God works in mysterious ways. I had a pretty good day at work Monday- the NICU is full enough that they've split into two units again and "my twinkies" (the twins I'm taking care of right now) are in the downstairs unit where the 'big kids' play. There are fewer alarms and it's much quieter, which means lots of cuddle time. Hands down the best part of my job.
I was holding one of the twinkies near the end of the shift Monday, letting some love soak into her skin. She has terrible acid reflux and always winces and gags during feedings, so we were just having a calm moment. It was one of those precious times (I'm sure it's all the more relevant when you're the mom and it's your child) that you realize: all we need is love.
Of course, on the heels of such a basic realization rushed all my insecurities and current stressors. Namely, grad school. I have a nagging feeling that I want more out of my job (despite those perfect but sometimes rare moments when I can sit in peace and hold a baby) and I'm wondering if grad school is the way to go. I can and probably will write a whole separate post on that dilemma, for the few people who care about my ramblings.
But for now, I'm trying to make some big decisions: Do I get Master's of Science in Nursing so I can maintain my staff nurse job but also teach clinicals to nursing students? Do I take on the challenge of Advanced Practice and become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Midwife? Or do I stay right where I am, make the most of it, and effectively stay where I am for a long, long time? (The mild sense of urgency I have about all this is preceded by an announcement that by 2015, Master's programs in nursing will be replaced by a 5-year Doctor of Nursing Practice Ph. D, which I can tell you right now I'm not interested in.)
So amidst filling out applications, talking to older and wise colleagues at work, and ordering transcripts, I posted this on Facebook when I got home Monday night:
Precious are the moments at work when I can hold a baby and just let the love soak in.
Too bad they can't help me decide what I'm meant to do with the rest of my life.
Of course, Facebook friends always have more to say than my patients do, so I woke up to a few gems, including:
-Do what fills your heart with joy! Life is too short for anything else.
-Pray, pray, pray, and God will tell you in time.
A sweet patient's mother practically made me tear up by saying, "I think you are on the right track! Words can't express how much you helped and how much you mean to my family. The way you loved and took care of my daughter... it takes a special kind of person who can do what you girls do. We love you Therese ♥"
One of my favorite nursing instructors from TCU said, "Do what makes you happy to get out of bed in the morning and say 'I get to go to work today, not I have to go to work today.'"
Finally, one of my high school friends said,