180 Riverside Dr. East, Drumheller, AB


Here Comes Little Baby Ram

I haven't written a new blog post for awhile: I apologize. I took a social media holiday – Facebook, Blog, Internet. This was mostly as a result of overall fatigue. I am expecting Baby 3 in early April and combined with my residency program training, family responsibilities, and just life stuff, I've been exhausted. Pregnancy is always an adventure and every baby so different, but fatigue seems to be a given at some point in each pregnancy. I'd forgotten how being pregnant changes your body, energy, and basic interactions with the world. It won't be long now before this little munchkin arrives – and you'll likely see him around the clinic trying to maximize time with Dad.

In the meantime, I'm just finishing a rotation in emergency pediatrics at the Children's Hospital, waddling away between patients. There are definitely pluses and minuses to being a pregnant resident… 

The Minuses: 

• Being Sick: There's nothing like draining a massive abdominal abscess in the ER when battling morning sickness. Eek. During my surgery block at the start of my pregnancy, I spent many moments sneaking to the bathroom to puke between surgeries or patient consults. It was nasty. Yet it was still one of the best rotations I've had to date. The teaching was terrific and I kept thinking, well, if I'm still enjoying medicine between pukes, then I've got the right career.
• Doctor Appointments: Yes, even us doctors have prenatal appointments. Often booking them around our schedules seems impossible and as a resident, you're often worried that you're missing a teaching session, or leaving early, or arriving late. Everyone says "the health of the baby matters most" and I believe that, but when you're an overachiever, you often have a serious fear of missing out on some remarkable learning opportunity. At the end of the day, you just have to accept it and let it go. You can't be perfect at everything every moment of the day.
• Comments on Your Body: It is never appropriate to comment on a woman's body, but it's even worse when your pregnant and every week someone says: "wow, you're getting so big!" Yeah, no kidding, I'm pregnant. Babies grow. Or share their inner observations, such as: "should you really be drinking that coffee? They say coffee in pregnancy causes ADHD." Excuse me? Really? Who is "They"? 
• Peeing: Like all the time. Sometimes I'm sitting there listening to a patient story and I have to excuse myself because the urge is just distracting. Since my second trimester, I haven't made it through a drive between Drumheller and Lethbridge without having to stop to empty my bladder. And I hate stopping when I'm doing a distance drive.
• Fearing the Worst: I've been told multiple times during this pregnancy that when you're in health care, something inevitably goes wrong. The so-called "Health Care Curse." This is one of those verbal legends where everyone has a story to share about another health care professional and how they had a pregnancy complication, or delivery complication. I try to take these with a grain of salt because clearly amongst the many horror tales are twice as many boring and benign experiences. Still, every so often, especially after an exhausting shift, you find your mind wandering to worse-case scenarios, and just like your patients, you're Googling "How many Braxton Hicks contractions are normal in an hour?" Yes. Doctors: They're Just Like Us! 

The Pluses?

• Baby Moves: Somehow when you're pregnant, you never feel alone. Even at 3am when on-call. There's always this little person hanging out with you.
• Connecting with Patients: This is my first pregnancy as a physician. I had my daughters prior to my medical studies. I've noticed that being pregnant helps the patient-physician relationship. Perhaps simply because despite all the books available, motherhood isn't something you study and memorize. It requires life experience and makes it easier for patients to relate to you and they genuinely respect you more for what you're doing, especially being pregnant and seeing them at 3am. Little kids are also drawn to you because you're a Mom – definitely makes the pediatric exams a little easier.
• Sleep: It's easy to justify the need for extra sleep when pregnant. Of course, you need the sleep, but you really never feel guilty for napping or sleeping more than you usually would on your days off or when post-call. It's also easier to catch short naps between consults when on-call because you can basically sleep anywhere, anytime.
• Maternity Vacation: As crazy as this sounds, when you're a resident, especially one with a family already, logging in 70-90 hours per week on clinical rotations, the prospect of maternity leave is like a holiday for your brain.
• No Period: enough said.

Again, I apologize for the lack of blog posts of late and they may remain scattered over the coming months as we adjust to this new life and routine. If you're interested in contributing a story to the blog on a health issue or a patient experience, let us know! 

In the meantime, just keep in mind that if your appointment is cancelled last minute, it's likely because Rithesh had to fly off to Calgary for little baby Ram's arrival. Sadly, as active and present as he is in utero, he's unlikely to come when it is convenient for everyone.

Welcome Baby!
We Would Like to Welcome Jennifer Danielsen (Nurse...

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Our Location

Riverside Medical Clinc is located on the third floor of the Riverside Health Centre Building. Our Physicians are here to service your medical needs.
Riverside Medical Clinc PO Box 1990
180 Riverside Drive East
Drumheller, Alberta
T0J 0Y0
Phone: 403-823-5000
Fax: 1-403-961-0016

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