Sunday, November 23, 2008


So we've been studying the respiratory system in school. Unlike the majority of my classmates, I have enjoyed the last two units immensly, namely cardio and pulmonary. Learning things in these last units has been different than anything else in medical school so far. It's all physiology, which is great because it's not memorizing meaningless details about the histology of ADEM TS-13 deficiency or which type of tick carries Lyme disease. This is medicine that will be relevant every day of my professional career, if in fact I decide to pursue anesthesiology. The other stuff is useful mainly as context for me, so that I can read an article and know all of the vocabulary. I realize that 'everything is important' but lets face it, sometimes a PhD will preach about his pet project and it's not important.

I really enjoy the respiratory syllabus, it's extremely well organized and full of cross references that I would otherwise have to make myself. Cardio as a subject was good, but it was really hit or miss with the instructors. The first half of pulm, has, so far, been well taught.

In other news, I have been nursing a rather intense cold for the last week , which has been pretty upleasant. It's really hard to study all day and evening when your head is leaking and your lungs are full and your eyes are watering and you feel miserable. Nevertheless and notwithstanding the greatness of my misery, I think I did pretty well on the pulm exam . We'll see next Monday.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This is a job for...

Accomplishment Girl! I love it when she comes to the rescue. What James & I accomplished by 11:00 this morning:
We were both showered/bathed and dressed by 8:00 a.m.
We were out of the house by 9:00 a.m.
And we took our first solo trip to the grocery store.
Big steps!

I have been nervous about the trip to the store, which is why it has taken me over a month to attempt it by myself. Thankfully, James was a dream! He slept almost the whole time, and when he started fussing, I popped his new beloved MAM-brand binkie in his mouth, and he was happy as a clam.

Also, I enjoyed all of the elderly people who adored my baby at the store today. I'm such a proud mommy!

And on a side note, I'm wearing my wedding ring again. I haven't been able to fit it onto my swollen hands since April. I was beginning to think I would have to get it resized. I guess I'm recovering from the pregnancy after all!
Like I said, big steps!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


My sisters have been here this week, and now I am wishing I could afford a nanny. I have loved having extra hands around the house to hold my baby. I feed him, change him, and pass him off to someone else who will cuddle him while I take a shower or a nap. Also, as Spiff mentioned, the baby has been sick, and we have had to hold him almost constantly over the past couple days. Every time we tried to put him down to sleep, the congestion would pool in his head, and he would wake up hurting and scared that he couldn't breathe. So, we held him upright or slightly inclined all day and night. It has been wonderful to have the aunties around to help us hold him so that we could all get at least a couple hours of sleep. They're leaving today, and we're all going to go through withdrawals.

Anyone know of a good nanny in town who will love my baby like his aunties?


So I pretty much haven't posted in a while because I haven't had much to say. G.A. is doing pretty well, he has a little more food reserve on his body so he at least doesn't wake up starving anymore (much). We're studying pulmonology right now. The leung is pretty interesting and I enjoy the physiology, even if it's hard to wrap my mind around sometimes. So far most of the lecturers have been pretty strong, which is a nice change from cardio when some of the lecturers were pretty terrible. I'm looking forward to being done with this next test so I can have a week off for thanksgiving. Life is good, and will be much better when GA is no longer sick. A sick little infant is hard to have because you know he would feel better if he only knew how to sniff, rather than sitting there with a stuffy nose. Having 2 sisters-in-law around is also great because there are more hands to hold him at night when he doesn't want to sleep.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Accomplishment Girl

I love superheroes. Some of my favorites: The Incredibles, The X-Men (only the first two movies), Batman, Heroes, and I admit that I used to faithfully watch Lois & Clark, the New Adventures of Superman. When I was in grad school, I created my own superhero persona to help me gear myself up to tackle my always way-too-long To Do List. I was always much more productive when I dubbed myself Accomplishment Girl than I ever was as just plain old Mindy. Sadly, when I graduated three years ago, Accomplishment Girl hasn't been needed as often, and I have rarely felt as productive as I did on those days in grad school.

Saturday, I felt like Accomplishment Girl made a return appearance! As a new mom, here is what I was able to accomplish in one day:
I fed my baby and put him down for a nap.
I did some dishes.
I took a shower!!!
I did some filing that I have been putting off for weeks and weeks.
I called the phone company and had them fix several problems with our bill. (Waging war with large corporations is never fun, but I was very pleased to speak to a competent customer service rep today! Rare occasion!)
I fed my baby...while talking on the phone to the AT&T lady.
I fixed lunch for George and me--post Cardio exam #2!
George and I went to a wedding reception.
Then we went to the grocery store.
I fixed dinner, proving to myself that I can be a mom and still make pizza.

All that in one day! Oh, and Friday, I did the laundry...all five loads of it washed, dried, folded and put away! Hard to believe, since I have spent every other day the past three weeks doing hardly more than getting myself out of the chair to wolf down a bowl of cereal before tending to the baby again. Anyone else impressed with me? I certainly am!

Monday, November 03, 2008

We're parents!

I have been wanting to post for a while, but have been at a complete loss as to what to say. We have our baby, and he's wonderful. We are also 100% overwhelmed and exhausted new parents. Having a baby is an indescribable experience. The whole experience is so much more physically, mentally, and spiritually consuming than I ever imagined. I knew it would be hard. I have seen friends and family go through it, and I know it was hard for them. I just didn't know how hard it actually was for them because everyone I know who has had a new baby is very good at putting on a happy face. Either that, or they're just big fat fakers who say they're okay when they are anything but.

We went on a walk yesterday. We bundled the baby up in some warm clothes, put him in his Snuggli carrier, and we walked to our neighbor's house to return the dishes they left with us when they brought us dinner just after we got home from the hospital. Our neighbors have two little boys, the youngest who is just a year old. They asked how we're doing. We smiled and replied, "We're okay." They laughed and said, "Don't lie to us." They know exactly how we feel, and they saw right through our happy faces. Everyone also says that the two-week mark is the hardest. I hope they're right, and that something gets easier from here.

The details:
James Reed was born at 7:56 a.m. on Friday October 17, after a 16+ hour labor and a 5-minute delivery! He weighed 7 lbs. 1 oz. and was 20 inches long. He weighed in at 7 lbs. 4 oz. at the doctor's office the other day! And we can tell that he is getting bigger and fatter, since his cheeks are filling out, and he is developing fat rolls on his thighs.

Two aspects of my current emotional roller coaster...
Moments I experience overwhelming joy:
~When my tiny baby curls up on my chest like a little frog.
~When he's hungry and triggers his rooting reflex with his hands and moves his little head back & forth.
~When he's awake and content, and his big dark eyes peer around at...whatever it is that fascinates little babies.
~When he spends time with his daddy. I have loved watching my husband become a father.
~Watching his face when he's dreaming. He has a very expressive little face, and I love catching the occasional little smile!
~When he gets done eating, and he gives me his "I'm done" face. It's the same every time. Pretty cute!

Moments I experience overwhelming frustration:
~When James has slept all day and decides to be wide awake at 2:00 in the morning.
~When he is fussy and crying in pain, and I can't figure out how to help him. (We think he has a tummy ache. And yes, we can tell the difference between his "I'm Hungry" cry and his "Something is hurting me" cry.
~When I have to take my 5-day-old baby boy to the doctor's office for a routine checkup. I wonder why I take so many precautions to keep my baby germ-free when I just have to take him to a germ-infested doctor's office at 5 days old!
~When I realize that I have gotten frustrated with my two-week-old tiny, helpless baby. Motherly guilt sets in very quickly!

I'm so grateful for all the help we have been given from friends and family. I have never been so grateful for my mother when she came to help us. She brought sanity with her when she walked in the door. And our friends have been unbelievably generous with us, giving so much time and energy on our behalf. I only hope that I am as willing and able to help them when they need it.

And Heath, I'm sorry for the Sap. But I'm a new mom, so I'm entitled to a little sap.