Tuesday, December 20, 2016


2.5 years
847 days
7 semesters
103 births
More than 100 cesarean sections
192 DNP residency hours
Approximately 800 clinical hours
Countless break downs and tears
More stress than I thought was possible
(that lead to an ulcer my first semester)
Blood, sweat, tears and an immeasurable amount of KY jelly
One amniotic bath to the face and in my mouth

All this and much more for this moment...
I finally graduated from Grad school!
Dr. Amber, DNP (Doctor of nursing practice)!!
It still seems surreal that I am done with school forever.

Next step is to take my boards and officially become a Certified nurse midwife/Advanced registered nurse practitioner! So for the next few weeks, if you're looking for me, I'll be studying!

When I started this journey I had a three week old infant. I know I'm not the first mother to go back to school, and I just have so much admiration for all the hardworking parents in school. Having a newborn though is not an ideal situation when starting grad school.  During my pregnancy,I had so many people tell me not to start school, or to at least take a semester or year off before starting. While they meant well, I am so glad I stuck with it.

I was taking Physiology & pathophysiology, Adult Health Assessment, Health promotion & role development, and Nursing research & theory my first semester. I think I cried every single day the first few weeks, and then at least weekly after that. I had to drive to campus two hours away every other week. I had to do a prostate exam on a live male model. I must say, to this day, I don't know how I survived that first semester. Yet somehow, I made it out alive and in one piece.

The next six semesters weren't easy, I started each one with tears, a mental breakdown, and saying "there is no way I'll get through this". But somehow,  I was able to take on and tackle everything that got thrown my way.  There is absolutely no way I would have ever completed this program or earned this degree without all the amazing people in my life.

My Mom - she was my editor in chief from day one.  Her knowledge, love and confidence in me is the reason I got through so many of my classes. I will never be able to thank her enough for all that she did for me!

My husband - he put up with so much these past 2.5 years. A shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, and a statistics tutor. Again, he is the reason I was successful in this program.

Aubrey - my partner in crime. We started this program together, and it's because of her that I even applied to nurse midwifery school in the first place. All the miles to Jacksonville and Gainesville, ridiculous pneumonic to remember pathophysiology, a trip to Albuquerque, countless hours studying together and always someone who knew exactly what I was going through and how much stress I was under. I will be eternally thankful for your encouragement to state this step and helping me reach my goal in becoming a certified nurse midwife.

My preceptors Missy and Tracy - You took me as a naive and clueless bird and showed me how to spread my wings and fly. Your patience and unbelievable knowledge you have shared with me is something that I will forever be thankful for! Also, all of the doctors and midwives who took the time to teach me so many skills and explain things to me over and over. You all know who you are and I am forever indebted to you for everything you've done for me.

My friends Jen and Xavier - Jen was my main babysitter for my clinicals and final practicum. Without hesitation or asking for anything in return, she would take my baby into her home and love her as her own while I was at the hospital for 12+ hours completing clinical hours. Phil and I will never be able to thank you both for everything you did to help us while I was in school.

My in laws - who also came over to babysit so often when I first started school. It was so hard to leave Harper when she was only a few weeks old - but knowing she was safe in their care helped ease my fears. They have been so supportive this entire time, and flew in from Colorado just to watch me graduate.

My Dad and Debbie - who have been so supportive and encouraging throughout school. Your support has been monumental in keeping me motivated to keep pushing through.

To Joan - who was my reader for my DNP project - and also served as my confidant as to what courses to take, which professors to take, etc. Your insider trading information was more helpful than you'll ever know!

Michele - who loaned me so many text books when I started, and who also gave me insider information and advice for surviving this program.

My friend Jenn S - who trusted me to not only to be her labor nurse, but in the end, who trusted me to catch her first baby. It was by far my favorite delivery ever and you cemented my decision in wanting to become a midwife. You showed me how strong a woman is and how powerful persistence and patience is during a woman's labor.

My friends in the program - the team work and willingness to help one another out is the reason why I passed many of my classes. Thank you for taking me in as a friend!

Each and everyone of my friends and coworkers - Your words of encouragement means more to me than you'll ever know. Random texts and uplifting messages was the fuel to my fire. Doing clinical hours/deliveries where I work was both exciting and terrifying. The labor and delivery nurses at Winnie Palmer are some of the most amazing nurses you'll ever meet. So you can imagine how intimidating is was for me to learn how to be a midwife in front of them.  I am so proud to have worked with you for the past 4+ years. Thank you for being so kind to me while I was doing deliveries and trying to figure it all out - I look forward to working with you all for a long time!

And last, but most certainly not least, Harper. My sweet, sweet Harper. I had no idea what I was getting into when I applied to grad school when I was pregnant with you. The first 5 months of your life were some of the toughest of my life - and not because you were a newborn, but because I was in the first semester of this program. I wanted to quit so many times. But holding you and looking at you was the main reason I never gave up. You inspire me everyday to be a better person, to keep on pushing, and of course, to just keep swimming. Being your mother will always be my greatest joy and most important title I own. I wouldn't have done all this without you. I love you so much.

I know I've missed people, but to everyone from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for all the love and support!

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