On being a mom...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I spent my first Mother’s Day at the hospital taking care of other people’s babies, but spent some time today reflecting on being a mother and what it feels like navigating this new world of motherhood...

It’s been less than a year but I can hardly remember what he looked like when we brought him home from the hospital, what it felt like to hold him when he was only a little over 6 pounds.

The first days/weeks/months of motherhood were a blur. Part of it was the stress of moving two weeks after he was born, starting orientation when he was three weeks old, spending a few weeks home with him and then starting intern year….but part of me knows that no matter what the circumstances, the first moments of motherhood are a blur.

It’s different than I expected. There is guilt like I knew there’d be, but I thought that it would be about leaving him, about being at work while he was at home. It’s actually more about the feeling that I can’t give him 100% when I’m at home because of the inevitable physical and mental exhaustion that residency brings. And then there was the almost tangible pain that I felt for the first time when Stephen texted me to tell me that he was sick while I was working, and the tug that I felt when he cried for the first time when I was leaving for a shift.

But it’s really less about all those moments and more about the deep joy that I didn’t know existed before he was born. His little hands wrapped around my neck……the excitement of each milestone that he reaches…the newness of each stage…his deep giggle at the smallest things...the joy of watching him discover the world…the sweetness of the little curls around his ears…the heavenly baby smell…the comfort of holding and nursing him…the peacefulness of cuddling him while he sleeps…the new and different love that I have for his dad when I watch them together.

Motherhood is a beautiful, incredible gift...I'm grateful and humbled to be his mom.

Resurrecting the blog....

Saturday, April 11, 2015

I can't believe that it's been months since my last post! There are multiple reasons why I haven't written...intern year has a way of making you feel like you're drowning at times, and I'd say that's the number one reason. I've also felt a little afraid of putting my life out there...sometimes it's easier to just be anonymous and as tiny as my blog is in the wide open expanse of the blogging world, the world of resident physician bloggers is relatively small. Lastly, I don't have much time to read blogs anymore, but when I do it's easy to feel inept when looking at the professional photography and graphic design of other bigger and better blogs out there.

But I've really missed blogging! I love to write and I'm so grateful for the connections I've made in the blogging world. So here I am again, although there's no telling if my next post will be next week or next year. Residency has a way of wrapping you up so tightly in each day that the length and intensity of every shift feels like running a marathon while at the same time making the days fly past so quickly that I sometimes don't even know what season it is...

Case in point, this picture. It feels like yesterday but in actuality was taken in early December, back when Stephen Gabriel was a mere 6 months old and pre-crawling/waving/curly hair/belly-laughing at things to the point where his little eyes well up with tears. Such a difference a few months makes...

Photo by A-B Photography

On this crazy life...

Friday, November 7, 2014

In recent days, I've been uncertain about the direction that I should take with this blog. My time is limited, and I don't want anything to take away from becoming the best doctor that I can be...and much more importantly, the best mother that I can be. But at the same time, this blog has given me an outlet in some of the most challenging times of my life. I've received so much support, encouragement, and kindness from all of you - and for that, I'm truly grateful.

This isn't by any means a goodbye letter just yet. I mentioned to Stephen the other day that I was wondering if I should continue blogging, partly because of time and partly because I didn't really think about the potential consequences of people reading the blog, personally and professionally (it was always intended as a fun hobby). Stephen looked at me incredulously and said "Why would you stop doing something that you really enjoy doing?" And that was all the encouragement I needed. I still plan on sharing snippets of our life, our struggles and dreams (and an occasional outfit or two). This next month is my last month of semi-normalcy before I start 6 months of intense, busy residency rotations so expect a few posts now and then potentially sporadic ones later...and thanks for being here either way :)

Sharing seven photos from my life outside of residency lately (and linking up with Jen):

1. The little man's first Halloween (lion costume was an awesome hand-me-down from one of the attendings here)! Also, my favorite new sweater (a birthday gift).

Sweater: Similar
Jeans: J. Brand (found on Nordstrom Rack)
Boots: Frye (purchased 40% off after Christmas last year)

2. My blue-eyed boy.

 3. Nothing says fall like a pumpkin patch (and this vest).

Vest: Thrifted J. Crew, same at J. Crew Factory 
Jeans: J. Brand
Boots: Frye

4. An impromptu trip to my hometown in northern Michigan (and five months postpartum, these are still my favorite pants).

 Pants: J. Crew (on sale)

5. I still maintain that I'm from the most beautiful place in the world...

 6. Indian summer = kayaking trip at one of our favorite places.

 7. Look, mom, I can fly!

Five Favorites: Twice edition

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A couple months ago, Twice contacted me and asked if I would share some outfits and an interview for their Top Twicer feature (you can read it here). I discovered Twice (link for $10 referral credit) a few years ago and since then have found some really great pieces from my favorite brands. For those of you who haven't heard of it, Twice sells gently used clothing from brands including J. Crew (!), Anthropologie, Gap, Banana Republic, and Nordstrom.

Here are five of my favorite Twice finds (and be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for a chance to win a Twice gift card courtesy of Twice!). 

1. I found this Anthropologie dress in one of the new arrivals emails that Twice sent me (they send emails with picks customized by your size and favorite brands). It's different than anything I had in my closet, and a great mustard color. I also love that it has the ease of a dress while giving the illusion of a skirt with a fun printed blouse.

2. I was pretty stoked to find this J. Crew white denim jacket in brand new condition. I found these green skinny cargos at Twice too, also J. Crew. Sidenote that Twice was a great place to find a couple pairs of pants and tops for transitioning back to my regular wardrobe in the postpartum period.

3. This Splendid cardi is so me, and the Anthropologie top underneath was another fun find at a great price.

4. Another great Splendid cardi in one of my favorite colors.

5. I found this Gap blazer brand new with tags from Twice! I had literally seen it only weeks before in the store so I was thrilled. Thrown over a basic dress, it makes a great work outfit.

Linking up with Jenna and The Pleated Poppy.

Want to try Twice for yourself? Already a loyal Twice shopper and want some store credit? Twice is generously offering a $25 gift card to a reader and you can enter below. And even if you don't win, you can get $10 off by using my referral link here (thanks in advance!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, October 10, 2014

Pants: J. Crew
Boots: Frye

Some truths about this outfit...

...I wore it last weekend, since the majority of my time now is spent in scrubs (I sense a blog/ebay sale coming soon - I just can't justify all the nice clothes still in boxes since we moved)

...The pants are these ones - yes, they're maternity pants. Not the over-belly third trimester kind but the end-of-first beginning-of-second trimester side panel kind. I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight but have a residual tummy pooch that will probably require a lot more crunches/less carbs and these pants are the epitomy of comfy. Unfortunately they're also saggy, and a mid-rise would be much more flattering since these are designed to sit below the bump. I requested a pair of black skinny pants in my next Stitch Fix so we shall see.

...The babe spit up on the pants...and I just wiped it off and still wore them. Gross, I know, but part of reality with a four month old. Another reason to have a blog sale, since I own a ridiculous number of dry-clean-only J. Crew tops that I will probably never dare to wear again.

...These boots are by far the most expensive wardrobe purchase I've ever made. They were almost 40% off on Amazon when I bought them last year, but still sooo expensive and I have a twinge of guilt every time that I wear them. But they're perfect.

...I'm still wearing my hair in a top knot every.day despite the hairstylist's advice at my last appointment to not wear my hair up so much to try to stilt my dreaded postpartum hair loss...and also despite Stephen informing me after two years of marriage and two more years of dating (a.k.a. 4 years of top knot-wearing) that he prefers my hair down.

...My style has done almost a 180 since having the babe...I'm all about long, drapey tops with fun patterns and stretchy, skinny pants...and no dry-clean only (I'm embarrassed to say that I never evah checked the care tags before now). 

...Do these qualify to link up with Jen? I think so. Also linking up with the Pleated Poppy and Tara.

The blog is not dead...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

 ...it's just called intern year. It's hard to explain the implications of those two words to those not in the medical profession. Intern year a.k.a. the first year of residency is at times draining, exhausting, defeating...one of the hardest things I've ever done (I won't say the hardest since that's reserved for childbirth and the time I spent working in Haiti after the earthquake).  Other times, it's glorious and affirming... like last week when my patient's wife hugged me with tears in her eyes and told me how grateful she was, or today when I got all 6 of my intubations. More often though, it's the former. There are days that I come home and feel like I have nothing left, I'm drained to the last ounce.

Part of the reason why intern year is so tough is because you work incredibly hard to get into medical school...and then even harder to make it through medical school...and then when it seems like there should be some sort of reward, you're an intern. A lowly first year resident...feeling like you know nothing most of the time...  at the bottom of the totem pole among all of the residents and physicians. You have the worst schedule, and the most to learn. You still don't feel deserving when people call you "doctor."

The toughest days for me are when I'm away all day or all night and come home on one of the 'drained-to-the-last-ounce' days. I spend so many hours feeling like I'm missing a piece of myself at home..and then when I get home, I feel like I have so little left to give him. But I'm trying, and I know that his daddy is giving him what I can't (although it's hard to accept this sometimes). I also know that he loves me unconditionally...that he'll smile and giggle when I come home and wrap his little arms around my neck no matter how tired I am or how long I've been gone. And I take comfort in that.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Top: Loft // Skirt: Loft // Boots: Steve Madden (via Amazon warehouse last year) // 
Necklace: Lisa Leonard (Stephen asked why I was wearing a tree branch around my neck)

There have been so many changes lately; Stephen Gabriel seems like a new baby every day with how much he's learning and growing...fall is just beginning...Stephen is adjusting to being a stay-at-home dad...I'm coming to the end of my ultrasound/EMS rotation and about to start a new one in anesthesia/psych. Sometimes I feel like I'm grasping onto the very few threads of normalcy in our lives right now...but it's exciting. Learning how to be a doctor, learning how to be a mother, learning how to be a family...we're blessed.

Linking up with the Pleated Poppy.