There are few moments in life like discovering that you are pregnant. It's as if you're striding confidently down one path in life, and suddenly, a giant gust of wind blows you off of that path and onto a new one. When that stick turns blue, your life is dramatically, irreversibly changed.
I remember the disbelief I felt both times upon discovering I was pregnant. My disbelief quickly turned to joy — much like when Dorothy opens the Gale farmhouse door and sees the colorful land of Oz.
Here's what our Mommy M.D.s — doctors who are also mothers — felt and did upon discovering they were pregnant.
"When I found out I was pregnant, I felt wonder, joy — and terror," says Elizabeth Berger, M.D., a mom of two grown children, a child psychiatrist and the author of "Raising Kids with Character" in New York City.
"Getting pregnant — and then becoming a mother — changes your whole outlook on life," says Jennifer Gilbert, D.O., a mom of twins and OB-GYN at Paoli Hospital in Pennsylvania. "It changes everything about your life. People say that all of the time, but you can't really understand it until you've gone through it on your own."
"Even though my husband and I were trying to get pregnant, when I saw that positive test, I thought, oh, my God. What have I done?" says Ellen Kruger, M.D., a mom of two grown children and an OB-GYN in an academic and clinical practice in New Orleans with Ochsner Health Systems. "We spend our whole lives contracepting, and then, suddenly, when you get pregnant, it hits you that you're going to be someone's mother. Anyone with half a brain is going to panic at first when she sees that positive pregnancy test.
"For several years after my husband and I had been married, I squelched my yearnings for a baby," says Ann Kulze, M.D., a mom of two grown daughters and two grown sons. Kulze is a nationally recognized nutrition expert, motivational speaker, family physician and the author of the bestselling book series "Eat Right for Life" in Charleston, South Carolina. "We were both training to be physicians, and it wasn't the right time. In the spring of my senior year, I started having some stomach discomfort. I took Zantac and tried to ignore it. Then my period was late. Lo and behold, I found out I was pregnant a month or two before beginning what was going to be the most demanding, exhausting time of my career — my internship."
"When I got a positive on my pregnancy test, I was in my second year of a four-year residency program, and my husband and I had been married for a year-and-a-half," says Kathie Bowling, M.D., a mom of three grown sons and an OB-GYN in private practice in Providence, Rhode Island. Bowling is also on the clinical faculty at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University. "We had bought a house, and we were doing exactly what everyone says you're supposed to do."
"I remember being scared to death," Bowling continues. "I thought, what have we gotten ourselves into? I wasn't worried about our finances because we both had jobs and bright futures. But I was terrified of the responsibility of it all. I went into a small room off the labor room at the hospital and shut the door. I needed some time to collect myself and contemplate what lay ahead. Even when you have all of your ducks in a row, finding out you're pregnant is still terrifying."
"The first time, I got pregnant really easily. But I had a much more difficult time the second time," says Susan Wilder, M.D., a mom of three grown daughters, a primary care physician, and CEO and founder of Lifescape Medical Associates in Scottsdale, Arizona ."I was working in a residency program at the Mayo Clinic. I was exhausted and burned out. I was in premature menopause. A friend of mine who's also an infertility specialist said that my only chance of getting pregnant again was with a donor egg. I didn't want to get on that roller coaster, so I tried to put it out of my mind.
"A few months later, I sprained my ankle really badly," Wilder continues. "In reflexology, the female reproductive system is localized near the Achilles tendon. Next thing I knew, I was pregnant with twins! Reflexologists might say that the increased blood flow to the area of the body focused on reproduction might have helped me overcome my infertility issues."
"When I found out I was pregnant and told my friend, she was shocked. My husband told her: 'This is your fault! You don't tell my wife she can't do something, because she will show you that you're wrong.'"
Jennifer Bright is a mom of four sons, co-founder and CEO of family- and veteran- owned custom publisher Momosa Publishing, co-founder of the Mommy MD Guides team of 150+ mommy M.D.s and co-author of "The Mommy MD Guide to the Toddler Years." She lives in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. To find out more about Jennifer Bright and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: 1041483 at Pixabay