Full disclosure: I am not a mother... yet. But I will hopefully (finally) be one soon!
many women in the medical profession, I delayed my plans for starting a
family until late in my residency training. I initially worked as a chemical engineer, and I also traveled extensively to rock climb prior to deciding on medicine. In addition to entering the medical field a bit later than average, I frankly wasn't ready to
be a mom when I was a medical student. I found the amount of work
ahead of me to be exciting but also overwhelming in the face of a potential
About half-way through
my anesthesiology residency (coinciding with my 35th birthday), my husband and I
decided it was time to start trying. Only one thing stood in the way: I
hadn't had a period in several months. I had always been irregular, but
those irregular intervals had increased during internship to an eventual
standstill of menstruation. After ignoring this warning sign for a
while, I finally sought the help of a reproductive endocrinologist. This
initiated a long journey with many blood draws, tests, and time off
which finally revealed that I had a large pituitary tumor causing severe
hormonal disregulation. My experiences managing both physical and
psychological stresses during medical training prompted me to start my
own blog, PracticeBalance.com, in 2011. I continue to write regular posts there about stress management, being a patient, and self-care issues.
my tumor removal, I have suffered from continued hormone deficiencies,
which means that I need to use assisted reproductive techniques to get
pregnant. I started following Mothers in Medicine a few years ago,
around the same time that we actively began trying to conceive. I work three days per week as a purely clinical anesthesiologist (no research or teaching responsibilities) in a large academic hospital - what I'm hoping will be the perfect setup for balancing a career and motherhood!
So now here I am, currently expecting my first child - three years, one miscarriage, and thousands of dollars later.
I hope to bring a perspective to the MiM community about what it's like
to be an expectant mom (and then eventually a new mom) while working in
the operating room. I could also write about what it's like to be an
IVF patient (who happens to be a medical professional), if there is any
interest in that. Currently I am experiencing a lot of apocalyptic worry
regarding all that could go wrong in my pregnancy - feelings born out of
both having had a miscarriage in the past and having work-related experience with all the "bad things" that can happen.
let me know what you'd like me to write about by leaving a comment
below. I'm excited to be here and look forward to hearing from you!