Tough decisions...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I've had a lot on my mind lately. I've been lying awake in the middle of the night or early morning feeling the baby move around inside of me and wondering what it will be like when I start residency with a four week old. I had a dream the other night that I missed his first steps because I was at the hospital, and I was devastated.

My attending physician the other day started talking about how she had her first baby during intern year. She said that she couldn't prepare herself for how she was such a change to go from carrying her baby with her everywhere, inside of her, to leaving him behind. I felt a deep ache when she talked about it, like it was a glimpse of what was to come that I hadn't anticipated and couldn't really fully prepare myself for at all.

I've thought a lot about what to do with my life these past months. I've struggled about what specialty to pursue and where I'm being called. Struggled about the timing of things. Regretted not having more time with our baby as a newborn before it's even happened. Even considered taking a year off to spend more time with him.

Yesterday I awakened again way too early with random thoughts running through my mind, my hand on my belly feeling the reassuring dance he usually does at 5 a.m. (and 3 a.m.). I got up, and finally certified my match list for residency (the list of the programs where we interviewed in the order of where we want to go). Until then, I couldn't bring myself to make it permanent. But I knew what I had to do and I did it, and ultimately I think that what I did was the best decision for our family and our future. And I'm at peace with that.


  1. I'm so glad to hear this Erika. I know many of our M4's have been stressing and panicking about their rank list, and you have an extra responsibility to add onto that (baby, plus significant other). I'm glad your moment of clarity made you feel at peace with your decision. Today our advisor, who is an oncologist, walked us through a couple days in his life and the many regular problems he encounters on a daily basis just trying to juggle family, patients, multiple hospitals, and life in general. It was really eye-opening, but also reassuring to see that no matter what, they pull through! I think you have a great husband who can share a lot of the load while you're going through residency, and that's a wonderful asset. And I know it's not the same as being there, but nannies/babysitters now have hourly updates with pictures and videos to momma's and pappa's cellphones while they're at work. Yay, technology!

  2. I don't know if it helps, but there will be all kinds of heartaches, working or not. "Your heart forever outside your body" I've heard. And I think it true. From all I read from your blog, your baby will be surrounded in love, even when you are working!

  3. I was going to say the same thing: There are hard things about every single choice one could make about this. It is a crazy-hard transition, going from childless to parent. Don't get me wrong, it will be the best thing that ever happened to you, I guarantee it. But no matter what a woman chooses in terms of taking time off work, going back to work, becoming a stay-at-home mom, etc., each one of those choices comes with its own hurdles, pains, regrets, and heartache, ALONG WITH its own unique joys. If that makes sense. It will all work out in the end. :)

  4. It's definitely the mommy resident guilt. I had it. And I still have it.
    I did miss some of the "first" milestones of my children. I was sad but it helped getting updates from the daycare, my in-laws and tons of PHOTOS! I also called the daycare 3x a day when Daniel was a newborn! Every time I pumped, I called the daycare. And expect it to be like that with your firstborn. I eased out a bit more with subsequent children. I did not believe all these other moms when I was feeling lonely, depressed and guilty leaving my firstborn -- they all said: it will get better. And slowly, ever-so-slowly, it did get better.

    Those postpartum hormones are crazy! But truly, having a good and understanding husband and faith-prayer life helps. There were so many days (and call nights) I was in the stairwell, asking God for strength. If I made it through, you can do it too. (Phil 4:13)

    praying for you! God has amazing things in store for you and your family! (eph 3:20)

    Oh i memorized tons of Bible verses to keep me going :)

  5. I absolutely love reading your blog. I'm applying to med school in June and you give me hope that there is some sort of normalcy other than being a weird cat lady physician.

  6. I'm not in the medical field, but I do have a full time job in parish ministry. My baby is due in June. I had my heart set on bringing the baby to work with me (I had been praying for a long time about it and I had great support for it too), but found out this week that there has been opposition in the office, so the likelihood isn't good. I find myself worried and terrified about leaving such a young baby at home or with someone else while I have to work. I'll be praying for you as I pray for trust in God's will (whatever it is at this point) for our family!

  7. You are so good. Pregnancy brings with it enough mental worries, but you are also in the middle of big decisions while you bear the restless mind of motherhood. Be assured of my prayers for you and your family! I cannot wait to see where the Lord brings you because it will be spectacular :)


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