Celebrating New Life During COVID-19

Thanks to the digital world, it isn’t that hard.

Photo by Gift Habeshaw via Unsplash

During this season of Coronavirus, COVID-19, my father’s side of the family has two new members. Two of my first cousins have welcomed baby girls within nine months of each other. The first was born in January of this year and the second was born during this month, October. For my baby cousin born this past January, I had planned to visit my hometown of Savannah, Georgia in mid-March, but that is when this global pandemic showed us what it could do and the first round of restrictions was put in place not too long after.

I am fond of new life. I am a fan of witnessing the births of babies and showering them with trinkets and necessities upon their arrival. Being that I am five hours away from my hometown, traveling home was always a one to two times per year investment, however, those tables have turned drastically. I have not or will probably not be home for the foreseeable future which cuts me out of witnessing the growth of these two bundles of joy unless . . . it’s through digital devices and photographs.

I am blessed to be able to watch various stages of each take form by way of digital media or hear about their constant shifts in life through the voices of their parents. Had this not been a resource to use, I would be completely in the dark. And I don’t think I’d like that at all.

As much as I appreciate the gift of new life, giving birth during a global pandemic–must be five times more stressful than without one. I have so many questions for women who are pregnant or those new to motherhood. How did you manage to stay safe? What additional precautions are you taking/have you taken? What will you do to ensure your newborn doesn’t contract the Coronavirus, COVID-19? Will you allow any family to visit and if so, whom?

Rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection in neonates do not appear to be affected by mode of delivery, method of infant feeding, or contact with a mother with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. All neonates born to mothers with suspected or confirmed infection should be considered as having suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection when test results are not available.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 3, 2020.

Hospitals and outpatient facilities in most states test their patients prior to any invasive procedures or surgeries, so it’s safe to assume that any woman going into labor has been tested prior to delivery and will be tested again before leaving the hospital. All precautions are in place for both baby and new mom, but how can we be sure?


You can read the rest of the article at Thrive Global, here. If you like the article, please recommend it by clicking on the little heart at the bottom of the post. Thank you for reading.

gifts and blessings #3

Our trip to Asheville was such a welcome reprieve for both myself and my mother. We had such a lovely time and I was saddened to see the morning come as it ushered in our check-out date quicker than we expected. Although we only spent one day there, we were able to view some great sights, spend a bit of time with my friend E, walk Jernee and keep her entertained, and enjoy some great food as well. Here are a few pictures:

Steps leading up to the brewery across the street from where we stayed. Asheville, NC.
A creek along the trail near the brewery where we all walked on Sunday afternoon. Asheville, NC.
The river along the trail across the street from where we were staying. Asheville, NC.
A second shot of the same river. Asheville, NC.
The Buttermilk Chicken Plate (w/ gravy and two sides|fried) from Homegrown North. Asheville, NC.
Jernee, my happy Little Monster, sitting on the couch in our room. Asheville, NC.

As you can see, we had ourselves a mighty fine time. I intend to go back soon and Jernee will be in tow.


On the drive back to my neck of the woods for North Carolina, I received the call from the HR Rep/Recruiter who discussed the compensation (I’ll be making slightly more) and the end and start dates for my transfer. I am both content and relieved to have this hiring/transfer process complete. My last day with the facility (my current job) will be on Friday, November 6, 2020, and my start date with the Central Scheduling Department will be on Monday, November 09, 2020.

I can breathe a lot easier now and I will be more than happy when my last day comes. I am patient. I have been patient. And, I will end my last days there on the same scale I am on now–going above and beyond.

Thank you to everyone for the well-wishes!

gifts and blessings

Modern workplace with gadgets in cozy room with soft light
Photo by Kelly Lacy via Pexels

A chance–I had to take a chance once again, so I readied myself last Friday and put in for transfers to three different departments within our organization. Apprehensive and fearful of what could actually take place, I had to trust the experience. We have lost so many team members to other jobs–places where they can feel *safe* at home while they work–places that enrich their lives as well as allow them to continue to give remarkable care to our patients. I am taking a chance again. Each job is a remote or work-from-home position. One department, two of my former team members have recently made their home, and one (former team member) . . . decided to put in a good word for me with the direct hiring manager.

An email came today. An introduction to who she is and what she does, after I submitted my resume and cover letter at my former team member and friend’s request. We scheduled a phone interview which is for tomorrow at 12:15 pm, US, EDT. I am excited, but I am also scared. I believe it’s a good scared, though. I informed my direct supervisor of my actions as the transfer will include her signing off and approving my actual resignation or notice if I am hired for this position. I am thankful for this gift–this blessing. When you work hard and do the job you’re supposed to do, people recognize it. They put in a “good word” for you. They speak to your strengths and what you can offer that particular company.

I am happy I had someone on the other side vouching for me.

this could be the change
light at the end of tunnels
God’s making a way

I Am Giving Myself This Day

I need it, my body told me so. My mind did too.

Photo by Madison Lavern via Unsplash

I woke up this morning shortly before I usually do to prepare for work. However, I could not move. It was as if my body laid claim to my bed and demanded to stay put. Any other day, I’d peel myself away from the comfort of a pillow-top mattress and will myself to get up and get going, but today . . . today, I listened to my body and succumbed to a day of rest. The tears lined themselves up accordingly right behind my eyes. I could feel it — it would be a day of dealing with extreme emotions — work would have to wait.

I’d felt off-kilter this past weekend leading into this week, and I ignored it. This was probably not the best thing to do given my current circumstance, but a day off is in play. I communicated with our center manager the need for a mental health day and received a prompt response regarding it and its approval. I want to save as much energy as I can for the days, weeks, and months ahead. I have a few writing projects coming up that will require research and getting into character to pull off these works.

Of late, I am drained both physically and mentally and after yesterday’s minor run-in with a patient who wanted to do what he wanted to do, but found out quickly — we follow the recommendations and guidelines issued to us and our entire medical organization, I am zapped. It takes so much out of me to get through an eight to sometimes ten-hour workday, adding privileged and irresponsible people to the mix regularly, is too much.

How kind are we to our minds, to our bodies when we need to be? Do we give ourselves the time off we need or are we pushing through, trying to get past the pull of a crying body and an aching mind?

When you feel like your stress levels have reached their peak, it might be time to take a quick break to reset.

— Elizabeth Scott, MS

I reserved a “mental health day“ to do exactly this — reset. Recharge. Regain some semblance of myself before taking on the world of screening and surveying patients for Coronavirus, COVID-19 symptoms again. I could feel myself fading, unraveling — if I’m being honest and I had to put a stop to it. I still need to get through the rest of this week.


To read the rest of this article, please see it in its entirety at Thrive Global. 

My Body: The Temple I’m Afraid to Touch

Beginning a journey with my hands

Photo by nappy via Pexels

In the past, I had been one with my body — I connected with it intimately in a way many others could not. I knew the softest spots, the places that led me to a peaceful night’s sleep, and the best way to cure unwanted fidgeting. I never feared what moved me — invigorated me — consumed me entirely. My body was a place that knew my touch — it knew what to expect from me. Of late, I have lost my way to the path of me and the treasure is nowhere in sight.

Can I get back to that place?

I’m sure I can, but I lack motivation. I don’t have the time. I’m not interested. My body is now the temple I’m afraid to touch and during a global pandemic, one in which being single is still my reality, touching myself should be high on the list of to-dos. It is not.

How can I get back to that place of consistent pleasure and the relief of tension courtesy of me?

Rachel Otis explains in her article, 3 Ways to Support Your Mental Health with Self-Touch:

Often a sense of release and even relaxation arises when we intentionally tend to our discomfort, even with the simplest gestures.

I hope it is obvious, the focus here is on non-sexual self-touch as opposed to sexual self-touch. A soft caress of one’s neck, a gentle massage of your legs, or even the smooth press of your palm can send small doses of healing to problematic areas of the body — relieving tension and pain. She further explains:

Self-massage can be a powerful way to release tension. After noticing tension in the body, I often direct my clients to use self-massage.

I used to be big on managing the pain in my body with self-touch. I focused on it significantly after a rough day by providing peace and comfort with a warm bath and gentle massages to different body parts while I soaked my cares away.

Now, I sprint home from work, walk my dog, hop in the shower, and do more work — work that stimulates the mind, but does nothing for my body. And then my day ends.

I feel myself fading into black.

What I can sense happening is a fear hovering over me as I’ve forgotten how to gain a sense of comfort by my own hands.

Are you familiar with the saying, “Use it or lose it?” Well, I feel as though my it is lost. I want to fight to get it back, but I lack the energy. I lack passion. The daily grind of my primary job is draining me of everything familiar that required a little more of my time and I am reluctant to divvy out any more of it to something as simple as touch.

Touch is our first language. Long before we can see an image, smell an odor, taste a flavor, or hear a sound, we experience others and ourselves through touch, our only reciprocal sense. — Ofer Zur, Ph.D. & Nola Nordmarken, MFT, To Touch or Not to Touch.

It is clear I miss the touch from another human being and I recognize and understand its power, however; I can provide what I miss most. Where, when, and how I will do this still hangs in the balance. I want to center the importance of rekindling my connection with self-touch around positive occurrences, but those are hard to find now. I have a myriad of stressful events taking place in my life, but I do not want to only turn to self-touch when my life is in total disarray. I want it to be neutral — to use it overall and indefinitely.

Beginning again is only an act of consent (on my part) away. If I am to build a positive relationship with my self and my body in the near future, I must not be afraid to get started. You may think, “What are you waiting for?” and you’d be well within your right to pose that question and I’d say, “I don’t know . . . Maybe a head-start?”

There’s no need of waiting any longer. I will get back to touching myself.

It’s time I give my body the gift it has been missing — my hands.


Originally published in P. S. I Love You via Medium.

 

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