The Truth

Let me be the first to say MERRY NEW YEAR!!! I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been taking a break from everything. School was out, Work was limited, and I have been catching up on my favorite past time…..”clustering netflix shows.” My latest victim has been American Horror Story. Then I saw that House of Cards had director commentary to it, so I’ve been catching a little bit of that. Then I found that Clean House was available so I spent a day watching that. Then  I spent sometime spending time with family and friends. (Yes, in that order. I spent more time on Netflix than with family. LOL).

I’ve I had to time to think and plan and think some more about what I wanted to accomplish within the next year both personally and professionally. I created my vision board on Pinterest. Created a separate vision board of what I want my company to look like in the near future. When I thought about something I wanted to accomplish,  I immediately added to my vision board. (The Pinterest app on your phone or tablet device is awesome for absent-minded people like myself). One of the things I have added to my board is to start mediating before I start my day. I at least take 5 minutes out of my day to reflect and set goals for what I want to accomplish throughout the day and this year in general. One of my goals in general is to just to “stand in my truth.” What does this means exactly? This is really more of a goal for myself than the others around me. See, I’m usually that friend that people go to when they want someone to be “completely honest.” I have no qualms about telling you about YOUR truth. But with myself….not so much. Not lately anyway. So everyday I ask myself, to “stand and walk in truth.”

I even have this quote pinned by Brian Tracy on my vision board:

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And let me tell you something….the universe has called me EVERYDAY to the carpet about living with honesty. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY in this young year. Even though I don’t want to the little voice inside my head won’t let me do it otherwise. And you know what? I’ve survived. It’s been hard. There are days I want to cry about it but I have to keep reminding myself this is what I need to grow to be a better mother, wife, friend, and any other person I wish to be.

 

 

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The Pressure

Nothing like finally having a vision of what you want to accomplish and then ‘real life’ happens. So then you have to revamp and then you have to put your “dreams” on hold until further notice. Or nix them altogether. That’s the thing about being married with child(ren), you are in constant thought of how striving for your dreams will affect them. Achieving this dream might cause me to work for free for a period of time. It also might cause me to be less of presence in their lives and that haunts me. What if I achieve everything I wish to professionally and in the end I’m alone without the family we (me and my husband) created? At one point do you stop pursuing your dreams because they have become a hindrance to the ones you love the most? And if I give up, will I hold a grudge against them?

But there is some solace in knowing that there is a chance that they will be there in the end. My son will understand and respect the dedication in setting goals and accomplishing them. My husband will be proud that achieved my goals and standing with me til the end.

There is the statement “You can have it all.” But what’s the cost of having it ‘all?’  So I always say, you can have it all….but not at the same time. You won’t be able give 100% to everyone and everything. I didn’t want to be Debbie Downer in this post but its a reality that us dreamers with families need to realize. Achieving dreams come with great sacrifice.

Leaders of the New School

There is this opportunity in my city to attend a program called “Embark.” Embark is program that helps equip promising young professionals with the training to set a course for their career and the opportunity to network with others ready to make a difference in the community. There will be classes every other Tuesday or Thursday for 3 months. It will be an awesome opportunity to network and expand  my leadership skills. But one big thing…..I’m already going to school online. I pretty much devote most of my week to homework at least 3 to 4 days a week. Plus I work 40 hours a week, I’m a mother, and a wife. I don’t want stretch myself too thin. I have been practicing this mantra that if you can’t commit 100% then don’t commit at all.  So I’m rocking with that.

I do need to find other ways to expand my leadership skills and find ways to network. I really need to get comfortable with networking. I need to find ways to feel comfortable just being myself when networking and not feeling as if I have to “tap dance” for you to stay mentally engaged with via conversation. Its so stressful….and awkward.

Anyway, I’m adding expanding leadership skills and “networking comfortably” to my vision board. I don’t necessarily have to do this with a program. This is something I need to work on anyway.

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.

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….