Jessica Thorne, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
My husband would tell you I’m not very sympathetic. Empathetic, maybe, but sympathy is not one of my strengths. Interesting because one would think I should have these qualities because I am a nurse. I decided to go to nursing school after going to South Africa and meeting a nurse who was on a medical missions trip, realizing at that point that I truly wanted to help people. Fast forward to nursing school, where I was babysitting constantly and had an internship in the NICU. I fell in love with the teeny, tiny babies and knew that I could use my nursing license to care for these patients. During those years I was a NICU nurse, I didn’t realize how incredible the birthing and parenting part of having a baby truly was. I just focused on the care of the baby. Now, after having my own children, I realize how incredible those parents were, and here comes the empathy. And sympathy. It’s hard work! Seeing and understanding both sides to having and caring for a baby/patient has changed me completely. Every mom needs help. Every mom needs encouragement and someone there for them in the happiest and hardest times of their lives. I want to be there for these moms!
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
I began as a new nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit. After moving from a delivery hospital NICU to a NICU that did more frequent surgeries, I found myself feeling a bit stagnant. After 4 years in the NICU, the hospital I was at opened a cardiovascular intensive care unit, still taking care of newborns but also kids (big kids!). Although definitely a learning curve, I love my position currently and enjoy both the population and type of nursing care that is required of me.
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
1. No question is too great or too small and no one will judge you for asking the same question twice.
2. Go with the flow and enjoy the part of life you are in. Each day is so precious and so hard at the same time.
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
Take videos of it all! To see those first smiles and to hear that baby voice is priceless. It’s so much fun to watch months and years later.
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
My husband always told me that exercising, eating, and sleeping was the key to happiness! The more I think about it, the more I know that these 3 things are necessary but usually non existent for a new mom. I try my best to exercise in some fashion each and every day, whether it’s walking, doing an at home work out video at the park, or running with other moms. If I’m happy, I have more patience and kindness for my babies.
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