I am now the proud owner of an Oldsmobile. No more embarassing day care drop offs or strange looks in the grocery store parking lot. I bailed on my medical calculations class this morning and am spending a pleasant afternoon in a local coffee shop, downing mochas and talking with an old friend while simultaneously pretending to study. I thought I'd try studying here since studying at home tends to provoke intense obsession with the cleanliness of my environment and I start cleaning instead of focusing on schoolwork.
I had a skills check-off on injections yesterday at school and it was a disaster. Air bubbles that refused to be flicked out of the syringe. A needle that fell off the syringe while I was industriously flicking an air bubble. I still managed to pass, but I was so nervous I couldn't have spelled my own name if asked. It reminded me of the first time I was in nursing school in 2005--I had just found out I was pregnant and I didn't know what the hell I was going to do. I had a check-off on catheterization and sterile technique. Bombed it. The problem with failing these is you are only given three tries to pass before they kick you out. And it's way more intimidating on the second try. Same goes for nursing school. Way more intimidating on the second try. I spent much of my first quarter reliving my last try at nursing school five years ago. The unplanned pregnancy. The premature birth and death of my son that forced a medical withdrawal. It all ties together in such a strange way that I'll be learning the same procedures and material in a different school, 5 years later and 500 miles away, and something will prompt a memory to jerk me back to that time. Post traumatic stress disorder. At the hospital, the beeps and dings that the various equipment makes sounds so much like NICU noises that I have to step away sometimes. I know my chosen career path means I will have to push past these little tics and I never let the other students or teachers know when this is happening to me because I feel it would be unprofessional. But they do get to me and in some ways I know they always will. When my son died, I promised him, my "husband" and myself that I wouldn't let his death turn me into something ugly. I became even more dedicated to becoming a nurse because of the amazing things I saw in the NICU--even though there were no miracles for my little boy. I wanted to be a NICU nurse the moment I stepped into that NICU and saw the amazing work the nurses were doing there. Life experiences are what forms each of us into the person that we are today and I try to let Matthew's death mold me in positive ways that would never have happened without his presence in my life. But I wonder if I will spend every day of my life asking, "Why my baby?" And nearly five years later, I'm thinking I will.
The cold weather has eased up a bit and the sun is shining in through the window of the coffee shop. It's a beautiful day. A woman with an adorable baby girl is sitting a few tables away. I want another baby so badly....I miss diapers, and bucket car seats and baby clothes. Time for a refill and some actual studying. Pharmacology. Yay.