Sunday, June 03, 2007

Weighing options

I am currently frustrated as I try to figure out how to arrange things for next year. The timing of my previous pregnancy was perfect. Sure, I might have been taking an exam at 8+ months pregnant, but then I'd be at the perfect spot to take a little time for myself, leisurely begin the next batch of studying for my program. And then taking my final seminar in the spring, along with the last exam--sometime in the summer--before entering the dissertation phase. While the miscarriage remains a loss I feel in my marrow, I am also frustrated that my plan is now impossible.

My original new plan was to wait until August to start trying again so that I would be due in May, after the end of my seminar. I'd still be able to take my final exam before the end of the summer and maintain the basic structure of my plan. But there are a few things that keep me from being fully satisfied with this:
  1. We've pretty much settled on moving to a small town near my in-laws. I have a pretty good shot at a job in that area, if not in the 2008-09 school year, then the year after. And even if I didn't get that job, we've talked about me piecing together work (high school, tutoring, whatever) so that we could live so close to Grandma and Grandpa.
  2. We've also fallen in love with a house there. Which has us itching to be able to move forward. And so we're debating about how soon we could swing a purchase before moving there permanently.
  3. But one wrinkle is that we will most likely need to stay here until after the next baby's birth (at least until we can get a birth certificate so that we can cross the border). There was a point where we thought Trillian might have a job that would include US health coverage for me, but that didn't come together. And any insurance I might be able to get would require a one year wait before maternity coverage would kick in (including my potential job's insurance).
  4. So if I wait until August to begin trying, but it takes me three or four months again, I wouldn't be delivering until the end of the summer--and we'd still have to wait several weeks, even with expediting everything possible, to get the necessary paperwork to move with the baby.
  5. But if I begin trying ASAP, I might deliver in the middle of my seminar, as early as March--and the course will run through the third week of April, plus have a paper due sometime after that.
So I'm feeling stuck. Here are the different sides of the two biggest issues (the job and house are big too, but those are less debatable and more wait-and-see):
  • In terms of seminars, I could go ahead and take one offered in the fall. That would mean another history seminar. Five total seminars are required; I've already taken two in history, despite being a literature person. I'm a little concerned about what one more would look like on paper. Plus it would mean starting up a seminar while finishing with an exam (possibly in my first trimester). In contrast, the one I intend to take in the spring is in literature and on an author I like. On the other hand, if I take a seminar in the spring, I'll be done with them sooner. And for the job I might get, the balance of my seminars wouldn't matter (it would just be an issue if I tried to switch jobs later).
  • In terms of the pregnancy, I'm impatient now. I've been tracking my ovulation the past couple months and itching to make the drive to Buffalo each time I watched the surge come and go. If the next time were to come on a day when I could take that amount of time and things worked out, I would be due in March. Even with the wait for bureaucracy, we could get everything together by sometime in May (plus that would allow for some healing time for me). I could fly back up for the exams. If I have the fall seminar, there would be no problem with the timing for school; if I were taking the literature seminar, however, I would have to miss at least a little class time, not something that is generally accepted at this level, making the wait to August preferable.
And so I find myself debating. Start now or later. Suffer through another history seminar so I can check of a requirement sooner or wait for the one that I will enjoy and that might even have a small tie into my dissertation. I already know which way I'm headed on each of these and how I would/should handle things with the department.

But it helps to sort them out here--and I certainly won't reject any weighing in that others might do.


crazymumma said...

Not that it helps, but I think that what the universe wants the universe gets. Flaky and irritating to you I know.

Somehow I have a feeling that whatever brand of chaos is thrown your way, it is going to be handled just fine.

cinnamon gurl said...

There was a point where we thought Trillian might have a job that would include US health coverage for me, but that didn't come together.

Somehow this is what jumped out at me of the whole post. That sucks that you can't just take it for granted that you would be covered by your spouse's health care benefits!

I am not a patient person. If I were you, I don't think I'd be able to wait, logic be damned. And I suspect crazymumma's right, that you guys will handle whatever your comes your way. Good luck with figuring things out and whatever you do!

metro mama said...

Having suffered through too many courses I wasn't really interested in for the sake of convenience, I'd say option 2.

Laural said...

This one is really hard. Personally, I'd go through what I could get through as fast as possible to get to the end result.
But ... I'm not an academic.
Still, it kind of seems like you could get to your goals faster if you took something you don't really like.
So, maybe it is worth it.
But, I also really think that when it comes to having a child ...
I had a long talk with my doctor today about this today (different process, I know). The planning involved boggles my mind!

Her Bad Mother said...

First - I somehow missed that you had a miscarriage and I AM SO SORRY.

Second - option two, for sure. A little more complicated (tho' ony potentially so) but much more likely to keep you happy.

I have my fingers crossed for you, for the pregnancy. I know well how head-twisting this all can be.

Mouse said...

Where we are on this right now: I'm heavily leaning towards getting my last seminar out of the way, trying to get pregnant again sooner than later, and moving us close to my in-laws as soon as all of that allows. This was my plan when I originally wrote this post, but it's become an even better choice as we look at trying to get things sorted out so that we'll be prepared to support Scooter when he starts kindergarten.