family, labor and delivery, pregnancy, Uncategorized

More Amazing Pregnancy Lessons from a mom of 5

So, you have read my first 2 pregnancy and labor experiences. And I’m sitting here thinking, three more to go.  Can I write anything new and different and fun? And I’m sure you are thinking, “Goodness! Do we have to read 3 more of her pregnancies?”  I’m going to save both of us the trouble and decided to combine my last 3 experiences into one blog with a few more tips.

Fast forward to my last doctor’s visit with my third pregnancy. She wanted me to get an ultrasound because I was measuring low when she checked my fundal height. Lesson #1. Fundal height is where the top of your uterus is felt.  It correlates with how many weeks you are into your pregnancy.  For me, it was the amount of amniotic fluid, surrounding my baby.  At the ultrasound, the fluid was low enough that my doctor wanted to induce me.  I was admitted, started on Pitocin and felt my contractions quick and strong. Lesson #2.  Pitocin is a medication that is used to start contractions.  And the contractions are usually stronger because of the medicine.  All of a sudden, the whole team came rushing in because my baby wasn’t tolerating the labor and his heart rate was dropping.  They rushed me to the operating room about to do a cesarean section.  Everything was chaos, I didn’t know where Eric was and I was left speechless.  My doctor came rushing in and said I was going to deliver this baby vaginally because I “was a good pusher.” Lesson #3. I’m sure there’s a lesson in here about an emergency, trying to stay calm, etc… for the sake of time, I’ll let you do some self-learning.  Ultimately, I had my baby and everything ended up wonderful.  My third boy was here and joined our chaotic, loving household.

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My fourth labor started out the same as my last. I needed to be induced because my fluid was again low.  But this time, it was even lower and I started worrying if the same thing would happen.  My doctor actually sat in the room this time waiting.  She and my husband were talking and my contractions were off and running.  My doctor asked if I was ok.  I actually gave in this time and said that I would like something for pain.  Her response was, “Pitocin does make your contractions stronger and closer.  Your contractions are 1-3 minutes apart.”  Then she started talking with my husband again.  Umm. My pain medicine?! They were so busy talking, I didn’t know how to interrupt them. Finally, they stopped talking and I said I would like something for pain.  Lesson#4.  Don’t be afraid to ask for pain medicine, whether during labor or after delivery. It’s hard to be in the moment when you’re in pain.  The nurse gave me something through my IV and the next thing I was pushing.  The fourth boy arrived with no complications and healthy.  Now I felt our family was complete.  I was a happy mother of four boys.  I wasn’t going to get my girl, but I knew our family was complete.

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#TEAM WALTON!

After talking and debating and almost getting a tubal ligation, my husband decided to get a vasectomy. One week before his procedure, I found out I was pregnant! I’m not going to lie, I took the test a few times, bought different brands. I used it first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.  I finally showed Eric the last test I took, it had a bright pink positive sign.  I think Eric was a little stunned also because he was like, “Positive, so that means good.  You’re not pregnant?”  As you could guess, we weren’t quite ready or expecting another addition.  Another boy?! Another busy, loud, messy boy?! We came to grips with our new reality, we were told the baby was a girl, friends and family were excited.  I wasn’t going to believe it until I saw my baby.

I was older, working 12 hour shifts and pregnant. I would text Eric and see how quickly he would respond so when the time came I knew he would be available.  I started looking for a back up because he wasn’t passing the practice runs.  I had a couple people willing to watch the other kids when the time came to go to the hospital. Lesson #5.  Know who you are able to call to watch your other kids when you go into labor.  Remember, you could go into labor any time so it might be helpful to have someone ready during the day and someone willing to do the midnight shift if needed. 

The day came. I made it to my OB visit and told my midwife I think I was having contractions.  She checked me and said yes, you’re 3 cm dilated.  Then I felt something and she said she stripped my membranes.  Lesson #6.  Stripping your membranes is done to help labor progress.  What?! I still had to pick up my kids from school, I can’t go to the hospital yet! She said, well you know when you need to come in.  That put a lot of pressure on me because I really don’t know when I needed to come in.  Lesson #7.  Learn when you should go to the hospital, whether your water breaks, how far apart your contractions are, and especially warning signs for going to labor delivery.  I picked up my kids and then called Eric and then my friend.  My friend came to the house before Eric.  I called him again and he said he was about to leave the school! Oh no! He wasn’t even on his way yet! He is totally failing this final exam! He came home and we took off hoping we wouldn’t run into traffic.  We arrived to labor and delivery, the midwife on call came to assess me and said, “So you think you’re in labor?” The way she said it, made me doubt myself, my water hadn’t broken, maybe I’m not.  She checked me and I was 9cm dilated! I had my baby 45 minutes later.  The first thing I did was look to see and was ecstatic to find a girl! She was so small, only 6 lbs 2oz.  The midwife asked about my medical history, I didn’t have any, because my placenta was calcified and “looked old.” Lesson #7. If you’re older and pregnant, it’s very important you eat well, rest, and monitor medical health especially blood pressure and blood sugar.

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The Princess Arrived !

If I thought my family was complete with four boys, that one girl added a whole new dynamic to my family. She is hard headed, tough, rambunctious, loud–not what you think a girl should be. She’s also caring, funny, smart and a true princess; everything a girl should be.  I would not have my family any other way.  Yes, there’s challenges. Yes, there’s yelling.  There’s hair pulling (me pulling my hair), there’s sibling rivalry, there’s noise.  There’s also laughter, love, kisses and hugs. 

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My Family / My Love

Kristine Walton,RN , BSN

Wife/Mother of 5/ Registered Nurse

Contact Kristine @ kkd_2426@hotmail.com

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pregnancy, Uncategorized

‘Summer Bumpin’ (Baby Bumping)

Summer ‘Bumpin’ (Baby Bumpin)

Sing to the tune of Grease’s Summer Nights

Summer Bumpin and having some fun!

Summer Bumpin it happened so fast

I’m carrying a human that’s as cute as can be

I’m your mommy; want the best for you and me

Pregnant days are drifting away, to uh oh those

delivery day

Baby Boy Baby Girl

Summer Pregnancy

 

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Many women experiencing pregnancy during the summer months think they will miss out on fun with the family or be stuck at home drinking water in front of the air condition. The truth is you can still have fun, stay safe and survive the summer months of pregnancy. (Of course, remember to stay safe and follow your doctor’s recommendations).

 

Listed below : 8 Fun Activities and Tips to having a “Summer Bumpin Time”

1.First thing first- Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

It is very important for pregnant women to drink enough water- especially in the summer. You definitely want to make sure you avoid becoming dehydrated. Some signs of dehydration: dizziness, racing or pounding heart, urinating only small amounts or having dark yellow urine (The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2016). Dehydration can cause cramping /contractions in the third trimester as well as overheating (St.Laurent , 2013).

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Beat the heat and drink—Water that is! Grab a pretty BPA free water bottle- fill it up and carry it with you everywhere you go!

2.Entertaining the little ones at home

If you have little one’s at home and pregnant- how can you entertain them during the summer months and take care of yourself and the little human you are growing?

Use your backyard.

Turn your backyard into your personal oasis. You won’t have to travel and you have the comforts of home. Make sure you and your children have on the right amount of sunscreen- and make your backyard a summer playground. You can find a kiddie pool-with just enough water for them to splash around in, turn on the sprinklers and have a ball.IMG_0654

You can sit right next to the children and watch them play while sipping on your ice-cold water, enjoy the summer day. However, if you feel yourself overheating- find a cool place.

3. Working Full Time and Entertaining your younger   children

You may be asking: what if I work, and don’t have time sit in the backyard all day? The great thing about the summer is the days are longer. There are more opportunities for FUN!

Once you are off from work- your family can take a walk around the block, stop at the local dairy queen or just once again-enjoy your backyard

Bubbles. Yes, simple but so magical. Entertain the children one evening after work. Bubbles are fun, affordable and lots of fun for the little ones.

4.Comfortable shoes

Swelling is common in pregnancy, due to the extra fluid in the body, combine that with the Summer heat= swollen feet and ankles. The strappy sandals and wedges are most likely off limits for now- and that’s okay. There are cute comfortable shoes you can wear during these hot months. Also, a tip is because of the swelling, going up a ½ size may increase your comfort level.

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Save these for after baby

* Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing swelling and have concerns*

5.Comfortable Clothes

Once again, pregnant women have extra fluid- which causes swelling; especially in the summer heat. You want to make sure you are comfortable. Take advantage of the cute flowing maxi dresses and skirt trend. They allow room to grow, fashionable, and come in so many different patterns and styles.

6. Fresh Delicious Fruit

Healthy, Refreshing and Delicious. Take advantage of all the available summer fruit. My favorite is Watermelon, but all fruit will help with hydration.IMG_0662 Enjoy the sweet delicious fruit available during the summer months. Keep in mind, some fruit have a high sugar content- so if you have Gestational Diabetes or other health concerns- Speak with your doctor or dietician on what is appropriate for you to eat.

7. Swimming

Exercise in pregnancy is a wonderful idea- if your doctor approves. However, in the summer; you don’t want to overheat. Choose exercises that will not cause you to overheat- choose indoors rather than outside to exercise. One of my favorite form of exercise swimming- it will keep you cool and is a great pregnancy exercise-low impact and relaxing. Plus, it will keep you cool.  IMG_0663

8.Amusement Parks

This is one summer activity that can be challenging while pregnant in the summer. Do not ride the roller coasters .

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Not While Pregnant

Do  make sure you are drinking water the entire time you are there. Do wear sunscreen and a sun hat to protect your sensitive skin. Do wear comfortable shoes and clothes. Do make sure you are taking time to rest. It is okay if you cannot keep up with the crowd you went with to the amusement park. You are growing a human and the sun is hot! Take it easy on yourself 🙂

Your Summer ‘Bumpin‘ time of pregnancy may be challenging, but you can have fun, stay safe ,cool and survive the summer months while growing a human.

 

Summer Bumpin and having some fun!

Summer Bumpin it happened so fast

I’m carrying a human that’s as cute as can be

I’m your mommy; want the best for you and me

Pregnant days are drifting away, to uh oh those

delivery day

Baby Boy Baby Girl

Healthy Mom/Healthy Baby

image

 Mary Echols,RN ,BSN, MSN

Wife/Mother/ Registered Nurse/ “Champion of All Pregnant Women’

Contact Mary @ theamazingadventuresofpregnancy@yahoo.com

 

 

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References:

St.Laurent,C. “The Effect of Dehydration in Pregnant Women on the Baby.” Livestrong

http://www.livestrong.com/article/505961-the-effects-of-dehydration-in-pregnant-women-on-the-baby/

“Exercise During Pregnancy-ACOG.”

http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Exercise-During-Pregnancy

Photo Source: Pixaby & Bossfight

@copyright Mary Echols,2017

Uncategorized

10 Amazing RN Tips to Survive the 2nd Trimester

This is a BIG Deal! You have crossed that 1st Trimester Hill and have started or well into the 2nd Trimester.

The 2nd Trimester is considered: Second trimester: 14 and 0/7 weeks–27 and 6/7 weeks (Months 4 –7) (The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2015)

While this Trimester is considered the Best of your Pregnancy Journey– due to the glowing skin, the glorious hair, the boost of energy, looking pregnant instead of just “full. The truth is -if you are not feeling your Best self- its okay- remember you are growing a whole human. This is a full time job- and you are doing great!

 8 AMAZING RN tips that will help you through the 2nd Trimester:

image  1. “Morning Sickness”

Are you still have “Morning Sickness” – If your “Morning Sickness” have persisted past the 1st trimester- First I’m sorry if that is you. Hang in there – I promise it will pass. However, speak to your provider- sometimes they can provide a medication that is safe for you and the baby that will help soothe your tummy and quiet that nausea and vomiting.

image 2. Dress the Bump

Dress the Bump. During the 2nd Trimester you start to look pregnant. Show off your gorgeous Baby Bump. Current Maternity Fashion is so cute and fashion forward. When building your Pregnancy Wardrobe pick items that can mixed and matched. This way you get more for your buck.

image 3. Maternity Leave

Maternity Leave: During this trimester- it’s a good idea while you are feeling good and not in a rush to start Maternity Leave to speak with Human Resources.   Make sure you completely understand your employers Family Medical Leave Policy. Know how much time you can take off with the baby and when you have to return to work. Normally you are allowed 6 weeks for a vaginal delivery and 8 week for a Cesarean (C-section). Some employers allow up to 12 weeks off for Maternity Leave, but not paid. Understand your policy completely and start your planning.

image4. Let’s Get Physical

Let’s Get Physical! Now with that boost of Energy in your 2nd trimester. Only with your doctor’s approval Choose a Pregnancy Exercise Program that fits your personality and needs. You want to have fun: remember the goal is not to have a 6 pack- but to stay active and healthy during your pregnancy.  

Recommended exercises during pregnancy: relaxing, easy on the body and a good workout. Prenatal Yoga is also a trend currently. Walking is a fun activity. Gives you time to stretch your legs- think, see the scenery. This is also a nice activity if you have little ones. Place them in the stroller and away you go.

image5. Preparation

This is a good time in your pregnancy to o start prepping your home and life to welcome the little one. If you are a first time mom: Make a List of things you will need for the baby: Clothes, Cribs, Diapers, etc ( more on another blog post at a later date).

If this baby will be a younger sibling and you have saved baby items and clothes- this is the time to sort through what can be used again or saved for later use.

image6. Day Care Services

If you are choosing to return to work and you know you will need Day Care Services. This is the time to start reviewing Day Care Options and Facilities. Pick a place that you feel comfortable with, look at the reviews and do your research well.

image7. Journaling

My Favorite: Journaling. Journaling your Pregnancy Journey. Your First Trimester may have been filled with nausea and extreme tiredness and you only had time to for day to day activities. Spend the 2nd trimester journaling; document your pictures, thoughts and feelings you are experiencing. You may think you will remember, but you won’t remember every detail. Take this time to document your journey. You will appreciate this later.

image8. Genetic Testing

Important: During the 2nd trimester- you will be asked about Genetic Testing. Talk with our partner and doctor about what test is being offered. Do not be afraid to ask questions until you fully understand what you will be tested for and the next step. 

image 9.Prenatal Care

Continue to attend all prenatal care appointments. Even with the 2nd Trimester going well, it is important receive consistent prenatal care.  The doctor will check on how your pregnancy is progressing; weight gain, blood pressure, and discuss any symptoms you are having. As well as monitor your baby’s growth and well being.

Remember to keep an open dialogue with your provider to discuss all concerns you all and any concerns you may have.

image10.  Enjoy this Time

It does not matter if this is your first or 10th pregnancy; this will be the only time you are in the 2nd Trimester with this pregnancy.  Take time to be in the moment. Acknowledge every feeling you have, be excited as you prepare to meet your little one, and realize you are really Amazing! You have done a great job carrying your baby to the 2nd Trimester.

You have reached a major milestone- making it to the 2nd Trimester- Congratulations! I hope these 10 tips will help you along your journey.

Healthy Mom/Healthy Baby

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Mary E.   RN,BSN,MSN

Wife/Mother/Registered Nurse/’Champion of All Pregnant Women’

contact Mary @theadventuresofpregnancy@yahoo.com

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Resources:

1.How Your Baby Grows During Pregnancy-ACOG , 6/2016

http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Prenatal-Development-How-Your-Baby-Grows-During-Pregnancy

labor and delivery, pregnancy, Uncategorized

Amazing Pregnancy Lessons for #2 from a Mom of 5

My first pregnancy was perfect. My labor experience came straight out of a text book.  My delivery was a breeze.  Because I did what I was supposed to and everything came out fine, I thought, “Ehhh, I can let go a little bit.”

 

My first indulgence was drinking my beloved Coca Cola. Now I didn’t go hog wild, I drank 1 20oz bottle a day.  My child is now 10 years old and he is probably the most hyper of my kids.  So my immediate take away Lesson #1. When the nurse and doctor recommend not eating or drinking something during pregnancy, listen. There’s a reason why there are diet and food restrictions. They tell you to limit caffeine. Now I know why.

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I also didn’t eat as healthy. I ate more junk food.  I did gain the recommended weight gain of 25-30 lbs but the difference came in my baby’s birth weight.  My first baby weighed 8lbs 5oz and my second baby weighed 7lbs.  A significant difference.  Lesson #2. The foods and drinks you put in your body affect your baby’s development and health.

 

I found it harder to take naps with a toddler at home and still working 12 hour shifts. I found myself being tired more easily and probably a little bit more irritable–or so my husband says.

Lesson #3. Learn to take naps.  If you have a toddler, take a nap when they nap.  The chores can wait.  Remember, you’re making a baby and that takes energy.

 

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One day, my water broke. I was confused. I wasn’t have contractions, how can my water break? I called my doctor (her number was again posted on my fridge).  She told me to go to labor and delivery and be evaluated.  It was determined my water indeed broke and I won a stay in the hospital. I asked if I could go home until I started having contractions.  I was told,”No, your water broke and we need to monitor you.” Lesson #3.  Once your water breaks, you will probably be admitted to monitor the progress of your labor.  If labor does not progress after 24 hours, the chances of an infection increases.  Your baby was kept safe inside your uterus protected by the amniotic fluid and your mucous plug.  Once those walls of safety are gone, bacteria can more easily enter and cause an infection.  I started walking once again, hoping to start my labor.  When I had a cervical check, I anticipated 6-7 cm, the nurse told me I was an outstanding 3 cm!? WHAT?! I told my husband, we’re going to be here forever!

 

I started walking, again. I started feeling those twinges but nothing that told me I was anywhere close to delivering. This time, I was able to eat dinner alongside my husband.  Unlike him, I wasn’t overly thrilled.  My nurse came back and monitored my baby with a Doppler.  Lesson #4. If you are having a low risk pregnancy, your baby can probably be monitored with a Doppler that checks on the baby’s heart beat to make sure it is not too slow or too fast.  You don’t necessarily have to hooked up to those huge monitors and be confined to bed.

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It was getting close to 12 hours since my water broke. My nurse said if my labor doesn’t start soon, I would have to be induced.  She suggested using a breast pump.  Yes! The same breast pump you use for pumping milk.  She said the nipple stimulation can start your contractions.  I used the breast pump for 10-15 minutes each side.  Afterwards, I felt my contraction!

Lesson #5. Again, listen to your nurse.  She knows what she’s doing.  I was checked again and still 3 cm dilated.  It is now 3am!!  I predicted I would be in labor for another 6-7 hours.  Sad face emoji.

 

As my contractions continued, they became stronger. So strong I wondered how I did this medication free with my first one.  I was confined to being balled up in my bed.  I was on the brink of giving into the relief of pain medication when my nurse came back at 5am to check me again.  She came back up proclaiming, “Oh my! You’re already 10 cm! I need to call your doctor!” The doctor on call came in and told me my doctor was on her way.  I said, “I feel like I have to push.” The nurse said, don’t push yet.  Excuse me?!  How can I not push when I feel this huge urge to push?!  I was told to breathe.  So I breathed.  It did help.  If you’re breathing, you literally can not push. Try it. Lesson #6. If they say you’re not ready to push yet for whatever reason, breath.  HeHeHe. Puff puff puff. Whatever is easier for you.

 

My baby came a little after 5am. Eric was able to cut the umbilical cord this time.  Again that feeling of overwhelming love.  Again, Eric held his second son throughout the night. 

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When our first son came to visit the next day, there was a gift for him from his baby brother. Lesson #7. It is a cute idea to give a gift for your first child from his sibling.  It lets your first child know, they will not be left out with a new arrival.  Let them help in a capacity that is appropriate for their age.

 

Breast feeding was painful. What was I doing wrong? I endured the pain.  Pain that made my toes curl with each feed.  I started bleeding. I wanted to give up.  Then I called the lactation consultant.  She told me to come in so she could see what I was doing.  She cringed when she saw me.  I put my baby to breast and felt the familiar pain.  The lactation consultant, without breaking the latch, adjusted my arms and miraculously the pain instantly disappeared. I looked amazed because she explained what was wrong.  I could have cried because I didn’t have to give up and it was so easy when I had help. Lesson #8.  Get help with breastfeeding.  That’s why there are nurses and lactation consultants–they there to help.  Know community resources available for breast feeding help and/or support.

 

 

 

Though my second pregnancy experience was not perfect and there were a few hiccups along the way, I learned to accept help. I learned how to manage 2 young boys, maybe not perfectly. They were beautiful, lovable boys.  They were my sons.  I was enjoying my life and I didn’t even know my third one was coming soon.

 

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Kristine Walton, RN, BSN

Wife/Mother of 5/ Registered Nurse

Contact Kristine @ kkd_2426@Hotmail.com

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pregnancy, Uncategorized

“C-Section or Not; You are a Mother”

 

She Cried Today.

She cried because her pregnancy journey will end with a Caesarean section (C-section).

She cried because pregnancy to her that means she didn’t earn her baby

She cried because she felt she wasn’t a ‘real’ mother/woman.

She cried because she will not be able to labor her baby into the world.

She cried because she was embarrassed to tell her husband.

She cried because to her – she has failed.

My heart hurt for this 1st time mother.  This mother who has planned from the 1st positive pregnancy test for this baby, prayed for this baby, dreamed about her pregnancy and mentally prepared for the birth of her baby.

My heart hurt because she could not see there is more than one road to a healthy baby.

She Cried Today

I spent time with her. I talked with her. I wanted my words to acknowledge her feeling and empower her to own her birth story.

I wanted  her to know :

She is a Mother

She is a Woman

She has not failed but is winning and has won.

She has carried this child for almost 40 weeks; who she loves without ever meeting. She has nurtured this child in utero doing everything right to set the stage to welcome her little one into the world.  Her desire is to have the perfect pregnancy journey, which to her is to have a vaginal delivery.

She Cried Today

She left her office visit with a look of resignation and anxiousness in her eyes.

I will see her once more before her scheduled C-section. I will speak with her, comfort her, encourage her to express her feelings, hopes, and thoughts.

In my mind and heart:

My hope , my prayer is that she will always know:

The journey of pregnancy and parenting may not always be linear. That she will learn to expect the unexpected, that plans change.

Regardless of how her birth story unfolds ; that she will remember:

She is a Mother

She is a Woman

She is Strong

Her name is Mama

Her Baby = Love

Healthy Mom/Healthy Baby

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Mary Echols, RN , BSN, MSN

Wife/Mother/ Registered Nurse/ “Champion of All Pregnant Women”

Contact Mary @ theadventuresofpregnancy@yahoo.com

 

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“Bad Moms” Unite

I just watched the movie, “Bad Moms” and found myself totally nodding my head, laughing and telling myself, “I know! That is so right.” And I know many other moms could relate, to one of the characters, if not more than one.   I’m even more positive you could see your mom friends in the characters. Who doesn’t have a mom friend with multiple kids who always looks tired and never goes out? Or the single looking for love  mom? Or the seemingly perfect mom who appears to have everything together?

                                                                                                                          

But that’s the whole point right? Being a mom is not perfect. We can try, but everything we try so hard to do is never enough. Either we do everything for our kids; make them breakfast, do their homework, take them to all their extracurricular activities, make them the perfect nutritious organic lunch and they become entitled kids who expect the world to give them what they want instead of working for it.  Or we are the disengaged parents; missing their games, not caring about their school or social lives and they become disengaged kids who apparently don’t care about anything.  We need to give ourselves a break.

 

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Scissors + a Little Guy

Many moms are also working moms and I’m going to take a leap in faith and also assume we also maintain our household. We have to find time between our kids’ school and activities and our job to go grocery shopping, clean our house, laundry and meal preparation. Then our partner wants time to have “relations?!

 

Being a nurse working 12 hours a day or sometimes even doing midnight shifts; I’ve never been a perfect mom and frankly, I’ve never had the energy to try to appear perfect. I think the hardest time for me as a mom was when I was pregnant with the last baby. I had 2 in school and 2 at home.  My husband and I were always able to be at home and avoid the need for daycare.  But Eric was done with school and started teaching. We were now both working full time and needing day care.  Being a nurse, though hard, can allow flexibility in your schedule.  I started working every weekend during the day and Monday doing the midnight shift.  So now I’m up all day Monday with 2 boys, working from 7pm to 7am and rushing home Tuesday to have to be up all day.  I found myself being a bad mom.  I would leave bowls of snacks on the table and by the couch so I could catch 30 minutes of shut eye on the couch.  I let PBS be my babysitter.  I let the boys co-sleep on the couch with me during their nap time.  I let my older boys eat school lunch every day. I did not have the healthiest diet during this pregnancy. 

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The older brothers “playing” with their younger brother

I know my 2 boys were up to no good when I would open my eyes to see the youngest staring at me and frantically whisper, “hurry! She’s awake!” Or I would find a trail of candy wrappers that were not there before I dozed off for a few winks.  But at that time, I was being the best mom I could be.  I don’t know or don’t care if other moms talked about me when I picked my other boys up from school, looking disheveled and beyond the world tired. I was waiting to tell someone I haven’t slept for 32 hours! They might have been too scared to approach me or maybe didn’t want their kids around me? Who knew? But I could totally relate to the mom with 4 kids in the movie, Kiki.  So knowing, we’ve all been bad moms at some point in our parenting career, I have a few tips to help you become badder moms.  Or is it more bad?

 

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Take a nap! I cherish my days off with all the kids in school and I can sleep! At first I felt guilty because I could be doing so many other things around the house. But the first time I napped and really slept, where you wake up and you’re confused at first and don’t know where you’re at.   I was like, wow! This is really nice. And I can stay like this for a few more moments without anyone demanding my attention, or having to make something, fix something, wash something or whatever something.

Say “no” to your kids. I know you’ve read this in more parenting blogs, magazines then you       care to read again. But saying no to them is more than making them more resilient, getting them ready for the real world but it saves your sanity. You start saying no when they’re young so it doesn’t hit them hard when they’re in elementary school and they’re shocked and start having seizures. My kids start off asking me, “I know you’re going to say no…” And when I say yes, I’m the best mom ever! Saying no also will save you a ton of money. How many times while going shopping (your) you’re kids ask for things and you end up spending more money than you planned. I bet saying no to all these extras will save you hundreds of dollars a month depending on how many kids you have.

3. You don’t always have to share your food. I always used to share my food when my kids asked, “Can I have some?” I felt like I was feeding baby birds when my kids would stand around me with their open waiting mouths ready for their next tasty morsel. Because that’s what a mom does, but I would look down and there was nothing left for me. Then I would get mad. C’mon. I know I’m not the only mom who got mad when that food you’ve been waiting for, is devoured by your greedy offspring. Guess what? It’s ok to be greedy sometimes too. I’ve learned to say, “this is mine.” When my guilt is overwhelming, I hide my treat and wait longingly for my kids’ bedtime. Then I retrieve my guilty pleasure and enjoy.

4. Don’t sign your kids up for every activity that comes their way. Not going to the story telling at the library will not destroy them.   Now my oldest has discovered his passion for basketball and he’s pretty good. So I allowed him to play in an extra league during school. When you’re child finds his/her passion then allow that passion to flourish. Plus, there’s scholarships for college in about any hobby. Forward thinking: I have 5 to put through college. Otherwise, while they are young, let them be kids. Let them be bored. Let them entertain themselves. Let them find their imagination. Let them go outside.

 

5. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all make mistakes. Allow yourself your own time because you are more than just a mom. On the other hand, Don’t make other moms feel bad; we don’t know their story.

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#3 dressed in a skirt by his older brothers

 

 

Remember, moms are not perfect. It’s ok to have “bad mom” moments. It’s those moments that make us human, and those moments that are cherished the most. I cannot remember the perfect lunch I made for my kids. Not because I’ve never made a perfect lunch, but because lunches don’t matter. I do remember my boys drawing on themselves, cutting their hair, and dressing their baby brother in a skirt. I hope more moms will cherish their bad mom moments too.

 

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Kristine Walton, RN, BSN

Wife/Mother of 5/ Registered Nurse

Contact Kristine @ kkd_2426@Hotmail.com

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Working While Growing a Human

Working while extremely tired, nauseated, bloated, vomiting, back aching, legs heavy, urinating every 10 minutes, performing on your job at 100% can be difficult while growing an entire human.  This can be an emotional and physically challenging task as you carry and prepare for the birth of your baby.  However, it can be done and be manageable.

My hope is that your journey while working and pregnant is stress free, manageable, positive and comfortable.

When writing this post from a Working Mom and Registered Nurse Point of view-I wanted to create the perfect formula.

If you do this + Do this + Eat this  The result will = working while pregnant a smooth/fun experience!

The truth is there is not 1 easy formula. Every pregnancy, woman, job, situation is different.

There will be days when the snooze button wins- and you are rushing to work and a few minutes late. There will be days when there is an 8:00am meeting and at 7:58-you have to vomit then urinate then vomit again – not necessarily in that order.

There will be days, when all you want to do is sleep. There will be days when the snooze button will win and you may be a few minutes late for work. There will be days when you are in the bathroom urinating more than data inputting. If you are in healthcare, there will be days when you are 38 weeks pregnant, wearing a maternity belt and still pushing, pulling, turning patients. There will be days when the smell of the morning coffee makes you run to the bathroom to vomit again.

There will be times when you want to be that pre-pregnant woman who is top of her game- The truth is at this moment in time- you are not her. You are doing a full-time job of growing a Human- and it’s okay to have these moments.

Don’t lose hope yet, because I can tell you; there will be times (especially in the second trimester) when you are winning. There will be times when you are on time, your tasks are completed, your team is ahead of schedule, and your in-box is complete.

I can also tell you that You can do this.

As long as there is not a health reason and your doctor approves- you can work until your delivery day. There will be challenges but there are ways to make it easier for you and your little one.

The main goals are: 

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Working Hard &  Enjoying her day!

 

  • To say healthy
  • Keep Baby healthy
  • Stay Productive at work
  • Remain Stress free and enjoy this pregnancy

My desire is your pregnancy journey while you work is stress free, manageable and convenient.

I have 10 RN tips that will make your work experience a little easier; everything from telling your manager to managing your pregnancy symptoms while on the clock.

1.Telling your Boss/Manager/Supervisor

Depending on your work environment and the relationship you have with your superiors, it can be intimidating to speak with our Supervisor; much less to inform them of major life changes.

Most women wait until their 2nd trimester to announce their pregnancy; and wait even longer before telling their co-workers. You are in your right to tell your news when you are comfortable.

I would advise telling your Supervisor first- even before your closest colleague.

More on How to tell your Supervisor and colleagues in another blog post (Stay tuned for another post in the coming week)

2.Nausea and Vomiting

“Morning Sickness” which can last all day is hard to manage when working. If your vomiting becomes severe –please notify your doctor.

If you are able to tolerate it; eat something in the morning. You are less nauseated when your stomach is not completely empty.

Bring snacks to work. Try to nibble on crackers at work and other bland foods. Sucking on peppermint helps as well

3.Exhaustion

Try to develop a consistent night routine that allows you to get a full 8 hours sleep. This can be difficult if you have little ones at home with added discomforts of pregnancy. However, if you can accomplish this- it will help you during the day.

Water! Water! Water! Stay hydrated  

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Featured Mommy To Be: Traschelle Williams: Winning 2nd trimester while working!

Staying hydrated will help. Keep a BPA free water bottle at your desk- to sip on throughout the day. The American College of Obstetrics

4.Eating Healthy

Don’t skip meals

It is important to eat healthy while you are pregnant.  It’s a great idea to meal prep healthy meals and snacks to take with you. Meal prepping will help you reach your caloric intake goals and avoid the sugary tempting vendor & cafeteria meals available.image  

Also, meal prepping ahead of time- will save you time to rest later in the week. Pack 3 days worth of refrigerated meals at a time -pop in fridge and grab as you go.

5.Maximizing your Breaks

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Relax During your Breaks

Take advantage of the  breaks you have during your work day. I would advise not working through your breaks or working on your personal to-do-list. Take time to eat a healthy snack-put your feet up and if you can catch a few zzzzzz’s; a power nap works wonder).

6.Organization is Key

“Placenta Brain/Baby Brain”, may not be a technical term , but mother’s can contest-there are times when you are pregnant – details and recalling information can be a tad bit “fuzzy”. 

Try to keep you work task organized. Making list, prioritizing, setting reminders. It will help you stay on point, and your team members will be appreciative.

7.Accept Help

Its nice when you have a co-worker that have traveled this journey before you. Or someone who understands what you are going through and offers help. You can accept the help- it doesn’t mean you are lazy or not capable. Remember, you are carrying an entire human- and that’s hard work.

8.Listen to your Body

If your body is saying : you have  arrived at the point in your pregnancy where you cannot work, or work at the capacity that you were previously; it is okay. Especially towards the end of your pregnancy ; you may feel more fatigue and more pregnancy symptoms such as pressure, Braxton hicks contractions, fatigue. Do not feel guilty or ashamed. Have a plan, speak with your supervisors and Doctor.

9.Work Restrictions

Some jobs require tasks that are safe in pregnancy. Being around chemicals , lifting heavy items, repetitive bending twisting pulling pushing.  Speak with your human resource department and Doctor. Your doctor may be able to write you a letter stating what you can do and not do while working and pregnant.

10.Prepare

Preparation is key to having a smooth transition to exit the work place for maternity leave. Speak with Human Resource to confirm your Family Medical Leave is covered. Ask specific questions regarding how much time off you can take off with your baby, will you be paid during your time off. Speak with your doctor and supervisor to determine your estimated date  you will start Maternity leave.

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Prepare as you Wait on Your Little One

Your main goal is Healthy Mom/Healthy Pregnancy. You want to be safe and keep your baby safe while enjoying this Amazing journey you are on. If you are a working mom (mom-to-be)- listen to your body, trust your instincts while working and growing a human. It may not be easy, but it can done.

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Healthy Mom/Healthy Baby 

Mary E., RN,BSN, MSN

Wife/Mother/Nurse/Champion of All Pregnant Women

contact: theamazingadventuresopregnancy@yahoo.com

(Featured Mommy-to-Be: Traschelle Williams- mother of 2,working full time in her 2nd trimester & Looking FAB and managing 40 hours a week!)