Archive for November, 2009

Ok.. I have been thinking of this…

It all happened a few months ago… I am 25 years old, one of the middle of 4 children and in the last 2 years I have witnessed my older brother and 2 younger sisters find the loves of their lives, settle down and get married all within 18 months of each other. If that wasn’t hard enough, I also went through a break-up with a man I had been dating for 2.5 years and thought we might’ve been next. Alas, the reasons are all for another post…

So, this year after life was finally starting to settle down again and everyone in my immediate family was getting back into their groove, I decided to sign up for RSVP. I guess my reasons were that I am living in a country town in Victoria, and thought this might be a nice way to meet some men. For those who have never had the fortune of signing up to this lovely site, it is interesting to say the least. And yes, you do get your fair share of idiots sleazing onto you and so on, but it’s the same at the night clubs…. you get the same….

Anyway, I have met a few guys on RSVP, some have progressed, starting with emails, some chat on msn, phone calls, txt msg’s, and then a meeting face-to-face….

So a about a month and a half ago, I met this guy, all was going well.. Lots of txt’s and phone calls, and emails and it was all good. We decided to meet face-to-face and have some dinner.. We did, we had a great night, we kissed and before I left we made plans to meet again.. A week later it all went pear-shaped.

A  few weeks later again I had a few emails from another boy. He seemed ok, and we went out for dinner. Now here is the point. We had a lovely time at dinner, but no chemistry…!? I don’t know what it is! He seems really nice, just no connection. I don’t know why.. A few weeks after dinner, and a few emails in between and he sent me lovely flowers in a vase at work *with* a bottle of bubbles. He seems to “tick all the right boxes” and yet I just can’t seem to feel as strong as he so obviously does.

I don’t know why this is, and have been thinking all week on it. I mean he seems nice, we chat we laugh, we have a good time. But I don’t feel that connection. What more do I want? I mean am I asking too much for myself? I don’t know, are my expectations too high for my love life? I mean I wouldn’t mind some fireworks. Don’t get me wrong, I know the fireworks won’t last.. But am I asking too much to start a relationship out that way….???

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I’m alright…. or am I?

Today has been shit… for no particular reason…

I was talking to my sister on the phone this morning. Just catching up on the happenings.. We were chatting about how things are going… There has been a lot happening in our family. To put things in perspective R is the youngest in the family. She lives in Perth and is pregnant with her first Bubba. She has been married for 3 years. Sometimes I feel like she is the older sister.

So she is lovely, we were chatting. She was asking lots of questions about birth and pregnancy (I am a student midwife for those reader’s who don’t know!) R is very attentive, always interested in what’s going on. I was having a shit day for no reason really.. And she hit the nail on the head..

She said to me towards the end of the phone call “are you really ok?” and I said “Yeah I have to be….” then R said to me.. “You know it’s ok, to be not ok on occasion”. And I guess that spoke volumes to me.. Sometimes times are just shit. And you do have to stick your neck out and get through them.

And I guess that’s the point I’m trying to make, I’m not ok… But I will be… I will get through all this and look back and think.. what was my problem!?

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There are some who might say that I was deprived of a part of my child-hood.

I never believed in Santa Claus. Not once, not ever. My mother would even agree with that statement… We never wrote letters to Santa, never left cookies and milk out for him. Never, not once. However nor do I begrudge those who do or have believed in Santa. We all have our own experiences.. This is mine…

I don’t feel any the worse for it. I think I had a great child-hood. We had fantastic Christmases.

In the end of year holidays from school for as long as I can remember, my brother and 2 sisters and I would do jobs around the house in exchange for money. As far as I can remember, mowing the lawn was $2, but if you picked up the dog poo’s in the yard first it was $5. There was a roster for picking up of poo, but this was in place of the person on the roster. The ironing basket full of ironing was worth $5, and mowing the front AND back lawn was worth $10. Washing mum’s car was $5, but a wash and polish of dad’s car (an 80’s series Toyota landcruiser troop carrier) was worth $10. So the list goes on..

Toward the last week of shopping before Christmas, mum would usually take us off to the $2 shop and we would buy presents for everyone. So each child of the 4 would buy a present for each child, and also one for mum and dad.. That was our christmas, we had such pleasure in picking out presents for each other and wrapping them and placing them on under the tree. There was never Santa involved, and I’m ok about that. Christmas was about family and being together.

The un-wrapping of the presents is another story in itself. My mother insists on being Santa Claus, donning a hat for the occasion, last year she even put on a hat which has a rubber face and a beard on it! I love my mother, she makes me laugh like no-one else! The presents were all opened one at a time, and mother is the only one to pick them out. She decides who gets what next. The present opening could not even be STARTED til Dad has his coffee, so he would torture us as children by going extra slow. It was all in good humour though..

I don’t think I particularly missed out on anything. In fact I quite enjoy my unique experience. I think that christmas is a lovely day of the year where you can get together and enjoy the time together as family and friends. Draw whatever other religious connotations on the day you want to draw.. I am not here to argue that. We all have our own beliefs, but I believe what is most important really is that we are respectful, kind, accepting and that we are together with those we love.

To add, my brother and sisters and I are all in our 20’s now. My siblings all have husbands and wives (which is another story for another post) and for the last few years because of this it has been difficult to be altogether for christmas. When you need to split your time between your family and your spouse’s family it can be hard to co-ordinate everyone. But this year is going to be extra special, we will all be together again for christmas. My sister is coming from Perth with her husband, and I will be there as well… I have been away for a number of years too. Mum has been battling cancer this year, so it will be extra-special to be all together once more. And I can’t wait!! Even though I will be travelling in from 4 hours away to spend the day with them…

this is mum being santa.. anyone in their right mind would be scared..

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I have a confession to make….
I know you can’t see it any pics which I use for my online profiles. But I am overweight..

I always have been a little bit.. I always have been bigger than most.. I could give you lots of reasons, but they all boil down to the same thing..

As a kid I was always pretty short, and I guess you might call me more of a fuller-figure girl. I have got extremely poor co-ordination and balance and found doing anything physical very difficult. I guess when you fall over every time you try to run then you probably stop running… It was always difficult in my family too, having a brother and 2 sisters who are all quite athletic. And even now I struggle with exercise. I am the only person I know who has fallen off a bike, down stairs, off a tread-mill, off a x-trainer and off anything possible which is slightly higher up than other things all in the last year alone. I think the stair-falling count is up to around 5 or so times in the last year. If there’s somewhere to fall, I will fall. I’ve never done any serious injuries all in all… I mean apart from smashing out a few teeth at age 15 after a fall from a bike, and tore some ligaments in my ankle last year after the most serious fall down the stairs..

All of this is fairly normal in someone like me who has had many operations on my ears as a child. Just chronic ear infections. All of this has left me with somewhat slightly affected hearing, and the poor balance.

So, here is my thing.. I am overweight. And I gotta do something to change that. If I don’t how can I ever expect to be happy!? I know, I know.. weight isn’t everything. But I have a certain expectation for myself and for my health. And none of it is particularly unreasonable.

But now I have decided that enough is enough. And I am going to do something about it. With your help and encouragement I can do it. I am going to lose weight, get healthy and get fit. There is already a risk for my health with cancer running in the family. Besides how can I stand there as a nurse and tell my patients to live healthy lifestyles when I so obviously don’t?

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life is so precious…

Tonight my life changed forever…. I have witnessed something which has changed my perspective in everyway possible…

I witnessed my first birth as a student midwife, and I can honestly say it has changed my life forever. I am not the only one, the midwives’ at the hospital who have been doing this for 20+years were also quite shocked at the events that transpired.. I always knew that the first birth I witnessed was going to have quite an impact on me, and to say the least. It did!

The young first-time mother had induction of labour started yesterday. She had been mostly comfortable, having little niggles and pains. This morning she started on a drip, which was basically the same hormone that is released during labour. It is called oxytocin, and causes contractions to happen and dilation to occur. As far as everything was happened the labour was progressing fairly normally. Realistically there IS no normal for labour, but there are patterns.

As the labour progressed the woman was feeling more uncomfortable as is expected, and then the head started to crown. She had an epidural earlier in the day to help with the contractions so she was doing as best as she could to push. The pushing was happening, and the head was making an appearance. It seemed to take forever to get the head out, but I am told this is fairly normal. The mother was having a hard time getting him out, so the doctor performed an episiotomy. An episiotomy is performed when a cut is made to the woman to prevent the skin from tearing. This gave more room, and so with this extra room, the baby should be able to slide out from here on. I think it was at this point that the cord was wrapped around the babe’s head, which was quickly rectified by the midwife. If only this was the worst.

What disturbed me most was what came next. The head of the baby was out, his little eyes closed and face was squished up. Then the  medical personnel in the room made the assessments to state that the baby was stuck. Something called shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia is potentially life-threatening. Simply put, shoulder dystocia is what occurs when the shoulders of the baby become stuck on the pelvic bones. Through some quick work from the midwife and the doctor on shift, they were able to retrieve the baby by sliding out his posterior arm, that is the arm underneath him. By doing this, the diameter of the baby’s body was decreased and thereby able to slide out.

When bubs came out, he  was placed immediately on mother’s chest. He was there for no longer than 5 seconds all up. But it felt like 5 years. When he came out, he was silent and his limbs resembled something of a string of sausages. You know when you get the sausages from the butcher and they’re all still joined together. Well that’s what he looked like. He had an apgar score of 0, which basically means he was completely unresponsive, not breathing and had no colour. It was very scary to watch them resuscitate this baby. All the while, the mother is lying in the bed, and I am standing by as a student trying not to show my concern for fear that I would cause the parents of this new life to worry.

It was 5 minutes after birth that this little fella finally took his first breath, and then he was quickly whisked away to an incubator cot in order to get some oxygen into him. All of this was quite traumatic enough. I felt absolutely distraught by this stage, and had no idea what to say or what to do, but to stand by and watch and hope and pray.

All of this going on, shortly after the birth, the placenta was delivered. Then the doctor performed an internal examination and sutured the wound. The mother’s blood pressure started to drop quite dramatically, and she started feeling nauseous. The nauseous feeling was something she suffered through most of the labour, so while we were concerned it had been happening all afternoon. Then after the doctor had stitched up the cut, she kept on in quite a bit of pain. Blood pressures were still being taken at this point at 10 minute intervals. The mother became quite pale and weak. It was decided that she had lost too much blood, so a bag of fluid was put up to try and combat the fluid loss through haemorrhage. At this point, as the haemorrhage continued, a blood transfusion was put up.

Everything moved very quickly as you would expect and I’m not sure this prose reflects the urgency it requires to get the message across. The mother quickly went into shock through the loss of blood and so treatment for shock was commenced. She was then taken into theatre and prepped for surgery. In the end, the doctor found a piece of the placenta had been left behind. It was estimated that she lost up to 4 litres of blood.

This situation was life-threatening to both mother and baby at different staged through the scenario. At one point, I sat down early on, and thought.. What am I doing? Should I really be a midwife? I think that it is still a calling, and I think that such a traumatic birth has definitely impacted me for life. I guess that’s the thing I have learnt. Life is most certainly precious and something to be treasured.

At this point in time, the mother and child while still recovering such a traumatic event. They will both recover and they will both be fine. It was a rough entry into the world preceded by a cord wrapped around the neck, a severe case of shoulder dystocia, continuing with resuscitation, haemorrhage, shock and surgery. Certainly a bumpy ride to begin with.

Again I marvel at the wonders that modern medicine never cease to present. Had there not been a theatre available for the young woman, then she might well not have made it.

Tomorrow morning I will go back to the hospital and see her again. I think that this experience will stay with me forever, as it will with mother. But a new life has started, and a family  has been made and that is the most marvellous and miraculous thing in this world.

PS- Didn’t get to post this, but it happened last night, and since I have been to the hospital. While they are not out of the woods yet, the immediate danger has passed, and the ordeal will now take some time to get over. The midwife I was working with said it was the most horrific birth she had ever seen, some 26 years into her career. I am still shell-shocked today, and dealt with the 5 big emergencies of child birth all in one hit!

As I left today, I said goodbye to the parents. They will have a special place in my heart.

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education. or not….

I think that a lot of a nursing placement seems to boil down to “what not to do”.

I am currently on placement in a rural hospital in the far south east corner of South Australia. It’s been difficult. The nurse’s and midwives on duty are less than helpful. We are on a midwifery placement, being a rural hospital, they don’t get many birth’s out here. That part is a bit annoying. We drive out here, 300km’s away from home to experience the practical side of the job, but it’s not something you can plan for. Babies come when they come, so it’s just rotten luck that none are coming this week.

I am still studying. I am enthusiastic and passionate about the job, I find it difficult when I deal with nurse’s and midwive’s who, shall we say have lost their passion for the job. I guess as a student, I would say my impending career is the most important thing in my life. I honestly couldn’t think of anything better to do. And it upsets me when I meet people who have become complacent. People who have lost their zest for what they are doing. I heard it said once at uni that if some kind of emergency happened and you DIDN’T cry about it, then maybe it would be time for a new job. Midwives should be aware that they play an intrinsically personal and intimate role in a woman’s maternity care.


I hope I never lose this passion, but is it inevitable? Is it just going to happen?


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Hey I can’t even believe I’m doing this. A blog!? ME??!! Oh well, here goes… if nothing else it might organize my swamplands of my mind!!!!!

As a nursing/midwifery student one is required to complete a number of placements. This week I have the pleasure of being at a hospital in the far south-east of South Australia. My problems with this are many and varied. I guess this is my first midwifery placement, and I had higher hopes for it. I guess I have only been to day 1, so it may get better.

I think as a student, the university implants you with all of this zest, this enthusiasm. You feel as though you can go out there and solve the world’s problems. And the shocking part is, that if you go out there believing so, then you might actually help SOMEONE! And yesterday I think I did.

I was at the hospital, and there was a girl there very close to my age who is 35 weeks pregnant. I say IS, not knowing whether she still IS or not. She came in with threatened premature labour. And in the end the medication we gave her didn’t stop the contractions, so we had to send her off to a bigger hospital. We packed her into an ambulance, on her own and off she went.

But I like to think that I helped her while she was there.. All I did was chat to her, and hold her hand. But she stayed quite calm. Underneath it all I know she was freakin OUT! But I like to think that just chatting, and being kind was enough to help in some small way.

I guess that is part of the joy of being a student, is that I am still so new to the world of nursing/midwifery, I am fresh, I am untarnished. I don’t yet have all the know-how. But one thing I do have the know-how is to be empathetic, to be caring and to be kind. I know how to be supportive, I know how to be confident even when patients are facing some scary circumstances.

I think that learning these things in the fact is probably the first and possibly the most important lesson I can learn through my nursing and midwifery training. To be kind, to be gentle, to be patient, and to be caring. The rest of the technical knowledge will come… I will one day learn, what dosage of pethidine is appropriate for a labouring woman. I will one day learn, what terms are used to describe the position of the baby in the uterus. I will learn all that professional stuff. But for now, I want to learn how to be humble, caring, kind, and most of all, I want to learn how to be a beacon of strength that my clients can feel empowered to get through to the other side unscathed

Because after-all midwifery to me is about empowering women…

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