Big Plans

My original idea to study at Jack Newman’s school in Toronto to become an IBCLC seems to not be feasible. From what I can tell, the school has to have a Designated Learning Institution Number in order to be able to get a study permit and also loans. When I attempted to go to school for holistic nutrition, I got my heart set on a program only to find I couldn’t even get private loans for it. I went anyway, since it was still in the country, but I only completed one course before running out of money. I don’t want to get detailed this time. I want to do this right.

I have been looking at other options and decided, at 3am, that I need to write it all up and look at the pros and cons of each situation. Any input and viewpoints are welcome. I need more brains on this!

IBCLC Requirements
1) 8 prerequisite classes
2) 14 health sciences
classes (This one snuck up on me as I didn’t notice it when I started looking into it last year.)
3) 90 didactic hours of lactation specific training
4) 500-1000 clinical hours (It varies per Pathway and I haven’t quite figured it out.)

There are three Pathways to meet all the requirements but the first one is for people who already have a degree in medicine (nurses, midwives, doctors, and I think registered dieticians can too). The second one is a degree earning program, which there are a few of, and the third is for courses that don’t get you a degree but cover all the material you need for the exam.

Did you get all that? Now for the breakdown of options.

1 and 2) These are not part of any of the programs that I have looked into so far. 1) would have to be completed beforehand and 2) can be done before, during, or after all of this but I can’t tell if some of the degree programs have them incorporated or not. It would make sense to me to have them all in one. Anyway, these would best be completed at a community college in person or online. I only have reported income for half of last year and it was part time so I should be able to get some good FAFSA help.

3) The options are degree programs or non degree courses through for profit companies. There is a link to a PDF of the LEEARC Approved courses that has an awesome chart for comparing them. Some of them are distance only, some in person only, and some mixed. The Jack Newman one is in person. There are some that are one to five day in person courses that change location all the time. One has some near me in Chicago occasionally and others would require travel to get to. There are some courses that are just online/distance and you pay as you go. Anything that isn’t through a college will have to come out of pocket as I don’t think I can get student loans for them.

4) The trickiest piece of all of this is accumulating the clinical experience hours. For people who don’t already work with birthing mothers and new babies, there are a few options. I could put in two years as a LLL leader, get a job as a WIC breastfeeding peer counselor, or the choose your own adventure path where you find someone to supervise you and oversee your hours. They have to be a medical professional like a midwife or pediatric doctor, or an IBCLC who wants a free or cheap intern.

Possible Plans

Stay in Chicago
       *Keep working as a nanny
       *Take classes through the City Colleges to meet the first two requirements
       *Take distance or in person training courses or distance degree programs
       *Find an IBCLC to intern with, there are no WIC BF peer counselors here as far as I can find
Pros: I love chicago, don’t need a car, already a resident for college entrance, maintain independence
Cons: financial instability, opportunities for hours most likely unpaid, no support for babysitting, education is all distance/online

Move to a School
        *Best options so far- Birthingway in Portland, OR; Newman’s school in Toronto, ON (waiting on a miracle)
        *Live on student loans and maybe some babysitting work
        *Take classes before or concurrent with the lactation training
        *Clinical hours through the school/program
Pros: in person education, focus on school, no car for Portland or Toronto, independent still
Cons: little to no support with wallace, probably have to put him in daycare, big moves, harder to go to Michigan for visits, paying out of state tuition

Move Back to Michigan
       *Live with my dad again
       *Take classes at the community college in person and online
       *Some babysitting work, try to get job at WIC
       *LC classes online or day trainings if I can get to locations
       *Clinical hours through WIC or choose your own adventure (have friends opening a birth center, might be an option)
Pros: Wallace + Grandpa = Forever, stable roof over our head, WIC as a possibility, parents, aunt, and friends for babysitting support, Nina!
Cons: no longer independent, limited babysitting/nanny work, deal with transferring Medicaid and assistance again, will need a car, all distance learning, big (but familiar) move.

This is why I couldn’t sleep last night despite pain medicine and a baby who slept for nearly ten hours in his bed without needing me. My migraine head was spinning in pain plus reeling with thoughts and it wouldn’t listen to reason and go the F to sleep. I know this was a huge detailed post and I appreciate anyone who reads it and comments. I would like to add to the cons for Michigan that there is absolutely no dating pool.

In other news, I will be telling my lawyer tomorrow to go ahead and accept their measly offer. It is half what we think they should pay but proceeding means seeing a doctor of their choice, going to court and getting questioned, and dragging this out for more months. As it stands, I will be able to pay off my little debt (not including the car loan I owe my mom), and maybe afford a U-haul. Can you put a car seat in one if the airbag can turn off?

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About JennP

Single mom by choice, lesbian, natural living, parenting, car free, Chicago.Thank you for reading and feel free to leave a comment!
This entry was posted in background, Breast Feeding, Chicago, family, Linked Up, Parenting, Single Mother by Choice - SMC and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Big Plans

  1. Ok I’m biased, living 90 minutes from Portland, but Birthingway is awesome.

  2. I have not been to Portland but think I would love it. I was/am a bike commuter. It seems like a great school (non violent communication!) but my dad did not like the idea of us being that far away (toronto is the same distance from him that chicago is). We will see what he thinks of option three when I present it to him. Also, I believe my Denver ex lives in Portland now.

  3. Lindsay says:

    Gosh this is all so much to think about. I have a feeling you would love Toronto, but the international element does make it trickier.

    Being close to family while you’re in school sounds like the smartest way to go. You’ll have free housing and won’t have to worry about money as much.

    What does your intuition say?

  4. So much! And I still need to look at all of the school options and add that in. I know I would Love Toronto but if I can’t get student loans and a study permit then it won’t be an option. I feel like that is my heart and sense of adventure would lead me but my logic says Michigan. If I can get my debt all gone then I can buy an okay used car and make it work. I would be back at the community college I went to when I was 19/20!

  5. I want to say Portland as i am biased, too, but it does seem Michigan is the least stressful option. Living the exact no family support scenario you describe it’d be hard for me to turn down Michigan.

  6. I feel like it will be the right choice for Wallace. He seriously adores my dad and it is mutual. My mom and I do not have a good relationship but I know it would be good for her to have Wallace around. Her husband has had major heart problems and I don’t know his prognosis. Portland is appealing for sure and I have started outlining all my school/course options on paper.

  7. Oh, and I am hoping to be offered a job that would end a week before my lease is up. If I plan to move, that is.

  8. You would love Portland! I’m in Portland. 😛 But seriously, it’s a great community. They love bikes! There are a lot of nanny positions here too, I was a nanny for a while. And I’ve heard great things about birthingway.

  9. Yup I knew you are there! I think I would like it there but there are classes I need to take first so it looks like Michigan first. I’m waiting for another email from them. That is good to know there are lots of nanny jobs. I would probably encounter some of the same resistance I do here about having a kid with me and not having a car. If I go back to Michigan first and can get a job with WIC then I will buy a decent used car and make payments. Then I can use that to get to Portland or Toronto with minimal stuff.

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