Tag Archives: Baby Daddy

Love + Marriage: Six Years

June 3, 2015

Ba(k)er-11

I met Austin eight years ago. Two short years after that, I married him. It was kind of strange, actually. He had some of the qualities I was looking for; tall, smart, ready to change the oil in my car. But he was quieter than the rest. Less affectionate. When I wanted to make unnecessary purchases or go out for ice cream, he scrunched up his face and looked at his shoes. When I wanted him to meet all my friends, he smiled politely but didn’t offer any grandiose stories or wave his arms. For the first year of our relationship, I observed him like a casual science experiment. Oh, you watch golf tournaments? Oh, you only like homemade pies? Oh, you don’t like when I change the radio station four hundred times in one minute? Interesting.

But just as the rom coms tell us, opposites attract. They might want to occasionally murder each other or pretend they don’t hear the other person shouting for toilet paper in the bathroom, but the attraction will be there. And when it comes down to it–Austin and I are more alike than we admit. For example, we both like to have things our own way. First borns can be like that. We also both really enjoy not cooking, not cleaning, and not organizing the pantry cupboards. I guess it was meant to be.

On Saturday we celebrated six years of marriage. Six years of moving boxes, changing careers, and fighting over the cell phone bill. Our relationship has changed so much since that day in May. Of course you know things will change, but just like you know your kids will grow older or your face will get wrinkles–it’s still surprising when it actually happens. Some of it is for better, some of it is for worse. Mostly it’s just different. Kids, aging, career–those things are game changers. Priority shifters. Things to be addressed and discussed and hashed out when everyone would rather go to bed.  The most inconvenient truth about relationships is that it’s always better to say “I feel like shit,” than slam the cupboard doors and expect telepathy. Even if it’s writing an e-mail or having an awkward conversation at 2am, it’s better than letting an angry tumor grow. I already have enough problems with digestion.

If anything, we have only grown more into ourselves. We go through so many versions of ourselves in our twenties, that who I am now is so different from who I was when we first met. It always feels good to arrive at something better, but it does require getting to know each other over and over again. Side effects include growing pains and googling, “Why is my spouse always hiding in the bathroom.” An easier way to approach these changes would be an annual meet and greet. You know, slap on a name-tag and say, “Hi, my name is Kate. I no longer enjoy Chinese food and need at least one day a week where no one is touching me. Thanks!”

I have a lot of regrets in life, regrets that I know I should let go because it’s not helping anyone to sit around regretting them. Marrying this man is not one of them. He is everything I never knew I always wanted. One day a year, I’m allowed to use that cliche.

Happy anniversary to the guy who takes out the trash, delivers my babies, and makes us homemade waffles on rainy days. There is so much more in store for us. May we weather the storms with more grace than we deserve. May time only make us better.

IMG_3210-2

***

To Dr. Baer

May 17, 2015

IMG_8659

Today Austin graduates from medical school. It has been a long journey, but an important one. Despite long rotations, solo parenting, and difficult exams– these have been some of the best years of our life. We’ve made dear friends, had our babies, and found a village. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

When Austin first told me he wanted to leave his graphic design job to go to med school, I was worried we would lose each other in the process. I was also worried that I’d have to take a backseat to his career and raise our kids alone. None of it and all of it came true. Hills and valleys with every path in this life. We have been so lucky.

Today isn’t the finish line. After one year of internal medicine, four years of radiology, another match, and a fellowship–Austin will be almost 40 when he’s an attending physician. And yet we celebrate. We celebrate the choice to start over, four years of hard work, and the end of a very good chapter in our book. We also celebrate the beginning of a career. There is nothing like finally doing something you love.

It takes courage to leave your desk job at 27 and start again from scratch. Something to celebrate today.

To Dr. Baer.

***

First Day Of Med School
Marrying A Student
Being Sad About All The Studying
12 Steps To Becoming El Doctoro
Residency Tour
City Search
Match Day
Last Day Of Med School

Last Day Of Med School

April 24, 2015

First Day Of Med School

The first day of medical school was hot and humid and I cried when he left because my baby was the Charlie Sheen of babies and I didn’t want to be alone. When Austin came home that evening, he put his head in his hands and said, “I don’t know if I can do this.” I didn’t know either, but I smiled a crazy eye smile and said, “Of course you can!” because that’s what you do when your spouse takes out a few hundred thousand dollars worth of school loans.

Today is Austin’s last day of medical school. And even though there is still so much hard work to be done, it is always good to pause and celebrate doing something you never thought you’d be able to do. Cheers to surviving colic, toddlers, and a marriage while studying blood vessels and all the other stuff inside our bodies (clearly I wasn’t paying attention).

You did it.

IMG_2870

***

Match Day

March 20, 2015

Winner

Today is Match Day, the day fourth year medical students across the country are paired to a residency program in their speciality during a weird ceremony designed to give you a fart attack.

For most of you, this information is strange and slightly boring. But for my little family and community, it’s a big day. A day that decides what the next six years of life looks like.

If you are new here, my spousal unit Austin is in his fourth year of med school, intending to graduate in May. I have conveniently put our timeline into an easy to read list in The End Of Medical School following an equally gripping post on Marrying A Student.

Match Day is confusing. No matter how many times I explain it, our parents still ask us over and over what is going on and is he a doctor yet. If only, parents. If only.

Here’s how it works. First you go to medical school! Actually first you sit at a your desk job doing graphic design until you’re 27 and realize you are in the wrong career. Then you apply to medical school (hard), get accepted to medical school (harder), and work hard to pass each year (hardest). Then in your fourth year of school, you interview on a residency tour before submitting a list of programs ranked by preference while the programs do the same about those they’ve interviewed. Finally a computer takes this information and spits out where you’ll work and live for 3-6 years, depending on your speciality. This is your “match.”

Bored yet?

It would be nice if someone simply called after your interviews and told you if and where you’ve gotten a job. You know, like normal people. Instead the medical community has made up a bizarre ceremony called “Match Day” where nervous med students read their destiny in a dimly lit room while the local news hovers (really) and spouses cry happy or sad tears. Kind of like the hunger games, except nobody dies (except our spirits).

Last year’s match day at Penn State, a visual aid:

YouTube Preview Image

 

We arrive today at 10am and open the letters at noon.

Some things are certain. On Monday Austin got an email letting him know he did, indeed, match to a program, as some students “scramble” into leftover programs or don’t match at all (nervous poo). This was great news and means we know for sure we’ll be headed to one of four locations on our rank list:

Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Boston, Massachusetts.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Portland, Maine.

Staying in Hershey is our first choice. Not only is it located only 45 minutes from our dream destination, it’s close to New York, D.C., and most importantly–community. A community helping us raise our babies and grow into adult skin. For all its quirks and strange habits, small town living suits our stage of life right now and, for a long list of reasons, makes it easier to parent while also pursuing our dreams.

Of course the other three spots would be great, too. Giant, life-changing pros and cons to each place.

Austin graduates in May and then begins the six year journey to becoming an interventional radiologist this June in a location to be determined in just a few short hours. Pass the Pepto.

Four very different futures at our feet.

Hershey, Philly, Boston, or Portland, here we come.

Onward and upward.

***

Results will be posted on FB & Instagram following the match!

Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2015

i like you

“Much has been said about love…” – Every writer trying to write about love

+

Say what you will about Valentine’s Day, it has already been said before. Lovely, weird, silly, stupid, expensive, polarizing, fake, cliche — all those words are true.

It is hard to celebrate love without celebrating something that isn’t real. The love we see in romantic comedies, in Disney’s wide eyed princes, in reality shows with fantasy suites and cheap red roses–it is such a giant spectacle. At the end of the day, no one wants to raise their glass or exchange chalky hearts to that kind of love.

Real love is problematic, messy, covered in boring dinners and rehashed arguments on the quality of hand towels. Real love is not forever. You can be in love for decades and have it disappear. A boyfriend, a wedding, a ten year anniversary–they are not finish lines.

Real love is perpetual motion and constant work. The navigation of emotions and responses and honesty. The daily struggle against our selfish tendencies.

What I want to remember on this strange holiday is that the love worth celebrating is the love that stays even after the ugliest words and most shattered expectations. The love that fights, that fixes, that says all the words out loud. The love that keeps moving forward.

Like every other holiday we’ve made up, Valentine’s Day is what you want it to be.

May the love you seek find its way.

***

|Image Source|