Adieu 2013…

It was a good year…I can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted. It feels wrong to welcome the new without saying goodbye to the old.

2013 shall be known as the year I basically gave up blogging. Only 3 posts!

January I caught my first baby, by summer I had caught another. The second is worthy of it’s own post.

By March I knew I was expecting our 3rd. Between being a busy Labour and Delivery nurse 2013 held my most difficult, yet most enjoyed pregnancy. It grew me as a person and a mother.

April brought our 7th wedding anniversary! We spent it in Banff and it was a great weekend sans kiddos. It involved a lot of watching Sons of Anarchy, and eating out, a great deal of christmas shopping and an amazing anniversary fondue.

We had a wonderful summer vacation in Salmon Arm and I also said ‘adieu’ to labour and delivery with cramping and spotting at 23 weeks.

September brought with it “real” homeschooling and T started a blended grade 1 program. Wee one, though tiny is not so wee anymore and started preschool.

After a few weeks of rest and no further heart stopping moment, I returned to my alma matter of NICU and was welcomed with open arms by old friends. The last couple months of pregnancy were spent not just cuddling preemies but being busy, busy on admits and resus. I embraced the experience and refreshing of skills and pushed myself to work right up until 38weeks. My longest yet!

I delivered a healthy baby boy, Seth Joshua after a labour which itself is also worthy of it’s own post, by the end of November. I was blessed to have my favourite midwife attend for a record of 3/3. After my most trying and humbling postpartum filled with pumping, tears, and clipped tongue ties, I spend christmas just reveling in my beautiful family and contemplating all the ways this pregnancy/delivery/postpartum grew and stretched me. I also learned that while humbling, accepting help from friends and family, can deepen relationships and I am so grateful to all of the amazing gifts of love I was given in those weeks.

2014 will be a year of big change. With the having babies part of my life on it’s way out I feel like it’s a year to decide where we want to live, where I want to work, and how we want to school. It’s also a year to enjoy my sweet baby. By the third, one is only too aware of how fleeting these moments are. We have lots of cuddles and I am unapologetic for never wanting to put him down. He is adored by his two big sisters and we are all going to spend 2014 adjusting to our new family dynamic!

Happy New Year! (Coming soon my OneWord365…)

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Finding spirituality in a healing circle.

Like many things in my childhood I have a hard time pin pointing when I learned certain things were “wrong” and certain ones “right”, but I have a strong feeling that if I had mentioned a “healing circle” it would have been met with raised eyebrows.

I remember quite clearly the look on my mother’s face when I told her I wanted to have a blessing way with my last pregnancy, she shut me down so fast I chickened out and didn’t do it, something I regret to this day.

So when the opportunity to participate in a Birth Healing Circle I jumped on it.

As I drove up the long road to where we were meeting my nerves kicked in. I had no idea what this would look like and the thought of being in a room with 9 women I had never met and one I had only met once, caused my introverted self to completely freak out.

It turned out to be so beautiful.

Women coming together to lift one of our own up for healing. Women, whom I imagine cover a vast array of religious backgrounds and spiritual beliefs. We created a sacred place and space.

Candles, music, blessings. A tearful, heartfelt story, and women fiercly casting out the lies, replacing them with words of truth. Truths of the courage and the bravery it takes to be a mother.  Messages written for the mother for another time, when those lies creep back in, she can again wield the words we have spoken over her.

It made me think of this verse:

Words kill, words give life;
    they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

-Proverbs

That night I believe they gave life.

An added dimension for me, was this woman’s beautiful, difficult story happened right where I work. For all I know I could have even been on the next shift. It was sobering for me to hear just how much pain things, said and done, had caused. Some to me was blatantly wrong. Things I know I’m not the type of person to say or do. Some though, I wonder.  Are there things that are part of my daily practice that do damage? When I think I am protecting women, am I withholding the information they desperately need to hear?

I came away from the circle saying I am AWARE.

It was a reminder to me that birth is not merely a physical experience. It is emotional and spiritual and relational.

I met some wonderful women and had some wonderful discussions over the most amazing olive tapenade I’ve ever eaten! (not that I have much to compare since I always though I hated olives….) I even got to have a wonderful passionate discussion with a student midwife about how we can possibly bridge the gap between medical care and midwifery care.

I’ve struggled lately a lot feeling like I went to Labour and Delivery to help empower women and I don’t feel like I know how in the moment. Most shifts I feel like I participate in events that probably did the exact opposite. I never would have considered the empowerment that can happen after, by healing and speaking out. It brought up some things about my own births both good and interesting. Something to think about even for myself. I feel like there might be more posts about this topic in the future.

Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone spiritually? Was it what you expected?

Jenn

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Laid Bare

Sometimes you just gotta write. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Oh 5 minute fridays how I’ve missed you!

Todays Prompt: BARE

 

Go.

I have two little streakers in the house. The game of the month is “bare naked baby”. Chubby, bare, not so baby bums running through my house. Soon they will learn modesty and hopefully not shame at their bareness.

At the start of labour some modesty remains. Sheets draped during exams and catheters to hide bareness from sisters and mothers, but then restraint is lost as bodies bear down and babies emerge, we are lade bare. Heart and soul, emerging between naked thighs or cut flesh, bare babies coming into this world with nothing. They are placed against their mother’s skin. Heart beats colliding between bared skin.

Sometimes not just our skin is lade bare, in vulnerability our hearts follow. Hugs between grieving mother and nurse. Tears shed together over babies lost. Foot and hand prints attempted until perfection. In those moments the drape that covers the bareness of my heart and soul is lifted, but for a moment.

I relish the freedom those girls have to run bare….I hold out my naked heart, and skin to skin those bare hearts touch, but for a moment, freedom.

I’ve been laid bare.

Stop.

Whew, needed to put that out there. Joining with Lisa-Jo at Gypsy Mama for:

Five Minute Friday

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I caught a baby!

                                                                                                               Source: healthpages.org via Jenn on Pinterest

Since I started working Labour and Delivery I’ve heard story after story of nurses delivering babies, in over a year it’s never been my turn. This week I had my turn. On the heels of watching Birth Story Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives it was the perfect thing for my longing heart. For as long as I can remember it’s been my dream to be a midwife, but as dreams often go there is money and jobs to concider, children and childcare, so it remains a dream. While a plan is in the works it’s more like a 5 year plan, anything can change. Seeing the film though fanned the flame a bit, while it also inspired me to be a better nurse, it made me long for more. It was a beautiful delivery. A lovely patient, the head slipping gracefully in my waiting hands. Instinct I didn’t know I had to check for a cord around the neck and a lovely doctor who showed up in time to put her gloves on and guide my hands as the shoulders delivered. It was such a beautiful moment to hand a beautiful, healthy girl into her mother’s waiting arms. It lasted only a moment before I had to kick into gear and do my “nursing” duties. When I paged out for a warm blanket the charge nurse came in and momentarily didn’t even realize the baby had been born, she was snuggled right into mom’s gown skin to skin, quiet. A very different scene from many, many deliveries I’m at.

It felt like a gift, a gift for me to be able to give my patient. A serene, calm, celebratory birth! I’l always remember catching my first little princess and hope somewhere down the line for many more to come. And….sacred everday? Definitely. Babies are born everyday in every city, country and continent but it is oh so sacred. That moment of drawing first breath. a universal experience. We were all born. That’s where I find God.

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