Balancing Maternal-Newborn Nursing with the Struggles of Infertility

Isn’t it hard for you?

I don’t know how you you go to work every day

You are so strong

Is it upsetting for you to work with pregnant moms and baby’s all the time?

These are some of the comments or questions I have received since I began my journey with infertility over five years ago – all while continuing to work as a nurse supporting moms and families. 

To answer the questions and comments – no, it doesn’t bother me. I know that may seem strange to some: to work as a nurse supporting, educating or providing care to expecting or new families while being unsure if I’ll be able to get pregnant myself. When I began my journey through infertility, I was still working at the hospital as a nurse educator. I was regularly around families that were experiencing high-stress situations that can come with admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or the Pediatric unit. As my career has evolved into working in the community, nothing has changed for me; my career and my passion for supporting new mothers have never faltered. I have consistently been around pregnant women, newborns and children, and I know that’s where my heart lies for nursing – regardless of my personal situation. I never feel upset, or sad when I’m working. I love my job.

My fertility journey is currently on an indefinite pause, and my compassion for mothers has, if anything, grown. If you’re looking for someone to cheer you on from the sidelines – that is me!

Part of being a nurse is separating your private life from your professional life. We are taught to empathize and be compassionate with our clients and patients, to acknowledge your experience, and to act and support you while recognizing that your emotions and history are part of that experience. My job is not to sit and feel sorry for you or share your suffering. I am there to HELP you – if something sad happens, will I cry with you? Most likely, yes. But being able to emphasize also means that I do not take that suffering on as my own so that I can do my job to support you. My job is to see the WHOLE you, including why you are experiencing something a certain way and support you through that experience with my nursing skills. Not achieving a pregnancy or having my own child has made me invested in your experiences and fuelled me to make sure you have the absolute best experience possible in parenthood. If I can’t have it, I’m sure as hell going to make sure you can. 

Occasionally, throughout this journey, I have felt judged that I am supporting women through childbirth and breastfeeding, and I haven’t had those experiences myself. One of the first questions I get when I meet someone new and tell them the name of my business is – do you have any kids? And when I say no – I sometimes feel the energy change. I challenge those perceptions; nurses work with clients every day who are going through experiences they have never had or never will experience. My knowledge and understanding of how to support you is not dependent upon my having those same experiences. Does the nurse who greets you in the emergency department when you have searing chest pain know what it’s like to have a heart attack? Likely not – but they are trained and educated to get you through this experience. That is how I view my job supporting my patients, which is why I can be the best at supporting you. 

nurse prenatal childbirth class

I am a highly educated and experienced nurse dedicated to supporting expecting and new families. Infertility is a personal experience – not professional. Although I don’t know what it is like to birth a child or have a newborn waking every 2 hours, it doesn’t mean I am not the best person to get you through this. Infertility has challenged me in a way I never thought possible – mentally, psychologically, emotionally and even spiritually (not to mention physically LOL). It has made me an even more compassionate person to new families around me. I value the experiences you’re going through, and that makes me determined to get you to your goals. 

I know I can be the nurse who makes you feel confident with your baby – if you’re currently experiencing a fussy newborn, check out my free fussy newborn guide to learn about common ways to calm your baby. You’ve got this mama, and if you need more help – I’m here for you.

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