Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Funny Things You Might Hear a Midwife Say

In response to a woman in labor saying she feels nauseated or just vomited "That's wonderful!" midwife.

Woman in labor "the contractions are getting really long and very close together", midwife "That's perfect! That's just what we want."

39 1/2 week pregnant woman "Will this baby ever come?" Midwife, "You are getting closer every day." Apprentice "at least we can assure you that you are not getting any further away."

The rules are different in labor land than just about anywhere else. In labor land it is exciting when someone vomits (unless it is the husband). Bowel movements and urine are also very good news and can not happen too frequently and must be announced to everyone present. Labor land is also one of the only places that being splashed with blood or other body fluids during a momentous birth actually lends to the excitement and is something to be laughed about afterward.

I've had some really great birth experiences lately. A few weeks ago I was able to help gently ease an almost 11 pound baby into the world for a mom having her 9th child. The sun had just risen and the light shining in through the windows was so beautiful. This experienced mom and her husband were an awesome labor team and it was such a blessing to be present for her birth. This was one of the 1st births that I did certain maneuvers instinctively, to the point that I really couldn't recall after the fact what precisely I did.

Then 2 first time moms had babies last week. Again wonderful experiences, but in different ways. Both were major learning experiences, especially the 2nd one, where I was able to do several things to help the baby's descent that I had not previously tried, and also things to comfort the mom during her labor which really seemed to help. I also got to help the dad catch his own baby. Again the husband and wife made an awesome team and it was so special and sacred being present. I have really felt the Lord lead me during these labors and births and help me to know and or think of things that I might not have otherwise done. What a blessing to know that he hears and answers prayers and that the birth of these babies is just as important to him as to the moms and dads who are having them.

As a side note, I just had to share a couple of silly orders that doctors wrote on my patient's today "Where is the peak and trough I ordered on this patient yesterday", which the unit clerk promptly looked up on the computer and printed for him; and "Please move this patient to a room with a working air conditioner, please!". :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Wait Loss Rollercoaster

Sometimes I feel like I am at the point of the roller coaster ride where after tons of loops and turns and amazing momentum, I've slowly inched to the top of a large hill and am anxiously waiting, and waiting, and waiting for it to drop down again. I started this particular weight loss ride close to a year ago, and have steadily lost until about 6 weeks or so ago when I inched up to the infamous plateau. Having lost 85 pounds already, I wondered how long it would take to start moving toward the last 70 pounds again.
It would have been nice if it was simply a plateau, where I just sat at the same weight for a short period of time. Nope. I actually gained about 5 pounds. So, I re-evaluated what I was doing. I realized that I had gotten sloppy in a lot of areas. I was sloppy with my eating, not paying as close attention or being as prayerful about what I was taking into my body. I was sloppy with my exercising, which had all but come to a complete halt. I was sloppy with my relationship with the Lord. After all, He was the key to my success.
This ride started with a sincere pleading to the Lord for his strength, mercy, forgiveness, guidance, and help in overcoming my food addictions. I knew that He was the key, yet after almost a year of success I had stopped turning to Him with as much sincerity and desire for help as I had previously. I'm glad to say after turning to Him once again, and willingly following his guidance, the weight loss roller coaster ride is back in motion.
It feels so good to be turning more fully to Him once again, and I am very grateful for the reminder that it takes daily even hourly effort on my part to keep my will in line with His. For now the weight loss roller coaster for me is no longer a wait for loss roller coaster. That was a long couple of months.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cell phones and birth don't mix

So here's the story. About 6 weeks ago we were in a woman's home helping her through the last parts of her labor. Her mom, her sister, her husband, Beth, and I were all present. She's breathing and relaxing and moaning a little, and getting really close to pushing when suddenly a loud pop song breaks the silence. Then moments later an equally loud country song adds it's tune to the only momentarily renewed quiet. Wouldn't you know it, minutes later one more loud (of course everything sounds loud when a woman is in labor) cell phone ring. Of course, the phone calls were all from other anxiously awaiting family members, but that didn't make their rings any less jarring.
Finally, all cell phone rings were turned off and/or placed on vibrate. We were all focused on our laboring Mom again, breathing, rocking, moaning, and finally pushing, when wouldn't you know it, in the midst of some good focused pushing comes an electronic mmmmmmmmm, mmmmmmmmmmmm, mmmmmmmm. The worst part, was it was my phone. Thankfully the vibrating stopped quickly, and Mom didn't seem to notice. Maybe that should be part of the birth plan now, are cell phones allowed at the birth.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

You are called to represent the Savior

The times I have felt the love of the Lord strongest in my life are the times I have been serving others in his name. As a nurse, there have been many instances that I have felt my heart swell with love for someone as I tried to be an instrument in the Lord's hands to serve them.

Just the other day I had a young man as a patient who became a paraplegic a couple of years ago, just a few weeks after he graduated from high school, in a car accident. He had spent most of the last couple of years bitter and over the last few months had finally accepted his present condition and was turning to God again. I was spending some time visiting with him and listening to some of his story. At one point he said "I know God has a plan for me."

I added to his words that I also knew that God had a plan for him and that he has amazing things in store for him. I really felt the Lord testify to me at that moment that He truly did have great things in store for this young man whom He loved very much. I also felt at that moment how much God has a plan for me as well, and for each of us. We each have our own set of problems and disabilities and each of these things can bring us closer to the Lord and make us stronger if we let them.

Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:“A call to service should be primarily a matter of the heart. … You are called to represent the Savior. Your voice to testify becomes the same as His voice, your hands to lift the same as His hands. … The Father and His Beloved Son will send the Holy Ghost as your companion to guide you. Your efforts will be magnified in the lives of the people you serve. And when you look back on what may now seem trying times of service and sacrifice, the sacrifice will have become a blessing, and you will know that you have seen the arm of God lifting those you served for Him, and lifting you” (“Rise to Your Call,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2002, 75–78).

I know that this statement is true, for I have felt an outpouring of the Lord's love as I reach out and help others, including at times my own children and husband. Those are times that I can truly say that I have felt that my voice, my hands were as His.

Share a time with me that you felt the Love of the Lord through someone else reaching out to you or through you serving another.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Strong Emotion = Errors

Why is it that when there is a patient or family member who is overly concerned with every little detail, they are more likely to have mistakes made on them, even mistakes that hardly ever happen? Well, after some contemplation, I've determined it must have something to do with the person making the error being in a heightened emotional state of some type. Those patients are the ones that make we as nurses more nervous or worried that we will make a mistake or even fearful. We find ourselves in the room with our hearts beating a little faster than normal and firmly placed up in our throats.
Isn't that how it is in life as well? Think about some of the errors you've made recently or over the last several years. How many of them happened when you were more emotional? If I allow myself to get too angry, that is when I am more likely to say or do something I will later regret. A close friend of mine made a mistake recently, that after discussion, we decided happened because she was feeling very afraid of retaliation right at that moment.
We've all heard to count to 10, take a few moments to compose ourselves, etc., etc. when we are angry or especially upset for any reason. I really do believe that a lot of errors/mistakes could be avoided if we all took a few moments to compose ourselves prior to acting. If we would purposefully act on something rather than quickly react to something.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Making Weak Things Strong

I have to admit, I have a lot of weaknesses. As a nurse one of my weaknesses has always been IV (intravenous) line insertions. Up until the last several months I had no better than a 50% success rate, but probably more like 30-40%. I have strengths of course, but that is not one of them. An amazing thing has happened though, as I have sought the Lord's help in strengthening that weakness. It all starts with a scripture:

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. " Ether 12:27

I have always loved this scripture, but over the last year it has made a huge difference in several specific areas of my life. For instance the IV situation. It all started one day several months ago when I had a patient's IV line go bad. I looked at his arm and did not see anything worth sticking. The scripture came to mind, and I prayed to Heavenly Father, telling him that I had faith that this scripture was true, and I needed him to help make this week thing strong for me at that moment. The patient was in a lot of pain, and he needed a new line so that I could give him his pain medicine.

As I finished my prayer I looked at his arm again, and the precise vein I should enter was illuminated before my eyes. I said another quick prayer and inserted the needle. Then suddenly, what I'd hoped for, a flash of blood, indicating I was in the right spot. I finished inserting the line and gave the patient his pain medicine. My heart overflowed with gratitude and joy, at the blessing I had been provided.

Later that morning the IV seemed a little sluggish, but still working, and I asked another nurse to attempt to place a 2nd line for a backup. After 2 unsuccessful attempts by her, I decided to try again for a 2nd line, and also had no success. This really solidified in my find that that morning Heavenly Father had truly answered my prayer, and fulfilled the promise in that scripture to make weak things strong for me, right at that moment.

As the months have come and gone, he has continued to make that weakness stronger for me, when I turn to him with complete faith. There are the occasional times when despite my fervent prayers, I am unsuccessful. I think those moments of failure help me to continue to be humble and remember that it is not about my will and what I want, but what Heavenly Father wants for me. If I put my trust in him completely, all things are turned to my good. I have seen him turn weak things into strong over and over again in my life. What are some weak things that he has helped to make strong in your life?

Monday, June 1, 2009

The place where socks hide

Why is it when you can't find any spoons in the house, and you go buy 20 more, so that you will always have a spoon when you need it, within a couple of days you can no longer find any forks? I think it's a silverware conspiracy. I think they're in on it with the cups.
All too often I am looking for a glass, just 1, and all I can find is measuring cups. So, there I am drinking water out of the 1/2 cup. Then later that week, when I need to measure 1/2 cup of oatmeal, or 1 cup of water, all of a sudden, all I can find is a 20 oz glass. Then I'm trying to remember how many ounces are in a cup, and is it about 1/3 of 20 oz that would give me a cup or closer to 1/2, maybe it's more like 2/5.
Which brings me back to the silverware, because who else out there has ever tried to spread peanut butter with a steak knife, or tried to cut their steak with a butter knife. I am just sure that my whole kitchen thinks it is pretty darn funny to play these little jokes on me. The worse part, is that it really stinks having our laundry room connected to our kitchen.
Surely that is who passed this idea on to my washer and dryer who have amazing places for my socks to hide. Only, they don't hide in pairs. No, that would be too easy. Instead they hide mismatched together. Yep, the white crew sock with the white ankle high, my black knee high with my navy trouser sock. It seems even when I try to fight that problem by buying all one type of sock, eventually I end up with 1 pair of socks. 1 pair!
If anyone knows that magical place where the socks hide, they would probably solve all of the mysteries of the universe. Would I find all of our missing spoons there, too? Come to think of it, our camera has been missing for a couple of months. If you see any pics of mismatched socks partying hard with knives and spoons, you'll know I found it.