Lauren: How did you hear about Durham Connects?
Jennie: I was approached before we left Duke Hospital after my daughter, Audrey, was born. I may have heard about the program before then but that was the first time I planned to do it.
Lauren: When you found out Durham Connects was free a service for families in Durham, how did that make you feel?
Jennie: I thought it was great! I thought that it’s a really great way to support new moms and so I was excited about it.
Lauren: And you are a first time mom, right?
Jennie: Yeah! I am!
Lauren: When was your visit? Could you give us a timeline after birth?
Jennie: The nurse came when Audrey was about 6 weeks old. As a first time mom, it’s pretty tough because there’s so much that’s new and you are so tired and so overwhelmed. Our family is very supportive, but they’re not local, so I could call and ask my mom questions but I didn’t have anyone who was right there with me to show them something weird with Audrey. I just really love the fact that they came into my home and talked to me.
Lauren: And after your visit, were you able to call your Durham Connects nurse if you had any questions?
Jennie: Yes! I was able to. And that was a great resource too. At the beginning I felt like we were just holding on until each doctor’s appointment. I had a long list of questions-so to have an added home visit was just wonderful.
Lauren: What was your visit like?
Jennie: It was when I was on maternity leave, so I was at home all day. The nurse showed up in the afternoon and she was really friendly and very open. She stayed for a while, maybe two hours. She was very relaxed and I felt comfortable with her right away. There is something about talking to someone in your own home, where I felt like I could ask questions that I felt embarrassed about asking in front of a doctor or someone else. And it was great to be able to talk woman to woman-talking about all of the changes. It was really nice!
Lauren: That’s great to hear! I’m glad you felt so supported! Was there anything from your visit that you learned from the nurse that you are still using or utilizing?
Jennie: As a first time mom, I was still trying to figure out breastfeeding strategies and techniques. Audrey was a very hungry baby-she cried a lot at the beginning. It was nice to talk through some of the reasons why she was crying. Also, the nurse gave me specific lactation tips that I still think about. It was really helpful!
Lauren: Did you have any reservations about the visit? When you heard about the program did you have any reservations?
Jennie: You know, I think I may have delayed in scheduling it, partially because I was afraid to commit. I felt like I couldn’t say yes to anything at the beginning. I didn’t know what next week would be like so I was a little bit nervous about that. And you know, as a first time, mom you feel like you don't know what you are doing. So if someone had come in and not had a supportive attitude it could have gone really differently. The fact that she was so open and supportive- I really think it's the best thing I did as a new mom
Lauren: That is great! Wow! What did the nurse do with you and Audrey during the visit?
Jennie: It was a guided conversation so it didn't feel uncomfortable or awkward at all. It was a long list of questions-the other thing that I loved so much about the visit is that she came with some medical equipment. So she checked Audrey all over. At the beginning we were nervous about her gaining enough weight and so again, I was really happy to have that added weight check where I didn't have to go anywhere. It was so reassuring and I almost think of it as a turning point. It was the point where I felt like I could take a big breath and feel like everything was going to be okay.
Lauren: What was the most surprising thing about your visit?
Jennie: I just thought that the nurse made me feel so comfortable it was like talking to a friend who also had all of this medical experience with infants. I just can't reiterate it enough-how important I think this service for the Durham Community. It's something that any mom could benefit from. Being a parent is wonderful, but it can feel a little lonely or overwhelming at the beginning. It was nice to have a space to talk about all the things you are experiencing.
Lauren: And being able to call the nurse if you have any questions is reassuring as well, right?
Jennie: Yeah, that's right. It's really nice!
Lauren: How did the visit make you feel?
Jennie: I really cannot say enough, how much the visit meant to me. I don't think I will ever forget that visit and how wonderful it was. I would recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat. And if we have a second baby I would definitely do it again. It's just like, WOW what a service to have someone come into your house.
Lauren: Would you recommend a Durham Connects nurse visit to a new mom?
Jennie: I absolutely would! Parenting is hard (and great) but I think it's ok to talk about some of the hard things that are going on in someone's life. It's an amazing support system that you have access to through Durham Connects-not only can you talk to a nurse in your own home but you can access other resources throughout the community. I think it just makes such a difference for parents and I'm so grateful that I was a part of it.
Lauren: That's a great point! The Durham Connects nurse is there to support you and your baby.
Lauren: If you could take one picture of what Durham Connects means to you what would it be?
Jennie: it would definitely be something with Audrey because it's about babies and showing how she can grow in a warm, supported and healthy place.
Lauren: What is currently in your cd player/iPhone/Radio/iPod that you can't stop listening to?
Jennie: I really like Coldplay's newest album.
Lauren: If you could start a band right now, what genre of music would you play and what instrument would you play?
Jennie: I play the guitar and I like to sing old folk songs. So if I was in a band I guess I would play the guitar. I don't play very well but I can say that I play.
Lauren: What is the one show that comes on TV, and you always stop to watch it?
Jennie: I'm pretty hooked on junk TV like Jane the Virgin and the Bachelor. It's like junk food for the brain.
Lauren: Is there one household chore/daily life activity that everyone else seems to hate but you enjoy?
Jennie: I love vacuuming. There is something about it-it's so easy and makes everything look so much better.