Reflections.

This isn’t just the last day of March, it’s also the last day of maternity leave.

I return to work tomorrow.

April Fools Day!!!

As I write this, the baby is in the exersaucer desperately trying to talk to me.  I wish I knew what he was trying to say.

I try not to think about it, but I realize just how much I’m going to miss him.  It’s time for daddy to take over his full-time care.  I wonder if he’ll miss me? Will he wonder where I went? I felt this way with all the kids but with this baby, it’s more poignant.  Because he is my last. I know this.

The last six months have been truly a blessing.  To be home with my entire family has been wonderfully exhausting, yet I am really looking forward to being a doctor again.  I know I never really stopped being one, it’s who I am and who I will always be.  Just like being a mother is who I am and will always be – it’s just that the mother had center stage for so long, it seems.  But, now it’s time to be a doctor again.

Dr. Mom.

That’s me.

Back On Duty.

Final weekend of maternity leave.

Last night I had a lovely dinner meeting with the doctor who’s been taking care of my patients.  We had a “handover” of sorts.

Handover – A handover is the transfer of responsibility and accountability for some or all aspects of care for a patient or group of patients, on a temporary or permanent basis. It entails appropriately transferring information to help deliver safe care. (CMPA)

I had been keeping up-to-date on a few patients since I was off, but not many.  Our three-hour meeting was informative and extremely useful.  This physician has done an excellent job and a quick peek at some of her clinical notes on the EMR confirmed it. I am officially back on duty as of, well, now.

I have to admit, I feel a little apprehensive.  I am used to this feeling – I’ve had it every single time I returned to work after an extended leave like this.  Am I going to remember how to write a clinical note?  Will I remember how to take an appropriate, concise but detailed history?  Thankfully in the past, after the first few hours back, it generally feels like I never left.  I certainly hope this is the case next week.

Another variable thrown into the mix is my 6 month old son. When I returned to work after the previous two maternity leaves, the kids had been sleeping through the night for at least a month.  (How did I get so lucky?  Third time’s the charm, right?  Right?!) Sadly, no.  He’s not quite sleeping through the night yet.  He still wakes at least once, usually between 11pm – 2 am.  Husband has been wonderful and doing these feeds more often, but I still wake up.  I am still tired during the day.  I worry how I’m going to function now that I have to actually use my brain again.

Despite the fatigue and the apprehension, I am ready to get back to my work.

I love my job.

I love medicine.