Welcome Zachary Frederick Ordzowialy

29 Jan

We are now a family of four!  Zachary Frederick Ordzowialy arrived Monday, January 25th, 2016 at 8:55 am:

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6 lbs, 8 oz

21 inches

He’s a little peanut weight-wise compared to Addison when she was born, but he sure has a lot more hair:

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We picked his first name, Zachary, the same way we picked Addison’s name:  it was simply a name we both liked.  His middle name, Frederick, is in honor of both of my grandfathers and my father, all named Frederick.  Zachary’s birthday also happens to be the birthday of my grandfather on my dad’s side, who passed away last year at the age of 94.

We are so in love with this little guy and are so grateful that God delivered him safely into our arms!

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With the birth of new life comes the completion of older life:  two days after Zachary was born, my grandmother passed away unexpectedly.  It has certainly been an emotional roller coaster!  But death is as much a natural part of life as birth, and while her physical loss obviously brings my family and me grief, her life is one to be celebrated.  She lived to be 91.5 years and was able to meet her great-grandson via FaceTime the day before she died.  My grandmother was happily married to her husband Frederick (the one who’s birthday is shared with Zachary) for 67 years before he passed away almost exactly a year ago….now they can be together once again.

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My grandparents on their wedding day on September 13, 1947.

 

 

34 weeks

21 Dec

I started this post about a week ago but never quite got around to finishing it.  That seems to happen more often than not these days when it comes to doing blog posts.  And if you’ve left a comment on a prior post, I love reading them and will respond!

I am now 34 weeks pregnant, which comes out to between 7.5-8 months pregnant (7.8 to be exact:  34 weeks x 7 days divided by 30.5 average number of days per month.  Just in case y’all were wondering how I do my math.  It annoys me when people divide the number of weeks by 4 to come up with how many months pregnant they are…folks, there are more than 4 weeks in a month.  Don’t ask me why that bothers me #randompregnancypetpeeve)

34 week bump pic:

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I spy Addison snooping around in the background! The shirt btw, I think makes me look smaller than I actually am.  It’s from the Gap fit section.  I’m obsessed with the Gap athletic wear.  The stuff works great during pregnancy and is way cheaper than Lulu in general, and then especially if you purchase them on one of Gap’s many sales days.  

Due Date:  2/1/16 by ultrasound

Name:  We have a name picked out!  Finally!  We literally came to an agreement about 3 weeks ago.  Boys names are hard!  Not revealing it until the baby is born, though ; ).  But now I can at least call him by name.  I totally respect people who wait to find out the sex of the baby when it is born, but I like knowing ahead of time and being able to name him/her…it gives him/her identity and I don’t know…it makes me feel like I’m closer to the baby…that he/she is already part of the family.  Plus, it was still a surprise at the time when we found out at Addison’s birthday party.

Clothes:  definitely running low on clothing options, but I just don’t want to spend more money on pregnancy clothes that I won’t be wearing in a few weeks, so I’ve just been wearing a lot of what I wore last time around, except with a black sweater over it since most of my pregnancy clothes from last time were worn May-July.  Yoga pants are a life saver (I have several pairs from Gap which I practically live in right now).  I have purchased a few non-pregnancy shirts a size up from what I would normally wear so that I can still get some use out of them after the delivery (again, from Gap, as described above).

How I feel:  Right now I feel good, but a few weeks ago, things were rough…I’m not sure if the baby was going through a growth spurt or what, but everything felt uncomfortable:  eating was uncomfortable because I would feel uncomfortably full even after a small meal, I had right sciatic discomfort and numbness shooting down my leg, my stomach felt like it was uncomfortably getting stretched out (and I’m pretty sure my rectus diastasis has worsened this pregnancy), my Braxton Hicks contractions were really strong, taking my breath away and making it hard to walk through, and I felt really tired.  Things have improved since then, and I actually feel pretty good right now, as I said above.  However, I will say this:  given that I’ve spent more time pregnant than not over the past two years, I’m ready to not be pregnant, and if there is a next one, it would be nice to plan it so that I’m not pregnant during the holidays (oh wine and beer, how I miss you ; )

Exercise:  The limiting factor with exercise has been time, as always these days.  The balancing act called life is constantly in flux, constantly evolving and changing.  I feel like everything I do, I’m constantly trying to figure out how to multi-task better and be more efficient.  What works one week may not work well the next week, and I just sorta try to go with the flow and do the best that I can at fitting everything in.  What seems to be working best for me at the moment is to fit in my run in the morning AT the hospital.  I aim to be out the door in the morning by 5:15-5:30.  My commute at that time is only about 22 minutes (yes, I have it timed precisely), so leaving at that hour ends up cutting my commute time in half, allowing me more time to do other stuff with that time.  I then run 3-4 miles on the treadmill, maybe do a few weights, and then get ready at the hospital, which is a lot less stressful and hectic than trying to get ready at home knowing I still have a long commute.  I have been aiming to do that at least a couple of days a week on my lighter days.  On my busier days, I’ve been aiming to still leave at that time and just get to work early to get extra work done.  It requires a very early alarm, but I’d rather get the work done or the run in early early in the morning when the world is still sleeping and quiet than stay late and sacrifice the limited time I have each week day with Dean and Addison.

Awkward moment from this past week regarding the running:  I was on the treadmill running at the hospital when one of the OB doctors came in at the end of his night shift to fit in a brief run.  He looked at me like I was crazy, and then was like, “are you pregnant?!”  And then he was like, “how many centimeters dilated are you…oh, I mean…how many months are you?”  haha.  I was like, well I hope I’m not dilated yet!

Other misc. updates:  Two weeks ago Dean and I went on our trip to NYC, just the two of us!  It took a lot of planning and help to pull this off without the baby, but a huge thanks to Deans parents and my parents, we were able to spend 5 blissful days on our own.  Dean’s Mom and brother helped watch Addison the first 2 days, and then my parents drove up and watched her the last 3 days.

We had a wonderful time!  I just absolutely love that city!  There is just an energy to it that is like nowhere else.  It was so nice being able to sleep in until 9-10 every day and to be completely spontaneous….sleeping in and doing things spontaneously is something that is very difficult (impossible) to do with children!  We would sleep in every day, slowly get ready, go grab  coffee and a croissant at our favorite neighborhood coffee shop, stroll around Central Park while finishing our coffee, and then just go and do whatever the heck we felt like doing.  We had a few plans, like visiting my grandmother and uncle in Connecticut one day and going to the Seth Meyers show another day, but we left things open so that things would be flexible and we could just do whatever we wanted.  One day we literally walked some 12-13 miles … just taking in the sights and sounds of the city.

Pictures from our NYC trip:

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I took a snapshot of my phone documenting the time we woke up our first morning in NYC, because really, when is this ever going to happen again?!

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The street where we were staying. My sister helped us find the place we stayed at on airbnb. It was a lovely little place and was much cheaper than any hotel we would’ve stayed at. The cool part was that it was 3 brownstones away from where my sister lives, so we were able to hang out with her a lot.

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We walked daily in Central Park after our morning coffee. The weather was great while we were there.

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I walked around NYC with my belly sticking out of my jacket…can’t button that thing up!  Luckily it’s been a mild winter.  Despite the reputation that New Yorkers get for being rude (something I’ve never understood), every time I got on the train, someone immediately offered up their seat.  I was impressed.

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So Dean and I don’t watch a bunch of TV shows, but one of the shows we love is Impractical Jokers….and guess who we ran into on the streets of New York?!

Other Misc. Pictures:

What our table and the floor looks like when we take Addison out to eat.  God bless our servers and the cleanup their stuck with.

What our table and the floor looks like when we take Addison out to eat. God bless our servers and the cleanup they’re stuck with.

Addison's recent obsession are shoes.  She loves getting me my shoes and trying to help me put them on.  The other day I had just gotten out of the shower when Addison brought me my gym shoes.  I didn't want to hurt her feelings because she was so proud of herself for bringing them to me, so I put them on.  Dean then walked into the room and was like, "are you ok?"  because there I was, pretty much naked, walking around in my gym shoes.  : )

Addison’s recent obsession are shoes. She loves getting me my shoes and trying to help me put them on. The other day I had just gotten out of the shower when Addison brought me my gym shoes. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings because she was so proud of herself for bringing them to me, so I put them on and continued getting ready. Dean then walked into the room and was like, “are you ok?” I was like, “uh, yeah, why?”  Dean:  “I hope you’re not planning on going downstairs like that!”  Because there I was, pretty much naked walking around in my gym shoes. : )

Dean is the one to get Addison ready every morning during the week....well the other day I was trying to get her ready and to put her hair into a little ponytail.  She kept squirming away and I just couldn't do it.  Then Dean was like, "here, let me show you how to do it."  And then he successfully put her hair up in the cutest little ponytail.  #mommyfail

Dean is the one to get Addison ready every morning during the week, and he has gotten good at it!  The other day I was trying to get Addison ready and to put her hair into a little ponytail. She kept squirming away and I just couldn’t do it. Then Dean was like, “here, let me show you how to do it.” And then he successfully put her hair up in the cutest little ponytail. #mommyfail 

Addison's pony tail, done by Dean : )

Addison’s little pony tail, done by Dean : ).  Doing a pony tail in a squirmy toddler with little hair is way harder than it looks!

This past weekend we spent in Michigan with Dean's extended family for a pre-Christmas get together.  Lots of fun hanging out with everyone!

This past weekend we spent in Michigan with Dean’s extended family for a pre-Christmas get together. Lots of fun hanging out with everyone!

A cute video from Addison’s Holiday Party at her Montessori School.  She’s playing the bells and then goes and hugs one of her little classmates.  Made my heart melt : )  I unfortunately wasn’t able to make the show, but thankfully Dean did and recorded it for me.

 

 

 

29 weeks

16 Nov

2.5 months more to go.  I can’t decide if that seems really soon or still a really long ways away!

  • The baby is now the size of a small cabbage according to What to Expect, weighing in at 2.9 lbs and measuring 17 inches in length.
  • He’s very active at night, much less so during the day.
  • His kicks are more blunted compared to Addison’s, as I have an anteriorly placed placenta this time.
  • According to my OB, he’s already well behaved, as his head is down.  Let’s hope he stays that way!
  • I feel like the end of 2nd trimester and beginning of 3rd trimester so far have been more difficult this time than last time, although it’s difficult to say what is due to the pregnancy and what is due to the differences in my overall life situation when compared to last time.   I can tell you I’ve been way more fatigued the past month.  It’s hard to get up in the morning, and I pretty much always fall asleep on the couch at night when Dean and I are watching TV after Addison is put to bed.  Everything just seems so much more draining.  Maybe it’s because I haven’t quite recovered from the mental and physical drain of boards and/or because this time with #2, I still have #1 to take care of at the end of the day.  I want to say I’m looking forward to getting my energy back after the pregnancy, but I’m not sure if that’s going to happen any time soon with a newborn to take care of!
  • Running:  running is becoming more difficult to fit in and less fun.
    • Running is more difficult to fit in because of the above mentioned fatigue–I just can’t get up in time to fit in a run before work without then having to get ready like a mad woman.  It’s just too tiring and stressful trying to squeeze it in before work.  Instead, I’ve been trying to leave for work early (5:30-5:45) on some days in hopes of actually getting done by 4 so that I can try to squeeze in a quick run or workout before picking Addison up.
    • Running is less fun because it’s getting harder to breathe (presumably from the added weight as well as less room for my diaphragm to move), my stomach has been feeling very uncomfortably stretched out lately, and the baby’s head feels like it’s compressing my bladder.  For instance, I will stop by a public bathroom to pee and then realize the sensation is still there because it’s coming from the baby’s head, and then 10-15 minutes later I feel like I need to stop again.  All this being said, I still feel that the benefit of running and exercising for me far exceeds these negative aspects of it, so I’m committed to keeping it up as long as I can.  Running and fitness is obviously something I’m passionate about and is a big part of my life, so I think stopping would be difficult on me from a mental standpoint more than anything else.  Also, I know by keeping a baseline up now will make it easier to get back in shape after the baby is born.  Right now, I’d say I’m averaging ~4-6 mile run 3 days a week, but that’s variable.
  • Other thoughts:  This whole ISIS/Paris situation has really shaken me up.  It is so hard for me to comprehend how a human being(s) can have complete disregard for life.  I just can’t even wrap my mind around the evil that is in this world.  This event has also made me do some soul searching regarding my reaction to other events going on in this world.  Saturday morning someone posted an article regarding our selective grief and outrage to the Paris attacks over other attacks and horrific situations worldwide.   I thought it was a good article and perspective.  I reposted, and I hope people don’t interpret the article or post as being meant to shame people for their support of the people of Paris.  I love seeing all the French flags and colors in support of the French people.  It reminds that there are good and caring people in this world and gives me hope that we will team together to fight what is wrong and evil.  I think it is wonderful.  We need to be united.  But the article I read did make me reflect on some things about myself:  I didn’t pay any attention to the Beirut bombing, I barely recollect the Kenyan shootings, and I am numb to the shootings and murder that go on in my very backyard here in Chicago every day.  Why?  It’s not that I don’t care, but I guess I get so caught up in my own life bubble and (trivial) stresses that I’ve turned a deaf ear to what’s going on to other fellow humans around my city and in the world.  Is that wrong?  I mean, we can’t solve all of humanities problems and we can’t always just focus on what’s negative in this world, but I don’t know….I just felt a little bad about my ignorance.  Maybe I can pray more or learn to live and see beyond my comfort zone/bubble so that I can do more to help those in need.
  • One reaction there is no denying, at least for me, is a sense of fear.  I guess my fear stems from the fact that Dean and I are traveling to New York City in 2.5 weeks for a little baby moon before #2 arrives.  In the past, I’ve not been someone to worry excessively about safety things, but becoming a mother has changed that (yes, mom, you can tell me I told you so ; )  ).  Not to sound morbid, but now, the thought of something ever happening to me doesn’t worry me because I’m afraid of death in and of itself, but because I cannot bear the thought of Addison growing up not knowing me or how much I love her.  Does that make sense?  Am I being irrational about suddenly feeling worried about our trip to New York?  Maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones causing me to overreact (poor pregnancy hormones….I use them as a scapegoat for whenever I feel like I’m acting out of line, haha).  We’re probably going to continue as planned, but I can’t deny I am a little nervous about it and being separated from Addison.  I keep reminding myself, though, that my chances of dying in a car accident on my way to work is far greater than being the victim of a terrorist attack, and we can’t live our lives in fear.
  • I hate to end on such a negative and somber note, so I’ll throw in a positive thing, at least for me:  I passed my boards!  I actually found out about 2 weeks ago, and it was quite terrifying:  we got the email that the results were back, but then the website crashed and no one could log on for about 45 minutes.  I was so nervous I was nauseated.  What a relief, though, when I was able to log on and see that I passed.  In the past 10 years I have taken 3 USMLE (medical licensing) examinations, a clinical USMLE exam (part of step 3), and now 2 radiology board exams…that’s 6 major medical licensing and board exams plus countless others during medical school….now I am finally board certified in my specialty and don’t have to take another exam for 10 years!!  Woohoo!  On with life : )

Misc pictures:

The obligatory bump picture, taken in a hotel bathroom.  My runs are strategically planned by where I know there will be public restrooms available.

The obligatory bump picture, taken in a hotel bathroom. My runs are strategically planned by where I know there will be public restrooms available.

This happened the other day:  Addison slept throughout Dean and my entire brunch.  It made eating out so relaxing and stress-free!  haha.  This rarely happens anymore, btw.

This happened the other day: Addison slept throughout Dean and my entire brunch. It made eating out so much more relaxing and stress-free! haha. This rarely happens anymore, btw.

A carefree afternoon strolling around Lincoln Park.  I just love these days and moments.

A carefree afternoon strolling around Lincoln Park. I just love these days and moments.

This girl can eat, omg.  I feel like I'm feeding a teenage boy.  j/k.  sorta.

This girl can eat, omg. I feel like I’m feeding a teenage boy. j/k. sorta.

Our family friend gave this to us when Addison was born.  The financial realities of now raising two children are starting to hit me as I look ahead to the future, and I'm trying to do as much reading and research as possible regarding personal finances and raising a family.  Admittedly, having spent so many years studying medicine and delaying entering the "real" workforce that I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to personal finances.  Better late than never!

Our family friend gave this to us when Addison was born. The financial realities of now raising two children are starting to hit me as I look ahead to the future, and I’m trying to do as much reading and research as possible regarding personal finances and raising a family. Admittedly, having spent so many years studying medicine and delaying entering the “real” workforce, I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to personal finance knowledge. Better late than never!

I can't believe only 3 years ago Dean and I weren't even married yet and I was looking for wedding dresses.  This Timehop app can be really shocking in making you realize how quickly time flies and how much can happen in a short period!

I can’t believe only 3 years ago Dean and I weren’t even married yet and I was looking for wedding dresses. This Timehop app can be really shocking in making you realize how quickly time flies and how much can happen in a short period!

A few misc. pictures from my runs.  We've been lucky to have such great weather this October and November!

A few misc. pictures from my runs. We’ve been lucky to have such great weather this October and November!

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Addison 15 months

31 Oct

Addison is now 15 months old, and I am a few days away from the start of 3rd trimester with her brother…it’s so weird saying “brother”!

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Sneak peak from our family pictures last Sunday. Can you guess who loved the idea of all wearing plaid?! (for those of you who don’t know Dean well, a plaid shirt and jeans is Dean’s “signature” look, haha…I think it dates back to his Abercrombie modeling days). I was surprised I was able to find a plaid shirt of mine that fit over my almost third trimester bump!

Changes since her 12.5 month update:

She started walking at around 13 months.  For the longest time we kept thinking she’d start walking, because she had been pulling herself up and “cruising” amongst our furniture forever, but it wasn’t until 13 months that she got the confidence to actually take some steps on her own:

She quickly progressed to running (as well as a baby can run) and getting around quite well on her own…even pushing her own large stroller:

She is a little Miss Independent.  She doesn’t like to be picked up as much anymore.  Now when I pick her up from her school, she walks right past me with her bag to the door, and when I open the door to let her out, she starts racing down the sidewalk on her own, and I have to run after her.

Still hates being put in the carseat, although once she’s in it she’s usually fine.

She LOVES books…but she doesn’t really like being read to.  Instead, she likes to hold the book and flip through the pages herself and babbles away as if she knows exactly what she is saying.

“Reading” to me.

I’m honestly not sure if she really knows specific words well yet.  She says “Mo!” when I believe she means “no.”  She’ll say mama and dada…but I still think it’s sorta random, although our friend thought it was pretty deliberate.  Who knows.  She does do a lot of talking in her own little babble language, though.

We’ve started introducing potty training to her.  She has a little toilet in the bathroom that we sit her on for a few minutes during diaper changes or before her bath.  She’s gone to the bathroom in it a few times for us (like maybe twice, when she actually stayed put on it for several minutes).  Usually what happens, though, is that she lasts a few seconds on it and then gets up and runs around the bathroom while I’m getting the bath water ready, and then when I turn around to get her she’s peed on the floor.

She hates diaper changes in general and won’t lie down for them…diaper and clothes changes now involve me chasing her around the room and trying to do them with her standing and on the move.

She knows how to throw away her diapers.  I had left a diaper wrapped up on the bathroom floor a few weeks ago during her bath.  When I got her out of the bath and was dumping the water and cleaning up, I looked back and realized she was no longer in the bathroom.  I walked into her room and there she was lifting the lid on the diaper bin and throwing away her diaper.  Now she does that after every diaper change.

She is down to one nap a day.  Her bedtime has typically been at 8, but we are starting to move it up a little bit now now because of the one less nap.

We are now training her to take sips out of a cup like an adult (which what they requested at her school).  What we do is at dinner, we give her her sippy cup without the cap on.  She usually does well at first drinking out of it this way, but then she inevitably ends up dumping it on herself or on the floor…or she decides she wants to take her food and put it in the cup of the water.  Seeing chunks of turkey meatballs and cauliflower in her cup of water is not an appetizing site.

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In the process of dumping water all over herself.

There’s not much food she doesn’t like…I guess I would say she’s not crazy about eggs?

Our nighttime routine involves a team effort on Dean’s and my part:  I bathe her, change her, and put her to bed while Dean mops up the floor and does the dishes.

Some nights I place Addison in her crib when she’s still awake…other nights I hold her and rock her to sleep.  Supposedly you’re not supposed to do that according to some sleep training methods?  Well I don’t really care…there are so many theories on sleep training and what not, none of which I have read…I love getting to hold her in my arms when she goes to sleep, and so most of the times for MY benefit.  I could and about half of the time do put her down within a few minutes and walk out and she usually does just fine, but other times I stay in there with her sleeping in my arms for a half hour or even longer.  It’s the only time of day I have to really slow down and just “be”.   I treasure this time with her, cause I know one day she won’t want to cuddle anymore.  She sleeps through the night just fine so I see no problem with this.   I’m going to miss my quiet nights when #2 comes along!

My treasured moments with her at night.

My treasured moments with her at night.

She is pretty fearless, which means I have to be very attentive at the playground…she’s gotten to be a very good little climber and will climb to the very top of playground equipment and then walk straight over to the ledge.  Yikes.  Definitely isn’t afraid of heights.   IMG_1945

She is getting feisty and knows what she wants and doesn’t like being told she can’t play with something or do something.  God forbid she gets ahold of my phone and I take it away from her…all Hell breaks loose.

Addison, at least for the past week or so, has seemed to be favoring Dean.  Like the other night she kept moving away from me on the couch and crawling into Dean’s lap.  I have to admit, my feelings were a little hurt : /.  At least she still lets me rock her to sleep in my arms.

Cuddling with Daddy. I was a little hurt that she didn't want to sit in my lap to read, but this was pretty darn precious to watch ; )

Cuddling with Daddy. I was a little hurt that she didn’t want to sit in my lap to read, but this was pretty darn precious to watch ; )

We finally got an inexpensive umbrella stroller (Summer Infant 3-D Lite) which we really like so that we don’t have to lug our Bob Stroller everywhere.  Haven’t decided what double stroller to get yet for when #2 comes along…City Select?  There are so many stroller options that it’s overwhelming.

We haven’t decided what type of childcare we are going to use when her brother comes along.  She’s now in a Montossori School and is doing really well.  I love that she learns to be around other kids, to not be the center of attention, and to learn to entertain herself and do other things independently, but with two kids to put in daycare???  It becomes similar in price to having a nanny, and then you don’t have to worry about getting both out the door in the morning (which would fall on Dean’s shoulders in my situation), or calling off of work when they get sick, or hiring a sitter for when they have their summer/fall/winter/spring week long breaks, or me hiring a morning a sitter to drop them off when Dean is out of town traveling, which is not infrequent…it would just be so much easier, and that’s what we’re leaning towards, and will have to make a decision very soon.

Tomorrow we are taking her on our first plane trip (back home to KC) since she’s become a mobile, active, independent toddler.  I’m honestly terrified.  She’s happy when she’s up moving around on her own, or is ok when we hold her standing up, but for some reason she hates sitting.   Like we couldn’t even get her to sit down in our laps for our family pictures last weekend.  The second we sat down with her she started squirming around and crying.  I have a feeling it’s going to feel like a very long flight and we’re going to get a lot of dirty looks….

Questions:

  1.  Any advice for toddlers age 15-18 months?  What to expect?
  2. I think I may have asked this before, and if so, I’m going to ask again:  double stroller recs?  As much as I love our Bob, I’m afraid the double one will be impractical for every day use since it’s so wide and doesn’t have a lot of storage space underneath.
  3. Two babies (under two):  will I survive?  Tips?  I did ok returning to work last time at 6 weeks, but I’m scared I’m going to be a lot more worn out returning to work at 6 weeks with two babies (don’t even get me started on the state of maternity leave for many physicians and other women in this country), although maybe in a sense it will be easier since I get a “break” during the day (hardly a break since my job is really busy, but you know what I mean).  I already feel like doing everything is so challenging with ONE kid, like there’s already so little time to just relax, and now we’re going to add a newborn to the picture?!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m super excited, just a little scared of how we’re going to manage!  Lots of coffee I suppose…and wine ; )

Misc pictures, mostly from the past month:

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At the pumpkin farm.

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She liked the little stroller for the most part, but those edges are so darn low, and she rolled right out of it onto her head at one point! haha. She was totally ok : )

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She was intrigued by the goats.

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Our little Royals fan! And Dean actually got her to keep that hat on for several hours without taking it off, a true sign she likes the Royals.

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Facetiming with her from work on one of the Saturdays that I was working. Around her neck are “her” running medals that I got for her when I was running with her pregnant. She loves running around our house with them around her neck, and I absolutely love that she loves doing this : )

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At Lincoln Park Zoo with my dad.

Video of her Halloween costume…funny story, several weeks ago Dean texted me a picture of the Halloween costume “he” had gotten Addison.  I was shocked….Dean remembered to do something in advance?!  Like what?!  haha..turns out I later found out that someone he worked with was ordering one for her child, and he got in on the buy one get one free deal, so that’s why he actually got her her costume way in advance : )  Dean, I’m still proud of you for getting the costume ; )

25 weeks and Pregnancy Essentials

21 Oct

It’s so hard to find time to just sit down and write these days!

So  I’m now 25 weeks.  According to my What to Expect app, BabyO#2 is now 1.7 lbs:

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Am I the only one that was like What the hell is a Rutabaga??  In case y’all were wondering:

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I guess it’s like a turnip?  I learn something every day, I tell ya.

Weight gain:  13-14 pounds.  I have mixed feelings about posting this.  I think it’s interesting more for myself to see the progression throughout the pregnancy (if I don’t document it here I will never keep track of it), but I don’t want anyone reading this who may be pregnant to ever compare themselves to my numbers or anyone else’s numbers.

Bump pic:

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But I swear today, one day after taking that pic, I feel twice that size.  Funny how variable it can feel, probably depending on what you’ve eaten over the past few days…I mean the baby/uterus just takes over your body, pushing aside all organs, so if you have a lot of food being processed in there…well there’s just no where to hide it, haha.   Today my stomach feels uncomfortable stretched out : /

How am I feeling?  Every once in awhile, I get a little revisit of first trimester.  It was the same with Addison.  It has been a little more frequent the past 2 weeks, where I’ll feel a bit nauseous and am repulsed by food, and then 5 minutes later I feel fine and am hungry.  Fatigue has been way more intense the past few weeks, but I think it is more just burn out from the past two months catching up to me.  Before my boards, I was only really averaging 5 hours of sleep a night. Now, by the time Friday rolls around, I want to do nothing but sit and stare at the TV like a zombie, and I feel like I need a whole day to just recover mentally and physically from the week on Saturday.

Running:  I cut back on the running right before my boards and the 1-2 weeks afterwards because I was so exhausted.   This past week went as follows:

Wednesday:  3 miles

Thursday:  5 miles

Saturday:  6 miles

(A great 10 miler today, but that counts for next week’s numbers : )  )

I wanted to run Sunday morning but did not get up in time.  I feel guilty doing my runs once Addison and Dean are up, so I try for the most part to do them very early in the morning.

I have now hit the point in my pregnancy where running is starting to get harder, both from a physical stamina standpoint and from a physical discomfort standpoint.  Since I am now carrying more weight, I am finding myself getting winded more easily, so I have lowered my pace into the 9:00-10:00 range for the most part.  I have also now started to get pubic symphyseal and sacroiliac pain, which is exacerbated from the running.  This also happened around this time with Addison. Basically what it feels like is like someone punched me really hard in the pubic symphysis, which for my non-medical friends, is the bone/joint that is basically right above your crotch.  The sacroiliac pain is discomfort that occurs laterally in your lower back/pelvis.  The pelvic pain became pretty severe last time and prevented me from running at a certain point until I saw a PT, who recommended a compressor belt.  That belt was a life saver!  I wear it around my lower hips when I run, and it keeps everything “held together” in a sense…prevents more strain on the loosened ligaments.  Now I get only mild discomfort in those areas.  Had I not had this last time, I probably would have had to stop running during the last 1.5 trimesters, but was instead able to continue up until a few days before my due date.

So, in light of commenting on my much needed compressor belt, I figured I would list a few of my pregnancy essential items:

For running:

-Compressor belt as described above

-Bump support belt:

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Awkward picture for the point of showing my bump belt (the top belt) which I wear right under my bump, and the red and white compressor belt, which I wear lower around my hips. The bump support belt is from Motherhood Maternity.  Please ignore our unmade bed : )

-I use my Garmin to track miles, but I do NOT use a heart rate monitor.  I personally think it’s best to rely on yourself to make a judgement call on your exertion level rather than some set heart rate number.  I run at a conversational pace.  If I were to stop running, within a few seconds you’d have no idea I was just exercising other than the fact that I would be in workout clothes.  In other words, I am not huffing and puffing, and if I do start to breathe heavier, I slow down or stop and walk.  I am pretty strict about this.

-Favorite workout tank:  $14-15 tank from Costco (I’m wearing it in the picture above).  They’re long and stretchy, so perfect for pregnancy.  And you gotta love the price.  Haven’t seen them recently at Costco, though : (

Other pregnancy favorites:

-Gap maternity jeans

-Gap running/yoga pants, which I wear as regular pants with boots/flats and a nice shirt.  Just bought a second pair, because I pretty much only wear these and the pants listed below to work.

-A nice pair of maternity black work pants I bought at Pee in a Pod.  I in general find this store to be overpriced, and these pants are the only thing I have purchased from this store, but well worth the cost.  In general, I really like Motherhood Maternity for maternity clothes, as I find their prices more reasonable.

Work:  

-As I wrote about in my prior post, it’s challenging trying to balance it all.  Working full time and being a mom is probably the most challenging thing I have ever done, as you feel you are always multitasking and trying to keep afloat of everything that needs to be done at work and at home (I am in no way implying that being a full time mom isn’t challenging…it’s a 24/7 job…I am only writing about my experience).  You have these expectations of yourself of how you want to be as a mother and a wife and a physician (or whatever your job is), and yet it’s impossible to always live up to those expectations.  I think the most challenging aspect is learning to let go … to let go of trying to control every aspect of your life, of the “ideals” you envision yourself living up to, and to just do the best that you can.

QUESTIONS

I’m curious to hear about you what items you found/find essential during your pregnancy?

~

Misc pictures

Of course luck would have it that Addison would get sick and sent home from her Montessori school right before my exam. Dean had an out of town meeting that day, so I had to call off of work last minute the day before my exam. I of course wanted nothing more than to be with her, but felt so much anxiety about calling off...I was convinced everyone would think,

Of course luck would have it that Addison would get sick and sent home from her Montessori school right before my exam. Normally Dean has flexibility with his job for situations like this, but had an out of town meeting that day, so I had to call off of work last minute the day before my exam. I of course wanted nothing more than to be with her, but felt so much anxiety about calling off…I was convinced everyone would think, “sure…the day before her exam…she’s just trying to get some extra studying in.” But what could I do?

Trying to multitask and squeeze in a little studying the day before my exam while sick Addison snuggled and napped with me.

Trying to multitask and squeeze in a little studying the day before my exam while sick Addison snuggled and napped with me.

How a pregnant woman celebrates completing her board exam (who knows when I'll find out the results, though)

How a pregnant woman celebrates completing her board exam (who knows when I’ll find out the results, though).

My shirts are now starting to acquire spots on my belly from bump catching spilled food and toothpaste or whatever. haha

My shirts are now starting to acquire spots on my belly from my bump catching spilled food and toothpaste or whatever. haha.

Facetiming with Dean while he was out of town for a business meeting. On the days when he's out of town, we have a sitter we hire to arrive at our place by 6:15 (around when I leave for work) and drop her off at school. I then pick her up at the end of the day.

Facetiming with Dean while he was out of town for a business meeting. On the days when he’s out of town, we have a sitter we hire to arrive at our place by 6:15 (around when I leave for work) and drop her off at school. I then pick her up at the end of the day.

When running when non-pregnant, my rule is: Never pass up a hill, as you never want to miss an opportunity to challenge yourself. When running while pregnant, my rule is: NEVER pass up an opportunity to pee : )

When running while non-pregnant, my rule is: Never pass up a hill, as you never want to miss an opportunity to challenge yourself. When running while pregnant, my rule is: NEVER pass up an opportunity to pee : ).  Once the lakefront public restrooms close…well I’m just going to have to hope I can find a bush somewhere.  haha.

Seen on the run!

Seen on the run!

Dean and my time to ourselves after Addison is in bed. Our new obsession: The Walking Dead. I think the Saturday after my boards we watched 5 episodes in a row, or something like that.

Dean and my time to ourselves after Addison is in bed. Our new obsession: The Walking Dead. I think the Saturday after my boards we watched 5 episodes in a row, or something like that.

An absolutely lovely day at the Pumpkin Patch.

An absolutely lovely day at the Pumpkin Patch.

I’m hoping to get an update up soon on Addison, as she is almost 15 months!!

Lessons from balancing work and life

25 Sep

I’m not going to lie, this doctor** and parenting balancing act has been hard these past couple of weeks. You have so much invested in both and want to do both well…be a good physician, make a difference in the lives of your patients, be alert and efficient, interact well with your colleagues, and then as a parent and wife you want to spend quality time with both your child and husband, you want to cook dinner, play with your daughter, spend some alone time with your husband, as well as take care of some of the househould duties….both are full time jobs and you want to do both at 100% and yet keep both nicely separated from one another, work at work, home at home. You want to be that strong, calm, put-together woman that has everything under control–after all, doctors are supposed to be strong, right?– and some days you feel like that, but other days you feel anything but that, and the nice outfit and makeup and smile you put on feels like a facade.

It’s been a hard week, on so many levels. For so long, I have felt that I have been doing well handling all the stress, keeping it together, staying balanced, etc, but this past week, I have felt my shell cracking. The long days, the sleep deprivation, the stress of performing well at the new job, of trying to get home and spend some quality time with Addison and Dean, of trying to fit in time to study for an exam I feel very ill-prepared for…it’s all starting to hit me, and amongst all this, what has really affected me the most this past week, though, are the patients I’ve had.

Like on a recent morning. When I opened up the mammogram from two of my patients, my heart sank: they both had cancer, and they are both young. They’ll need a biopsy to confirm it, but there’s no doubt based on the imaging. After each one of their exams, I had the patient get dressed and wait in a consult room, where I then ran into meet her face to face with the nurse in between my other cases. I sat down, told her I was very concerned. I used the “c-word”…I try to be compassionate and comforting but I also don’t believe in sugar coating things and giving false hope in a situation where there’s no doubt what it is..she was like, “ok, what do I need to do next?” I briefly went over the next steps. She was trying to stay strong, stoic, but I could see the fear in her eyes as they started to tear up. I wanted to do more, but I had other patients waiting, so I left her with the nurse, who would go over all the details with her…just like that, in just a span of a couple of minutes, I walked into this woman’s life, told her she had cancer and turned her world upside down, and walked out. I hated myself at that moment, for being the bearer of horrible news and then not being able to do anything for her at that time. I hated medicine at that moment, for allowing me so little time with this patient. I hated that other patients were impatiently waiting to be seen, probably angry at me because of the wait. By the end of the day, I was emotionally drained. There was still so much work to do, but there was a daughter and husband at home waiting for me. I had to let it go and walk out the door, still pick up some groceries, and then try to make it home in time before Addison’s bed time, while still hopefully squeezing in some studying afterwards.

These patients were not the only two patients to leave me emotionally drained. In fact, I have cried over multiple other patients/situations this week… like the other day, I quietly sat by myself in my reading room that evening, tearing up as I read another woman’s imaging. Her cancer had spread. Her condition was terminal. She was 38, with two kids. I did not meet her in person, but the technologist said she was so grateful for all the care she was receiving here. Someone facing death and still being thankful for what she has. Admirable, a lesson for us all.

And then there was another very young woman. Her biggest concerns should be enjoying life, dating, going out for drinks, etc…. I mean, she is in the prime years of her life and should have her whole life in front her her…marriage, kids, a family…instead, there I was biopsying a mass in her breast…the beginning of a very rough road for her. No one should have to go through this.

These cases break my heart. I wish I could do more, but there’s only so much that I or medicine can do for them, which leaves me feeling angry and sad.

In regards to the parenting aspect of this whole physician-parenting challenge, all I can say is that I’ve been blessed with an amazing husband, who has picked up so much of the parenting and household duties for me over the past couple of weeks without complaining or making me feel guilty about it, and yet I can’t help but feel bad. Is this intrinsic to all moms to feel that they should play a large role in parenting and housework? And honestly, it’s not that I feel I should ever be the main parent–we are a team–but I just feel bad when instead of it being 50-50 it’s more like 90-10% right now, but I know it’s temporary. I did the same for Dean last year when he was working at the brewery, but it’s hard letting go.

The one thing that has been a highlight and therapeutic for me this week is getting home in time (barely) to put Addison to sleep. For the past couple of months, she has not wanted to fall asleep in my arms, but she has this week, and it’s the most wonderful thing in the world…to feel the weight of her body on mine, her head nuzzled into my neck, feeling her breath on my skin…me being forced to slow down and sit there, just me and her, quietly. My heart has been so full of love during these moments, and I have cried yet again this week during these moments, as I am reminded of what really matters…. that God has blessed me with a healthy child snuggling in my arms, a loving, helpful patient husband, another life growing inside me, good health, the skills and opportunities to work at a job to help provide for our family….

And here’s the lesson of it all..these experiences with my patients, the anguish I have felt for them this week, the quiet moment with my daughter following the stress and chaos of getting home in time and getting her ready for bed, these moments and interactions that have left me in tears so many times this week, questioning my strenth and fortitude….I am grateful for them because they teach you lessons and make you wiser and ultimately stronger. While I have been shocked at the number of times I have cried over the past several days, I don’t ever want to be immune to emotion…to feeling another person’s pain. How can I be a good physician if I don’t care, if each person with a new cancer diagnosis is nothing more than another “cancer case”.  How can I be a good mother and wife and person if I am not grateful for what I have…if I let trivial, non life and death situations affect my stress level so much that they obscure all the blessings I have? I bet that gracious young woman who’s scan I was reading would do anything to only have a job, family, and test to stress about rather than a terminal illness. Sometimes I think we all–or at least I-need to take a step back and look at the big picture, remember what is important, and be grateful for the things we do have : )

**details related to patients have been left out or changed.

21 weeks

21 Sep

WEEK 21

Due date:  February 1st by ultrasound, which puts me at 21 weeks Monday 9/21/15

Sex of the baby:  Boy

Baby size:  Banana; per my ultrasound today, he’s about 13 oz.

Weight gain: 10 pounds.

Bump:  Too lazy to take one right now, and plus, it’s probably not going to be drastically different than last time.

Running:  27 miles

Monday:  3 miles

Tuesday:  4 miles

Thursday:  3 miles

Saturday:  10 miles

Sunday:  7 miles

Cravings:  Definitely had a craving for wine the other day, probably because of all the studying I did that day, and yes, I did have a glass that evening with dinner.   I am of the belief that occasional alcohol is OK during pregnancy, and there’s data to support that.  Some studies have even said 3-8 drinks per week is OK, which seems like a lot to me!  Yikes!  I really hardly drink at all other than an occasional a sip or two of whatever Dean’s having for taste (mostly because I just don’t feel like it), but if I’m really craving it, I have no fear in having 1/2 to 1 glass of wine, drunk slowly with food.  So far, that craving has only hit me twice during this pregnancy.

Highlights:  Having a normal anatomy scan today!  Yesterday I was reviewing congenital heart/thoracic anomalies for my boards, which wasn’t probably the best thing to review right before my ultrasound!  I just kept hoping that nothing on my scan would look like what I had been reviewing!

Got a look at Baby #2’s face today, and let me tell you, it looked like something from a Halloween horror movie.  haha.  Seriously, though, I hate to break it you future mommas, but your child looks like a scary looking alien in utero.  It’s ok, though, because everybody’s does.  I do, though, think it’s awkward when people post pictures of their fetus on social media.  Won’t be doing that myself…I just figure I’ll keep pictures of the inside of my uterus and my now scary looking fetus to myself ; ) (but I won’t judge you if you do…I get it…very exciting getting to see your future child : )  )

Funny part of the exam:  when the sonographer was like, “Oh!  Well that is definitely a boy!”  haha

Lowlights:  Same as every week the past several weeks:  this dang board exam.  Still just trying to focus on one day, one task at a time.  If I start thinking how few days I have left and how much I still have to learn, I start panicking.   I have to do a little bragging, though:  I am pretty much the luckiest girl around in that I have the most supportive, patient, loving husband in the world who has been doing more than his fair share of parenting and house work the past couple of weeks.  Thank you Dean!!

From now on, I’ll probably do updates averaging every 2 weeks or so, because not a lot changes one week from the next and it’s kind of pointless.  I actually wasn’t going to post one today, but hey, I felt like procrastinating a little before jumping head first into the world of nuclear medicine.  Ugh.

I did it! I signed up! May not be ready to run all of it at 2.5 months postpartum, but at least this leaves the door open and gives me something to look forward to...this is one of my favorite marathons and I would love to participate if possible.

I did it! I signed up! May not be ready to run all of it at 2.5 months postpartum, but at least this leaves the door open and gives me something to look forward to…this is one of my favorite marathons and I would love to participate if possible. Also, congrats to my high school friend Ashley, who just ran a 3:30 marathon less than 4 months after having #2! So awesome! See you in Boston : )

Scenes from my run.

Scenes from my run.

Scenes from my run.

Scenes from my run.

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