Dreams

I applied for another job last week and needless to say I’m not a least bit thrilled about it. Why did I do it? May be out of habit. That’s all I have been doing for the past year is aplying for jobs, might as well do it, right? Except, I’m tired of spinning my wheels. If I’m going to be miserable, I might as well be familiar and miserable. At least with this job I know what I’m getting. No sense of applying for a job where I’m going to be unfamiliar and wasting more time. It’s funny what a year can do. Last year I would be sitting on pins and needles to see what would the results of applying for this job would lead to…Now I can care less.

I had this discussion with my friend/colleague. Since I know what I want to do and the direction I need to go into, I don’t want anything or anyone to deter me from that goal. Why waste time at another job if it doesn’t fit into my overall agenda? Am I unfulfilled at my current job, yes. But at least it gives me opportunity to perfect my craft. I’m still able to provide breastfeeding education to my participants. And you know what? They are learning. They can feel my passion when I speak about it. So when I look at these other positions I ask, will help me get my end result? Most of the time the answer is no. No other job descriptions have tickled my fancy. I just apply because we can use the extra money…..but I’ve been at job where I was compensated well. And I hated it. It wasn’t worth my sanity. Money doesn’t even motivate me anymore. I rather get paid well doing something I honestly LOVE to do. I saw this link posted via twitter and minus the music rhetoric, Charlie Hunter basically broke it down.

Is that possible? My God I certainly hope so. So I’m putting that out in the universe: I WANT TO GET PAID WELL TEACHING MATERNAL HEALTH TOPICS/BREASTFEEDING EDUCATION.

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I Wanna Be Down

So I was talking to a co-worker (who is also a good friend) and she invited me to be part of a new professional work group. The work group is to pursue reproductive rights and address sexual health issues within my state. How does this apply to me with be wanting to start a non-profit in maternal child health? Well, the work group will address issues such as diversity in receiving health care services, more communication between doctors, midwives, lactation counselors, doulas, nurses, so and so forth, and better birthing outcomes.

All of these things somewhat align with my vision. I not only want women of lower socioeconomic backgrounds to be well versed about things such as child-birth and lactation education; but I want ALL health care professionals to also be educated about these things as well. This sounds like such a HUGE undertaking. #sigh I can’t go at this alone. Plus, I need network with ‘like-minded’ individuals. This is a great way to branch out and meet new people. The universe is really jumping up to meet me where I am.

Let’s see how this works out.

Moment of Clarity

A client left me a message at the office while I was out in the field. She told the administrative tech she was having problems breastfeeding and she needed to speak with me right away. I remembered talking to this client a while she was pregnant and she was very interested in breastfeeding. She had two other children but she stated she had them young and she had no desire to breastfeed with them. She was adamant about trying with her third child. She was concerned she wouldn’t be able to because she had a breast reduction. I told her that most of the time women who had breast reduction surgery would be able to breastfeed. It just depends when the surgery took place and what the surgeon had removed. The only way to really know for sure is to see once the baby was born and then see how much the breast would produce.

So I went out to see the client the next day and completed my assessment. The infant had lost a few ounces, the baby would latch only to one breast, and he didn’t have enough voids or poops. These were all signs that her baby wasn’t getting enough to eat. I witnessed a feed and my client’s infant was very fussy at one breast vs the other. I immediately recognized that one breast probably wasn’t producing milk or the infant wasn’t able to get enough from one breast. Even though my client was having all these difficulties she was still serious about continuing to breastfeed. My client didn’t have a pump but she did qualify for one through WIC. The rule with WIC is that the mother has to wait 6 weeks after she delivered to get a pump. My client had just had her baby a week ago. They MIGHT issue the pump if the baby has a medical issue. My thoughts were well it is a medical issue because a) the baby had lost weight and although this is common; he had lost weight because my client b) had a breast reduction which is further proves the medical issue. That should be enough, right?

So I called an IBCLC while was on the visit at a local hospital because proving the breast reduction could be part of the issue was out of my scope of practice. (Read further about that here : http://www.talpp.org/Comparative_Roles_CLC_and_IBCLC.pdf  if you are so inclined). She agreed to see my client the next day. Then I called her local WIC office to see if they would be able to give her a pump early. No answer. #sigh Meanwhile, I encouraged my client to do hand expression and told her she is going to have to supplement with formula in the interim. I also told her that I would continue to call WIC to see if they could set her up with an appointment and see if they could give her a pump based on specific medical conditions. I would follow up with her the next day.

The next day I talked to the local IBCLC and she confirmed everything I saw in my visit. She couldn’t tell specifically what had happened because she didn’t have the doctors notes about the breast reduction but she did notice that one breast was producing a significant amount of milk than the other one. She recommended that my client needed to pump and she would have given her a pump but she didn’t have to give at the time. I then called my client also took her baby back to the pediatrician and he had lost more weight (which was a full pound at this point) and they recommended that she supplement with formula immediately. Of course my client felt defeated and riddled with guilt. I assured her that everything would be okay and this was just a bump in the road. I told her that now that we know what is wrong, we can do things to fix it. Still encouraged her to give hand expression a try and tell her to try to stay encouraged. By this point I had I finally got in contact with someone at another WIC office (my client’s local one still hadn’t called my back) and told them about my client. She had an appointment to see them on Monday morning at 9am.

So fast forward to Monday morning and FINALLY get a call from my client’s local WIC office……a whole 2 business days later. The nutritionist proceeds to tell me about their policy about giving away breast pumps and how my client hadn’t been in the clinic for several months and pick up her vouchers and etc and so forth. (._.) So I told her as politely as I could that I was familiar with WIC’s policy of giving away pumps and the reason why I asked for the pump was because of medical reasons. I told her that my client went to see an IBCLC because of her breast reduction and her having difficulty with latch, and the baby had lost a pound. Once again the nutritionist had to try to trump me with her expertise. She told me that mom needed to try skin to skin to help get the milk flowing and mom was so stressed that this could be the reason why mom couldn’t produce milk. Nevermind, I told her that my client was producing milk significantly from one breast than the other. Nevermind the IBCLC had confirmed my thoughts. Nevermind the baby had lost a FULL pound in a week. More importantly, nevermind the client had did everything in her power to try to continue to breastfeed her son. The nutritionist was more concerned about being RIGHT than helpful. Needless to say, she wasn’t able to get a pump because breast reduction is not medical concern according to WIC. So I got frustrated with her call and ended it quickly.

I was pissed for the entire day. I don’t want to trash WIC as an entire organization because they have done so many things to further the cause of breastfeeding. But how many mothers had that nutritionist spoken to that way? How many mothers had they discouraged by their tone? How can you support a mother if you are more concerned with being right with the information you give them instead of actually LISTENING to them? The nutritionist claim she was an CLC but one of the first things you learn as a counselor is to put your biases aside and “counsel” the client. Then if a client has an issue with breastfeeding  does it take 2 whole business days to return the call? That’s eternity to a breastfeeding mother.

I think it was at that moment I realized that I have to get out of public health. There is too much red tape you have to go through to help people the way I really want. Secondly, it is so black and white. There are NO shades of grey. My client couldn’t get the pump because ‘on paper’ the medical reason wasn’t listed on WIC list of reasons. Thirdly, most of the employees in public health (well in my area) are so jaded about the clients we serve and the work we do. My nutritionist friend didn’t feel like going an extra step to serve my client even though I did. I felt like she could have and maybe I’m wrong for expecting the best out of people. i know one thing I’m tired of…being around people who lack passion about what they do. I need people around who drive me and vice versa.

My client was able to get a pump. Two actually. One of her church members bought one for her and her son’s pediatrician was able to get her one through the Affordable Care Act. Thank God for small miracles.

 

Coming From Where I’m From

So what’s the point of this blog?

I wanted to use this blog as a way to get my feelings out about starting up a non-profit. Writing has always been cathartic for me so hopefully this will help.  I am truly just in the beginning. I know NOTHING about running a business. I know nothing about where to begin. And the truth be told…I am scared out of my mind.  I NEVER thought in my 34 years that I would be here. Steady checks when working for someone else is comforting.  Especially when you have another mouth to feed and spouse that depends on you to pay bills. I don’t know how this is all going to work. I might fail but I might not.The fear of the unknown is debilatating. However the point is I need to try. I can’t continue to work so hard for a company who reaps my benefits and I receive nothing in return.  Its time to invest in myself. So I’m in business school. Reading a few articles and websites, putting ideas on my Pinterest board, setting goals for myself. I’m doing this one step at a time.

Why do I want to start a non-profit?

I have worked in Maternal and Child Health for almost 6 years. Our underprivileged and under served population are so uneducated about pregnancy and the child birthing experience. In my city, they know about the benefits of breastfeeding but they don’t know about what to expect while breastfeeding. There are classes offered in these areas at local hospitals but they are expensive. I have a husband and a job and we still had to budget how we would attend a class. But it was the best thing we could have done as a couple. Noticed the key to those last statements are: husband, affordable, full time job. A lot of my clients don’t have the luxury to spend money on things. So that’s where the idea of starting non-profit for families who wish to attend a class or classes that covers child birth, post-partum care, breastfeeding, infant care, and infant CPR for little to no charge. Then eventually I want to be able to train health care providers in these subjects especially breastfeeding. So many of our doctors and nurses are so misinformed about breastfeeding. In turn, they are giving their patients wrong information which can deter a woman from wanting to do so. Sounds simple enough, right? I certainly hope it somewhat is.

Where did this idea originate?

I have always enjoyed teaching and spreading knowledge to people who wanted it. That has always been my gift. So I thought I wanted to become a professor at a university. But one day I was sitting in a training, and the facilitator talked in depth about her career. She traveled all across the country training health professionals about an umbrella of subjects under maternal child health. That’s when the light bulb went off. That’s what I should do. Especially since I am so passionate about these subjects and I am not really sure how I would teach that in a university setting without tons of credentials anyway. The idea wasn’t completely flushed out like it is in that previous paragraph. I just knew I wanted to teach something in regards to maternal child health. However that thought terrified me. So I put it out of my mind for year. I put it into the virtual universe via twitter. Got a few “you can do it responses.” Then I never revisited the thought again. But then came the failed job interviews and the rejection letters to a few school programs. So here I am.

*goes to the altar*

*crosses fingers*

*does a few Hail Marys*

We will see how this goes….

Started from the Bottom..

A few weeks I had a bright idea to start a blog about writing about this experience. But my question right after that was, “When will have the time?” God kinda answered that question for me.

I guess I should explain a few things about myself. I’m a public health employee that has worked for an infant mortality program for over 5 years. I provide nutrition/breastfeeding education to women and their families. I also provide breastfeeding education to mothers who are interested and counsel those who need lactation assistance. Although I love what I do, I have put myself in a career corner. I have a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition/Dietetics  but I am not nutritionist. What does that mean? That means I completed the the undergrad courses for the nutrition/dietetics program but I did not get into a Dietetics Internship. (Which is a whole ‘nother posting). So I began a career in research for a little while and that didn’t pan out as I had hoped (which is also a whole nother posting). Which brought me to the job I currently work in and the job I want to get out of so badly. #Sigh

I’m so bored with this job. So bored that I spend quite a bit of time on social media. I seriously have an addiction. My guess is in 3 to 4 years there will be a Social Media Addicts Anonymous. I will be the first to attend and complete my 12 steps.

But anyway….

As a result of my complete boredom I’ve been looking for a job since November of 2012. I have had SEVEN interviews. S-E-V-E-N. Siete. Sette. Sept. Some of them were really interested in me but I didn’t have the education, one of them I completely bombed on, one accepted (which I will get to in a minute), the others….They just didn’t work out.

The job I did accept was a part time gig. It was for a breastfeeding hotline. I was going to work every other Sunday for 12 hour shift. From 8am-8pm. The great part about it is I could work from home. But at the ninth hour, that didn’t pan out either. I have a lactation education certification and not a lactation counselor certification. *rolls eyes* What’s the dang difference? Well it was enough for me not to get that job either.

So that was the universe way of giving me my time. Sure I work FT, I am a mother of a 3 year old, and I am a wife, and also a student……but for whatever reason I felt like I needed to document this point in my life.

Started from the bottom….yet I’m still here.