What Do You Want To Know?

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be married to a doctor? Or, have you ever had questions about the medical profession that you were just burning to ask? Then, you've come to the right place. Welcome! My name is Amanda, and I am currently married to a doctor. He's an OB/GYN, and he recently started practicing medicine. I've been with him from the beginning of undergrad all the way through medical school and residency (twelve years of training, to be exact), so I've become very used to the idea of living with a doctor 24/7. I've had several friends ask me what it's like to be married to an OB/GYN, so I decided to start blogging about my experiences. I'd like this to be a Q&A type of blog, so if there is anything you'd like to know, and you've read The Disclaimers* at the bottom of this page, then, ask away! Your questions can be funny or serious or whatever. If you have any amusing anecdotes about your experiences with your own OB/GYN or family physician, let me know. Also, if you're currently married to a doctor, whatever his/her chosen field, please feel free to share your thoughts and life experiences. You might be able to answer someone else's question better than I could! You can leave all your questions or comments in the comment section of each post, follow me at twitter.com (@asktheobswife), or email me at asktheobswife@gmail.com.

I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you!
Amanda, The OB's Wife

Thursday, April 30, 2009

What Is Your Relationship Like With Your Spouse?

When I started this blog, I wrote a disclaimer (at the bottom of the page) that stated I most likely wouldn't answer questions asking for intimate details about my relationship with my husband. However, recently I received a few e-mails from people dating OB/Gyns, who asked me about my experiences. Without divulging any of the information in those e-mails, I want to make a few things clear to those of you reading this blog. First, my husband and I have a very caring, loving, and healthy physical and emotional relationship built on trust, understanding, and communication. As I said in a previous blog post on my "Married to the M. D." blog, I believe that communication is the key to any good marriage. Though I'm still working on it myself, I think talking to my husband about our feelings and thoughts on anything related to our relationship helps us to grow and become a better couple, as well as better parents to our son. When I receive e-mails asking me what I would do in a specific situation with my significant other, I want to immediately say, "I'd talk to him about what's going on." I try to remind the person who wrote the e-mail that I really don't feel qualified to give any advice related to her situation. Every person is different with unique life experiences. How my husband and I live is probably very different from the way even our own parents live. Also, though every OB/Gyn (and, really, every doctor in every field) has gone through similar training, each one brings something different to his/her occupation because of his/her previous life experiences. I've known my husband since way before he became an OB/Gyn. I know his personality and how he handles himself in different situations. I also know that being an OB/Gyn is his career and completely unrelated to his being my husband or being a father to our son. If he can, he usually tries to leave his work at work, so that he can focus on us when he's at home. I've been asked how I can trust him, especially in his specific profession. My answer is that I just do. He may do twenty different exams on twenty different women each day, but at the end of that day, he comes home to me. As I've stated before, he learned to look at the female body in an objective, diagnostic way when he studied in medical school and worked in residency. He knows and understands how to differentiate between his work life and his home life. I don't know how other men in his profession live their lives outside of the hospital (though I suspect that many of them are like my husband), so I cannot give any advice on how to handle someone else's dating/marriage situation. I can, however, reiterate that if someone is seeking help with his/her relationship, I would suggest that he/she find a local marriage counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist, or even a clergyman or clergywoman to guide him/her. All of these people are trained to deal with relationships and their complications. I admit to seeing a counselor myself before my husband and I were married, and it really helped me look at our relationship from a different perspective. If a time came when I needed that help again, I would definitely seek it out, so I highly encourage anyone else to do the same.
Now, for anyone coming to my blog wanting to know if sex is different or better with an OB/Gyn: I'm sorry. That's one answer I'm keeping to myself.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Good Reasons To Be A Doctor's Wife

Because I felt like I was complaining a little too much about my current situation in my last post (this is MY life and I chose to marry my husband, knowing what I was getting myself into), I wanted to direct you to a fellow Twitter friend and physician's wife, Kathi, and her "wingspouse blog". Based on this article on why a person should be happy to be a doctor, she wrote her own response on why we should be happy to be doctors' wives! It's a good reminder to me of my importance in our relationship and what I can do to contribute to my husband's career and life, in general. I particularly like #1: "Some day (if not already) you’ll get to do cool things other people will never get the chance to do." Already in B's first year of practice, we're going to be traveling around the country more than we have in the past several years (and we've definitely seen more new places since he started residency than I ever had before in my life!). Thanks, Kathi, for your perspective!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Does Your Life Revolve Around His Work Schedule?

So, do our lives really revolve around my physician spouse's work schedule? Yes, and no. He has a better schedule than residency, in that he only has to be on-call about one day a week. That also means he has at least one day a week he can be home to rest and relax. However, unless he's on an extended vacation (like last week), there isn't much we can do in the evening together, unless we schedule it way in advance and, yes, around his work. I'm happy I joined a great mom's group. It helps my son and I get out of the house each day, and we've discovered some great places and activities in our new city because of it. I feel guilty some days, though, because my husband can't share in these experiences with us. For example, today he was on-call. In fact, he still is on-call and still working hard at the hospital (and it's an hour until midnight). When he finishes his shift tomorrow, he'll most likely want to come home and rest. That makes me a little sad because I organized a great meet-up for my mom's group at a local pizza place, a la Chuck E. Cheese's. Maybe we'll get lucky in the morning and find out he slept some at the hospital, so he'll be more amenable to going with us. However, I have a feeling it'll just be my son and I attending the event this time around. Not only does he miss many of these opportunities to spend time with his family, but there are also several times when I must RSVP "no" to a night out with the girls. I know it's a little selfish of me to feel so disappointed by this, since he equally misses fun, eventful nights out with his guy friends. Still, I have to be honest and admit that, every time a "Mom's Night Out/In" is scheduled on a night when my husband is supposed to be on-call, I kind of get bummed out. I know I could always hire a babysitter, but what if my husband doesn't have to go in to the hospital because of a light work night? I could leave our son at home with him, but you never know when an emergency might pop up or a baby might decide to come into the world. It's just easier to say "no" than it is to plan around such a chaotic routine. One consolation is that my husband gets A LOT of vacation time now, which means we'll get a lot of time to spend with him (away from work). In fact, in a little over a week, he and I will be going to Chicago for five days. It will be a work-related vacation because he'll be spending most of his time at a conference. However, we decided it might be best to leave our son with my parents, which means my husband and I will have our evenings (and some of our day times, depending on his conference schedule) to ourselves. It also means I'll have some time by myself to enjoy the city, at least the areas near our hotel. I'm looking forward to a little spontaneity in my day, instead of the normal scheduled day-to-day routine. Especially after a day like today, when I felt like a single parent when dealing with my crabby 2 1/2-year-old son rather than a married one. I'm just glad tomorrow will be a new day, and my husband will be around at some point to experience it with us!

Monday, April 13, 2009

What Is It Like?

Do you REALLY want to know what it's like to be the spouse of a doctor? Just read this post on the "Lives of Doctor Wives" blog, which sums it up perfectly!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Count Your Responsibilities AND Your Blessings

I wrote the following post on my "Married To The M. D." blog way back on July 21, 2008, soon after my husband had finished his residency, and we had moved to our new home town. I think everyone, no matter his/her situation in life, could take some time to think about how he/she is blessed. Even though my husband is now practicing medicine, my blessings haven't changed at all.

I think this particular bit of advice is hard for a lot of people to remember, me included. When my husband was in residency and working all the time, I took on a lot of responsibilities that were probably shared between us before. I did almost all of the grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning around the house, gardening, paying bills, taking care of our son, and running various other errands. Before we had our son, I also worked full-time in an office, so I had that added on top of everything else. I even learned how to mow the lawn after we bought our first house and found that it could be a stress relieving experience! It's not that my husband wasn't capable of doing any of these things. He was just very busy with work, and most of the time when he came home from the hospital, he brought work with him. There was very little time left in the day for him to do any of the mundane things at home. All of that added responsibility made me very stressed and unhappy some days. Sometimes, I just wanted to throw in the towel and forget about everything I needed to do. However, my house and (later) my son were a constant reminder that nothing magically takes care of itself and that really, my situation wasn't as bad as I kept making it out to be. I had to remember that I was blessed with many opportunities, people, and things in my life, which I was taking for granted because I was letting all the little things get me down. I still have to take time out now and then to count my blessings, so I'd like to provide a list of them here in my blog in the hopes that I'll come back and read it every so often to keep me in the correct frame of mind.

I'm blessed in life because:
1. I have a wonderful husband who takes care of me emotionally, psychologically, physically, socially, and financially. He has a lot of his own responsibilities in life, and I think he takes it all in stride in a way that I wish I could emulate. He is able to work to provide for our family, and he knows how to have fun and keep things lighthearted and spontaneous. I love him dearly and hope he knows it every day.
2. I have a beautiful baby boy who reminds me constantly how precious life can be. He's physically, mentally, and socially healthy. He keeps me young and reminds me that I have to take time to play every day. His giggle is my favorite sound in the world, and I love that I have the opportunity to stay home with him and watch him grow and develop in every little way.
3. I have TWO families who love me and wish all the best for me and my husband. I'm talking about both my immediate family (Mom, Dad, my brother, and my sister) as well as the family I married into (my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, and my two sisters-in-law). They've all been supportive of our endeavors and have been pretty understanding about all of those times when we've missed holidays and get togethers because of B's work schedule. We're very blessed to have all of our parents still alive and enjoying life, and our son is blessed to have four grandparents who love him deeply. They'd all do anything for us if we just asked, and I have to remember that they have more life experience than I do, so their advice should always be taken to heart. All of our sisters and brothers are wonderful people with their own talents and personalities, and they make life fun and exciting for everyone. I am truly blessed to have so many amazing people in my family!
4. I have lots and lots and lots of friends living near and far, who care deeply for me and my family and who bring fun and joy into my life. Whether they're other parents like me or my gaming buddies or college friends who've been through thick and thin with me and B, each and every one of them has a special place in my heart. I really couldn't have gotten this far in life without my friends, and I love every single one of them for who they are and how they've touched me in some way. Since I have the opportunity to do so, I'd like to thank all of them for being a part of my life! I'm not going to name names here, but I think you all know who you are. ;)
5. My family has a beautiful home, a pantry and refrigerator full of food, comfortable beds, and enough money to pay our bills and to take care of our basic needs and wants. Our current living situation is not lost on me, especially now, with gas and food prices at all time highs and many people struggling to live day to day. We are truly blessed to not have to worry about where we'll be sleeping, where and when we'll have our next meal, and how we'll be paying for everything we need to survive.
6. We live in a safe, quiet neighborhood free of violence. Our son will never have to be afraid to go outside and play, and he'll have many opportunities to make friends, learn new hobbies, and develop new talents as he grows older.
7. Most importantly, I'm physically and mentally healthy and able to take care of my family and my home. I still have the ability to have more children when I choose to have them, and I'm still young and active enough to keep up with my son. My brain is still active and always ready to learn something new. I have so many opportunities for my own personal growth and development, and I hope I don't waste a single one of them.

There are so many more blessings I could list, but I think these are the most basic and important for me to remember every single day. After I post this, I'm going to take some time to enjoy my family, since I'm blessed to have my husband home with me and my son for a couple of more weeks before he starts his new job.
Namaste and blessings to you all,

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Holidays When There's A Doctor In The House

I just wrote this post for the "Lives of Doctor Wives" blog and thought it would be appropriate to post here, as well.

I was replying to a friend's email today and mentioned the fact that I keep forgetting Easter is just two weekends away. Part of the issue is that my husband and I just moved and currently do not attend a local church. I'm only reminded of the upcoming holiday when I enter a store and see all the Easter candy, baskets, bunnies, and eggs. However, I also realized that I haven't talked to my husband about whether we're going to do anything for our son, or not. He's 2 1/2, so he's not really fully aware of Easter yet, and my hubby and I have agreed that we're not going to make a big deal out of holidays until our son is old enough to understand what's going on around him. For the past several years (even before our son was born), most gift-giving holidays involved us trying to find a couple of hours to just be able to sit down and unwrap maybe one gift from each other. Even this past Christmas, when my husband actually had the day off, we still only gave each other a few things, probably because we just got into the habit of not going overboard. I remember one Christmas during my husband's residency when we didn't even put up a tree. We were going to be spending our entire holiday away from home, so we didn't even see the point of putting it up if we weren't going to enjoy it. I know how cynical that sounds, but it's really how our lives (and priorities) have changed since my husband started residency (or maybe even before that during med school). Holidays are special times to spend with family and friends, but when your significant other has to spend that time working and away from you, it's kind of hard to get in a celebratory spirit. I remember going to many family get togethers in our home state without him because he had to stay close to the hospital while he was on-call. I also remember missing many celebrations because of the very same reason. Do I regret it? Not in the least. My husband dearly loves what he does, and even though we've both made sacrifices along the way, it's still been worth it. This past Christmas, he actually had the day off, even though he's technically the low man on the totem-pole. However, he had to work a 1/2 day on Christmas Eve, so we decided it was a good time to try to start our own Christmas traditions at home (most of our previous holidays were spent traveling to families' houses). Actually, it was a good thing we had to stay home, because we all ended up getting a stomach virus, but that's beside the point. I think having my husband working in a profession that can't really take time off for "special days" has really helped us in a way. We've learned to look past the materialism and the stress and the overabundance, and we've learned to see the central reason for celebrating: just being together and loving each other. So, really, I don't care whether or not the Easter Bunny visits. I'm just so glad my hubby will have the weekend off to spend with us!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself!

Jennifer, on her blog "The Chronicles of Hunt", wrote an amazing post recently about what she's learned while being married to a doctor. She has some wonderful advice and words of wisdom for any spouse of a medical student, resident, or even a practicing physician. I've said many of the same things on my personal blog, "Married to the M. D.", but I think what she says is much more succinct. Thanks, Jennifer, for your awesome blog!

*The Disclaimers:

1. This will not be a "medical advice" blog, so if you have any questions pertaining to your personal medical situation, please do not ask me. My husband is the physician, not me. I know how to put band-aids and kisses on boo-boos, and that's about the extent of my medical expertise. Also, please do not ask me to take your medical questions to my husband to be answered by him. I just don't believe that's ethically right, especially within this type of forum. Please seek the guidance and care of your own personal physician for any specific medical questions you may have.

2. If your question is in any way personal, I may not answer it. If you ask me anything about parenting or motherhood, especially if it pertains to this blog, I will most likely answer you. However, if you want to know my full name, date of birth, address, phone number, the health of my sex life, etc., I'm not going to give you a reply. For those who are curious, I'm a Cancer, my current favorite color is purple, my favorite number is 7, and my interests include cooking, sewing, reading, assisting in the organization of my local moms' group, spending time with my family and friends, playing board and role-playing games, Twittering, and blogging, of course.

3. If you think words like "vagina" and "breast" are best left for the bathroom and/or bedroom, then this blog is probably NOT for you. I live with a doctor full-time, so the correct medical jargon for body parts is a part of my everyday vocabulary. I am certain, considering my husband's chosen field, that I will be using such words quite often when I answer your questions. Yes, I say "penis" and "breast" around my 2-year-old son. He's bound to hear them someday, and it might as well be from his parents. Also, I personally believe in teaching my children the correct names for their body parts.

That's it! Everything else is fair game! Thanks for sharing and reading!