A Week in the Life…

… as a Family of 4. Cameron is now 11 days old but it feels like a month has gone by. Being awake more hours of the day than asleep- ahhhh, I had forgotten what that feels like.

The timing of it all-

8:30am: Arrive for check in, get paperwork, labs drawn, IV started

10am: Pitocin started, 4-5cm, contracting every 2 minutes, no pain

10-1300: hang out, get some CMEs, send some texts

1300: epidural placed (high likelihood that labor would progress quickly after this)

1309: break bag of water (LOTS of water)

Day of Life 1

1400: feel rectal pressure, getting ready to push

1509: Baby is born!!

Cameron’s first week of life was a whirlwind. He was born at 15:09 on Friday, August 24, after an hour of going from 4-5cm to being complete and an hour of pushing. When he was born, the OB turned the baby upside down so we could see the undercarriage and see if the baby was a boy or a girl. I was expecting to see girl parts and was shellshocked to see boy parts!

Cameron’s head seemed to not want to come out so my OB said if she made a little episiotomy, his head would pop right out! I was almost going to agree but asked for one more push. And WABAM! His head popped right out! It’s like when you’re a resident doing a difficult spinal placement or a-line and you ask for help from an attending, and then you succeed on your own!  He was 8 lbs, 7 oz, although he looked so teeny to Jeff and me, maybe 7 oz. But no, he was a good normal size.

We were discharged home Saturday around 1600, after all of Cameron’s testing was done (newborn screening, jaundice check). Monday was another pediatrician visit where he was 7 lbs, 11 oz and needed to get some formula supplementation until my milk came in. With Jacob, my milk came in on Day of Life 3. People say your milk comes in faster/earlier with #2 but that wasn’t the case with me. I felt defeated and anxious wondering if my milk would ever come in? What if giving him formula would cause nipple confusion and he didn’t want the breast anymore? Why, oh why, had I forgotten to order my ‘favorite’ organic formula ahead of time? Oh yes, that’s right, because we were in a hot mess of a situation trying to find housing, moving and keeping this bun in the oven until we were settled into a home.

Wednesday was another Weight Check (aka WCW aka Weight Check Wednesday), Thursday AM was the circumcision, Thursday PM was a tongue tie evaluation and possible tongue clipping procedure, Thursday PM was Parent Orientation for Jacob’s preschool, Friday AM was a ‘Meet and Greet’ for Jacob’s school and picnic afterwards. And thankfully within all this, my milk came in on Tuesday and Cameron was a better eater and napper.

He loves the markers and all the fun toys and friends at his new school!

Jeff has been home the last few weeks as well and it’s a lot of work even with 2 people. Jacob resisted his afternoon naps and thus pushed back dinner and his evening bedtime back a few hours. Jacob going to bed late meant there was less debriefing time for Jeff, Cameron and me and later ‘naps’ for me before my midnight shift. But it’s a huge help to have Jeff’s extra hands to help us all bond and get used to this new lifestyle.

Jacob is still not into Cameron which is understandable. He’s been spending a lot of time with Dad. There’s not much I can do with Jacob right now that includes only the 2 of us but I’m going to work on that as my body recovers and we start to get our new routine under way. Tomorrow is Jacob’s first day of preschool and the beginning of a lifelong journey of education. And for me, tomorrow is the beginning of a lifelong journey of being a mom of someone in school- making new friends, PTA, parent-teacher conferences, etc. It’ll be a whole new world for all of us.

Jeff goes back to work Monday and my folks arrive Monday night. I’m somewhat nervous about being alone with the kids. How do I corral one super active and strong toddler? I will have to pray about it and all I can do is my best. Stay tuned for all the adventures ahead of us.

 Do you have any advice about adjusting to life with a new baby? I welcome any and all advice! I hope no one labored too hard over Labor Day weekend!

The “Last” Day- 08/24/18 6am

Edited 08/28/18: Since this entry was written, our new addition, Cameron Sung Min Chisdak, was born on Friday, 08/24/18.  It’s been a transition so a blog is pending.. Stay tuned! 🙂 

Yesterday was the “last” time for a lot of things. Our “last” day as a family of 3, my “last” time putting Jacob to sleep as he is the only child… I had a good cry or two yesterday feeling sad/guilty to Jacob. As much as I know eventually he will be the best of friends with his brother/sister, I can’t help but be subconsciously traumatized at how not the best of friends my brother and I became and worry about Jacob and Dos.

We had a good day out for a boat ride, lunch at the Barefoot Grill. It was a gorgeous day and we all had a wonderful time.

Today’s the day, Dos. Today is your eviction day!

As a normal human being and previously induced mom, I should’ve known better than to stay up until midnight watching TV, but Jacob went to sleep late (thanks to late nap from 2:30-6) and me wanting to spend more time with him. I also wanted to spend some QT time Jeff just the “two” of us before the big day today.

My stomach was all in knots as well. Jeff and I talked about the handful of times we’ve been up late or felt this feeling of anxiety/nerves/excitement- the day before MCAT, the day before our wedding. I couldn’t remember what I felt the day before Jacob was induced…

What if…

… I go into labor in the middle of the night?

… Jacob freaks out while he’s at Mike/Kathy’s house? (He probably will, poor Liane!)

… Jacob freaks out because I’m not around all day/night? This’ll be the longest in a while since he’s been alone.

The medical reality of me also thinks about worst-case scenarios… What if… I need a c-section? What if something happens to me? Are all my things in order? Jeff knows where all my ID and passwords are for everything.

As you can see, my brain is all over the place right now and my stomach and innards are in IBS mode.

My OB said I could have a light breakfast before going in today at 8:30am. I’m an anesthesiologist and still have no idea what that means?! Light breakfast for me? I remember one patient had one ramen, one corn dog and that was her ‘light’ breakfast. I also, being the bad patient, had a smoothie and kimbap for breakfast while starting the induction.

Okay, buddy #1 and #2. It’s go-time soon. It’s 6:08am. Time to shower, pack some of Jacob, my and #2 things.

Jacob and his fish rod
Selfie time with #1
My Munchkin and me
Snack time, gotta stay nourished
Watch out!!

Is today the day?

Dear Dos,

Is today the day you’re going to be born? You’re now in Virgo territory.

We went to the OB Tuesday, 08/21, and I was convinced that was going to be your birthday. He ‘disturbed’ the zone and the rest of the day I was filled with some cramping and Braxton-Hicks contractions so I thought yep, this was it! But alas, all you did was drop a little bit so I could eat some more and you’re still comfy.

Thank you for being so awesome these last 39+4 weeks and especially the last few weeks staying put while we found a new place to live and settle in. I’m sure you miss our old place but with this one you’ll have so much more room.

This entire pregnancy I was convinced you are a girl. Maybe because I feel like God wants me to experience what it’s like for a Mother-Daughter bond. I thought that when I was pregnant with your brother as well so who knows? But remember this pregnancy was different- I had more nausea for the entire first trimester, craving more spicy things (and I didn’t consider them spicy), a lot more crankiness and irritability and some more weight gain (32 pounds).  Everyone else also wishes that we have a girl as well.  Are you a girl or boy?

And then I thought, what if you’re a boy? I will be super excited for that as well. Either way, we win! And there’s nothing I’d want to change or be able to change at this point.

Thank you for growing so heathily and these last few weeks, having me wake up every 2-hours and staying up since 5am so we could practice being up to eat.  You’re keeping me on my toes.

Even though I don’t feel ready, I am so excited to see you!!!  I promise to try my best at being the best mom to you and Jacob.   Maybe today’s the day! If not today, for sure tomorrow?  We’re going to get induced at 8:30am tomorrow.  I hope everything goes okay with your brother when we drop him at Eemoh’s house. Let’s pray for him as well.   We’ve been eating  yummy gelato and other delicious treats as we walk around and try to get you moving.



To my little Jacob

My Dear Jacob,

These last few weeks have been a whirlwind as we’ve had to find/move to a new place. I wish we could’ve spent our time together playing and having fun instead of running around like chickens with our heads cut off like running errands, moving, packing/unpacking, etc. You have been amazingly calm and go-with-the-flow about everything- your diet is off, your sleep is off, we had NO AC for a few days, we have no bathtub. You obviously have received that gene from your dad.

I can’t help but feel guilt and sadness that you’ll have to share Mommy’s attention in a little bit. Everyone ask me if you know what’s about to happen and I tell them you don’t have a clue. But maybe you do- you have been very into Mommy these days- looking for me, only I can put you to bed, wanting to sit on my lap. You make me feel super special, loved and wanted. I love how you whisper ‘Okay’ when I offer to sing you a song, how you look for and hold my hand as you drift off to sleep, you’re the cutest person in the world to me.

Do you remember how I cried Christmas Eve when we found out we were pregnant? I felt so sorry and guilty that day whenever I looked at you. Jeff and people say that I shouldn’t feel any sadness or guilt because soon you’ll have a best friend and someone to play with. That reassures me to some degree. Your little brother/sister won’t be able to fully participate in playing together until he/she is a little bit older. I pray you love your sibling and get along together.

Thank you for making Mommy’s birthday yesterday so fun. I thought you’d love the steak at dinner but instead your dinner was that puffy huge bread.

Today is 39+2 weeks. Any day now is the story we’ve been singing for the last few weeks. I’m sorry I’ll have to be away from you at the hospital. Believe me, it makes me cry thinking about being away from you. I apologize also in advance if I am grumpy from fatigue. I promise to try and be positive and happy!

Remember Mommy loves you and thinks about you all the time. You are my first-born and my #1 Baby!!!! Be good to Daddy and whoever watches you at night, K?



One year ago today

Today is the 1-year anniversary of the passing of my grandmother. I remember exactly where I was, exactly how I found out, exactly how much tears were shed, how I went to church to look for her… Every single detail is fresh in my mind.

She had just celebrated her 97th birthday with the family and passed a few weeks later. How she passed is still somewhat traumatic and creates some PTSD. So, putting all the medical knowledge and experience aside, I shift my focus to believe that she passed painlessly, peacefully feeling loved and not alone.

Here she is at my uncle/aunt’s house for her 97th birthday celebration. How beautiful and adorable is she?!?

I never truly understood what it means to think of someone everyday until her passing. I think of my husband and child everyday but I mean to miss and think of someone everyday? And I never really understood what it means when people told me that the pain decreases over time and you become at peace with it. She has been in my dreams this past week- looking happy and relaxed. In one of my dreams, I dropped her off at the hair salon so she could get a haircut and perm. I asked the lady to please take care of her and pamper her. Then I woke up from my dream.

My aunt says that Korean people prefer to celebrate the person’s last day of life. That made a lot of sense to me. I went to mass to pray for and with her. After mass, as I sat and prayed, I realized that God had answered all my prayers throughout my life. I always asked Him to please let Halmuni (Korean for grandmother) live a long life and a healthy life. And she did. She was 97 years old, had a clear memory, was able to walk, eat, laugh, pray- she was the most with-it 97-year-old.

So, with this realization, how can I be too sad? He listened to my prayers all this time. I was lucky to spend 37 years of my life with her. I got to learn from and share her love of family, friends, and Church. I also was lucky enough to have tasted her Korean food- she was the best cook I have ever met. She lived to know 2 of her youngest grandchildren who brought the biggest smiles to her face, which in turn, brought the biggest smile to my face.

She is/was my favorite person. Am I allowed to say that? I know I have a husband and child but my grandmother was someone who truly holds a special place in my heart. I spent most days with her until I was 6 years old and I owe her so much. I am comforted knowing she is with her BFF, Jesus, and reunited with her husband and children she lost in Korea.

Amidst some drama/distraction, I have too much to be thankful for to be upset. It’s a challenge with this heat and hormones! But I am healthy, Baby #2 is chillin in my belly, Jacob and Jeff are healthy.

Let’s take a moment to have/show gratitude for all that is good in our lives.

My bridal shower- 02/2015.
Facetime with Great-Grandma!
Celebrating Jacob’s Dohl (1st birthday) with his favorite Great-Grandma

Shower Time! & Being a Supermodel for a day!

Whoa, I haven’t written anything in 2 weeks? Wow! There’s been a heat wave these past few weeks in San Diego and that has kept me trying to stay horizontal in the coolest area I can find!

A few nurses at work threw a Baby shower lunch party for me. I tried to say no but I was overruled. I have only been at this hospital as a guest anesthesiologist for a little bit over a year. So I was deeply touched that they had wanted to organize a party for my little bundle.

The party was beyond my expectations! I was expecting some food and that was it! There was a sweets table, tablecloths, decorations- everyone contributed to making the party a huge success. One of the nurses should be a party planner/decorator on the side. She does a lot of parties for her children and had this carnival/candy theme that fit perfectly as well for a baby shower.

The food was amazing. One of the main party planners ordered some Filipino food and ordered lumpia special (only beef, no pork) and it was the best lumpia I ever had. I went back for seconds even though I was pretty full after my first plate. I was super touched that some of the nurses had also gotten Dos gifts. I opened the gifts and was beginning to realize that this baby is real and is coming soon!

Some of the nurses who are like Aunts to me and bought baby girl clothes because they hoped I would have a girl. My Aunt also did that with Jacob- she bought floral/pink onesies praying we were going to have a girl. The gender-neutral onesies, blankets, toys were super small and adorable and I almost cried at how cute everything was. I almost cried also at how sweet and generous they were!

We literally have not bought any items of clothing for this child yet. All of Jacob’s baby stuff had been donated to charity or friends. After this shower, I finally put some clothing items onto a registry for the sole purpose of receiving a completion discount when it’s time to buckle down and prepare for this baby.

It’s also that time of season again where I want to take some maternity photos and some family pictures before we become a family of 4. When I was contemplating booking this photo session with the talented photographer who did the first set of maternity and newborn photos with Jacob, Jeff asked me, what did we do with the pictures from the first photo session? To which I could only smile and say, Nothing.

In my defense, I did have these plans to blow up some pictures canvas easel style and frame them for our house. Somehow I never did. And almost 2.5 years later, all the ‘professional’ photos we’ve done from our wedding, maternity photos, newborn photos, Easter Bunny, Santa and Jacob’s 1st year birthday photos are still in its original packaging and stored on a computer somewhere. J

I did do something with these photos. I made a few albums a la Shutterfly and incorporated said maternity and newborn photos into Christmas cards and birth announcements! So the photos weren’t a total waste. Knowing how I am, however, I know better than to try to find the most expensive photojournalist out there nor do I order their albums, prints, packages for this reason!

Preparing for photo shoots is stressful! I want to look semi-decent which is hard because (1) I’m almost 35 weeks pregnant, (2) I’m no expert at hair, (3) I’m no expert at makeup. Three strikes against me!

I accept that I can’t ‘diet’ or ‘exercise’ enough in the weeks leading up to the photo session to slim myself. I researched and bought a bunch of dresses (mostly Amazon) that I thought would look good in photos by the beach. I ultimately had to consult my friends because I am not good with decisions.


She used a flat iron to create these beach waves! I could never do this! And these lashes make me want to get lash extensions again (but I won’t!).

I also decided to enlist the help of a professional hair and makeup expert to help create beach waves and some dramatic eyes. It was a stressful day! I didn’t want to eat too much because I didn’t want to be rounder/bigger than normal. Is this what supermodels think before shoots or shows? Or do they not have to worry thanks to their stylist teams and photoshop?

We waited until the last-minute to get Jacob in his outfit. He cried unhappily as we tried to put a shirt on him. Oh boy, this isn’t going to go well if he throws tantrums before we even get started. This boy, having Jeff and my genes, is not a big fan of having his photo taken. I think back to his 1st birthday party where the photographer was in his grill and most of the pictures he was crying or had a tear down his face. His lack of nap and strangers could’ve also contributed to this phenomenon. Regardless, all these factors put together did not make him happy.

The photo shoot went well- it was a mix of posed and candid shots. Jacob managed to stay relatively clean until the very end when we were nearly done and he just wanted to play in the water like he does everyday when he’s there. I was surprised that I thought I looked semi-decent in the previews and Jacob and Jeff were good sports about it as well!

This weekend is a Brunch Sprinkle with some friends. Showers aren’t really my thing but I didn’t want Dos to feel like he/she isn’t getting celebrated as much. This brunch is Ladies only. Woohoo! As much as I would’ve loved a brunch buffet, I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to control myself and would’ve been crazy uncomfortable. I love my husband and kid but I would like to be able to enjoy a meal with some friends without the distraction of my kid, other people’s kids, just food and catching up. I’m sure we will talk about kids nonstop but that’s okay!

The countdown is happening. Almost 35 weeks and feeling it!! This heat wave isn’t helping my wanting to get horizontal situation!

Testing out the baby car seat for his baby brother or sister
Making the car shiny
Newborn photos (Shoot #1)

What special events or traditions did you partake in before your babies came? Showers or photo shoots? I’d love to hear your stories!





I’ve Fallen & I Can’t Get Up!

On Tuesday, I had time between cases for lunch so I wandered down to the cafeteria to check out what soups were being offered that day. Yummm soup. As I’m walking down the stairs, I thought to myself, you know? In my current pregnant status, I probably shouldn’t be texting and walking down the stairs.  The next thing I know, my left foot starts to slide down the final two stairs and as a million thoughts are going through my mind, I’ve landed on both knees with coffee spilled all over my arm and floor.

As I’m kneeling there stunned, I thought (1) Oh my gosh, is Dos okay, (2) Holy S, thank goodness the coffee was NOT hot, (3) did anyone see me, (4) how am I going to clean up this coffee, (5) that could’ve been so much worse, (6) Ow, my knees hurt, (7) I wish someone could help me get up!

I’ve never considered myself a clumsy person but I wouldn’t call myself the most graceful person either.  After a surfboard fin to the head December before my wedding, I decided to stick with land exercises that were safest for me.  Unfortunately, I would still trip and fall over uneven grounds, hills, slip on slippery greenery while hiking and end

up with scabs and bruises. Okay, so maybe I’m more on the not graceful side of things.  My dress was long so it covered all my wounds.

After I somehow managed to get myself back on my feet and wiped the coffee from the floor, I really thought of the potential damage I may have caused to the baby inside. I fell/landed on my knees not at a super high velocity but enough to feel some pains on my kneecaps.  Was that enough to jar the baby?  At 32 weeks, I thought, well, let’s see what the baby does. Dos was quiet for a little bit so I ate some soup and drank some cranberry juice to give him/her a little sugar. He/she does a little happy dance after I eat.  Whew, he/she woke up after I ate some food and did her his/her normal routine.

I texted my sister-in-law and told her what happened. She said the concerns re: the trauma would be abruption, if my bag of water broke and she started asking me about Rh status and if I needed Rhogam.  She also said she typically would monitor patients for 4 hours but wouldn’t ultrasound the baby.  My bag of water seemed to be intact still and since Dos was moving around still, I didn’t think I needed to call my own OB.

I didn’t know my Rh status or whether I had gotten a Rhogam shot after Jacob was born. She said it’s a pretty painful shot so I would’ve likely remembered receiving such an injection.  I asked Jeff if he knew and he didn’t remember anything about my blood type or Rh status.  Is it ironic that I’m not on top of my –ish? Not really!

IMG_1982She then mentioned I may need to get a Kleihauer-Betke test to see if I needed a booster because I would need to get a booster with 72 hours of the trauma to prevent complications.  Thanks to EPIC and a charting system that lists all my lab work and doctors’ visits notes, I looked up my chart and saw that I was Rh negative. I must’ve gotten a Rhogam shot with Jacob unless Jeff was also Rh negative.  I sent my SIL and Jeff a screenshot of my test results and was ready to call my OB.

(Kleihauer–Betke (“KB”) test, Kleihauer–Betke (“KB”) stain, Kleihauer test or Acid elution test, is a blood test used to measure the amount of fetal hemoglobin transferred from a fetus to a mother’s bloodstream. It is usually performed on Rh-negative mothers to determine the required dose of Rho(D) immune globulin (RhIg) to inhibit formation of Rh antibodies in the mother and prevent Rh disease in future Rh-positive children (Thank you, Wikepedia).)

Jeff sees the screenshot and says that I have nothing to worry about since I am Rh positive.  And I said,


no way, it says right here that I am Rh positive. He circled the Rh status part. And I stared and stared and then it finally dawned on me. I realized he was right and that there was no blood flow going to my brain for the last few hours or so. Well, I can cough this all up to ‘pregnancy brain’ and hormones. Whoopsies!  I assure you I am a doctor, mom and can read!

At my 32-week OB visit on Friday, the OB said I should’ve called and he would’ve done all the things my SIL said to do- blood test, monitor for 4 hours. I was somewhat surprised because I didn’t consider this something for which I needed to call my OB. I also didn’t want to be that patient who calls about any/everything that makes her nervous!  We already know what wonderful patients people in the medical field are!

At the OB office, patiently waiting. He wanted to touch everything in the room! ACK! A germaphobe’s worst nightmare!
Lunch date with my #1 on this hot hot SD day!
Post-Jjajangmyun smile (Black bean sauce and noodles)

Well, now I know. Mamas to be- if you fall down or have any questions, call your OB!  If anything were to happen to you or baby, we’d never forgive ourselves!  A lot of moms have told me they have tripped/fallen or bumped into things because their center of gravity is off.

Do you have any stories about falling or brain farts while pregnant? 

It’s been crazy hot here the last few days. I hope everyone had a great 4th and has  a wonderful and cool weekend, everyone!