There’s a language they all three understand when they are in the operating room performing surgery for hip and knee replacements. It’s a glossary that has become part of their every day vocabulary.
But outside the hospital setting, three surgeons at IU Health Saxony have another frame of reference. It’s not unusual for conversations to include words and phrases like “sit up,” “crawl,” “sleep” and “eat.”
Doctors R. Michael Meneghini, orthopedic surgeon and director of joint replacement and orthopedics at IU Health Saxony, Khalid Azzam, orthopedic surgeon, and Lucian Warth, orthopedic surgeon all welcomed sons into their families in 2017.
“When you’re a busy orthopedic surgeon, you need to take time for your family and always take care of mom. Our wives are the VIP of the family,” said Dr. Meneghini, 45, who is married to Sarah. Dr. Meneghini welcomed his fifth child, Mario, four months ago. Mario joins siblings ages 15, 13, three and two.
“Balance is difficult. I cannot claim to be an expert yet by any means,” said Dr. Warth, 35. He and his wife, Melissa, welcomed their third child, Connor, four months ago. He joins siblings ages five and two. “My wife and I work on communicating our frustrations and trying to carve out time for each other and individually for each child. It’s important to communicate with your partner about expectations and home/work balance. You will both start with different sets of expectations, and being able to adjust and compromise to meet each other’s expectations will make life a lot easier.”
The dads share their advice freely with new father Dr. Azzam, who welcomed his first child, Adam 11 months ago. He and his wife Annie have been married since May of 2015.
“He’s a mini me,” said Azzam, proudly holding up his firstborn. “He’s changed my life 180 degrees but it’s very satisfying. It is amazing to see how fast he has grown in such a short time period– we go from one milestone to another.”
What does he have to look forward to?
“Every child is different,” said Meneghini. “Mario is very laid back and I think with each child, we get more laid back as parents.”
— By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health.
Reach Banes via email at T.J. Banes or on Twitter @tjbanes.