Friday, June 24, 2011

A Bittersweet June 24

June 24 has been an important date for me for the last eight years. Eight years ago, it was the day that I started my internship. For the next three years, it was the day that the new interns started, marking the beginning of several months of increased stress as a resident who had to supervise them. Every year since finishing residency, I take note of this day, not because it holds any significance for me anymore but just out of habit. However, this year, June 24 is meaningful again on many levels.

First of all, today Asher is 1 month old. I can't believe how fast the last few weeks have gone by, and it scares me to think how quickly he will grow up. The advice from everyone was to enjoy every minute with him, and though we try, sometimes I feel like we feel short of this goal. It seems like I'm always on to the next thing, trying to organize and strategize. Pumping became a full-time job a couple of weeks ago, and I realized how much life I was missing, while scheduling my days around the pump. Last weekend I decided it wasn't worth it; Asher needs a sane mother who is present in his life more than he needs to avoid formula. I still pump frequently, but I do it when it's convenient. My supply is unchanged, but I am happier, and I like to think that Asher is as well. Maybe better advice is to slow down and to not think about the future so much but to spend more time in the present. Today I will try to forget how much I have to do and instead to appreciate having such a sweet little boy in my life.

Second, my new sister-in-law starts her own internship today. She will be at Natividad Medical Center here in Salinas as a family medicine resident for the next three years. Such an exciting step for her...and a major life change for both her and my brother. As thrilled as I am to have them so close for the next few years, it is a bittersweet moment for me. I remember the challenges residency posed to me both as an individual and as a spouse. In the grand scheme of things, it is a blink in time, but it is one of the hardest challenges a couple can ever face, and I wish that I didn't have to see people I love go through it. I hope that our love and support helps soften the hardships they will face.

Finally, exactly a month after I went under the knife, my father is headed to the O.R. at Stanford this morning for a robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy. He was diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer back in March. He and his doctors decided it was safe to delay surgery until after Asher was born and Chris and Robin were wed, but I know the wait has been weighing on the whole family. A very proud, stoic man who loves his family more than himself, he hasn't wanted many people to know about this, particularly, I think, because he didn't want to cast a shadow over the other wonderful changes our family has had this spring. Despite his best efforts, he has been on my mind constantly the last few days. It will be such a relief to have surgery behind us, and we are optimistic about an easy recovery, but of course, I know better than most that no surgery is without risks and will be on pins and needles until I hear that he is safe and sound in the recovery room.

So as I celebrate the wonder of Asher's first month of life today, a big part of me will be with the family whose love has helped us weather the challenges of the last few months. I hope that after today, when somebody asks what is going on, I can say, "Not much," and really mean it.

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