What I Wore Sunday + 33 weeks

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Scarf: Etsy
Shirt: Target maternity
Skirt: J. Crew

I just realized that today's outfit is reeeallly similar to this one. Oh well...my continuously dwindling wardrobe definitely makes it easier to decide what to wear. 

The priest at mass tonight (who I just love...he always gives the baby a blessing when I go up for communion) encouraged us to think back on our lives to moments where we really felt God's presence, look back on these moments with gratitude, and keep them in mind as times of light when we feel like we are facing darkness. I thought that was really beautiful, and I guess I have some soul-searching to do. A couple times that immediately came to my mind were the missions to Ecuador that I did at Franciscan and our wedding day.

I can't believe that we are 33+ weeks. It still seems surreal that we'll meet our little guy in just a few more weeks. I feel like his little personality shows more and more...he is incredibly active (he contorts my stomach into some crazy shapes) and he always moves around more when there is music (he's actually been doing this since 24-ish weeks)...he hates when I cross my arms over my belly (tries to kick them off) or lean my stomach against pretty much anything. Despite how excited we are to meet him, I think I'll miss him in my belly a little...but I won't miss the awful leg cramps, heartburn, or anxiety (although I hear it only gets worse when they are out in the real world).

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple.

Quick Takes: Baby showers + last exam of med school

Friday, March 28, 2014

I feel like the blog has been a little neglected of late, in the whirlwind of residency matching and as this baby grows faster than I can even believe. Pulling it together today though to link up with Jen.

1. Our first baby shower was two weeks ago, and it was lovely. My mom and sisters hosted and I was just blown away by how generous everyone was. This little baby is so very loved already! 

Sorry for the grainy iPhone pics, sadly I forgot to take out our nice camera...

Handsome Just Like My Daddy:

With my youngest sister:

All the sisters:

 2. And baby shower number two (last weekend at my mother-in-law's house 7 hours away) was small and sweet, and extra fun because Stephen got to be there (he was working during our first one).

 One of my best friends, who happens to be due in August:

 With my Mom:

 And mother-in-law:

Guess this baby is going to be a doctor like his mommy (love this bib!):

Or else a firefighter like his daddy:

3. I have to share this lovely scarf that my sister got me as a gift, which is seriously cute and doubles as a nursing cover:

4. We have most of the main things now that were on our list for the little guy, and our next task is to wash all his little clothes (just found out that apparently we need to use special detergent?) and organize everything. Everyone keeps talking about the nesting thing, but it hasn't really hit me yet...hoping it will soon because we have a lot to get done. 

5. And I guess this is what 33 weeks looks like. I was feeling pretty great...until yesterday. This morning I was up for the day at 4:30 a.m. because of leg cramps and today I'm nauseous, feeling huge, and super tired. I still have 7 weeks until my due date, so I feel like I don't really have a right to complain. I'm hoping this is temporary and related to our long car trip last weekend, lots of stress over Match Day, and studying for my exam this morning. I also have been off my elliptical trainer because of cramping (it and prenatal pilates were previously my saving grace) so I think that is part of the problem...for now I'm stuck with silly third trimester pregnancy workout DVDs that mostly involve sitting in a chair.

6. Today I took my last exam EVER as a medical student...it feels kind of surreal. I almost didn't make it to the exam because of the snow that piled up last night; this was what I woke up to:

I actually got stuck trying to get out of our unplowed street and ended up driving in reverse down our entire street like a crazy women...but there was no way I was postponing my last exam of med school.

7. And lastly, I posted a few things from my closet for sale yesterday. They are all nice things that I just haven't been wearing and don't need to move with me...I'm planning on adding a few more items over the next week (including a couple new maternity things that didn't work for me).

Happy weekend! Stephen and I will be going to a labor class all day tomorrow and hopefully starting to get the nursery in order :)

Spring Blog Sale!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

When Kate at Teal Vogue contacted me about joining her spring cleaning blog sale link-up, it was perfect timing since we are moving soon. I will probably be adding a few items over the next week (including some maternity pieces that didn't end up working for me) so check back if you are interested! You can comment on this post with your email address if you are interested in something or else send me an email at stethoscopes.style.grace@gmail.com. Be sure to check out the other blog sales at the bottom of this post!

Priority shipping $5 ($8 for boots) and payment via Paypal

1. J. Crew-inspired bubble necklace (from Etsy) - $12

2. J. Crew Ryder short boots in taupe suede size 7 1/2 (good condition, some signs of wear on the inside pull tabs and a few minor scuff marks) - $45

3. Grey suede ruffle flats size 7 1/2 (very good condition) - $15

4. Express black blazer size 10 (only worn a couple of times and freshly dry-cleaned) $35

5. Ralph Lauren yellow/white striped button-up size 10 (very good condition) - $17

6. J. Crew pale pink camp shirt size 10 (very good condition) - $17

7. Sole Society Gianna nude heels size 7 1/2 (never worn) $35

8. J. Crew hipslung jeans size 29 (mint condition) $25

9. Anthropologie lace ruffle cardi size XS but fits more like a S (worn only once or twice) $36

10. J. Crew crepe skirt in cabernet size 10 (new with tags) $42

11. Relativity black boots (can be worn cuffed or over-the-knee, mint condition) size 8 - $23

12. Ugg Crochet tan boots size 8 (very good condition) - $42

Be sure to check out all the other lovely items!

Match Day!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It's crazy how four years of hard work and craziness all culminates into one moment: Match Day. My heart was pounding when I received the envelope that contained the place where I would be molded into a real doctor, and where Stephen and I will raise our little family for the next few years. Some med schools have a ceremony where students are called one-by-one to a podium to receive their fate, but since I am in a rural medicine program with only a small number of students we got to do our own thing. Most of my classmates wanted to open their envelopes one-by-one with each other, but I chose to just open mine with Stephen and then join the group afterward. I knew that one little envelope contained so many emotions for me (regardless of what program I would get), and I wanted to process it with Stephen first. My top two programs were two of the most family-friendly institutions that we had encountered on the interview trail, and my number three was Hopkins (my dream hospital when I started med school, but very far from my family and a longer/more intense program than my top two). I ended up ranking a world-renowned institution as my number one and then a Michigan hospital close to Stephen's family as my number two. I wanted my number one so badly, but at the same time I knew that getting it would be bittersweet since neither family would be closer than a 7 hour car trip away.

After I got my envelope, I rushed to the car where Stephen was waiting and couldn't wait any longer to rip open the envelope. And then I saw it, my number one program...I felt a flood of excitement and then relief at knowing where we are going. Stephen kissed me and told me how proud he was of me...and the rest is kind of a blur :)

When I look back at the journey that has brought me to this point, I really see God's hand in it all. After sharing our news with family and then on Facebook, I started realizing that I know several nurses and doctors from my Haiti volunteer work that live around the area where I'm going (some even offered to help us with moving!) Over the weekend, I found a rental house on Craig's List across the street from the hospital where I'll be spending all my time except for a few off-service rotations. A close family friend who lives in the area was able to go look at the house and see that it is beautiful (much nicer than we require!) and only a 5 minute walk from the emergency department where I'll be working (such a relief that I'll be so close to Stephen and the baby). And when I talked to my residency program about our baby due just a few weeks before orientation starts, they were incredibly supportive (I have multiple options including taking maternity leave or some vacation time in July). 

We are thankful for so many reasons right now, and excited for the journey to come!

I finally know what I want to do with my life...

Friday, March 21, 2014

And it was the hardest decision that I've ever made.

I started medical school with the clear idea that I wanted to be an ER doctor. Having worked almost two years as an ER nurse and spent extensive time volunteering in Haiti with ER docs, I felt confident in my decision. But the farther along that I got in medical school, the less certain I was...I liked continuity with my patients, with is not really present in emergency medicine, and I found myself with a different personality than many of my classmates planning to pursue emergency medicine. Then enter OB/GYN...

Delivering a baby is unlike anything else in medicine or life. There's something about the raw joy of that moment and the privilege of being a part of it...nothing really compares. I also liked the prenatal care, the postpartum care, and supporting women with fertility issues. There were a couple of problems though. I knew that I would be a natural family planning OB, which mean that I wouldn't do tubal ligations or prescribe contraceptives, placing me in a very small minority of OBs. This would have implications on where our family would live, based on me finding a hospital and group that would support me practicing this way. I also knew of the implications on family life in traditionally one of the worst residencies in terms of hour requirements, and even after residency as an attending since babies are never born at predictable hours.

In August I spent a month in St. Louis, at an OB/GYN residency that was strong, high-volume, and NFP-friendly (about one-third of the residents are NFP-only). It was one of the best months of my medical school career. I participated in many, many deliveries and did some of my own. I got to know the residents, a smart, kind, and supportive group. I reaffirmed my love for OB and discovered that it was possible and needed to be an NFP-only OB/GYN (possible, but not always easy). I prayed that God would show me what I was supposed to do.

I guess I should add that when I prayed, I told God (always risky in a way) that it would help me make my decision if Stephen and I became pregnant. We had tried for a couple months, knowing that there was only a brief window between residency interviews and the start of intern year, and hadn't been successful yet. I knew that it would impact my decision if I were expecting, because of doing one of the hardest residencies with a newborn. We found out that we were pregnant the month after St. Louis (yes, God listens).

I still interviewed for OB, but I also interviewed in emergency medicine. EM was my 'first love' in a way, and residency and life after were light years different (probably one of the best residencies with a family, and certainly a great lifestyle afterward for having children). However, there was a nagging feeling inside that I didn't want to give up OB. It took me months to make my decision (which I solidified pretty much right before our rank lists were do). I reflected on life, my priorities, why I went into medicine in the first place. As I got closer to decision day, I realized a few things. One was that I didn't like the operating room: as much as I wanted to like surgery and did like the idea of it, it wasn't for me and probably never would be. Surgery is a huge part of OB, and this helped make the decision easier. I also realized that I would miss a lot of the medicine that I'd learned by pursuing OB. It's a very specialized field, and the broad spectrum of knowledge that I'd always hoped to have as an emergency physician wouldn't be a part of it. Knowing both of this things helped me to be at peace in the end, because I didn't want to make the decision based only on family life or the fact that being an NFP-only OB would be difficult.

And so I made my decision of emergency medicine. There's a part of me that still has a hard time letting go of the idea of delivering babies (not that I won't ever in the ER, ha) but I know in my heart that it was the right decision for both our family and for me. It was reaffirmed last month when I was working in the ICU: ER doctors can pursue a fellowship in critical care and become an intensivist, and I realized that the ICU encompasses so many of the reasons that I went into medicine: caring for patients at their most vulnerable, and practicing in a field that requires me to use all of the pathophysiology that I've learned on a daily basis.

That brings me to today, Match Day. If deciding between emergency medicine and OB was the hardest decision that I've ever made, then ranking programs was a close second. I was so torn between the programs closer to family and a few programs at some of the top hospitals in the nation. Ultimately, I ended up ranking the two programs that I felt were the combination of most family friendly with the best education at the top...one is close to family, where we'll have a lot of support, the other is at a world-renowned facility. The Match leaves a certain element to fate (and God) since we rank our top programs and the programs do the same, but then it all goes into one big computer system to give us our assignment. It's 5:30 a.m. now, and in only a few hours we'll know...the countdown continues...

Wearing lately + 5 favs

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What I'm wearing these week: maternity jeans (finally found two pairs that I love, just wish that I would have found them before I purchased the three other pairs I haven't really worn), booties, scarves, and a couple maternity tops mixed in with my non-maternity cardis and blazers.

Cardi: Splendid via 6pm.com
Striped top: Gap maternity
Jeans: H&M
Boots: Sam Edelman (thrifted)

According to Ivanka Trump's advice on maternity wear, “the blazer is key—a great blazer in white or black does a great job in terms of creating a better silhouette than a ‘boxy dress’ designed for pregnant women.” Agree.

 Blazer: J. Crew
Scarf: J. Crew Factory
Top: Motherhood Maternity
Jeans: J. Brand
Booties: Old Navy

Some favorites this week:

1. H&M Mama maternity jeans: I'm wearing these in the first outfit, and they.are.awesome. Nice and dark and skinny, and the price is right too. I started wearing these at the end of the second trimester, which is when I started liking full panels (hated them before). I would suggest ordering one size up from normal, H&M maternity jeans run pretty small.

2. J Brand Mama J jeans: Wearing these in outfit numero dos (thanks for helping me find them, Britt!). I've already posted about these before, so I'll spare you a long review. I love the wash on these and the comfortable/flattering fit. They sit below the belly and amazingly worked well through all of the second trimester and continue to fit like a charm. I have a feeling I may wear them post-partum for a bit as well (hopefully not for too long).

3. What's really in your bag: this might as well have been my purse since I have everything except the cat ID tag floating around in mine.

4. The best maternity shopping for spring: love these suggestions, although I am done maternity shopping and starting to look forward to my normal clothes (obviously premature). Anyways, totally agree about the J. Crew pants and Isabella Oliver dress.

5. All the comments on my post from Monday. I haven't been able to respond yet (I'm the worst blogger ever when it comes to responding to comments...sorry :/), but I loved hearing the perspective of others about changing their last name, and also loved the affirmation on keeping my maiden name as a middle name. So, thanks!

Linking up with Hallie and the Pleated Poppy.

On changing my last name...

Monday, March 10, 2014

 Picture taken by my lovely friend Denise

I've always had a little bit of a quasi-feminist edge and when we got married, I didn't take Stephen's last name. I wasn't 100% opposed to changing my name, but I also didn't want to change it right away. My last name is part of my identity, and I guess I needed some time to consider it. Also, I've worked hard for my M.D. and most of my medical school accomplishments are under my maiden name. At first I planned to hyphenate my last name, but the more I thought about it the more cumbersome it seemed (along with the fact that my unique and fairly long last name didn't mesh well with Stephen's traditional Irish name). And as I met more female physicians that kept their maiden name, I became more and more comfortable with just leaving my name as it was.

Stephen's family is pretty traditional so I mentioned it once but didn't talk much otherwise about it to them. It never bothered me when his family would send us mail addressed to us under Stephen's last name, since after all we are married. Sidenote though that I still don't understand why people address couples as Mr. and Mrs. husband's first and last name. Other relatives are very far on the traditional side and probably would have fallen over backwards if I had pushed the issue - I spent my in-law's wedding ceremony seething from my bridesmaid's position on the altar while the Lutheran pastor went on about how marriage is about wives obeying their husbands, serving them, etc. etc....and then was introduced as the pregnant wife at the wedding reception/asked how nursing school was going (the concept of female physicians is still foreign for some)...but I ramble. My family is also pretty traditional, but they know me well enough not to push the issue (yes I can be a little stubborn) although my fairly not-traditional uncle blatantly told me that he felt there was no reason for women not to change their name unless they were planning on a divorce (wow).

And you're probably wondering what Stephen thought of all of it, since his opinion obviously matters most. Sweet Stephen never once said that it bothered him, or really said much either way. He loves me for me, and ultimately he married me for me whether I took his last name or not (and he knew that I might not...actually I'm pretty sure that he thought I never would). But deep down, I can't help but think that he probably did hope/wish that I would eventually change my name...

The factor that pushed me to finally make a decision was when we found out about the baby. I always knew that I didn't want my children to have a different last name then me, or people to wonder if their parents were married because we had two different last names. I've heard of people hyphenating their children's last name, but like I already said, ours would be quite cumbersome. Plus, what if we had a daughter and she wanted to hyphenate her married name (triple last name?)

So last week I marched my pregnant self down to the Social Security office after work and changed my name. I decided that I wanted to keep my last name, but add it as a second middle name. This way I could still hold on to a little piece of my identity over the last 28 years and potentially use my maiden name professionally (although I don't know that I will, since Stephen's is much easier to pronounce). I expected to maybe feel a twinge of regret as I walked out with a piece of paper with my new last name on it, but instead I felt kind of liberated. And when I told Stephen, he didn't say much but his (a little shocked/surprised) smile said enough. He has made enough sacrifices for me (medical school, moving, now residency) that it felt good to something small for him...and ultimately, I did it for myself too.