Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Two Months Old!

First, sorry for a 2 month post at 2.5 months. It took me uploading a blog app on my phone to get pictures into this post. Here is what I wrote:

For my Mother's Day present, Samuel turned 2 months old.  My goodness, little guy, stop growing!

He is the sweetest, most awesome little baby.  He hardly cries.  The only times he cries are if he is hungry, wants his pacifier, or is tired.  He'll just play on his mat or sit in his chair and look around. It's so easy to forget he is there, especially with Matthew dominating the house.  Yesterday we had our 14 and 15 year old babysitters come over to watch Matthew while we went for our Saturday long run and this time I left Samuel with them, also.  Who leaves their 2 month old baby with a 14 year old? Well, he is just such a good baby they had no trouble. He didn't cry for the whole 2 hours. He just looked around and eventually fell asleep.

His latest trick is that he now smiles.  I am trying to see if he will cooperate and smile at the camera.  I had forgotten how sweet their little smiles are and how they make you feel like you're doing something right.

He continues to eat quite well and his sleeping has improved dramatically.  He sleeps through the night pretty much regularly.  For the record, however, I do not.  My milk supply is out of control and I wake up in the middle of the night to pump (I tell myself it's worth it to stock up our deep freeze).  If he sleeps past 7 in the morning (on Saturday and Sunday mornings he slept till about 8:30 or 9:00 after having gone to bed at 11....) I have to give in and just pump all my milk out--about 12 or 13 ounces.  Luckily, he'll take a bottle, though he only eats about half of what I pumped.  So, basically, I have enough milk to feed twins.  I am very grateful to have this "problem" and so I'm not really trying to cut back the supply (yet).  I'll give it several months like I did with Matthew before I attempt to reign it in.

Samuel went to the doctor for his 2 month check up.  Of course, he was upset greatly by getting shot 3 times, but other than that he says it wasn't so bad.  He weighs 11 pounds 3 oz (35%) and is 23 inches long (51%).  The doctor's office measured him at 20 inches when he was at the doctors office at 3 days old and not 22 inches like the hospital, so I'm not sure who is wrong. I suppose I should measure him myself to see.  He seems quite long to me.

It's amazing to me how different I can already tell my children are.  When I put Matthew on his tummy he would always push up and lift his head.  He rolled over for the first time on his 2 month birthday (this trend continued, he walked at 10 months and now throws a ball as well as his 4 year old cousin).  Samuel just sits there like a sack of potatoes and roots around for something to suck on.  He isn't too thrilled with picking his head up off the mat, though I know he can do it.  Matthew is quite the athlete, so maybe this means Samuel will be different.  Who knows. We are working on more tummy time to encourage him to use his neck.  He can hold it up pretty well when we're holding him, I guess he just doesn't love he mat.

And now for some pictures:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day Musings

When I was interviewing for medical school, I was living in Atlanta.  I flew in to Ohio one day and drove to Toledo from Cincinnati for an interview.  My mom came with me to keep me company and for moral support on my interview.  On the way up, the night before my interview, my mom decided it was the appropriate time to inform me that she didn't think I should become a doctor.  It wasn't, of course, that my mom had a problem thinking I was intelligent enough or driven enough to do it, but she explained that she thought I would regret taking on such a time-intensive and demanding career when I had children.  "I know you," she told me.  She told me she knew how I loved passionately and how I had such a strong desire to have several children.  She said that she felt when I had them, it would tear me apart to work such long hours. Maybe I would feel like a bad mother. Maybe I would just regret missing out on things.  My mom stayed home with my sister and I until I went to preschool and kindergarten and then she began going back to work.  When I was in first grade she opened her day care center and for many years she had to work from 8-6....significantly less hours that I will have to work in residency.  But apparently my sister and I would call her when we got home from school and ask her when she was coming home.  It tore her up, she said. She thought I would feel the same thing when my own children cried when I left, or asked me to come home.  But, of course, I was only engaged at the time and had no children.  I was furious that my mother decided to tell me this (the night before my interview, nonetheless) and I yelled at her and defended my decision to become a doctor, and told her how very wrong she was.

She was so not wrong.

I should have listened.  At least I could have been prepared for how I feel.

Now, that's not to say that I regret being in medical school, because I don't.  But I'll tell you, taking 30 hour call is against everything I stand for morally.  Not tucking my children into bed is wrong.  Not getting Matthew dressed in the morning (because I've been at work for 2 hours) is infuriating.  Matthew clinging to my leg is sad, but Matthew crying for his daddy to read him a story instead of me is heartbreaking.  The truth is, most of my 3rd year I have been miserable (though much can be rightly attributed to the fact that for all but this current rotation I have been pregnant).  When I'm sitting in the hospital doing nothing (the theme of 3rd year), I want to storm out and complain about how I could be with my kids.  And then there's the fact that I'm surrounded by stay at home moms. How is it that of my close friends with kids, like 3 of them work full time?  (Thanks Abs, Jenn, and Melinda for not making me feel like a total freak).  So then I stop and think, what if I just quit? Sure, I know the 30 hour call and endless wasted hours are just temporary and then in 4 or 5 years I will be a full grown doctor and I will work weekdays only, 40 hours a week.  I have put great angst into finding a specialty that I like that will also allow me to do that.  But is it worth it? Is my mother right? Will I regret these years? So I try to think about quitting, and my new awesome, perfect, life staying home with my kids.

Me neighbor is like the perfect picture of the perfect homemaker.  Her house is beautiful, her meals are all homemade, elaborate, and healthy (made only better when we share them...), her children are perfectly behaved.  I look at her and I think I want to be like that.  She is the best hostess and takes care of her family so well.  That should be me.  My husband would be much less overworked.  My house would be clean.  My food would be awesome.  My children would see me all day, every day.  We could go to the zoo. And the museum.  And I could make friends with other moms and get my kids together when them and be super concerned with getting them to nap at the same time every day.  Maybe I would even have flowers instead of weeds.  I could buy organic and use cloth diapers and make my own laundry detergent.  Best of all, I would be a gult-free mother.  No worrying about how to balance work with kids.  No stress over trying to choose a specialty that will allow me to make the evening soccer games.  

But the truth of the matter is, my kid eats off my floor.  Sometimes we let him eat off the floor in public places, if the tantrum that has been brought on by the dropped piece of food is too much for me to handle.  (No, my kid does not get sick a lot. In fact, he has not gotten sick in about a year.)  My floor, by the way, is never clean and never would be, even if I were stay at home mom.   I have the best of intentions when it comes to cooking these really elaborate meals but my kid is always running around like a little maniac and cooking those meals would be a near impossibility except for like once a week, when Tim was home to supervise the kids.  My child does not nap at the same time every day.  Some days on the weekend he doesn't nap till like 4 and I'm ok with that.  I will never have flowers instead of weeds unless I hire someone else to plant them because I have no ability to garden (my husband does the gardening but has no time because his wife is not a stay at home mom.  Funny how that works...)  I couldn't buy organic because if I weren't working, we couldn't afford it.  I might make my own laundry detergent but I would still have mounds of laundry baskets that sit in the house, full of clean clothes, for at least a week before they get put away.  And cloth diapers? Forget it, Jen Bowen, I am SO not scrubbing poop over the toilet.  One picture of you doing that, and I knew I so don't have what it takes.  You are one brave woman.   And, I'm pretty sure, that as a stay at home mom, when I took my kids to the doctor, I would envy the doctor.

So here we are again.  Back to being a doctor.  I just can't quit.  Not now, with one year (and 10 weeks) left. Not after all I've done.  Not with the goals I still have of working overseas, or working 30 hours a week as a doctor in an office and getting to help people AND see my children.  Not with the passion I have developed for medicine.  Not after all my husband has given up for me to achieve this.  I can't quit.  So maybe I should have listened to my mom and thought about this before I found myself in this situation. Because now I am wrestling with extreme doubt: Am I a bad mother? Am I a bad wife?

I hope not. My kids seem happy. They seem loved.  And I think they are developing just fine. Matthew knows all the letters of the alphabet, all the shapes (even the weird ones like octagon and trapezoid), all the colors.  Sure, sometimes he cries for his daddy, but I know he loves me.  He runs after me when I pick him up.  He laughs and smiles.  I think he's happy.  Samuel eats, sleeps, and poops, so we can't say much about him. I hope my husband is happy.  I think sometimes he gets a little exacerbated at all the housework he does and all the weekends or nights he's alone, but he hasn't blamed me yet.  I hope I'm a good wife to him.  I hope I'm a good mother.  I hope that when Matthew is older he doesn't look back and say I wasn't there.  I hope that by doing this hard work now, I will be able to have a job in the future where I can be happy and satisfied but also where I can find time and be with my kids and go the soccer games and take summer vacations.  I hope this works out the way I planned.  Above all, my kids must know I tried so hard to raise them and mother them well.

Feel loved, little Matthew.  Feel cherished, little Samuel.  If you do not,  I will have failed as a mother.  30 hour call or not, you must know I love you, that these years of crazy hours are temporary, that I agonized and agonized over my decisions, that I questioned them a thousand times, that I did everything your Mimi said I would and wondered if I should have listened to her.

Oh, how I wish I had felt content as a 40 hour a week aerospace engineer in Atlanta with an awesome boss, flexible hours, and no 30 hour call or night shift.

I really hate the night shift.  So does Matthew.