October 31, 2009

Thanks for Your Love & Support

I know that last post was shameful, but your follow-up comments and my recent experiences have taught me something . . .

I might just need this blog to get through the rest of residency.

This being the end of the month, I went over to the ward where I'll be doing my next rotation. I explained to them my needs for pumping and requested a private room, preferably with a computer. Everyone there was amazed by the gadgets I had and the insight given to me to navigate motherhood.

"You must have a lot of mommy friends" one of the nurses commented.

I started to think about my friends, both in my community and on the web. Sappy as it is, I felt particularly grateful for all the love and support at my finger tips.

The next day I spoke with a mommy-to-be who is overwhelmed at the thought of going back to work post-partum. She told me that she visited my blog and it reassured her that if a resident mom could do it, she could do it.

Now this blog and my bella band have something major in common, I'm crawling back to it.

(If you want to know why I had my little breakdown, you'll have to send me an e-mail. It's just too much to write about here.)

October 28, 2009

Out with a Whimper

I think this blog is going to die.

It has positive Q sign if ever I saw one.

Who cares about injury prevention anyway? Or pelvic health for that matter. -I can't believe I just typed that. How pathetic!

The real reason I'm pessimistic right now is because I don't even know if I have it in me to finish residency. I had one of those last straw moments today. Attacked yet again about my breast milk.

I give up. This blog was a paradox anyway, the life of a resident mom is much too hectic for the blog world, right?

October 25, 2009

Back from Conference!

Sorry about the pause in posts (did anyone notice?), I just got back from a medical conference in Austin, TX. There's me with my poster about a device that can help paralyzed patients get around, and with a fellow resident mommy!

Many, many way cool pictures to follow. . .

October 19, 2009

The Nursery

Monkeys, goats, fish. . . the usual.

By the time he's off to college I think I'll have it all put together.

October 15, 2009

"That Girl is Poison"

They're singing about my milk.

I'm doing another out-patient rotation this month and thought I had the perfect setup for pumping. Unfortunately, the private clinic rooms were all in use last week and I had to search for a new spot to do my thing. I asked a young woman who works as a medical assistant where I might go and she said, "You have no where to go, everything's taken, there's a bathroom around the corner."

If there's one thing I'm firm about, it's that breastmilk should NOT be expressed in the bathroom. I politely declined, and set out to continue my search for a place to pump. At a point of desperation I decided to use the common room for hospital employees. I wasn't excited about this, since people (both men and women) come and go through, but it was my best option and I was literally about to burst.

As I was getting set-up, the same medical assistant comes in and looks at me like I have leprosy. "You're not doing THAT in here! Why don't you go to the BATHROOM?! People eat in here!" her words were dripping with disgust. It was then that I realized how offensive she found my milk to be. I said, "it's just not sanitary in there." To which her reply was: "Oh, like it's that much cleaner in here?" Without pause I stated "I'd like to think there's a lower fecal count where you prepare lunch, yes."

She left in a fury.

Today as I returned to clinic that woman gave me the stink-eye and conspicuously whispered something to a coworker while looking in my direction. I know she can't wait for me to move on to another rotation, and take my poisonous nipples with me.

The whole situation would make me very upset, except is reminds me of one of my favorite videos on the web.

October 13, 2009

Baby Monitors: Whatcha Gonna Do?

Peace of mind, some say.

I've been hearing and reading a lot about new mothers who monitor their babies all night. At the slightest beep they're up and running to check out what's wrong.

Personally, I wouldn't be able to live like that. We were given a monitor at our baby shower and haven't used it. I figure, if something truly dramatic were going on I'd hear it down the hall.

The morbid thing I have to wonder is, what would the average parent do if they found their lifeless baby in the crib? -A scary image, I know. I remember one time my son was in such a deep sleep that he didn't move a muscle when I caressed his face during a nap. I poked his belly and I still got nothing. Finally I yelled his name and whisked him into my arms, only to have him stare back at me like I was crazy. I was all ready to jump into my basic resuscitation skills, though it felt extremely different when the 'patient' is your own child.

I highly recommend that parents and caregivers be comfortable with basic CPR. All the nursery gadgets in the world would be useless without it. I know a lot of hospitals offer community courses for certification. If you don't have time for that, check out these links (I have to say that the YouTube stuff isn't official, but it's better than nothing):
Of course I hope and pray you'll never have to use this information.

October 11, 2009

Dear Bella Band,

Thou art my frenemy.

You were super cool in the beginning. Thanks for helping to make my wardrobe last through the months of pregnancy. I used to show you off, my inseperable buddy.

I remember the day I went into labor and I placed you in a container and put you in storage. Like all good things, I thought our relationship had come to an end. We were parting on good terms, though. I would have fond memories of you hugging my bump and growing with me.

Sad was the day I returned from the hospital and realized that I still needed you. Yes, I came crawling back and unsealed your container. There you were, rolling your fabric in a way that could only mean "I-knew-it."

It's been almost 4 months post-partum and we're still together, a fact that frankly depresses me. Sometimes I blame it on the skinny jean fad that spiked in my fertile window. -But you know better. You've been gossiping with my nursing bras, haven't you? Laughing about your permanence at my expense.

(Were you the one who slipped that coupon for cookie dough into my purse? Figures.)

You're lucky I don't have the time to exercise, but once this nursing business is finished it is SO over between us. That is, until I get pregnant again and we're BFFs.

October 5, 2009

The 15 Minute Pervert

May I re-emphasize to you just how difficult it is to be a resident and lactating mother?

I have explained how as a resident, I'm constantly going from place to place and don't have a steady location for pumping. Last week we had seminars in a new part of the hospital. We were given a tour and this allowed me to check out my prospects. In between lectures I returned to the one room with a manual lock. As I looked around to make sure I wouldn't be intruding, a man startled me from behind and angrily asked "can I HELP YOU?" The look in his eye was so vicious that I stood there almost unable to reply. I finally mumbled something like "sorry, was wondering if anyone needed this room. . ." His response was a condescending "YEAH" as he glanced at his beloved coffee machine.

At this point I was able to turn and face him, he then realized I was a doctor from my white coat and not some rapscallion out to take his treats. That's when I said firmly "I need to be alone for 15 minutes." The man's eyebrows raised when he heard that, and his cheeks pinked up as he looked upon my mysterious leather bag. Quickly he pulled out his keys to usher me into another room, no longer making eye contact with me. Now he was the one mumbling, "I'd put a 'Do Not Disturb' sign if I were you."

The man's reaction left me wondering, what the heck does he think I'm doing for fifteen minutes in a private room? Clearly he didn't want to know.

There were no materials to make a sign, so I found a place in the back of the room and barricaded the door with a chair and a foot stool. About five minutes into pumping I heard keys turning. . . "I'm in here!" I yelled out. No use, my words could not be heard over the banging of the door against my makeshift barricade. -Wouldn't that be a hint to most people not to come in?!

Finally a man pokes his head through and sees me sitting there with my back towards him and two tubes coming out of my torso that meet a strange machine, which happens to make a sucking sound. He might as well have seen a ghost, he was that mortified.

I can just imagine the conversation in the break room that day, the one about that pervert resident and her 15 minutes of shame.

October 2, 2009

Mama MacGyver

With the clock ticking, no less.

I wanted to stay for the clinical skills session of a professor led lecture, but had forgotten to bring my ice pack with me to keep my milk cool.

I went to the nearby cafeteria and asked for a plastic bag, but was told they had none. I asked if there was anything that could hold ice for the next couple of hours and was offered foil (really now?).

The employee behind the food counter was getting annoyed with my request and put her gloved hands on her hips. Aha! As a doctor, I know a thing or two about latex gloves. . .

I asked for a pair, went to the ice machine, filled 'em up and tied them down. I got a lot of strange looks as I walked out, and when asked "what on earth do you plan on doing with that?" the answer 'slapping' did come to mind.