Tuesday, December 11, 2012
being a pregnant surgeon
Here is a picture from my LAST pregnancy...at 30 weeks! I'm 31 weeks now...I should really have a picture of me taken this time around in the OR too!
Anyhow. Being a pregnant surgeon has been trickier this time - especially since when I was pregnant with Clara I was an intern, and rarely in surgery every day...now that I'm in my last year of training I am in the operating room almost every day.
For the most part people are pretty understanding of my situation. Now that my belly is really prominent I don't quite fit at the surgical table so well, and I have to stand sideways to access the patient...that can really kill my back. Also wearing heavy 20+ pound lead (my lead is crazy heavy and wraps all the way around my body to protect my insides from all sides) presses against my stomach and is insanely uncomfortable.
But do you think I make comments about that stuff at work? Oh hell no. I work with a bunch of guys...and I'm positive they don't want to hear about my pregnancy pains. Plus, there isn't anything anyone can do about it...and I don't want to seem ungrateful for the blessing of growing a baby. And more importantly, I don't want to miss out on those cases! So I do what I need to do to keep actively participating... obviously...I'm a surgeon and I enjoy being in the OR.
At one point early in my pregnancy someone told me that I was crazy to keep doing surgery because I was pregnant. I was looking for one of the super heavy lead wraps and was told that there weren't any available. I was shocked and asked, "well surely there is SOMETHING I can use...what do other pregnant surgeons use?" The response I got was, "well, that's why there aren't many women surgeons." (which I thought sounded preposterous.) Ultimately, the radiology department found me a heavy lead wrap...it gave it away that I was pregnant...weeks before I wanted to announce it...but the super duper lead wrap comes out and everyone knows. No surprises here.
I have made this situation work for the past 31 weeks...successfully. I've been so very cautious about the radiation exposure...just like the numerous nurses, scrub techs and anesthesia ladies do when they get pregnant. That being said, I will be thankful to be in the OR again sans big baby belly!!