Sunday, March 30, 2014

Survival Tactics

This semester has been my hardest yet.

I believe there are 3 reasons for that.

Number 1:
My clinical hours increase each semester, and now I'm at the clinic two full days a week (that probably doesn't sound like a lot, but it feels like a lot).

Number 2:
Isaac, Mary, and I have been taking turns getting reeeeaaaaally sick. On the couch watching Home Improvement reruns all afternoon for a week sick. Ugh.

And Number 3:

With regards to #3, I can sum things up simply by saying I am 16 weeks pregnant, am thrilled and surprised and grateful and nervous, and feel great. 
  • Thrilled because I love being a mom. 
  • Surprised to be pregnant again. Not "Whoops we forgot about birth control" surprised but "How can I possibly be pregnant without spending hours in a doctor's office?" surprised. That is a miracle. 
  • Grateful because of what I just explained. 
  • Nervous because Mary is so gosh-darn cute and I'm terrified that she has raised the bar TOO high for future kids. Nervous because I don't want to hold them all to her standard. 

And, lest you jump to any unfair conclusions, let me assert rather sheepishly that just now when I told you I was sick, I did not mean pregnancy sick. Just winter-time disgusting upper respiratory sick. At the risk of inciting violence among any hyperemesis moms out there reading this, I have to admit that I really don't get very sick when I'm pregnant. Mostly I just crave pizza and want long afternoon naps. 

At any rate, all this brings us down to the gritty details of surviving the last 2, and busiest, semesters of grad school with a toddler, a fetus, and sometimes a rhinovirus. 

Camber's Survival Tactics
In no particular order

1. My house is never, ever immaculate. NEVER. Horrible housewife that I am, I'd rather spend Mary's naps watching lectures than cleaning. Please don't judge.

2. I have to encourage Mary to entertain herself. This might mean letting her gnaw on a red pepper she found in the fridge. Whatever. I can cut the teeth marks out later...

3. I give into pregnancy cravings. Things I have craved include baked potatoes, grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza, broccoli cheese soup, Panda Express, Wendy's chili, Subway, sweet pork salads from Cafe Rio, enchiladas, and basically anything deep fried or smothered in ranch dressing or melted cheese. Apparently the baby is really into health foods. Also salads are about the only vegetable I can stand in the first trimester.

4. I don't do extras. I don't decorate. I don't bake bread (usually I love this). I keep non-grocery shopping to a minimum. I don't make quilts or crafts. I don't practice the piano. I don't read. I postpone haircuts as long as possible. I minimize social engagements and have even had to cancel things a few times because, well, homework

5. I keep my to-do list for the day short. Keep Mary alive. Eat. Write paper. Exercise. Pray. Shower (optional). The fewer the goals, the less depressed I feel at the end of the day for not accomplishing everything. 

6. I rely on Isaac. That amazing guy spends Saturdays watching Mary so I can study, puts up with my horrible housekeeping skills, often does the cleaning himself, tells me I'm beautiful even when pregnancy acne stages a coup on my face, and reassures me that I'm a decent person when I feel like I'm barely keeping things together. 

Survival aside, Mary is a blast right now and I spend more time than is practical reading her stories, singing her songs, doing her hair, wandering around playing with her, and generally admiring her cuteness. She imitates animal noises, narrates herself in gibberish all day, will eat green beans almost to the point of puking, and is just starting to walk, although she seems convinced that crawling is the superior way to get around. 

Also, petrified though I was to spend a semester in pediatrics, I have loved it. The vast majority of kids are actually really good for me during exams, and I get to see squishy babies EVERY DAY. I love talking to teenagers, love telling toddlers that I just saw Tinkerbell in their ears, and love it when I can figure out what's wrong with someone's child and my preceptor (who is amazing, by the way) agrees with me. 

I am not thriving, but I am surviving. 

And I'm really, really excited for graduation. 4 1/2 months to go.