30 weeks 4 daysareyoukiddingme?!!
January 21, 2014 § 18 Comments
When I was trying to get pregnant and failing miserably and then again during the early months after that miraculous last minute positive beta, I would look at those of you who were 30+ weeks and think of you as already done. Cooked. Finished. Baby is as good as birthed.
I cannot believe I am at this point. I have no clue how I got here. It’s like I hit 20 weeks and blinked and found myself in this space. No joke. I lost time.
In an effort to not sound absolutely ridiculous by updating you on all aspects of my life in the last however many weeks, I decided to break it up. In this particular post, I’m going to try to give you an overview of my work/school life over the past 10 weeks or so. Because, honestly, it has been MAJOR.
After I proposed my dissertation back in mid-October, I had to scramble to get my applications submitted for the next stage in my training. I started thinking about wrapping up my patients. I started climbing out of the cave I’d been living in while preparing for the November 1st application deadline to come around. Then the holidays happened. We traveled to visit the Artsy Engineer’s family for Thanksgiving and then my computer (our one and only computer) broke and then I started getting interviews coming in for said training programs. Lots and lots of interviews (this is good, but maybe less good when you will be 7.5 months pregnant with twins during interview season). Then the holidays kept happening and we drove to visit my family. And then my computer was still broken. And then I came home for three days and then left again to start the interview extravaganza. In the past two and a half weeks, I have attended 10 day-long interview sessions. The Artsy Engineer took time off to drive me around the country. We opted to limit my application to programs east of the Mississippi River in order to remain a reasonable distance from family, but even so, we’ve been in many states and put thousands of miles on the car.
And as an aside. This man deserves a medal. He has taken care of all of the details – driving me around, arranging accommodations, feeding me. He even got up with me each morning and pressed my suit while I was in the shower. He’d help me put on my shoes, grab some breakfast for the road either from the continental breakfast (if we splurged on accommodations for the night) or, more likely, from the shoddy Dunkin Donuts across from the motel (if we didn’t). Then he would drive me to the main entrance of the hospital where I was interviewing and drop me off in front of the main entrance. Hand me my coffee and my fancy portfolio thingy and send me on my way. After kicking around all day in whatever city we were in, either parking and exploring the city on foot (the man visited countless museums and music stores throughout the eastern half of the country) or finding a library or coffee shop where he could eek out a couple of hours of work, he’d pack up the hotel where we stayed the night before and pick me up at the same entrance where he dropped me off. The car would be warmed and ready to go and he’d have the route out of the current city planned so we could start making our way toward the next. We’d get in late, he’d unpack the car, I’d prep for the next interview, we’d go to sleep. Then we’d do it all over again.
I would not have made it through this time without him.
Now it is now and we are finally home. I have been gone for 7 of the last 9 weekends and nearly 4 of the last 8 weeks. I have interviews this week, too, but they will take place in phone or Skype-land. These are ones that would not fit on our route earlier on. And I cannot travel by plane or alone because of low blood pressure issues and dizziness.
What is the point of all of this torture, you ask?
If you have been around awhile, you may remember that the final step in my doctoral program is to spend a year focusing on clinical training alone. It’s kind of like residency, but it happens before the degree rather than after. For my specialty, there is one of these positions in my entire state. In addition, placement is based on a match system (much like medical school here in the US). I rank sites that asked me to interview, sites rank applicants they asked for an interview, and a computer system spits out our future.
The actual placement will start between July 1 and the end of August, depending on the training site. The inmates will be 3-5 months old when we will likely be moving across the country. The Artsy Engineer will have to leave his wonderful job. We will have to leave the house that we love in the location we love. I will work long hours and get paid pennies that will not be enough to support my family. Thankfully, I’ll still be technically a “student” so we can take out student loans to cover living expenses if the Artsy Engineer does not immediately find work or if we decide it is best for him to stay home with the babies to save on childcare.
So yes. Babies are about to change our lives. But there are all kinds of things up in the air for us right now.
I have to submit site rankings in the next 2.5 weeks and then it is out of our hands entirely. It’s tough, because there are several things pulling us in several different directions. A couple of the sites are close to family, but these may not necessarily be our favorites in terms of program of training. So we have the get-close-to-family pull. And the stay-close-to-AE’s-job pull. And the best-program-to-keep-the-most-doors-open-for-you-in-the-future pull. And the best-fit pull. Taking all of those influences and trying to come up with one final list is really daunting.
In fact, the whole thing is incredibly overwhelming. Two infants. A move. A new job for me. A loss of employment for The Artsy Engineer. A (fingers crossed) new job for him (or a new job as a stay-at-home-dad). Finishing a dissertation. Financial stress.
But. It’s also really exciting.
I love love love what I do. Love. It. I’m really excited to move on to the next step. And I actually like to move around and experience different parts of the country. The US is full of varied cultural experiences by region. And we are people who like varied cultural experiences.
Is it ideal that it’s all happening at once? Ehhh, perhaps not. As every single one of us knows, the luxury of timing is not always on your side. But I think we’ll
There will certainly be plenty to write about.