It's official - I have survived my first semester of Grad school and I am done for three weeks!!!
My calendar of assignments
I cannot begin to tell you how fabulous it feels to be done with this semester! To say that the last four months have been difficult would be an understatement. They have been more challenging and trying than I ever thought possible. Three weeks after delivering Harper I started school. 14 credit hours in total, or four classes (Pathophysiology, advanced assessment, role promotion and research). Trying to manage and learn how to be a new student, a new mother (who is full time breastfeeding) all while balancing all the other roles I have; wife, friend, daughter, nurse, aunt, was hard on my mentally, physically and emotionally. I felt as if I was always sacrificing and failing in at least one of these roles on a daily basis.
I could not have gotten through this semester without my partner in crime in this program, Aubrey!
I also can't say enough about the help from my family. Willing to watch Harper when I had to drive almost two hours to campus EIGHT times this semester. Babysitting so I could study or take exams. Keeping me sane through all of this and motivating me. I wouldn't be able to even go back to school in the first place if not for my family. I must also say to Phil, I love you, and I am so thankful you've put up with me this long!
While this is only one semester (out of a minimum of five, but up to 8 total depending on how far I go), I feel like finishing this semester has given me the confidence that I can actually do this. Back on August 22, I really didn't think I was going to survive with a new baby on my hands (and tons of postpartum hormones raging through my veins). Now, I know it's possible. It is by no means easy (MAJOR props to all the moms and dads out there busting their buts with school and work!) but it can be done!!
I often think back to the advice I got when I was thinking about going back to school. I was told I shouldn't do it with a new baby and that if I got accepted I should probably wait at least year. While these people meant well, I'm happy I stuck with my gut and did it. (For one thing, UF is changing things up and not accepting any new students next year for the midwifery program!) Ironically, getting work done seemed to be easier with a brand new baby than it has been the last few weeks. Harper doesn't nap as well (if at all) through the day anymore. When she's awake, she demands attention. She is starting to become mobile (lord help me) and needs tons of interaction and supervision.
Next semester is 16 credit hours (yep, two more than this semester) and includes clinicals (working in the hospital and office). I also have returned to work, so throw in one 12 hour shift per week in there too. I have no idea how this will be possible with a growing baby on my hands, but I know I just have to take it one day at a time, one assignment at a time, one weeks at a time and so on. In fact, if I have any friends out there reading this who would like to become my nanny during the week next semester, I would love to have you! I will pay you with snacks, drinks and lots of fun with Harper ;)
First day back to work Harper and Phil came to visit me -
This is how she and I felt about her having to leave!
But right now I'm not going to worry about next semester - I'm gonna focus on enjoying these next three weeks of freedom with Harper, my family and friends!