Saturday, December 29, 2007

I Resolve... drink more wine. have more fun. stop worrying so much about whether people like me or not. find a way to take less call. pass the oral boards. take advantage of breastfeeding and lose some serious weight before weaning. say "no" more often to unwanted obligation. say "yes" more often to invitations to play. tell my office manager where to stick it (ok, not really, but still.) make great memories with my kids. preserve said memories in some sort of album. appreciate my husband more. take care of my appearance (nails, hair, clothes, lotion, general pampering.) be a better friend. find some local friends (so lonesome, this life). plan more family trips. be an understanding physician. take good care of patients without being a pushover. blog at least 4 times a month (it is therapeutic). learn something new. finally get my closet organized. cook more "real" meals. be a good example and role model for my impressionable (and smart) little girl. be the woman that deserves the wonderful life that I am so blessed to lead.

Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to start a little early on resolution number one! Happy New Year, everyone!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to All

....and to all a good night! I'm too sleepy to make a coherent post, but I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas Day. It is hard when a holiday falls midweek, I don't *wanna* work tomorrow! Wishing you all (including myself) a silent (read, page-free) night.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Feliz Naviblah

So where was I? Oh yes, Thanksgiving travel with an infant. The day started out well enough. We had splurged on the extra luxury of actually departing from the teensy tiny airport in Whooville, as opposed to driving 2 hours to BigCity to fly out as per usual. The flight left around 9, so we got to the airport and checked in around 8. No baggage to check (thanks to Mr. Whoo), but I did have my (oh so stylish) breastpump, a diaper bag, and a 14 pound infant in the baby bi.jorn. The first two puddle-jumping flights were great. I had a bottle of freshly pumped milk so that I didn't have to get half naked in one of those itty bitty planes. Bean had his second breakfast and filled his diaper in that order, and all was right with the world. We arrived in the BigCity airport with just enough time to change Bean's pants and for me to grab a quick bite to eat. Our next flight was scheduled to go out on time (a first for me on this particular carrier with the letters N and W prominent in the name). Then it all started to unravel.

The flight was full, not unexpected for the day before Thanksgiving, so I had to check the breastpump planeside and the diaper bag was too fluffy to fit under the seat so I took as much as I thought I would need (diaper, blanket, burp cloth) and jammed the bag into the overhead compartment. I was seated near the front of the plane, window seat, next to a rather portly gentleman. Being of an ample posterior, myself, we were very, ahem, cozy (read jammed together with very little room to move). Bean was sleepy and cranky, so most of my attention was focused on getting him settled. It took a while to notice that we were taxiing a little longer than usual. Then the announcement from the pilot, inclement weather in our destination was forcing them to delay departure for approximately 30 minutes, so we were going to sit on the runway until we could take off. Ummmm, WTF? They didn't know that the weather was bad before they jammed us on the plane? The cessation of movement awakened the Bean, so my last weapon in the arsenal, the almighty boob, was offered in the most awkward and uncomfortable way....ever. We got through the wait on the tarmac, and he fell blissfully asleep once we were in the air. The remainder of the flight passed uneventfully, until we reached the destination. Then, for some undisclosed reason, we then proceeded to circle the city, unable to land for an additional hour and a half. I *had* to pee, and Bean needed a new diaper. When it became evident that we weren't landing any time soon, I braved the airplane bathroom, infant in tow. Of course I was very near the front, and the bathroom was all the way in the back, so I did my best not to whack each and every aisle seated passenger with either my arse or my baby's feet. Peeing in that laughably small restroom with the baby in the baby bi.jorn was effort enough, but changing a diaper in there? Damn near impossible. I put the burp cloth down for a minute on the only available counter space (the sink) only to have it get sopping wet. Bean screamed throughout the whole ordeal, for extra fun, and I was near tears myself by the time we had finished. I did my best to avoid the disapproving eyes as I headed back toward my seat with my overtly vocal, unhappy child, wedged myself back in between the window and Mr. Portly, offered Bean the other boob, and willed the plane onto the runway, like, yesterday.

We did finally make it to the ground, a grand 10 minutes after my connecting flight had departed. (No, of course, I wouldn't have the *good* fortune of the flight being delayed!) I want to know, if the weather was so terrible, why flights were still leaving on time?? It was about 1:45 pm (felt like midnight) and the next flight out wasn't available until after 7 pm. With the darkening skies and this carrier's oh so stellar reputation, that wasn't a gamble that I was willing to take. I had been scheduled to arrive at my destination city at approximately 2:30 pm, my sister in-law, niece, and nephew were to pick us up, and then we were to drive 3 hours north to the Grandparent's house. I phoned my sister-in-law and we both agreed that she could drive to my present airport and pick me up before my next flight even left (ha, ha!) So we estimated that she was a little less than 2 hours away, so I took myself to the Chili's and ordered fajitas and a margarita. All was right with the world once again....until Bean blew out his diaper and needed a full wardrobe change, bunting and all.

Flash forward 3.5 hours when my sister-in-law finally arrived, having underwent a small circle of hell, herself, involving ice storms, driving rain, and holiday traffic to get to the airport. As we settled in the car, I thought, surely, things would get better from there. Fate laughed loud and long at that assumption. The weather went from driving rain to freezing rain to blizzard-like snow, the traffic got increasingly snarled, and the three children got increasingly testy. What should have been a 4-5 hour drive turned into an 7 hour drive. We had reached a tenuous peace, with all three children finally asleep. We turned the radio to an all Christmas music station, and proceeded to laugh about how horrific the entire journey had been. Just after we had reached the last 30 minute leg of the trip (through snowy, country back roads), my nephew began to cry to get out of the car seat. Then my niece awoke and cried because she was still sleepy, my poor SIL was doing all she could to see the road through the blizzard, and there was no placating the children. As we turned onto the final road to the Grandparents house, Bean awoke to complete the trifecta, the screaming escalated, the road was icy, we were behind a car going precisely 2 miles an hour, and playing in the background? A cheerful "Feliz Navidad." Delirious from prolonged travel with children, my SIL turned the volume up over the throng of screaming voices, and we sang along at the top of our lungs....either to save our sanity, or because we had completely lost it, I am still unsure. We slid past the driveway just after midnight, arriving safely but insane, a mere 16 hours after the journey had began (it takes 11 hours to drive the distance between our houses). I vow to never, ever, fly anywhere ever again. That is all.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Going It Alone

December the first. Wow. I know that you are all dying (dying! I say) of suspense with respect to how solo call with an infant worked out for me. Chaotic? Anxiety producing? Strangely manageable? The answer is: All of the above! Fortunately for me, OtherDoc had "brought the house," so to speak, the week prior to his departure, so the weekend was eerily quiet with respect to laboring patients. I had lots of phone calls to field and triage patients to work up and manage, but actual admissions and labors were scarce. Unfortunately this lulled me into a false sense of security, because at 2 am on Monday morning I got the call that one of OtherDoc's patients had shown up to L&D in labor. Oh, and by the way, she is 8 cm dilated. Ack! There was no time for me to call my backup plan for childcare, since she lives a good 20 minutes from us, and by the time she got here the baby would likely be making an appearance. So I bundled up a very confused Bean, put him in the car, and away we went. Luckily for me it was a relatively slow night, and the nurses were thrilled to see him and watch over him.

I arrived just as the patient was starting to push, and my stomach knotted as I saw the verrrry sllloooww emergence of the baby's head. It was a hallmark shoulder dystocia presentation, and I locked eyes with the nurse, who knew automatically my suspicion. She moved quickly to get the bed down and the patient into McRobert.s. She also called an additional nurse for help. Sure enough, the anterior shoulder was wedged tightly against the pubic bone. Supra pubic pressure didn't budge the stuck baby. I reached posteriorly to try to deliver the posterior dice. By now, time seemed to have completely stopped. I could hear the blood rushing in my ears as the adrenaline surged, threatening to overcome my systematic approach to the delivery. Next step, I began rotation of the infant 180 degrees. Mercifully the anterior shoulder rotated free and the baby was delivered...a little purple but screaming. All 9 pounds and 13 ounces of him! Later the nurses told me that it was only 2 minutes total from head to body, but it felt like an eternity. I have had a few worse dystocias, where I have had to break clavicles, etc. but it never ceases to be scary. Bean, however, oblivious to the drama happening just steps from his cozy perch, slept sweetly the entire time we were in the hospital. What a kid.

We went back home for a couple more hours of fitful sleep before Monday began properly. Monday, by far, was the worst day. Hectic rounding, two laboring patients, busy office, an admission for a post operative abscess on one of OtherDoc's patients, and an eventual vag delivery and C-section for failure to descend (The baby never moved past 0 station despite 1 hour of "laboring down" and 2+ hours of pushing, poor girl!) My nurse had to pick up Bean from the daycare, and I didn't get home until about 8pm. Tuesday was moderately better, since I never even made it to the office due to a surprise labor, a preterm patient of OtherDoc's with seriously whacked out liver enzymes (but no other signs of HELLP), and drain placement on the post op abscess.

Suffice it to say I was properly exhausted come Wednesday morning, but I was optimistic for a smooth travel day with the Bean. Ha. Since this entry has run on quite long enough. I'll save that story for the next post! For now, we need to start "Christmas-ing" the house, and CindyLou will not be deterred any longer. More later...