Thunder and lightning

As I checked in at the front desk last night I was handed keys and told to hurry back to the OR my patient was delivering via emergency C/S. Here they have a certain person assigned each shift to be the circulator so the mom’s nurse is the baby catcher. This was my first time back in the OR since leaving Silverton, no worries though the OR is not as scary as it sounds to all you non-medically bent individuals. The NICU team was handling the recessitation with the pediatrician as orchestrator and baby was starting to pink up and get some muscle tone as I walked in. The mother, unable to see what was going on, was straining her neck and ears tuned in to hear that first cry that had not yet come. After a quick look at baby, color, and tone I was able to update mom on babies status, head of hair and cuteness factor much to the mother’s relief. It has to be so hard in that moment, as a parent, when you wonder if your baby is ever going to cry and then after what seems like an eternity it comes and all the fear and anxiety pent up exits your body with a flow of tears. This little one was adorable and after breathing became less of an overwhelming task and the NICU team left she laid there supported by her daddy on the pillow looking at her mother with the most expressive little face moving her mouth with direct eye contact as if telling her mother a huge exciting tale. Life, it’s delicate balance, and dramatic reminders that we are not in control are kind of an awe-full sight when witnessed first hand in this way. It is a good reminder that we are dealing with people and this is not just a job. As we wheeled out of the OR I got a call from the lead saying I was getting a labor admit….what? Someone else was going to take over my recovery and I needed to get going this pt was going fast. I am not as quick at all of the paperwork, admission process as most of the nurses here and the admission checklist is long so needless to say we got an IV site, pored in the bolus, got the epidural, and had a baby so the admission stuff didn’t happen until after delivery. I got my C/S mommy back after the recovery (and delivery of the new patient). Being two deliveries down on paperwork I was relieved to not be given the next admit. The other nurses were very helpful as I dug in with a shovel to unbury myself from the mound of paperwork and by 1 am I was pretty caught up. I have a feeling that there are probably a few things I forgot but I kept looking everything over and there was nothing I could find.
I stopped and picked up bread on the way home from work, walked Myra and then settled in at the table to wait for the kids to wake up. It didn’t take long. I managed to stay awake long enough to have breakfast and do most of the CC review with the kids. As I disappeared upstairs Chad yelled after me, “Hey, you can’t leave, what am I going to do with out my TA.” Lol, it’s good to feel loved. I woke up to a superman show of force by the underwear brigade.

Chad had planned a date night dinner for us for after the kids went to bed so he made them a separate dinner and then they got their scooters out to walk with Myra and me to the park.

There are no dogs allowed at the actual park so Myra and I paced up and down the road while the kids played. It was misting/sprinkling and we could hear the thunder and watch the storm clouds coming through, but we figured it was the end of the day if we get soaking wet who cares…it’ll be just part of the fun.

IMG_0814.JPG The breeze had picked up on our way home, so Eve and I walked with our arms stretched out singing, “think of the wonderful things, it’s the same as having wings.” And pretended that we were flying.

After the kids were all tucked into bed reading Chad surprised me with this amazing dinner.

IMG_0821.JPG so delicious.
The thunder/lightning storm was at a full rolling boil and it had not yet started downpouring so we took our dessert out to the back steps and sat in the dark watching the most spectacular, better than IMAX, natural fireworks show with surround sound thunder, the chirp of crickets and other insects, and the medium breeze and smell of cut grass and rain. I hollered to the kids who could hear through their window to watch the “fireworks” so they sat on Caleb’s bed next to the window and enjoyed the show too. Soon it started to rain so we reluctantly moved inside and watched from the dining room table as we sipped our ice tea and shared Chad’s hot tamales until bed time. When we headed to bed we discovered that the rain had made it into the open windows on the front side of the apartment and had gotten the floor and bed a little wet. We climbed in bed and continued to watch the flashing lights. It has slowed down now but what an amazing show I feel so blessed to have seen it. God is amazing!
I tried to get some picture of it and they aren’t very good but I’m going to share them anyway.




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Another day

No big updates, I got home from work early, made it out on a run, walked Myra and still was back before there was any stirring in the house, although within 10 minutes everyone was coming downstairs and getting ready for breakfast. The kids are already pretty good at their week one songs, and Chad found the cycle three music on the computer from last week. I stayed up probably too late Hanging out with them. After a shower and some zzzzzzzs it’s hi ho, hi ho off to work I go.

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Feeling Tired…

Why has the every other day, crazy-early day shifts kicked my butt this week? Maybe because I haven’t been getting to bed as early as I should. When you have a run of shifts you can recoup for one day then go exploring but if you only get one off in a row do you recoup or explore? I was so happy to find out that I would have postpartums, and less happy to do a full admit in the last hour of my shift, while still having all my couplets. And here you have to chart on every mom and every baby every hour, and one of my babies had vitals every hour. That and needing to tape report on all my patients made me stress that I wouldn’t get to something. I was just glad that she hadn’t come earlier as I would have imagined them keeping me doing the induction and my three couplets. Needless to say I was very glad to turn in my keys and phone and head for the car. A previous patient recognized me as I was walking down the hall, she called to me and waved. I ran to tell her goodbye and congratulations on cooking her little “bun” as long as she had. It is fun to be able to see on occasion that you do make a difference in people’s lives. I held the door for them as they got all of their stuff out to the car.
I’m still wiped, ready to crawl into bed and sleep for a couple of days, but it was just the reminder I needed to keep on plugging away doing what I was meant to do, even on the days I don’t feel it.

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Monday Monday

I tossed and turned all night and was still super tired when the alarm went off. It is amazing what a hot shower and bowl of oatmeal can do to make a person feel ready for the day. I had an induction and no other patients, it was going to be a good day! I seconded a delivery, and got walked through the paperwork with that (until this point I had only been the primary nurse at deliveries) in the time before my pt arrived.
My patient was awesome, a cup-half-full kind of girl who walked more laps than most patients I have ever seen. This unit has about 40 rooms and is a big circle she was making it around in 1 1/2 min. So it was easy to measure the progression of labor as the laps slowed to 4 min. and 6 min. But contractions or not she was always smiling and game to try any position. After the Jacuzzi she was ready for the epidural and as we set up I got a call from the lead (charge nurse) asking me if I would be willing to stay over four extra hours. With this patient who wouldn’t. Seriously she would work so hard through a contraction, face makeup completely smeared and then turn to me and smile as she embraced her labor as the welcome sensation that would bring her much anticipated child into her arms. I said sure. We got the epidural in, the patient situated, and the room straitened up. Another phone call came with the message that enough patients have delivered that we won’t need you to stay over. Glad because that meant I would get to go home soon, but it also meant that I would need to rush to get all my charting done on time. The night shift nurse that was taking over for me was also a traveler, working on her BSN so she could go back to school for midwifery. She had traveled all around as her kids were growing up and her husband did the homeschooling. Now with the youngest one in highschool and a little foster boy they were staying in Wisconsin for a while. She was very fun to talk to and was telling me about some of the homeschool groups in the area and that they don’t mind if you join for only a couple of months. And even a couple of activities we could do together. I might take her up on that. It was fun to talk to someone who knew exactly where I am at- Homeschool, L&D travel nursing, midwifery interest, and husbands who are/have been the stay at home homeschool dad.
We had yummy tacos for dinner. Chad was ready for a kid break so he headed out to walk around fiesta foods as the kids got ready and crawled in bed. He wasn’t gone too long. Long enough to know the kids would be in bed when he got back. Myra and I went on a short walk. Then Chad watched a few movies on his laptop with earbuds in (just for me) and I sat next to him digging a little deeper into my new book. I made it a whole two short chapters before I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

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Out as soon as my head hit the pillow

The last two days of day shift were great. It was steadily busy with no down time, got a lunch break, and was out on time. Yesterday my assignment included a labor and a high risk antepartum. The labor was a high profile, very educated woman with one of her support people being a recently retired OBGYN. It was a balancing act, but a fun one at that. I’m beginning to really enjoy the new challenges that are found in each new day. My antepartum had a really high blood pressure and I had already given her three IV pushes of blood pressure lowering IV meds, I was going over the plan of care telling her we would recheck her BP and give one more dose and then give it some time per the doctors orders. She smiled and responded with, “no you won’t because my blood pressure will be down when you recheck it.” So I told her if it was down I would do 5 push-ups in celebration. Sure enough it was down and it was fun to have the opportunity to make her laugh and smile as she and her visitor watched while I payed up with five boy push ups. It was quite a feat as I’m sadly out of shape right now. All was good. I was updating the Lead (charge nurse) on my patients status when she said I was welcome to stay over, that they were short staffed on nights and were forcing two day-shifters to stay four extra hours. I love my job, but it is physically draining and my all natural labor (besides the pit augmentation) was getting very active and going to be in need of fresh energy so I declined. But as I left I caught one if the other nurses coming out of the bathroom in the break room with red puffy eyes. I asked if she was OK and she just explained that she would be fine but she was tired of being forced to stay over she felt like it happened almost every shift and I know it has happened at least twice in the last two weeks to her. I felt guilty…they must not force travelers to stay extra. Maybe I should pick up an extra shift every week. I have been working four days every other week in New Mexico and it wasn’t that bad. Here they treat travelers so nice, everyone has been so nice and so helpful, saying thanks for coming and helping us out. I know if I am busy everyone else is just as busy. I didn’t stay. The kids were all playing a card game together when I got home. They make me smile as they are becoming each others best friends. After dinner I took Myra on a walk, a long walk…I felt like I was going to have to drag her to get her home about 3/4 of the way, but she made it. A tall glass of ice tea then another. It was 8:30 pm, still another hour and a half until I would have gotten off had I stayed. I climbed up to our room, got ready for bed and crashed. I think I remember my head hitting the pillow but that is it. I was out.

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Today was an awesome day at work. I stayed caught up on my charting and am getting a lot better at Epic by the day. It was such a relief to get home from work on time for the first time this assignment. The kids have been working really hard on their new career as Lego pattern designers and Caleb asked me at bedtime if we could write a letter to the Lego company so that might be something we work on this week. I didn’t get a picture of Caleb’s space ship but I wasn’t even all the way on the door when Hannah, showing me her “project,” asked if I would take a picture so here is her’s.


Chad is eagerly planning for the school year and made our first curriculum purchases for the 2014-2015 school year.

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1/3 done… With the weekend

I started with all post partums this morning so I was pleasantly surprised. Three, then another, two discharges then trade off for an admit induction.
Off only 40 min. late and no lunch (I don’t think anyone got a lunch today). I did some things a lot better and some thing’s I grimace to think how much better I could have done them, with a little less on my plate. This exercise in time management and the all out nonstop physical aspect of this job are a welcome challenge. I feel a lot less physically exhausted today my legs aren’t throbbing, they are getting accustomed to the pace. The pounding headache is most likely a lack of food issue the pizza we had for dinner should help that. The kids welcomed me home (up past their bed time to do so). I came in to find a birthday package on the table from my Mom-in-law which contained comfy clothes, sweatpants, two tank tops, and a sweatshirt. I quickly ran upstairs to change out of my uniform into my new comfy clothes. Chad headed out and picked up dinner, a celebratory GF pizza for payday.


Thank you Chuck and Donna for the birthday gift and the kids love their little ” I love you” (as Hannah called it) gifts too!

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Sweet Success

4:15 doesn’t feel as early as I expected it to feel. And it sure is nice to be half way done with the shift before noon.
Today was my first shift off orientation, all on my own. I got to work early so I would have time to get prepared for my assignment. Something new again, two preterm labor patients on mag. I felt like I was keeping up until 2:00 pm when the triage pt I had been monitoring for four hours got admitted. With three busy preterm patients I was barely keeping afloat so when I had to stop and do a full admit on the triage the charting snowballed on me. I could barely stop long enough to chart what was currently being done so no back charting got done until I was relieved by the next shift. I didn’t sit down for more than 2-3 min. at a time besides lunch. And I didn’t get home until 7:45 pm but all in all I feel really good about how the day went. We can chalk today up as a success.

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