Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Back in the grind

This past week I started my new job in the ER at Overlake. The first week was LONG. Hospital orientations are always pretty long and usually feel like torture. I'm not very good with sitting still listening to speakers and reviewing power points for 8 hours a day. Phew, glad that week is over. 

Monday was my first day orienting in the ER. It was business as usual and then some. One of my worries coming from a Level 1 trauma center was that there wouldn't be enough going on, but I was pleasantly surprised. Apparently it was an abnormally crazy/busy day. I guess I brought the crazy/busy with me! It turned out to be less of an orienting day and more of a jump in and start treading water kinda day. I didn't drown, but left my shift feeling so sore and worn out. It was a long 12 hour shift. It was a 'nice' welcome back after having 3 months off. 

I have a couple more shifts orienting and then I'm on my own. Should be interesting. 

Next month, I start orientation at UW in the ER there. Juggling two jobs will be interesting, but I'm grateful for the opportunities at both places. 

It's been a little crazy balancing starting a new job, working a 40 hr week, Brandon working a 80+ hr week and chasing after the little one. Trying to not lose my mind in the business... today was a nice day to decompress and have a rare family day. We fully took advantage and went to the zoo and a Mariners baseball game. Tired is an understatement, but just enjoying time together as much as we can.

Another 30 hour call shift for Brandon tonight. Definitely ready for this rotation to be OVER! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Residency Life: Nights

Well, I'm happy to report that we survived Brandon's first week of nights last week. It definitely felt like two weeks. The days were long and the nights, longer. It was quite challenging trying to keep quiet during the day so we wouldn't wake up Brandon while he was trying to sleep to prepare for his next night of work. I had to reach hard in my creativity bucket to come up with some "quiet games," most of which backfired majorly (oops). One of the games I thought was genius was doing the "shh" game. Kellan has recently learned the "shhh sign" (thanks to the Wheels on the Bus book). So I was like, PERFECT!!! He is going to do "shh" and pretend to be quiet when he hears me say or motion "shh". Nope, it turned into the "scream game." Every time I motioned "shh," he would in sign and say "shh" and then let out a high pitched squeal. Needless to say, my efforts in trying to get Kellan to play quietly didn't really work out. Fortunately for us, Brandon managed to get some sleep each day.

It has been quite the odd role reversal. For the past four years, I have been the one working nights. Brandon put up with my crazy nightshift schedule for four years, so I guess the least I can do is put up with his crazy schedule :)

Yesterday, Brandon finished his first rotation of intern year. Hard to believe it's already been a month. Today he started on the Medicine ward. With this rotation comes the much talked about and much dreaded 30 hour call shifts. Yes, 30 hours. This terrifies me a little. How can anyone function for 30 hours? He will be doing a 30 hour call shift every 5th day. Should be interesting, oh boy. I just said goodnight and see you Friday afternoon. It's Wednesday night. That was weird. Here's to no pages overnight and a few hours of sleep along the way, right? haha...wishful thinking!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Residency life: 2 weeks in

Well, we made it to the two week mark. We survived the first two weeks of intern year. It's been everything it has been cracked up to be -- long hours (14 hours give or take), early mornings, late dinners and lots of interesting stories. Averaging 70-80 hour work weeks for Brandon has definitely been a new adjustment. Kellan and I have been trying to stay busy. It's helped having Mimi (my mom) in town to pass the time away. I'm learning lots about flexibility, patience, having no expectations, and how to be a better helpmeet for my hubby. This is not only an adjustment for us, but for him. It's not easy working long hours, carrying a huge patient load (with lots of critically ill patients), having tough patients, having hard conversations about end of life wishes with patient's loved ones, functioning on little sleep, and saving up enough energy to come home and play wrestle with a 16 month old active little guy who has missed his daddy all day. Not to mention, repeat the next day and the next... You have my utmost respect, babe! It's not easy, but you do it so gracefully. 

Tonight starts the first of a 5 night stretch. It's gonna be a long week, but I know we will all make it through. Little by little. Baby steps. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Playing catch up

Wow, what a whirlwind the last two months has been! Since my last post, we've travelled to Hawaii then across the world to Singapore and Thailand with a 15 month old, Brandon graduated from medical school, we moved into our new house in West Seattle, Brandon started intern year at U of Washington and I got hired on per diem at Overlake in the ED. It's hard to believe we were able to cram all of that in just eight short weeks! 

Blessed. If I were to use one word to describe the last eight weeks that is what it would be. We are so incredibly blessed to be where we are today. Employed x2. Living in our own home. A dream. So thankful to the Lord for our many blessings. From Him all things come and all glory goes. 

It's day 4 of intern year. We've all survived. It's going to be quite the busy year(s) during Brandon's internal medicine residency program, full of long hours, nights, call which means lots of time away from hubby/daddy, but we have so much love and support from friends and family near and far, that it will definitely help carry us through.

I'm enjoying this time off before starting my new job in August. It's been nice having this time off to get settled in our new home and be there for Brandon during this new transition from med student to doctor. It's insane that one day he just became a doctor and is now responsible for taking care of patients who are sick. Lots to learn. Oh boy. So much responsibility! 

Here are a few pictures from the last couple of months...

         Maui, Hawaii

        Krabi, Thailand
      Rai Lay Beach, Thailand
        Ao Nang, Thailand 
       Visiting Poppi at work
        With Poppi & Mimi in Singapore 
         Our new home in West Seattle 
        Med school wives/friends/nurses
                 Dr McCutie 
               Congrats, doctor!
      Our sweet friends from med school  
        Moving Day! Portland to Seattle 
        Friends reunited in Seattle 

         Intern welcome at UW
       View off the West Seattle Bridge 
       Celebrating Rowan's 1st birthday

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April is C-Section Awareness Month

I've been wanting to write a post about this all month, but alas life has been quite busy and I haven't gotten to it until now. It's still April so here it goes...

There's a certain stigma that comes along with c-sections. There's an idea and following out there that almost shames the mamas who have c-sections. There's a sense of shame that comes along with not being able to have your baby the 'natural, unmedicated' way. I saw a glimpse of this in my own pregnancy experience. 

Having a c-section was the last thing on my mind. Everything with my first pregnancy had been smooth sailing. Yes, I had the normal morning sickness and aches and pains, the shooting pains in your crotch, the uncomfortableness...but everything was progressing wonderfully and my little baby was growing perfectly inside. He was healthy and thriving and I was very thankful for this. It wasn't until 35 weeks when my fundal height wasn't progressing as much as it should be that they decided to do an ultrasound to make sure my baby was growing okay and that the amniotic fluid level was adequate.

To our surprise, our little boy was breech. I should've suspected something as I never felt any kicking above my belly button (only below)! I was relieved that my little babe was heathy and still growing well. I was relieved that my fluid level was normal. But, Breech? Wow would this mean I would need a c-section? It was a scary thought. As a nurse, I ofcourse thought of all the 'worst-case scenarios' in surgery and the risks involved. I imagined myself in those worst case scenarios, bleeding out on the table or needing to get intubated or being cut open and feeling every bit of it (as I've known that to happen with a friend). Fear crept it swiftly. I had to refocus my eyes on the Lord and pray every time the fear or thought came to mind. The Lord knew and would get me through. 

I had an appointment with my doctor who suggested I try a 'version'. This is an attempt to manually flip the baby with a TON of pressure applied externally to my abdomen. I was willing to try anything to get him flipped right side up. Little did I know the pain that would entail. At around 36.5 weeks, I went in for a version attempt. It happened on the L&D ward with the OR close by and ready in case baby didn't tolerate it and needed an emergent section. The pain was intense and indescribable. I literally was coming off the bed in agony. They gave me some medication to relax my uterus and a little pain medicine but couldn't give me much to protect baby. With sweat dripping down their facesand with hands shaking from the intensity and pressure, the two doctors were pressing on my abdomen with all that was in them. Anther doctor stood by with the ultrasound to check baby's heart beat to make sure he was tolerating. After about 20-30 mins of intense pain and pressure, our little boy decided he was done. He had multiple decels (heart rate dropped low). He wouldn't budge. He was comfy in his breech position. They stopped and we were allowed time to recover. I was disappointed. I felt like it was my fault that I was too tense and was frustrated that I couldn't relax my abdomen enough for him to flip. I so wanted a normal delivery. But I was thankful that he was okay and an emergent section didn't have to take place that day. 

My c section was scheduled proceeding that version attempt. I was scheduled for a c-section at 39 weeks and 3 days. It was decided that a second version attempt would happen in the OR just as a last effort to get baby to flip. The second attempt failed and I ended up needing a crash/emergent c-section. It was scary and a little bit of a blur. They told me baby was not doing well and needed to come out quickly. About 3 minutes later, the cry...the cry that I waited what seemed like hours to hear. A huge relief came over me. I knew he was okay. 

I wasn't prepared for it. No matter how much knowledge I doesn't prepare you to walk through it. I felt incredibly sick during the section. The nausea was overwhelming. I remember feeling like I was going to pass out. It felt like I was on the table for hours. The tugging and pulling, the pressure you feel as they put everything back and so you up. I was visioning a more peaceful welcome into the world for our little one, but I was so relieved to have a healthy little boy. 

The recovery was long, slow, and painful. Nothing quite like having a version attempt go wrong and a major abdominal surgery then being given a little babe to take care of. C sections aren't the 'easy way out' or the 'glamorous' way to have babies. Yes this is what it is chalked up to be, but it's quite the contrary. There is a long road of recovery. Lots of pain. Lots of tears. Getting out of bed, getting on and off the toilet, coughing, even laughing came with lots of pain and tears. The pain meds that helped you function physically but slowed you down mentally. I couldn't wait to stop taking them. 

The scar that I have across my abdomen is a constant reminder of the love I have for my sweet boy. I still have areas around my scar that are tender and some areas that are a little numb. But I would do it again in a heart beat. What's most important is that I have a healthy baby boy who is growing and thriving. There is so much to be thankful for. I'm thankful for doctors who were able to safely deliver my healthy baby by means of c-section. I'm thankful for science. Im thankful for a loving and supportive husband. I'm thankful for friends and family that helped me in many different ways. Most importantly, I'm thankful for Jesus who carried me through every step of the way. 

My hope is that there would be no more stigma or shame in having a c-section. Not everyone has a choice in the matter. Most of the time there is a medical reason the necessitates it. It doesn't make the birth story any less beautiful or important. I love my birth story. Though it wasn't my ideal way, I wouldn't change anything about it. 

My sweet 14 month old boy 💙

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

So we bought a house...

Yep, you read right. We bought a house!! Crazy town. It's been quite the whirlwind. Since matching to UW on March 20th, we've made the I5 drive from Portland to Seattle and back three times, decided we were gonna look to buy a place, found a house, put an offer in, got our offer accepted, and gotten the house inspected. Oh and did I mention I also worked a night shift one of those nights in between trips. Sometimes I have to take a moment to breathe. Everything is happening so fast. 

The Seattle housing market is insane. People are waiving inspection contingencies and finding themselves in biding wars over houses. Who knew? Fortunately for us, we were able to find a perfect place in West Seattle and win the bid. God definitely orchestrated all the pieces to fit perfectly and everything so timely. We have incredibly generous and supportive family to even allow us to be able to talk about buying a home. So much to be grateful for. 

I never thought I'd even be thinking about buying let alone actually being under contract in purchasing a house at this point in life. With Brandon starting residency in June and life being so busy and unpredictable, I didn't think it'd be the time to settle down in a house of our own but I'm not complaining. It feels like the right timing and we are excited to become homeowners. It's quite the daunting task much to know about being a homeowner. There's so much that goes into this whole house buying process. A little overwhelming. So glad his is right up Brandon's alley. He's so good at this stuff and crunching numbers and figuring out all these little details. I don't feel very helpful in that department. I contribute with design and decorating the house...that's more my cup of tea! 

Here's a little sneak peak of our soon to be home. It's a remodeled 1950s bungalow. How charming is it!? 

(Lincoln Park in West Seattle) 

West Seattle, we're comin for ya...

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Match Day

Well, the day finally came. The day that we would find out where we would be for the next 3+ years for Brandon's residency. 

We matched to U of Washington. It was out 1st choice. We are really excited to be heading back to Seattle come June! 

Here's to the next chapter of our lives...residency in Seattle!