Friday, February 4, 2011

Baby on the brain

Thank you for the congratulations on my big news. We are so excited about this new addition to our family! I have wanted this for so long and it seems that things just kept coming up that prevented us from taking the leap. I'll be honest, I've had baby fever since I was about 24 when friends around me started having babies....and I wasn't even married then! Ever since I was little I had pictured myself as a mother, and I knew without a doubt that I wanted kids. I had always wanted a little girl, and even kept a running list in my head of my favorite girl names prepared for the event. I'm pretty sure I started this list when I was 7! Of course, my favorites have always changed throughout the years, and eventually I started thinking about boy names I liked. Right now I still have  list of girl names, should this little one be a girl, but Jon and I haven't really talked about our favorite ones. He's already shot down my top pick, #1 name (maybe I can convince him later?). We have already decided what we would name our peanut if it's a boy. It was a really easy decision to come to--we are naming him after Jon's grandfather.

Baby names aside, from the very beginning I've been a worried mom. Because I have wanted this so much and for so long, I have been scared of losing our little one. It's been a fear in the back of my head for the majority of my first trimester. Every time I went to the bathroom I would check my underwear for any signs that could point to miscarriage. I was orienting on my unit then and was super busy, but every time I felt any gush of fluid (sorry, it's kind of gross), I'd freak out, run to the bathroom and check. For the most part all thoughts of miscarriage are out of my head, and I have yet to get around to empty out my emergency stash of feminine products from my purse, but I still worry about baby's health. I pray everyday, plead with God to please let my baby be healthy. Nothing has given me reason to believe otherwise, but that is just the kind of person I am. Heck, until this pregnancy happened I had almost convinced myself that I wouldn't be able to bear children, just because I wanted it so bad!

The ultrasound we did when I was 11 weeks really solidified the reality. Until then, it was hard to believe that there was actually somebody living inside me. But seeing baby wiggle around like crazy during the ultrasound was indescribable. I instantly fell in love

Omigosh it looks like a real baby!

I'm still not showing much, just a little bump protruding about hip level. It really pops out when I have a full bladder. I'm so impatient to start showing. I've tried on maternity clothes already, but there's no reason to yet. I'm just really excited! And I can't wait to feel him/her kicking around!

Monday, January 31, 2011

My Monday

It's 1:30 here and I'm still in my pajamas. I woke up at 11:30 to the sound of soft rain, got up to eat something, fed the dog, let him out, and went back to bed. So goes my life these days. I've been working nights in our local hospital's postpartum unit for a couple months now and tonight is a dreaded work night. I've got no problems sleeping during the day (other than neighbors' annoying dogs barking nonstop), no problems staying awake at night, and so far no scary moments on the 40-minute drive home, but I absolutely hate this! I wake up, eat a piece of fruit because anything more will set off the nausea, and suffer stomach issues the whole night. I've had a few lucky days where I've been able to eat and felt great, but those nights aren't enough to offset the bad nights. Digestive issues have always been a problem for me whenever I stayed up too late, so none of this surprises me.

Other than the shift itself, I love my job! I'm so happy to be working with healthy patients. Most of the time the situation is also a happy one. And of course I love working with the newborns! I'm getting more and more comfortable with handling them (you should have seen me when I was a student--so scared to break them!) and yes, I will occasionally cuddle them. Heel sticks for blood tests are also easy now and I actually like to do them now. Don't worry, they get a pacy with sugar water and sleep through it for the most part. My biggest challenge? Breast feeding! I think I get more frustrated than mom or baby when it's just not happening. I stress out when a baby won't eat. I'm not a breast feeding expert, nor do I have any personal experience with it, so just how am I supposed to be helping these moms breast feed more effectively? I am getting better at it, but I have to admit I get relieved when a mom comes in just wanting to formula feed. I know I'm horrible.

All this and more that I haven't mentioned are great preparation for me. In a few months time I will be that exhausted mom trying to get baby to latch on. I'll be the patient the nurse will walk in on, holding the baby and just gazing at him/her (I really do love walking in to that scene). Hopefully, I'll be better prepared than your typical first-time mom, but somehow I doubt I'll have less questions and I will be just as scared! I am so excited, hopeful, antsy, impatient, all-of-the-above and more. But for now, I need to rein in all this emotion and get to bed. Goodnight and happy Monday!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Time flies when you're having fun!

Or even when you're not! Nursing school flew by, that's for sure! I still can't believe that I'm expected to be on my own eventually. I'm still in student mode, still feel like a student, and probably still think like one too. I'm working on our hospital's postpartum unit. I'm the nurse for both mom and baby, which I have to admit I didn't know was the case when I asked for this unit because when I was a student here baby had his own nurse and mom had her own.

It's been quite a transition from student to nurse. The first time I had to go medicate a patient on my own, I checked, double-checked, and checked again to make sure of the dose and that it was OK to give it at that time. As I pulled the medicine out and walked to the patient's room to administer it, I felt like I should have my preceptor there with me watching my every move. I'm just so used to having someone over my shoulder all the time! Well, I've been at it for 3 weeks now, and I have to say I'm loving it! I went from following my preceptor around to taking the majority of her assignment on my own. I have even had the opportunity to call doctors a few times (I was so nervous about this when an awful anesthetist came and talked to our class and scared the crap out of me--our doctors aren't really that evil!) I've been struggling with how exactly to help a mom breast feed when she's having trouble. I mean, after all, I haven't had my own children yet, never breast fed in my life! I have a lot to learn and three more weeks until I really am on my own. This week I start nights. Right now I'm just trying to stay up as late as possible and gearing up to become a vampire.

What am I doing at night when the rest of the world sleeps? Knitting, crafting, making stuff with my hands. I missed this part of my life when I was in school, so I've been living it up and taking advantage of my free time. That is all for now, must go and finish Christmas presents!

Monday, November 8, 2010

New beginnings

It's been quite a long time since I last wrote. I started missing the old blog yesterday and so stayed up late last night modifying my layout. I decided to change the name of my blog (but not the url) because I feel like the last name didn't really reflect the whole me. It was just a silly name I decided on a couple years ago when I was just going to write about my knitting projects and share pictures. Since then, this blog has been a mishmash of everything in my life, hence the new name. I love it! I've decide to try to post more now that school is over. I feel like I've finally found my "golden thread" in life. Will post more later!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Little Taste of Walla Walla

As the last semester was winding down I was wondering what I was going to do with myself for a full month until the next semester started up again when I decided I was going to try to make it back to my hometown for a visit. I hadn't visited since last August and I hadn't gone to the annual Balloon Stampede in so long (plus it was on Mother's Day weekend) I decided it was a good time. So I booked a (relatively) cheap ticket home on Allegiant and was off a day after school let out. (Side note: This airline has really cheap flights. I found a one-way ticket home for $19.99!)

As we flew closer to our destination I could see from my window seat the vast expanses of agricultural fields. The patchwork layout and the colors were just beautiful. I couldn't help but fill with pride as I looked onto the landscapes where I had grown up. I didn't grow up in the country per se, but it was a small town. The airport is surrounded by wheat fields, but the city is right there. As we were touching down I noticed that these wheat fields began (or ended) right at the runway. There was even a coyote hanging out there as we taxied in. (A fat coyote compared to the ones we have in Arizona!)

Usually, I dread going back to the small town. I vowed I would never live somewhere like that once I escaped to the big city of Seattle. That is how I felt, as if I escaped Walla Walla. I saw a lot of people that had stayed behind. They hung out with the same people in high school, did the same things every weekend at the same places, and married people that went to the same school. That's all fine, but that's not what I wanted. I wanted to get out and see the world. This visit was different. For the first time I could see myself moving back here and raising my family. My mom would love this as well so she could be involved in her grandchildrens' lives. There are things that are lacking there, such as a lack of a mall and no Target (this is a HUGE deal since Jon and I go there at least once a week), but those are things that are just 45 minutes away in the Tri-Cities. I could go live in Tri-Cities, but it's just not as pretty. Here's what I mean
Just a short drive from my old elementary school.

Continuing on the road. Every time I go out for a drive out in the country I go on a whim, accepting the fact that I just may get lost with the convoluted roads that seemingly lead to nowhere. It's been years, but I always find a way back into town.

Walla Walla had always been a sleepy town. That is, until it was discovered as the newest destination for wine tasting. Since then, every spring it awakens into a tourist town. I still don't know how I feel about this. It has changed so much since I lived there and I don't want it to! While I'm glad that the wine industry has brought in a lot of money and has cleaned the place up a bunch, I always roll my eyes every time we pass a new winery. Our wheat fields have been replaced by vineyards.

On to the balloons!

Every year on Mother's Day weekend balloons from everywhere converge in Walla Walla for the Balloon Stampede. We used to always go when I was young. I remember waking up at the crack of dawn, throwing on some long pants and a heavy jacket, and piling in the car to watch the balloons take off. That ritual stopped when we got older and lost interest, but it had been so long since I last went that I wanted to see it again. I missed the first launch since it was the morning after I arrived and I was exhausted. I was able to wake up in time to watch them fly over my house, however. The next day it was rained out (and too windy), but I did get to run in the annual Balloonsday run. It's a 5K and I did it in 28:03! Not bad for me. There was a Nite Glow on Saturday night where the balloons stay tethered to the ground and "light up" to music, but we ate too much and drank too much wine so we missed that too. Finally, on Mother's Day we made it! I was a little late getting there and about a third of the balloons had already taken off, but I got some pictures.
The Spirit of Walla Walla taking off.

Setting up

Sometimes when the balloons got up they would have to move them because they'd be bumping into each other.
Not quite upright yet. There's an interesting shape of a balloon in the background. Never seen anything like it.

Balloon chase vehicle. I always wanted to do this when I was little. Now I just want a hot air balloon!

I have so many more pictures, but this post is already getting too long as it is!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Musings on last semester and summer break

Well, it's been a while (again) since my last blog post. I have no excuse! Just laziness. Pure laziness.

Last semester went by pretty quickly once we got done with the actual classroom time. I got to spend time on the med-surg floor (again), a psychiatric hospital, and the NICU (my favorite!). I was really disappointed to learn that we would be spending 5 more weeks on the same floor we were on the previous semester. I was beyond bored there, and was looking forward to the promise of an ICU rotation. I spent all of 2 days in the ICU. I did love it, though. I only wished I could spend more time there.

I surprisingly really enjoyed the psych rotation. I was really nervous and just dreading it, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was really fun talking to the people there and getting to know their stories. I admit, I was a little nervous going into their acute unit. There were some pretty creepy people there and I was told to watch my back at all times!

The NICU was the best! I really don't know how I'm going to go back to big people after having these little patients for 2 weeks! I'd much prefer changing full, itty bitty diapers to the huge blowouts that adults can have! Honestly, I was a little nervous walking into the unit on the first day with all those alarms going off and seeing such fast heartbeats, respiratory rates, etc. I almost freaked out about the frailty of these babies and just how little they were! That all went away when I fed my first baby, got to hold her and listen to her make little baby noises, and that smell! I can smell babies forever! Another thing I liked about being on this unit was the pace and the environment. It is much slower paced than the med-surg floor we are used to. But that gives more time for the nurses to give special attention to the babies and their parents. I got to do several things that I've never done on an adult before, such as dropping an NG and OG tube (those babies are always pulling them out!). The whole concept freaked me out and I only vaguely remembered the technique when we learned the skill on a dummy. But the nurses I was with were able to talk me through it, and I was really surprised by how easy it was! I also got to pull an umbilical vein catheter out. I had a tough time cutting those sutures that held it in place!

All in all, I really enjoyed last semester. Where do I see myself working when the time comes? Most definitely the NICU. We'll see where I end up, though.

As for now, I've been enjoying doing nothing, relaxing, baking, and knitting. Break started on May 6 and I don't have class until June 7! Yay! So, I've been making things like this

and this

and this

We've been eating well! (And I've been working out to compensate for this).

Later I'll post some pictures from my visit back home to Walla Walla. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy April!

Rather than having to cope with scenes like this from back home

(Mountain pass that connects E. WA and W. WA)

I get to wake up to weather like this

On a side note, Jon took it upon himself to rent (another) non-mainstream chick flick. If you watched Desperate Housewives when it first started, then you'll see a familiar face. The acting was not so great and the story line was very predictable and unrealistic.

But I still loved it! (Isn't the female lead gorgeous?)

Some Dairy Queen, cheesy chick flick, and snuggling on the couch....I call that a great Thursday night! Hope everyone has a great weekend.