Every time I talk to a friend whom I haven’t talked to in a while, they ask, “How is it?” Referring to my newfound life as a mama-doctor-wife.
Although it changes depending on the type of day I’ve had, my response generally goes something like this: It is the most beautiful, scary, complex, overwhelming, inspiring, difficult, challenging, heartbreaking, soul-stirring thing I have ever experienced.
Words escape me. How do you explain what it’s like to run a code on an ex-premature infant with bronchiolitis? How do you explain being the ranking Pediatrician in house overnight at your community hospital? How do you explain the multi-layered thought process each treatment change entails? How do you explain the sheer joy you experience as you FaceTime with your husband and toddler before their bedtime while on a break in the hospital? How do you explain what it’s like to work with folks that you find absolutely, positively inspiring and others soo ridiculously frustrating? How do you explain how one second you are “Dr. Mommabee” writing orders and making decisions about who to transfer to the PICU and the next you are “Mommy” who is taking orders and making decisions about dinner options that your toddler won’t spit out and throw on the floor?
Some days I am beyond exhaustion. Others I am bouncing to upbeat tunes in my head. Some days I am extremely efficiently. Others I am crumbling into a puddle in the call room paging my Resident-friends and calling my husband for support.
Serving patients while being a wife and a mother is the most beautifully complex reality. I live it. I breathe it. It keeps me up some nights. It wakens me renewed and optimistic.
One of my favorite quotes by the poet Nikki Giovanni is, "i wanted to be an inspiration in the dreams of my people, but the times require that i give myself willingly and become a wonderwoman." This is what we do every day. We give ourselves mostly willingly, sometimes begrudgingly. We are wonderwomen.