I have become a pee-on-a-stick expert. Ovulation sticks? Done. I have that LH surge targeted with laser precision. Pregnancy tests? I've spent a fortune on negative tests month after month.
Until this morning.
I woke up early to go over my grand rounds talk one more time. I started my normal morning routine, which starts with peeing on a stick, and then moving on to washing my face, brushing teeth, and then glancing at the usually negative test before tossing it in the garbage.
But there were two lines. Two lines! TWO LINES!!!!! I shouted at the fireman to get out of bed and come look. Did he also see 2 lines? "Any line means a positive on a pregnancy test!?" I shouted. "I don't know, it looks faint. You always say I don't know anything about this baby stuff," he replied, sleepily. His thoughts were on the extra 40 minutes of sleep he had left before another 24 hour shift.
I finished getting ready, smoked my presentation, and then took advantage of the freedom of my research rotation to escape the hospital and come back home to reflect. Two lines? I'm pregnant? I'm pregnant.
I'm a pregnant, 4th year orthopedic surgery resident with a husband who works 24-48 hours at a time. Our closest family is 3 hours away and I have no idea how we are going to do this. But there are more pressing, immediate issues to think about. I start a joints rotation in 2 weeks.
This presents a unique issue for mothers(to-be) in medicine. Do I give up my privacy, tell my program that I'm 4 weeks pregnant and I wish to be excused for cementing in all the total knee cases? If I do step out, who will do that part of the case? What if I miscarry? Do I want to have that conversation with a bunch of gray haired old orthopedists? Do I read the literature (again) and tell myself that it will likely be fine, scrub the cases and keep this wonderful miracle to myself until I am confident in my pregnancy? When I put on double lead aprons, will my secret give itself away before I even have a chance to make a decision about how to tell everyone the news?
I will only be the 2nd female resident in my program to have a baby (in addition to 2 former hand fellows), and that was at least 5-6 years ago. Until 2 years ago, the words "maternity leave" did not appear in our vacation policy. My program is considered "female and family friendly", but just because we have a larger number of female residents, and the male residents all have 3-4 kids each, doesn't mean they are ready for this.
What would you do? How did you announce your pregnancy at work?
I am a 29 year old, 4th year orthopedic surgery resident married to a fireman/paramedic. We live in the midwest and, aside from our two 4-legged children, have been trying to conceive for the last 6 months.