Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Our Strength

I've been thinking about strength today. Mainly, because I am feeling wiped out - emotionally, physically, mentally, financially... you name it. And yet - a part of me truly believes that I just need to give in and accept that this is truly part of the process. I'm all right with this; it's just kind of, well, a drag.

Plus side: I started at my new site, officially, today. LOVE it. Everyone, so far, is amazing. Very welcoming. My new preceptor, "Dee", is introducing me to everyone (docs, nursing staff, random folks walking through the hallway...) as "the student midwife who we're trying to convince to stay here with us as a second midwife with our doctors & I". I so want to be that midwife, and am trying not to get my hopes up, but if there was a wishing well in front of me right now, and I had a penny to toss in, do you think you could guess what my wish would be?? (I won't tell, of course... but if you guessed, well, anyway...)

Not so plus side: I'm exhausted. I think I already alluded to that above. I started trying to type this post almost an hour ago, and keep getting distracted. Like, for example, I wanted a cute little pic to post with this (because honestly, doesn't a sweet picture make everything easier to read??) -- that took forever. Stupid and it's stupidness. Also, we stayed overnight at this hunting cabin my grandparents have (I actually love it - it's very remote, quiet, and peaceful --- and a *tad* closer to my new clinical site as well --- but, there's always a but, right?) I got NO sleep. Like, very, very little sleep. A combination of woodtick paranoia (if you live anywhere that ticks are prevalent, you know what I'm talking about - nasty little creepy crawly vampire things - I had the heebie-jeebies ALL NIGHT LONG thinking they were stuck on me), not having the migraine-preventative med that I usually take at bedtime (which has a convenient side effect of zonking me out nicely), a less-than comfy air mattress, and first-day jitters (will my alarm go off? will I make it in on time? etc), all added up for a loooong night and weird dreams. I dreamt that I was living in a strange apartment building --- I think it was early 20th century, yet there was an odd open-air elevator to get up to the upper floors; very odd, in fact, in that you wrapped yourself around what was basically a fireman's pole and held on for dear life as you shot up it. If you let go ---- not good. I was doing okay until, all of a sudden, I was almost at the top and realized my arms were very tired, slippery, and I just didn't think I could hold on; plus, I realized I also had another "tier" to go (apparently, somehow, to get to my "level" I had to switch poles?! Very ... odd...). So that was one unsettling dream. Another involved the cottage we were at; we were apparently taking turns sleeping (in the dream) and someone - my older brother, I think, looked out the door all of a sudden and someone had jumped in one of our vehicles and taken off out of the blue. (There was much more to this dream, when I woke up --- at the time, it was very vivid and I meant to share it with the Warm One... but being that it was 0530, I decided to let him sleep, and know the details have faded. Anyway, it was another disturbingly vivid dream, I guess.)

I think, what this all boils down to, is that I need a good night's sleep. But,instead of going to bed at a reasonable hour (10 p.m. or so) as I had planned, it's almost midnight and I'm just deciding to call this blog post a night. It's nowhere near what I had planned to write (is there anything about nurse-midwifery, really?? Not much!!), but it's good enough. Suffice it to say - I feel stressed; I need to work more so that I can pay my bills, yet I need to get through clinicals so I can graduate. I also need to study more so I feel less anxiety about upcoming boards, comps, etc. I also need to work on family stuff - or maybe let it go; a close family member is dealing with heavy stuff (addiction) and I don't know how to help him. And yet.... I think it's all going to be okay....

(and, big cheers to my CKC'ers --- one just got married, one just passed comps, and one is on her way to CB!! Jaeger all around!!)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hey! Can It Be?

Can I actually be back in the clinical saddle again? The wild ride continues, apparently... a month after my short stint on the western side of the state (only catching babies - no clinic), and almost four months after parting ways with the Midwife, it looks like I might finally be "good to go" with "Dee" (hopefully a psuedonym I'll remember!), my new preceptor. The wait to start at this site has been such a long, drawn-out struggle... even though everything seems to be ready and in place for me to start this last leg of my clinical journey on Wednesday, I'm still hesitant to really believe it. There have been so many false starts: way back in March, it looked like I would be able to start building up hours with Dee in early April, after she returned from a short medical leave; after weeks and weeks with no communication, it turned out that somehow my paperwork had been lost among the administration team, pushing the process back further. Then, gradually it was May... and now June...

Luckily, the short voyage across the state last month did much to re-energize me and to remind me why I'm doing this all in the first place (although I feel like my clinical skills and knowledge are going to be awfully cobwebby once I finally break my way back into the clinic); my daughters tossing off comments without a second thought - "Mama, when you were a little girl you were like us, but then you grew up and started to catch babies all the time!" - like it's always been this way, only cements that feeling even more.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Which, of course, leads to the next step in the journey. If (when) I ever get through this step - clinicals, that is - and if (when) I manage to pass both comps and boards (an overwhelmingly terrifying prospect) ... then what?! The job market for a CNM in my area is bleak. As in - none. Zip. Zilch. Nada. I've been following several CNM search engines ---; the job listings on ACNM's website, the listings on my school's forums, etc. I've sent resumes, cover letters, and CV's to anyone and everyone, to every job that looked remotely interesting; to Alaska, New York, and AZ. With no calls, no emails, nothing. Kind of depressing, to be honest... but I haven't been very aggressive myself - you know? I still have 170 clinical hours, and up until this week, no idea when I would get those hours going.

Out of the blue, though, I got a call this week from a physician in Maryland; we had a nice, 20 minute chat (after I hung up on him initially - oops, the drags of living in the rural Midwest) and I was left with a bit of hope and interest in what could come from the talk. Could I do Maryland? Pro's - Adventure, ocean nearby, change of pace... a job. Con's - Moving across the country, no family anywhere (some days that might be a slight pro... slightly), higher cost of living... and apparently it's a very 'un-rural' area. Not so good, since I have a feeling I might get kind of antsy surrounded by city/urban folk... maybe. (Although living around here in a cardboard box, with loan papers coming in the mail on a daily basis, might making me kind of antsy too - especially when the snow starts flying...)

I hate to even post this here, since a tiny part of me (okay, a good-sized part of me) is superstitious - but when I met with Dee last week, she also gave me a glimmer of hope for a potential position at her site. (This site is about 45 miles from my current home; it's within the same healthcare system I currently work for, and while it would have its own set of pro's/con's to consider, staying within the area would be a huge "pro". ) So, after talking more with her this week, maybe - hopefully - I'll be able to expand on this more...