Showing posts with label motherhood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label motherhood. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Surprises

Hello everyone! Kicks here, and happy to announce the arrival of Baby! He is doing great and we are so in love. I am sitting in my rocking chair where he fell asleep in my arms contemplating how things have gone so far

I was surprised...

L&D:
...that after signing up for an induction, my water broke in the hospital with no pitocin needed!
...that I was such a puker. I have delivered about 40 babies thus far and I haven’t seen anyone puke like I did.
...how much I HATED the nurse who wouldn’t give me an epidural at 3 cm
...how much I liked her after getting me through early active labor and getting me to 8 centimeters before my epidural
...after how nervous I was to deliver at the hospital I will soon be working at, how much I am going to enjoy working with those fabulous nurses. I always seemed to have the right nurse at the right stage of the process, and we bought them all chocolates for the nursing station on day of discharge
...how well my husband did. He feels lightheaded at the sight of blood, but stayed by my side through each yucky moment. And even watched baby be born (we had a mirror at the end of the bed) which surprised us both
...how wonderful that first hour of skin to skin was. I always counsel my mommies that we will try to get them that moment but no guarantees, as many times something happens where we’re not able to make that safely work - however it was AWESOME. Baby and I cooed at each other for so long we completely lost track of time.
..how little I have learned about breastfeeding and breast pumping despite being interested in newborn care and OB. All I knew was breastfeeding is best for baby and Mom - but the mechanics were completely new. And that pump was so intimidating. I brought it out of its box a month before delivery just to stare at the pieces. And I had no idea what people were talking about “flanges” and “membranes”. Yish.
...how many interruptions we got during our hospital stay. I wasn’t completely clueless since I am frequently one  of those interruptions myself. So I expected baby’s doctor, and my doctor, and frequent nursing checks. But then early childhood stopped by to invite us to a new parents group. The discharge planner (who said she didn’t mind that I was nursing even though I was trying to make it clear I was new at this and I happened to mind at that time). Being  offered essential oils so many times I started to think the hospital was getting  kickbacks from Big Lavender (one nurse even taped a cotton ball to my little table while I was eating breakfast so I had a lavender flavored omelette). It got to the point that my last visitor on my second day was an adorable little old lady who goes around offering blessings to the baby - I was very short with her in my declining and trying to scoot her out of the room - even though later I felt bad and really wished I would have let her as she seemed so sweet and nice and I just snapped at her to get out.
...how ready we were to go home (see above)
...how hard it is to put babies in car seats

Home:
...how natural it was to slip into the role of Mom
...how hard it is to find good advice on the internet at 3 am
...how other moms survived before internet delivery services like amazon
...how defensive I was at Baby’s first doctors appointment despite the constant praise from Baby’s doctor. Must remember to try and do that for my own patients.
..how much I question everything I do with baby. Am I holding him not enough or too much? Am I giving him enough attention or should I get out of his face for a bit? Etc.
...how much Baby sleeps. And how deep Baby sleeps, where it’s still hard to resist the urge to poke him and make sure he’s still alive.
...how much Baby grunts or makes weird noises. Seemingly all the time
...how lucky I am to have family med docs and pediatricians one text away.

Work
...how fast maternity leave went. I thought I would be itching to leave the house but I really really didn’t want to go. I cried the whole way in my car to my first day back at work.
...how much I both enjoy being back and enjoy the people I work with - but also can’t wait to get home
...how much my patients asked about Baby and how things were going. And how much I missed some of my frequent patients.
...how happy I am to go back 2 days a week only for the next month. Jumping back to full time would have been overwhelming no matter how many weeks of leave I had.
...how much more like “myself” I feel after putting real pants on and using my brain a bit more. I didn’t feel “not myself” at home with Baby, but feel a little more normal now somehow.
...how much it is going to suck to try and fit things in between work and bedtime especially once I go back full time
...how awesome my family is at stepping in to take care of Baby when I go back part time and going to extra mile to help clean and cook us dinners.
...how much I love coming home to my little peanut!

Cheers!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Refining

So this is my introduction to you! I’m excited to be a regular contributor to Mothers in Medicine. I practice family medicine by day and wrangle my brood of three small children by night. My oldest just finished kindergarten and my youngest just turned one. I’m approaching my ninth year in a busy primary care practice in the Pacific Northwest. I enjoy the privilege and challenge of caring for a variety of patients, from newborns to nonagenarians. I used to practice obstetrics as well, but haven’t since having my own babies. I miss it sometimes.

After finishing residency, I studied tropical medicine in London and have worked at a rural teaching hospital in Kenya. My teacher husband and I dream of living and working abroad with our young family; maybe when the majority of them are out of diapers.

I began writing in earnest after I had my first child in 2011. I did write throughout medical training but it took the refining aspects of motherhood to get me to take my writing seriously. Nothing like even less time and an unveiling of your faults for some forced self-introspection! I’m curious if any of you have found motherhood to be similarly clarifying? I’ve studied narrative medicine and bioethics and have taught narrative medicine workshops. Particular interests include medical ethics, global health, motherhood as vocation and the intersection of religion and science. I blog regularly on these topics, among others, and I’m currently working on my first book. I still always cringe a little when I hit “publish” or “send.” I imagine it will always be hard, as a type A introvert, to put myself out there.

My third, and presumably last, baby just turned one and I finally feel like I can breathe again. It feels like a milestone, reaching this point, after having three children in five years, settling into my primary care practice, letting myself take my passion for writing seriously and expand into that vocation.

My life has been disrupted many times in the past year with unexpected challenges and writing and community have pulled me through. I think much in medicine and in motherhood is refining: the pressures of medical school and residency, the intensity of caring for babies and children who need so much.

I’m excited to join you all in this journey; to learn from your wisdom and laugh alongside you. If medicine and motherhood have taught me one thing, it’s that we all need each other desperately - for kindness, for encouragement, for understanding. These are the things to cling to and to provide for each other in this world. Thanks so much for having me.