Trisha Luft, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
I always knew I wanted to be a Mama. My journey to motherhood, however, looked nothing like what I had planned for myself. When we got married, my husband was deployed to Iraq within three months and was there for a year. We made the decision to wait until I went through and graduated from nursing school before “trying”. After two years, we were starting the process of looking into medical intervention, when we finally got pregnant. Sadly, I experienced the pain and loss of miscarriage. Another four years went by, and after trying and failing some infertility treatments, we were given the opportunity to adopt. My oldest daughter, who just turned five, made her entrance into this world five weeks early - and we were NOT ready! Then, a little over a year later, her birth mother reached out to me and asked if I would be willing to adopt another baby. That is how my son came to us, and I actually got to be present for his birth! Fast forward another year and a half, and my husband and I revisited the idea of infertility treatment. On the first try, my youngest daughter was miraculously conceived, and she is now nine months old.
As you can see from my own journey, I have pretty much been through it all. I have formula fed, tried and failed to breastfeed an adopted infant, dealt with formula intolerance and allergies and am currently breastfeeding (though I almost gave up before we even left the hospital!) I have diapered with disposables and am currently cloth diapering. I’ve dealt with eczema and severe respiratory issues. I make some of my own stuff to use on my kids. I try to feed my kids healthy stuff, but I am not above bribing them with junk sometimes in order to keep my own sanity. I know the deleterious effects of too much screen time for kids, but why deny them the pleasure of watching Frozen over and over and over...? I have also been a registered nurse for ten years, and have been able to apply my nursing knowledge in my own mothering experience.
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
I graduated from nursing school ten years ago. I have been employed since then at a rural critical access hospital in the small town of Douglas, Wyoming. I spent my first seven years of nursing on the Medical Surgical Unit, where I did everything from pediatrics to geriatrics and ICU to outpatient infusions. I worked off and on as a charge nurse and precepted student nurses and new nurses. Then three years ago, after my son was born, I started working in the hospital’s medical office building with the pediatrician/pediatric endocrinologist. I have loved every minute of it! I spend a lot of my day on the phone, advising parents in the care of their children.
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
Number one - Every child is different! That being said, there are basic things that every child needs. There are just so many different ways to give kids what they need, and parents just need to be detectives and figure out how to best give their children what they need.
Number two - Every parent can be an amazing parent! Just because you don’t always see the immediate fruits of your labor, just know that everything you do is building an amazing work of art in your children.
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
Relax and enjoy every moment, because it all goes by too quickly to waste time sweating the small stuff!
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
Personally, my faith plays a very big role in how I deal with stuff. I enjoy going to church and spending time with my church “family”. I also spend some time for myself once a week doing my nails - it’s just something I enjoy and that makes me feel good. My husband and I are working on implementing a “date night” to keep us connected and be able to focus on our relationship.
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