Soooo…remember that time I talked about being free. And fear holding me back from that? Well today I did something really hard that scared the crap out of me, but it’s part of me being free. It was one of the hardest and scariest decisions I’ve ever made.
21 years ago, at the age of 16 I was pregnant and scared as hell. No idea what the future held for me or my baby. But what I did know is, I had to fight. For us. For our future.
The day he was born changed my life forever. I wasn’t doing well. He wasn’t doing well. We were separated. They took him from me. At the time I didn’t even know where they took him. I honestly don’t know how much time had passed before I even got to see him. But I remember when I did see him, he was this perfect tiny little thing with an IV poking out of his head. The NICU nurses were so amazing to me. They gave me hope and encouragement. Not just that my baby was ok, but for our future. Sadly the nurses helping me through my c-section recovery were not so nice to me. In fact, several were very mean to me. I am not angry. I am not bitter about that. Both experiences opened my eyes. Both experiences showed to me who and what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a nurse…a NICU nurse. I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to provide for my son. I would make it happen.
I worked hard. We (me AND Andrew) sacrificed a lot. We lived off very little. But we made it happen. I love being a NICU nurse. I love going to work. I love the people I work with. I love the babies and parents I take care of. Being a NICU nurse is a huge part of who I am. Which is what made today so.damn.hard. As much as I love this job. I love being able to be home with my family. I love being able to drop what I’m doing to take care of my family. I love building a successful business from home that provides us my full time nursing income. I love not having to leave home to work 12-14 hour shifts and miss kids/family bday parties, Ash’s basketball games, baseball games, ASU tailgating with friends and family. I love not having to choose to work a night shift to not miss all the above things, but be so sleep deprived that I can’t even enjoy the moments.
So today, I RETIRED NURSING. There. I said it.
Honestly, I thought I would do this amazing job forever. But today I hung my scrubs, my stethoscope and my badge up. For me. For my family. For my coworkers. For the babies and the families in the NICU because they deserve to have a nurse that’s fully present. That has her whole heart there when she’s there. And that’s just not me in this moment and it’s not fair to anyone. I will miss it. I know I will. My heart physically hurts making this decision, but I know it is the right decision in this season of my life.
I am so incredibly thankful to all the amazing people that I have had the wonderful pleasure of crossing paths with over the last 13 years because of my time as a nurse. I’m so grateful for the friendships, the mentorships, the laughs, the tears, the fun, the sadness, the joy, the heartache, all the feels. I am blessed to walk away with so many memories.
Who knows. Maybe this retirement isn’t forever but it is for now and for now I say thank you to all that I have had the amazing honor and privilege to work with and meet in my time as a NICU nurse. So very appreciative of what you all have brought to my life. So much love and admiration to you all.
To be continued…