Saturday, May 6, 2017

Imposter Syndrome

For as long as I can remember, I have felt out of place. I'm out of place working in the NICU, in school, in Small Town, in Home Town, among "friends", with my own family (especially extended family). I know I'm not the only one, but it's highly unsettling to feel like you don't belong anywhere.

Well, it hit me like a freight train last night at a small family gathering I attended to celebrate a few family birthdays. I show up and I know most everybody there, but a couple of my very own cousins are people I've never met before. THEY'RE MY OWN AGE!!! How have I not met them before??? Doesn't matter, I don't belong here anyway. The family that is so tight-knit here all lived in this town for a couple decades now. I've only been here for about 10 months. Of course I'm not going to be used to this side of the family because they never came up to Home State for anything, so we only saw them on the rare occasion that my little nuclear family made it down to Small Town. This, was not a frequent even because my dad despises it down here and doesn't like this side of the family (his side, btw). Sigh.

I mentioned that my Mema's sister is the DON for my floor of the hospital right? She's the one who let me come and shadow in L&D and NICU throughout college and then offered me a NICU position. Well, seeing as she's my boss, I have decided to not really mention that I am looking for employment else where. Who in their right mind would? Unfortunately, I may have mentioned to Mema that I was applying to a local nursing program in order to work as a clinical instructor or professor aide. I'm a fucking idiot for doing such a foolish thing. Last night at the dinner, which just so happened to be at Mema's Sister's house, Mema decided it would be a good conversation to bring up that I was applying for this university position. WHY ON EARTH WOULD THIS SEEM LIKE A GOOD CONVERSATION TO HAVE AT A FAMILY GET-TOGETHER??? AND WITH MY BOSS???!!!??? I get that they are sisters and there was a lul in the conversation, but that's not Mema's information to be sharing and that is not an appropriate time!

Mema keeps calling my mom "to visit" and check in on her. Fine, that's expected. However, she also keeps making things up about me and my life in order to be discussing it with my mom during said "visits". I recently shared slight concern over lack of days that I get to work, so she called my mom almost immediately and told my mom that "I am very worried about work, worried sick!". My mom, being my best buddy and knowing that we don't believe everything we hear, texted me with said information. I then got to reassure my mom that I am not super concerned, more peeved than anything, and I reiterated that she (Mom) and I had already discussed my lack of hours and next career choices in depth. She, of course, already knew all of these things because I call my Mom pretty much every day. But why does that seem like news that would be Mema's place to share? It's not! This is why I don't tell her secrets or anything that is of any worth, she spreads it to everyone, degrades me and complains about me to the whole family, then gets upset when I don't live at her house, spend every free moment with her, and want to move away from her town. I can feel my blood pressure rising just recounting the various other times this type of situation has come up with her.

She told my mom that I was considering moving to a Huge Southern City to go to midwifery school, then proceeded to bash said city to mom. Not her place to share such info, especially when I was telling her things like "I might go back to school, such and such place has a pretty good program, it wouldn't be for another few years... etc... etc... etc..." What happened? Mema called mom and told her I was planning to move ASAP and was unhappy here in Small Town and went on to say she (Mema) regretted ever talking me into coming down here."

I told you about her meeting with exfiance where she sent my mom a text disowning me and telling my mom that I was pretty much a failure, right? She also sent me a hatemail letter informing my family she would never go camping again (because that's where I introduced her to exfiance, stupid choice on my behalf I know). She then got upset with me for not wanting to live with her (she told my mom in the text that I was uninvited from staying at her house anyway) and she got PISSED when nobody wanted to go camping with her this summer, myself included. Duh! You told my family that you wouldn't ever go camping with us again because I'm such a fucking failure at life!!! I get that exfiance was evil to the core and terrible to everyone. However, do you not remember that you married not one, but 2 of them??? Why would you not help me out of a bad situation by being there for me instead of disowning me and spreading rumors behind my back to my entire family (extended and immediate) so that I now have nobody but my parents and my brother? (my dad doesn't even know what happened still).

Some days I wish I was born into a family who was closer to the cousins, grandparents, and entire family. Those days are few and fleeting. After most family gatherings/functions, I recall the simpleness that comes from having the closest family members 2-8 hours away and I count it a blessing to not have an Everybody Loves Raymond situation going on. Small Town got me close to being Raymond, but I keep my doors locked and my house appears to have nobody living in it, even when I'm home for weeks on end because I can't even go to work...

I don't belong here. "Be in the world, not of the world" Can there be a friends clause or some type of support group for those of us stuck in the world but with no connections or need to stay here? Maybe a vacation visa to leave the world for awhile? Something???!!!???

Friday, May 5, 2017

New Horizons

Hello all. It's been a good, long time since I've posted on here. I miss you guys but feel there is nothing interesting going on in my life.

I go about single, for my second year, and wanting a relationship, knowing that I'm not ready and only wanting a relationship because I'm bored. It's a real problem.

My hospital is angering me and I am deeply regretting signing a two year contract and a two year lease for my house. Let's preface this by mentioning that my non-profit hospital got bought out less than a year ago. Changes started slow, then began all at once. One of the newest changes by the Big Mean Company that took over a great Small Town Hospital is the banning of overtime along with the mass hiring of far too many staff members. For our 20 bed NICU, we have 7-8 nurses scheduled EVERY FUCKING NIGHT!!! We will never need 8 nurses unless we have 4-5 1:1 cases and all the other beds filled and that plumb doesn't happen. I have worked 1 night out of 3 scheduled nights for the last 2 weeks and I worked 2/3 the week before. Granted, corporate could not have foreseen, nor predicted this extreme shortage of patients, going on 3 months now, but they could have known that we would never need 8 nurses. At most, we need 5-6 when every blessed bed in the unit is packed and 3 rooms have twins and so we're over-crowded for what would be an acceptable amount of children in our unit.

Back to present day, I am job hunting. The problems with this are: 1) I signed a 2 year contract with the hospital, 2) there is one other hospital in town and no others within 2 hours of here 3) travel nursing won't hire you until you have been a nurse for 1 year for which I am 2.5 months short of, by then we will likely have more children and far less staff because everyone is looking for jobs elsewhere. We all have bills and most of the nurses are the sole/main income for themselves and their families/children. Praise the L-rd I saved my PTO and have been living below my means. I also praise the Good L-rd for allowing me to not get a car when I wanted to in April because I could not have afforded the car payments with no income!

I kid you not, the hospital take-over that I am living through is nearly as bad as the hospital take over in Grey's Anatomy where they began having massive walkouts of the nurses/doctors. Thing is, they are in Seattle where hospitals and opportunities abound. I live in a dead-end town with no hopes of better prospects, unless I move.

Anyone have experience in breaking leases and/or contracts?

If I could be working on school or living at home with my parents, I would have no problems. But, alas, I am in serious trouble. Add in that work has been my happy place and my sense of purpose and excuse to get out of the house. Now I've got very little to do. Don't worry though, I'm not planning on getting my house completely unpacked and put away any time soon. I don't play that game.

Today I am considering online dating just so that I would have someone to talk to.

Somebody save me from this pit of a town!!!

I have applied to several travel nursing companies, the local university that is looking for a clinical assistant, and the other hospital in town (that I don't trust with my license) just so that I could start getting L&D experience. We'll see how it goes. I can't keep down 2 full-time jobs and I cannot afford the taxes for that level of income, but I don't know what else to do. I need L&D experience and I might end up needing to decrease my hours to part-time in the NICU and in L&D (if I got the job). I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. I guess I'll just hope for the best and leave the planning to G-d. I don't even know what the best case scenario is, in this case, only G-d knows what is going to happen at all. I'm growing increasingly glad I have very few ties to this town (i.e. a boyfriend/fiance, children, schooling, a purchased house, etc). On the other hand, I feel as though my life is passing me by and I have nothing to show for it.

That's it. That's my entire update. I'll keep you in the loop if anything begins to come up in my life... in the future. Don't hold your breath, though.

Friday, April 21, 2017

2 Year Anniversary

April 18 and 19 was my 2nd year anniversary of my first sexual assaults. I worked. I thought these days would get easier, but also that it was be more difficult than they were. I know that this makes no sense unless you're in it. But for me, this is the only way to describe the past few days.

At work, we had a girl come into the ER in labor. She came in with abdominal pain. After routine tests, it was discovered that she was 1) pregnant and 2) in active labor. After being told this information, she confessed she was raped. According to her well known dates, the baby was calculated to be premature by about a month. So, ER nurses called us and called L&D because NICU would need to go to that delivery and would possibly be taking the infant back to our unit.

I don't know what happened with that baby or with the girl, but I was at that delivery. The baby was born at full term. There was also the father in the room. I'm not saying she was lying, but I'm not able to know what the full story is either. The girls on my unit were angry, saying that she lied because the father was there.

Guys, that could have been me. I knew the father. I likely would have sought out prenatal care and I definitely called my mom. Well, the ER nurse that did my SANE exam made me... but still. I told my mom about the assault the night after it happened. I drove up to Home Town and went with her to dinner where I couldn't hold it in any longer. I told her in an Olive Garden then wept in her car, in her arms for hours. After ex-fiance raped me over a dozen times, I took the Plan B pill. It is against my beliefs but I couldn't be stuck to the evil guy that would continually invade my physical boundaries and my body. Plus, I had taken one after ex-boyfriend assaulted me and I was examined by a SANE nurse.

I wouldn't have allowed them in the room, if I had needed to give birth. I don't know if I would have told them. I don't know if I would have kept the baby. I just don't know.

I pray for the girl's sake and the sake of the baby, that she was lying, so that she doesn't actually have to live through this trauma that I deal with every day and I can't even make an hour of not remembering something that happened to me in the year of 2015. I was abused and battered and raped and in terrible relationships with two separate guys for the entire year of 2015. I hope for her sake that she was fucking lying. If, not, my heart hurts for her. She has no idea the pain that is coming. However, if she lied, I am angry. I am angry that people see this "label" as an easy way out of consequences that may be bestowed upon them by parents that would be pissed that their child got pregnant at the age of 17 and didn't tell them (the parent) about it until the mom was so concerned about her daughter that they went to the ER at 1 a.m. 

Add in to this trying time of my year that the show "13 Reasons Why" is a very popular show and everyone seems to be talking about, discussing, and judging this poor girl and her decisions and her life. I know it's fictional, but it's not far off from my actual life story. I haven't watched the show, I won't. I know the premise of the show and I've read summaries of many of the episodes. It's not far off from how my story could have been.

Regardless of the year or which of my traumas is coming up on anniversary, somehow, my whole life and everything around me has a tendency to constantly remind of whatever it is I went through at this time a few years ago.


I have started looking for a counselor, don't worry. I'm fixin' to go back. I told my mom, which just ended up freaking her out, but I promised her it was just for a "catch-up". We'll see how it goes.

I went home to Home State a couple weeks ago. My first day back, I was car shopping with my mom when we got a call that her dad was in the hospital. Crap. Normally, it would be stressful enough having grandpa in the hospital for alleged "stroke-like symptoms". However, my mom's mom could be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, as per the DSM-V. She could also be diagnosed with about 97 other personality disorders, and I'm only barely being dramatic. Anyway, she was the one "relaying" the information to my aunt and didn't want to tell my mom because my grandma hates my mom. Yes, she hates her own daughter. Well, after lots of family drama, sneaking into the hospital to visit grandpa when she wasn't there, and spending my whole vacation explaining the adult medical world to my family despite letting them know I "don't do big people". I left my "vacation" exhausted, worried, and frustrated that I spent all my time at a different hospital, taking care of my grandpa (whom I absolutely adore) while trying to dodge my grandma (not to be confused with Mema, whom I work with here in the NICU where I currently reside). I saw my uncles and cousins who don't know who I am because they haven't seen me in 15 years because they are mean and grandma actually likes them and hates me. Grandma then got my number and has begun calling me. *facepalm*

It turns out grandpa was taken to the hospital with stroke-like symptoms and we found cancer in his lungs, liver, and brain. The brain lesions are what was causing his confusion. He had been coughing for a few weeks and began taking Mucinex. He began experiencing R sided numbness and weakness. We thought it was a symptom tied with the confusion, but turns out that extended use of Mucinex can/will cause that. Seeing as he took 5 bottles of Mucinex over the course of a month, it is much more likely the weakness was caused by that.

He is now in the midst of his 10 back-to-back radiation treatments. Following those, he will receive several rounds of chemo and still not have a particularly long time to live because he has small-cell carcinoma. Even if he goes into remission, the cancer will likely come back and with a vengeance.

Despite all of these things, grandpa is so frickin' cute. Even when he was confused, he was happy, pleasant, polite, and worried about his children and grandchildren. Despite being married to a horrible woman who constantly yells at him and berates him, he chooses to be happy and he chooses to stay with her because, as a Catholic, he believes he is doing the right thing by G-d. I so admire this man for staying happy, despite all that has happened to him over the course of his life. He takes things in stride, does what he can for his children, and just tried to by honorable in the eyes of the Good L-rd. Plus, he's so stinkin' cute!!!. Just excited for pudding and to see all 5 of his children in a room for the first time in decades. He has tons of grandkids and several great-grandkids. He worked until last year when he retired at the age of 75 from a job where he was a grounds keeper for a local park system in Home State. He worked hard, outside, for decades. He used to keep 3 jobs at all times to care for his family (granted, grandma did nothing and stole all of his money... but that's beside the point). He's worked hard and suffered his whole life, but he finds joy in getting pudding and juice. I love this man. I am so blessed to have gotten to see him while I was there. I gladly traded my vacation to stay with him while I could.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Scared Sh*tless

Guys, I have started my grad school application. I am nervous beyond belief. The priority deadline was Feb 1, and I missed that by a couple days by the time I was looking seriously at the program. However, I have been emailing the program director and she has been very encouraging. I'm just not certain how straight forward they are being with me.

I want to know how many people are applying, how many get in, what my chances are for getting into the program with only a year of NICU experience, and all of the other questions swirling around in my head. Oh gosh, this is nerve wracking!

For the application only being $50, it's not that bad. However, do I have what it takes? I'm just a baby nurse with a passion for NICU, but I have this burning desire to go further in school and start getting changes started nation wide, or at least in whatever vicinity I'm in. If I could have been here practicing as a midwife, I could have saved lives! I could have saved babies and their mamas from having the terrible home births that ended up killing one or both of them. I'm not saying that home births are bad. I'm just saying home births with a midwife who has never been formally trained is dangerous and asking for trouble.

I want to change the way midwifery is seen in the US. I want to save the lives of moms and babies by preventing too many medical interventions while simultaneously having the training and supplies to provide necessary interventions to keep everyone safe.

Ugh, I feel so helpless.

I am presently terrified.

I am currently in need of another change. I feel like I could actually make a difference.

Oh L-rd, direct me in the ways you want me to go! Make my path straight and show me what it is I'm supposed to be doing!

Probably doesn't help that I've rewatched Call the Midwife on Netflix...

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Because I'm An Idiot

Let's preface this with the fact that we had a recent baby boom and are busting at the seems.

I keep making stupid newbie mistakes. Now, is this because I'm not paying attention? Not really. Mostly, I'm making mistakes without even knowing I'm making them because these are things that I was not taught in orientation. Now that I am on my own, I get in trouble for making said mistakes because I am now responsible for the actions I do, whether I know it is against the rules or not.

This was brought about by getting "in trouble" (my words, not theirs) for overfeeding my kid. In our unit, children can go to ad lib and/or on demand. This, to me, means they can eat however much they want (ad lib) whenever they wake up and start fussing (on demand). Nobody taught me otherwise, until today.

I had my charge nurse feed one of my kids because I was crazy busy and also way late on charting. Well, she ended up looking at my charting and told me I was way overfeeding my kid. Apparently it is an unspoken rule that ad lib actually means 160-200 mL/kg/day. Now, average this out by how long the kid goes between feedings (2-4 hours) and you get your ad lib ranges of what to feed depending on how long they slept. Who knew? Well, I guess everyone did... except me. So, this kid's max was 100 (actually  this is only for going 3 hours in between, for 4 hours it's 133 mL) and I was letting him take as much as he wanted, in the ball parks of 120-150. So, not too much over, and I admitted my mistake to day shift during report, to my friends, and to our unit manager. However, I still feel like a complete dumb ass because I just know this is going to end up being a thing that gets talked about for weeks. The doctor is going to be upset, I'm going to get a lecture, maybe a group email, and it'll be because of me and because I have no clue what the hell I'm doing. Some kids do get ordered to be ad lib with no max. Apparently this is something that is uncommon and ad lib means 160-200.

Ya live and learn, I guess. Poor day shift must think I'm a complete moron because I know the other girls on night shift think I am.

In other news we got our yearly reviews done... everyone is pissed. We have a peer review system, but not everyone fills out reviews for other employees. Plus, the reviews from the employees are used as the sole summation of your work on the unit. So, there is a lot of bias. If you get your review "randomly" (I don't think they were all random) put into a folder to be reviewed by someone on our unit who doesn't like you, your raise will depend on how mean they felt that day. On the flip side, we have some employees who don't do well at work and cut corners who get reviewed by their friends and end up getting raises that they maybe shouldn't have gotten as well as better reviews than they worked for. So, no matter what, you get screwed. So, I got an okay eval, but my friends did not. Their evals went to a girl who is not nice to us and clearly does not like any of us new girls. Therefore, my friends had terrible reviews and did not get the same type of raise I did. It might be by just a few cents, but the reviews are on file for the rest of their career at this hospital. They are not getting good marks because their "grader" is spiteful, rude, mad at us for going to HR about her, and biased.

Add in that I'm tired, probably PMS'ing, and cannot seem to have a good night, and even though I'm sleep deprived, I will probably end up not sleeping well. That sucks because I have been at work every night for a week and still have another 4 days to go. I kid you not, I will have 13 days clocked, in a row because I'm stupid and kept coming in "for just one more night" because we were slammed with kids.

Sometimes I do dumb things.

Mostly, I do dumb things regularly. It's a wonder my review didn't turn out worse than the most negative things being written is that "she gets frustrated". Well no shit. I'm a new grad, I've been on my own for 3 months (out of orientation), and I get frustrating assignments because they are trying to get me experiences with tougher assignments. They say that in the review. Half of our staff is frustrated and frazzled most of their nights at work because they are 1) high strung on their good days and completely out of control on a mediocre day or 2) assignments are not given to be balanced so that stress is evenly distributed across the entirety of the staff for the shift. Assignments are given with no regards to patient needs and nurse responsibilities.

On a more positive note. I emailed the nurse midwifery program I want to attend. They emailed back quickly and asked if I wanted to start in August 2017... I can't move yet, but I kind of want to start school so I'll graduate in 2020. It's a happy year especially with high school graduation being 2012, college graduation being 2016; 2020 fits my little trend!

The only thing I can think is: I can't even be a nurse and do things correctly on a regular basis, what makes me think I can be a practitioner and write orders as opposed to simply following practitioner orders? Everything takes practice and experience, but it's scary!

Ah well. I'm off to sleep so that I can show up to struggle through another crazy shift.

Let's not even talk about my new desire for a kid. I keep getting attached to my little patients that  I tear up when they get to go home. It's bitter sweet, but I love these kids more than I should be loving patients. Then I want a kid, but then I'm over-come with dread and fear of the things they could/might go through in life. Then I start crying because I get scared thinking about what it would be like to have to go through meeting a guy and hoping he won't be evil to me like the other guys have been. And, if he's not evil, then I am scared to tell him the evils I've survived and I'll have to delve into why I don't think I'm pure... and... and... and...

I think I just need some sleep. I'll catch up with y'all later.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

New Culture

The floor I work on consists of all Women's health and the related fields. We have Labor and Delivery, Newborn Nursery, NICU (my unit), and the women specific Med/Surg floor (specifically for C Sections, hysterectomies, and various other health troubles specific to women). In other words, this floor has way too much estrogen. Seriously, WAY TOO MUCH!!!

Our floor, regardless of the unit, is known throughout the hospital and town for being very cliquey, having troubles with new hires (experienced and non-experienced employees), and difficulties with doctors.

Having experienced many of the troubles myself, I am attempting to change the culture for our new people. I have met 3 of them. We have 1 lady who is training on night (already did orientation on days) and is from a med/surg floor in our hospital. She's really sweet and I think we will get along just fine. We have another new grad gal, who is still orienting on days. She seems very excited and eager to start working. I think she'll be fun. I hope so. There is one lady who is going to be PRN, so I'm thinking she's already been a NICU nurse somewhere else and likely has another job. I guess we'll see how that goes. There are 2 others that I have not met and one of them is a guy!

Oh. My. Gosh. You would not believe the ugly things some of the girls were saying. They went off for hours about how the ICU nurse that started and oriented when I did left and so they are quite convinced that's what's going to happen with this guy as well. I didn't have the heart to tell them that the 4 girls that were bitching about her are the reasons she left. That ICU nurse absolutely loved the work, but she knew she could not ultimately handle the people on the unit, so she decided to go PRN instead of being miserable.

These girls were saying that this guy nurse won't be able to help with breastfeeding, that the parents will be uncomfortable with him being their nurse, and also that he won't fit in. You know what? Guy nurses are often aware that moms may not be comfortable being taught to breastfeed from a guy. Guys are also able and willing to tell moms that and offer to have one of the lady nurses help. Guys are better on their feet with critical kids, especially an experienced ICU nurse (as he is). He's also been an ICU charge nurse FOR YEARS!!! He's great with dealing with difficult situations, uncooperative parents, and the ridiculous hormonal troubles that come along with so many women in one area. I think he could bring in some rational thought to a regularly touchy-feelly environment that has cat fights on a regular basis because apparently we are all in fucking middle school.

I'm working on treating these girls as people, talking with them as if they were/are the practicing nurse for the day, and I'm trying to talk to them about life. You know, small talk kinds of things. How are you liking it here? When do you come to nights? Are you married? What do you like to do? All the crap that you have to start off with to break the ice. When I was new, I had to ask all those questions, nobody welcomed me in that way (except the couple of people who I had shadowed, which is why they shadow, everybody loves them!)

Maybe if at least one person accepts them and brings them into the group, they won't feel outcast and they won't feel as though nobody wants them. I want them. I think they will do great. It's a great job, fun work, and we make a difference in the lives of these kids and parents every day. I didn't feel like I was making a difference when I was on med/surg floors because some people didn't want help and other times I was too busy to be any good to anyone.

Hopefully everything will turn out great.

Hey, bonus! I'm making friends on my own unit finally! I am still not in with the mean girls. However, I'm scheduling myself with the other more experienced nurses on nights when I like the charge nurse and the whole night is more fun, relaxed, and more comfortable. Even if some of the not-nice girls are on, I have allies. It certainly helps life and work run a lot smoother. And, in the process, I made more friends. People are finally starting to open up to me and include me in their plans.

P.S. I emailed my master's program for Nurse-Midwifery. Turns out that if you go to school for an extra 2-3 semesters, you end up with a doctorate. I'm seriously considering starting school back up. Even if the commitment is only for 2 years and I think about the doctorate as I am in school and deciding if I can finish it. I guess we'll see.

P.P.S. I started reading Praying for You Future Husband and, in the process, I'm getting encouraged and praying a lot for myself. It's written by Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer. They have prayers for the guy and for yourself at the end of each chapter, they go over their own personal stories, as well as stories of various other women. I'm really enjoying the book and the process. I don't know, maybe years down the road G-d has somebody in store for me that can handle all of this mess.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

New Year of 2017!

Some of you may wonder what I've been up to for the past couple months...

Well, not much besides working. Work is getting better, mostly because I decided to stop bitching about problems that I can't fix, and working on either 1) fixing or 2) avoiding the problems I can. I know avoidance doesn't sound good, but sometimes it's okay. For instance, if there is a particular charge nurse that you do not work well with, it is okay to not sign up for her nights. Whether to simply give yourself a break or to not have to worry about being around her, or both. However, things with her are better, still awkward, but slightly better. I think she's trying to be nicer to everyone.

We have four new girls coming onto night shift in the next few months. One was a med/surg nurse for awhile and the others are new grads, I believe. Ummm, is it just me or does this seem like a bad idea? They are already upset about so many "inexperienced" girls being on the staffing sheet, let's add in a bunch of other complete newbies! I'm not saying we shouldn't give these new girls a chance, I'm just nervous that we don't have near enough experience on the night shift. If they are considering me "experienced", then we have a major issue.

I lost my first baby. Not lose as in misplace, I'm talking lose as in the baby went back to be with Jesus. It was a bitter sweet experience because those babies had a very small chance of survival, for how early they were and the start they had. And, if they had survived, their quality of life would have been terrible. I cried. I was holding it together until my ICU nurse turned NICU nurse friend started crying as she asked if I was okay. I kept baby alive for 10 hours, without sitting down/drinking/eating once in that amount of time.

There were constant drip changes, tests, blood gases, vent changes, glucose tests, IV insertions, bagging, and various other cared during that time. These babies, they were twins, fought so hard. The doctor was called constantly throughout the night and finally came in as all cares were maxed out. Doctor came in, for the third time that night, and he asked the parents if they wanted to pull support. We discontinued and capped off IV's and umbilical lines. We removed all wires we could, without putting the baby through more pain, and we gently swaddled them in the most beautiful blankets we could find. Finally, we removed their ET tubes and handed the babies to shocked parents.

Our worlds can change in an instant. In one moment, we can be excited for new babies, and picking out baby clothes, beds, and the like. In the very next breath, mere infants can float straight up to the Good L-rd's open arms.

That was my first night of 4. Following the 4 nights, I hopped on a bus headed to Home Town and visited a hot springs location with my mom. That week was so wonderful. We have 3 nights and 4 days at the hot springs, threw in a massage (my first massage ever), and had tons of time to talk over life while relaxing in the warm water. Yep, I'm gonna start getting more massages regularly. I'm working on self-care lately. I'm attempting to get an exercise plan and a workout buddy, but we'll see how far I get with that.

Well, that's all I've got for now. It's been 2 years since I met exboyfriend, and it's been over a year since I ever saw exfiance (except when he found me at that bar and the Angry Canadian from nursing school told him off for me.

Flashbacks come more in waves like memories would as opposed to the overwhelming drownings I used to live through on a minute by minute basis. These memories haunt me every day, but I am learning to survive and breathe through the waves and ground myself more efficiently.

Life rolls on and I am getting farther and farther from those guys. Man alive, I can't believe we're already about a month into the new year. Time is just flying by now that school is done.