9 months, 12 months, 3 years later

Every once in a while, I'll be out grocery shopping or doing some other errand and run into a family whose birth I attended. It's always such a a fun experience to see how the family has evolved and who the baby turned out to be. Family medicine is a big part of what I enjoy doing. In my line of work I spend 9 months getting to know a family and this new person joining their family through mom's abdominal wall, and often there are aspects of their personality apparent during this time. The family dynamics are already there. There are the quiet ones, the late-night partiers, the ones who play games of hide and seek when you're trying to listen to their heart rate, the ones who kick and punch for attention. Oh, how I wish someone could do a study on personality traits before and after birth!

They say that how you come into this life often predicts how you live it. It's interesting to ask your friends and family members if they were "early" or "late" or right on the due date, and see if that still holds true for them. Informal surveys point to many yes answers. For example, I have a friend who was born exactly on her due date, and she is always exactly on time for everything. Not early, not late. I have another friend who was born exactly one minute before midnight. Can you guess this one? She gets things done right at the last minute, but always just before the deadline. It's fun to think this way.

Getting back to the whole running into people out in public---there's just nothing like that sense of community, especially here in Portland. It's a truly special thing to be able to talk to someone (even if they are only 3 years old) and say," I saw you take your first breath--and now look at you! You're running and making mud pies and have oh-so-very strong opinions about what mom is putting into the grocery cart."

I wouldn't trade my job for anything.