Back to school!

I am not a fan of giving my posts tiles. I always struggle…usually adding it in at the end after writing my post. This is how I also write my essay’s while in school. I do all my research, form my arguments and then write a thesis. Since I’ve brought up the subject, now might be a good time to mention, I’m heading back to classes in May! May 6th to be exact, two days after Undersized Urbanite contest ends! 🙂

A little background on my post secondary schooling…..

I have been enrolled in my honours bachelor degree for political science since 2006. (For those of you trying to calculate my age, I should have graduated high school in 2005, but took another semester to pull up my average, and then left in January of 2006, and worked full time into l classes began in September). In 2009, I got pregnant with Nia, and cut my classes back to part time. I had never taken a full course load my entire time at school because of commenting and work, but getting pregnant officially set me into “part time” mode. Anyhoo, when Nia was 9 months, I returned part time. I continued in classes for the full year and then in the summer found out I was expecting my son! 🙂

I continued through classes while I was pregnant, part time of course. I am sure you can imagine how hectic life was for me while in University, working part time, caring for an 18 month old and Gord, as well as being pregnant (during which I get atrocious morning sickness). I was even in school the day Makaio was born! His due date was only weeks before exams, and he came a month early! Thankfully I had an amazing teacher who helped me through and I only went to the exam after having Kaio. (To that exam by the way, I brought myself, Kaio, Nia, My Mum and my BFFAshlee. They all sat outside the building I was in, but it was the only thing I could do at that time because I was still nursing Kaio, who was only a few months old, and I’m not a fan of the pump).

After writing that exam, life felt like it should calm down, but also felt overwhelming. The thought of having to go through at least one more year and summer to graduate, with such small children when I should be already, was exhausting. and the thought of waiting a year or more to go back just seemed tooooo long. Everyone around me was already graduating and here I was on like, my umpteenth year. When I looked at my transcript, I realized I had all the credits to apply to graduate with only my bachelors degree. So I did it. Seemed right at the time and OMG! What a relief off of my shoulders when I hit that button! It felt good to graduate.

Fast forward a few months (about 6 months postpartum), I went crap, that’s not good. What the eff would I do with my bachelors degree in Political Science? Nothing. Cool. I explored many options during this time, I considered going to school for architecture, something I dreamed of doing as a child, but decided against that because the thought of stating another degree all over again, made me feel like I just wasted 6 years of life. I thought of doing doula training, I really could see myself as a birth coach, and while I would have loved to be a midwife, to do that I would have had to go all the way back to high school and take science courses in adult night school. Not cool.

Well, it’s a good thing I out off paying a small balance on my tuition for months, because that seemed to have voided my application for graduation. Now that I have had a year to meddle in ideas and think about life and where I see myself, I really do think I belong in political science.

As I briefly mentioned I enjoy birth and pregnancy and considered being a midwife or doula. The problem with midwife is the lack of science credits, and with a doula, I question my ability to be on call 24/7 for a birth, when Gord can’t even stay awake to help me get the kids to bed, lol. soooo, I had to out my thinking cap on. What could I do that would help/benefit pregnant mothers and families? Then I thought back through my experiences, and what I would have wanted as help or a benefit.

There were a few things I could think of;

1. Better access to breastfeeding support in hospitals. This idea started when my one friend had a baby on the weekend and had difficulties and there was NO LACTATION CONSULTANT on the weekends. She did not have a successful breastfeeding journey. I also experienced the same issues with Kaio, he was premature and having issues latching, but was born on a Friday, so I had to wait 3 days before I w anyone about it. Thankfully I had only weaned Nia just 6 months prior, so I had the knowledge. But there needs to be less formula available and more support!

2. Kangaroo care in the NICU. I don’t want to get into too much details about this, but mother and baby should never be separated, if possible, right after birth. Kaio and I were, he was born underweight and had to go for observations, two hours after he was born he was in an incubator hooked up to machines and had only been given one opportunity to be skin to skin with me or nurse. I definitely think that this affected how much we struggled with breastfeeding, (and attachment at first). I would have loved to have had him up on my chest skin to skin more often, but the nurses in the NICU were dead set against that. They said he needed rest to grow (even though he would/did/does sleep on y chest quite fine), and blah blah blah. Overall, it was a horrible experience for both of us. In Australia, and other countries, kangaroo care is practiced in NICUs and you can read about all the different benefits that can bring here.

3. Birthing centres. Currently, where I live, Ontario, you can have either a hospital or a home birth. There is no in between. A lot of people get worried out not being in a hospital, where others would rather be somewhere more comfortable. When I was pregnant with Makaio I remember eyeing pamphlets in the midwife office for activists who were rallying to have birthing centres Rhee in Ontario. I would love to be a part of that journey.

There are lots of other things that I would want to see change. One of those things is infant circumcision. (It’s a sensitive issuse, and I’d rather not touch on it on my blog, but it has to do with this school thing). Gord I were discussing the topic the other week, because of a post I saw on a mothering page on Facebook. We are both against the practice, and I was reading him comments, and we were just sitting in sadness. He said to me the worst part is its never going to change. People will keep doing it. I told him WRONG, that is why there are activists. Because if enough people bring light to a situation and educate others, things can change(-ish). We managed to have an entire breed of dog banned in our province, but he thinks we can’t stop a barbaric abusive (no offence to those who have chosen it) practice. I even think from my perspective, if just one person were to take a case to court, somehow, and it were to rise to the Supreme Court some how, a law would/could definitely be made to prevent this practice. Especially since it violates our human rights code in Canada. Without supreme courts, and millions of dollars to get there, yes, laws are difficult to change. But it’s a matter of being active and talking to the right people, getting yourself I there and making a difference…..

OH HAY, WAIT! I found a purpose for my degree! Thanks Gord! 🙂

With much excitement, I went back and requested to reactivate my transcript. At the same time, I decided to also declare a minor in Public Policy and Administration. That way, I can try to curve my path towards working in a hospital maybe? To change the administration in labour and delivery wards. Orrrrr, I could try to get in to the legislature. (Which seems like a very far fetched dream at this point.)

I waited the longest two weeks of my life to find out I have been accepted back in for summer 2013! 🙂 I was happy when I looked At my transcript to see that it was a good thing I declared the minor in public policy. Turns out, over the years, I had been taking the required courses as electives without knowing it, so I could have just walked away with a major in political science and this little invisible minor degree sitting there in the background! So even with my new minor, it looks like I could be graduating by spring of 2014!

But let’s not get our hopes up! As that would be on a very full schedule, and I’m not sure what I can handle at this point! My main objective, to finish without getting pregnant again. LOL. while we have decided we do want more babies (YAY!), we want to wait another year, at least, so I can have a diploma to hang nicely over my stove as I cook for screaming children hanging off of my legs. 🙂 (JK, I hope to use it for all the wonderful things I mentioned above!)

I had intended to share my last nights dollhouse work with you, but ended up getting sidetracked. So, I’ll save up all that goodness and bring it tomorrow morning with whatever I manage to get finished tonight.

Hope you are having a nice cuddly evening!



One comment

  1. Dianne & Jack · · Reply

    Loved your process of thinking through what to do, and reasons to do, and how to do, and when to do it….and all the other “to do it’s”. Sounds as though you’re now heading in a direction that not only is right for you, but also has some good ideas for practical use of your degree when that day comes. Having survived the process of getting a degree with 2 kids at home, while also holding down a part-time job, I absolutely know how hectic and overwhelming it can be at times, but just as importantly, I proved to myself that it could be done. Having that piece of diploma paper can change your life, especially when you’ve thought about practical goals that the “real world” out there will recognize. So…here’s to you! Just remember to take a deep breath once in a while! Good luck and much love. Grandma D.

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