Monthly Archives: February 2013



I’ve been thinking a lot about my pet options for next year, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t start my dog-owning life off with a toller- they’re just too challenging a breed for a first-time dog owner, and they require too much exercise for a new nurse who works 12-hour shifts and doesn’t have anyone to help or money for doggy daycare. Instead, I’ve decided to…get a corgi next year! Corgis are cool. Exhibit A:

Corgis are also way more chill than tollers. They still take a lot of exercising (which is a good thing!), but I’m fairly certain a corgi will be less insane, and certainly less scream-y.

Corgis are also freaking hilarious. I dare you to watch this without laughing.

Didn’t work, did it? I thought not.

Corgis are smart, and affectionate, and can do agility training, and wear rugby jerseys (probably. Maybe this one), and there are so many good corgi names! I’m partial to Bertie, but really anything British would work (Downton Abbey alone provides great name-fodder. Carson! Sybil! Thomas (he’s kind of evil, but he’s an out and proud old-timey gay guy, and I like that). Ok, probably not Thomas, but maybe Edith. And then there’s Call the Midwife! Chummy the corgi would be so cute!).


Edit: I somehow forgot Harry Potter names! Neville the corgi! No wonder the Queen has so many- there are just too many good corgi names!

I know they’re a super trendy breed right now, but they’re also timeless- the Queen has had them for years. I’ve admired corgis for some time now, and I feel good about this decision (and there’s a breeder in Rochester! I love how people in Rochester breed all kinds of things- hedgehogs, tollers, corgis). I’ll get a corgi, and then a kitten, and then someday I’ll get a toller, and then I’ll have all the pets and it’ll be awesome.


Next step


My class had our Transitions meeting today, and it gave me a lot to think about. If I stay in Baltimore it’s highly unlikely that I’ll get the kind of placement I want (L&D, pediatrics, ED, or psych (I might get psych actually, but it’s my fourth choice)). If I apply to do Transitions in St. Louis I’ll be at a pediatric hospital, but it’ll be in Missouri over the summer (Baltimore summers are bad, but Missouri is a whole other level), and I won’t know anyone, and will have to find a place to live for seven weeks, and someone to take over my place in Baltimore (I can’t afford to pay rent on two places at once). My sister and brother are in Missouri and so I might get to see them, but they’d be two hours away, and I won’t have a car. There’s also a site in Cape Cod, but that doesn’t feel like a realistic option because it’ll be ruinously expensive to find a place during the height of tourist season (as much as I’d love to be on the beach, it just doesn’t feel like a responsible choice). So it’s down to Baltimore or St. Louis. Fortunately, I have a couple of weeks to think it over and weigh the pros and cons.

I’m utterly beat. It’s only Monday, and I have a big couple of weeks, so there isn’t any time for tiredness, but Mondays are long days, and I have a headache. My clinical instructor didn’t post our assignments until almost 5:00 today, so I missed my weight-lifting class, and by the time I got back to Charles Village it was prime gym time, and I didn’t see the point in going all the way up to campus to stand around hoping a treadmill eventually opens up. I’ll go tomorrow though- I have a new system, with stickers and a calendar on the fridge, so hopefully that will be motivating. It’s so tempting to ignore my work and read, or watch Little Mosque on the Prairie, but I need to be more responsible than that. Instead, I’m going to take a shower, and then finish my diabetes powerpoint, and then go to bed. My clinical is doing a simulation with the med school tomorrow, so I need to be well-rested (that doesn’t make a ton of sense, since I’ll just be pretending to work with a patient, instead of actually helping real sick people, but I’ll be representing my clinical group, so I want to do a good job).

I didn’t get to see the Oscars last night, but I watched a few highlights, and now I really really want to see some movies. I can’t believe I didn’t see Les Mis when it was in theaters.



Sometimes there are just too many attractive options. There are some Saturdays that are terrible, and boring, and I sit around feeling lonely and grumpy, but today was not one of them. Today I got to spend two hours at a prenatal with one of my Birth Companion moms, falling absolutely in love with her and her family, and getting incredibly psyched for her birth. I love Birth Companions so much- I have like eight moms right now, and because I’m staying over Spring Break I’m hoping to cover a lot of births. I think I’ll have to keep doula-ing after school, because it’s just so darn fulfilling. I opted to not become DONA certified (it’s a giant hassle-there are all kinds of persnickety rules), but even though I don’t want to hang a shingle and do it full-time, I love attending births in a non-medical, purely supportive manner- it’s way better than being an L&D nurse as far as I can tell.

I had two attractive offers for how to spend the rest of my afternoon, and I opted to play Dungeons and Dragons with a bunch of friends. It was my first ever time playing, and I didn’t think I would like it at all, but I wanted to at least try. I think it can be really complicated and stupid if you play with the wrong group, but my friend Alex made my character for me (halfling thief), and was very nice and gave me all kinds of neat skills (and a magic bag that I can use to summon any animal (depending on what I roll- I don’t get to pick what comes out, and I wound up with a goat and a ram when I used it, which aren’t very good helpers)). Alex was the Dungeon Master, and he was absolutely perfect at it- he does voices, and sound effects, and because most of the players were new to the game he was very patient, and encouraging. The whole thing made me really appreciate how great he is, and how glad I am to be his friend, and that’s always a nice feeling. We played for hours, and the game isn’t even close to over, but eventually people had to get back to their real lives, so we’ll pick up again next time. Our game was about helping a village that is being threatened by vampires, and as silly as it sounds (and is), it was still exciting and fun. There are lots of rules, and my character is pretty useless in battle, but no one minded that I wasn’t a killing machine, and everyone enjoyed my random animals. It’s obviously super nerdy, but I had an absolute ball, and I’m excited to play again.

Full Friday


Today pretty much ruled. It was my first real day on the L&D unit, and I got to see a birth! It was the only birth of the day, so it felt pretty shiny, and the mom was incredible. It’s a very different experience attending a birth as a nursing student instead of a doula- I felt like I was much more of an outsider- normally I’m part of the mom’s space, and she wants me there, and I’m there for her, to support her, but today it was about watching more than anything else- I mostly kept quiet and just observed. It was kind of a perfect birth actually- the mom had the best epidural I’ve ever seen, and the pushing went really well (and quickly!), and then there was this beautiful little baby. I’ve seen four births now (and they’re all been girls), but it never fails to choke me up- it’s honestly the most beautiful, incredible thing in the world, even from my outsider’s perspective (it’s more special when you’re a doula, and connected to the mom, but I still almost cried today when the baby was born, it was just lovely). I got to do the newborn assessment, and give the eye prophylaxis, and vitamin K shot, which were fairly atraumatic (for me as well as the baby, who barely cried), and even though I know it’s reflexive, I love how babies grab onto your finger- it’s just about the sweetest thing ever (followed by a cat resting its head on you and falling asleep. I’m a sucker for trusting gestures). I know not every day will be like today, but so far I love my OB rotation.

After clinical I came home and crashed for a few hours, then cleaned up the apartment. I’ve been slacking in that department lately, so it felt nice to straighten up a bit- it’s a small apartment, so a little mess can get out of hand pretty quickly. My friends Scott and Judy invited me out to dinner, so they came by around 7:00, and we went out to Towson for sushi (there was some song and dance about going somewhere else, but Scott and I are both always in the mood for sushi, so it was a foregone conclusion). I hadn’t seen Scott and Judy in ages, so it was really nice to catch up, and we talked a lot about job searching, and cats, and Hopkins’ current scandal (which is very sad, and pretty disturbing). I spent so much time thinking I hated sushi, when in fact it’s so darn good! We always order too much (especially since we also get seaweed salads, which are one of my favorite foods), so I actually have some leftovers in the fridge now, which I think will make a nice breakfast tomorrow (it isn’t a traditional breakfast food, but it’s healthier than pancakes).

Now I’m settled in for the night, pajamas, on, good book at the ready for a bit of reading before bed. It would’ve been hard to have a better Friday than the one I had.

Long day


I’m beat. I was at clinical from 7-3, and then went to the gym, the grocery store, and a postpartum visit with one of my moms (I didn’t get to see her though, since she already had the maximum number of visitors, and family outranks doula, so I’m going back tomorrow). I’m pretty happy about all the stuff that I accomplished though (even if I wasn’t planning on grocery shopping this week. At least now I have apples! And almonds!), so it’s a good kind of tiredness.

In other news, I’m thinking of joining a rugby team this spring. A girl in my clinical group plays, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a few months now, and today it sort of just clicked. I’d like to be on a team again, and I miss rugby. It’s an adult recreational league, so it wouldn’t be a huge commitment, just a couple of nights a week, and I think I might really like it. If it doesn’t work out then I can quit, but I’d like to at least try- I was on sports teams throughout my academic career, and I managed to find a balance between work and play.





I need more dancing in my life. I might actually go again this weekend, if I have time, and can justify the expense (I’m already not grocery shopping this week because I registered for an obstacle race next month), and feel comfortable accepting a ride with a guy from the dance (he’s well into middle age, but that doesn’t mean anything. Just because I don’t think of people my parents’ age as dating material doesn’t mean they don’t think of me that way, and he’s huggy, and kisses me on the cheek, so I’m not sure about this one). I had a great dance night though, even though I had to leave early since tomorrow is my first day of Labor & Delivery clinical. (!)

I was going to write more about how I love to dance, and then I saw this. I sometimes wonder if I’m missing some essential romance piece, especially when I haven’t felt drawn to anyone in a long time, but I’m a sucker for this kind of thing (I almost teared up at #41). That and watching a bunch of birth videos in L&D lecture has me all longing.




I had an interesting day at the hospital today. My patient was very sweet, and kept me busy for the whole shift, which I love., but things got a little weird in post-conference. I don’t even remember how it came up, but we somehow started talking about caring for prisoners and addicts, and whether they deserve nursing care. Crazy, right? Because even prisoners and addicts are people, and so of course they deserve compassionate care- the same care we would give anyone else. Except that wasn’t what people were saying. Instead, I was treated to hearing about stitching up people who hurt themselves on purpose to get drugs without using any anesthetic, and wishful thinking that you could just turn people away. Even the people who were hesitant to jump on board with that kind of statement admitted that they would want to look at a person’s history before deciding what kind of care they should receive. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills here! Since when do nurses say that kind of thing?! It is so not a nurse’s job to judge or punish their patients! I couldn’t believe that people would say those thoughts aloud, even if they had them- I assumed that it was understood that those types of bias are bad, and should be kept hidden in the same parts of your secret mind that think about keying people’s cars. There are so many layers of bad in those sentiments, but once you unpack them there are even more that might not immediately show up, like the fact that the judicial system is so broken, and people from poorer socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to be incarcerated (and how about racial inequalities? We don’t even need to go near that can of worms). It also reminded me of the attitude that many people hold towards obese people, thinking that because “they did it to themselves” they’re less deserving of good healthcare. The whole thing makes me nuts. It isn’t easy, and I’m sure I’ll regret it sometimes, and wish it wasn’t the case, but everyone is entitled to good care. I don’t care if they’re racist, male, female, gay, straight, trans, wealthy, poor, young, old, even if they’ve personally treated me like dirt and made me cry- they can be anyone- it shouldn’t matter, because nurses aren’t supposed to care about anything but their patients’ well- being. There aren’t a lot of black and white situations, especially in healthcare, but this is one of them. I’m honestly disgusted by the things I heard today- I had thought better of Hopkins nurses.

(What really killed me though, was that one of the students who has such an issue with treating prisoners is in the fracking prison public health rotation! The very same one that I (and lots of other people) really really wanted! Good thing she thinks those people are deserving of quality care!)



Today has been a long, long day. I started the morning on a series of low notes (trying to watch the new episode of Downton Abbey before my 10:00 class simply does not work- I always have to leave mid-way through, and I don’t have enough time to print my notes before the printing frenzy starts), but somehow emerged in a reasonably reasonable mood anyway. This I think was due to the fact that today was my first day of Nursing for the Childbearing Family- a.k.a. BABIES. We watched two birth videos in class, and I almost teared up both times- there’s really nothing like birth to brighten a day. I wasn’t feeling very excited about this class actually, because I sort of think being an L&D nurse would just frustrate me when what I really want to be is a midwife (and L&D nurses have to do all kinds of things I disagree with, like pushing getting drugs, and not letting moms hold their babies as soon as they come out (they’re supposed to be gooey!) My instructor is a midwife, and she feels the same way about a lot of this stuff though (she actually said that taking away a healthy baby and wrecking that first moment is a shitty thing to do, and if you do it without having a darn good reason birth work isn’t for you), and so now I feel better (she’s also a birth companions leader). I’ve been having a lot of Feelings about this class, but I’ve decided to like it. The important thing is not to compare my experience with anyone else’s (which is a good rule of thumb for life in general). It isn’t a race to see as many births as possible, it’s about helping families have their best possible births.

Right now I’m tired, and trying to work up the motivation to empty the dish drain so I have somewhere to put the dishes that need to be washed. And shower. It isn’t going too well, especially since I’ve rediscovered how great Little Mosque on the Prairie is (and the whole series is on Hulu). Man, do I love Canadian TV. And British TV- the Downton finale was so good! I don’t want to risk spoiling anything, but I thought it was a really solid episode, and I’m really starting to like Thomas. Scotland kind of stole the show though, and now I want a shaggy pony with short little legs to ride around on through fields of heather. Doesn’t that sound nice? Scottish dancing looks pretty sweet too- I think my path is clear and I should run away to Scotland.


Vagina Monologues


I somehow managed to spend two and a half years at Smith without ever seeing The Vagina Monologues, but I’ve finally caved (I blame my deep and abiding love for my friends who are involved). I didn’t expect to like it- if I thought it would be good I would’ve gone years ago, but I decided to go anyway.

So here’s what I thought: it was ok. Emily was great, of course, and Jen was very good as well, even though she had a small part, and so insufficient opportunities to shine, but she looked beautiful. It was occasionally funny, and maybe a tiny bit moving (though the moving part was describing birth, which is cheating, since any birth-related thing is moving to me. I had a prenatal today and I almost teared up- it’s like shooting bears in the zoo), but also kind of squicky and tiresome (they kept calling things that aren’t vaginas vaginas, which irked me- those parts have names too!). Overall, I’d say it was a nice evening out, but that was largely because I sat with Maria and Scott (and Maria and I were shuttle bus ninjas, and easily caught the bus both ways, which is no small feat on the weekends), and I just enjoy their company. For a show that’s all about a pretty sexy body part it wasn’t terribly sexy, and some of the monologues felt really awkward (not because they were about vaginas, but because they weren’t very good stories). I’m glad I went, but I don’t think I’ll ever feel the need to go again. It’s unfair to criticize a play for not changing the way I view the world, but I can think of dozens of shows I’d rather see put on every year for Valentines Day.