Monday, April 10, 2017

A Day in My Life: Birth Day Edition

I absolutely love reading other blog's Day in the Life posts so I thought I'd do one myself! I'll probably do a couple more in the coming months to document what my life is like when I'm not working and maybe the flip side of what it's like when I'm preparing to go to a birth (or better yet, don't know that I'll be going to a birth & am called out unexpectedly totally changing my days plans!). As a birth doula and Midwife Assistant my days rarely have an exact routine. I have a goal of a schedule and I do my best to stick to it, but some days, like this one, I'm just happy we're all surviving!

I started documenting at 2:30 am. I was at a birth and had been for a while. This is when I didn't really want coffee but needed some caffeine. I stole a coke out of the refrigerator at the birth center (don't worry I replaced it!). Then back to work (sorry not much can be shared about work due to privacy protection of the patient).

At 3:00 saying hello to the camera as I cleaned instruments.

It's easy to stay awake when you're absolutely exhausted if you're up and moving around. There's lots to do in cleaning a birth center after birth but people were sleeping and I couldn't do much without making too much noise so back to the caffeine habit that I'll never be able to kick! (3:35 am)

my very favorite coffee mug at the birth center!

Fast forward I'm getting to clean the room and flip it. We always have the room totally cleaned and put back together so that we can have another birth come in at any time. 
It's 7:05 & I'm shifting the laundry from washer to dryer and beginning another load. (It was a long day before at the birth center & though I didn't do them all, I think in that 24 hour period we did along the lines of 15 loads of laundry!!)

As I shift laundry I call John, he needed to leave for work 30 minutes before this, but he fortunately had planned on going in late because he had plans that evening and needed to get off later to avoid random down time (not enough time to drive home from Dallas before going to Fort Worth).
The girls are awake at home and he's feeding them breakfast.

I didn't take many pictures though lots was happening - I got the birth room flipped quickly because I had done so much little (quiet) stuff earlier. I knew that the office staff would be in soon so I left a load of wet laundry in the dryer for them to start when they came in and a load running in the washing machine that someone would flip for me later.  

I took out the trash and locked the birth center up, ran (literally, on foot) next door to Walgreens to buy a coke to replace the one I drank & grab lunchables for the girls for Bible Study that day, I knew there was no way I had time to pack them lunches when I got home. Ran back to the birth center, put the coke in the fridge, relocked the birth center (staff must be stuck in traffic because they would usually be in by now) and headed out, I pulled out of the birth center parking lot at 7:30 am...

... realized I needed gas (UGH!) so took the long way out of town to stop off at the gas station (yes our van uses E-85, I didn't accidentally put the wrong kind in the Mommy-Mobile) (7:40 am)

At 7:59 John texted me to ask if I was lost (Insert some serious side eye here) I replied (using voice to text, not actually texting and driving) that no, he left the van with too little gas and I was dealing with that. I was 5 miles from home at that point. 

I arrived home, kissed John goodbye as he headed out the door and kissed the girls hello. I decided on the drive home that I was going to go ahead with the casserole I needed to make for Bible Study that morning because the idea of getting off the interstate, stopping, getting both girls out of the van, going inside after donuts, loading them again and back on the interstate was more trouble than throwing something in the oven to bake while I showered. 

Turns out that John had used some of the hashbrowns and eggs for the girls breakfast that morning. So, I improvised the too few ingredients into some version of a casserole and chunked it in the oven, ran through the shower and dressed (in yesterdays clothes right out of my on-call bag where I put them when I switched to scrubs). I finished dressing the girls and grabbed up their church diaper bags, took the casserole out of the oven (discovering that it hadn't been set level in the oven so it was quite deep on one end and quite shallow on the other... oh well!)

My very hot casserole in all it's leaning glory on our way to church! It's 9:02 & I was supposed to be at church at 9:00. We arrived at 9:35 and I ran the casserole in before dropping the girls off. 

Drop off was a blast, I was tired (duh) and therefore an air-head. I gave Ada's teacher her bag and talked to her about a lost lunch box and then walked off without giving her Ada. I realized after dropping Cora off in her room and went back to hand the child over. I spoke to one of the childcare teachers, Ms. Lauren, who is also my boss at the birth center about how things went the night before. I had been relieving her after she had worked a long hard, shift so it hadn't even been a birth I was on call for. Ran back out to the van (the church is quite large, so rather than walking from one building to another it's easier to drive - besides I had already hit my steps for the day!) and discovered that I didn't have my cell phone - quite the problem for an on-call birth worker. Went back in and found it in Cora's diaper bag.

I finally made it over to Bible Study at 9:57 - just in time to hear the last half of this week's speaker and to grab the last piece of my casserole!

Big group dismisses and we go to small group, which I managed to stay awake through! We have a freecycle table at our Bible study and everyone brings things they don't need anymore and we pick what we want and whatever is left is donated to various ministries sponsored through our church. I've gotten some amazing things at freecycle and take a lot of my stuff that we've out grown or are finished with up there. Today's find was this keurig! I was so excited, our coffee pot kicked the bucket a couple of months ago but buying a new one just hasn't been a priority.

I got home and made myself a cup of coffee in my new-to-me coffee pot and put the girls down for a nap, and I took a nap with them!

(excuse the giant pile of junk on my sewing table in the background)

Every birth worker has a different self care routine and way of handling our sleep-less and unpredictable lifestyle. I have found that after births, no matter how long they are it is best for me and my family if I just jump right back into our normal schedule as best as I can (assuming it doesn't look like I'm going to be called right back out). I try not to cancel things (though that does sometimes happen, especially if I'm too tired to safely drive) and I don't ever just go to sleep. It messes up my sleep patterns and I miss even more life with my family. My rule of thumb is to never nap longer than 3 hours and I prefer to only do 1.5 hours most of the time. This was a 3 hour nap kind of day! My girls don't normally nap that long, but if I am laying down with them they will. We all slept from 2 until 5!!

Lots of cuddles and hugs after waking up. We really didn't do much at all. They played with some blocks on my bedroom/office floor while I caught up on the insane number of calls/emails/texts I got during that nap.

When dinner time rolled around I was remembering that John wasn't coming home until after bed time, he was going with a friend to see Texas Tech play at TCU. There was no way I felt up to figuring something out for dinner so Tacos it was.

Then during dinner Ada somehow kicked my phone off the table and broke the screen. Fabulous.

On days like this I absolutely bribe my children when need be. They weren't interested in getting in the car, until I showed them M&M's (clearance after christmas & have been hanging out in the freezer at home)

Since we had driven into town I figured I would take the girls by my Dad's house. Since we had napped so late, I wanted the girls to stay up a little past their bed time or trying to put them down would be miserable.  We left his house to go back home at 9:10 pm

The girls fell asleep quickly. I laid in bed with them and worked on my doula business for a while. I had Rizzoli & Isles playing in the background, it's my current show to bing watch but Hulu makes me crazy with it's cruddy connections.

(Ada still sleeps in the fetal position, which I did until I was almost a teenager. I bet she would love it if I still swaddled her! She's also very opposed to pajamas, or pants... and shoes. She would love to run naked!)

After not very long I was good and exhausted. I texted John at 10:30 to see when he would be home then I went to sleep. I vaguely recall him waking me up to tell me he was home.

And that was a day in my life when I've attended an over night birth!

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about how I don't do it all - I accomplished a lot this day, but I didn't do any cleaning, no laundry, I barely picked up the toys that the kids drug out. We didn't do any homeschool lessons or crafts. I didn't do a quiet time. We survived and that was good enough for me! I'm still working on embracing the fact that I can't and won't do it all - and that's okay!

I'm really hoping to document a "normal" day at home with the girls soon!