Jen: I started this blog in March of 2012, so it is still relatively “young” and evolving! I began blogging because I was struggling with my work-life balance and felt that I needed a place to express that. I was just about to discuss with my boss that I wanted to cut back my hours as an OB/GYN so I could be with my son more, and it was such an uncomfortable spot to be in. Blogging helped me get out all the thoughts and emotions and forced me to face the facts, so to speak.
Also, my husband and I had also just moved to a new place with few friends, and leaving behind my network of mama friends was really hard. I missed that sense of community and support. Blogging has given that back to me, and I am so thankful for it!
Sarah: What have you liked the most about blogging so far?
Jen: The overwhelming positivity from my readers! I was surprised at how many fellow mothers out there were going through similar scenarios of feeling so torn between work and home, and I was so touched by the supportive comments I have received. In my world of medicine, few female physicians talk about how hard it is to miss so much family life – it can be perceived as a sign of weakness. Feeling like I can write and talk about this stuff has helped me realize I am not alone, and that I am allowed to feel this way…as a woman and a mother.
Sarah: I loved your post on “How To Become an OB/GYN”…what is your favorite part of being a doctor?
Jen: Oh man, there is a lot – which is good, because there’s also a lot of things about doctoring that are not my favorite (paperwork!!). I love the happy stories that follow the sad ones – delivering a woman’s healthy chubby baby after I helped her through a miscarriage is one example. It is a privilege to be let into a moment as intimate and special as a baby’s birth and I try not to forget that. I’ve also had some bad experiences as a young patient myself, so it is my hope that if I make going to the OB/GYN not a traumatic experience, than maybe my patients will learn that not all doctors are bad or scary. Lastly, I love my teenage patients. The stuff they say is totally uncensored and at times hilarious. They are the ones I want to help the most because if I can help them stay on the right track early on, think of how far they could go in life. Let’s just say the show “Teen Mom” is such a helpful learning tool!
Sarah: I also see (and love!) that you’re taking your test to become an international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC)! I think it’s so cool that an OB/GYN is so passionate for breastfeeding and wants to not only learn about it, but teach it. What made you so passionate for it?
Jen: My son Henry is totally to blame for this! Before I had him, I knew breastfeeding was best and all that jazz – I discussed it with my patients and tried to not be weirded out when they would bust out their pump in front of me. Truthfully however I wasn’t totally sold. Little did I know the birth of my son during my last year of residency would change my tune so much. Working up to 80 hours a week meant two things: Nursing was a huge way for us to reconnect, and I got to know my pump really well.
It is true that most medical providers get no formal training with breastfeeding, yet who do our patients turn to for help when they need it? Us! With my experience nursing for 21 months and being married to a pediatrician who is also totally pro-breastfeeding, continuing my education and becoming an IBCLC just seemed like the natural path. I would love to work in my husband’s clinic one day as an IBCLC, but we’ll see where the roads take us. For now, I just want to continue to educate patients about the benefits of breastfeeding, help remove the obstacles that can get in the way of that, and advocate for nursing moms everywhere.
Hmm…this could be interesting! I spent my summers in college doing marine biology research, and one year that meant defrosting dead fish and dissecting out their sonic nerves. Do you know how bad that smelled? I repeatedly have dreams of dropping babies when I deliver them, but thankfully that has never happened. I love Bethenny Frankel and know we’d be friends in real life. I am an only child and worry I won’t be any good at parenting two kids because I love order and quiet in my home. I don’t know how to pay the bills because my husband does all of that, and so he has put together a file called “Read Me If Doug is Dead” so I know where all the important paperwork is if heaven forbid I am the only one left!
As a fellow boy mom, I have to ask…what’s your favorite part about being a boy mom?
EVERYTHING! I absolutely love being the mama to a little boy. There is something about the way a little boy needs his mommy that melts my heart. I am also thrilled that I don’t have to deal with the issues of Barbies, miniskirts, princesses, feminism, and body image…yet. I was a tomboy myself and really can’t stand the media portrayal of women, so I know I would struggle with that as a mom of girls. Of course since I am saying this, I know I’m 100% guaranteeing my next kid is a girl (thanks!). But all that aside, I love getting to play with trains and trucks and dirt and bugs. I can so totally rock that.