Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chicago: check

Yeah, I lied. The only picture I took in Chicago was of the guys playing Wii tennis. But, I will say this: Lake Michigan is east of Chicago. Thus, when you are on the bus driving down Lake Shore Drive at 6:30 am, the sun is rising over the lake, and it is just too beautiful. And then if you want to finish viewing the sunset over breakfast from the third floor of a building on the lake in a room with floor-to-ceiling windows, well, that's okay too. Chicago makes a good argument for moving there.

Also. We were staying with one of Brandon's friends from college. He has a giant apartment on the North Side with two roommates. I also have some friends in Chicago, but we wanted to stay together and knew there was room for both of us at this place. Anyway, I wanted to try to see one of my friends from middle school while I was there. I see him when I'm in his city, and we exchange about two long emails a year. One of those friends. Anyway. Once I got to Chicago, I gchatted him to see where he lived, if meeting up would be practically reasonable. Ha. Turns out he lives In The Same Building we were staying in. Out of all of Chicago, it turned out he was just down the hall. I'm all about weird, kismety coincidences like that. So, yeah, we had dinner. I met his cats. It was easy.

Now I am sick and in St. Louis. The whole stress and minimal sleep and flying on airplanes with recirculated air did me in, and I am at the peak of some sort of cold/flu thing. But it's okay, because after tomorrow I get a break: no more interviews until December 3! Yay! I will be flying to and from Portland for Thanksgiving in that time period, but that's a pleasure trip instead of a business trip. And I will sleep and be a real person instead of this weird interview version of myself I am constantly being. I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Brief visit home

The title refers both to the fact that I just did a 53 hour stint in Minneapolis (approximately 11 of those hours were for interview activities) and to the fact that I am in Cleveland for one of my little 14 hour "visits." I miss my house. And my kitties.

Anyway, thank you for the thoughtful comments on the last entry. I really appreciate hearing what people who have actually delivered have to say. I also appreciate hearing that my family members have a healthy dose of life-wish and practicality.

And...yes. Off to Chicago. Then St. Louis (an image of Judy Garland just sprung into my head unbidden). And then back for an 8 hour visit to my home. I'll try to take pictures in Chicago, because Chicago is pretty and has that reflective orb thing downtown.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

<24 hours

Tomorrow I finish my stint at Magee. Today I did my presentation on Implanon and had my meeting the the program director. So...tonight I really didn't have anything to do.

So I watched The Business of Being Born. Questionable choice, I know. I went into it knowing that it would get me all riled up. But what with that article in the New York Times and my fellow telling me she is briefly in TBoBB, I felt inspired.

I expected to be angry. But mostly I'm amused by how internally contradictory the whole message of the movie is. Early on, they talk about how awful it is that women are exposed to TV images of birth: screaming, sweaty, grunting - it's totally not true, guys! That's just the media buying into the Message of Fear! But then they go on to show multiple screaming, sweaty, grunting births. Real ones. Far more fear inducing than TV.

Then, they spend a lot of time talking about how awful pitocin is. The evil, evil pitocin that causes the uterus to crush the baby! But then, when the safety of home birth is questioned, they argue, "But, look! We have pitocin in our home birth bag! See? Totally safe! No post-partum hemorrhage here!"

The thing that actually made me mad was when they basically blamed Cesarean sections for the fall of society. You see, when a woman has a Cesarean, she is deprived of a critical bonding moment with her baby and thus never truly becomes attached and loving as Mother Nature intended. What? Sure, it's awful that moms don't get to hold their babies immediately after Cesarean. And a Cesarean is major surgery with all the associated risks. But, really? Moms who have Cesareans don't love their babies as much as moms who have vaginal deliveries. That's offensive. And ridiculous.

Yes, the idea of a home birth surrounded by the people you love, getting to move how you want and eat what you want is lovely. Viewing birth as a personal journey, your own mountain to climb is a nice personal growth tool. And, honestly, if every home birth was in a major metropolitan area with a Certified Nurse Midwife as rational as the one in this film, my feelings on home birth might be different. When they cite statistics on the safety and prevalence of home birth in Europe, it is important to remember the different systemic setting for those births. I'm not saying our system is right. It's clearly flawed. But it is the system we are in right now. In Ohio, for example, you cannot have a CNM at your home birth. Only lay midwives do home births in Ohio. This means less training, significantly reduced ability to handle or recognize complications and no prescription powers (thus no pitocin, no methergine, no hemabate). I'm not comfortable with that. Frankly, after seeing what I've seen in the brief time I've been doing this, that terrifies me.

In conclusion, I'm pretty sure I've said some things that will make people angry. Have at it. I respect your right to choose the birthing process you desire, but as a practitioner I'm not comfortable with sacrificing the option of emergent interventions just for an experience. My final outcome is a healthy baby, and I really don't see what's so wrong with that.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I am at work, supposed to be working on my Implanon presentation (Implanon, the new, improved Norplant! Now less painful to yank out of your arm!), but all I want to do is shop for yarn for a Clapotis. Why? Why now? Clapotis has been around since 2004, and I never caught the bug before. But now that it is cold and I am bugged out on rotations and interviews, there is very little in the world I want more (besides, you know, peace on earth and good health for my family and loved ones and whatnot).

Also, do you know how many residency programs Brandon and I applied to combined? 68. And do you know how many interview invitations we received? That number would also be 68. Booyah. (We're only going on, um, 40 or so combined, but we still feel very loved and wanted.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Wow. We did it.

Um, go vote (duh)

I'm gonna keep being nervous until tonight is over. Because as much as it looks like things are going to go for Obama, it ain't over until it's over. Obviously, if you're the sort of person who reads this, you're the sort of person who doesn't need to be reminded to vote. So, good for you. Way to vote (unless you didn't, in which case, go do it now).

Anyway, I had my first residency interview yesterday. I am happy to report that I agree with Delores and Meredith: Sofft shoes rule. Are they Dansko comfy? Well, no, not quite. But for 3.25 inch heels, they are awesome! I definitely had more spring in my step than the women in other, non-comfy heels, and I think that was what clinched the interview.

I'm a little hesitant to talk too much about specific interviews here, since I'm paranoid. What if a program director is here and I said nicer things about other programs than I did about their program? Or what if they realize who I am and that they really hate my choice of yarn? So I'm going to be vague.

Yesterday I was at an excellent academic program in New England. It was beautiful, all fall-in-New-Englandy, and I was very impressed with the program. The residents were incredibly friendly, and they honestly seemed happy. I think I could be happy there. Also, driving through the happy New England town this morning, streets were lined with "Go vote!" signs, and I felt happy. Then I went to the airport where I randomly ran into someone who used to make me feel incredibly unhappy on a regular basis. Again, here I will be vague, but I was not quite ready for that. It went well, considering the situation, and I left with some sense of resolution that I had never really obtained 8 years ago. In summary, a productive two day trip.

Also, go vote.