Match Day has come and gone, and I have to admit that life looks so much brighter on the other side of that big white envelope. The months leading up to last Friday have been filled with more ups and downs than I care to count. I know I'm not alone in feeling grateful that the entire process of residency applications, interviews, ranking programs, and waiting, waiting, waiting is finally over!
Now that I've got that Match letter in hand, telling me that I matched at my first choice program (my home institution - hooray for not having to move across the country with a toddler and baby-on-the-way!) I am feeling humbled, grateful, and honestly somewhat astonished to be at this point. There have been so many times in the past 4 years that I wanted to walk away from medical school - studying for Step 1 while trying to conceive, battling first trimester nausea during my surgery clerkship, leaving my baby girl in the care of others when it was time to return to rotations, pumping when I'd rather be nursing her, hearing from my husband or mother-in-law or babysitter about the milestones she reached rather than experiencing them first-hand, tiptoeing out of the house before she awoke in the morning and coming home long after she'd been in bed...the list could go on.
But I count myself blessed to have had the support of my husband, parents, in-laws, and wonderful community of friends during this time - I know from reading this blog that many mothers in medicine are shouldering far heavier burdens with far less help. And it's largely because of those supports that I made it to Match Day. They are the ones who listened when I was frustrated, cared for me when I was exhausted, and lifted me up when I was discouraged. They are the ones who made sure that my daughter always had a safe and nurturing environment to be in (and that mama always had plenty of pictures to keep her going through the longer days and nights). My Match Day belonged to them as much as it did to me.
Even though we are staying put for residency, there are big changes on the horizon. I am thankfully finished with all of my clinical requirements for medical school, but there are all those little administrative odds and ends to take care of. And Baby #2 is due in less than 5 weeks! I still need to dig out the newborn clothes and bassinet from the first time around, maybe review our birth plan/what to expect during labor, think about preparing some food for after the birth (emphasis on think about rather than actually prepare) and pack that hospital bag. Now that the stress and excitement of the entire Match process has subsided, I'm grateful to have the time to prepare, physically and emotionally, for our transition to a family of four.
Congratulations to all the other medical students out there who matched last week - I hope that you are enjoying some well-deserved relaxation after passing this milestone in medical education! I know that Match Day is not necessarily a joyful occasion for everyone, whether it be due to an unexpected placement or not matching at all. So to anyone who is not celebrating this year, I wish you strength and courage for the discernment that lies ahead.
Please share your own stories of this Match Day and those past!