Cyber Medical Monday

Linking up with Medical Monday on this Cyber Monday.  Two things I love, medicine and shopping.  Ha.  Jusssst kidding.  While I do think one day I will use the word love to describe how I feel about medicine, the “L” word is certainly not in my vocabulary for it this year.  The only word beginning with “L” I’ve used to describe medicine in recent months has been loathe but enough of the debbie downer talk.  There is no time for that today.  There is shopping to do people.  So go out there in cyber space and get your deals.  Unless you are still in a food coma from Thanksgiving turkey.  I ate so much turkey I couldn’t even have leftovers the next day.  Successful Thanksgiving meal?  I think so.

I will definitely be partaking in Cyber Monday shopping this year because #1 I haven’t done a drop of shopping yet, and #2 my time leading up to Christmas will be limited to get out and fight the crowds.  Therefore, I will be taking advantage of today to fulfill some gift needs.  So fill that cart and happy shopping.

Gobble Gobble

Every year there is a lot to be thankful for but this year I am especially happy for two things.  The first is that I have a healthy, active baby boy growing inside of me and he has given me a nice, smooth pregnancy so far.  The second is that Mr. Dr. will be off and we can celebrate a real Thanksgiving dinner together with family.  This is a nice change from last year where I traveled home solo to see my family and came back on the night of Thanksgiving with a plate of leftovers for him to eat at midnight when he got home from work.

Perhaps it’s the lack of cocktails throwing my mind into a tizzy but I also attempted to bake a pie this year.  Hard to believe coming from the girl who didn’t even know if she owned bakeware but we do own it and I used it.  Voila!

Pumpkin pie

Say hello to my first pumpkin pie.  The crust is not homemade and the recipe itself was so simple.  I have no idea if it’s good or not.  Although while it was in the oven the apartment smelled divine and when it came out Mr. Dr. and I really wanted to dive in.  We are holding off though, as bringing a half-eaten pie to Thanksgiving dinner is probably a little lame.  I am sure all dinner attendees would understand if some was missing since I’m eating for me AND the baby but I don’t want to be rude.   I really hope it tastes good or if nothing else, that it’s edible.  Fingers crosses on this one.

A happy & healthy Thanksgiving to you and your families.  Enjoy the food, company and if your partner is working…be thankful that he or she is helping out someone else this Thanksgiving.

Baby L’s Gender Reveal

While I know gender reveal parties are all the rage these days for expectant parents, we did not partake in such an event for our little one.  First off my mom was like what the heck is a gender reveal party?  Just recently I gave her a synopsis of some of the things we were registering for and she gasped at the prices for some of the items.  Grandma has a lot to learn :).  It’s 30 years later and times are a changing.  Especially when you live in NYC and have to figure out a way to comfortably fit your child in 650 square feet.

For baby L’s gender reveal I knew that I wanted to do something cute to tell our families but I wasn’t sure what.  Add this to the list of challenges of being pregnant hours away from loved ones.  Part of why I didn’t want to have a gender reveal party was because it would be missing key participants, aka: our families.  So we did our own makeshift gender reveal and the idea was provided by my baby basket.   Remember the cards I get to open for milestones throughout my pregnancy?  Well the gender reveal certainly was one of them.  We had to wait until the next day to open the gender reveal card because Mr. Dr. was on call the day prior over night.  Here is what the card looked like:

Baby boy 2

So cute right?  So we did exactly what the card told us to do to reveal to our families.  We blew up the balloon of the corresponding gender and Mr. Dr. wore a matching polo shirt.  I facetimed our families (thank God for technology) and turned the camera around so they could see him holding the balloon with his matching outfit.  It was a really cute reveal via electronic devices and I’m happy that if we couldn’t do the reveal in person we at least were able to see and capture their emotions through my IPAD.  Unfortunately, I didn’t snap a photo of him with the balloon but it was absolutely perfect.

Flashback to the previous day.  It figures the day I find out the gender Mr. Dr. is on a 24 hour call.  So when I found out, I called him and when he asked about the gender I said I wasn’t sharing such big news over the phone and that he had to make himself available for 5 minutes for me to come down to the hospital and tell him in person.  He wasn’t happy that I was making him wait but it was so worth it to do it in person.  I dressed up in black pants, a black hoodie and walked on down to meet him.  My back was facing him, and when he walked out of the hospital, I turned around and this was how I greeted him :).

Baby boy 1

It was a really, really sweet moment and he was thrilled as expected.  So there you have it folks, baby L is a boy and we are ecstatic to welcome him in.

Post Call Postmortem

I think it’s fair to say that post call days in the medical world aren’t all they are cracked up to be.  After a 24 hour shift, regardless of how many “naps” someone got in, you will never convince me that person is fully functional.  Mr. Dr. used to look forward to post call days because it’s time in the daylight that he isn’t in the hospital which is a nice, strange phenomenon.  Turns out, the grass isn’t greener on the other side.  I used to not believe Mr. Dr. on the days he would come home and say he didn’t sleep a wink during the whole shift.  How could he really go that long without sleep?  Then I noticed his behavior over the next 24-48 hours following the shift and I realized what he said had to be true.  It’s hard to describe unless you live with someone who works these kinds of crazy hours but it’s like they turn into a different person…or rather a different being.  They are in a fog almost.  They take a seat for the first time in hours and the eyes are shut within seconds.  They wake up after a few hours of napping on what the hospital calls “their day off” when it’s really supposed to be the equivalent of their night time sleep.  It never is.  They sleep for a few hours and wake up in a delirium.  If anyone else is like my Mr. Dr. he never wants to waste a day so rather than really catch up on the rest, he only naps and then carries on with the rest of the day as if he is superman.  Then that evening he crashes yet again after some crankiness which is unrecognizable to him of course, and voila I lose him early to the zzz’s.  This is why I feel like post call days are ineffective.  Sure they are nice for the times he can suck it up and muscle through it to enjoy the “day off” but if that happens, the next day is spent in even more delirium because it’s essentially two days of no sleep.  That third day is deadly.  And if he can’t suck it up because he reaches the point of total exhaustion he ends up sleeping the entire day, waking up for a quick dinner and then back to bed, only to get up at 5am to go back to work.  It is a vicious cycle that can’t seem to get broken when he is on a rotation that requires 24 hour call.

This is why come March 2014, I am very much looking forward to him never having to be in-house for it again.  Ever.  That doesn’t mean he might not get called in and be there for almost the same amount of time.  It’s just nice to know it won’t be a staple in the schedule.

And of course…linking up with for November Medical Monday.

An Ice Ice Baby Halloween

Happy Halloween.  Instead of dressing up this year I want to hand out candy to the other cuties dressed in costume.  Like many other apartment complexes in NYC we have sheets at the front desk where you can sign up if you want the trick or treaters to stop by your apartment.  This is nice because you don’t have a bunch of disappointed kids ringing doorbells to empty apartments.  They are guaranteed a solid stash of candy with this system in every building they visit.  We have never been around to hand out candy but this year, maybe we will get some little monsters creeping up to our door.  I think I will wear my ice ice shirt and just say I’m Vanilla Ice this year.  Speaking of Vanilla Ice.  I met him this year!

Vanilla Ice and meHe is exactly what you would expect in person.  Talks like a ghetto white person, easy to hold a conversation with, a little out there and overall, seems like a really nice but weird dude.

I am choosing to stay indoors this year because NYC can get a little crazy on Halloween.  We did the parade one year and pretty much vowed to never do it again after that.  It’s nice to do once and nice to do when you’re in your early 20s and don’t give a damn about being ass to ass with other creeps in costumes with no place to pee or go except to follow the crowd in front of you.  Nah.  This year I would love to sit on the couch with a glass of wine sparkling cider and hang with the doc.  The perfect touch would be if Hocus Pocus was on TV.  I don’t know why but I love that movie and I especially love it during Halloween.  I was always partial to the dumb blonde witch.  Perhaps that’s where my love for my SJP came to fruition.

A happy and safe Halloween to all :)

Orthopedic Trauma Rotation = Done

check mark

Another 2 months have passed and we are another rotation down.  Today marks Mr. Dr. being complete with his 3rd year trauma rotation at the public hospital in NYC.  I am really glad this one is over.  It’s been a doozy.  Lots of 24 hour call (if only it were really only 24 hours), lots of nights alone for Mrs. Dr. and lots of time spent trying to catch up on rest which always seems like an uphill battle for the poor doc.  The good news is that with this one under our belts, he only has one more rotation where he has in-house 24 hour call EVER.  It just so happens to be when I am 9 months pregnant in Jan/Feb but I’m trying to look beyond that and see the positive that will come from it.  As of March 2014 he will finally have no more 24 hour stints of having to be in the actual hospital.  Rather, it will be home call which will be a nice change…well I think.  I guess that could be just as rough but the mere fact that he doesn’t have to be somewhere unless he is summoned to go in just sounds better for a call schedule.  I mean, isn’t that why they phrase it “being on call” anyway ;).

Here are a couple of observations from the last 2 months:
-As one might expect in this city, rather than the majority of trauma accidents being car related, NYC residents are more likely to come into the ER as a result of other fatalities such as pedestrian hits, reckless bike injuries or even unfortunate skateboarding incidents. I’m surprised I didn’t hear a scooter story out of Mr. Dr. this block.
-Trauma stories can definitely be sad but after some of the stuff I heard from Mr. Dr. I can totally make sense of the Grey’s Anatomy characters when they fight over certain surgeries. Despite that a bad outcome could happen, thinking from their perspective, some of the trauma surgeries sound really appealing and keep these residents on their toes, which hopefully is twofold: making them better trained and keeping them interested even after 20 hours of no sleep.
-My belly is a growing. 75% of my closet officially doesn’t fit anymore and onto maternity clothes I go. I have some really cute ones that I am actually looking forward to wearing though.

Also, appearing in the last month is a new addition to our bed.  The Snoogle has become my new favorite toy.  It has changed my sleeping repertoire for the better and I now can’t imagine my zzz’s without it.  I don’t really know why or how it has helped me sleep that much better but it just has.  It was recommended to me by a couple of different friends who used it when they were pregnant and I thought it was a more of a luxury item than what I probably would have needed.  Well friends, if you’re pregnant, get this body pillow.  It’s nothing short of amazing.

Our next rotation is Sports Medicine and I am hoping it’s a good one for Mr. Dr.  He deserves a little bit of a break after the last 2 months.  Ha.  Yeah right.  Wish us luck.

Cue Bon Jovi

oooooo we’re halfway there…OOOOOO livin’ on a prayer…

I’m 20 weeks pregnant this week which means in the words of Bon Jovi – we’re halfway there to meeting our new addition.  The first half of the first half of pregnancy was so hard mainly because of keeping it a secret.  Being a hermit is not fun especially in NYC.  I couldn’t even call my mom to say hi as regularly because I felt guilty about lying every time I got on the phone. Hey how are you, what’s new? Oh nothing just walking home from work. Oh yeah and did I mention I have a little bean in my belly? That too.  But the secret was so worth it because seeing the excitement in person was worth every tongue biting, nail chewing moment of keeping it in over the phone.

I thought since I was halfway through, now would be a great time to share what my experience has been like so far.

When did you first find out you were pregnant? We found out early, I was only about 4 weeks when I took the first positive test.
What kinds of emotions did you experience in your first trimester? Too many to count. Thrilled since the first day we found out, scared out of my mind that this was real, lucky and shocked that it happened so quickly, excited when we heard the heartbeat for the first time, sad when we got test results that made us question health concerns, happy when the word got out and we could share our good news, anxious about…well just about everything. And most of all, overwhelmed in the most positive way by the support Mr. Dr. and I have given to each other and the support from everyone else in our lives who have shown us and Baby L so much love.
Food aversions? None yet…
Cravings? No specific crazy cravings yet except one week I really wanted pancakes for breakfast. I also have been really into pizza ever since I found out I was preggo. I like pizza anyway but I feel like right now I could eat it every day. There has only been one day where I have missed my yummy spicy tuna sushi rolls.
What are you drinking? Question of the year! I have been sober now for about 4 months (since I was already 4 weeks or so when I found out) and I actually could mistakenly probably end up in an AA class if I didn’t look down and see my daily baby bump. I never thought I’d see the week where I came home and immediately got my workout clothes on instead of pouring a glass of wine every day. I certainly miss it but what I miss most is the social aspect of drinking. Grabbing a drink with a friend, sharing a good bottle of wine with Mr. Dr., enjoying a cold draft beer on football Sunday or having happy hour martinis. At this point I’m used to the no drinking zone so I’m not even sure I’ll have a glass later in my third trimester. We’ll see how I feel then. I have been drinking lots and lots of water – sparkling, flavored and good old regular. When I go out I like to order sparkling so I feel like I’m indulging in a fun high class drink. Add a lemon and voila, back in the cocktailsphere.

How have you been feeling overall? GREAT! I truly can’t complain. I barely had morning sickness – just a few days here and there over the last 5 months. I have been more tired than usual, more so in the beginning than now… my preggo app says that’s because carrying a child is the equivalent of running a triathlon every day.
What’s your biggest symptom? Oddly enough my boobs never hurt which is a common complaint. However, they are growing at the same fast rate as my belly. My biggest symptom was my skin breaking out like I was back in high school…and I mean everywhere.
Weight gain? Depends on the scale I use but just about 10 lbs.
When is your next ultrasound? Today is our 20 week anatomy scan appointment so we will see Baby L again. I can’t wait!
Do you feel the baby? Yes. Felt flutters for the first time around 17.5 weeks and this past weekend we felt our first real little kick.
What has been your favorite part so far? I have two. The first was seeing the baby in mini baby form at 12 weeks during the sonogram. It was so exciting. The second is feeling the baby move. It’s crazy but awesome at the same time.

What have you been wearing? Up until today (I have on maternity leggings) I have worn all of my normal clothes and used the belly band so I can still wear my regular jeans.
How big is the baby? Right now Baby L is the size of a banana between 6.5-7inches long.
Oh yeah and how is dad? Mr. Dr. is doing really well. He’s gotten to feel the baby kick already, and while he hasn’t played the sympathy sober card, he has been a great support and is so excited.

Second half of pregnancy, here I come!

Centipeding Along

It’s October Medical Monday for those of you visiting from the linkup.  Quick intro for the newbies – we are PGY3 in ortho and we live in NYC.  I don’t work in medicine, but I support my hard working hubby who does.  We were driving back recently from a nice weekend away visiting family, and thoughts ran through my head about how the first 2 years of residency felt like they went by sooo slow.  It almost felt like we were never going to make it to 3rd year.  It felt so far away.  The reality is we are almost half way done residency come December.  So I know we are making progress but sometimes the inching along feels like centimeters.

I didn’t feel that way about the first 2 years of medical school.  I felt like I blinked and they were over.  It could be because during med school we were fresh in a new city, new life and new beginnings.  Now we have 6 years in the city under our belts, Mr. Dr. regularly has crow’s feet around his eyes from sleep deprivation and I am knocked up.  I guess when you sum it up like that it seems like a lot has happened since we started the medicine journey.  And while a lot has happened, residency is every bit as tumultuous as I expected, and at times worse.  I have already seen an improvement for him 3 months into his 3rd year but it’s still residency and it’s still a doozy.  There are parts that have gotten better and parts that have gotten tougher.  As I write this I find myself in an anti-residency mindset.  I haven’t felt this anti in a while.  Maybe it’s the hormones or maybe it’s that I am entitled to feel this way every so often and that’s OK too.  Maybe it’s a bit of anxiety knowing we are welcoming our first child into this world in a few months.  Maybe it’s because his call schedule sucks at the moment.  Maybe it’s D. all of the above.  Probably.

But even though I’m having an anti moment, I never lose sight of the fact that we are actually gravitating towards the end.  It’ll come, just in a few years.  It feels like I’ll be extra wrinkly by then and we might have 3 kids living in a 1 bedroom apartment when it comes but it will get here.

I also found myself pondering what I want in my future dream home recently.  I realized I have no freaking clue.  I know nothing more than my tiny apartment and concrete outdoor space.  I currently base my idealistic dream home on what I see on HGTV and what I dislike and love about our families’ houses.  I’m going to start making a list and as ideas pop into my head I will just write it down so I don’t lose sight.  But then again, in 10 years when we might actually be building our first home, that stuff will be outdated.  So perhaps I shouldn’t waste my time.  Maybe I’ll stick to big ideas for now and no specifics.  Yes, that’s what I’ll do.

September Bliss

September is my favorite month to be in NYC.  The weather is perfect, the tourists are at a lull, Fashion Week is full speed ahead, new shows appear on my DVR list and meandering around the city couldn’t be more pleasant.  The trash piles on the sidewalk don’t smell from the grueling heat, my skin doesn’t stick to my articles of clothing from perspiration, my feet don’t get black on the bottom from walking around in flip flops and you don’t have to fight traffic going out of the city on Friday afternoon because people’s summer share houses are finito.  There is nothing better than grabbing your light jacket as you walk out the door and leave your building to find sunshine, a calming breeze and busy New Yorkers flooding the streets as opposed to Europeans asking you for directions.

The models from Fashion Week are strutting down the blocks in their street wear smoking a cigarette in one hand and holding their cell phone in the other.  They are easily identifiable.  At first glance you wonder how they stand up straight on the stilts that they call legs, and then all of the sudden for a minute you envy their thinner than paper body and wonder if they had a real meal that day.  Usually I spend the next hour staring at my lunch thinking in my head, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”  Then it passes and I go back to feeling like myself again and overindulge at my next meal.  I should caveat this by mentioning that this year when I see them my thoughts are a bit different being a pregnant woman.  I think to myself, I’m such a lucky bitch because I get to eat whatever I want and you have to sit there and starve to look good on the runway.  Suckerrrr.  Who needs a runway when you have a fetus growing inside you?  Side note to pregnancy for a moment: my second trimester has been much hungrier than the first.  I went from losing 5 lbs in the first 6 weeks solely from removing alcohol from my diet to gaining about 8 going into my 5th month.  Eeeeek.

One other funny point of discussion is people’s attire in September.  It’s like some people forget how to dress.  Last week in one 20 minute walk home from work I saw one woman dressed in a sundress and sandals, one woman wearing knee high boots, pants and a wool coat, and one woman in a leather jacket, tights and ballet slippers.  I saw 3 seasons of outfits molded together in one block.  It was pretty ridiculous.  I think when the seasons change people freak out.  Some people are so excited to wear their new boots they throw them on as soon as the temperature drops to 70.  Fine.  I get it.  You want to show off your new kicks.  But no matter how excited you are about your new winter coat, for the love of God, keep it in the closet until at least November please.  We don’t need winter to come any sooner.  And honey in the summer spaghetti strap dress, it’s time to pack her up and throw that box under the bed until next June.  I know, I too am in denial that summer is over, but it’s time to switch out the sandals for tootsie-covering flats.

I have been sporting some dresses that still manage to fit on my slow but steady growing baby bump, no tights, and boots or flats depending on the level of degrees outside.  I have a feeling that my outfit rotation is going to start getting pretty boring in the upcoming weeks as baby bump keeps growing.  I haven’t dove into my maternity attire yet but it’s going to happen soon.  My pants officially don’t button so for now I will rely on the belly band phenomenon to help out in that department.  It will definitely be a function over fashion fall and winter for this girl.

Funny Pregnancy

Wine A Little, Hug A Lot

As soon as we confirmed I was pregnant and by that I really mean: as soon as I finished taking nothing short of 7 or 8 different brands of pregnancy tests (while Mr. Dr. was on call so he didn’t think I was crazy) all resulting in some kind of positive result, feint or not, I knew I wanted to find a creative way to tell our families.  We also knew we wanted to wait until we had our 1st doctor’s appointment so that we could make sure we weren’t hallucinating and to make sure everything was looking OK in the beginning.  We were actually really lucky and heard Baby L’s heartbeat at the first visit!  It was strong and fast which was a great sign.  After that 1st appointment it was a bit surreal.  All you want to do is tell everyone and I mean everyone, like even the grocery store cashier, but you can’t.  Well you can if you want.  And some people do.  But we wanted it to be special and memorable for our families.  We also were very careful about being public with the news until much later.  Every couple is different and feels comfortable at different stages.  That was just what we wanted and how we did it.

So about 8 weeks into this whole thing away we drove to meet my family at our parents’ beach house.  I remember the whole ride down talking to Mr. Dr. about how nervous I was to tell them.  It’s my parents’ first grandchild and my siblings’ first niece/nephew.  I was excited but also just nervous because it was such big news to share.  We arrived late Friday night but luckily everyone was still awake.  I wasted no time and told them that we had brought them each a little something.  Each couple opened up their gift and then there were tears, screams, laughs and lots and lots of hugs.  We spent the next 36 hours with my family sharing in the excitement before departing early Sunday morning only to drive 6 hours back up north to see Mr. Dr.’s family.  Driving through 4 states along the northeast and spending a total of 12 hours in the car between Friday night -Sunday is something I would only recommend if there is a realllllly good reason for it.  A baby announcement counts in our book.  But I will not be partaking in any activity like that ever again anytime soon.  We arrived mid-afternoon and shared the exciting news the same way with a gift for each couple.  The hugs and excitement, again, filled the room.

Wine Label Pregnancy

Each couple received a bottle of wine with a personalized label.  I created the labels online and printed them myself.  We bought our favorite Montepulciano bottle from Trader Joes (the wine store clerks had been missing me), peeled off the original labels and glued these on.  Now come February (or March?!) everyone is supposed to bring their bottle of wine to NYC so we can celebrate together after the birth of Baby L when they come to visit.

My idea for telling Mr. Dr. wasn’t quite as creative but I had limited time and resources.  I pretended he had gotten a package so when I walked in the door from work there was this white box in my hand that had his name on it and was addressed to him.  I told him the doorman gave it to me downstairs and that someone had dropped it off for him.  Real story: that morning I put together the box and took it down to the doorman with strict instructions not to give it to Mr. Dr. when he got home from his 24 hr call that morning.  I didn’t want to leave it for him in the apartment because I wanted to be there when he opened it and I wanted it to be a surprise.  My plan was to walk into the apartment that evening as if it was fresh off the press when I arrived home so he wouldn’t suspect anything.  I think it worked pretty well.  Here is what was inside.

Box for ChrisI wrapped up each part so he opened up the items in a certain order.  1st was the Baby Ruth bar, 2nd was the card and 3rd were the tests I took that morning.  He obviously figured it out as soon as he opened the candy bar but it was fun to watch him go from a look of confusion when I handed him the box to pure excitement once he began to see what was inside.

If you know us, and you guys should probably know me well enough by now, announcing our baby news the way we did was pretty fitting for us.  And I must say, everyone loved it.  I almost forgot.  We also stopped on our drive back up north and got Mr. Dr.’s grandmother a fresh bouquet of pink & blue.  We figured a bottle of wine wasn’t as appropriate for Grammie so we quickly had the florist in the local grocery store whip up a bouquet of pink roses, blue hydrangeas and of course, baby’s breath.

Grammies FlowersWe had so much fun announcing the news to our family and friends, and continue to feel overwhelmed by the love and support from everyone who has sent us well wishes, cards and congratulations.  We are really, really lucky and so is this baby.

Happy Cocktail Friday in honor of Baby L!