Friday, September 4, 2009
I've been really struggling with a few issues around here lately, as some of you know. Part of it is "what do I want to do" with myself. Ethan will be in kindergarten next year so my role as day care Geema will be drastically reduced, which frees me up to do other things.
Before moving to Lynden, I had a dream job. Working with, helping, supporting, loving birthing women and their families. When I moved with my husband to this area, my only option to continue working with these people was at the only hospital in town. I did NOT want to work night shift again, which is where new employees usually have to begin, and my husband assured me I didn't need to work at all, if I didn't want to. After 5 months not working, and finding my normal social self spending more and more time at home alone, I applied at the hospital for a "per dium" position in the birth center. So I work anywhere from 4 to 24 hours a month. The first few weeks I worked, I would cry on the way home. I hated the way women were treated, how their birthing experience had NOTHING to do with THEM and everything to do with hospital policy and procedure. I seemed to be alone in my belief that birth is a normal function, not a disaster waiting to happen. But I persevered because I felt I was making a difference for some women when I was there working with them. My frustration has grown over the past 9 years, I see the hospital preparing itself for an expected over 50% surgical delivery rate in the next 5 years, with the chance of women having a baby spontaneously diminishing rapidly. It's harder and harder to go to work, knowing I am expected to monitor machines, push drugs on women who may not want them, manage labor and birth to the doctors schedule instead of the womans body. I've been there 9 years, and there are maybe 3 co workers that I would consider "friendly" with me. This is probably mostly my fault, being there so infrequently. But I'm not there for them, or the physicians, but the birthing families. And every once in a while.....
Last night I had to take Jillian into the after hours pediatric clinic as she was expressing complaints that made me think she may have a brewing bladder infection. She had been running a fever now for two days. So I called and they said, sure bring her on in.
When we got there, the receptionist was very nice in telling me that since I was not a "parent" of this child she needed to call and get verbal permission from a parent to be able to treat her. She did that and then escorted us to the bathroom so Jillian could leave a urine sample (a 7 1/2 year old, with geema holding the cup - LOL). As she asked Jillian her first and last name to write on the cup, she suddenly looked up and exclaimed "YOU are Sharon Templeton!!" I said, yes.......and she gave me a huge hug and told me she has thought me of constantly since I helped her birth her child TWO YEARS ago!!! She went on telling me how I had made such a difference from her previous birthing experiences. That I was so supportive, educational and that I hadn't "abandoned" her as past nurses had when she was laboring. She said she has told everyone of her friends having a baby that they should hope that they could have me be their labor nurse.
It was an amazing feeling. I was so happy that her memory of that birth was so very positive.
The photo I chose for this post says so much to me. I took it after missing a turn on that roundabout and only because I missed my turn did I spot that rainbow. My camera just happened to be right on the seat next to me, so I had to pull over and snap a photo. It says to me, that even on a rainy, wet day, when I may be going "round and round and round" that if I take a good look around me, at what I might be missing, there is true beauty. No matter what happens to me, that woman will have a beautiful memory of the birth of her baby. And I helped her create it. What could be better than that?