't afford to start your leave early, maybe you can get some kind of modified duty for a few weeks.
  5. by   OCRN3
    I took off at 6 months because I felt the stress would stress out the baby. Best decision o my life. I have over 9 months off to relax and "enjoy" being pregnant. I say take off and enjoy, who car what others think! It is your health and your baby.

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  6. by   RN in training
    Thanks ladies! Makin me feel a little less crazy ;-) and yes it's amazing how exhausting making a person can be!
  7. by   CWONgal
    If you can take the time off do it...Lord knows you will be tired after the baby is born w/ feedings, etc. Take advantage of the time to enjoy the last part of your pregnancy without stress.
  8. by   PureLifeRN
    OR circulator here! I had to go on bedrest with my first pregnancy because the OR life was crazy. I remember having to get on my hands and knees and push a pedal to the doctors feet, with lead on, and honestly thinking that I couldn't get up...I had to crawl to a cabinet and hoist myself up! I ended up with preeclampsia and a very small baby. My perinatologist told me that there is a recent journal article that followed OR residents who were pregnant. Their babies were smaller than the normal population, suggested cause was the stress and "on your feet" culture of the OR. When surgeons would complain that their turn-over time was too long, I would glare at them and say "I only have two speeds today, slow and slower. You pick."
  9. by   HeartRN13
    I planned to work until I delivered but I threw in the towel at 36 weeks. It's just so hard to go to the end, anyone that has done it and is able to do it has my utmost respect. There's nothing wrong with taking the last couple weeks to relax and get things ready, I am so happy I did because I haven't been able to rest since then and my daughter is 6 months old!
  10. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    I work in home health. It's not the OR, but it's very hands-on. I'm 28 weeks pregnant with twins, I've been on a 15 lb. lifting restriction for a few weeks (all of my clients have Hoyer lifts), and I've submitted paperwork for maternity leave starting at 34 weeks. Yes, it will be a hit to the finances, but I need to take care of me so I can take care of others.
  11. by   Jmar2612
    I am an OR nurse and when I had my first son, I mistakenly thought I would be able to work right up until I delivered without any problem. About a month before he was due, I was so tired, just wanted to be in long cases, sick of running around in heavy lead or running out of the rooms that had cement cases, C arms, etc. I tried to change my leave date but I had already committed to stay until I delivered and my OB could not give me a letter stating that I had to be put on bedrest. So it sucked. I worked right up until the weekend before I had him. If you can get off, I think you should do it. Just relax, sleep and nest.