Monday, June 30, 2014
Friday, June 27, 2014
|1 // 2 // 3|
|1 // 2 // 3|
|1 // 2 // 3|
|1 // 2 // 3|
Monday, June 23, 2014
Friday, June 20, 2014
2. He changes every single day...he's starting to fill out his newborn clothes and can even wear some 3 month outfits, which makes me kind of nostalgic already (ha).
2 week glamour shot:
4. A few shots of the move. We did it, two-week-old in tow. We still have a lot of unpacked boxes but at this point we've found most of the essentials. We love, love our new house which is only two blocks away from the hospital.
5. I also somehow made it to Stephen's brother's wedding, which was a 9 hour drive away (actually 12 hours on the way back when baby Stephen decided to rebel against the car seat) and happened to be the weekend before I started orientation (call me crazy and you're probably right). I had decided to stay home for the sake of both me and baby (bringing a baby around that many people made me all kinds of anxious) but at the last minute changed my mind. I felt like it was important for me to go and support Stephen (I've been thinking a lot about the importance of being there for my husband despite our new baby and residency), and I have no regrets despite the craziness. I even wore a bridesmaid dress, safety pinned on since I had decided to order three sizes bigger than normal just to be safe.
6. Another benefit to the wedding - Stephen Gabriel met great-grandma for the first time. Isn't she precious? They were beyond thrilled to meet each other.
7. In case you've missed it, I've had some lovely ladies guest post while I've been away from blogging:
- Britt from the Fisk Files posted here on personal style
- Heidi from Notes from Heidi posted here on choosing a doctor
- Anne from In Residence posted here on style post-baby
- Theresa from The Brez Blog posted here on getting back into running postpartum
- Sarah from D-Isis posted here on having a baby during residency
Stay tuned for guest posts from Kallah, Mary, and Regina.
Linking my seven up with Jen.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
I didn't get off to the best start for the day; my institution requires a full suit for orientation, meetings, etc. so I had my suit all ready (which thankfully fit, albeit just barely). I laid out several shirts the night before that were looser on me pre-baby, but I guess I had underestimated the effect of breastfeeding because after trying on 5+ shirts that morning that were either too short or too tight in the chest area, I resorted to a plain black t shirt that I never would have worn with a suit pre-baby: normally this would have been a small crisis for me but having a baby sure puts life into perspective ha.
I didn't cry when I left. I had been preparing myself for this day for months...10 months really, since I knew from the moment that I saw that plus sign that I would need to start residency with a newborn. It helped also that I knew I'd be spending a month on maternity leave after orientation. It felt weird though without Stephen Gabriel...walking downtown among the huge clinic and hospital buildings empty-handed.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Sarah is a mom and pediatric neurologist who blogs over at disisd.com. She has been a great resource and example for me, and this post is fitting since this week I started orientation and left little Stephen Gabriel for the first time...
Thank you, Erika for inviting me to guest post on your blog. I hope you are enjoying your time with baby Stephen.
Erika asked me to write a post about my time coming back to work after having Daniel, my eldest. I was pregnantduring intern year and delivered Daniel my first month of second year of pediatric residency training.
Having children in residency was a choice that my husband and I made, though we knew that it is a tough road ahead with me being gone so much. To those not in the medical field or know of anybody who has gone through residency, let me paint you a scenario: imagine a person working 80 hour work weeks, at the hospital from 6:45a to 5:30p(sometimes 6:30p) everyday, with only 4 days off in a month, and also doing overnight call for 30 hours every fourth night…. Yes, that was me when I was an intern. And people thought we were crazy for deciding to have a baby when I was working A LOT.
We were blessed to get pregnant right away… even during a month at Heme-onc wards (!) with nine overnight calls and only 4 days off that month. That’s proof that if you let the Holy Spirit open your heart and work within you, your hearts’ desire will be granted.
I finished my last rotation as an intern at 36 weeks. We had a week off before starting 2nd year. While my co-interns were basking under the sun in the equator or southern hemisphere, I was left at home, gardening and nesting with nobody to take me places as they were afraid I would deliver outside of the country.
I came back from maternity leave after 14 weeks of being home with Daniel. Nothing prepared me for the working mother’s guilt or the postpartum hormones. No mental preparation equipped me for what was ahead.
I knew that I would be coming back to an inpatient ward month. It was basically a repeat of above scenario. To make matters worse, I was scheduled to be on-call my first work day back. I should have listened to my chief resident’s advice to switch calls. But I was afraid to ask for a switch. I kept thinking “I am asking for special treatment just because I just had a baby”. Plus, I told myself that it was a Friday and though I will be away from Daniel for 30 hours, at least I have Sunday to make up cuddling time.
Well…well…. Matters got even worse! It was the time of the H1N1 flu breakout. Visitor restrictions were implemented. That messed up my plan to see and nurse Daniel that evening.
I was a mess that first day back. I was miserable. I cried at the stairwell. I cried over the phone while talking to Derrick. I cried and cried. I tried to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We, residents (current and former) are good at that. I was glad I was the senior assist that night. It could have been worse if I was senior in house and in charge of the whole hospital. I was also thankful that I have a husband who helped me and dealt with postpartum hormones and stress of residency training with a smile on his face and a patient heart.
I apologize for making this such a downer post. But out of all those experiences, I learned a lot. I am a list-maker so let me give you bullet points. I understand that not all suggestions below work for all. These are just the things that helped me survive my months after coming back to work… and survive residency as a mom of three.
Pray, pray, pray.
Separation is tough… but it makes the reunion even much sweeter. I remember patient care changeover at 5p and I was already giddy….. I knew in half an hour or so, I will be cuddling with my little guy and kissing his beautiful face.
Thursday, June 5, 2014
- Develop a relationship. Even if a pediatrician like ours is not available, you should be able to ask questions, express concerns, and be respected as the primary caretaker of your family. To be respected, you have to give it too. No matter if the advice he gives is, to you, crazy, that person has been through a heck of a lot of school and has a lot of experience under their belt. Respect that. Even though we moms can learn a lot and take care of a lot of things ourselves, most of us are not doctors and need a healthy dose of humility. Disagreements may arise, but if your patient-doctor relationship is founded on that respect, odds are you'll have their support and respect when it comes down to the wire for you, too.
- Be aware of your diet and your general health. If you come to your doctor saying "I have bad headaches all of the sudden" and can't give him any information beyond that, he has no choice but to start from the beginning and put you through a whole rigmarole to diagnose you. But if you say "…and we've been to several parties and have had a lot more dessert and dairy than usual", he's got a bit more to go by and can have you looking for a food allergy. A general awareness of your "normal" state of health and your diet will go a long way in helping your doctor help you.
- Do your own research. I tried several home remedies for my son's ear infection before taking him in and putting him on antibiotics, so I was able to tell the pediatrician all of the things that didn't work and she was able to discern two important things: 1) I can be trusted to take care of my kids, and when I've exhausted my knowledge, I will come to her for help, and 2) antibiotics were definitely necessary. This was really important in our relationship, because it established me as trustworthy mother. Now, the first question she asks me when we go in is, "what have you tried so far?"...because she knows I'm not sitting on my hands!
- Write down your questions ahead of time. Before your appointment, write down your questions and if you have time, see if you can find some answers and ideas online before asking your doctor. This allows you to have much more of a discussion ("I heard that excess sugar can cause headaches; is this true?") and helps both of you learn in the process.
- Find a doctor who likes to learn. If your doctor seems disinterested in what you know or jumps immediately to correcting what you've studied or just plain isn't willing to talk, it might be that there is a conflict waiting for you down the road. Find someone open to learning, or at least open to discussion.
- Lastly, when it comes to fertility and childbirth, educate educate educate yourself. Learn all of the standard procedures, learn what questions they might ask you in the delivery room, come up with your own individual birth plan, and never be afraid to ask those awkward questions: "can you please come hold my gown so I can pee?", or "I'm having goopy spotting; is this normal?". Doctors see a lot and aren't phased by the gross stuff, so don't be afraid to ask. When it comes to the natural-hippy-home-birth-
crazies versus the scheduled-c-section-all-I-really good things about both. want-is-a-baby-people…look at both sides honestly. There are