Saturday, February 5, 2011


"Never ruin an apology with an excuse." ~Kimberly Johnson

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

My heart hurts. My brain hurts. My ego hurts. My body hurts. My checkbook hurts. From my eyeballs down to my left big toe (specifically) I hurt. This nurse-midwifery thing is trying - but I have so much faith that it will b
e worth it.

Where to start?! I'll try going from the top and go down... on a light note (looking back now), I had the embarrassment of walking in on the husband of one of my mama's as he was, um, using the bathroom facilities. I had peeked in her bathroom to see if there were pads and lovely mesh undies set out for her, and - seeing that there were none - headed to her closet to grab some. This apparently took a few minutes longer than I expected, because in the very brief time that I thought it took me to turn around and head back to the bathroom... he snuck in. Surprise!!

(Well, that's what she gets for coming in at 4:00 a.m... right? These people should know I'm no good before 10 a.m.!! Ha, let's see how far that excuse ever gets me!)

So, that was the first bruising of my ego in recent memory. I'm sure there has been others, and there will be many more. Patients who do not like me, or prefer not to have a student working with them; personality conflicts, and, of course, staff/physician/etc conflicts.

Moving on. My checkbook. Oh. My. Heavens. I'm not going to go into details here, since I think my very last post spent a little time talking about this --- but it's not pretty. Thoughts of LAC ("life after clinicals") are really becoming time-consuming, including some pretty in-depth fantasies of where I can find or create a CNM position in the local area. More on that topic soon, I think.

My brain. Oh, yes, the brain... or what's left of it. There are days when it is just a-reelin', if you will. Between the ego-beating and financial stressing just mentioned, and then the mind-trips about future career possibilities, I feel like I'm stretching myself pretty thin when it comes time to actually focus on life and clinical critical thinking. While I know I need to push all of that nonsense to the side and get down to business - that knowledge certainly fits in the "easier said than done" category. Distraction has always been a strong suit of mine, and continues to be so...

Where was I??? Oooh, how about my body next? It is sore as heck, many days. I'm loving what I'm doing, don't get me wrong. L-O-V-E. But, as they say (I think I'm hitting every cliche in the book here) --- love hurts. In this case, it's some of the twisting and maneuvering that I do - usually during births - that gives me some aches and pains. Nothing that I think is going to cause any lingering damage (it's already much better than the first few weeks of clinical, and usually is just a little bit of muscle pain for a bit after a looooong second stage); enough to mention in this somewhat-related post, but not worth changing the way I deliver. (The Midwife doesn't break down the bed; she drapes the foot of the bed, and takes her place sitting on the side of it... this is how I catch, as well, and don't think I would have it any other way... sore back be damned). But, there is al
so my bum toe - my left great toe, to be exact. I broke the S.O.B. four years or so ago tripping on my grandparent's step in my trusty flip-flops, and it's given me a fair amount of grief ever since. I'm still looking for the "right" pair of shoes for clinical/L&D; so far, everything I've been wearing (and maybe it's partially due to the nasty, cold winter weather we've been having --- and the fact that I'm getting to be one of those old fogies that blames the weather for everything) seems to aggravate this darn toe. But, cute shoes are worth the pain, right?
And here we are, at the heart of this post. Pain. My pain, really, is not an issue. I can deal with that. I like to think that I can handle pain, as much as I need to. When "my" mama's are in pain, I help them through it as best as I am able and as best to the plan that they had wanted to follow - whether than means using medications, a shower, or screaming obscenities at passersby. (Well, maybe less-violent forms of vocalization are encouraged, depending on the situation... anyway...)
What kills me, though, is pain that I can't "fix". A mama who has desperately lost sight of what's going on, or feels as though her birth experience is being taken away from her. A baby, who may have suffered an injury during a birth. I have felt these types of aching moments as a nurse, and am beginning to see them now as a student nurse-midwife; fellow students are also sharing their experiences in the same way. A rapid second stage; quick birth of a head with massive cheeks - and then apparent progression of the shoulders. Mama's legs repositioned to open the pelvis further, strong encouragment to PUSH! along with gentle traction as the anterior shoulder finally delivers... and a soft but clear pop is heard/felt. The rest of the baby delivers easily, stunned for a moment, then recovers beautifully and transitions to life on mama's chest.

As a student, this kind of scenario fills me with so many questions and so much guilt (just as a laceration has in the past) - Did I cause this? Could I have prevented it? How could this baby - not "big" by any means, and delivered over an intact perineum - be an innocent victim of trauma?

The sinking pit in my stomach, of course, is only stirred up a bit further by the babe, consistently irritable and refusing to eat; moving both arms but certainly favoring one. Though the Midwife - whose hands guided mine, whose hands guided the baby's head into this world - is reassuring that the injury was not "mine" (but rather a part of the delivery) and the prognosis of a fractured clavicle is excellent... my heart aches at the pain that little soul (and the mother) will bear. However this happened, there are no excuses and no reasons why. Little one... I'm sorry.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Six days. That's how long it's been since I've had one. To some of you, it might not seem like that long, but god, it sucks! I almost, almost had one yesterday - but I didn't.

I don't know if it's good or bad that I kept my hands off it yesterday. It was SO close - but I held myself back.

I'm dreaming of them; driving to work and clinical, I fantasize about how to get one. How to excuse myself out of the office, for that very reason... In the office, I do anything I can (within reason, of course!) to "help" make it more likely...

(Is this bad?)

All right, all right... the good news is, if nothing else - we have two inductions scheduled Friday morning so I WILL get my hands on one of those long-sought guilty pleasures then. If the multip - who has been so desperately waiting for labor for the past three weeks, and whose membranes I "stripped" a few days ago, hoping it might nudge labor on - hasn't naturally kicked in by then, I think hers will be the first lustily-crying babe I'll get my hands on. I think he'll (we don't know if it's a boy or girl, but I'm banking on boy parts) be a pretty good size kiddo, but she'll do well: her heart will fill with a new love for her child that she allows my hands to catch - such an awesome feeling!

Otherwise, besides the dreams and intense desire to catch one --- no jitters or other symptoms, so I guess my withdrawal isn't as severe as it initially seems. But - just in case... send some baby-vibes this way, please!

The Cost of CNEP Clinicals

So, I finally decided to pop out a calculator and figure out just how much in lost wages this whole clinical thing is costing me. Between clinging, sad kiddos and a dwindling checkbook, I finally admitted to myself that I was having some pretty severe withdrawal from my life as well as the slippery babes. I was shocked, though, to realize just how much we've 'lost' since I cut waaaay back on working to try to plow through clinicals... see below (I won't tell you exactly how much I make, I'm just going to toss out $25/hr as an "average" rate for a newer RN working in a hospital setting in a low cost-of-living area... sound fair?) . So - CNEP program length is 675 hours total...

675 x $25 = $16,875

Holy Bejesus Batman! I knew it would be a lot... but I wasn't expecting that much (I really, really suck at math). Yikes!

And, of course, this nice chunk of change doesn't include mileage/gas costs - I am commuting right around an hour each way to my clinical site, usually 4 days a week, so averaging probably $80-90/wk in gas - or tuition/schooling costs (I want to say this is about $2800 each term, or around $8400 total, give or take, for the three terms of clinical that I will have). Last - and definitely not least - there is the time away from my family and "life"... there is no way to put a price on this, but hopefully, will be a small sacrifice that will be forgiven once time passes.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hello, my name is {hebamme}, and I am a blog-a-holic... (and other confessions)


I've said it, and it's true. I realized yesterday - or maybe it was today, or the day before yesterday (does it really matter?) - that I am addicted to this blogging thing. It's sort of liberating, in a way... I can go on and on, without worrying about the words stumbling out of my mouth (something that they tend to do in real life --- I think I have a bit of a speech impediment!) or if anyone really cares. In the world of blogging, I don't need to wonder if anyone is reading or not.

Sure, sure... it's GREAT to get an email notifying me of a new comment on one of my posts, or to see that I have a new follower. But, I can still imagine that there are people reading my daily musings - or that no one is (sometimes that is just as soothing). I'm certain there is a way to figure out how many 'hits' my site has had over time - but (a) I don't know how to do this, and (b) I don't really want to know. Ignorance really is bliss, as they say!

So, this one is gonna be short and sweet, but a few confessions for you (whether you're out there or not) ...


1. Blogging is taking over my life - I'm starting to daydream about it, put off schoolwork, housework, you name it, in favor of it. Is this bad (especially since my ramblings really aren't that good?)

2. Deep down, I'm a very lazy person. Given a chance, I will stay in bed until 10 a.m.; I'll walk right by a pile of toys on the floor (they're just going to get dragged out again anyway) and - as I type this - there is a laundry basket of clothes half-folded on the couch across from me. The only reason they are there, clean, to begin with is because the Warm One loves me and does way more than his share of things... I heart him for this.

3. I eat way too much crap. I know I need to eat better, and I want to (mostly), but it's just so much easier to just eat crap - you know? Ugh. Like, I have had Fazoli's drive-thru for the past two days because it was fast and (kind of) on the way home. And, again, see #3. Lazy ass.

I hope these things don't make me a bad person. I hope that these things are mostly related to life as we know it, right now, since it seems like there's a lot going on... I have memories from the not-too-distant past of actually cleaning my house, of making meals and even sitting down to eat them with my family. Fingers crossed that these things will come to pass again, some day...

(P.S. Confession #4 - I struggled a teensy bit with putting this posting up, only because I kind of liked having Gerard Butler headlining my blog... mmmm...)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Who's on Your Celebrity List?

Come on... you know you have one... your list of guilty pleasures. Those five celebs, that you would like to have a chance with - no holds barred. Kind of "freebies", right? I know you know what I'm talking about here, right?!

Wait, wait! I don't mean, oh, Gerard Butler (drool!) or Brad Pitt. Not that list. I'm not going that far off topic (not that I wouldn't mind wandering off topic that way, but... wait, where was I?). Ok, anyway, back on track.

Right. The Five. (I think, to be honest, you can have as many on your "list" as you like, according to the popular version of this list - but for my blogging purposes --- I'm going with five. Thanks.) Five celebrities/well-known folks* that I would love to attend to during pregnancy and birth...

*Just to clarify, this is meant to be light-hearted... I don't hold celebrities to any higher regar
d than you or I, or my neighbors, or any woman I meet on a daily basis. I don't idolize Hollywood faces by any means - but, I figure they probably have their own demons to fight just as we have ours. I suppose they are just people, like anyone else... so the purpose of this post is just that, 'hey, for some random reason, this person [ insert name ] seems like my kind of person --- I'd love to have her/them for a client!'. That's all :)

So. Finally. On with the List.

5. Jennifer Aniston. Honestly, I don't know if she's dating anyone, if she's preggo, whatever --- I don't have time to grocery shop, or get my hair done, so haven't caught up on Star or People (not even the covers!) in forever. *Sigh* But... can't you imagine her as a pregnant mama? I'm totally stereotyping her based on most of the characters she's played over the years, I will shamelessy admit it ... but - based on that - I see her as the sweetest, could-be-my-new-best-friend-who-is-over-the-moon-excited-about-every-single-part-of-pregnancy client. She'd buy every single pregnancy relat
ed book out there, have What To Expect... (groan) dogeared, and have scores of questions that I would love to answer at each appointment. She would just be an all-around warm-fuzzy, brighten-your-day kinda girl.

(I think she would have a realistic outlook, too - she wouldn't go into it with a mile-long birth plan spelling out "delivery by candle light and whispers only" and "absolutely no pain medication", rather, a perfectly normal, non-diva delivery with a requested epidural, rest, and probably a small perineal laceration. Ideal, from a "birth as a normal, non-pathologic" process? Nah. Still perfectly fine? You bet!)

4. Ellen DeGeneres. Again, I don't know much about Ellen's love life these days. (See explanation above.) I believe she is madly in love with Portia de Rossi - yay for them - and if I'm not mistaking, they have a baby... babies? (Really, I am about ten years behind, here...) I am so disgusted with myself that I can't keep up with anything, but when I do catch the Ellen show, I love it! Even when I can't - I am blessed to get snippets and links from friends who have caught segments or shared with me; ever since I was a young'un - not gonna date myself here and give you specifics, I'll just say it was before the Y2K fears came about - Ellen has been a great fave. How fun would she be in labor? (And, not to mention the whole beautiful - in my opinion, of course, and this is a tangent/different post topic - blossoming of the unique family. Not that ev
ery family isn't unique and beautiful ---- here I go again, with the mouth/mind quicksand... I hope you know what I mean. Ugh!)

3. Miranda Kerr. Okay, Orlanda Bloom's (hello, hotness - pardon my distraction back to the "other" list for a moment again...) wife grabbed my attention - and the attention of many - when she posted a gorgeous picture of herself and her newborn son shortly after little Flynn was born. The beauty of it had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that Miranda is a Victoria's Secret model, or that the babe was a mix of her lingerie-wearing genes and those of Orlando Bloom (*drool*) but that the picture that spread like wildfire over te Web showed her nursing the sweet babe in a sidelying position, aside a statement promoting natural birth and the importance of strong, loving support during labor.

So, Mrs. Kerr-Bloom* - in honor of your handsome son and public service announcement for natural birth and breastfeeding, I will wipe my chin and move on. Thank you.

* I really want to be childish here and make a joke that this sounds a lot like "Care Bear". That seems kind of, well, childish though, so....

2. Oprah Winfrey. Okay. I have to be straight with you here. I don't think Oprah's havin' a baby any time soon. I am totally selling out here because I want a 2012 VW Beetle. I like to think, maybe, if I was her midwife, she'd give me one of her favorite things.

I know, bad midwife. Bad midwife!!

(And yet -- doesn't every midwife need a Beetle?!)

1. P!nk. I relate to every single P!nk (aka Alecia Beth Moore) song out there - don't you? ("Slam, slam, oh hot damn - what part of party don't you understand? ... "But we try to hard, it's a waste of my time, done lookin' for critics cuz they're everywhere - they don't like my genes, they don't like my hair"...) Who doesn't hear a P!nk song and feel instantly cheered up, at least a little?

I think, a P!nk pregnancy, labor, and delivery would be a blast. I think it would be fast, wild, and crazy. Yeah, yeah, there might be some, um, interesting parts --- but what fun is anyth
ing in life if there aren't times when you just have to take a deep breath, hang on tight, and hope for the best? Would P!nk's baby come out with sweet hair? Damn right! I'm predicting - fast, fast labor - one of those intense ones, probably a fair amount of swearing (ah, hell, who doesn't do that in labor though, right?) but a fair amount of tender moments, too... followed by a swift and gentle birth of a little mohawked mini-P!n
k. And, of course, soon-to-be-snuggled in a mini panda hat just like mama's...


Well, I've successfully avoided (a) housework and (b) schoolwork for the evening... mission accomplished! So who's on your "list"??