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I got the job!

This mama accepted a full time RN position today!

It’s on a floor with pre-op and orthopedic patients–both of which I’ve had experience working with. My #1 choice would have been a labor and delivery unit, but this unit is a good second choice. I’m very happy with it!

My interview was so laid back, and the tour of the unit was great. I took my drug test today, have a physical Friday, and another physical next week. After my background check comes back, which is usually 1-2 weeks, they’ll schedule my orientation.

I am a little apprehensive because it is a night shift position, but I’m sure we’ll fall into a routine at home so I can maximize the time I have with my boy. The good thing about nursing is full time is 3 separate 12 hour shifts. So I’m off 4 days a week. I am scared and excited, but so ready to get my career started.

I’m so thankful my husband is self employed and can stay home with our boy full time. I’m so thankful his mom is retired and lives close by. I’m so thankful to find a full time position with great benefits (better than our private insurance!). I’m so thankful for the opportunity to help provide for my family. And I’m so thankful to start my career.

I’ve always wanted to be a nurse and finally it’s happening.

I’m a wife, mom, and a nurse. I am truly fulfilled.

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My husband took this picture after I got back home. ❤

 

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My first job interview!

You heard me ramble about nursing school, graduation, and NCLEX. Now it’s time to use the two letters behind my name: Ashley, RN.

I started putting feelers out and applying for a few positions a week or two ago. I had originally planned on waiting until we were home for 12 weeks. We’ve only been home 9 weeks, and I honestly didn’t think I would get an interview so quickly. I got the call on Friday, and my Interview is at 10:30 in the morning. The good news is if I am offered the position I feel comfortable going back to work now. He’s 4 months old, doesn’t need the tube feed anymore, and we have a pretty decent routine going on.

My husband is great with him and is excited about being a stay-at-home dad. It’s also amazing that his mom is retired and lives just a few miles away so I know she’ll lend a hand if he needs it. Having family close was a big reason we decided to move here in the first place. I know it will be an adjustment, but I’m ready to take on the challenge and help my husband provide for our family. I’ve basically been out of the work force for a year and that makes me nervous.

I applied for about 6 positions at this hospital. When she called and gave me the date for the interview I asked which position I was interviewing for and she said that I was interviewing for a med-surg position, but that she had openings all over the house. That sounds promising.

What is making me more nervous is this interview!

I have an outfit complete with shoes and accessories.
I’ve been picking my friends brain– She’s been a nurse for a few years, and has been a fountain of information.
I’ve been reading interview questions and practicing answering without using my go-to filler ‘um’.
I’ve got my resume, references, and letters of recommendation printed.

I’m as ready as I’ll ever be, but this is my first ‘big girl’ job interview and it’s got me so nervous. I know I give a good interview and make a good first impression, but the buildup is the worst part.

Fingers crossed! I would love to get a position at this hospital.

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My decision to wait to go back to work…

My husband and I made the decision to try and get pregnant in February of this year, and with that decision we never expected that we would be the luckiest couple in the world, because our first month trying we were blessed with two pink lines. I hate talking about our ease with fertility, because I follow several blogs of women who have been battling for years with infertility, and I cannot even begin to wrap my head around the pain of that journey. We were anxious and excited to begin this chapter of our lives. The anxiety came with the timing.

The idea of starting to try when we did was that I was graduating nursing school, starting my new career, and moving closer to his family so we would have all of the support we could ever need. What we didn’t expect is for the renovations to be as in-depth and time consuming as they were. C’s original budget and time frame went over by double on both counts! Which means that we had originally thought that we would be in our home by May or at the latest June. When it turned out that the estimated renovation timeline got pushed back to Labor Day (now it’s officially been pushed back until the end of this month)– Our plans changed.

My plan to have a job within a few weeks of being out of school got put on hold until we were more stable. It would have been nearly impossible to work full time at a hospital 90 miles away from our home in central Ky, and it would have been terrible to start a job in central Ky that I knew I wouldn’t be keeping after a few short months. Not only was the distance a concern, but I also took charge of our house here, while C took charge of our future home: While he was managing contractors, and renovation mayhem, I was finishing nursing school (and the last semester in an RN program is brutal!), working as a nursing assistant, and staying on top of the house (cleaning, running my grandmother to her doctors appointments, etc). Between all of this we also were trying to make time for each other– now living 90 miles away from one another.

Then by the time it seemed like I might be able to start looking for a job (about now– with our move in date set for later this month)– it didn’t make a lot of sense to us. I’m entering my third trimester of pregnancy, and the process of getting on at a hospital is not speedy; interview to orientation, to finally hitting the floor can take over 2 months. By the time I would finally be working I would have only a few weeks before our son was due, and I would need to take off. Plus we had already decided that I was taking a full 12 weeks after he was born to bond with him, and establish a milk supply– Because once I go to work I’m not only working, but I’m starting a career fresh.

The thing about nursing is: Yes, I went to nursing school and passed NCLEX — so I am qualified in the state of Kentucky to work as a registered nurse, but when you finally start actually working and taking on patients: you know nothing. Every experienced nurse in the world will tell you that– when they started they knew nothing. Nursing is just as much learning on the job, as it is applying the skills you worked so hard to master in school. I was so nervous about losing everything learned in orientation and my few weeks on the unit with my 12 week absence that my husband and I came to decision for me to wait until after he is born to start looking for work.

This decision did not come easy to us. It is a financial concern, and it’s scary to start looking for a job nearly a year after I graduated school. I’m concerned for how potential employers will view my resume with a huge lapse in time between then and now, I’m worried I will have forgotten everything I learned in nursing school, I’m sad that the mandatory year of experience I need to apply for a midwifery program is going to take that much longer. Still, I am very lucky to have this option available. I’m so thankful to have a supportive husband and family. I’m just so nervous for everything thats coming.

If we could go back– maybe we would have waited a few more months to start trying, but then we wouldn’t have this baby– our son. So, with 100% certainty I know we can say that we do not regret in anyway the things that have come and will come to pass with this pregnancy and my job search, or any of it. We are so excited and thankful and ready.

**I’ve been having some anxiety over seeing all of my school friends post Facebook updates about their new jobs as nurses while I’m not even looking for a job is what inspired me to actually write out why we came to the decision to wait for me to go to work. I know all the reasons why we came to the decision and now all I can do is hope the we made the right decision.

 

 

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Week 20

Wow! Week 20 was a big week. 🙂

First things first I felt our son move with 100% certainty for the first time. I think I had felt him prior to that, but I couldn’t be sure. Now I’m sure. He loves to go crazy around 1030pm. I’ve been touching my stomach to see if I can feel him on the outside so C can feel him, and no luck on that just yet. I’m a little too chubby for that to be felt just yet.

Secondly. I took my NCLEX-RN on Monday and had to wait just over 24 hours for my results (agonizing!!)– but I passed and I am officially a registered nurse in the state of KY. We’ve decided to wait for me to go to work until after our son is here, but now that I have my license I want to work so bad! I’m so proud of myself and this accomplishment. I can not wait to go to work and help C provide for our family. This just puts me one step closer to my dream career as a midwife.

So far I have not gained any weight. I was ‘Up’ at my last appointment, but still 3 pounds from pre-pregnancy, and now I’m down another 2. I don’t understand how. I haven’t been sick. I’ve been eating well. My midwife didn’t seem concerned, but at this point I’m at 20.5 weeks pregnant and I am still 5 pounds away from prepregnancy.

I was larger when I got pregnant, and made all of the changes needed to give our son the best nutrients: cutting out the crap, and eating good food. My midwife said that when an overweight person makes the healthy switch, even if they are eating enough, it takes awhile for the body to balance out.

My pregnancy symptoms are about the same: awful lower back pain, sciatica pain down my leg, and bloating/gas. I do have some new additions, the first is my old friend constipation. I struggled with this in the first trimester, and after making the needed dietary changes and eating prunes when it had been a few days, I didn’t have the problem anymore. Unfortunately it’s back. I’ll try the prunes in again in a day or two.

I’ve also been experiencing a little bit of heartburn. I’ve never had heartburn before, but I find that eating smaller and more frequent meals, limiting my acidic intake (tomatoes, lemonade, etc), and sitting up for at least an hour after my meals— keeps it at bay. I’ll stay on top of those and see if it helps.

That is pretty much it for week 20. I’m excited for movement to get stronger, and my bump to grow.

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Week 19 and the Anatomy Scan!

How crazy is it that we are days away from being halfway there?! It’s insane. It’s absolutely mind boggling, nerve wracking, and so very exciting. We were looking at our positive test less than 4 months ago, and I thought this entire process would drag on, but with all of the excitement going on in our lives at the moment it has been flying by at warp speed. Right after we found out I graduated nursing school, we went on vacation, the renovations for the house went full swing, we discovered the gender (gender = shopping!), and I’ve been studying and peeping for my NCLEX that is about 4 days away!

As of today I am 19 weeks and 5 days. Yesterday they did the big anatomy scan and we got the fantastic news that everything looked great and on track. Our baby boy weighs 12 ounces by their calculations, which is nearly 2 ounces heavier than all of the information I’ve been reading. The midwife showed no concern for that and I saw the growth charts and he is measuring perfectly in the middle.

We’ve been so spoiled because this was our third chance to see our son. We won’t see him again until we have our 3D/4D ultrasound. Yesterday he was very active and she was able to easily get all of her measurements, until it came time to get his profile. He kept keeping his hands in front of his face. It was beautiful to see him move, and the ultrasound technician was so nice and took time to explain to us what exactly we were seeing.

C teared up when you could see our son opening his mouth. I teared up when I saw him kicking and flexing all of his limbs. It’s always such an emotional experience feeling that much closer to our son.

On the pregnancy front my biggest symptoms would be my continued (TMI) gas/bloat, headaches, and the aching back. My back is awful! I can’t hardly walk around the store without getting uncomfortable. C came into town for the ultrasound and he was so sweet about rubbing my back without even asking. My (temporary) midwife showed me a stretch to use to help ease the sciatica, and she said I can continue to use heating pad on low. I also found out that my midwife will be back in time for my next appointment! She had a baby boy and both are doing great according to the office. How exciting!

My appetite is growing, and it showed at the office. I was up 2.8 pounds from my last appointment, and I’m still about 3 pounds away from their highest recorded weight. I’ve been craving the same things: typically pickles, and home cooked meals, with the occasional desire for cold sweets (popsicles, etc).

So far I have not had any swelling, and fetal movement is only a MAYBE. I really thought I felt him at one point, but since I haven’t felt him since I can’t be sure. They told me at the ultrasound that my placenta has attached anteriorly, or in the front. This shouldn’t really impact my baby in any way, because the cervix is not blocked, but I haven’t done much more research on it. The only thing it might do is make it harder for me to feel him move. So that makes me feel better that I’m not feeling movements for sure, just yet!

Renovation mayhem has been crazy and expensive, but it’s so exciting. They are going to be installing our central heat and air next week, and the nursery has been painted! I would show a picture, but I really (really, really) want to wait to show the final before and after pictures! I was worried the paint colors we picked out were going to be too crazy, but my fears have been assuaged. After I take my boards I’m going in and we are going shopping for cabinets, and carpet. So thrilling!

Next time I update I will be past the halfway point, and I might be a licensed registered nurse!

 

registered nurse!

 

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Week 18

This week our son is the size of a sweet potato and is working on hardening his cartilaginous bones into actual bone. He is possible sucking his thumb, hiccuping, and rolling all around. Hopefully I will feel him move soon with 100% confidence. I keep thinking it’s him, but I can’t be sure.

On the pregnancy front I’ve been experiencing more of this joyous lower back pain, and what I think is sciatica. It usually doesn’t bother me until the end of the day, but if I’ve been up doing a lot then it will hurt sooner. Last night was awful and I was near tears, so I purchased a heating pad and it was fantastic!

I’m not losing weight anymore, and I’m not really gaining just yet either. I’m still within 0.2 pounds of my weight from the last doctors appointment. I have been very hungry and I’m sticking to eating every 3 hours or so to keep the nausea at bay. I’ve only been sick once this past week, and it was because I drank too much water too fast.

I’ve been using my fetal heart rate doppler and I love how much he’s moving because I have to fight it find where he’s hanging out each time. He’s hanging out in the low 140’s. It is always a great sound, and I know C and I love to hear it in between appointments.

Our next appointment is next Wednesday and it’s the big anatomy scan! I’m very excited to see him again, and hear how everything is growing. We are so close to the half way point! Also I keep feeling like I feel him moving, but I have to really focus and I can’t be 100% sure that what I feel is him. One time I felt something and I was so sure it was him– but now I’m doubting myself. Haha

This past week C and I went to our first childbirth class. This class talked about labor, childbirth, and what to expect at our hospital. Honestly– we both really hated the class. Other than the 5 minutes she spent on the stuff about our hospital’s specific protocols, she did not say anything we didn’t already know. I was irritated at some if the hospital procedures and ‘rules’, and at the antiquated practices that are no longer evidence based practice.

I guess I have a very ‘hippie’ mindset when it comes to childbirth. It is a natural process, not a medical procedure (most of time!). If I wouldn’t be living 90 miles away from a competent hospital, home birth would have been considered. There also are not any alternative birth centers in my state. I hope that one day, after I’ve gained experience as a midwife, that I will be able to work in a facility like an alternative birth center. I realize that this is many years off because I plan to get my doctorate of nursing practice as a midwife and then need to get experience– but this is a dream I don’t think will ever die.

The next two weeks are going to be super busy. This weekend we are traveling to see my parents in Wes Virginia and pick up our air conditioner units for the house. We also have the big anatomy scan coming up next week. Then I’ve got to study for my NCLEX, because it’s less than 2 weeks away. After all of this we are celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary, and traveling to Ohio to see our friends. It’s going to be a blur and I’m hoping everything works out.

Fingers crossed– until next week!

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Week 17

This week has been very exciting! (So far just about every week has bee very exciting).

On the pregnancy front the nausea is *fingers crossed* — All but gone, and my weight is staying where it was; still down a bunch from pre-pregnancy– but I anticipate it will be coming up soon, my energy is staying up, and sleep is still good. I also think I may have felt our son move for the first time last night (July 3rd, 2014) while we were at a Lexington Legends baseball game. The only negatives this week have been some lower back pain that I think might be (self-diagnoised) sciatica, and my anxiety has been high.

Pre-pregnancy I struggled with anxiety. It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t preform my day-to-day functions, but it could be very overwhelming at times, and for reasons I couldn’t even identify. This past week I was borderline panic attack for reasons that I know don’t make a lot of sense. Honestly, I can look at what sets me off, and know that it is not that big of a deal– but I can’t just will my heart rate to slow, or my adrenaline to stop pumping. This past week what got me upset was everyone was asking me questions about the house: what should we build the closets out of, what about staining the wainscoting rather than painting, etc. It was overwhelming and I felt put on the spot, and didn’t really know what I wanted.

C was amazing and he took me out of the house, let me cry it out and calm down, before we headed back home. He also has anxiety issues, and completely understands. This was my first ‘freak out’ since the last week of nursing school, which is nice. I feared that with pregnancy hormones swirling around I would be miserable to be around. but that hasn’t been the case. Even C agrees that in general I’ve been a pretty easy pregnant women to be around. **Trust me, he wouldn’t lie.

We have our first childbirth class on Monday. It’s less about teaching us about childbirth, and more about what to expect at our elected hospital: procedures, etc. I’m looking forward to it. C is going, but he isn’t as excited about it as I am. Maybe it’s because I’m the one who will be doing the actual ‘birthing’ — haha.

The renovation mayhem has been crazy busy! The electrician is making quick work as he essentially rewires the entire house and brings it up to code. The contractor redesigned my kitchen in a way that makes me heart swell– I’m going to have a ‘walk-in’ pantry. The master bedroom, that had previously been demoed to the point it didn’t have walls, or a ceiling– now has drywall up, has been mudded and sanded, and has the closet built. Soon it will painted!

We are planning a trip to a warehouse to pick out some closet doors for the nursery, and cabinets for the kitchen, and maybe even the carpet for the bedrooms. Unfortunately, just as the house is really starting to take shape I’ve got to pull back so I can start studying for my NCLEX. I take it in less than 3 weeks and I haven’t done a great job at staying on top of my studying. So– Time to kick it into gear.

 

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Busy, busy, busy, like a really tall bee…

“Busy, busy, busy, like a really tall bee…” Lorelei Gilmore.

This weekend has been super busy, but very productive. I always say that I do my best household cleaning and baking when I have exams on the horizon. That is very true because I have a medical-surgical exam on Monday, and I had a pharmacology quiz today. So my house is all but spit-shinned clean.

Saturday I balanced the check book, updated our monthly budget, ran a few errands, did all of the laundry, and deep cleaned the kitchen. I also studied for both of my exams, and completed some pharmacology worksheets.

This morning I took my online quiz (100%!!), cooked a delicious lunch, studied, and now I’ve got a homemade pineapple upside down cake in the oven.

I have a facetime date with my husband tonight. 90 miles is not that far away, but it seems far when I’m sleeping alone at night. What’s that Brand New song that says something like, “But with nobody in your bed– the night’s hard to get through.” So truthful. My husband and I aren’t even the lovey-dovey types but spending so much time apart is lonely. Clearly the FaceTime date is important.

Obviously I understand that these few short weeks are going to be hard, but I know that it’s important for him to do this for our family. He’s still busy getting his late father’s things cleaned up and organized. He spent much of this weekend cleaning up his dad’s old motorcycle. He promised to take me out this summer for a ride. It’s a 1989 Harley Davis Springer.

Just a small update. Nothing to crazy going on at the moment.

73 Days until my Pinning Ceremony, and 83 days until we move. ***

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Sooner than expected…

So when my husband told me that the house would be ready in June or July… For some reason I didn’t think I would be moving until June or July. He assumed I was moving to our new home as soon as I graduated, because the house would be ready enough for me by then. That changes things. I expected to accept a job as a RN where I’m working right now as a nursing assitant when I graduated. I wasn’t telling them I was moving because I didn’t expect to hold the job longer than 3 or so months, and I knew if they knew I was moving they wouldn’t offer me the job. Now I know that is not going to be a problem because I’m moving Mid-May, I told my supervisor last night. She tried to playfully convience me to work there anyway, because there are a lot of people that make a lengthy commute, but I think a 90mile commute (one way, mind you) is a bit much.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to accept the job because I already know the facility and I know the people– making the transition from nursing assistant to nurse would be as seamless as possible if I took a job there. I just really don’t think it makes sense for me to keep that job for several reasons. One being it’s 90miles. Two being it is a long term care facility, and I eventually want to be a mid-wife. I don’t expect that my first job will be on a labor and delivery unit, but hospital nursing vs. long term care nurseing are two very different things. Three is the fact that there are plenty of other jobs much closer to our new home, so it’s not like I’m walking away from my one and only job offer. (well– I don’t have any other job offers yet, but I have some very well written letters of reccomendation.)

The other news is this past weekend I went to visit our new home for the first time since the decision to move was finalized. I can now see more clearly the hopes that my husband has for renovating the place. It’s still hard for me to see past the cob webs and lack of paint, but it’s getting easier every day. Walking the rooms and talking about our ideas to one another was exciting. He gets so animated when he’s describing his ideas and hopes. I can’t get past designing the nursery and the kitchen.

As of now I’m in ‘moving mode’ I’m in the process of writing a letter to our landlord to give notice that we will be breaking our 2-year lease, and researching a new cell phone provider (because Sprint doesn’t get service were we are moving). I’m also going to start packing. It’s going to be my job to take care of our things here in central kentucky, while he is away taking care of our new home in eastern kentucky. My time line is as follows: We will be 100% vacated from our current home by May 31st by the written notice given to my landlord, but my thought is we willactually be moved out by May 17th (one week after I graduated college), and that gives me two weeks to close up things here and make sure the home is ready for the next tenet (shampooing the carpets, painting a wall or two, etc.)

That is 3 months from now. So in the next 12 weeks I’ve got A LOT going on. Besides packing, I’ve also got work, and trying to stay on top of my studies. This is my final semester of nursing school and it is no joke! I have 5 exams (2 of which are cumulative), 40 hours of pediatrics clincal, 120 hours of medical surgical practicum, on top of completeing my online pharmacology class that has worksheets due every sunday and an exam every other sunday.

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Application for Graduation

The application for graduation is due Friday Feburary 14, 2014. I just turned mine in today: Thursday Feburary 13. Me, procastinate? Never!

It’s so exciting to know that that is one thing I can cross off of my list and look forward to. 83 Days until our pinning ceremony! 82 days until my FINAL final.

How exciting is that?