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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I'm Baa-aaaack!!!

What an eventful 7 months it has been. My little munchkin made her entrance on the day that my c-section was scheduled June 12, 2014. She wasn't even trying to come early, not even a little. She was 9lbs 10oz of awesomeness though!
She was a few weeks old here

While having her has been amazing and I definitely see how different it is parenting a girl considering I have 2 boys, getting back into the swing of things has been really challenging. I found that I was able to move around with her much sooner than I did with my boys, but I have seriously struggled with getting back to where I want to be mentally and physically. As determined as I was to take the MCAT shortly after having her, it was impossible to find the time, energy and focus to study. I was very against taking the 2015 MCAT but I found that it was the only solution for my current life so I will be taking it in April 2015.

I have genuinely enjoyed spending time with my baby girl and my boys but around October I started to go a little stir crazy. The whole stay-at-home thing is really difficult for my personality because I thrive on having time to myself and having an identity outside of "Mommy." I definitely commend those mommies who are able to do that and enjoy it. I started getting emails about scribe positions that were near me and decided to do a search for open positions. The first search result happened to be for 2 hospitals that are very near my home and were looking for people to work 2 shifts a week. My husband has an extremely flexible schedule that would allow me to work one weekday and one weekend day so I decided to apply. I interviewed and got the position. So far, I have loved it! It allows me to be immersed in the medical field on the days that I work but still allows me to be the primary person at home with my little people. It also allows me to continue moving forward, towards my goal of becoming a doctor and gives me motivation to continue on my journey. I will also be able to get some really kick ass references from physicians, specifically from DOs.

January 5th I will begin studying for the April MCAT. For the next couple of weeks I will organizing my house and figuring out how to organize my life so that I can study effectively for the 3.5 months I have to study. My goal is to get a strong score and not have to retake it. I am feeling a little overwhelmed when I consider the MCAT in it's entirety so I find that I have to think about it in pieces and parts, scheduling EVERYTHING I have to study and keeping track of it all. I know I know it will be challenging but I feel like I have the support and the drive to get it done. I'd be lying if I said I'm not a little terrified though. I am very type A when it comes to my studying so I have created a daily checklist for my study days, a set of calendar sheets for January-April that will allow me to schedule entire months, a detailed list of all of the topics covered in the books and videos I have access to and I'm about to create a binder to organize all of those things together. Once I find all of my colored markers, I have my study calendar set and I organize all of my topics in the way that I like, my anxiety level will go from a 10 to a 7, which I can deal with. Lol!

In the meantime, I will enjoy my little people, especially the itty bitty one who I can finally make laugh and I will enjoy the days my husband has off for the holidays. It's about time to start baking and planning the upcoming holiday meals. Happy Holidays friends!

My 3 monkeys!

My itty bitty person

Saturday, May 24, 2014

So Much Completed and So Much More to Go But First an Intermission

Where has the time gone?! I have been super lazy about updating my blog. I suppose pregnancy will do that to you. Since March life has been tired and busy and really tired. So I had 2 major things to complete in order to graduate. The first one being my honors thesis project. I had created the nutrition curriculum for the research project I had been working on for 2 years and it was implemented by another person in a 10 week efficacy trial. I feel like it was pretty successful and both my director and 2nd reader were happy with the curriculum and the results following the conclusion of the trial. So much so, that they want to continue using my curriculum when the trial is expanded and my second reader, who is a nutrition professor, said she may consider using it in other projects she is working on. Yay me! I was really excited about this because it is a project that really came from my heart and that I am very passionate about and I plan to continue to develop and grow it into something that other parents can use. I'm hoping to eventually create a website and a YouTube channel for the curriculum and include some additional data that I have found to educate parents so that they are able to educate their children.

The other project that I had to complete in order to graduate was the completion of my internship at A.T. Still University in the virtual anatomy lab. I had really hoped to maximize the "free-time" I had to really focus on completing my research but with the difficulty of this pregnancy, I found that to be really difficult. With my 2 previous pregnancies I worked until at least a week before giving birth and I did not have any physical or mental issues that kept me from working. THIS TIME, I was constantly feeling as though my brain could not function properly. I couldn't remember anything, my normal school schedule, in terms of studying and organizing my work, was completely thrown out the window and after a certain time of day, FORGET ABOUT IT!, my brain ceased to work in any type of coherent manner. But I digress, having said all of that, I found it incredibly difficult to focus on the research I had to complete for that research project and was a total slacker. I completed all of the necessary projects for the class portion of the course but I really feel like I let the site supervisor I was working with down. I also feel like I might have blown a really great opportunity to prove myself at an institution that I want so badly to attend. He was really understanding about my pregnancy, but I felt like I was making excuses. My only saving grace with this is that he has agreed to allow me to continue working on this project going forward, even as long as an additional year. The research really is something I am really interested in (How cadaveric dissection in medical schools may be impacting the number of Native Americans applying to medical school and how it can be and has been dealt with currently at medical schools; also how virtual anatomy may play a part in increasing the number of Native American applicants by decreasing cadaver contact) and the potential to be published is pretty great because there is no current literature that addresses this particular topic, that I have found anyway. I'm going to leave it to God and hope that my site supervisor (who is a doctor I could get a letter of recommendation from!) is still willing to work with me once my brain begins to work appropriately, assuming that happens after new baby exhaustion. Lol! Let go and let God, right?

With those two things complete, I was able to breath a sigh of relief and my only other concern was my last nutrition class which I did enjoy. I am very proud to say that I completed my degree graduating with honors and magna cum laude (3.68 GPA). One of the proudest days of my life. It took me 4.5 years to get here but I have been able to check off 2 of my goals, getting my A.A. and getting my B.S. and I did both spectacularly.

I have made the decision to postpone my medical school application until next year for 2 reasons: 1) there is no way my brain would be able to put together the personal statement and subsequent essays necessary in order to make myself a strong candidate; nor would I have the letter I really want from the doctor I have been working with 2) there is NO WAY I would be able to take the MCAT by August and get a decent score so that I might be invited for an interview this fall. What this means is instead of 1 mommy year, I'll get 2 mommy years. In reality, I think this is much better for me and for my family. I think that it is important to allow your brain to run free for a while so as to not overload myself and get back to doing the things that make me happy with out the stress of expectations. Also, I think that I owe it to my little people to spend some time focusing only on them, especially this new little munchkin that will be coming (hopefully VERY soon). Most of all, I think my super awesome husband especially deserves the opportunity to explore what he wants for the next 2 years. He is making major life changes as well and as supportive as he has been for me and my goals/dreams, I know he needs that time as well. He is transitioning into becoming a basketball coach and coaching is a time consuming profession. It requires long hours that do not necessarily pay in terms of currency but allow for networking and producing results by seeing kids grow in skill, maturity and knowledge, about basketball and life. In order to be able to do what he needs to do and be prepared for the time when I have to put my full focus on medical school, I know he needs to be able to do what he needs to do now and put in the time so that it is easier for our family in the long run, wherever we end up due to my schooling. It is going to be challenging, it is going to be hard because I am not the SAHM type but most of all I know it will be fun to be able to engage at my boys' school, to spend time with my little girl and to be at everyone of my husband's functions. No matter what, family comes before all else.

I have so many things I want to do for myself over the next 2 years as well. Aside from the research and development of my nutrition education, I also plan on keeping myself well-read, getting into better shape than I was before I got pregnant (possibly even playing basketball again; I was a collegiate basketball player BTW and I am definitely seeing a half marathon and marathon in my future) and starting a new blog about my life, an autobiography of sorts. The last thing, in particular, is something I have always wanted to do. I have lived an interesting and eventful life that I have always felt may resonate with others if not for the experiences, for the way in which I allowed myself to grow from my experiences. I'll be taking time off from blogging for a while as I wait for my newest bundle of joy to make her grand entrance but never fear, as soon as studying for the MCAT begins, hopefully in August, I'LL BE BACK!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming....

64 days until graduation!!! (Yes, I am counting down.) I have so much going on right now, but I just keep telling myself I'm almost there. So school wise, I am working on my thesis project and am in the process of writing my literature review right now. I have to defend my thesis in order to graduate with honors and I am planning on doing that in the second week of April. Once that is complete my only worries will be to continue to support the person within the research project that is implementing my nutrition curriculum, continuing to work on my internship research and taking my last nutrition class. My internship is going well but I am definitely struggling with motivating myself to do the work on a day to day basis. I have to complete a certain number of hours over the semester and I am not nearly close enough to completion yet so I have work to do. I completed my half semester online class last week which is a relief, one less thing to worry about. I have work to put in the next few weeks but I GOT THIS!!

I am now 25, almost 26 weeks, along in my pregnancy now and our daughter is getting big. (Yes, we're having a girl!!) My last ultrasound at 18 weeks showed that she measured 12 days larger than gestational age. It does not sound like a whole lot, but anything over 10 days is considered significant. Following my next appointment I will be getting another ultrasound to see if she still measures that large and if she does, my doctor may actually change my due date. It is not something that OBGYN's like to do but she does not want to risk me going into labor since I have already had 2 c-sections and hard labor could put me at risk for uterine rupture. I can't lie, I'm kind of ok with having her early for 2 reasons. 1) I am already rather large and I will only be getting larger at a much more rapid pace than I already have been so I will want the baby out ASAP by then. 2) My husband has 3 straight weeks of basketball camps in June beginning on the week I am due. I'm ok with the basketball camps because I know how important they are for the future because the allow him to network with other coaches but that means I need our little girl to come early enough so that he is home for a little while before being gone. I'm crossing my fingers for the last week of May or the 1st week of June.

So the past 2 days I attended a pre-med conference held by two local medical schools (both of which I'm going to apply to) and I am so glad that I made the decision to attend. I was able to meet representatives from both schools and from an additional school I am considering as well as getting more information abut the application cycle for this year and the whole process. I was able to talk to some current students and I will hopefully be connected to other Mommy Doctors who are currently in school. I am really wanting to find out how they juggle everything and still find time for their little people. Being able to ask questions, being in the environment of those 2 schools and seeing people who are doing it has really lit a fire in me and made me excited about the next step of becoming a doctor. Am I still nervous? Yes! Is it going to be super hard? Yes! Am I still scared? Hell yes!! But I know I can do it and it is still what my heart wants and where my path is leading me to.