Tuesday, January 25, 2011


We have our new little boy! Little Hobbes was born on January 15, 2011 at 2:58 a.m. He was 6 lbs. 14 oz., 20 inches long. He is awesome! So sweet and precious, and I'm completely in love with him. For those of you who don't already know it, the birth story goes like this:

My water broke around 7:15 on Friday night. We took Gunner to a friend's house to sleep while we headed to the hospital. I was started on pitocin after a couple hours because I wasn't having contractions and wasn't progressing. Once the pitocin was in my system, things really seemed to happen fast. I was given some pain medication at some point when I thought I couldn't stand the pain anymore, and it worked so fast and was so nice and strong that I had one little moment of insanity when I thought I could go through the whole process without an epidural. And then the Stadol wore off and I begged the people for the epidural, which I didn't receive until I was dilated to an eight. I had one nerve line in my belly that didn't take to the epidural so I had one spot of really focused and intense pain. But I was able to feel all I needed to feel in order to push (which wasn't the case with my super strong epidural when I had Gunner). My nurse was amazing and super helpful. Spiff was the perfect coach. The OB intern, resident and attending were all attentive and supportive as I pushed for about 20 minutes until the little guy popped right out.

The whole labor and delivery process was so different this time than with Gunner. Gunner's birth was sort of strange, with the hospital being so busy that the nurses couldn't pay any attention to us, and with my epidural being so strong that I couldn't feel anything, turning the situation into something emergent that probably didn't have to be. This time, my labor was shorter and more focused. Spiff and I both felt like we were in good communication with the nursing staff and the doctors. Hobbes's birth was calm and really special, and I was allowed the time and attention directly afterward in order to bond with my sweet new baby.

I am feeling very grateful right now. I loved my labor and delivery nurse so much that I wanted to take her home with me. I had two incredible mother/baby nurses that took really good care of Hobbes and me for two days. Spiff was the perfect coach and is a wonderful daddy to our two little boys. Hobbes is healthy, he's sleeping well, and he has already gained 11 oz. over his birth weight! My parents are here helping us with the transition to a four-member family. I also feel overwhelming gratitude for our friends who took care of Gunner while we were in the hospital and for my friends who visited me while I was there. So thank you to everyone who made our birth experience so wonderful this time around. We couldn't have done it without you!

Thursday, January 06, 2011


It's pretty sad that these things count as exercise as a 38 1/2-week pregnant lady: 20 minutes of pregnancy Pilates, 10 minutes of cutting my own toenails (wow! what a workout!), a walk around the zoo with Spiff and Gunner, and a 10-minute walk to the salon. What a strenuous day! Also, I finished all of this "exercise" looking better than I did before I started. That's what happens when you end your workout with a trip to the salon.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

The Match

Well the interviewing process is nearly over for me, though most of my friends still have the bulk of their interviews coming up. I deliberately front-loaded my interview schedule in order to minimize the probability that I will be out of town when little Hobbes comes to the world. That having been said, I will be traveling for 5 of the 15 days before he is officially due, so we'll be crossing our fingers.

I know there are readers of this blog who are not directly related to a doctor, medical student, or resident, and are thus unfamiliar with the Match. (For those of you who are, please skip and go here for something more diverting) I will offer a brief explanation of an event which will determine our location and fate for the next 4 years.
During the fourth year of medical school, students interview for various specialties. Some hedge their bets and interview in multiple specialties, but most interview for residency spots in what they want to do for the rest of their professional lives. For me, that would be anesthesia. I don't enjoy clinic and rounding, so being in the OR with sleeping patients is great.

At the end of the interview season, both applicants and programs draw up a list of who they want or where they would like to go, based solely on personal preference. The Match (yes, it is capitalized) is administered by the NRMP, which is a subsidiary of AOL Time Warner Disney Microsoft Halliburton. Programs rank applicants and submit that list electronically to the NRMP. Similarly, applicants submit their lists to the NRMP. Sometime between Feb 23 and Mar 13, a computer crunches the lists and assigns applicants to their respective slots. Here is an example of how the match algorith works:

Rajiv has applied to 5 different programs for general surgery (he is a nut for doing so).

Rank List:
1. Stanford
2. Hopkins
3. Yale
4. Mass General
5. Mayo

The computer looks at #1 stanford and compares it with stanford's list. Let us pretend that Stanford has 4 spots and Rajiv is ranked at number 5. Initially he does not get a spot at Stanford, so the computer proceeds down the list to Hopkins. Rajiv is 4th of 6 on Hopkin's list, so he has a tentative match. So why don't programs only rank the number of slots they have? simple, because not everyone who interviews at Hopkins or Stanford wants to go there. So, lets look at Stanfords list:
1. Ron
2. Joe
3. Bill
4. Kyle
5. Rajiv
6. Heather
If ron and Joe don't want to go to stanford, then really Stanford's list is:
1. Bill
2. Kyle
3. Rajiv
4. Heahter,
Since Rajiv was only tentatively placed at Hopkins, if Bill and Kyle wind up elsewhere, then Rajiv can actually wind up at Stanford, despite not being in the initial top 4 applicants on their list.

The match is allegedly skewed to favor the applicants, if they rank strictly according to preference. For some reason it takes a month from when the match lists close for applicants and programs until when they finally announce the verdict on March 17, 2011.
I'm not sure why that is, because I would think that even a computer with modest capacity like my trusty MacBook could crunch all those numbers in a matter of hours.

Your homework, dear readers, is to make my rank list for me, based on whatever criteria you choose:
Here are the candidate programs, in no particular order:
1. Michigan
2. Medical College of Wisconsin
3. Dartmouth
4. Washington University
5. Virginia Mason Hospital
6. Cleveland Clinic
7. Case Western Reserve
8. University of Utah
9. St Louis University
10. Mayo Clinic
11. University of Wisconsin

Happy New Year

Christmas was great after all. Thanks to those of you who shared some Christmas cheer with me. I was able to put my scrooginess behind me and focus on fun things. I made lots of yummy food. We attended a great Christmas Eve party with a lot of our good friends. We Skyped with Spiff's mom on Christmas morning and were able to watch each other unwrap presents, even though we're miles apart. Gunner and I have also been able to fully enjoy Spiff during his last ever long Christmas vacation. It has been great!

And now just a few random thoughts and stories:
1. My favorite thing about Christmas this year: New Toys! I do realize that saying that makes me sound like I'm five years old, but it's true. I love Gunner's new toys. I love the fact that he loves them and happily plays and plays and plays with them for hours. He has been content and busy for a whole week, with the promise of lots more entertainment to come. The most successful toys of the season are Playmobils, hands down. He fell in love with our nativity scene and packed Mary and "Baby Jee-us" around for days. He also loved the donkey ("horsie") and the ox in the manger scene, whom he named "Otis." He absolutely loves the "Pilots" he received from Spiff's mom, and the accompanying helicopter and race car. I have loved seeing develop his skills for imaginative play, and I'm telling you, I love love love the hours of entertainment these toys have provided! I think I will need another Christmas next month.

2. I'm having a baby sometime in the next 2-3 weeks. The question I really don't like answering is, "How much weight have you gained during this pregnancy?" I know that my very nice neighbors mean well, but describing how much weight you have gained isn't something anyone I know likes talking about. It's tempting for me to answer in explicit detail about how I have gained the weight, what sweet and fatty foods have tasted the very best, where I keep the weight, and how I feel about it. It's great that I already feel like an overstuffed whale. Thanks for drawing attention to it and for rubbing salt into that wound.

3. My two-year-old is cool. Gunner has memorized several children's books, including the original Madeline. He has also started asking for specific bedtime songs. He asked for the Daddy song one day, so I sang the "I'm so glad when daddy comes home" primary song. He asked for the Mommy song, and since I couldn't think of a mother's day song, I sang "My Heavenly Father Loves Me." He asked for the Boy Song, I sang the first song that came to my head, which happens to be a song the primary just sang in their recent program. "If you don't walk like most people do, some people walk away from you, but I won't, I won't." He asks for it almost every day these days, but I didn't realize that he knows it as well as he does until Spiff pointed out one day this week that Gunner was singing to himself, "I will, I will."

As we drove home from the grocery store yesterday, Gunner started singing this little song to himself. We decided to see how well he knew it, and we started from the beginning. He filled in almost all of the blanks. There could not be anything cuter! And just as my heart was about to melt right onto the floor of the car, I looked back at him. He had quietly taken off his shoes and socks and was in the process of stuffing his entire foot in his mouth. He innocently looked up at us and said, "I taste my toes."

Happy New Year!