Saturday, May 29, 2010

Welcome Baby Madison

Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of welcoming a new little girl in to the world.

I have been friends with Tony and Nancy for 7-8 years. I met them at church and Nancy and I used to attend a Bible study together where I got to know her well and hence got to know her family well. Tony and Nancy have two children ~ Crystal and Spencer...who I have seen grow up over the years. Crystal went to school with my girls, though they did not hang out in the same group of friends. Earlier this year, Tony and Nancy had told me that Crystal was expecting and they were hoping that she would deliver where I work. I too hoped that she would...mostly so that I could be the first one to say, "Grandpa" and "Grandma" to them! Not really - I wanted to care for Crystal too.

Yesterday, May 28th happened to be the day that little Madison would be born. I had a conference to attend so I wasn't sure that I was going to be able make the delivery. I kept in touch with the hospital (thank goodness for texting!!!) and I knew that she was in good hands with the nurses that were taking care of her. By the time my conference was over, Crystal was 5-6 cm. Yeah...I would make it.
I drove from one hospital to the next, and changed in to my scrubs. By then Crystal was 7 cm. I called home to let them know I would be home late and not to wait up for me. Crystal did amazing! By 7 pm she was complete and the little head was almost showing without even pushing!! We called the doctor in and Madison was born at 7:30 pm after only 4 or 5 pushes.
She has a head full of dark hair and is just beautiful.
Congratulations to the entire family! Leo and Crystal ~ may you find parenthood to be a joyful experience...with more fun than trials. And, Tony & Nancy ~ welcome to the world of grand-parenting!! It is such a special experience.

Here's to Leo and Crystal - their last picture with just the two of them
The family. Including Grandpa Tony, Grandma Nancy and Uncle Spencer.
Wish I had looked this good two pushes before I gave birth. Doesn't she look great!?!
Many dads get to cut the cord of their newborn...but not many get to say they actually helped deliver their baby. Leo did just that. He held Madison's head then reached down and lifted her out and up on to Crystal. None of us were quite prepared for we didn't get the best pictures but here is one little shot that sort of captures the event.
And right up to momma she goes...

Initial care is done right on the mother. The baby gets assessed, gets vital signs done, diapered and then goes straight skin to skin. All without every leaving the mother's arms.
Skin to skin is the best thing for new babies and moms

The stats: 8 pounds 3 ounces, 20 1/2 inches long

You know we and newborn feet...I just think they are the cutest little things - well in this case they are long ones

Tony, Nancy and I. It was a pleasure helping to bring your granddaughter into the world!

Even after all of these years, and hundreds of births ~ I never seem to tire of childbirth. So glad that I was able to find a job that I love and where I hopefully can make the experience a good one for the families.
Happy BIRTH day Madison!
Welcome to our world. May you grow in the love of your family and live a long and happy life!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm Whipped

Wow - what a week this has been. I've worked and had school every other day....but that is sort of normal for me. What has made this week so exhausting is the amount of patients we have had. Tuesday we put 38 patients to bed and today L&D was busting at the seams again. I only did one delivery - to a cute little blond baby :) - but I had a few other patients that I took care of during the day. I am so glad that I wasn't in charge today. It is more stressful when I am in charge. So today I got to do what I love best ~ and that is provide good patient care. I only wish that there were a few less patients to provide that care to!

Tonight I am whipped. No energy. No drive to get anything else done. And there are really so many other things I should be getting done - but I guess those other things will just have to wait.
Tomorrow I am off to an OB Conference and I know a girl from church that is getting induced so I will probably head back to the unit tomorrow afternoon to do her delivery. The whipping continues yet I see light at the end of the tunnel for I have the weekend off...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Still My Young One

I've always known that mom's worry about their babies. Are they eating enough, warm enough,safe enough, do they get vaccines or not, are they getting all of the right stimulation?
Then they grow a bit and go to school. The worry continues ~ are they at the right school, do they have the best teacher, are they picking good friends, eating their lunch, staying safe, getting the right stimulation?

Then they get to high school ~ and you still worry...are they in the right classes, are their brains being stimulated, are they involved in any worthwhile activities, are they safe, free from drugs and violence, are they making good friend choices? Are they eating properly for their growing bodies? You cross your fingers that they will graduate and go on to college and not become a pregnant teen statistic or a drop out.

Then it is the college years ~ how will we pay for advanced education, are they at the right school, choosing the right major, eating good foods? Do they have good room-mates and friends, are they stimulated? Are they safe,will they ever call home, do they still need me?

But what really surprises me is how, even after they become an adult and have children of their own, you still worry about them ~ are they safe, are they happy, are they employed, do they have enough money, a roof over their heads, food to eat and friends to enjoy? Do they have insurance and access to medical care?
I find myself struggling with this as I see my grown son trying to put it all together and find a better job. There is such a mom part of me that wants to step in and try to fix all of his struggles....but I can't...I may be able to offer advice or a loan to fix the car but I can't do it all anymore.
So I worry and pray and hope it all ends up OK. I know it will - for time has taught me that things do work out but I still am the mom and moms worry. I guess I just didn't realize that the momma thing never completely goes away.


Friday, May 21, 2010

I heart AAA

This morning Lily and I met my good friend Heather for breakfast at this cute little spot in Old Towne Orange called Kimmie's Coffee Cup. The food was quite yummy and I really enjoyed being able to catch up with Heather.

Heather and I started our relationship as a nurse / patient one....but we quickly changed that to a friendship. Heather has 3 boys (whom I got to help deliver) and a great husband. She is one of those people that is always there for you and we can go weeks without seeing each other ~ but the minute we get together it is like we just saw each other the day before. We talk and laugh and just share our life stories.
It was great seeing her again!

Lily was so well behaved and loved her mickey shaped pancakes. I always have fun when babysitting that little girl. She is turning in to quite the social one and loves to get out and do things. It is getting easier to take her places since she is older. It is just too fun!

After breakfast I wanted to go run a few errands with Lily and then go to the park. So, we get to the car, get her all safely buckled in and I go to start the car.......and car just made a weird sound and was dead. I glanced back at Lily and told her we had a slight problem. The car was broke and wouldn't start. She just smiled and thought that was pretty funny.

Luckily I have a membership to AAA. I am so thankful that I do. I called them and they were there within 30 minutes. Not only did the service man test my battery to jump start it for me but he replaced the battery right there on the spot. It was so nice to have such prompt, quick service! I would have totally stressed if I was stranded there with a little one!

AAA - you have my heart and loyalty for years to come!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Chaos. Webster's defines it as, "a state of utter confusion" & "the inherent unpredictability in the behavior of a complex natural system".
My life has felt a little chaotic this past week...

Trying to keep up on the house - I'm loosing.
Attempting to pass algebra - an utter brain freeze for me!
Planning my parents 50th wedding anniversary and making 80 invitations to mail out - which are now printed, envelopes addressed and on their way to the guests....
Watching the cutest granddaughter there ever was.
Wanting to just relax a read a good book.
And trying to keep up at work and do the best job there that I can.

Last week, some weird things happened at work that threw an even different curve in to my chaotic week. I had gotten to know a family in our hospice program and went in to care for her while she delivered. All went well...
But it wasn't what we had predicted. Things just went a little 'different'. Now I know that I am not in control of all things (though I like to be...) but all I could think was, "here I go on that learning curve again". It felt so, well - just chaotic. Not right. Not how it was supposed to be.
We had babies that were supposed to die - not die, babies that were supposed to be 'normal' - die, mom's be sick and just goofy stuff.
A dad recently said to me, "We started off excited, then had to change paths to prepare for a different experience, and then it all changed again. If feels like a crazy roller-coaster. How am I to prepare?" All I could do was agree and validate his feelings.
And it got me thinking....I really don't have many answers.
My biggest response is normally, "I don't know". "I don't know how to prepare". "I don't know why God does what he does". I just plain "don't know"

So....Sunday's message this week?? "When God Orders Chaos" ~ fitting isn't it?!?! This isn't to say that God brings about the chaos...he brings order to it....
Let me explain,
Life is chaotic but there is reason for hope. Romans 5:20 says,'where sin is increased, grace abounded all the more'. God is not the instigator of chaos, not the author of confusion. Sometimes He allows it to bring about His good and perfect purposes and plan. God does not cause chaos. He brings order in to the midst of it. Chaos will always exist because we live in a fallen, broken world.
(thanks Pastor Mike for letting me steal your words).

I still often have to say, "I don't know"

But there are some things that I know for sure...
~God's word is powerful all by itself
~There is always hope
~Jesus can save from anything
~Our acceptance of God, necessitates adjustment on our part

Life is still chaotic....yet, there is a measure of peace...and that is where I will rest....


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

They Say it is Good Luck

My patient today was quietly waiting for the doctor to arrive for her delivery, and for a change the bag of water was still intact. As we were waiting, the bag of waters started to come out - which looks pretty cool (well to a nurse like me it does anyways) then a few contractions later the baby head started to come out too.

Now, I have been in on many a delivery so I don't tend to get too nervous...but really ~ we are not supposed to be doing the delivery. That is what the doctor is for.

I coached her through a very smooth delivery ~ with the head coming out in to the bag of water ~ I reached around the head, felt the little nose and just peeled the bag away from the baby's face. And of course the baby started to cry so then, I just lifted her up on to her mommy's tummy.

It is supposed to be good luck when a baby is born in the bag of water. So she is going to be one lucky little girl!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Blog Change

I recently played around with my blog ~ trying to make it nicer...but it still isn't quite what I want it to be.
I've been thinking of getting a custom blog makeover done by mastomama. I like her headers, custom names and post breaks plus the thought of having my own button to link to.

I like blogs like Kelly's and Lynnette's or one Devon's.

But maybe mine is also just fine how it is. What do you think?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Welcome Nathanael John

I recently had the privilege of witnessing the birth of a little boy named Nathanael.

I know - I see birth everyday...but it is not every day that someone asks me to be present at their birth just to be present at their birth. I count it all joy that someone would trust me enough to want me there. To want me there to assist them in one of the most special events in their life. But they did. They asked and I went. My friends Melody and Peter were expecting their first child together and asked if I wouldn't mind coming to be their support person.

I actually met Melody at another delivery. Peter's sister was having a baby and brought Melody to meet every one at the if that isn't pressure, I don't know what is. I feel in love with Melody's sweet spirit that day and was so happy when Peter and Melody decided to get married. And quite soon - they were expecting a child. Melody was not delivering where I work ~ yet she wanted me there.

The hospital where they delivered is a sister hospital to the one that I work at...which was quite interesting to me. To be to be able to see how things are done elsewhere is always a fun thing. Yet, all I kept thinking was - they wanted me there to support them and how special is that!?! But, I will say - it is hard to not jump in there and want to do the physical work, hard to not want to read the baby heart rate pattern and intervene if I need to, hard to not do a vaginal exam, hard to not say, "Come on - let her push already!" You sort of have to get out of your clinical / medical role and just BE in the friendship role. To just BE there for them.

So not only did I get to go and be support for them but I also took a few pictures for them ~ that way Peter was able to just witness the birth and not be caught up in the 'job' of picture taking.

Introducing Nathanael John
Born on Sunday evening, April 25, 2010 at 8:56 pm
One of his very first pictures - taken seconds after he arrived

Look at those chubby cheeks
and that healthy looking cord!

I happen to have a thing for little hands and little feet. I just want to kiss them.
They are God's perfect perfection to me.

9 pounds even / 21 inches long...and all boy

First family photo
Congratulations Peter and Melody!! Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your birth experience and reminding me how special new life is. And reminding me that sometimes one just needs to sit back and take in the experience . I am so glad that we have gotten to know each other and am honored to call you my friends. You have one special little boy there and I know you will love and cherish him. God has certainly blessed you. Can't wait to see you guys again and to hold that little bundle!!

Happy BIRTHday Nathanael

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A while back I wrote about a book that I was reading called "I will Carry You".

It is a book written by Angie Smith as she was awaiting the birth of her little girl that was not expected to survive. I am just about finished with the book and am gleaming more about how a family feels as they go through something like this.
Today I ran across a video where the Smith family shares their story and how their dreams were shattered and God showed them how to trust in Him even when the felt abandoned by his love. The video is about 25 minutes long but well worth watching. You can watch The Smith Family Video by clicking on the video link.
It really gives you a clear perspective of the frailty of human life but also how God carries us through such events.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bad Day at the Office

Of - so it really isn't an office...but it is work, none the less.

Yesterday, I had to work the antepartum floor - which is one of my least favorite things to do. Our department (Labor and Delivery) took over the antepartum unit late last summer. The antepartum unit is for sick, pregnant women or mom's in pre-term labor. Some of them are there for days if not weeks at a time. Occasionally months at a time. It is like regular floor nursing in that you have to pass meds, do baths and make beds. Just not my cup of tea. I like the fast pace of L&D, the adrenaline rushes, making a difference in someones birth experience, even doing c/s's is better to me. I like getting to know the patients,take care of them then transfer them off to the mother baby unit when the delivery is finished. Quick pace, interesting, job finished...

I dislike working the antepartum floor for it tends to be slower. Sometimes we can have up to 4 patients so there is less of that one on one getting to know a patient and it just, well, different. Yet, it is crazy busy all at the same time, for it is just, well, different. I have a hard time organizing my plan of care out there and staying on top of things. Maybe I go home feeling like I make more mistakes than make memories.
But, I keep getting told that it is better for patient care. Better for their care when they do come to L&D for there is more consistency as we already know alot about the patient. Better for their care for they get experienced nurses who can pick up on the subtleties of the high risk mom. Yet, I still stress every time I have to work over there.
Is it the bed making, is it the different paperwork, is it the bad stocking where you can't find the tools you need to do your job, or is it that I don't get that adrenaline rush?? I'm not really sure...I just know it is not where I want to be assigned.
So ~ where was I yesterday?? On the antepartum floor.
I only had two patients ~ one was a stable preterm mom, the other a not so stable preterm mom. And L&D was slammed busy....which is really where I wanted to be and I felt a bit guilty for not helping over there as much as I wanted to. (Though I did get to do one baby pick-up for a C/Section). So, I struggled through. I passed my meds, I made the beds, I made sure the mom's got the things they needed. But, did I really make any difference? I struggled to find the balance. I struggled to feel like I was getting all the right pieces put together. Yet, when my unstable preterm mom started laboring...I think I was able to help her more than if I did not have the L&D experience. I was able to pick up on the fact that I thought she was in labor. I was able to monitor her like a patient back in L&D - not just as an antepartum patient. I was able to get appropriate pain medication for her and provide for her emotional support. I was able to express to the physicians what I thought was going on with her and they respected my opinion since I work with them on a daily basis. Hopefully, in some way I made a difference for that patient. She did not deliver on my shift - but she was in preterm labor.
So, do I agree that it is better for patient care? Do I think we are making a difference out there? As much as I would love to say "NO - I hate it out there" ~ I do think it is better for patient care. I do think our expert knowledge benefits I just have to figure out a way to make it work better for us, the nurses who so dread going out there. There has to be a way to satisfy both patient and nurse and to utilize our gifts where they are best utilized. And maybe I need a little attitude adjustment and a little reminding that I can do it and I can make a difference for those long term patients.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Santa Barbara Video

I love having a photographer in the family. You always get great pictures, free editing and cute little videos that you don't have to spend any time putting together. I tend to drag Michelle along to many events...just for free photography ~ is that abuse?

Michelle put together this cute little video of our recent trip to Santa Barbara (OK - it is 8 mins long but we did do a lot and she wanted to remember all of it)

You can click here to view her handiwork.