The Mrs. The Mommy. The M.D.: January 2014
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Nate the Great is FIVE!!!

Today my baby boy turns FIVE!!!

I cannot believe that he is five years old or that I have been his mom for five years.  I fell in love with him the moment I saw those big brown eyes look up at me.

I always get emotional around this time thinking about how my life was then, the highs and lows, and the constant uncertainty. But God was merciful and gave me more than what I could ever ask for in a son. Nathan is my own little piece of heaven. He is a constant reminder of God's love for me.

He continues to push me and inspire me to be the best that I can be. He keeps me grounded. He drives me crazy, but keeps me sane all at the same time. He is one of my life's greatest accomplishments.


Every day he makes me so proud to be his mom. 

Happy Birthday Nate the Great! 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It's All Coming Together Now

Snoozing in the hotel room
Despite things going awesome on my sub-I and knocking out my last residency interview in Mississippi last Friday, I was feeling a bit discouraged the past couple of days. Things didn't work out so great with the nanny :read drama, drama, drama: My mom was planning to come and help us with the kids, but my youngest brother was unexpectedly in the hospital (thankfully he is doing much better), and she was unable to come down. Long story short, on Wednesday, my baby girl started daycare and my kid-boy was back at his school's aftercare program.

Nate lost his other bottom front tooth yesterday!
Things are not ideal, but they have been fine. Little Miss is safe and happily adjusting to her new "school" and my big kid is enjoying the extra play time with his friends. When he found out his little sister would be going to daycare, Natey goes to Izzy, "You're going to go to daycare! Don't be afraid sweetheart. I wasn't afraid on my first day. You'll be home after." This child has been here before...

Thanks to my rotation, yesterday I was able to attend the ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists) Indiana section meeting. OB-GYNs from all over the state came into town to hear lectures on new research and practice techniques in the field. Because it was so well attended, I was able to catch up with a lot of the residents and attendings I have worked with over the past year. I also was able to meet some new docs! I know I'm biased but all the OB-GYNs I meet are all such friendly and sweet people. It was a great pick me up because I was thinking about Izzy at daycare all-day-long, and it also reaffirmed that I chose the right field. I'm so excited to be an OB-GYN!!!

During one of the lectures, the thought came to my mind about how blessed I am to be living this life. I know it was nothing but God, because well, I had been preoccupied by worrying about my babies all morning and suddenly I felt so calm. I am exactly where I should and need to be. I chose my specialty, and I cannot begin to tell you how everything continues to fall into place - I will save that for another testimony.

Yesterday was also a big deal because the Match rank list opened up. After all of our interviews are done,  we have to "rank" each program in order of how much we would like to go there. The residency programs similarly rank all of their interviewees. Then a computer program uses some algorithm to pair you with the best "match". Ideally, it is a program you ranked highly that ranked you highly as well. Then, on March 17th we will get an email saying whether or not we "matched", and FINALLY, on March 21st my class and I will attend the results party where we all get an envelope to reveal where we will be for the next 3-6 years!

All the loose ends of medical school are starting to come together and the anticipation of it all is one of the most exciting things I have ever experienced!

True. Story. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

See It. Do It.

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to a fellow wolverine (Go Blue!) and awesome medical school mama. Rhonda Douglas is from Southfield, Michigan, but currently attends medical school in Chicago. She is a single mom to a beautiful little girl and is currently pursuing residency training in anesthesia. Read below on how she does it all so gracefully!

Rhonda & her adorable daughter Reagan
Name: Rhonda Douglas

Medical School: University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine  

Graduation Year: 2014

Future (or Current) Specialty: Anesthesiology

How many children do you have and their ages: Reagan, 22 months

Did you do any post-undergraduate schooling or working before attending medical school?

After graduating from undergrad, I worked for 1 year in a basic science lab while applying to medical school.

Did you have any of your children during medical school? If so, how did you “plan” for it?

I discovered I was pregnant with Reagan literally one week before starting my third year clinical rotations. It was very much so unplanned (however not unwanted :-)). After finding out the news I quickly changed up a few things about my medical school curriculum. First, I changed the order of my clerkships I took so that I had the ones with “less time commitment” during the first six months of my pregnancy. Second, I decided to take a year off (during third year) so that I could not only with my new daughter, but also work on a research project and help run a summer program at my school for undergrad pre-meds. I basically did six months of third year, took a year off, then picked back up with the class below me & completed the final six months of third year.

What kind of childcare do you employ? (i.e. live-in nanny, family help, daycare, babysitters)

For the first 2 months, my mother came to live with me to help me with the new baby. I was also able to leave my baby out of state with her for six weeks during the summer while I ran the above mentioned summer program. I currently use a nanny share that I found through a childcare network in my neighborhood. She is very flexible and able to accommodate my crazy hospital hours.

What has been the biggest challenge to handling medical school (and/or practicing medicine) along with having children? How have you overcome it?

The biggest challenge for me is finding time to spend doing household chores and spending adult time with friends without feeling guilty about not being with my daughter. So far, I’ve been using the time that Reagan spends at her father’s house to squeeze in QT with my besties. I also just had to become more comfortable with bringing her with me to social events when appropriate.

Do you feel like your school/job is “flexible” to any family issues that may arise?

My school is extremely flexible with students. Essentially, they want everyone to succeed, so there are numerous resources and policies in place to make sure their students do just that. For example, during my year off, I only needed to fill out a 1-2 page form explaining my reasoning for taking time off and what I’ll be doing during that time. I was able to keep my full time student status (and therefore keep my health insurance, keep my loans in deferment, and was still eligible for financial aid).

For the medical students: How do you find time to study in addition to class time?

I get work done when she’s sleeping, whether it is practice questions during her naps or reading at night after bedtime. I also have to utilize my nanny to watch her while I study at times.

What is one item/strategy that you have that helps to make life easier as a mother and medical student/physician? (i.e. organizational method, electronic device, calendar tool, etc.)

Keeping Reagan on a pretty strict schedule helps me to plan my day so that I’m able to prioritize tasks week by week.

What kinds of things do you do to “relax”?

I usually keep a bottle of wine in my apartment so I can have a drink at night to help me wind down. I also previously enjoyed yoga (which I recently haven’t had time for) but plan on fitting that back into my schedule somehow.

Do you feel that your experience as a mother has made you a better doctor or future doctor? If so, how?

Most definitely! Being a mother is literally the hardest job in the world. Sometimes I’m breathing a sigh of relief because I have to leave her to go to the hospital! It teaches you patience, the value of planning, and for lack of a better term, it eliminates the fear of “getting your hands dirty.” I feel that I am a better leader now because I know how to take charge and simultaneously be sympathetic and caring to the team I’m leading.

What advice do you have to the women who want to pursue medicine with children?

It can be done! You have to be okay with leaving your child to go to work with the fact in mind that you are providing for your family. As a single mother, I know first hand how much easier it can be with two parents so if at all possible utilize your significant other! Also, know that there really is no “right time” to have children. Nothing can totally prepare you for it, however I think medical school is a good time to have one compared to residency. At least during medical school I had the option to take a year off. During residency you’ll most likely get the standard  six-week maternity leave off, or maybe three “research months” at the most.

Are you a physician or medical student mom who would like to share her story? Send me an email at

Out with the Old!

Happy 2014 Everyone!

I hope you all had a great holiday season and end of the year. We are currently experiencing a bit of an extended break with the arrival of "Snowpacolypse" 2014. Schools, businesses, roads, etc. pretty much in the entire state of Indiana are closed due to the almost foot of snow that fell all day Sunday. Today, we had a windchill of -35. Yes, you read that right. 35 degrees BELOW zero. Never in my life have I heard the news give a run down on how to avoid frostbite until last night. Tomorrow, we are advised to stay indoors again due to this crazy cold.

The fam and I had a lovely Christmas. After waking up in Indianapolis and opening gifts with the kids, we hit the road for Michigan to spend time with the extended family. We were able to stay in town from Wednesday to Sunday, so we got some great visit time in - it's never enough to see everyone we would like, but it was more time than most...

Back in 2013 (lol), this happened...
Isabelle wasn't too impressed by Santa...She kind of reminds me of "Grumpy Cat" haha

I'm so excited about the great things to come in 2014! This is the year I become "Dr. Johnson"! We will be moving (hopefully south!) - and most likely buying our first home. I will finally be done with paying tuition and will get my first paycheck doing what I love. Natey will be starting kindergarten... YAY!

I kicked off the new year by getting rid of the old... Every closet (aside from the hubby's :side eye:) has been cleaned out. I got rid of so much junk, and with the help of organization blogs and youtube tutorials, found some space-saving ways to do things like fold underwear and towels. My underwear drawer looks like a Victoria's Secret display it's so neat, and don't get me started on our medicine cabinets and linen closet...hahaha My new crusade is a fight against dust. It's like ridiculous in this house, sheesh. 

I haven't really made any resolutions this year. I just want to be better. I want to be a better Christian, a better wife, a better mother, a better friend. I guess I should be more specific, but I think simple is best for me right now :-) 

I started counting calories and semi-"eating clean" last Monday. I'm already 5lbs down! I'm sure it's just water weight, but my goal is to be slim and trim by graduation. I have about 20lbs to lose in 5 months. The first two days was so hard, but I am finally not feeling starved anymore. So now I have a bit more confidence that I can do it!

Minutes post piercing. She was a trooper!
This month's rotation is a sub-internship in OBGYN. It is kind of like what I did in October on internal medicine - acting as an intern. The biggest (and awesome) thing about it is that it's in my soon to be specialty! The hours will be long, but I will try and keep you all posted on how it's going...

This past weekend Isabelle got her ears pierced! She did so well, but poor Natey started to cry because he didn't want anyone to hurt his sister :-(

And Natey turns 5 on the 29th! I cannot believe it. Below is a peek at the photos taken by his dad for the superhero themed invite. SO cute!

I think that is all for now. Ciao!

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