Another Mom’s Struggle

I want to introduce you to another blogger.  She is a mom, a registered nurse, and wife.  She wanted to share her story of struggle with balancing work, family, baby, and her reasons for deciding to be a stay at home mom.

Her name is Nikki you can find her blog at:

 https://goldenjellybean.com/

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From Engineering Student, To Nurse, To Motherhood.

After graduating high school all I knew was that I was good at math.  My parents were engineers, so naturally engineering was my first major. However, after lounging around for six years with no degree to show for you it, I realized it probably wasn’t the best choice. After 6 years of dragging it out, my mom suggested that I become a nurse. Little did I know how intense nursing would be. You don’t get a sense of how intense it is until you actually take the courses and care for others. I learned many life lessons in nursing school and in the field. In fact, I held my first baby and changed my first diaper in nursing school.

After graduating nursing school my first job was at a small facility caring for children who were medically fragile. It was physically and emotionally draining. This is the first place I saw a child actually struggle to breathe. Some nurses I spoke to during my schooling said they never even used CPR, so after learning CPR myself I never thought I was ever going to use it, but I was wrong and I had to! It was scary but it was also a revelation that I could work under pressure.

In the summer of 2015 I got married and moved to Maryland to be with my husband. While looking for a new job in Maryland, I found out I was pregnant.

Finding out I was pregnant was one of the most exciting moments of my life!  However, bills don’t pay themselves, so I started working at a geriatric rehabilitation facility. I made sure that people knew I was pregnant so that I wouldn’t get certain patients.  It was not to avoid the difficult patients. Typically when pregnant, it is safer to not care for patients with infectious diseases such as, hepatitis, HIV, shingles/chicken pox, Ebola, just to name a few, should I go on…?

According to the CDC, these diseases can cause more severe outcomes in pregnant women and also harm the unborn baby.  A few of the patients in the facility had hepatitis. I was given the same patient multiple times even though I said that I didn’t feel comfortable caring for the patient because I was pregnant. I didn’t care for the nurses’ insensitivity. I cared for another hepatitis patient and I had no idea she had it because it wasn’t in her paperwork. The patient was bleeding and the blood dripped onto the carpet.  One of the nurses stepped on the blood and she was unknowingly dragging it across the hallway.  It was just so much of a safety issue for me that I wanted out!  Who puts carpet in a medical facility anyway? The administrative assistant must have been insane to think that a good idea.

That winter, my husband and I relocated back home to be with family in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He started working in the city and I was hired as a home health care nurse. I decided to stop working shortly thereafter. I didn’t think that it was worth risking my baby’s health because by then I couldn’t lift heavy objects. I also didn’t want to experience the same insensitivity I did in the past. I started to constantly worry about what I would contract or what I would pass on to my family. I was anxious and terrified. I didn’t want my family to catch anything I brought home. When I was working, I was always sick. I had 2 ear infections in a row because I always had respiratory infections. I didn’t want to go through that again and see my child go through that. I know that it’s good for kids to get sick to strengthen their immune system but the microbes I could spread from working as a nurse are different from your average everyday common cold virus. I know that nurses go through this all the time and some of them are pregnant. I have nothing but respect for them because they go through these risks every day! It just wasn’t a risk I was willing to take and it was a personal decision I made for myself. Mentally I was relieved because I could get a break from all the workplace politics and the stress from fear of catching any diseases. Although, part of me felt bad that I didn’t want to be a nurse anymore. I worked so hard and I was fortunate to have my parents pay for my schooling. When I was caring for other children, I never felt any close connection with them. At the time I had wondered what it would feel like to be a mother. Having a baby and taking care of a baby has it’s own struggles and challenges, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Even though I sometimes get so frustrated at her (i.e. doesn’t sleep at night, spits her food out or doesn’t drink her milk), there’s just no replacing being a mother to a child. When she was born I was completely terrified that there would be something wrong with her because we both had a fever when she was born. Her heart rate was elevated and they had to admit her into the PICU. When she came home my husband and I were paranoid that she would roll over in her sleep and stop breathing. Every sound and every movement made us jump out of bed to check on her. When she first got sick I brought her to the doctor even though it was just a cold. I was a worrywart before I was a mother and now even more so. I worry about every minor scratch and bump. I worry about her future and the friends she is going to make. I plan constantly in my head about what after school activities she would be involved in. It’s insane, I know, but this is what I think about.

I am blessed and thankful that I can stay home with her. I don’t miss being a nurse but I am grateful for all the lessons I have learned and the skills I have acquired. Even though I hated going to work most days, I owe my life to nursing. It taught me to be confidence and to work hard. It taught me the foundations of raising a child and caring for a sick one. It taught me that no matter how you plan your day, it will never go as planned. My mom still wants me to keep my license current but I don’t think I’ll ever go back. I just don’t think it is in me to be a nurse. It takes a special soul to care for others. I’ve always felt that other nurses were more compassionate and more competent. I’ve always believed that I was meant to do something else and been struggling to find my own purpose. For now, motherhood and home maker are perfect.

 

 

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