Introduction to this resource blog & about me
Those “what do you do?” conversations…they always leave me puzzled as to what to say when I know my answer will be unsettling…”I’m a Nurse” “Oh, what kind of nurse?” “I do end of life care, & bereavement” “like in a hospice, lots of old people” “No, I only care for newborns”.
I could lie and say nothing but hiding the need for caring for these babies has messed up our culture and when we hide ourselves in a dark corner, we perpetuate the untruth that babies don’t die and we leave people unprepared.
In society, perpetuating the lie that babies don’t die hurts people everyday.
I am an odd-ball even in my subspecialty in that I don’t do any other tasks in my hospital. Many still do L&D or NICU part time and Bereavement part time. I work 20 hours a week and even when we don’t have a loss i the hospital, I stay busy.
I very often share powerful experiences with families and I leave those experiences wishing I could share what I learn with the world. I work in a small town and mentioning anything specific would compromise the confidentiality of the people I just cared for, so for a long time I have shared nothing. After 13 years, however, the sum of these experiences has formed some overarching understandings that I now know I can use as teaching opportunities without giving specific details about specific cases. I hope the ideas that I share here are helpful for you whether you are a bereaved parent or a healthcare worker looking to learn more about how best to care for families.
Why not write a book? Ever since I started doing this work, people keep asking me when I will write a book.
If I wrote a book, it would be for all the wrong reasons. The most selfish parts of my personality yearn to see my name on the front cover of a book with beautiful captivating images & refined text. There would be an obligatory whispy photo of me photoshopped to remove the nasty wrinkle between my eyes and just enough endorsements on the back cover to make me sound like the greatest gal ever…it would simply be bad for me.
By doing a blog, I can get helpful info out to people who need it quickly and free. If I learn something new and need to amend a previous comment, I can correct it rather than have erroneous info in print forever (which I would find humiliating). [Update: in 2018 Im updating things I wrote 6+ years ago and I’m glad I can amend my statements and they aren’t printed in ink forever.]
I have been a nurse for 33 years and because my late husband was active duty military for the first 18 years of our marriage, I moved all over the place (kicking and screaming about it, I hate moving) and had 14 jobs. Now I see the fact that I did different things (Peds ICU, Hospice, NICU, Chaplaincy school, Home Care) in different places (Virginia, Florida, California, Nevada, & Kansas – cycling back to some place 2 or 3 times) as a strength.
We were married for 26 years and 9 days when he died very suddenly in our home. I came to learn more about grief and bereavement than I wanted to.
My sons are 29, 27 & my daughter is 22. My 29 year old has a child, so I was a young grandma at 46. (Yes, my job did cause me to be scared when my grandson was unborn, I tried to not burden my son with my angst though.)
I was Evangelical Protestant until I was 26 and took a multi-year journey into the Catholic Church. I love the Church but prolifers who don’t understand the real issues surrounding perinatal death annoy the snot out of me.
If you like happy endings, you may want to check out the “love story” post. My current husband and I have been married nearly 3 years and are very happy.
So be my guest, read for free and I hope you find this helpful.