Saturday, October 13, 2007

Whoop, dere it is

Do you ever get inappropriate song lyrics stuck in your head on constant repeat? (Whoop! Shakalaka-shaklaka-shakalaka, whoop!) Just me? Damn. The inspiration for my chosen song of the weekend is not so funny, unfortunately. It seems that Bean may be in the early stages of whooping cough or pertussis. A child in the daycare was just diagnosed this week, and yesterday he started with the characteristic cough. Since he is such a little man, and has not completed his vaccinations yet, he is now on antibiotics to (hopefully) keep him from developing the paroxysmal coughing spells that are pathognomonic for the illness. Poor guy. He actually otherwise seems very happy. He is eating and sleeping well, so that is all that I can ask in this situation. Hopefully we have caught the illness in the mild stage in time for him not to develop the severe symptoms. Fingers are crossed.

Did I mention that I am playing single parent this weekend? Well, I am, and boy, is it rough. Mr. Whoo is off in the woods with his (boy)friends, acting like 13 year olds (video games, junk food, staying up late, oh and also with beer, lots of beer). They do this trip once a year, and I think it is great for their friendship, but man, it is difficult at home. When CindyLou was a baby, she decided to get her very first stomach bug when Mr. Whoo was off on his "guy" weekend. Bean just had to do her one better, I guess. You may remember at the onset of this blog that the wives started their own little get-away weekend. We didn't do it this year (logistics were tricky with pregnancies and whatnot), but are in the early stages of planning next year's trip. (A whole lot less video games, same amount of alcohol, and more spa time.) CindyLou and the Bean have actually been angelic, though, so I have been really lucky. She is off on a playdate right now, and he is sleeping somewhat peacefully in his swing. Hence, blog time! Woot!

I am taking a little longer to adjust back into a full work schedule than I anticipated. I am booked for new patients out into April, with women approaching me personally in the hospital and elsewhere (!) requesting to be seen sooner. I also am trying to decrease my patient load for less deliveries per month in hopes of eking out some sort of better lifestyle. I am going into the 3rd year of a 4 year contract, and I have a lot to consider. Now, with two children, I am finding that lifestyle is becoming increasingly important. I came in to this opportunity with the attitude that I could do anything for 4 years (just like residency). When I come out of this contract $200,000 of my student loans will have been repaid. (You read that figure correctly.) This is huuugge. I will not be "debt free" but the amount left over to pay after that is entirely manageable. I love the location and the patients. I do not love the call all. I am still only getting 4 days off per month (every other weekend). I am on call 24/7 all week long and 2 weekends a month. This is too much. I was led to believe that call would be 1 in 3 when I arrived here. This never materialized, and I am somewhat bitter. My employer is looking to expand, and I am hopeful that adding one or two more OB physicians is in their sights in the coming years. If I could have a true 1 in 3 (or 4) call with 1 in 3 (or 4 )weekends, I think I could be a very happy camper. If this does not happen, I'm afraid I may have to start the process to look elsewhere. Bleah. I hate moving. I am trying to be patient.

I am glad to be back with my patients. It is awesome to get back into the OR, and catch some babies. One of my favorite patients is due this month, and I can't wait to deliver her second baby (I delivered her first about a year and a half ago). That is the part that I love about OB, the continuity of care and the relationship with the patient. It is such a privilege to be a part of such an intimate occasion as childbirth. I wish sometimes that I didn't love my job as much as I do. I wish it would be an easier decision to scrap years of training and debt and say "I'm staying with my babies." I just can't. I love my children immeasurably, but I know that the work that I am doing is more than a job, it is a calling; just as much as motherhood is a calling, and so I do my best to serve both of my passions in an equitable way. It isn't easy, and I will state now that I am choosing not to engage the work vs. stay home debate mongers here. A few of the comments I have received and chosen not to publish are hurtful, not only to me, but to women in general, and I will not allow this misogynistic rhetoric on my blog. If you are looking for a fight, please look elsewhere. We women are doing the best we can, and we don't need members of our own sex seeking to tear us down for the choices we make in life. With that, it is time to nurse the little man. Happy weekend, one and all...thank you for reading my stream of consciousness. :)


My Own Woman said...

Why oh why don't parents vaccinate their children? Not only are they putting their own children in harm's way but yours as well.

Dragonfly said...

Thanks for your comments on motherhood/career, as a female medical student (who cops a lot of the aforementioned misogynistic rhetoric from both sexes), I really appreciate it.
Good luck with sorting out the work/life balance, hope you have a good weekend with your babies.
Dragonfly :-)

Midwife with a Knife said...

my own woman: If only it were that simple. Unfortunately, the pertussis vaccine isn't protective into adulthood, so, there are constantly adults running around with pertussis (which doesn't have as severe or classic presentation in adults). Adults provide a reservior of infection for kids who are too young to be vaccinated, unfortunately. I hope Bean feels better soon.

I know the lifestyle debate well. I don't have any kids, but I wouldn't want your call schedule. I've heard that sanity in ob/gyn is directly proportional to the number of people in your group, and I believe it. It sucks that you were kind of misled about your call schedule.

Congrats on getting the student loans paid down!! :)

The Girl said...

Hear, hear!!! I get so sick of the mo-thers pushing their beliefs on to everybody else, judging and making other people feel guilty. Everybody does the best that they can do. I haven't had kids yet, but I know that I am NOT the kind of person who will be able to stay at home with them. I will be a better mother for being happier and well balanced. Anybody who judges me by saying that they don't see the point of having kids to have them raised by somebody else is completely lacking in insight, understanding and empathy, and needs to build a bridge and get over it!

*End rant* ;)

Thank-you for posting. Without seeming too gushy, women like you are role-models for younger (slightly!) women like me, who need to know that it is possible to have children and work in a full-time and demanding (but wonderful!) career.

A Lupie Momma said...

I wouldn't want your call schedule. I am glad I have a 6am -230pm schedule Mon-Fri! How can you plan things when you are always on call??? We only have three obs in town. I think my dr does the majority of the call schedule as the new guy in town. I have often seen him at the hospital on holidays like the 4th of July (saw him running around in scrubs when my daughter was readmitted for jaundice. Saw him the day after Christmas, when I was admitted for orthopedic surgery). I have often thought how terrible for him and his family. His kids are older than yours though.

I hear you when the dh is out of town. Mine went out of town for work for a month and it was tough!! I will say that the house ran better with only my rules in charge and it stayed clean too! Dh is going out of town from the 24th-28th and I am dreading it.

Hey and I finally got a diagnosis on the pelvic pain for that I have had since my 2 year old was born. I requested to see an out of network endometriosis and pelvic pain specialist and my obgyn gave it. He formally diagnosed me with endometriosis and possibly adenomyosis. I am start doing trigger shot injections next month. Glad to have an answer even if it sucks that it is endometriosis.

So glad you are back!

Sara said...

Would LOVE to hear about any and all debt repayment programs.

ccinnkeeper said...

"I am choosing not to engage the work vs. stay home debate mongers here."

Isn't it funny how men who are fathers never EVER get engaged in this debate?

A happy mom = happy kids, whether that happiness is best served by working or staying home is completely up to the individual. You go, doc!

Good luck with the pertussis and I wish you a quiet rest of your weekend.

faedrake said...

I'm shocked anyone would leave you hurtful comments! Women can be so mean sometimes. If anything, I have some concern for the toll a rough schedule can take on a person. I hope you find yourself in a more balanced situation so you can have the lifestyle you want.

trb310 said...

cheers to you. It is not a debate working or staying at home. both of your jobs have rewards more than any monetary amount.

I might take some time finding your balance but it will come.

I am rather new to blogging... I am glad I found your posts.. thanks for sharing.


Working Girl said...

I don't know how you do that call schedule. That is absolutely brutal. I'm an L&D staff nurse working 3 12 hour shifts a week on a very busy unit -- and it's hard. None of our providers have a call schedule like that. NONE!

Trope said...

Hey Dr. Whoo! Sorry to hear that the Bean is ill, and I really hope he improves/has improved (gah, I'm so far behind in blogreading!) Good on you for not feeding the trolls. You will do what is best for you and for the family, whatever that is.

Lizzie said...

Don't let anyone make you feel guilty. I worked full time and raised 3 boys and we were all better for it. I would have been a very frustated stay at home Mom had I not worked. And my boys, who are fully grown now, say that they didn't feel short changed at all. But I feel your guilt because I second guessed myself many, many times over the years. Only you know what is best for you and your family!