Can I Eat That, Please?

These pregnancy food restrictions are giving me the blues. 

I miss runny yolks-I love my eggs over easy and to dip  them with toast. Yum.

I haven’t had cold cuts in weeks. I did cave and eat some pepperoni though. Just a few little nitrates..it’s not tequila or cocaine, people…give a prego a break. And I’ve read your chances of getting listeria or higher with fruit than meat. I’ve been eating lots of blueberries and strawberries lately…but those are apparently on the safe list.

Sushi hasn’t been too bad, actually. Last time I went out with my hubs and had cooked sushi, and it was absolutely delicious.

Caffeine…here’s the big one. Did you know that if you ask a server in a restaurant if any beverages are non-caffeinated most servers have no idea and just make something up. I’ve stopped asking. Mr. Waiter-man, ginger ale and sprite have no caffeine…no, I don’t want a cranberry juice. I do have a cup of decaf sometimes or even half a cup of regular coffee, but I’ve made myself somewhat paranoid over drinking too much caffeine.

Soft cheeses, how I love you. This one scared me a few times until I realized that most cheeses from major grocery store chains are in fact, pasteurized. I did have one slip up though when I ate some brie without realizing that you aren’t supposed to eat the rind. Sorry, baby. You can give me a few kicks to the cervix for that one…as long as you’re healthy.

Definitely saying no to all wine and beer although I know that some women will occasionally have a glass of wine or a few sips of beer.  The thing about that is, although I’m no longer getting morning nausea, I still sometimes get really bad acid reflux. It makes me cough and sometimes it’s because I need to eat something..again.  So I don’t think wine or beer would help that. I am considering trying a non-alcoholic beer in the third trimester though.

I’m curious-what are your thoughts on restrictions during pregnancy? When I told my mom about the lunch meat thing she said she had no idea and said the rules must be stricter now. Are we too strict and just living in fear and turning our babies into gluten allergy wussies or do you think it’s worth it to avoid most foods on the naughty list? Are people from other countries like this?

 

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Hormonal or just a NOC nurse? All of the above.

Between finishing orientation and finally moving to nights, I’ve been tired, busy, overwhelmed, and experiencing some hormonal changes.

I’m 13 weeks pregnant! Surprise..and yes, we were trying for a baby but I thought it would take a little longer after all my years on birth control pills. It only took a couple months!

Around weeks 7-9, I had some pretty bad nausea and had to eat small amounts every few hours to keep it from getting worse. Also, I had some fun exhaustion, minor constipation, sore breasts, and crankiness. Luckily, I never threw up like I know a lot of moms spend all first trimester doing. Because of my job working with all sorts of icky, nasty bugs and because this is our first baby and we’re crazy excited, we started telling announcing to people fairly early. I told my preceptor, my manager, and lots more people on my floor. Then, I moved to night shift and started telling those people too. It’s kind of funny though because there are 3 other pregnant night nurses, one who announced after me, and a float nurse that just told me she was expecting. Our floor is kind of insane but I guess my coworkers must know how to relieve stress on their off hours. Definitely something in the air, and it’s not tuberculosis *har, har nurse joke*.

After 9 weeks, my physical symptoms were gone but I got really emotional and stressed out. Partially, because I went from having symptoms to no symptoms at all and I got worried and wanted to have another ultrasound immediately so that I would know that everything was OK. Last week, we finally had our genetic testing ultrasound where they did the nuchal translucency screening. The baby looked good! Heart rate was 154 and baby was 6.3 cm. By how far my belly is starting to poke out, I would have thought bigger but I’m just happy the baby is OK!

I feel like my job carries a lot of risks, which adds to my first-time mom anxiety. One nurse told me that I shouldn’t be turning patients, which while working nights I find it impossible to find a tech available to do all the turning for me. I asked my doctor about it and she said to use proper technique and not to overexert myself because if I were to sprain or strain something it would take much longer to heal. I’m cautious but I worry because my job is incredibly physically demanding. I’m not sure exactly what my limit is and I’m not very good at asking for help. For instance, my husband is at a conference this week but I decided to get a 35 lb box of cat litter and I, very carefully, using proper form, lifted it myself. I also got a huge thing of water bottles. Oh, and last night I transferred a patient to another floor. The charge nurse and I rolled the bed and the darn thing was like rolling through molasses. Where is the WD-40 when you need it? So I feel like my arms get a workout… but I wish I was like a cheetah or something…cheetahs don’t really worry about the kittens in their belly when they are running at full speed, do they? I just wish I knew what the hell I was doing. I guess, that is a theme in this whole game of parenthood.

I also told lots of my family and friends early on, because I wanted them to hear it from me and not from a social media website (facebook)…sorry, the internet is fun but some things are just better off in real life. I did finally post an ultrasound picture on facebook but the important people in my life already knew.

I’ve been on nights for maybe only 2 weeks and really struggling with my schedule. I hated working 3 days in a row on days but I’m finding working nights in a row (3 or more) may be the only way for me to join the undead. I mean, daywalkers….you know what I mean. I’m still trying to find a 24 hour pharmacy and walmart is my savior for food and non-caffeinated drinks. I seriously cut down on caffeine with the pregnancy (miss you, coffee, and I’ll always love you..). I feel like I live at work and my nights off are kind of blah because I’m pretty isolated sitting here blogging at 5am. I would not go back to days though and will just have to work on adjusting my schedule.  I still have good days and bad days at work but I think that is part of being new and also it just depends on the kind of patients you’re assigned to.

Since I’ve been feeling pretty normal except tired, I’ve been trying to bond with the baby by buying a few gender-neutral onesies. I’m surprised at how difficult it is to find such things! I need to try some new baby stores for a better selection or maybe the internet (but that’s kind of dangerous..). I know there is a consignment store I really want to visit but guess what? It’s not open at 2am. Boo.

So I’ve seen other blogs where pregnant moms listed some milestones about their pregnancies. I thought that was cute and a good idea because I haven’t started a baby book or anything yet. So, I can’t believe it, but I’m about to be one of “those bloggers”..so I can look back on this when I’m a huge 9 month pregnant lady and a new mom.

Pregnancy Questionnaire
How far along: 13 weeks, 5 days
Total Weight Gain/Loss: I think I’ve gained but I try not to pay too much attention to the numbers and eat fairly healthily.

Maternity clothes: I got a couple maternity shirts and one pair of leggings. One shirt I got from zulily and it tore in the wash, unfortunately. I’m going to be needing new scrubs soon. It takes bike shorts and an undershirt to keep me from bending down and showing the whole world a full moon. I guess that’s better than a hospital gown though. Know of any scrub shops open at 4am? Yeah, neither do I.

Stretch marks: I already have a few on my hips and light ones on my belly from gaining and losing weight but I’m putting tummy butter on to keep them from getting worse now.

Sleep: I sleep from around 8am to 1500 during the day. Yesterday, I let myself sleep however I wanted since I’m off tonight. I fell asleep around 9am and didn’t wake up until 1700! I think being in a dark room with a eyemask on and no sun keeps me from waking up if I don’t set an alarm. When I finally do get up, I’m super tired and groggy.

Best moment last week: Seeing the baby move and the heart beat on the ultrasound. The baby wasn’t super active, probably because it was mommy’s normal sleep time and the ultrasound tech poked the baby to get it to turn. It was sooo cute. I loved it.

Movement: No, I don’t think so. Maybe some gas?

Food cravings: Cheddar cheese, mac and cheese, strawberries, Thai and sometimes Indian food (especially butter chicken from Mughul’s…oh God, I want some now).

Gender: I kind of think it’s a boy and my husband kind of thinks it’s a girl, but I don’t really have any premonitions or strong feelings one way or the other. I’m so excited to find out though.

Labor signs: Thankfully, none.

Belly button – in or out? Innie.

What I miss: Red wine and having more energy. I think I would instantly regret it if I had even sip of wine, so I won’t go there.

What I am looking forward to: A sex reveal party….everyone calls it “gender” reveal but I have to be a smartass and be linguistically and politically correct. Actually, it’s going to be called a “pink or blue” party, which might actually be worse with promoting stereotypes…but sounds cuter.

Milestones: Getting past the nasty nausea!

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Super Size Shopping

Since I work 14 hour days and spend my days off in a melting lump on my couch, my husband has been picking up chores like grocery shopping.

I try to remind him to buy healthy, fresh fruit and vegetables and to plan actual meals so we don’t have random food but no idea how to make a meal out of it. I asked him last week if he could pick out some frozen meals for my work lunch on days when we don’t have leftovers.

When he returned from the store, I asked him if the frozen meals he picked were somewhat healthy.

He says, “I mean, it’s Bertoli, it should be OK….*looks at nutritional information on back of package*…”it’s only 370 calories…wait, omg, it has x amount of sodium and fat…uhh I guess we shouldn’t buy frozen meals.”

I tell him to just try to look at the labels next time and that pasta is usually higher in carbs than protein.

My refrigerator and pantry also include munchies chip mix (my favorite-cheetos, doritos, pretzels), ranch-flavored cheez-its (suprisingly good), capicola (a high fat, delicious thin, Italian cold cut), and chocolate gelato.

Now don’t get me wrong-he went back to the store and got meats, fruits, and veggies and planned some actual meals (I think..hopefully..), but the worst part is that I will shamelessly eat every last one of these unhealthy goods that he bought.

I don’t have to eat it. No one is holding a gun up to my head and forcing me to eat them just because he bought them.

But I will. Everyday. And that’s why I don’t buy them.

Sad but true.

P.S. I don’t feel like talking about work today….. but I called my first rapid response this week. It was really dramatic and I felt somewhat useless. However, I didn’t fall on the floor and have heart attack and become a second patient so I guess I’m decently OK with it.

Until next time, it’s time for cheesy poofs.

Munchies. Glorious.

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Ain’t It Fun? Living in the Real World

I haven’t written a blog post in awhile for several reasons. One reason is that I preemptively feel guilty and annoyed about my complaining. Therefore, there will be no complaining in this post. Not even a peep. Also, I’ve been really busy.

As a nursing student, I always felt that after passing my licensing exam, finishing my BSN, and finding a job I would be finished with my classroom education and my focus would switch to real world learning. Fortunately, I was afforded the opportunity to expand my classroom education while getting paid…which is well, really, really fortunate for a first job out of nursing school. Since I’ve started my job I completed an ECG class and 5 week like Basic Critical Class that was a part of my contract…the course cost the hospital $3,000 dollars and I had to pass it to remain on my floor. Let’s stop to think about the name of that class for a minute-Basic. Critical. Care. It’s funny to me…using the terms “Basic” and “Critical” in the same phrase. I chose not to think about what’s covered in the Advanced Critical Care course. When and if I see a future in Intensive Care, I’ll think about that then.

Last week, I passed the test. This month, I have a ventilator class and Advanced Life Support Class which only last a couple days. Again, I’m very blessed to learn on the job. I just love classrooms and tests. Fantastic.

While I’ve been spending two days a week learning in the classroom, I’ve also spent two 13-14ish hour days orienting on the floor. Day shifts are quite stimulating because not only are you responsible for 3 critically ill patients but the doctors and residents are rounding and managers are there to remind you about goals and standards and ancillary services are there to call you while you’re in a contact room to ask about the status of your patient. There’s never a boring moment and never a job to small or large-they all need to get done and you get to make it happen.

At the end of the month, I’m switching to night shift. I hear it’s different from days in that you draw more labs, take more temps, and if something happens to your patient not all of the resources normally available during the day are still available. It will be an adjustment but I’m looking forward to conquering nights (I sincerely am).

Right now, while I’m on orientation my schedule follows my preceptor’s schedule. My preceptor is brilliant and has worked on the floor for 5 years so she prefers to work 3 days in a row to clear up her schedule for days off. Being new, I think I will prefer working a couple days and then having a couple off rather than completely three 14 hour shifts all on a row. By the last day, I am exhausted…I have a hard time remembering my own name much less answering doctors’ questions. Yes, I am looking forward to putting in my own preferences for my schedule. Three days on for several weeks and then 5 days off at random every two or three weeks feels like I’m on stress-decompress roller coaster and I may need resuscitation. The first day back on the floor is always EXCELLENT.

In other news, after many years of paying to get educated, I’m finally starting to pay things back, save a little, and working on purchasing some things for my house. Yesterday, I got a haircut, bought myself summer clothes, and a side table for my “craigslist room” in my house. It’s a relief to be making strides financially after many years of being a poor student.

I finally got the original files from my wedding pictures and I’ve been printing them out through online printing services and finally framing them. My days off are no longer spent writing papers for my bachelors in nursing and that is so, so sweet.

Come to think of it, I’ve still waiting for my degree to come in the mail. I can wait. I’m just happy to enjoy the “me” time.

Another weekend that I was off work, we visited friends who lived on the beach. We purchased a kiddie pool and beach chairs and I plan on taking full advantage of my summer days off. My next wish is to go to Anna Maria Island-the water is beautiful and I can’t wait to expand my beachy horizons. New Smyrna is fine but I’ll leave it to the large schools of sharks (are they called schools, like fish?).

Basically, yes there is work, which is full-time and variable but I feel like a real adult finally. I can work hard, pay bills, and fit fun adventures into my free time. For that, I’m very thankful.

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One of my favorite wedding pictures.

And you can’t forget the studly men:
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One Day We’ll Get There

 

My mail is stacked up on the dining room table.

My laundry is sitting in the dryer. 

I skipped one of my online assignments this week.

We need cat food and decongestants (it’s spring).

However, I did have a few decent days at work last week. I’ve been coming to work about an hour early (5:30 or 5:45 in the morning) and organizing my day on paper. It has made completing my tasks, caring for my patients, delegating to my techs, and shift report a lot easier. I still have a very long way to go. I need to work on knowing exactly what to assess and how to quickly assess my tached and vented patients. I had two of them on one shift last week. The good news is I’m not nearly as afraid as I was that I would break them as the first few days on the floor. Trach care, suctioning, and feeding or medicating patients with G-tubes or dobhofs on real people are becoming slightly less intimidating. Also, I still need a lot of work on starting IVs and phlebtomy skills. I have 10 successful sticks and 3 IV starts to go and I only have until the beginning of June to do it. I’m learning that it’s way more about feel than look. 

Next week I start my ECG class in addition to 2 floor shifts and I have 3 chapters left to read today. So this morning, I woke up and had a smoothie and 2 cups of coffee. I’m tired of being tired and have lots of produce in my fridge so hopefully I can start feeding myself some energy. I bought artichokes for the first time. I have no idea how to cook them yet. 

My poor husband is working at home without a car on the long days that I’m at the hospital. This Friday, when I got home from work he was ready to do something. I begged him to cook me tacos and then fell asleep on the couch at 10:30 pm. This Saturday we made a trip to Ikea for a new TV stand and then went to his mom’s house to watch the game. So, he got to get out and have fun finally!

The new TV stand looks really weird. It’s 36 inches tall. I decided that the problem is that our couch is really low so we need to get some risers. Also, our TV looks minuscule. I know Brandon has been dying to buy a bigger TV but that will have to wait a paycheck or two.

So, everything is coming along OK. I just need to work harder and push through my classes and work. We will get there one day. *crosses fingers and toes*

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Brain Dumpage

I finally freaked out on my husband after I came home to a very smelly, dirty house after work on Thursday. It wasn’t pretty and I handled it very badly. It only took like an hour of putting away dirty dishes, washing laundry, picking up, and cleaning a few floors for it to be fine again. It’s not what I prefer to come home to but it’s easily solvable. I need to learn how to manage of my stress better…because it’s pretty evident that it carries over from work.

Speaking of stress relief, on Saturday, I woke up with my husband, had a yummy chocolate chip pancake breakfast while listening to music. Then, we watched the Gator basketball game, and went on a little adventure. I was starting to feel like a crazy person from constantly going to work or being at home doing homework or sitting around so we went to a Strawberry festival. It was basically like a fair with fair food, vendors, rides for kiddies, and livestock. And strawberries….oh yeah, so you could buy a flat of strawberries, or strawberry shortcake, or a strawberry shake…but we ended up at Dairy Queen. B loves DQ!

It was a beautiful day and I’m so glad I got out of the house. I feel 100x better mentally. 

Today I finished my powerpoint due for my online class. Tomorrow, I plan on working on another online assignment and then prepping for my day in the ED starting IVs. I’m a little nervous because it’s just me starting IVs…no preceptor or anything. I’m just supposed to stick people they tell me to and do a good job. So, I’ll definitely be prepping tomorrow. Pray for large, palpable veins. 

Then, my schedule gets all weird. It’s like GN day, work, online assignment due, work, off, online assignment due, work, work, 2 days off, work, online assignment due. So just keep praying for me. 

On the bright side, I got my first paycheck and I finally have access to the meds! Makes life a little easier. Also, I booked a hotel for my friend’s wedding in July.

 I will definitely need little adventures to help me through all the insanity. Next time, I hope it’s the beach!

 

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Oops. We really need a second car.

That moment when you’re a new GN (graduate nurse, we abbreviate EVERYTHING in nursing) and your car won’t start when you’re all ready to go at 5:45 in the morning. I feel so lost. 

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