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!

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.