Today’s guest is my blog-friend Hollie from Rockport, Texas. She is a labor and delivery nurse, pastor’s wife, and mom to Isaac (2) and another due in December! Check her out at her blog Blog-o-Holl*ic and read on to hear how she balances all of the many hats in her life:
While we’re getting all of our ducks in a row, another patient nearby starts making some rapid change and doesn’t have an epidural. We help her nurse get the room set up for a quickly impending delivery. The doc runs in and with after a few screams and grunts, the baby is out. This is why preparedness is so important in l&d!
Our patient’s water breaks, we get her cleaned up and set her room up for delivery. She’s 5cm dilated and is still comfortable with her epidural. My orientee and I take a few minutes to eat a little breakfast before we get a call from the patient… she’s starting to feel some pressure! She’s now 7cm, so we get her repositioned in bed to be comfortable and encourage her that baby will be here soon! Within the next hour, she’s really feeling like pushing and is 10cm! Her doctor heads back to the unit as we push her a few times. Before you know it, the baby is out and everyone is excited. It was a great delivery! We get her all cleaned up and she starts breastfeeding while I start working on the mounds and mounds of paperwork that accompany each delivery.
In a couple of hours, after lots of fundal massage, our patient is ready to transfer to her postpartum room. We take out her epidural catheter, walk to the bathroom, get cleaned up and wheel her out to her room. Lots of congratulations are given and she is in love with her new bundle. We come back to the unit to grab a bite of lunch while we aren’t busy, but within a few minutes, we’ve absorbed another nurse’s patient while she is occupied doing an epidural. The patient I receive is having some complications and needs some major interventions to remedy the situation. When things continue to go south, the doctor is called to the unit and swiftly delivers the baby. All is well and everyone is healthy and happy.
From this point on, my orientee and I become the triage queens! We see multiple patients who have come in to the emergency room with different labor complaints. One of the girls is T.O.T. (tired-o-totin’) and gets sent home. Another girl has a UTI and is sent home with an antibiotic. Another girl gets worked up for preterm labor. We see all sorts of obstetric complaints and must be ready for any situation.
The rest of the shift goes by quickly, doing admissions and discharges. We give report to the night shift, clock out, and change out of our stinky scrubs. I’m home in time for a late dinner and quickly pass out on the couch. Tomorrow’s day will be completely different! (Man, I love this perspective from a l&d nurse. Most of us have been on the other end, but never heard how crazy things are from the medical side of things! What a fun and important job you have!)
2. Why do you work?
Obviously, my main objective is bringing home an income to support my family. Things cost money, so I work, right? Well, beyond that, I work because I love my job. I love getting to use my brain to sort through complicated problems and situations that arise. I enjoy having interactions with other adults, especially after multiple days at home with a toddler. More than anything, I couldn’t be more honored to stand by a woman on the most exciting day of her life.
3. What’s the best thing about being a working mom? What’s the worst or hardest thing?
The best thing about being a working mom is the satisfaction I get knowing I’m making a tangible contribution to my family. Plus, I hope as Isaac gets older, he can see that both mom and dad work hard and work with integrity. I hope he finds value in education and a strong work ethic. The hardest part is the long hours. A 12.5 hour shift with a 45 minute commute turns into a 14 hour work day. This means I’m leaving before my baby is awake and home after he goes to bed. Until he starts staying up later, these are lost days with my son. Thankfully, I typically only work 2-3 days each week, which gives me more days home with my boy than at work away.
4. What items or tips do you recommend to help “make it work”?
Seriously, this wouldn’t work at all without the support of my husband. He picks up the slack around the house on the days that I work and always has dinner ready when I get home. Also, we have a strong community of people nearby who will love on my baby in a pinch. The closest family we have is 3 hours away, so having a second “family” around the corner has been such a huge help for those unexpected work days. On days off, I always have one or two household chores to complete and my meals are already planned out. This allows me to both keep up with the house/meals AND still spend quality time with my little boy.
5. What encouragement, scripture, etc. has been important in your life and might be meaningful to another working mom?
I get a lot of encouragement from my husband and my job itself has a great deal of intrinsic value. Sure, there are plenty of tough days, I see lots of cranky women, and sometimes I don’t slow down enough to pee, but there are SO many rewarding experiences. There’s nothing like the joy we experience up here!
Thanks Hollie! Hope you all have a great weekend… We are braving the great outdoors for a camping trip with some friends this weekend – prayers appreciated. 😉 What are your plans?