Sunday, May 17, 2009

M.D. -> Patient -> Mommy -> Resident

Weird transitions to be happening so very closely together.
A little over a week ago I graduated. The big one. THE graduation. The Grandaddy I've been working towards for eight long years.

Less than two days later, I was admitted into the hospital where I had been a student, into one of the rooms where I had delivered a baby as a medical student, to have a baby of my own.

About 13 hours after that, I became a mother.

My head is spinning. Doing this baby thing is completely overwhelming. Obviously I have tremendous support (which is the main reason I'm still alive) but still--insane.

Again I am faced with the same issues I was when Mr. Dr. Dr. VonB got sick. I know too much, and too little. Though I'm going into a peds prelim year in four weeks, there is so very much I don't know about healthy infants. Sadly, I know way more about sick infants, the result being that I have been one of "those" mothers, the ones who drive pediatricians crazy; wondering about every single little thing incessantly. Is she breathing too hard during this feeding (subtext: could she have a congenital heart defect)? What's up with her peeling skin and nails (subtext: could she have some kind of weird genetic connective tissue disorder)? Why is she so pale (subtext: could she have a red blood cell disorder? (real answer: because you and your hubby are dairy white, crazypants...))? You know. Crazy.

Being in the hospital was strange, too. All of a sudden, instead of the medical student dealing with a frustrated patient waiting hours to be discharged, I was the frustrated patient. Instead of fielding 1000 paranoid questions about a new baby, I was the one hurling them out there.

Having not been in the hospital in forever, I had forgotten how horrible it is being woken up every 10 minutes. At one point, when my husband was taking care of the baby so I could have the first nap I'd had in almost two days, I started counting: in 1 hour we had EIGHT people knock on our door to come in and examine me, examine the baby, tell us about the new study they'd like to enroll us in, offer to clean the room, examine me again... I was ready to die. The hospital is such a HORRIBLE place to try and get any rest or recuperation. And the worst part is that when you do want to see someone, they don't show up. Ever. The lactation nurse came by once, and I was anxious to meet one more time before we left, but of course she was two hours late and I was therefore discharged before I could see her. The attending came right in the middle of my nap, but when we were ready to be discharged (and I mean, REALLY ready), it took her three hours to get the orders in. Ugh. Things to remember when I'm back on the other side.

Speaking of which, that's right around the corner. I feel I have forgotten everything I've ever learned, and it's freaking me out. I have two weeks of orientation and then I'm fresh meat on the wards (though starting with a very easy rotation).

My other problem is that I never imagined I would be one of those women who finds herself crushed thinking about leaving her child to go back to work. I'm not heartless; I assumed it would be difficult. But I can't put into words how hard it is to think about now. I am 150% sure at least part of it is the hormones and the sleep deprivation, but still. This is going to be a doozy. Strangely, at the same time, I'm excited to be a real doc. It's remarkably difficult.

Well, baby is stirring and calling for the cow (me). At her next nap I am going to try to get some reviewing in, but I'm not holding out much hope. Lately whenever I'm not actually standing or walking I tend to fall asleep, and this time I don't think that even the fear of being an intern will be enough to keep me awake while reading about strep throat.


Old MD Girl said...

Thanks for posting! I was wondering how it had all turned out.

I do hope you'll keep posting once you start residency. I'd like to hear how it goes for a new mommy.

Ben said...

Congratulations on both counts, and best of luck to you and your husband during the rest of your training.

Dragonfly said...


Dr.VonB said...

Thanks everyone! We will need the luck, I think. :)

disillusionedprozacdreamer said...

That was one hilarious post. Just thinking of the irony of it all makes me wonder if I would encounter something of a similar sort in the future.

Alex Hayden said...

Definitely an interesting blog, and I'm new here. I started reading your 2007 post and came up front real quick...

Hmm. Question.

I can see that you had angst throughout the past decade. But I wonder... why have a child?

I can partially see a desire to fulfil life aspects, but you're educated. You know the consequences of that action.

You had to have known that having a child would have prevented from using all of your skills to the fullest of your potential.

estetik said...

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