The Doctor Mom
Contact the Doctor Find the Doctor at Facebook Get The Doctor in a Reader Follow the Doctor on Twitter

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Reflection on 1 Year Ago...

Tonight is Kol Nidre.  I am reminded, and have been reminded by others, of the events of last Kol Nidre.  A night where I sat next to a man, a (then) stranger, who died next to me.

He was in the right place at the right time.  In a synogogue full of doctors, a defibrilator, prayers and possibly even God, this man died and then was restored back to life.  And he is still living.  Today, he has had 365 extra days of life and stories and memories to share with his wife and family.  And I know they are grateful.

I, too, today, am reflecting on life.  Last year I was happy and complete with my husband and 2 beautiful daughters.  But now, in this last year, I have grown an entirely NEW life who was not even a thought in my mind one year ago today.  That is amazing.

I am now blessed with my 3rd baby girl who is now 3 weeks old and has made our already complete family more whole.  She is healthy and beautiful and requires 24/7 attention.  And I love her.

To all those who have written comments or have emailed, I am sorry I have been out of touch.  I will be back as soon as this little one allows.

I just re-read my post from last year and it still touches I will repost it below.  L'Shanah Tovah.

It was the holiest day of the year.  Kol Nidre.  The night before Yom Kippur.

I entered the synagogue after a filling meal preparing for my fast.  Running late as usual.  Looking around to find my family and my seat before the service started.  There they were. In the usual place.  We embraced.  Ready to be inscribed in The Book of Life.

Then it happened.  Something I was totally unprepared for; yet, I had spent years of my adult life preparing for this actual moment.  I turn to the elderly man seated next to me, he is slumped over in his chair; no breath, no pulse, no life.  His heart had stopped.  In this most sacred of places, on this most holy of nights.  Right next to his family.  Just as he was to be inscribed in the Book of Life.

I remained calm and my doctor instincts took over.  I have done this before, so many times, so long ago, it seemed.  Yet this was so different.  The hospital is a safe, controlled environment.  There are masks and medicines and respirators and IV lines.  Here, there is none of that.  Just a bunch of well trained physicians and other caring members of the community wanting to help.  Praying that this breath would not be his last.

He lay across on the chairs where we were seated.  I felt his neck and confirmed that he was without a pulse.  Delegate.  Someone call 911.  Start compressions.  I look down.  It is my duty to give him a breath.

ABC.  Airway.  Breathing.  Circulation.

No bag and mask.  No comforts of the familiar "code blue".  I bent down and began to breathe for him.  And then started chest compressions to circulate the blood that needed to get to his brain quickly.

He was moved to the hallway.  The life saving device was there.  An Automated External Defibrillator.  Another doctor placed the pads, called all clear, and the life sustaining shock was delivered to the patient.  The patient, a husband, a brother, a father called Abba.  It had been about 4 minutes.  It seemed like an eternity.

And then a breath.  And with that, a return of a pulse.  And his eyes opened.

"Abba, don't leave me", his son insisted.  "I am here with you."

Time passed, EMS arrived, the patient was stabilized and transferred to the hospital.  He was awake, combative and breathing on his own.  On his way to a recovery.  From death, back to life.

I returned to the service trying to decipher what had just happened.  But before I could gather my thoughts, before I could process this moment, the following words were spoken:
Great is the eternal power at the heart of life; mighty the love that is stronger than death.  Faithful love gives life to all, the acts of grace restore our strength.
Words I have heard every year at this time since childhood.  Yet tonight, they took on a new meaning.
Life's harsh winds uproot the weak; its hard rain beats down upon our kin.  Let those who stand support the falling, keep faith with those that lie in the dust.
And while I would not classify myself as deeply religious or even necessarily spiritual, it was hard to hear those words and not feel as though they were being spoken directly to us.  To all those who helped bring this man back to life.
To the sick, we must bring healing; and to those that are bound, release.  We give thanks for the power to live and act, for the blessing of love that is stronger than death.
Was there some divine intervention that put me in this place?  Was this night not supposed to be his last?  Could his family's blessings of love save this man from death?

I sat through the rest of the service and continued to reflect on what had happened.  I spoke the words that I have every year, tonight, with more conviction.
Birth is a beginning, and death a destination.
And life is a journey: 
from childhood to maturity, and youth to age;
From innocence to awareness, and ignorance to knowing;
From foolishness to discretion, and then, perhaps, to wisdom;
From weakness to strength, or strength to weakness--
and, often, back again;
From health to sickness, And back, we pray, to health again;
From offense to forgiveness, from loneliness to love,
From joy to gratitude, from pain to compassion
And grief to understanding---from fear to faith;
From defeat to defeat to defeat--
Until, looking backward or ahead, 
We see that victory lies
Not at some high place along the way,
But in having made the journey, stage by stage, 
A sacred pilgrimage.
Birth is a beginning, and death a destination.
And life is a journey, a sacred pilgrimage--
To life everlasting.

May this year be a happy and healthy one.  L'shanah Tovah.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A BIG day for a LITTLE girl....

Tomorrow I will put you on the bus and send you off to your first day of kindergarten.

Tonight you asked me if I could believe that you are starting school tomorrow.

A part of me CAN'T believe it.  As I sit here ready to give birth to your sister, I can remember what my life was like waiting for you to come into my world; 5 long, yet short years ago.  I remember looking at you, so small, and wondering what you would become.  I remember thinking that I couldn't wait for you to talk, because I couldn't wait to hear what you had to say. Now I know.  And I love every little square inch of you.  And even though I can remember life before you, I can't imagine my world without you.

The other part of me CAN believe it.  I have seen how far you have come.  Now I know you.  I know your moods, your silly songs, what makes you mad and what makes you smile.  I know you are ready for this.

Not just because we have been practicing your letters and the sounds that they make.  Not because you can count to 100.  Not because you can write your name without messing up any of the letters.  But because you are ready to blossom.  You are ready to share your charm and your essence with the world.  You are ready to learn.  From your teachers and from your classmates.  To learn about reading and math, but also about making friends and fitting in.  Some lessons will be easy for you, and some will be hard. Just like life.

You are a big girl.  You won't always need me anymore.  But I will always be here for you.  This is just the first of one of many of those days that I will realize this.  This is the first of many baby steps to come.  Baby steps that will lead you on your path of independence.  Please take them slowly.

I have taught you to have good behavior.  I hope you will say please and thank you.  I know you will be the shy version of yourself tomorrow and I'm ok with that.  In time, your little light will shine for everyone to see.

This is the first of one of many small, yet big milestones.

I know you are ready for this.
I'm just not sure that I am.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Woman to Admire...

Rather than address my consistent lack of blogging and my persistent writers block, I have just decided to (try to) dive back in and get my groove back.  Lets hope this works.

One of my favorite blogging sites is called "Mothers in Medicine".  It is a collaboration of blog posts from doctors or other health care professionals of different specialties and their perspectives and struggles in managing it all.  And while most of my readers are likely not doctors, the issues and that are addressed on this site are universal for all working (and even SAH) mothers.   Pay the site a visit, you might find it interesting.

They recently posted a clip from YouTube of Facebook's COO, Sheryl Sandberg.  Since watching this, it has fueled something in me to want to share this with all the other women I know.  Both young women and older women.  High School students, college grads and those who have already set forth on their career paths.  Mothers and those that want to be mothers someday.  And that desire to share this has driven me back, FINALLY, to the blog.  And I am grateful for this.

This clip is about 15 minutes long and well worth watching.  Not only because this woman is an inspiration to myself and should be to all women.  Not only because she ran this speech by Gloria Steinem (!!!) before she gave it.  Not only because she was recently featured in Vogue.  Not only because she has a net worth of $400 million and is just over forty.  Not for any one of these reasons, but for all of them, and more.

Lets hope that this can inspire some of you too.  Maybe it will inspire you to stay in the work force and find your perfect balance.  Maybe it will inspire you to lean into your career rather than pull back.  Maybe it will inspire you as a mother to be a strong role model for your daughters.  Maybe it will inspire you to pursue whatever it is that fuels your passion or challenges you.

Or maybe it will just give you something interesting to think about.  So, go ahead, watch it and then share it with other women.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

This hit a nerve...

Though I've been suffering from writing indecisiveness and block, I am still a bundle of emotion wrapped up in a bow (as my sister so often reminds me that all maternity clothes want you to look wrapped up like a present!)

Yesterday, I cried while watching this commercial, and think everyone should see it.

Let me know if its just me and my ridiculous pregnancy hormones.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I'm Back...With News...

So, in the past couple of months I have been noticely (or, you may not have noticed) absent from blogging.  I'm not sure exactly what has pulled me away from this space.  Well, it hasn't been one thing, but a bunch of things.  Thankfully, my practice is growing and I have found myself pulled in the direction of patient care.  But this is not the real issue.

The real issue is that I find this place to be a place of honesty, one where I put out my true thoughts and feelings and hope it affects some of my readers.  But, for some time, I have been forced to be private.  Just in case.  So, now I have good, no, amazing news that has been boiling under the surface.  Under the surface of my belly, that is.

I am growing baby #3.

There, I said it.  I have put it out into this universe.  And as I put it out there I am terrified. 
Terrified of something going wrong.  Worried that it may not be true.  Nervous about the future.  And it will be this way until Semptember, when the newest member of my family will make her (or his!!!) debut into our world.

And now, I am free to write about my ever expanding pant size, my constant and unrelenting nausea, and my excitement (and fear), of the arrival of baby #3.  I can tell you stories of telling my girls about the baby's arrival, and their characteristic responses.  I can now confess that although this baby was planned, I am scared that it will upset a harmonious balance in my life, career and home.  I can share the excitement of planning a new room with either pink or blue hues.  I can be reminded of what it is like to grow a new life inside of this (old) body and know that with each kick, something unbelievable is on the horizon.

Hopefully you will not grow sick of hearing about this new development.  I will try to use this (last) pregnancy and baby rearing experience to discuss important medical, pediatric, and of course, parenting issues.

That is, if I can find the time. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Just what I needed...

I have written before about my Bedtime Woes, and recently things have gotten somewhat better.  I credit one of my fine readers, with her suggestion to turn off the TV after 5 pm.  What a difference this has made for our family.   I have found that it is easier to get the kids to settle down, and we focus more on reading before bed which is a good thing.

So, tonight I was called into the Hot Pocket's room for one last snuggle.  I was at the end of my rope, frustrated, and wanting to go to bed.  I gave her one kiss but that did not settle her.  She wanted one last snuggle.  I gave in and laid down next to her and she gave me a giant squeeze.

And told me she loved me to the stars.
And I told her I loved her to the moon.  And back.

I kissed her goodnight and then she told me that she needed the biggest hug ever.  She proceeded to squeeze me tight and put every little ounce of her sweetness into that hug.

How did she know that I needed that?

Friday, January 28, 2011

My First Guest Post

Check out my Featured Post with another great mommy blogger, Kate, from Mommy Monologues....

Here it is...I wish I was a Doctor Mom...

Happy Weekend!!  It can't come soon enough!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Better or Worse?...Definitely Different...

I stumbled upon a very interesting article from this weekend's WSJ entitled "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior".  It is an excerpt from a new book "Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother" By Amy Chua.  It sheds light on the way that the Chinese rear their children and its sharp contrast from the typical American Way.  I found the article fascinating and even somewhat scary, but when I finished, I was unsure if this type of child rearing is genius or detrimental to a child's psyche.  It may, in fact, be both.

The book is written by a Chinese Professor and Writer from Yale Law School, a prototypical overachiever herself (interestingly, it seems that she is married to a Jewish Man).  She starts by describing a few things that she has forbidden her children to do including "going on play dates, acting in school plays, getting any grade less than an A, and not being the #1 student in every class".  And no, she is not kidding.  She, and other Chinese mothers do not believe that learning should be fun and that "academic achievement is a reflection of successful parenting."

Now, the reason I am so perplexed by my overall feelings on this article is that I strongly agree with it and disagree with it all at the same time.  The author makes the point that "nothing is truly fun until you are good at it" and that "practice, practice, practice makes perfect."  I agree with this.  I think it is difficult to tell at a young age what your child will excel at, and often I find myself encouraging the Boober and the Hot Pocket to do things that I would like them to do. a point.  I would not override their preferences with forced coercion.  I would not push them for fear of retaliation.  I would not degrade them if they were not good at something.

Last summer I came face to face with this type of "Chinese Parenting" when I decided that I NEEDED to enroll my oldest in Kumon.  I had heard about the merits of the program from many other doctors and felt it was important, no crucial, to start at a young age.  And so like many other things that I set my mind on, I took the Boober for her testing that week.  We walked into the center.  We were probably the only Caucasian people there.  The Boober was very afraid of this place.  She clearly was not ready and did not want to do it.  But, I persisted.  She sat down and was tested by a pimply faced 14 year old girl, a Kumon student herself.  She quizzed her for 15 minutes on a math workbook and 15 minutes on a reading workbook.  When we left there, I was scared.  Scared to push my baby academically.  Scared that she would not find a love for learning if I forced it on her.  Scared that she wouldn't feel like a kid if she had daily homework at age 3.

We haven't gone back.

I have written before on my thoughts about our primary goals as parents.  The cornerstone of child rearing is to raise bright, motivated and self assured citizens of the world.  There surely are various ways of doing this.  I adhere to the typical "American Way" of encouragement and praise.  Chua brings up a wholly different principle of essentially forcing a child to be good, no great, at something which will result in self fulfillment and esteem due to talent rather than inflated ego.

Her children will surely go to Yale or Harvard.  Mine will likely be Wolverines.  Hopefully, they all will be happy.

Her ideas are interesting, indeed.  I bought the book.  And now, I am contemplating enrolling the girls in piano.

Friday, January 7, 2011

I've decided to rename my children...

First of all, I love my kids names.  And if up to this point you have been reading my blog, or if you (are lucky enough to..) know me, you know their names as well.  And, I'm sure you think they are fabulous.  I'm not bragging here, because I really did not name them.  My hubby did.  So I cannot take credit.

Since beginnig to blog, I have been unsure about how much of myself to reveal, and in what way to do it.  But recently, I am happy that I have many new readers that I have met through the blogosphere (who knew?).  Up until now, I am sometimes hesitant to use my kids names.  Now, more time has passed and I have found my blogging voice.  I feel more comfortable about talking about the family, and so I have decided to rename them.

My oldest daughter, for future blog posts will be called by one of her favorite names, The Boober.  Here she is modeling after a haircut.

And my littlest, cuddliest munchkin will be affectionately known as The Hot Pocket.  This is also a nickname that she embraces. What a face!

So, there it is.  Now I can talk about them freely and not worry about it. less thing to stress about!
Happy Weekend.