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On Being a Pregnant Medical Resi...

Posted Sep 12 2008 12:10pm

On Being a Pregnant Medical Resident...

The Good:
  • Limited maternity wardrobe required-- I went from yellow-string scrub pants to blue-string scrub pants around week 14 so that I could wear them over my expanding belly and not have to hike them up all day. Saves me a ton of money.
  • My emergency medicine program has been amazingly accommodating regarding my pregnancy and impending maternity leave. I've basically re-written my schedule for the next year so that the rotations that have to be done out-of-town will be done by the time The Bean makes an appearance.
  • It looks like I can take 5 months of leave and still manage to write my emergency medicine certification exams on schedule. That's 2 months more than I expected to be able to take.
  • PAIRO (have I mentioned that I love my union?) tops up my mat leave to 75% of my take-home salary. Not too shabby.
  • As a doctor, I seem to be subject to very little of the unsolicited advice that is often heaped on pregnant women. I guess people assume that my medical training makes me better prepared for managing pregnancy. With the exception of my mother-in-law, who believes, for example, that my intention to cloth diaper is something that should be met with eye-rolling and smirking.
The Bad:
  • I'm torn between wanting to tell everyone I work with that I'm pregnant (since I'm definitely looking wider around the middle) and not wanting them to think that I expect special treatment.
  • Due to some first trimester spotting, I had to stop running. I've been walking instead, but it's really not the same as far as stress reduction goes.
  • I need to pee about 10 times a day. This is actually pretty disruptive to a busy workday.
  • Eating is a challenge. I'm done with the nausea of the first trimester, but very few foods are appealing to me. And it's not like I can leave the ICU with the code pager to get myself some fresh watermelon and a McDonald's cheeseburger when the mood hits.
  • I miss sushi. A lot. And wine. And my beloved aspartame (I long for a Diet Coke!). I am aware that not everyone believes that forgoing sushi and aspartame is necessary during pregnancy, but it's what I've chosen. That doesn't mean I can't complain.
  • 10 hour days with 1-in-4 call is exhausting to the most hardy of individuals. Being pregnant doesn't help. Thank God I had easy rotations during the dreaded first trimester.
  • My blood pressure has been problematically low. My systolic is hovering around 80. In the stuffy confines of the ICU, rounding (standing in front of a patient's bed for long periods of time) gives me pre-syncope. I think I'm going to have to tell my attending I'm pregnant, or he's going to think I'm just a lazy shit who drags a chair around the ICU with me.
The Ugly:
  • Uncontrollable pregnancy gas. Nuf said.
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