Friday, November 10, 2017

Babies in Medicine pt 1

I've had a number of people reach out to me because I'm a mom and also a doctor, both of which happened in the same phase of life for me, and wanting advice on "how we've made it work". So here I am... my attempt at explaining our perspective on balancing family life and the demands of a medical career.

I will note that this is simply how we've made it work and that no situation is exactly the same. 
We've been very blessed to have made it through this part of our life relatively easily and I hope this sheds some light to other women in similar shoes. 

Mark 
Our first little boy was born in September of 2014 which meant I was in the beginning of second year of medical school when he was born. I was therefore obviously pregnant for the end of first year and into the summer break between. One of the hardest parts for me being pregnant at this time was that we were in the thick of anatomy lab, and with the lovely preservatives that cadavers are in this meant I wore an obnoxious respirator every time I was in the lab. These fumes can be dangerous to pregnancies so I had to be safe from the very beginning. Which meant I started wearing and everyone knew of my pregnancy as soon as I found out I was pregnant. Talk about everyone in your business! When it came to second year, our school schedule was "system based" with a clinical medicine course weaved in throughout the year. When Mark was born I was just finishing my cardiology block and about to enter respiratory. He ended up being born a mere 3 days before the cardio final in fact.
For the immediate postpartum period, I ended up getting 4 weeks "off" and basically skipped the respiratory block material/put it on hold. While I was at home snuggling my new baby and drowning in new motherhood I worked on studying for the cardio final I mentioned above as well as one mid-term that happened while I was on leave. I officially became "responsible" for new material for the following block. Once I was responsible for keeping up again I did a mix of actually going in to school for required things and listening to lectures online at home when I could skip. I'd tote my pump with me for longer days and rush home to nurse on days that I could. I'd study with a sleeping baby on my chest or pass him off to my mother-in-law between nursing sessions when I was home cramming. As for the things I missed, I was 100% responsible for the material and making them up. Within the first month I re-scheduled the final and midterm I had missed and while not stellar, I got through them both. For the course I completely "skipped", I spent spring break and the last week of the semester studying for the two exams for respiratory respectively.

The rest of my courses went to be expected. I was able to keep up and continued with a mix of actually going in and studying from home. At the end of second year comes the first round of Board exams which meant I was studying as much as I could with a 8-9 month old at home. As a side note related to board exams, I was still pumping at the time of my tests and was worried how that would be accommodated. But national exam companies are required to allow you to pump and give you a private space to do such. For me I didn't want to use any additional time from my exam to make pumping a big deal so I just set up in a more secluded hallway and pumped right there sitting on the floor under a nursing cover. I had plenty of people give strange looks but couldn't have cared less! Ha!
And here's my thoughts on the outcome of having baby #1 in medical school... It was tough, there is no way of sugar coating that. But it really wasn't as horrible as you'd think looking at it from other eyes. Sure my grades were never in the honors category. I was likely more tired than my other classmates and less available as other new moms. Yes I had to spend my spring break learning about pneumonia and antibiotics etc etc instead of getting a true break. There were definitely times I cried because my baby preferred anyone but me. But by the time third year rolled around, I was completely caught up and had a new baby to show for it.

I should also add that we literally couldn't have done it on our own. From the very beginning we've had tremendous support from our families, not to mention J works from home every single day. My mom would spend a weekend with me if I had to study and J had other commitments. J's mom would come to our house during the week to watch Mark while I was at school/studying and J was working. We never had to worry about child care or daycare and always had someone available for babysitting.
And then we made the crazy decision to add our littlest to the bunch and got pregnant just as third year of medical school was starting. More on that piece of the puzzle to follow...

Baby H: 18 Months of Patrick

A year and a half with our littlest boy. I cannot even believe how quickly the time is flying and how much he's growing and learning, sometimes by the day even. We love you sweet Patrick and are thankful we get to watch you grow!

He...

[+] wears a combo of 18 month and 2T clothes right now. We're slowly growing out of the 18 month size and the 2T clothes that used to be Mark's fit better than the new ones thanks to all the use/washes. He wears 7/8 in shoes and size 4 diapers. For as much bigger as he is than Mark at this age, all these "size" stats are basically the same which seems so strange to me.

[+] and again just like Mark, Pat still just has his same 12 teeth. Four on top, on bottom and one-year molars. He's definitely a much worse teether than big brother ever was so I'm hoping these next ones aren't too terrible when they decide to come through.

[+] is exploding in language right now and it's so much fun the second time around! He says... momma/mommy, daddy, Maaa-k (Mark), Ollie, Nani. Truck, blue, uppie, bank-kie (blankie), drink, paci, cheeeeese, bu bar (blue bear), book, "read that", apple, please, thank you, ni ni (good night), hi/bye and probably so many more that I'm forgetting. His most recent thing has been linking something with "mommy"... hi mommy, bye mommy, uppie mommy etc etc.
[+] knows what a dog, cow, lion/bear, sheep and fish "say". He consistently points to the picture of a fish in their shared bathroom and opens & closes his mouth over and over again which is his version of a fishy-face. He was also doing the same thing at lunch while pointing to my iced tea. We were very confused until we realized he thought the lemon wedge floating in the bottom was a fish! Kids are so funny!

[+] is obsessed with books in the last month and will spend an hour walking back and forth between you and the shelf picking out new ones. His favorite by far is Little Blue Truck and he even makes the "vrooom" and "honk" noises on the right pages. Much more than Mark ever did, he will also sit by himself just flipping through the pages by himself. But also loves to purposely rip the pages of paper books so we definitely have to keep an eye on him.

[+] legitimately fell out of his crib the other night and scared the living daylights out of this momma. He was throwing an epic fit, likely because he was overtired and we were getting ready for bed. Typically when he's really mad we ask him if he wants to go in his crib and sometimes that's what he needs to just "scream it out" until he calms himself down. Well I put him in there like we've done a ton of other times and all of a sudden I see him falling. He had pressed his belly up to the railing and somehow ended up top heavy and flipping over the edge. He fell right onto the floor, screaming even harder but thankfully was perfectly unharmed. Daddy quickly lowered the mattress down a level while I calmed him down and checked him out. Phew, please don't ever do that again buddy!
[+] on a related note he is still quite the little lover. He calls out for his blankie when he's going to sleep. He carries it around and wants to lay on my chest on the couch with it. He is starting to get into stuffed animals and carries them tucked in his elbow just like big brother. He blows kisses and gives hugs and lays his head on your shoulder. He's what makes you want another baby, that's for sure!

[+] and his big brother are starting to be quite the pair of wild things lately. They are really starting to play together and it warms my heart every single time. They play chase, jump off cushions from the couch together, and have even come up with a few of their own "games". Mark will hand Pat a broken truck put back together, Pat breaks it with all his might and they both laugh and laugh. Pat catches a ride on their mini tractor with Mark pushing him from behind. And then they yell and scream and say "NO!" and hit in the next instance. But brothers will be brothers I suppose.

[+] knows his own and other people's... hair, head, eyes, nose, ears, mouth, tongue, teeth. Tummy, arms, hands, legs, feet, piggies and toes. He calls out for bath time while he's sitting at the dinner table. He runs to get his shoes and socks from the bins in our mudroom if we say "let's go bye bye". He's also starting to sit on our little training potty when Mark sits on the big one and typically demands (but seriously, cries and cries) until he gets a treat too.
[+] absolutely loves Ollie. He always grins and points to him when Ollie comes into the room. He gives him the sweetest, most gentle hugs. He cracks up laughing when Ollie licks his hands or feet. He chases after him and always keeps an eye out for him at the back door when he goes outside. 

[+] still has the most stunning bright blue eyes. They have not changed at all since they reach their full color and they still shock me every day. His hair is also lighter than all of ours, definitely not blonde though and is stick straight. He got his second back porch hair cut recently and likely needs another one soon. 

[+] is still such a total mommas boy, sometimes not even letting me put him down without crying "mommy" over and over and over again. And yes, sometimes it's frustrating. More so for J than me most of the time. But deep down I really do love it. Mark never wanted much to do with me, and typically still doesn't either, so being Pat's "someone" is definitely something special for me.

Happy half birthday my baby boy! (only a few weeks late, ha!)

And for nostalgia sake, here's Mark's 18 month post!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Homeowners: Downstairs Tour x2

Somehow it's already been two months since we moved into our newest home and while most of the "moving in" process happened immediately thanks to the daunting start of residency, we've been slowly putting the finishing touches together. There's still a handful of things I want to do/aren't quite finished, but really, when is a house 100% done anyways. So for now, here's a mini tour of our newest residence! 
We love how open the floor plan is while still creating specific spaces. Our front room has giant vaulted ceilings that let in the best light and it even spills into the upstairs loft area just at the top of the stairs. We have a formal dining room that definitely needs some additional furniture pieces to finish it off but I can't wait to host all our favorite holidays in that room. And speaking of holidays, I'm already day-dreaming about where our Christmas tree will go in our new house! Personalized art and hanging pictures of my family is basically my go-to decorating style and this huge gallery wall did not disappoint. Thanks to my lovely husband for busting out the level for these bad boys. 
Moving towards the back of our house into the kitchen and family room space... here's a tidbit for you, we purchased our house new but didn't get to pick the finishes like you "typically" do with a new build. However, I absolutely love our kitchen space. Gray subway tiles, white cabinets and plenty of storage space. Seriously some of our cabinets are 100% empty still! I still want to get bar stools for the island but am waiting until I find the perfect ones. We purchased all our family room furniture new for this house because the room is so massive and our old items didn't fill the space correctly. Our sectional is seriously huge and the most comfy to lay on late at night. Our little built in desk/bill/mail station is also a work in progress as I'd love to make it into a work space for me for any charting I'll have to do at home in the next few years. 
Down the hallway leads to the garage as well as our downstairs bathroom, which I might add is a full bath with shower and tub. J's office is also set up in our first floor bedroom and we have even more storage space in two hallway closets. One of my favorite upgrades to our home is the built-ins in the mud room. Having the littles makes it so we always have tons of "stuff" when we're headed out the door and this space is the perfect catch all for throwing shoes into the bottom, hanging coats and hats on the hooks and setting our famous dino back pack on the ledge. It also holds dog bowls and food and seasonal items like our pool bag. The stairs into the unfinished basement are also tucked away in these hallways and constantly sporting a gate for mischievous little boys. 
It seems like every new house we have feels like home quicker than the last but I'm still shocked at how much this place already feels "right" for our family. The boys absolutely love it here and so do J and I. A move is one of the biggest life stresses for sure and I'm so happy with the outcome of this new adventure. Here's to the next 3 years or more if we just can't seem to leave this place after then. 

#hollandsintimnath 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Family Medicine

In the span of one day I...
+ delivered two babies
+ performed one circumcision
+ admitted a patient with severe depression
+ saw a bunch of newborn babies
+ got a hug from a family for the care we provided
+ admitted a patient with appendicitis
+ filled dozens of prescriptions for my clinic patients
+ had a heart to heart with a new mom struggling with nursing


This. This is why I love family medicine.
From hours old to decades old.
From severally sick to brand new to somewhere in between.


I've had plenty of days where I've left the hospital crying because I'm overworked. Many mornings where getting out of bed before 5am seems like the most daunting task. Way too many heart breaks missing my babies and knowing they miss me too. But when I have the good days, it helps put it all into perspective just a little more. Coffee always helps too!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Thankful v25

Lately I've been thankful...
[+] for litte brothers who are growing by the minute

[+] for brothers who are so different and yet so much alike even down to their cheesy grins
[+] for big brothers who are sweet & sour at the exact same time

[+] for home improvement projects & lots of hard work 
[+] for the best of family who's supportive, encouraging & always there

[+] for things that used to feel mundane that I took for granted before 
[+] for yummy snacks even if there's sometimes a battle for the last bite

[+] for compliments & encouragement & getting in the groove
[+] for a coffee cart in the hospital where the barista knows my name 

[+] for a house that feels so much like home and is more than we could have ever imagined 
[+] for wild imaginations that turn piles of laundry into "fancy beds"

[+] for brother hugs, sharing popsicles, holding hands & melting my heart
[+] for sweet little voices that recite our favorite books line by line

xoxo

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Baby H: 15 Months of Patrick

It seems like these last few months have made huge changes in our littlest boy and it's been amazing to watch him turn into his own little self. Sometimes I default to thinking he's still just a baby and then he'll do something that stops me in my tracks and shows me how big he's really getting. He's the perfect fit for our family and we couldn't have asked for a sweeter, more sensitive yet full of personality little boy.

He...

[+] is still the sweetest, cuddly baby there is. He is so content sometimes just sitting with you on the couch while you rub his back and head. He lays his head on our shoulders if he's being shy and snuggles with soft stuffed animals. He still rubs his face into any soft blanket and can't fall asleep without his lovie blanket right by his face. He sits and watches TV and for the most part still doesn't fight being in the carrier which this momma loves. He's also starting to be more of a daddy's boy since I've been back to work which daddy loves. 

[+] is blossoming on the sign language and is keeping on track with where big brother was at this point which is reassuring. He consistently signs "all done" and "more" and both aren't just in the context of food anymore too which is great. He also signs "milk" especially at the end of the day when he's ready for bed, "please" which is accompanied by the sweetest little "peeeees" sound and most recently "thank you". 

[+] verbally he says dada on command along with Ollie. He also says some version of "buu baa" if he wants blueberries and he grunts and nods if an answer is "yes". He said the sound ma once a few weeks ago and I haven't heard it since and am waiting for the day on pins and needles. 

[+] knows where his head/hair, belly, ears and piggies are. He'll also put both hands covering his ears if you say "Pat can you hear me?" He points where he wants to go and what he wants. He tries to open doors and knows where his shoes are for going outside. 
[+] is finally starting to get into books and will sometimes walk back and forth between your lap and the cabinet filled with books for a good 45 minutes. He sometimes just wants to look at the pictures/flip the pages but is getting better about you actually reading them to him too. He typically hands you the book and then backs into your lap to sit and lean against you. It's so sweet.

[+] has really started throwing tantrums when he doesn't get his way or screaming at the top of his lungs for no apparent reason. Neither of which are very fun in general but always seem to be worse when were out and about. He absolutely hates when you take something from him, don't let him go somewhere he wants or pick him up when he wants to walk. He's also mastered the limp body, throw yourself backwards technique which just adds to the drama. And icing on the cake his scratching and pinching that we're trying desperately to stop.

[+] has been taking one nap for what seems like months now and it's awesome. Especially because it's at the exact same time as Mark naps giving us between 1.5 to 2.5 hours of peace and quite throughout the day. He typically goes down around 12:30 but is sometimes extra cranky in the hour leading up to nap depending on how his morning sleep went. He's definitely not as good of an early morning sleeper as Mark was, going down around 7:30pm and typically waking some time between 6&7am. But the nice thing is that we don't ever go get him up until 7am and he's perfectly content rolling around and playing with his lovies while he waits.
[+] has 10 teeth now and I'm hoping the last two of the bunch come through soon so we can coast for a little while. As of right now he has four on top, two on the bottom and all four molars. We're still waiting on the lateral incisors on the bottom but haven't noticed any glimpse of them yet.

[+] wears size 18mo-24mo for most clothing items, size 6 shoes and size 4 diapers. He is quickly catching up on big brother making getting them dressed/doing their laundry that much more complicated. I think we might have to switch to doing their laundry separate at some point because their clothes are already ending up in the wrong drawers/on the wrong bodies.

[+] is such a water baby just like big brother. He loves going to our neighborhood pool, splashing and crawling in the zero-depth area, climbing the stairs on the play structure and floating around in the deep end in his floatie. He also loves being on the boat at the lake except for when he's tired and fighting his boat-nap. He also went tubing for the first time on July 16th which he loved. He was stone-faced the whole time so we weren't sure what he thought but as soon as the boat stopped, he wouldn't stop signing "more, more, more" so we know he loved it. The one part of water he isn't a fan of is bath time. He's typically wanting to get out way before big brother.
[+] still tends to get constipated so we're still on a daily Miralax regimen to help him out. We've also upped his dosage as he's gotten so much bigger since we started and we were noticing there were some days it wasn't helping him entirely. There's no harm in it and so we're not worried about it at this point. Hopefully he'll grow out of it eventually and it won't be a problem anymore. 

[+] can "jump" which is just a big time squat that he stands up quickly from. He also dances like no body's business, clapping his hands, swinging his arms and stomping his feet. He waves hi/bye and often times waves bye when he's off to do something he shouldn't be. It's actually quite adorable. 

[+] is still getting two bottles of whole milk, one right when he gets up for the day and one right before bed, because after a few absolutely horrible days of fighting with him and some advice from the pediatrician, we're not pushing it at this point. The boys' new pedi has an awesomely laid back attitude and said that as long as he's getting 2-3 total servings of dairy of any form in a day then that's all he needs. And also that the 5-10ish minutes of drinking from a bottle aren't going to mess with teeth/development especially because he knows how to drink from a sippy/straw cup too. 

[+] is still enamored by his big brother and it's so fun watching their relationship grow. He will go and cuddle with Mark when they're both laying on the floor and even leans in for kisses when we ask him too. Their newest game is for Pat to push Mark over while he's sitting on the floor and they both laugh and laugh. They also run laps around the house playing chase and their giggles are contagious. Pat's starting to get feisty with Mark too over toys and cups and the like. He'll screech and run away if Mark's trying to take something or he'll scratch and try and tackle Mark if he has something he wants. Overall their interactions are awesome and I'm so glad they have each other. 

We love you Pat Pat.

Monday, July 10, 2017

The start of #InternYear



In May 2017 I graduated from Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine as an Osteopathic (DO) physician. I am now an intern PGY-1 in Family Medicine set to spend the next three years completing my training and hope to provide insight into balancing residency, motherhood and all life has to offer. 

Come back soon to read more!

In May 2017 I graduated from Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine as an Osteopathic (DO) physician. I am now an intern PGY-1 in Family Medicine set to spend the next three years completing my training and hope to provide insight into balancing residency, motherhood and all life has to offer. 



Come back soon to read more!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Homeowners: The Hollands Move - again!

In the whirlwind that this spring/summer has been I've failed to post here about our most recent adventure. 

We've moved! 

I briefly mentioned my Match Day results in a monthly post for Patrick but figured it was worth documenting all for it's self. I matched into the Family Medicine program in Ft. Collins, Colorado. This three year journey will begin in the beginning of July and over the course of the last few weeks we've closed on the selling of our 2nd home and the purchasing of our 3rd, packed & moved and unpacked in our brand-new home. I am taking full advantage of the free time I have to combo getting things done around the house and having lots of summer fun with my two tiny ones. I hope to share more details about our newest home as things come together but we seriously love our new place! 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Day in the Life - Momma

Monday 
June 5th
7:45am   ||  Breakfast of cinnamon sugar toast & blueberries for two wild toddlers, their scraps & coffee for momma
9:15am   ||  Grocery store run for odds and ends because were out of the house in a matter of days
9:45am   ||  A hot, sweaty walk to an old park leaving momma gasping from pushing heavy babies
10:15am ||  "Pat Pat let me show you how the turning works" in matching sun hats
11:15am  ||  Peaked around the corner from making lunch to find two sweet brothers building
1:00pm   ||  Boys are sleeping so it's book time for momma which lasted all of five minutes before I was asleep on the 
                   couch too
3:00pm   ||  Littlest is up first and among his newest tricks is using a pillow to climb onto the couch
3:45pm   ||  Biggest joins the party so we move outside and he's finally allowed to run his cars through the dirt in the 
                   flower pots
7:00pm   ||  Post-dinner shenanigans where Mark is starting to realize Pat has some fighting power, even if it's just in his 
                  weight right now
7:30pm   ||  This little boy and his ticklish piggies & sleepy belly laughs 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Baby H: One Year Photos (times two) pt2

It's no surprise that this spring/summer have been jam-packed with significant life events. Patrick turning one. Momma becoming a doctor. Buying a brand new house for residency. And selling the house that we've called home for the last four years. And for part of Patrick's One Year photo session we decided to have a bit of a lifestyle shoot in this home before we hand over the keys to it's next owners. 

This house is bursting at the seams with memories starting since we moved back to Colorado four years ago. Late night summer BBQs with the friends we truly feel are family. Holiday parties, hosting Christmas and traditions we'll carry with us wherever we go. Heartbreak and fights and tears and some of the lowest of lows. Hours and hours of studying and working making a life for ourselves. Celebrations of pregnancies and two blue gender reveal parties. Bringing home our brand new babies and throwing three little boy birthday parties. Promotions for J, residency match for me. And all the little day to day life moments that I'll hold in my heart forever. 

To be honest, I was nervous with how a lifestyle shoot for our family would go. We were in the middle of listing the house which meant we flew out the door after our session for afternoon showings and the house was in an odd state of "put away". We also have two little boys who can be very wild and very opinionated leaving this momma nervous and hoping for some good shots. And boy oh boy, I seriously cannot stop loving these images. We wandered the house, touching on our favorite places to spend time as a family. The boys showed off their lovies, their beds, their toes and giggles. We practiced walking, read books, "worked" with dad, drank milk, filled our bellies with berries and changed clothes. And most importantly, we celebrated the house that made us a family and that we'll deeply and truly miss once we're gone. 





Romley Court, you were one for the memory books. We hope your new owners cherish you like we have and that you bring as much joy to your new family as you have to ours. Thanks for the last four years and thanks for the memories. 

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