xLife is busy. We like it (usually) that way). And it isn't likely to slow down anytime soon.
Acting on more than a few nudges and promptings and with a five month old baby, last January I did something out of my comfort zone, and applied two of Canada's midwifery programs. I think I did it partly so that I could say I tried, and put the dream to bed. Sane people don't go back to school with small kids in their 30's. They don't move across the country and take their families with them. Besides, there are only six midwifery programs in Canada (one being open only to residents of Quebec) and they are very competitive with an average of 400 applicants vying for, program dependent, 12-30 seats. It wasn't going to happen and I was ok with that. But I needed to stop researching programs at 3 am while nursing babies because I don't think most sane people do that either.
And then the unthinkable happened. I got in. And a world of possibility, anxiety, and adventure opened up like a chasm demanding consideration. Jim had been 100% on board since I had applied. "If you get in of course we'll go" he'd say, while my risk averse self kept saying "no we'll just think about it". God bless husbands who push their wives in the right direction when they need to be pushed. The stars mostly aligned, they credited far more from my first degree than I ever hoped they would, and so we have managed to live one more year in Alberta before the big move. It's been full. I've still been working two days a week and taking distance courses to fill gaps and most nights have seen me working until 11 pm on assignments because trying to study with three small ninja turtles awake just isn't possible on any planet. But I think I know how lucky I am to be able to work this hard for something I want this much.
I remember vividly Leo's birth. There was a female resident there that day. Just a young thing, she looked to be in her early twenties but she was excellent. I remember lying there on the birth bed holding my newborn and feeling the most ridiculous yearning to be her. To be there as women delivered their babies. To guide them through the process. To be their care provider. I brushed it off as ridiculous, because it was. But it just wouldn't go away.
Twenty months later here we are. Still ridiculous. Still unable to brush the feeling off. All of the coursework I can complete before we can go is done. We have a summer to make memories and enjoy the midnight sun and love on all of our friends before we turn our lives upside down. And it feels almost like being 40 weeks pregnant again when I couldn't wait to see what life would be like on the other side and I knew my body had done all it could do. You know it'll be different. You just don't know how.
The anxiety is real, but writing has always let me put my feelings in places that somehow made them more tangible and thereby more manageable. I know that there is no small amount of risk being taken here. I know that I'm relinquishing my status as a primary parent to a rockstar partner, and that that handoff is going to be hard for me. I know that the program is rigorous and that we will all pay a price for me to do this. Writing that last sentence I can't help but pause, because I don't know if that's fair. Daring in this kind of way means I may fail. We may fail. But there's lessons even in that.
Send your prayers over the next three years. We'll need them, and we'll love you for them.
PS Lest you forget what any of us look like, here's some snapped photos from a recent trip to Jasper. I'm not the greatest at taking photos, taking risks is the current project I'm working on ;)