I started off Monday by walking out of my front door and directly into a snow drift. Where just seven hours previously there had been no snow. Hello blizzard. I slid in my little car (with absolutely no tread left on the front tires, we’re talking like made-the-tire-guy-gasp-in-horror no tread, Safety High Five!) to the main road, and through several intersections before I decided that, even with my crazy-mad snow driving skills honed after a decade-plus of wintering in the Upper Middle States, hitting the interstate to drive 30 miles to clinic would be a Stupid Idea Of Epic Proportions.
So, I slip-n-slided to the nearest Big Giant Hospital affiliated outpost, sat in the parking garage and had a good cry (Yeah, I’m A Big Cry Baby, What Of It? High Five!). After I had (somewhat) collected myself, I Googled the nearest non-blatantly-shady-looking tire place that I could get to without having to go up any sort of incline, drove there, got yet another credit card (Fiscally Responsible High Five!), got some decent (d*mn) tires (finally), and afterwards, I went to clinic. Oh yes, I did.
That night I got pretty much no sleep, for no good reason (because I usually have four to twenty, very noisy, undergrad party animal reasons directly above my bedroom for not sleeping, A**hole Neighbors High Five!), and woke up exactly 24 minutes before CREOGs (the Big Annual OB/GYN Resident Assessment Exam) started the next morning (2 Minute Shower High Five!).
After taking all of the shelf exams (core clinical med student exams most people only have to take once) numerous times in med school, not to mention surviving second year which consisted of approximately 92.7% taking exams, I was not too worried about a little one-day test which included free lunch (Free Food High Five!). Plus, I had been told by pretty much everyone (aside from my program director, of course), not to sweat the test as an intern because the whole point is to show improvement over the four years of residency and kick @ss on the test in third year if I want to do a fellowship. Don’t stress over something in residency when I have 57 million other perfectly good things that I actually need to stress about? Done.
The test was not exactly a Super Happy Good Time, but turns out all the studying I’ve been doing for the rotations I’ve been on so I have some idea of what I’m doing when I have to treat real live patients, came in handy when I had to answer hundreds of questions about purely theoretical ones as well (Indirect Benefit High Five!).
With the test over and new tires on my car, I was free to spend the rest of the week freaking out about how frigging old I and my (apparently, literally) elderly ovaries are, and how I probably have a better chance of growing a second head than of giving birth some day. Yep, I am on REI right now (Infertility Freak Out High Five!)
Every day I am counseling women (significantly) younger and healthier than myself who just can’t manage to pregnant for no good reason. I know the stats people, and right now (officially in my early-to-mid-thirties), my chances of ever getting pregnant ain’t looking good, and get worse by the day (Who am I kidding? By the second.). The realization of which kind of makes me want to jump up and bust out of whatever stuffy, sterile little consultation room I happen to be sitting in at the time, and immediately get to work on getting knocked up. At least five times a day.
Because I have always wanted to have kids and I still do. But, I am a resident. And the reigning verdict on having a baby as a resident is that you have to: #1 – Be Rich, #2 – Have tons of people just sitting around ready and willing to raise your child while you are at work all the time, #3 – Be a Magical Pregnancy Unicorn who never gets sick, never misses more than 10 seconds of work (this includes your effortlessly popping that little miracle out and seamlessly handing it off to your Nanny Squad who have been on standby in the lounge for the last nine months, between consults), and in fact works harder while all PG, and ever afterwards.
At this point, I am the opposite of rich. As in, if the surgeon general starts putting warning labels on credit accounts, there will be no writing, there will just be a picture of my broke @ss. I don’t even have enough money to buy a used couch, and I have started to pray every time I buy a package of ramen noodles that my credit card won’t be rejected (Glamorous Doctor Life High Five!). Plus, my support people consists of my cat. Who, as far as I can tell, considers waking me up in the morning by sitting on face and hard-core licking her privates to be the absolute pinnacle of supportivity (Hey, It Got Me Out Of Bed In Time For CREOGs High Five!). I’m not even going to address the Magical Pregnancy Unicorn issue. Knowing my luck, I’d probably have a barf bag strapped on like a feed bag for 9 months, 8.75 of which I would probably be on Strict Bed Rest what with my PIH, GDM, VB, MSG, OMG……..(Just Being Realistic High Five!).
I just have to say, that this totally sucks.
It sucks that in this day and age, I and many other women are forced to choose between having a career or having a family. It sucks that I could have stayed a nurse and probably had three kids by now, but no, I chose to go on to medical school and be a doctor so I could do more to help other people, so now, by the time I can (responsibly) have a kid, I probably won’t be able to.
I realize that it was my choice, and after I made that choice my ex-husband said “Okay, then we can’t have kids because you won’t be around to take care of them.” And then divorced me. (Yep, Better Off Without Him High Five!) And then I kept right on going, I suppose the implications of which are now finally, fully setting in.
Because who thought, in this day and age, I would really have to be making the choice to have a career or a family? Obviously, not me. Sure, it was probably hanging around somewhere in the back of mind where I store disturbing things I would just rather not think about (Denial High Five!), but come on! Nahhhh, that will never happen.
Fast-forward five years, and here it is, happening. And regardless of how self-inflicted it may be, it still totally sucks.
Fast-forward to today (Fast-Forward High Five!), and I’m in my own clinic. And one of my very own patients, who I delivered with my very own hands, brings in her baby to get a picture with me. And brings me a picture, which I am instructed to display on my very own Baby Board. It is the very first picture I have gotten to display on my very own Baby Board.
And for the rest of the day, I don’t give a d*mn about choices (Having My Very First Baby Picture To Display On My Very Own Baby Board Is The Epitome Of AWESOME High Five!). I go home and lay in bed and watch stupid TV on Netflix and eat candy for a couple hours, and then I dance around like crazy in my fuzzy jammie pants to a song that makes me feel like me and my (elderly) ovaries are young and juicy and carefree all over again……
And then I go for a long walk, and it’s snowing again, and all I can think about is how it sparkles…..
And I listen to a hopeful song……
And I stay up too late to write a blog post. (On Call All Weekend High Five!)