Monday, January 28, 2013

Nursing...a different kind

There was a brief moment in time that I thought I wanted to be a nurse. Specifically, I wanted to be a labor and delivery nurse. I was probably around 10 years old and after watching some show about babies being born, I thought to myself, "That is an amazing job, I want to do that!" For a number of reasons I was dissuaded from that and moved onto the profession I would eventually choose, teaching. I appreciated my years of experience teaching, they were challenging, but crucial in shaping a lot of ideas I have about myself, my kids, and others. I don't know if I would say I always enjoyed teaching, but there were a lot of times I did. I was a good teacher and worked hard to bring valuable and meaningful lessons into the classroom. I don't think I will return to the profession however. For me, the benefits and impact do not outweigh the commitment and heaviness that weighs on you at the end of each day. I am in awe of the men and women who do it, with and without children and how work tirelessly for the kids in their class.

I am so grateful for my time here at home, I love, repeat LOVE, being at home with my kids. I would not trade a single cheerio and elmo book filled day for anything in the world. I am so grateful to Matt for making this a possibility for me. I think being at home with my kids is a thousand times easier than being at work, maybe because this is where my heart is so it is easier to function with your heart closer to your physical presence. I yearned for days at home last year and have no regrets about the sacrifices we make for me to be here.

That being said, I'm not sure I want to stay at home forever. And there has been a nudging interest in nursing again. I am more than happy to be here while my kids are at home, but one day they will be in school. We think we will mainstream school the kids (definitely Mac and Keegan and hopefully Johnny too) which leaves me with a lot of potential time on my hands in a few short years. And one day, they will all be out of the house in some capacity or another. I realize that my time could be spent volunteering or keeping my house really clean or going to the gym for hours each day followed be leisurely lunches with friends. But like I said, that nudging interest in nursing keeps tickling the back of my brain...and my heart. I have had the benefit and honor this past year of being there with two friends as they delivered their children. It was the most amazing thing I have ever been a part of! I would even venture to say that it was more amazing than my own delivery experiences because my own have felt surreal...and a bit hazy from all those "forget childbirth" hormones that make it seem dreamy. And it wasn't just the actual birth that was so cool to me...supporting my dear friends, coaching them along, telling them how great they were doing, anticipating that moment with them, meeting their needs throughout the labor process was nourishing to my soul. I poured into my friends and felt completely rejuvenated and exhilarated by it. I walked away from both deliveries hyper and excited and so completely happy. And all I could think was, "People get paid for this?!?!!" So here I am, thinking about some sort of future profession and feeling this way about childbirth. I have been testing the waters, researching nursing programs, talking with friends who are nurses, and trying to decide if I have the guts to do it. I am so afraid of failure, of not being able to cut it. I am not very science minded, but if I have a goal in mind, I know I will work hard to plug away through that. I would have pre-reqs to take care of before I could even start a program, but that could be done while the kids are still mostly at home. Additionally, from what I understand, nursing is a great field because it can be flexible with scheduling, someone could work a completely normal schedule (8-5 Monday through Friday in an office) or something a little more variable (12 hour shifts ranging from 3 or 4 days a week to once a month). If I decided against L&D, there are a lot of different places I could go into with just a little transition.

A handful of people have asked, what about being a doula or a midwife, and I have considered that question, but honestly, I love the hospital. I love the idea of being apart of people practicing medicine. I like the way the hospital cleaner smells and the dry air in the hospital. I like the idea of working side by side with doctors and having a group of women (and possibly men) that you work a shift with. I loved several of my nurses at the hospital and the way they took care of me, I have had some really great experiences. And I like the idea that I have had three totally different labor and delivery experiences under my belt and that could be really beneficial in helping women make their decision. To understand how an epidural impacts delivery, to empower women to continue through without pain meds, and to know that sometimes deliveries get a little bit crazy, very, very quickly.

So maybe this is just a dream that will never come to fruition, but I am seriously considering it. It's not something that I can pursue now, so we will see where things go. The thought of it makes me happy though, so who knows where I will end up!

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