My maternity leave lasted six weeks. I enjoyed staying home with the new baby and Kelvin was thrilled with his new son. He showed him off to everyone and by Christmas he got a lot of new toys. Being only two months old he couldn’t do too much at that time but he liked the pretty lights on the Christmas tree, the same tree Bill had bought me, and Kelvin decorated the outside of the trailer with multicolored lights.
I placed him in the swing and put the new toys in the tray in front of him. I breast fed as long as I could, about 3 months. Kelvin would bring him to the hospital every two hours, four, six, and eight. He would give him a bottle and put him to bed after that. When I got home close to midnight if he was awake I would feed him. He was usually ready by then for another feeding. Every two hours or so I’d get up and feed him again. It wasn’t long, as I said about 3 months, Kelvin had him so used to a bottle and he stopped coming to the hospital. I had a breast pump and pumped and saved bottles until management said I couldn’t do that anymore. I know that other mothers on different floors were doing that but the new Director of Nursing after Scotty retired, said I couldn’t use the refrigerator to store my milk bottles anymore. Others that I worked with thought it was gross, you would have thought I was doing it in front of them and not in the bathroom for privacy. It wasn’t long before I had no more milk to pump. I wanted to breast feed longer this time. When Jennifer and Chuck were born the Doctor had said at least the first three weeks to be sure the baby was getting enough colostrum and then after that it was up to me if I wanted to continue. Today they insist on breast feeding for the first year.
The year of 1995 went without incident. Dakota was getting bigger and learning to crawl, scoot and walk. He was pulling himself upon things. I was at work when he called me to tell me he had taken his first steps. I was afraid I was missing out on so much of his new little life! Being the “breadwinner” in the family I knew I couldn’t quit my job to be a stay at home Mom. It seemed like every day he was doing something new that I had to hear about second hand. I would take my vacations in June. I loved the weather in June; it was never too hot sometimes and certainly not too cold. This Missouri weather could never be predicted no matter how hard the weatherman tried. It would either be too hot or it would rain all summer.
I received a pin for working at the hospital for five years in April and pretty content on staying there until retirement. I knew where everything was, who to call when I needed information, I was the one everyone went to if they had a question. We had to learn a new system with computers which everyone groaned and moaned about including me. Learning the new technology was never anything anyone wanted. We wanted everything to stay the same but in Health Care everything changed and we had to be prepared to change with it. I learned how to put Dr’s orders in the “thing” and ask the pharmacy questions about an order especially if the script was nearly impossible to read. Some of the other nurses could never figure it out and I ended up doing mine and theirs as well. Getting comfortable after five years was a mistake because with changes coming so rapidly you could never get too comfortable. We had In-services meetings frequently about the hospital in the 21st century. We were told over and over how our jobs would not be affected and no one had anything to worry about. However, we were told that we would be trained on many new treatments and services even if our floors were not licensed to do them just in case we needed to be moved from one floor to another. At least we would be trained. I had already been trained to do IV’s the first year I worked there in 1990. I inserted 5 IV’s in the Emergency room at the East hospital then went back to work at West where the training was never used because we didn’t put IV’s in on our floor. I couldn’t have done it again if I tried without practicing for 5 years.
In February of 1996 I had given a patient 2 Tylenol, a patient who had had Tylenol in her orders for years as well as other narcotics. I had worked on one side of the center for three weeks when one evening the nurse I had been working with decided she wanted to change.
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