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Class/es and a Newborn...?

Posted

Hi everyone,

I have read a few threads about this very issue but thought I would toss my own anxieties into the mix for feedback....

I am pregnant and due August 4th. He is our first baby and we are so excited. That being said, I am a gal on a mission to apply for nursing school asap, and trying to knock out these darn prerequisites. I completed A&P I this past Spring semester, and have A&P II and Micro to get through before I can reasonably apply. I could go crazy and try to take both this Fall (semester starts end of August) and then be able to apply end of January '16 for Fall '16 admission. This seems a little nuts, though. One tough science course, let alone 2 (with a new little guy to care for) sounds like too much pressure :nailbiting:. It just stinks to think I may not even begin NS (assuming I get in) until Spring '17 (or later)...

I just want to get started already. At the same time, I have never raised a baby before, and while my husband is super-supportive, I know that it will be tough even if I take 0 classes. I do not want to miss the magical first weeks of our son's life because I am studying, but I also want to keep pushing to get into and through NS so that I can begin my career and get us more financially stable. Should I just say forget it and take this Fall off, leaving time for getting in the swing of things with the baby? Take one of the science classes? Take an online Nutrition class (still need that before I begin Nursing School but not needed before I apply)? Go wild and try both sciences?

Thank you so much for your thoughts.:up:

I think it's going to depend on how good you are with time management and prioritizing your time (and having a good support system). Your little guy is probably going to have a lot of check ups / wellness visits early on, so that's something else you would have to consider about with your schedule (whether you have to take the time out of your class to take him or if someone else can take him to appointments).

As a first time parent though, I'd say either take the semester off or only do one of your classes or the online class. It's a very big adjustment. It actually took my husband 4 months to adjust to having our daughter lol But I really would say take the semester off and enjoy your little guy! Those early days do go by so quickly.

I know this isn't the same thing, but with my daughter, I exclusively pumped as she wouldn't latch for breastfeeding. I did it for the first 6 months. On one hand I'm glad I did it because I felt like it was a good thing for her. On the other hand, I regret doing it because I had to pump every 2-3 hours. Because of how my body was, I had to pump for 45 minutes every session which left very little time in between. I felt like I missed out on so much of her first 6 months, and I hate that because I won't ever get that time back.

School will always be there. Unless you're in a position where you absolutely have to do this right now and can't put off another semester, then go for it, but if it's something that can wait, then I'd hold off. I'm due with our second early September, but I'm still going to be holding a full class schedule. Unfortunately for us, it's not something I can put off any longer than I already have. It'll be tough, but if it's what you have to do, you'll get through it.

And congrats on your baby!

emmjayy, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, CCRN. Has 3 years experience.

The first few weeks are most definitely not magical in any sense of the term. Your son will not notice or care if you're not around playing with him 24/7 during that time and in fact you may welcome the distraction of school. In my experience, the first few months of having my child were absolutely miserable and I'd have lost my mind if I hadn't had a job and school to distract me from the grind of taking care of baby. My mom did nursing school with a newborn, she worked out an arrangement with her professors and brought my older brother to class with her while he was in that tiny, sleeps-and-eats phase. When he got too big for that, she put him in daycare.

Honestly, school is doable with a newborn and a good support system, but it will take a lot of time management, prioritization, organization, all that good stuff. Know yourself. Will you be able to focus and study and do well enough to get the grades you need in the midst of the crazy? If not, disregard my above advice and take time off to adjust to being a parent.

Good luck all around and do try to enjoy that new baby, even though it can be very trying at times!

Wow, thank you both for two different/honest perspectives. augurey, I appreciate you sharing your experience with breastfeeding/pumping. I am absolutely blown away by your commitment to your little one. emmjayy, I hear you on the mental distraction of school being potentially sanity-saving. Time will tell. I am extra-emotional because of the pregnancy and also personal things going on. I need to remember to be patient and smart about this. Thank you both so much again.

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

Be patient and take the semester off. I could not disagree more that those first weeks are not magical. They are!! Exhausting, yes. But not magical? Wrong. I loved cuddling and feeding my son. There were trying times. He wouldn't sleep in his crib. He slept on my chest or in his swing the first four months of his life. So I did not get much sleep. But holding, playing, singing, rocking him. Those moments are seared in my mind forever. No way I could have done school.

I had some postpartum depression myself to deal with. Babies have tons of doctor visits in the beginning also. Plus, just the day to day tasks of running my household. It's a lot for a new mom.

Take the time to enjoy your baby. His first smile, first roll over, first laughs. All moments you don't get back. Enjoy them, savor them. Then when you do get back into school, be very organized and plan well. Use good time management skills because it's going to be hard. I started back when my son was 7. It's still hard.

good luck with your baby!!

What an extremely awesome description of your newborn times- thank you so much for sharing :D. I have been contemplating things and am still a little on the fence about an online class vs. semester off...but I am leaning toward time off. I really appreciate your input. The PPD is always out there floating as a possibility- I am glad to have that reminder. Thank you so much again. The very best to you in your studies- I am sure you are kicking butt.:up:

Take the semester off. It's not true that your baby won't know whether you're there or not. They call the first three months of newborn life the "fourth trimester" for a reason. Your baby will need you not just for food, but for skin-to-skin contact, and probably for sleeping as well. I thought I could handle school and a newborn (which I could have, if I wanted to sacrifice things with my newborn), but turns out our daughter needed me more. It was so rewarding, though! If you don't want to take the semester off, I'd take an online class. Have you looked into babywearing? It's a *great* way of keeping baby close to you while getting things you need to take care of done. I would nurse her or let her sleep in my baby carrier while doing dishes, laundry, vacuuming, etc. Lifesaver. Congratulations on your new squish!! Motherhood isn't for the faint of heart, but it's the best thing you'll ever do with your life.

Thank you so much for the encouraging reply:)! It is really such an exciting time. I got a Boba wrap and I am still learning how to pretzel it around myself, but hopefully it will help because yes, I hear you on the baby-wearing- thank you for the suggestion. I am so psyched to meet our little guy. I think you are right. I can just knock out Nutrition online over the Winter if I want to- that class has no bearing on applying for NS, so why fluff up life with unnecessary stress when I should be focusing on the wee one. I am going to look into getting a position within the healthcare field (I have CNA certification that expires end of Jan 2016- a little nervous about that; haven't worked in that position yet because my cert got processed and then I found out I was pregnant...I also have contemplated Unit Secretary positions since my work realm has been admin up to now..) Thank you so much again- it has been really helpful to sort my spinning thoughts with everyone's experienced input. :inlove:

My first was born August 18 (five days past due date, LOL). I started grad school when she was six weeks old. By then our breastfeeding was well-established and she came to class with me in her Snugli until around Thanksgiving, when she was too alert to sit, nurse, and sleep reliably. By then I had a boatload of milk in the freezer (pump both breasts after every single feed, and they will get the idea your baby is bigger or you have twins within three or four days max, and soon you'll be getting routinely more to freeze. Try several different pumps-- there are differences and you want the one that you like best). I took her down the street to the local senior center where all the old ladies cooed over her. One seemed particularly interested in her-- turns out she was born on her wedding anniversary-- and was interested in sitting her for a few hours while I was in class for a little cash to supplement the Social Security check. That got me through winter and spring quarters. I took summer quarter off, then she was old enough to go to daycare in the fall. Worked out great, she got to be a very sociable kid, and we all were happy.

That is so awesome. Thank you for the pump tips:up: How did you try different ones out? I was thinking I would go through my insurance to either rent from hospital or ideally buy if it is covered/almost all covered, but in either instance, I wonder if I'd be able to switch it up if one wasn't a love connection...?

That is so awesome. Thank you for the pump tips:up: How did you try different ones out? I was thinking I would go through my insurance to either rent from hospital or ideally buy if it is covered/almost all covered, but in either instance, I wonder if I'd be able to switch it up if one wasn't a love connection...?

I used manual ones, inexpensive enough to buy for try-outs. I think the one I liked best I got from another woman in my birthing class who found it wasn't a good fit for her. My daughter got a mechanical one that pumped both breasts at the same time, but I got just as much, just as fast, with the manual one plus a good letdown reflex. Before you deliver, spend some time with the certified lactation consultant at your birthing center, and also hook up with the local La Leche League women -- they are the BEST.

I did nursing school with a newborn. It is definitely doable, with a lot of support and organization. I agree with a lot of the previous posters, so I won't repeat what they've said about the newborn period. Here's a few other things to consider:

You will need more support than just your husband. Do you have lots of supportive family around? What will be your child care plan? Most day cares won't take an infant under 6 weeks. Do you have resources for in home care? You might be able to take a sleepy newborn to lecture, but definitely not lab. (My husband took 8 weeks off to care for our baby while I was in school, and after that my sister watched her.)

The other thing I would point out, is that this is your first baby, so it's hard to know how things will go. When I had a baby during school, it was my fifth. I have pretty easy babies: they sleep and eat well and generally aren't colicky. If the newest baby didn't sleep or had colic, it would have been much harder to get through.

I will say that if you can do it, it would be ideal, get through those classes during the newborn phase, and the baby will be a year old by the time you start nursing school. But if it doesn't work out, I have no doubt based on your posts that you will get it done eventually!

Best wishes and congratulations,

Musingmom

Personally, I'll just have to disagree that the first months are not magical. They were for me. I loved every minute of it.

I also postponed nursing school until my youngest was in 1st grade. I graduated at 40. There are many ways to do this and the timetable can be very flexible if you want.

As to pumps, the mechanical "Medela Pump-In-Style" was a godsend. For me, the manual breast pump was unwieldy and difficult to use so kudos to the mom who made that work. The mechanical pump got me 8 ounces in, at most, 15 minutes of pumping. And I could read a magazine or book while the pump did all the work. :up:

GrnTea: That is a great idea- I have been meaning to look up La Leche League:).

Edited by TiniestLights
typos

musingmom: You bring up some good points- we really need to get our childcare plan together. I am embarassed to admit we haven't really contemplated that too seriously yet. I wouldn't say we have tons of family options so yeah, we need to think about this seriously for the upcoming months. It will work out but wow, it is crazy how fast time has gone...:eek:. Thank you so much for your thoughts.

Spidey's mom: Go you- I bet your family was so proud of you! I am 33, so I am thinking you began your studies not too far from where I am. It is daunting but I really appreciate the perspective you and others have shared, in that life will move along, things will get done, and goals will be achieved as long as you keep working toward everything at the best pace for you and your life. And yeah, I have heard good things about that pump! I hope insurance will cover it...:uhoh3:

I just want to thank everyone again:up: You each have helped me get a grip on things- it is much appreciated.

As to pumps, the mechanical "Medela Pump-In-Style" was a godsend. For me, the manual breast pump was unwieldy and difficult to use so kudos to the mom who made that work. The mechanical pump got me 8 ounces in, at most, 15 minutes of pumping. And I could read a magazine or book while the pump did all the work. :up:

First, I have to say I'm super jealous that you got 8 oz in 15 minutes! I was lucky to get that in 45 lol

I second Medela. I had the free style. Though because my pumping needs were different, I rented a hospital grade pump (which actually helped my supply). I just about wore the motor out on the free style because of the amount I had to use it. I had a hand/manual pump in the event that the power was out and the battery died, but also with my circumstances being a little different, I'm not sure a hand/manual pump would really be necessary unless you absolutely wanted a back up for pumping.

First, I have to say I'm super jealous that you got 8 oz in 15 minutes! I was lucky to get that in 45 lol

Using both breasts of course. :yes: I was overflowing .. .. . .

Using both breasts of course. :yes: I was overflowing .. .. . .

Same here lol but not overflowing. I think my issue was we had latching issues. All they would do in the hospital was push formula instead of helping me with getting her latched (or checking for tongue tie which was diagnosed at 8 weeks), so 48 hours after birth I asked for a pump. I wish I had thought to ask for one sooner as I wonder if that would have made a difference in my supply. I only had one nurse that really tried to help with the breastfeeding.

For the first month and a half I would only get maybe 11 - 15 oz a day (using both, and believe me I sobbed whenever I spilled any) and had to supplement with formula because I couldn't pump enough. Once I got the hospital grade, I was finally getting 30 - 35 oz a day and was able to stop supplementing with formula.