Friday, September 11, 2015

2nd Trimester Bump Updates Vol. 1 (Weeks 13 - 20)

I'm going to cheat this week and make my 7 Quick Takes a Pregnancy Bump Dates Post...since I am a bit behind on those. 

If you missed my first bump updates post, here is the link: 1st Trimester Bump Updates

Ready? Set. Go.

WEEKS 13 - 20

Week 13 

  • Baby is the size of a PEACH
  • Mama is busy with:
    • Celebrating my parents' (your grandparents) 35th wedding anniversary
    • Going on a shopping spree with my mom (your grandma) in Michigan and splurging on maternity clothes  (and gender neutral baby clothes that were on clearance)
    • Starting data collection for her research project and getting frustrated because she cannot get Excel to do what she wants it to do
    • Another EKG class

Week 14

  • Baby is the size of a LEMON
  • Mama is busy with:
    • Data collection for research project
    • EKG final exam
    • Getting fed cookies at work, then getting told not to tell anyone just in case I get "gestational diabetes" from them, hehe ;-)
    • Finding out one of our evening shift pharmacists is a home-schooling mama of 6 and she homeschools during the day and then comes to work a 3-11pm pharmacist shift. This mama needs to talk to that mama and get advice, ASAP. I also gotta ask her if she is by chance Catholic...then we'll be buddies for sure :-)
    • Getting a lecture about how to handle meds / patients in the ICU and the NICU (Neonatal ICU) from the critical care pharmacist
    • Debating and discussing with my Residency Program Director whether I will be able to travel to New Orleans in December for the annual ASHP pharmacist conference where I present my research and promote my residency program at the residency showcase. I will be 34 weeks pregnant by then. Is flying out of the question? Is driving 13 hours worth it? Since pregnant women are more hypercoagulable, we are at more risk for developing DVTs (deep vein thromboses) or blood clots in our legs when we're not moving around for an extended period of time, such as driving. But we would be taking frequent breaks to pee anyways (#PregnantWomenProblems) and to make sure I move around and not get a DVT. Still weighing out the risks and benefits. Opinions, anyone?

Week 15

  • Baby is the size of an APPLE
  • Mama is busy with:
    • Finishing her streak of working 19 days in a row without a single day break (don't worry, mama is still getting plenty of sleep. Mama's brain stops functioning at about 10:30pm the latest so mama makes sure she's in bed by then.)
    • Surviving (related to above)
    • Research data collection 
    • 3rd prenatal appointment. All is well. Mommy heard your heartbeat again and it made her happy :-)
    • Starting new rotation on my residency
      • It is called "Transitions of Care" - This is a new clinical pharmacist program that we started in our hospital. So far, the feedback from the patients has been very, very positive and most of the patients are surprised that pharmacists can provide such comprehensive clinical services and that they are such well-rounded and knowledgeable health care professionals.
      • Basically, I follow certain patients throughout their entire stay in the hospital as well as after they leave to assure all of their medical needs are met. This helps ensure the patients have continuity of care. When the patient first gets admitted, I introduce myself and tell them that I will be their pharmacist throughout their stay. I also interview them about the medications they take at home. Of course, some people do not know their medications very well, so for me to get the full story, I often have to call their pharmacy (often multiple pharmacies) and/or their doctors' offices and/or insurances. I then follow them clinically throughout their stay and address all of the medication needs...I speak to the attending doctor if any changes need to be made to their medication. And upon discharge, I go over their new prescriptions, hand them a nice comprehensive list of all of their medications, and provide counseling on any medications that are new or that changed. I make sure they can afford the new medications that the doctor sends them home on. This often involves calling their pharmacy to see if they're covered. If they are not, I make recommendations to their doctor about alternative agents, or I obtain coupons for them if they really need to be on a specific med. I then give the patients a follow-up phone call about 2-3 days after discharge to make sure they are doing better, to make sure there were no issues in obtaining their new medications from the pharmacy, to see if they are taking their medications correctly, and to see if they have any concerns about their medications or if they're experiencing any side effects. 

Week 16

  • Baby is the size of an AVOCADO
  • Mama is busy with:
    • Meeting with research preceptor and going over my research progress so far...and slightly intimidated by the feedback. Oh well. I'm learning. And this is my first research project. And it's not easy. It involves analyzing the utilization of antibiotics in our hospital. I have to analyze whether the doctors are using certain antibiotics appropriately or not. And there is a lot more to that. It involves a lot of baseline knowledge...It's deep....and again...I'm still learning.
    • Traveling to Indianapolis for the 2015 IPTeC (Indiana Pharmacy Teaching Certificate) Conference
      • Getting a call from co-resident on my way there freaking out that there are bedbugs in our room (we then requested a different room...and there were no bedbugs in that one...thank God.)
      • Being fed breakfast, snacks, lunch at the conference and going out for a nice dinner in Indianapolis with the co-residents after the conference was over 
      • Exploring Butler University
      • 1st day of conference: I was not sure if that was actually kicking or some food-related feelings in my stomach. But I kept feeling it and it was different than anything I have ever felt before. I questioned it until it literally made me jump in my seat. I was surprised but it really made me smile.
        • Called Greg right away to share this and he was very excited as well
    • Having a nice conversation with my co-residents on our 3.5 hours journey back from the conference and telling each other about how happy we all are with our residency program choice and how happy we are with each other (we all get along so well and we feel like we've known each other forever even though it's only been a month and a half.) 
    • Coming back from conference and being told by your daddy how much he missed me.
    • Being taken out for brunch by daddy. Your daddy is very good about catering to your mommy's cravings and making sure you are fed :-)

Week 17

  • Baby is the size of a LARGE ONION
  • Mama is busy with:
    • 2ND WEDDING ANNIVERSARY (August 17, 2013 --> August 17, 2015)
    • Preparing anemia topic discussion, which mommy will be leading
    • Getting nauseous at the smell of a co-worker's subway sandwich...right as we were starting a topic discussion on hypertension (and mommy had to run to the bathroom...but instantly felt better once not around said subway sandwich. Getting some stares and "are you ok's?" on my way back from the bathroom. Oh well. #PregnantWomanProblems)
    • Getting cervical length ultrasound and finding out everything is normal. Thanks be to God.
    • Research, research, research....

Week 18

  • Baby is the size of a Sweet Potato
  • Mama is busy with: 
    • EVERYTHING. The residency train is blasting at full speed.
    • Getting kicked in the uterus all day long. I love it. Amongst the stresses of residency, the baby's kicks bring me back to the beautiful reality that I have a miracle that is being knit together by God in my womb.

    • I don't remember much beyond this from week 18. Pregnancy brain. Again: #PregnantWomanProblems

Week 19

  • Baby is the size of a MANGO
  • Mama is busy with:
    • Her 25th birthday!!! 
      • I saw memes on the internet that talked about entering the "Quarter Life Crisis," but there is absolutely NOTHING 'crisis' about my life. Every single day I get up and breathe and eat and pray and get to and from work safely and talk to your daddy and feel your kicks inside of me...all I want to do is LIFT MY HEAD AND MY ARMS UP TOWARDS HEAVEN and shout words of praise and gratitude to the ONE who created you, and me, and your daddy. All glory to Him for blessing us every second of every day. His Goodness is just incomprehensible. His blessings make my heart overflow with joy. His Mercy is beyond what my little brain can understand. 

Week 20

  • Baby is the size of a BANANA
  • Mama is busy with:
    • Had our 20 week ultrasound and found out that you are a girl.
    • Finished my Transitions of Care rotation and started my "operations" rotation. This allows me to wear scrubs all day every day. Yay for getting a break from dressing up. (As you see in picture in all the glory of my eggplant-colored pharmacy scrubs)
    • Turned in my research abstract draft to my preceptor. Awaiting feedback.
    • Got lightheaded and almost passed out while playing with needles (compounding sterile IV medications) in the IV room at work. And I'm not afraid of needles. But perhaps my baby doesn't like them. Or this is my body's natural defense mechanism telling me to stay away from sharp/dangerous objects while pregnant. #PregnantWomanProblems
    • Mommy has been super sensitive, delicate, and emotional. Pregnancy hormones are raging at full speed. Yes, #PregnantWomanProblems continued.
      • Mommy randomly bursts into tears, whether it's due to something good, beautiful, romantic, or something that saddens or angers her (for instance, when I hear about those poor babies being ripped out of their mothers' wombs every day, butchered, and their body parts sold for profit. Thinking about this literally makes me burst into tears because I just cannot believe that it is the 21st century and we are civilized people and science proves babies in the womb are just as human as babies outside of the womb...and our nation is okay with killing our children...just for the sake of convenience...just to escape the consequences of their own actions. I just cannot believe this is happening in this day and age and a majority of the people aren't even angry about it...nope, not one bit. (In fact, there are plenty of people who accept it, endorse it, and think that abortion should be available on demand and without reasons or excuses.) This is what crushes mommy's heart. Because thinking about your innocent little body and soul in mommy's womb makes mommy very defensive. I would die so that you can live. But other mommy's would rather kill their babies and live without them just so it's easier. Ahh the heartache this causes me.

Been brainstorming names with daddy and this is what we came up with so far:

  • Violette
  • Isabella
  • Gabriela
  • Victoria
  • Amelia
  • Anna

But I think our hearts are set on Violette. Of course, I made sure to do a search on Violette to see if there is a Catholic Saint by that name. And it is kind of hard to find information on her but she exists! She apparently lived in the 2nd/3rd very early Christianity (hence lack of detailed information)...and was a virgin martyr (just like my patron Saint, Saint Agnes).

So here is our 3d ultrasound picture of our little precious Violette.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

7 Quick Takes #53 - Summer 2015: Residency, Pregnancy, Travel, Gardening etc

#1 Left retail pharmacy (forever I hope)

.....after 2 years as a pharmacy technician and 3 years as a student pharmacist / pharmacy intern.

I could probably write a book about my experiences in retail pharmacy. I have a whole post written up in my drafts folder and perhaps I will post it eventually...I have been procrastinating on it because there is just soooooo much to be said...especially when you're a Catholic Pharmacist and people (customers AND coworkers) look at you like you're crazy because you refuse to even touch Plan B.

# 2 Traveled to Tennessee (Babymoon?)

I'm calling this our babymoon even though it wasn't planned as a baby moon (we found out we're pregnant after this trip was already planned), and we were with friends (not alone like honey/baby moons should be), and since I'm stuck working a million hours a week for a whole year as a resident and because my residency year will be extended due to taking time out for baby in January...we definitely won't be taking another vacation for a while.  So let this be our hillbilly style baby moon. It consisted of exploring, sightseeing, and taking pictures of my husband and our friends tasting moonshine while I secretly imagined what all the different flavors taste like. Haha, we brought back a bottle of mudslide moonshine just for MAMA....for after this baby comes out.

The beginnings of the beginnings

We had a caricature picture of ourselves drawn. Ahhh...I don't know how I feel about this picture. But it is kinda funny since all of our funny/weird/unique facial features are exaggerated in it. 

#3 Spent some weekends living the country life in Michigan

This is the tree I sat under and studied for my board exams....while my mom was taking care of her garden and my dad was probably taking care of the animals...or fishing with my husband. One day...we are totally moving out of Chicago to live the country life.

My mommy planting potatoes.

#4 Started Residency

This is Saint Francis of Assisi - who hangs out in front of our hospital and in whose name the hospital was built. Refer to this post for more details in regards to beginning my residency and about the wonderful Catholic institution where I will be spending my year: The Start of my Pharmacy Residency and Post-Match Reflections
This is our mission at Franciscan Alliance. I like this better than the mission of the retail giant I used to work for...their mission was probably something along the lines of making millions of dollars. Thank God for getting me to this place. His Will is ALWAYS best for us and He proved it to me again and again....and again this time.

#5 I passed my board exams and got licensed as a Pharmacist 

Here you see that my cat is bipolar. Sometimes she loves to chill with me while I study, and sometimes she eats my notebooks. People's new homework excuse should become "the cat ate my homework" instead of blaming the dog all the time. Anyways, pharmacy boards were hard. I had to take the pharmacy law exams for 2 different states - they were both equally challenging. So was the pharmacy practice exam. But studying paid off and I passed all with good scores!

I took one of my exams at the Pearson Vue testing center downtown Chicago...and this was the day after the Blackhawks brought the Stanely Cup back home. So all kinds of celebrations were going on as I was walking the streets trying not to get lost and make it to my exams on time. 

My custom made diploma frame (graduation gift from my sister in law) came in and hubby was kind enough to hang it for me. So here is the most expensive piece of paper I own (worth probably around $160,000). Yes... Higher education, especially graduate school education, is INSANELY, UNBELIEVABLY, PUNISHABLY EXPENSIVE in the great United States of America. Whoever is doing this needs to go to jail. There are people in the healthcare field that sacrifice their lives to saves the lives of others and they have these insanely large student debt burdens hanging around their necks. Ridiculous. But that's where God called me so here I am. I trust His Goodness.

#6 Gardening Season 2015

In the beginning....

A little later....

And later...

Tea from fresh mint from the A&G garden....

#7 Celebrated Our 2nd Marriage Anniversary

Excerpt written in my journal exactly 1 year before our wedding day:

And then the wonderful day came....and the bride was so happy to walk down the isle :-)

(Lots of coins thrown at us fell right into my dress...and this was my attempt of pulling them out)

#7.5 Been growing...

Unofficial aka mirror bump pictures

Right when the belly first started popping out....

I posted my official bump pictures from my first trimester in this post:

1st Trimester Bump Updates

I take a picture every single week so be on the looking for my next Bump Update post...which is cooking and which will include weeks 13 - 20.