My husband and I are getting excited thinking about adding another child to our brood. Call us crazy, but we are looking forward to adding a little more chaos into our already busy lives. I love almost everything about having kids. I love baby making and unruly baby kicks. I love the maternity clothes, eating whatever the heck I want and shopping for adorable baby items. I can even somewhat handle the thought of going through child birth again.
Surprisingly, the worst part of my pregnancy wasn’t chasing after my toddler, having frequent braxton hicks or simultaneously house training our puppy.
It was being a pregnant nurse.
Stay with me here, as I’m sure many of you – and probably not just nurses – will be able to relate to these reasons why every pregnant nurse deserves a medal.
The Big, Bad Truth About Being A Pregnant Nurse
1. Bursting Bladders
As a pregnant nurse, you don’t get to just stop assisting with ventilating a patient just because your poor bladder may or may not explode. No matter what area of nursing you work in, your patients needs will often come before your own, whether you are pregnant or not! That is why I always use the facilities when they are readily available. You just never know when you will be able to go again!
2. Tiny Bathrooms
Even though you won’t be able to pee whenever the mood strikes, you will still be making regular trips to the bathroom while assisting your patients – that toilet always taunting and reminding you that that you need to go yourself. Picture this: An obese, elderly woman, a walker, an IV pole and an eight month pregnant nurse crammed into a 4×4 room. Imagine said nurse trying to perform hygiene care in said tiny room. Needless to say, that moment is not the highlight of that nurse’s day!
3. Terrible, Awful Smells
I think nurses win hands-down for the worst smelling job out there. It’s not even like there’s just one smell to worry about, either. Whether they are emptying an ostomy bag, performing wound care on a stage 4 pressure ulcer or serving the hospital food, nauseous pregnant nurses everywhere are trying to keep it together.
— The Mama Nurse (@TheMamaNurse) March 6, 2016
4. Danger, Danger Everywhere
Working in any profession that deals with sick, unstable (mentally or physically) people is a recipe for disaster. As a pregnant nurse, you have to be especially wary of your health and safety, because you are not just protecting yourself. It could be as obvious as a violent, mentally ill patient, or appearing as harmless as a small child with chicken pox. Either way, pregnant nurses must always be on high alert at their work sites to keep themselves and their unborn babies safe.
5. An Emotional Roller Coaster
It really is impressive how pregnancy hormones toy with our emotions on their own, let alone when you have serious life and death situations to deal with on a daily basis. Even while pregnant, nurses must deal with explosive family dynamics, high-stress emergency situations, moody patients and doctors on power-trips. Each 12 hour shift is its own emotional roller coaster, compounded x 10 by the estrogen flowing through every pregnant nurses veins.
6. Your Body Hates You
If you are a nurse or know one, get them to wear a step counter for a day. A nurse may only walk back and forth in a small corridor, but it adds up to MILES. To a pregnant nurse, what seemed like a small task like helping someone put on their shoes or bending over to empty a catheter bag, can make them feel winded.
It doesn’t help the old self esteem having to wear the same compression stockings as your 80-year-old diabetic patient to prevent your legs from looking like you have a bad case of elephantitis. Meanwhile, your Cirque-Du-Soleil baby is performing impressive though painful acrobatics in your uterus while trying to give the doctor an in depth run-down on your patient. It’s no wonder that you fall asleep reading stories to your toddler every night!
7. Night Shift
It’s no secret that pregnant women have trouble sleeping. It’s also no secret that nurses work ridiculous shifts. As a pregnant nurse, you find yourself exhausted after a 12 hour night shift, but having to wake up hourly throughout the day to reposition, take bathroom breaks and to become the victim of your toddler’s general tomfoolery.
OK, Enough Complaining
As you can see, being a pregnant nurse has its faults. You can’t pee when you want, it stinks, your body hurts, and you can’t sleep. Are you surprised that I want to do it all over again for a third time?
Nine long months.
Although being a pregnant nurse is my own personal version of hell, I love my job and kids so much that I would do it all over again in a heart beat! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger… Right? So if you end up in the hospital and have a pregnant nurse, please be kind!
How did you find working through your pregnancy? Nurses, did I miss anything?