Monday, April 21, 2014

"A Change Will Do You Good..."

So is anybody else in awe at how fast this month has gone by?!

Here's a recap of all the awesomeness of April thus far:

The weeks post Match Day have been so busy, crazy, and exciting!!! In addition to Match Day marking the start of Natey's two week spring break,  we have been on the move!

Spring Break fun at the zoo with Maimeo (Hubby's mom) Isabelle clearly mistake "Cheese" for "Smooch" LOL
The first weekend in April, we headed to NC for a "quick" roadtrip to try and find our new home for the next 4+ years. It was nutso, but with the help of a great realtor, we were able to see almost 20 homes in 3 days. Told you, NUTS. Even with the kids, it was a little stressful but a lot of fun. Natey tried to claim all the master bedrooms for himself in every single house...aside from one, because he wanted to claim the bonus room instead. And he kept asking if we "were going to be on TV".  Our binge House Hunter's watching has led our child to believe that a camera crew follows everyone around when they look for a house...LOL

Now we wait, and praying we will have some good news soon!!!


When we got home from NC, that week we celebrated the Hubby's birthday (April 9th) and then later hit the road for Tyler, Texas so that we could attend Nate's grandma's 100th birthday party. It was great! She looks AHH-maz-ing and we had a blast making memories with the family - including an overnight in Memphis to see my cousin's family.

Last week, Nate and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary (April 16th). It was a great day reminiscing on the day we said "I do". For dinner, we took the kids to one of our favorite restaurants in Indy on the water. The night was topped off with some frozen yogurt for dessert :-)

Anniversary dinner :-)

Oh, and yes, I am still a medical student...LOL I am currently taking an elective called "Narrative Medicine" which explores the role of the written/spoken/expressed narrative in the physician and patient experience. We get to read, write, and discuss. Some of my favorite things to do, so you know I am really enjoying it! As someone who loves to write and getting my feelings out on blog, I will always value the narrative of my patients. Telling our stories is healing in-of-itself, and many times we do not realize how it may directly affect our care.

This past weekend, we had a great Resurrection Sunday together at home. I have so much to be thankful for. I feel another "testimony" page coming on soon because the way God has aligned so many things for me and our family this year, I have to give him all the glory.

There are 18 days until graduation (AHHH!) and 30 or so days until we are hoping to move (AHHH!) This week's plan is to start packing, throw a ton of stuff away, and try and enjoy our last weeks as Indianapolis residents. When I think about moving, I can't help but be a little sad. So much has happened for us here in Indy. It is the first place I lived completely on my own (well, with baby Nate, too), it's where Nate and I got married, it's where we had Isabelle, it's where I feel like I finally became comfortable with myself and started to make decisions solely for me and my family, and no one else. Such a huge part of me is here, and I know at some point the ugly cry is going to be ready.

I never liked change, but I am learning that although sometimes it hurts, and is uncomfortable, and makes you a tad bit anxious, God has ordered our steps and so I don't have to be afraid.

Happy Monday friends!

I will have another photo-dump update before the month is over...I promise. OK, let's be real, I hope...LOL

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Checking In & Working Motherhood Podcast

Hey guys!

I feel like after Match Day I disappeared! I promise I will have lots and lots and LOTS of updates for you all next week.

In the meantime, recently I had the honor of being interviewed for a new podcast series called Working Motherhood.

"Working Motherhood is a daily podcast, hosted by Dr. Portia Jackson, interviewing today’s most successful and inspiring working moms. The Working Motherhood includes everyone from CEOs, teachers, entrepreneurs, real estate investors, cashiers.. basically any mom that produces income. Balancing a career and motherhood involves a lot and Working Motherhood is your daily source of inspiration and encouragement to be the best working mom that you can be! Working Motherhood is all about inspiring millions of women to have fun and be fulfilled in all roles of their lives." - Working Motherhood 

Today, my interview went live! Please go check out my conversation with Dr. Portia Jackson - an amazing wife, mother, aerospace engineer (doctorate, ya'll), fellow Michigan alum, and soror - about the constant balance of motherhood, home life, and career.

Yes, 30-minute podcasts that we can listen to in the car, while we exercise, during kids' nap times, to help give moms tips about navigating all of our responsibilities...and they are FREE. It's genius and you will not be disappointed.

Talk to you all soon!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Match Day Update and a HUGE THANK YOU!!!!

I cannot say it enough.

I am in AWE of the love and support that you all have given me over the years and as I experienced the whirlwind of Match Day you guys made sure I knew I was loved. Thank you so much for reading and cheering me on.

Match Day was awesome! It was right up there as one of the best days of my life.

At noon we opened the envelopes and.... :drum roll:

We will be taking our talents to North Carolina as I begin residency at....
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill!!!

I am soooo excited!!!! If you are a new reader to the blog, welcome! I am so happy you are here.

Below are some of my favorite pictures from the ceremony:

Waiting with THEE envelope!!

After opening our envelopes we got to tell everyone where we were going, Natey did great when he yelled "UNC!" It was so cute :-D My little bro took these screenshots from the live feed online...

Photo Credit: Liz Kaye

We did it!!

Go Tarheels!!! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Check Out My Guest Post on the Student Doctor Network!

If you are pursuing a career in the health sciences, then you are probably more-than-familiar with the abundance of resources and forums on The Student Doctor Network. If this is your first time hearing about it, go there now!

Today, I am super excited to be guest posting on the about parenting in medical school, and I would love for you to check it out and let me know what you think! [Link Here]

Have a great day everyone :-)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Started from the Bottom...Now It's Match Week!!!!!!! **UPDATED!**

Well, this is the big week! At noon today, I will get an email saying whether or not I matched into residency, and this Friday I finally get to find out where I will be for the next 4 years! Ahhhhhhhh!
From White Coat ceremony to soon-to-be resident!

If you are anxiously needing to kill time while we wait (eeeek!!!), please go check out an interview I did last week for here: Moms of the Week Feature

And also, one of my classmates (matching into internal medicine) was sweet enough to feature me on her blog last Friday: The Honest Doctor Feature

I will be sure to keep you all posted on the good news!

The good news!!!:
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Friday, March 14, 2014

Working/Schooling Outside the Home and Still Breastfeeding

Everytime I talk about breastfeeding, this "Making the Band" Chapelle skit pops in my head...
:singing in "Bad Boy" voice : "Breast-miiiilk"
Isabelle will be 8 months old this week!! I cannot believe it. This week is doubly big because I decided that I am not going to pump anymore, and will just breastfeed her when she is with me.

My supply has been diminishing since my OB-GYN sub-I in January. Unfortunately, I just didn't have enough time during the day to pump as much as I should of. Despite the 12+ hour days, I continued to pump - usually once a day for about an hour when I got home. Babygirl has a healthily growing appetite, so in February, we decided to start supplementing during the day. This basically meant while she was at daycare, she would get half breast milk with half-formula.

Last month, when I would come home from my 10+ hour stints in the ED, I continued to sit on the pump for at least an hour trying to force my body to squeeze out 8 oz of milk so I could "break even". And because some of my shifts did not end until 2AM, sometimes I was up as late as 4AM (ugh it was ridiculous). It was exhausting and pretty much sucked.

As bittersweet as it is to see my freezer milk reserve dwindle, this is also a huge weight off my back. As Izzy has started sleeping through the night, it kind of eliminates the need for night time breast milk too, and my body got the hint pretty quickly. I'm so proud of how long I was able to exclusively breastfeed throughout rotations, traveling on interviews (yes, I took breast milk with me through airport security LOL), changing schedules, so I am not going to beat myself up for ditching the pump and leaning on formula a little bit more.

That being said, in an effort to help those student mamas who may be embarking on the daunting task of schooling or clerkships while lactating, here are some of the tips and tricks I picked up along my way...

1. Stake out all the lactation rooms ahead of time: Usually hospitals are pretty lactation-friendly and have at least one room designated for pumping. The children's hospital on campus, has like "The Bellagio of Pumping Rooms". It makes sense - with the place swarming with kids and one of the state's largest NICUs - you want breastfeeding to be common and accessible. I have noticed, however, that very few women sign out the pumping room key... I also had access to a great room at the Women's hospital while I was on my OB-GYN Sub-I.

Racks on racks on racks...of breast milk
2. Ditch the bags: I started out with storing my milk in the Lansinoh bags, but words cannot express how disappointed/sad/betrayed (yes, dramatic, I know) I felt when my milk started LEAKING from the bags during the thawing process. It was like a daily, not to mention stressful, toss up as to whether or not I would get the full 6oz from a bag or if it would just make a mess in my fridge. Grrrr I think I cried more over spilled milk with Isabelle than with Nate.

That's when I switched to the Mother's Milk Mate storage system (shown above) and loved it. The only drawback was that unless you buy two racks, and take up ridiculous freezer space, you can only store 10 bottles at a time. I know, 10 is decent, but at one point I was a lactating machine. Wasted liquid gold SUCKS, so stick to bottles! Easier to store, less spillage, great for mommies who bring milk back home. No they are not paying me for this endorsement. I'm just a satisfied customer :-)

3. Commit to pumping at least one time per day and "try" to stay consistent. I started pumping the day after we got home from the hospital with Isabelle. Every night I would have her dad give her a bottle so I could pump as close to 5PM as possible. Within a few days, I could feel that my supply had come in and I could pump 12-14oz in one sitting! Things of course changed when I went back to the wards. Pumping at the same time can be near impossible if your break time is dictated by whatever happens during that particular day. You may find that you don't have time to pump at all - like me. So just make sure when you get home you can pump at least once or twice throughout the evening. Even if you only can get a few ounces at first, stick with it! You will be surprised at how smart our bodies are, and it will respond by increasing galactogenesis (fancy, huh?) during times of "higher demand".

4. Relax: Stress inhibits let down, so try and not obsess over how much you are pumping while you are pumping.

5. If you find your supply going down, drink up! Try one of these...

Of course, first consult with your doctor to make sure that it's an option for you. I found that my body really responded to the teas with both babies, but they gave Izzy gas so I couldn't drink it as often as I would have liked. The Gaia tea is at Kroger and I think Whole Foods carries Milkmaid Tea.

6. DO NOT try to reinvent the wheel: You know I am always talking about working "smarter and not harder". So talk to other breastfeeding mamas!  Before I headed back to school, I picked the brain of one of my classmates who went through this a year ago with her daughter. She had SO MANY awesome tips for the best places to pump during our clinicals and for pumping-on-a-time-constraint. One of which was to keep your bottle-flange set up in a cooler/fridge in between pump sessions so you don't have to waste time washing them out during your precious break time. Genius, right?! KellyMom is a great resource too!

Happy Breastfeeding!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Music Monday

Hey guys! Hope you are having a great morning so far! This is definitely one of my most recent jams!

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