For over four years now, my husband and I have been on an incredible journey in his career with Medicine. Being by my Joel’s side while he endures all the challenges that arise to become a physician is We dated 4 years of college (plus 1 year in high school) and married a week before he began medical school, which is 4 years of schooling. I’ve literally been watching this process unfold in front of my eyes for over 7 years now. There are many ups and downs of this life and really this is just the beginning for us. The whole Match process all began 9 months ago when my husband eagerly perfected his resume, collected letters of recommendation, submitted it all into a computer system, and waited 3 months later he officially submitted his application and we waited about 2 weeks for the first interviews to start rolling in. Starting in October we spent 3 busy months traveling the southeast region of the US and interviewed at many institutions. There were weeks when we visited 3 different cities within 5 days and drove 10-12 hours per day. The interview season was quite intense. We lived in our suitcases, became best friends with our dry cleaners, spent lots of time in the car, ordered lots of hotel room service, wandered around a city we had never been to, met fellow blog friends in some cities, visited with old friends in passing cities, celebrated birthdays on the road, started and finished the podcast Serial, watched lots of Netflix on the bathroom floor while our daughter slept soundly in our hotel room, lost a lot of sleep, and really we had a LOT of fun! In cities where we had childcare or we visited without Scarlett, Joel and I would both attend an interview dinner and get to know the people and their program, it was so neat. We talked SO much on these trips about our unpredictable future- it was truly exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. When interview season wrapped up in January we casually made a rank list and changed the order of that list about once a day, I’d say. There were days when #1 became #4 and #3 became #1, that was probably the hardest part of this whole process. I felt like we never really knew where each place belonged on our rank list. We sat on our final list for a few weeks and decided that this was it and there would be no more changes. So, on Feb 26 we pressed submit and hoped for the best. That means, that we had almost a whole month to wait for an algorithm to determine our future. We kept busy during that time, though. Joel completed and submitted his final research paper and we spent a lot of time traveling home and spending time as a family. March 20th snuck up on us quicker than we thought it would.
This past Friday, my husband, daughter, and I stood in front of some thousand people and announced where we would spend the next 6 years of our lives. After watching an emotional slide show I began to shake uncontrollably as I anxiously waited for my husbands name to be read. Many minutes went by. I’d say we were 3/4 in before his name was drawn. We stood up, grabbed our daughter from the grandparents and headed behind stage where we were directed to open our envelope. We opened our envelope and immediately felt peace. We Matched at UAB in Birmingham! It was a very calm moment for us. Relief pretty much sums up that short moment. We hugged and anxiously awaited in the line to go on stage to tell our family, friends, and loved ones on the live stream! I’d say we were just in shock for a good hour and it felt so surreal. Our family was also relieved that we were not going any further away and had matched into a top institution! We also told our local friends immediately and they were thrilled! Shortly after we began saying to one another, “We get to buy a house!” over and over and over we said this. We may have jumped up and down a few times, too! The news of us staying in Birmingham was truly God’s plan and it was meant to be for us. The weeks leading up to match day we told each other multiple times a day…”We have to be open to ALL of the places we ranked. We will be okay there, and we will make it work.” We were scared, honestly. Nervous of what new things we’d encounter in a new place with our small family. We applied and interviewed at so many places that were very far away from our family in Louisiana; like 10-16 hours away. God really does know exactly what we need, because staying at UAB was the best news we could have ever gotten. I don’t think our time was meant to be up in Birmingham, and there are lots of things in store for us here that we haven’t completed.
I mentioned earlier that relief is what we have felt mostly and then of course excitement. We really get to keep so many amazing things in our life and have the opportunity to make them even better. We are familiar with the city already, have incredible friends we get to stay with for another six years, get to buy a house and start making a home of our own, still be able to travel home as often as we have been, our families and friends can still visit easily, we can keep our doctors and pediatrician (who we love), stay in our church community, send our daughter to a great school, and so many more things I could name. But, I will spare you 🙂 We are just overjoyed and over the moon about matching at such a wonderful academic institution where my husband can get an incredible education.
From here, we have 6 more years to go until he’s “Done” with training. The first year he will do an internship in internal medicine where he will continue to learn before he jumps into Radiology. Then, for 4 years he will train in Radiology. As of now, Joel wants to pursue a Fellowship in Interventional Radiology which will be done in that last 6th year of total training (this could potentially be a whole another match process and we could end up in another city- we won’t know for many years.) So, really we have a long way to go, ha! But, we are ready and we are very excited about our future!
This was a lengthy and pretty personal post that I hesitated to write and post today, but as the author of this blog I felt like I needed to share where my heart has been for the past 9 months. Two months after we started this process, Southern Mama+Child launched. I am truly grateful for the community of mama’s I have met here so far. Leaving my personal blog was very hard, but I enjoy working as a resource blogger more. Thank you to all who have encouraged me and have been so supportive of my husband and I’s adventure. This will be a busy time for my little family, so I hope to still bring you content consistently. To all who read my entire post, thank you! I know it may have gotten boring 😉 Thank you again for your loyalty and readership, I am truly grateful!
ps- if you or your husband matched this week or if you have a husband in med school or residency, I would love to ‘meet you’ and hear your good news!