May 21, 2012: Edited to protect the privacy of those involved in my story.
Once upon a few years ago, I started this blog thinking I’d be chronicling my journey. I’ve done some of that, but more of the “my journey” has been my current path. I’ve decided to give myself permission to skip around in my history and piece together the chronology later.
The warp speed version:
Started grad school in the fall of 1998.
Graduated in the spring of 2000.
Moved to Chicago and worked for Homefirst, a large, physician run home birth service for nine months. (There’s something symbolic about that. Nine months. J)
Worked in a suburban private physician practice doing hospital birth for two and a half years.
And here’s where warp speed slows down and storytelling resumes.
In May of 2003 my then boss sat me down and told me he needed to let me go because malpractice rates had doubled for the third year in a row. (You do the math.) I had already registered for my professional convention, which was a few weeks later, and he was kind enough to send me on their dime.
In the days following, I signed up on a room share list serv and started communicating with a midwife in Chicago that I’ll call Karen. Huh, I thought, maybe there are jobs where SHE works. The room share coordination ended up being me, her, and a midwife from Utah named Kathy.
Kathy was already there when I arrived, and Karen got there the next day. Turns out that Karen was very part time, only working a few days a month on labor and delivery, and Spanish was a requirement at that hospital. Le sigh.
Otherwise, that year’s convention was the most fun I remember having at any since then. The three of us got along FAMOUSLY. My most cherished memory was the three of us being in the hot tub at 10 pm and discussing what we would say to a woman wanting an elective c section and comparing notes on our more challenging cases.
I was prepared to relocate if I had to, and I had a few impromptu interviews, none of which went anywhere.
Upon arrival back home, I continued searching for a job, and also began to consider: if I stay in Chicago, where would I want to live? I looked at neighborhoods whose condo prices were ones I could afford.
A week or so after convention I got an email from Karen. Turns out she had been recruited for a half time position when she was in the pool (notice a theme here?) with an old midwife friend of hers. The same practice had a full time position, did I want to apply?
You betcha. I applied, interviewed, and had the job within a few weeks, with the luxury of starting a few months later, after an already scheduled vacation. Severance pay is a good thing.
In an interesting point of synchronicity, the Chicago neighborhood I had chosen was a less than ten minute drive from this practice’s affiliated hospital.
To be continued…