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Breastfeeding, Distraction, Living In The Moment, Mother, Motherhood, Nursing, Nursing School, Nursing Student, Nursing While Nursing, technology

Tits Out, Phones Down…

Women are, all-around, amazing creatures. We have the ability to multitask like no ones business. We can tame a baby, make breakfast, all while still having the mind capacity to call the cable company to inquire about that bill we received. Living in the twenty-first century makes it no less a feat. In an age of instant gratification, where everyone wants everything and for it to be done now, now, NOW! We have pushed our superwoman powers to the limit. That’s a lie…I’m sure in some super-sonic future, when our brains are bigger than our heads, women will still be multitasking at Nano-second light-speed.

But do you ever feel it? Within all that maternal chaos, while you’re responding to emails, returning phone calls, and checking your likes, do you ever feel that eerie sensation, that someone’s looking at you? Then, you peel yourself away from your cellular fixation to look down and see those two, big beautiful eyes peering over a mountainous breast, with just a sliver of a ridiculously huge smile creeping out the corner. It’s enough to melt your heart, and you almost didn’t see it.

Sometimes when we sit down to breastfeed, we think, “Finally, I have a moment to myself!” and we whip out the cell phones. But, is it a moment we really want to miss? They’re only this little for so long. They are only this absolutely precious for just a split second. If you blink you can miss it. If you look away, you can miss it all.

Time stops for no man; or the obviously includable woman; and before you know it, the only thing those sweet cheeks will be sucking from you is the money right out of your pocket so they can go “chill” with their friends (assuming that’s still a slang term in the super-sonic future). We need to savor this invaluable time, while their tiny hands are still small enough to fit neatly into our palms.

If you think about the absolute wonder it is to have a child, let alone a healthy child, it is breath-taking. If you’re a physiology nerd like I am, the mere thought of a zygote forming by DNA unraveling itself, to lead the way for chromosome pairs to perfectly reassemble and physically manifest two separate entities into one perfect human being, it’s enough to knock your socks off and force you believe in a higher power. That’s right, I’m one of those strange people who mix science and spirituality, I believe they are one in two.

If you’re taught anything in an advanced biology course, you’re shown how we are “broken down”. We are an organism, made up of organ systems, that are made up of, you guessed it: organs. Broken down further, those organs are made of tissues, which are made of cells, made from molecules, formed from atoms, created by…energy. Everything in essence, is energy. Our mere existence, that the dust of the universe danced together in such a beautiful way to form the one, unique you, is a miracle. Your baby, is a miracle. So don’t miss one second of it. Especially those tender moments when the two of you are still connected, in some form.

Breastfeeding is that beautiful physical and spiritual connection that we are still allowed to have even after the chord has been cut. So my proposal is this: When the tits are out, put the phones down. Live in that moment. Share in that moment. Love in that moment. They are fleeting, and we are never promised another one. So put the world on pause, ’cause you’re taking a milk break with your favorite person in the whole world…

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Breastfeeding, Mother, Motherhood, Nursing, Nursing School, Nursing Student, Nursing While Nursing

Date With Destiny

Well the final email had arrived! The one that ultimately places me in a semester within the nursing program. Drum roll please! Da-da-da-da-da-da-daaa! It’s Fall…it’s the fall semester. Almost a little anti-climactic, huh? Well, maybe for you, anyways.

For me, it’s a whirlwind of emotion. So much of my time and effort has been spent to get to this very point, this very moment. But since having a child, the whole dynamic of my attendance is altered. I’m excited, yet reserved. Because I’ll be starting in the Fall instead of the Spring, this means I’ll be away from my beautiful baby girl just that much sooner. I knew this was a possibility while awaiting my placement, but now the reality of it is setting in. She’ll be less than a year old with me commuting to school five days a week, with some of those days being away for 13 hours or more. Just the thought of not being able to be there to stare at her consistently, to answer every coo with another silly noise, and return every single darling smile…It twists my heart in a way I never knew possible. I don’t want to leave her…

Deep down, I know this is for the greater good. What I do now will last us a lifetime. I’ll be able to greatly provide for my family, and we won’t ever have to worry about income. We will be able to stop deciding which discount brand of food we want, and instead start planning our yearly family vacations without reservation. Dang, who am I trying to convince here?! The point is, sometimes in order to succeed in life, it takes a little pain and a small amount of grit. You have to get a little dirty, whether that’s in literal sense, or speaking figuratively in the emotional context; for me, becoming a nurse, it’ll be both. Drat.

Leaving my baby is going to be the hardest thing I’ll ever have to do. It kills me to think of all the “firsts” I’ll miss out on over the next two years. So let’s not think about that, but if I can find the courage and the strength to part from her, then nursing should be in no way harder. Sometimes in life we have to go out of our way, out of our comfort zone to reach higher ground. I could sit and be melancholy about it all, but honestly, I know I need to dig deep and force myself to be excited about all of this. I need to let my inner light thrive and shine. I deserve this. My baby deserves the best “Me” I can give her, and my partner deserves an equally amazing and supportive team-mate.

All that being said, I am now in preparation mode. (Readers beware, I’m going to start talking about “womanly things”.) I have ordered my nursing scrubs, good shoes, and have now began to pump like crazy in-between feedings! My in-laws were gracious enough to gift my partner with a deep-freeze, which I have now completely taken over. Within the decent sized white ice box lies a family-sized frozen lasagna, and over 250 ounces of breast milk. I am not playing around here! My goal for baby girl is to breast feed her for at least a year. I know what you’re thinking, “At least?”. Hell yeah at least! If I could make it to two years, I would! But I know with me having twelve-hour clinical shifts, chances are, I probably won’t have a lot of time to pump to keep up my supply. It’s time to start stocking up now, building a beautiful bank of liquid gold, before the well runs dry. So that’s why this ant is freezing her now plentiful breast-milk. Get it? …Like the story of the Ant & the Grasshopper? Oh, never mind. (But seriously, I pity anyone who didn’t grow up with Aesop).

So now I have to get up-to-date on all my immunizations, pass a physical, get CPR certified, my mask fitted, attend Nursing Boot Camp, and Orientation. Phew. It’s going to be a busy summer. On top of it all, I’m heading back home to Kaua’i for a week since Grandma (my mother) is going through baby girl withdrawals. But, I understand, I miss her and my sister too. Besides, who says no to a week in Hawai’i?! So stick with me peeps, I’ve got a lot on my plate, and I’m down for the meal! ‘Cause you know what comes after a meal: Dessert! Yeahhh! Okay, I don’t quite know where I’m going with that analogy, maybe I’m trying to summon my inner Aesop. Sorry, Aesop. But my hard work is going to pay off, so either way you should stick around to watch me triumph and cheer me on, or secretly hope this toast burns. My bad, another food analogy. Maybe I’m hungry? Hmmm. Either way, you’re all the fuel to my fire. So…props. Hope to see you all again soon. Peace, I’m out…time to pump again.

 

 

Breastfeeding, Mother, Motherhood, Nursing, Nursing Student, Nursing While Nursing

Welcome One, Welcome All!

Well, here we find ourselves, on my first blog post. It’s a little curious us meeting like this, eh? Almost like it was meant to be. Like fate just brought you here to fill your very soul with pure, unfiltered optimism, so that whatever inner light that needs to shine bright in this world can begin its first flickers to illumination. It is possible for you to accomplish unbelievable goals, goals that not even you knew you were capable of fathoming. Maybe you’re a new mother, like me. Maybe you’re a student nurse, like me. Or maybe, you’re just a person with a dream, who unfortunately, understands this world is full of hurdles, set backs, and dark abysses. I am here to tell you, you can do it! WE can do it! Through perseverance and will-power, you can achieve. I implore to follow me on my own journey, that of which I know will be filled with joy and strife, with a few cry-laughs along the way, but I assure you, it will be an adventure! I mean, it has been quite the rollercoaster already…

It has taken me years to even get to the point of being able to apply to a nursing program! Two years of pre-requisites, my ass! It took me three. However, even fate likes to remind you to lighten up a little and trust the process, no matter what it entails, because after I did finally apply, and impatiently awaited my qualification letter, I received an email stating my application was incomplete and therefore I was denied entry for the program! Denied…Needless to say, after an evening of bawling my eyes out, I summoned the courage to call the program administrator to see why and what exactly was “incomplete”. After what seemed like a century of silence in our conversation, with only the sound of her fingers furiously tapping away at her keyboard as my comfort, she informed me that the email had been sent on accident, and that I qualified for the program and my application was now placed into the lottery. ACCIDENT?! How do you accidently almost kill a student from heartbreak? Fate, you fickle jerk.

So I got the message. I needed to trust that my hard work would pay off, that all my efforts were a part of a much bigger plan. Then, fate handed me another surprise. This time, it would be one of the greatest gifts I never knew I always wanted. I was late. Now, I’m not talking fashionably late to the party, unless that party was my menstrual period and Aunt Flo was the guest of honor, I was fricken late. I tip-toed to the bathroom and quietly unwrapped a dollar store pregnancy test while my partner peacefully slept, unaware of the life-changing piss that was taking place. I read the directions, and proceeded to aim. I was five weeks pregnant and smack dab in the middle of my nursing application being processed. A whirlwind of emotion followed. How could I do this? If I did get accepted, how could I possibly survive a full-time nursing program filled with 12-hour clinicals and insurmountable hours of studying, all while raising a baby?! Was I going to have to give up my dream? I felt guilty for even feeling like this might knock me right off of my trail of destiny. I had worked so hard to get to this point, but I was pregnant. I was devastatingly happy.

I pulled myself together and knew that I had to do this, not only for myself but for my unborn baby. I needed to be the best mother I could be for her. Darn! Did I give it away? Yep, she was a girl! And I was going to work my ass off, not only to fulfill my dream, but also so that I could give her a good life. She was my reasoning! She was the extra-push I needed to really buckle down and work even harder. Eventually, I received my “provisional acceptance” letter. I was ecstatic, out of over six-hundred applicants, I was one of forty that were accepted. My first year applying to only one nursing college, and it just happened to be my dream nursing program. Fate was still on my side! Now all I had to do was have my baby and pass my entrance exams with flying colors. So, after a 35-hour labor and studying my ass off, I did just that.

Now here we are. I have a beautiful baby girl, and I’m just waiting to hear which semester I will be placed to start in. Hope you continue to follow me on this crazy ride we call life. I know I can’t wait to see what wonders I accomplish, and what other feats I’ll…defeat? So if you need a laugh, or a little encouragement, come visit me here. See you soon!