Work

I watched a documentary about some of the richest kids in the world and one of them was going off about how he hates when people he meets asks what he does for work- he would rather talk about something more substantial.  It’s a question that comes up a lot when meeting new people- what do you do for work?  The rich kid hated that question because he doesn’t work.  I feel very differently. What I do for work is tied closely with who I am.  I am a midwife.  My job is part of my lifestyle.  I work weekends and nights and holidays. I go 24 hours without sleep.  I become emotionally involved with patients.  I overall enjoy what I do. I may not like the hours, but I wouldn’t work them if the job wasn’t rewarding.  Work is part of me.

 

When this latest set of complications hit, I wondered how I could work. Facing pregnant women everyday, envying their situations.  Simply interacting with many people everyday who might ask about my pregnancy.  People said not to worry about work.  But giving it up seemed like giving up on a part of me.  I knew that returning to work would be painful.  But being out of work was painful too.

 

I returned to work on Monday.  This week is mostly just administrative things.  Our practice recently transitioned from paper charting to electronic medical records.  We are still transitioning- it takes about a year to be fully electronic.  And so, lucky for me, there’s some somewhat mindless work- imputing patient’s medical histories and readying their charts for upcoming visits.  It’s the holidays and so staff are on vacation, which means I can play the role of triage nurse/provider, answering patient phone calls and responding to results.  It’s a small luxury I feel like I can provide for my practice.

 

Things I was worried about:

Guilt.  Like I said, it s holiday week (read: fewer days to see patients) and staff is on vacation (read: fewer providers to see patients).  People are double and triple booked.  Knowing that I can physically see patients but am not emotionally ready is hard.  I feel guilty.  It’s self imposed, I know.  Work has been great and supportive- it’s just hard to see my coworkers work even harder because of me.

Patient interactions.  On my first day I had two phone calls with patients who knew I had been out and wanted to know how I was feeling or how the pregnancy was going.  I stumbled through awkwardly- a quick “fine” seemed to suffice, but the whole interaction was unlike me.  Usually I’m much more effusive and chatty, which is why these patients asked in the first place.  So it all felt wrong and weird. But its something I will have to get used to.  I saw a patient today- I was helping out.  It was supposed to be a quick injection visit, which turned into a check infection visit.  Which just meant more face time with the patient.  And appropriately she asked about my pregnancy.

 

“Are you having a boy or a girl?”

Quick smile “I don’t know”

“Wow! You’re big for not knowing!”  she said eying my belly. Clearly she thought I was less than twenty weeks and hadn’t had my ultrasound.

“I’m 30 weeks. I could know, I just chose not to.   We’ll find out when the baby is born.”

 

She was young, 21 years old and had a baby earlier this year, so she was familiar with how pregnancy and finding out the gender works.  To me it was kind of funny that she didn’t even consider someone wouldn’t want to know the gender in advance.

 

Now that I’ve spent a week in the office, I feel more acclimated and I think I’m ready to start seeing patients.  Next week I’ll feel more useful.  I’m not filling up my schedule until we have a better plan in place (it’s hard on everyone to schedule then cancel then reschedule patients) and right now it’s unclear at what point I go back into the hospital (if at all) for monitoring and to stay until delivery.  I’m hoping to make that plan Wednesday, after my next ultrasound and an appointment with the neonatologist.

 

In the meantime, I passed my glucose test! No gestational diabetes for me.  Since I feel like I haven’t “passed” many tests in pregnancy so far, I was worried I wasn’t going to again.  And having gestational diabetes would add another component to what kind of monitoring we’d do- making it all even more complicated.  But finally, some good news!  My midwife says I can eat a cupcake to celebrate!

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4 thoughts on “Work

  1. Meghan,
    I just read some of your stories. I don’t know exactly what it’s like. But I do a little. My brother has Down Syndrome. He was born when I was 9 years old. At the time, I didn’t understand what was happening. He had some complications and I really didn’t understand why I couldn’t hold him for 2 weeks. He turns 14 next Wednesday and although I sorta missed out on the first 2 weeks of his life, the other 725 weeks that I’ve been able to love him – and more so, have been loved by him – have more than made up for it. Walking through life with a brother (or child, in my parent’s case) with Down Syndrome may be called a challenge, a never-ending job, an exhausting journey by some. But I don’t consider any of the things other people say about living with a child with Down Syndrome. Instead, I consider it great joy. Great and PURE joy. Yes, it was painful to watch him suffer and it was difficult to watch him learn slowly and it took work to fully understand him and I wished every day to take his place. But he and only he was created by God to be the JOY that he is. To bring LIFE to people in the way that he does. He is my biggest hero, my best friend and I have never been able to love another human being to the extent that I love him.

    While your baby has not yet emerged fully into the world, I do believe he/she is already a picture of love, joy, life, and purity. Every child is, but children with Down Syndrome have something extra. I don’t know what God put in that extra chromosome, but in my eyes, that chromosome makes people a whole lot more perfect than I am. I know it hurts right now and it’s hard and scary, but I believe it will all make sense one day and you’ll be thankful to have walked this journey with that bundle of life and joy inside of you. I am anticipating with you the day when you get to meet your child and I hope it is a day when your broken and sad heart is mended and you experience love from him/her like no other.

    Sending prayers to the One who already knows your child,
    Janelle
    (Deuteronomy 31:8, Exodus 14:14)

  2. A friend just sent me the link to your blog, and man! Deja vu! Reading your posts kind of took my breath away for a minute. We got the club foot/DS diagnosis too, not to mention low fluid, the works. What a shock. Our Clubfoot disgnosis turned out be be false, but my son Copley is a happy healthy kid who happens to have an extra chromosome. We are lucky and we know it that we have two amazing kids. Welcome to the in mama, it’s not bad! Scary at first, but what’s new that isn’t. You know where to find me now if you ever want to chat. Love and light to you ❤

  3. I’m praying for you, your husband, BABY, and extended family members. My pastor said the other day that “God KNOWS what time it is.” HE, Jesus, is holding you as HE creates this amazing GIFT for you. HIS timing will always win out. And this gift will be for your best. HE KNOWS your feelings, worries, disappointments, stresses. HE’S holding your tears. And HIS. Jesus loves you and BABY. I’ll keep praying and reading your posts. HUGS.

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