With the Ontario Midwifery Student Conference a year behind me, that's how far removed from the MEP I am. Last year I was faced with a very significant decision about my status in the program. Now, while I had a year to actually confirm this decision; that's not really my style. I didn't want to spend every other weekend in angst over what to do, how to do it, and making pro/con lists that I recite out loud to Mark. Trust me when I tell you, he did not want me to go over this in angst either- funny, how he thought there were better ways to spend the few hours (minutes) alone that way.
Ironically, (in the true sense of the word), the conference sealed my fate.
We had a minor emergency situation at the conference last September, that leads me to believe that my heart made it's decision even as my head still struggled. I had made my first presentation( read about it here), gone for lunch with my daughters and Mark, caught up with friends, met new midwifery students, caught up with my (former) midwife and was prepping for my next presentation. And then my bouncy little L returned with Mark and R. She looked pale for my little brown baby and was shockingly still. In my bag of mama tricks I had ibuprofen and chocolate ( to keep her blood sugar and mood up!) and I quickly procured water and ice. Fifteen minutes later she was looking worse. So we left. The conference presentations were running long/late and there was no way I could concentrate knowing my little one was in pain. I informed the appropriate people. Or so I thought.
People were looking for me. The general impression I got was that a few folks had been unimpressed I'd left because of a sprained wrist. Which actually, thanks to my google diagnosis, was a dislocated elbow!!! My baby girl was in severe pain until the doc at th ER popped it back in for her. Had I forced her to stay so that I could have a few minutes of attention I would never have forgiven myself. I had to put her in the baby wrap to carry her back to the car because walking and the jarring motion of the stroller was too much for her.
Here's the thing, if I'd been on-call and had been paged, I would have had to go. If I was at a birth, as a student, and had left for this minor emergency my grades would have been in jeopardy. I'm quite positive some of the other mama midwifery students would have made the same choice i did. But I'm equally positive many more would not have. L was after all, in the strong and loving hands of her daddy, and I had made a commitment so I should have stayed and transited or cabbed it back home with C. Or, I should have had back up care for C. Or, I should have let Mark handle R, L, and C on his own. And you know what, he could have. I trust him like no other with our children. But if I'd been on my own, I would have absolutely called him for advice at minimum and help with one or more girls if necessary. When we got in a fender bender last year, he dropped everything and came to get us even though he didn't "have to". I'm not quite sure I want to be in a situation, in a lifestyle, where I can't do the same for him. Where I can't be there for my girls.
That night I showed L and R images on-line of her elbow and explained what would happen. We made funny plans for her to sneak to Tim Horton's without me and R after she saw a doctor. R and I tidied , talked about how l wasn't going to the hospital because L wasn't sick and that her injury was minor so she might have to wait but ultimately, she'd be home pretty quickly and then we watched a movie together beside baby C. L came bouncing back in the house a couple of hours later. That's basic mama-ing I couldn't provide if I was in school. Make no mistake, Mark "had this". He totally would've handled the situation in his amazing Dad way. I mean, this is the guy who told our kids their (dead) fish went on a sleepover at his fruend's house because our place was too cold! He's just awesome as a parent and I love being a patent by his side.
Flash forward to today, I'm desperately trying to get a hold of someone at the program so I can discuss my situation. I have friends in different stages of the program all of whom didn't find out until 2 weeks ago when their classes were and where they had to be (and at what time, as some of them have shift work coming up). Many of them have children, all of them have lives. Everyone was on hold from April and now, chaos! The program has asked me to come in to speak with them "hopefully that's not too much trouble." Um, yeah, it is! I have three kids, I'm 35 minutes away from campus on a good day but its September, so there is no good day or time. The roads are packed, with lane reductions and overwhelming heat. The transit parking lots are full and the bus is not conducive to managing three kids, a stroller and multiple backpacks and water bottles. Because when you travel with three kids, even for a 15 minute meeting 35 minutes away, there are always multiple backpacks and water bottles.
So the situation has really solved itself. I'm not going back. I'm withdrawing, hopefully only for a couple more years but who knows. At this point it is hard to justify spending another 80k on myself which is money we don't have and money our girls could use for their post secondary education if we did have it. Or you know, we could pay off our mortgage before everyone starts migrating to the colonies in space.