New Year, New Me?

I’ve never been much on New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve always thought if you didn’t like something about yourself then you should just change those things anytime rather than waiting for January 1st to roll around in efforts to better yourself.

But I got to thinking about my past year and the many topics that have bothered me throughout the year 2018 and I decided that maybe a new year with a new outlook wouldn’t be such a bad idea?

So here’s my try to a new me and things that ate me to my core or things that needed improvement in 2018:

1. Motherhood. Motherhood is the most rewarding and hardest thing in the history of ever. There were days that I would literally wish away in an effort to start over fresh tomorrow. Countless hours crying, feeling sorry for myself, overwhelmed, feeling like a failure, the list goes on and on. This year will only get harder as I will be throwing another babe into the mix, but this year I want to relish the moments, even the bad ones, and learn to love and nurture in what I believe to be a more “motherly manor”.

2. Marriage. My husband is amazing, there’s no question about that. But if one little thing didn’t go my way, or I felt unnoticed, or less than enough, or if I was told no then I shut down. I wanted him to step up in other ways as a father that I felt he should be doing but in reality he was doing more than his fair share in his own little way. We struggled with communication in 2018 than any other year of our marriage and it ATE. ME. ALIVE. I hated it. HATED IT. But I’m slowly but surely learning when to shut my mouth and give him space. He deserves the world’s greatest wife because he is truly the world’s greatest man.

3. Health/Wellness. Before my miscarriages I became super in tune with my body and developed a love for fitness. Unfortunately from miscarriage complications, I could no longer tolerate exercise and I’m the kind of idiot that resorts to food for comfort. I finally got back on the bandwagon a few months ago only to quickly be stopped by my excruciating hip pain. Y’all, this hip pain has been the most debilitating thing I’ve ever endured. I mean EVER. I tried many things to help it but all efforts failed. Today I went to the chiropractor for the first time for my hip pain and I left walking. My pain on a good day is usually a 6/10 but since my appointment today I have been a solid 2-3/10 and I feel like I am winning at life. I don’t know if this is temporary, but for the moment I have relief and I have been able to play with my baby and clean the gutters on our house! Please, hold the commentary on what I should and shouldn’t do. I want to love myself again and the way I feel and I’ll be darned if I rob myself of that this year.

4. Christianity. I have been a lousy Christian these past few months, really ever since Ezra was born. I don’t look forward to going to church, I don’t pray nearly as much as I used to, and I think negative thoughts about silly things a lot. I made myself feel better by primarily listening to Christian music, but it’s not the same thing as having a true relationship with Him. My faith and my beliefs have always been very important to me and the basis of my foundation, but I really let it slip in 2018. I focused on myself without help from Him and I promise you I felt it more than I’m happy to admit. This year my #1 goal is to strengthen my relationship with God because I need Him and I know everything else will fall back into place once I put Him back at the center of my life. I am not Mrs. Fix-It and how dare I think I am?

5. Depression. I have literally never admitted this to anyone before this blog, but in 2018 I was depressed. I struggled with feeling lonely, worthless, and not good enough for I can’t tell you how many months this year. Going back to motherhood, it is such an isolating feeling when you are basically a stay-at-home mom. Don’t get me wrong, I love that I am able to stay at home and be with my baby and I love that I get to raise my kid, but y’all let’s not sugar coat this topic. Being a stay-at-home mom is one of the loneliest things I’ve ever done in my life. You spend hours and hours with a human that obviously loves you more than anything in this world but can’t talk back to you, and doesn’t really interact with you for a long time. I am a social butterfly and I hungered for a conversation with someone. Going back to the marriage issue, my husband needs to come home and wind down after a long day of work and his way of winding down is not talking and being by himself for a little while. The two issues mixed together for me were like a fatal car crash. I began to lose who I was as a person. I began calling my mom for literally the dumbest reasons ever (and still do) so I can hear another voice respond back to me. I longed for the days I had to work because that meant I got to be around adults and they would speak to me!! What a concept! I tried talking to a few people about it and everyone said they understood what I was going through, and I believe they did to an extent, but there were days I literally didn’t want to go on because that meant I had to face my lonely reality. It brings tears to my eyes to reflect on these moments. But I will overcome this disease and I will be a happy person because I’ll be darned if I make myself, my husband, or my children take the beating for my self pity. I owe it to every single one of us to focus on my well-being and be the best Christian/wife/mother/friend WHATEVER I need to be.

Moral of the story? Maybe New Year’s Resolutions aren’t so bad. But I have to actually resolve problems rather than work on them for a few months and then give up because life got hard. And I need every single person that reads this blog to hold me accountable. If that’s only one person (and by one person I mean myself 😬), then by golly I’ll hold myself accountable! If anyone else is reading this, I’m here for you on your journey to better yourself and meet your goals as well!

So, with all that being said, what does your New Year, New You look like?

Massage Yo Baby!

I’m not going to lie, I only bought one book during my pregnancy and only read one chapter. If you read tons of books during your pregnancy, good for you. I’m not that kind of person and really just wanted to wing the whole thing. After Ezra was born, I realized the value behind having somewhat of a routine and remembering that book had several sections to help establish a routine. So I picked up the book that I bought and read the sections on routines so I would have some guidance in making my own.

The author of the book suggested bathing your baby every night and and then giving your baby a massage to comfort him before bed. We started doing that and I remember I bought some baby massage oil prior to Ezra’s arrival. He LOVES this massage oil. Idk what it is about the oil, but he coos and is way more relaxed than with any lotion we have used- even lotion that has lavender in it. I love this oil because its ingredients are 100% natural and plant based and easily absorb into the skin without leaving a greasy residue. Score.

I also did a lot of research on baby massages just to see what the benefits really are of massaging your baby every night. There are many benefits for both baby AND mom (or dad, or whoever is doing the massage). Baby massages promote physical, developmental, and emotional health for infants. The physical touch promotes bonding and physical attachment between mom and baby. The soothing effects of the massage assists with weight gain and overall growth because it reduces cortisol levels (stress hormone) which encourages good eating habits and longer periods of sleep in babies. Let me say it a little louder for the people in the back- IT PROMOTES LONGER PERIODS OF SLEEP! Enough reason for me to jump on ship. Infant massage is so important and so heavily researched that 38% of NICUs perform daily massages on preterm babies in order to promote weight gain and decrease hospital stays by 3-6 days. The recommended time is 15 minutes/ day. Urm hello, positive research here people!

So here is how our nightly routine goes: bathe Ezra at 9 pm, give him a massage with Young Living’s Seedlings Baby Oil, put on pajamas, drink a bottle of mommy’s finest milk, sit up for 20 minutes after eating to reduce spit up, and then go to bed. He only wakes up once in the night to eat and the time is getting closer and closer to us waking up in the morning. Last night he didn’t wake up until 4:50 in the morning and he’s only 5 weeks old. The research has proven itself to be true and I’m taking it as a parenting win!!!

If you have baby oil, try it! If not and want to try some, here’s the link of the stuff I recommend: Seedlings Baby Oil

Moral of the story? MASSAGE YO BABY!

Birth Story

Many people have asked about our “birth story.”  Well, our baby boy will be 3 weeks tomorrow (excuse me while I go cry), so I guess it’s time to finally share.

new fam

Thursday, April 12 at about 3 pm I was sitting in my mom’s office when suddenly I thought my water broke.  I tried calling my husband only for him to be in a meeting, so I texted one of his coworkers to try to get him out of the meeting and he succeeded.  In the meantime, my mom and dad took me to the L&D triage.  The nurse swabbed me to check for amniotic fluid only to say it came back negative.  The strip was turquoise and she said it needed to be blue- look lady, I don’t know much about baby nursing, but come on!  How blue are we looking for here?!  Anyways, they hooked me up to a monitor and I was having contractions every 4 minutes, but I wasn’t dilated at all.  They sent me home.

I continued leaking the “said fluid” for the rest of the night and my contractions began to pick up.  Sam kept begging me to go to the hospital but I didn’t want to go until I knew I was far enough along that they had to admit me.  The next morning at about 0730 I couldn’t handle the contractions any longer so I told Sam it was time to go.  Wouldn’t you know after begging me to go all night and me finally telling him I was ready that he had to finish doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen first?!  Men

We finally get to the hospital after driving through 0800 traffic.  Y’all, if they tried to send me home they were going to have to call a Manpower because my pregnant butt was NOT leaving.  They take me straight to L&D triage and hook me up to the monitor.  I’m having contractions every 2-3 minutes lasting 1-2 minutes long.  Luckily my OB was already on the floor so he came in to check on me.  He immediately said, “Well you look like someone in labor!” I’m thinking to myself YEH NO KIDDING! ADMIT ME FOOLS! He checks me and I’m 3 cm. HALLELUJAH!  He admitted me.

They take me to my room and within an hour I went from 3-8 cm.  I went in thinking I didn’t want an epidural, but I progressed so quickly that I couldn’t calm myself down.  The nurse told me they may not be able to get me an epidural because of how dilated I was and I had yet to have the required fluid bolus needed prior to getting an epidural.  Pain meds were also questionable at this point because of potentially harming the baby.  My nurse started the fluid bolus and called anesthesia anyways.  They agreed to do it. PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!!!! By the time they finished the epidural I was complete.  The doctor checked me and told me to get ready to push.  Wait, what?  This epidural hasn’t even kicked in yet?!  45 minutes later the epidural kicked in (and by kicked in I mean I could still feel and completely move my legs but the contractions were bearable) so we started pushing.  Four babies were born that Friday and there were only 3 nurses on the floor.  Know what that means?  The director of the floor and my husband helped me push.  Poor guy. He thought he was going to stand at the top of the bed and hold my hand the whole time. Instead, he got himself a front row seat. Love you, mean it. At one point, there was a baby being born and their heart rate was dropping, so the director had to temporarily leave to help the nurses in the other room.  DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?!  That means it’s just Sam and me pushing and praying to God Ezra doesn’t decide to come while she’s gone.

Y’all, I pushed for 2.5 hours.  TWO AND A HALF HOURS!!!!!!! Ezra’s head was too big and just wouldn’t come out (thanks, Sam for having a huge head).  They cut me three different times  and I only knew they started cutting me because suddenly Sam’s face completely changed and he just stared at me with the biggest eyes I’ve ever seen.  And then sweet little Ezra Hayes was finally born.  I was exhausted.  Dead.  Pooped.  But as soon as they sat that little 8 lb. 3 oz. baby on my chest, nothing else mattered and our hearts were full.  And apparently so was Ez’s tummy because he immediately crapped on my chest.  Thanks bud.  But I still didn’t care.  My brand spanking new baby couldn’t do anything but just stare at me for an entire hour and I couldn’t do anything but stare back.  I was in love.  I was experiencing a new love.  A new love for my new child, a new love for my amazing husband, and a new love for myself because I’m a freaking champion (and obv. humble).

So here he is world, almost 3 weeks later.  Our perfect baby boy.  Ezra Hayes Pement.

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Why Do Nurses Do It?

I had a student nurse ask me a couple of months ago, “So why did you become a nurse?”. The answer was simple: I watched nurses provide great care to my Nana while she was receiving hospice care and knew in an instant that’s what I wanted out life: caring for those who need it most. But the job is extremely tiring and definitely comes with it’s challenges, and lately I’ve been wondering to myself, “Why in the world do you still do this to yourself?”.

First of all, let me tell you something. Our hospital has been working at max capacity for a year now and people are SICK. Buddy boy that has its own challenges. I don’t know about you, but when I’m not feeling well I’m not the most pleasant person to be around. Patients are the same way. Plus, you are there in your nursing profession to take care of them so they expect nice plus more. Cool, I get it. What about family members watching their loved ones suffer? Usually not the most pleasant person to be around. And going back to us working at max capacity, they’ve been waiting a long time for a bed on the floor because let’s face it, the ER isn’t a fun place to spend your time as a patient. So you take into consideration that we are dealing with sick people and their loved ones who aren’t in their normal state of mind because they aren’t currently normal, we work long hours on our feet, we deal with multiple disciplines within the hospital all trying to work together for one goal, we deal with sometimes faulty machinery because we live in a technology world and it’s not always perfect, we deal with shifts that aren’t always fully staffed and are expected to perform at a normal nurse/patient ratio, we deal with violent patients that are completely out of their minds, we deal with bodily fluids that are not ours and act like it’s completely normal, the list goes on and on for forever and an eternity. WHY DO I DO IT?

I’ve ridden on top of a bed while transferring a patient to the unit so I could “bag” them because they weren’t breathing.

I’ve performed chest compressions on several people because their hearts stopped beating.

I’ve held the hand of a dying man that was yelling out for Jesus because he had no family.

I’ve done post-mortem care on patients because it’s uneasy to some people.

I’ve cried with a patient and held them in my arms praying over them after finding out they had terminal cancer.

I’ve had my arm covered in someone else’s blood because they began bleeding out after surgery and needed pressure held until the surgeon arrived.

I’ve performed the Heimlich on a choking patient with a room full of scared family members watching.

I’ve cared for a demented patient’s broken limbs, bruised body, and broken down skin after their own daughter abused them and let them sleep on a crate covered in their own bodily fluids.

I’ve cared for patients whose family members aren’t ready to let go and are prolonging life when at times it doesn’t seem fair.

I’ve cared for a cannibal in four-point restraints and treated him with as much dignity as the person next door.

WHY DO I DO IT?

It’s not a question really of why do I do it. It’s a question of why do WE do it? Because all of those things I mentioned earlier could not be done if I didn’t work with the people I work with. WE do it because we work with a great team who love and support each on a daily basis. WE do it because we love and care for people. WE do it because when our time comes and we need someone, we want someone that loves and cares for us. WE do it because even if we haven’t made a difference in your life, you’ve made one in ours. WE do it because we are nurses and that’s just what we do.