I just completed the first rotation of my Pediatric Intern year. Orientation was a whirlwind of events including computer trainings, mixers, a scavenger hunt, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support sessions.
I pumped when I could and if my infant son hadn’t gone on an expressed milk strike, I am not sure that I would have been able to keep up with his demand. My husband and I found our rhythm somewhere toward the end of my first week of work and thankfully, Zo has started drinking the bottles that I so diligently work to pump 3-4 times while we are apart.
Orientation ended in a flurry and thus began Intern Year. I must admit that I feel like a failure on the home front at least once a week. From not having enough time to help keep the house clean to hearing the baby cry when I am on my way out of the door, the things that send me into a you are a horrible wife/mother frenzy are never ending. Most of these episodes involve tears. Most of them end in me realizing that I am doing the best that I can and that my best is pretty darn good. Yes, my home may not be immaculately organized but it’s clean. We have clean clothes to wear and there are probably only 2 or 3 Cheerios on the kitchen floor. But most importantly the floor is clean enough for my toddler to eat them when he feels the need to have a snack. Yes, that is a huge win!
Now about the crying. I cringe when I hear Zo crying in general. But the crying that begins when I am leaving the house is a trillion times worse because I don’t have time to soothe him and I leave for work feeling extremely guilty and stressed out. Thankfully, my husband, now a temporary stay-at-home dad, has gotten extremely good at being Zo’s back rubber/ soother/distraction guru. Zo hasn’t cried when I leave since orientation because he’s either still asleep or he’s happily distracted.
More important than my once a week failure-fest, at least once a day, I feel pretty freaking awesome. Whether it’s seeing the smiling faces of my family as I arrive home or allaying fears that a patient’s family has had, my life is pretty amazing. I have worked extremely hard to get to this point and now I am a real-life doctor.
Hearing myself be called Dr. Mommabee is like music to my ears. The first few times I was freaked out but now it sounds good!
Every day I get a chance to learn and enhance my understanding of the human body, pharmacology (which, as a Med Student, I absolutely hated and struggled to understand but now totally respect), and diagnosis. Every day, I am challenged to be a better patient educator, a more efficient diagnostician, a better human being. Every day I am able to share something that I have learned as Zo’s mother that has the potential to make another person’s life better. Every day I realize that I work with an amazing and very talented group of Attendings, Co-Interns, upper level Residents, Nurse Practitioners, and Respiratory Therapists.
Every day I make someone feel better. That is the stuff of dreams!