A Close Call

My wife and I went through a scare last week.

I’ve been trying to post twice a week, Wednesday and Friday.  I’ve been fairly consistent since November, but sometimes things come up.  The reason I didn’t post last Friday is because my wife texted me when I got to work that she thought something was wrong with the baby.

Apparently, the night before she hadn’t felt the baby move all evening.  She noticed it, but didn’t think too much of it.  In the morning when she woke up, the baby still wasn’t moving.  She got up, showered, had breakfast, and headed to work.  All the while the baby still wasn’t kicking.  My wife wasn’t worried too much the night before, but in the morning she became increasingly scared that something was wrong.  She had been experiencing some other weird issues recently, so after a few hours at work we decided that she should call her doctor.  When the doctor heard what was going on, he said that she should immediately go to the hospital for a full exam.  This all happened within a four hour window.

The sequence of events for me that day went like this:

  1. Go to work
  2. Get a text from my wife who has not felt the baby  move for 15 hours
  3. Frantically Google the symptoms she’s having and finding a bunch of horror stories on line
  4. Waiting for her to get service to respond to my texts
  5. Get the order from the doctor to go to the hospital
  6. Driving 30 minutes to meet my wife in the hospital
  7. Wait for the exam

In the time between getting the text from my wife and meeting her in the hospital, I had a sense of fear and panic unlike anything I’ve had as an adult.  Most of the time, my life is easy.  I don’t have things in my life that cause me to have true fear or dread.  The possibility of my wife having a late term stillbirth put a deep fear into me.  It was absolutely terrifying.  On top of my fear, I was scared for my wife.  My wife is an amazing woman, but she’s very emotional.  I didn’t know how badly she would handle a stillbirth, but it would have been a terrible reaction.

Thankfully, the baby turned out to be fine.  I don’t talk about my faith too much on this blog, but I was praying the whole time for God to save my baby.  I was terrified driving to the hospital, because I didn’t know what kind of news I was walking into.  When I walked from my car up to the hospital and into the maternity ward my legs felt like rubber.  It honestly felt like someone else was walking for me and I was just along for the ride.

When I walked into the room, I walked into good news.  I truly believe that was God intervening in my life.  However, I know that not everyone has such a good experience.  I read a lot of their stories that day on line.  What a horrifying thing to go through, my heart goes out to those whose story doesn’t end as well as mine did that day.  If you or your partner is pregnant, don’t hesitate to get checked out.

On a more positive note, I have made some progress on the crib.  I uploaded some pictures of one of the side assemblies, there are pictures below.

Potential Job Offer

I might be getting out of my current job sooner than I expected.

So I finally got a lead on a job that I think is going to work out.  I’ve been struggling recently because I haven’t found anything that hits any of my criteria: working in web design, working closer to home, better PTO, guaranteed paternity leave, better benefits, among other.  This job doesn’t hit all of those criteria but it is a big improvement and it could help get to a better job in the future.

I currently work in I.T. for a local government entity.  A big part of my job for the last five or so years has been developing and supporting our department’s electronic health record (EHR).  I found a job with a hospital in town.  They’re moving to a new EHR in January and they need someone to keep their legacy EHR running for a while during the transition.

I was contacted by a recruiter on LinkedIn about the a job as an implementer for the aforementioned project a few weeks back and I almost took that job.  The recruiter talked up all the cool aspects of the job.  However he failed to mention that PTO was 7 days, paternity leave was murky, benefits weren’t great, the position was contract to hire and not permanent, and I’d be expected to work 70 hour work weeks during the go live period.  That go live period would fall at a time that I will likely have a 4 month old baby.

I found this new job online and I was initially interested because it was posted in the town I live in.  This turned out to be a typo, the job is actually in the town I already commute to everyday.  While that disappointing news tempered my excitement for the job, I found out that this job starts with the same PTO I’ve worked up to at my current job (4 weeks), the benefits are the same or better, the paternity leave is solid, and it’s about a 20% increase in pay.  And, I’d be getting away from my current boss!  The job is with the same hospital that first recruitment was for.  So instead of coming on as an implementer for their new system as a contractor, I’m going to be supporting their existing systems as a permanent employee.

Looking back on how this all shook out, I can clearly see the hand of God in this. I’ve mentioned in passing that I’m a practicing Christian, so if that turns you off you can skip this paragraph.  My wife told me on a Wednesday morning that we were pregnant.  At the time, I was feeling really down about the job hunt.  An hour later, I got a call for an immediate interview for that first contracted position.  Because of the news about the baby, I felt my priorities change.  Instead of selfishly wanting out of my current job just because I struggle with my boss and my workload, I saw the benefits I have here.  Because of this, I turned down the first offer.  Now, I have a much better opportunity with the same organization all because my wife called me right before the first offer.  Either that’s a crazy coincidence, or God was influencing my life to hold out for something better.

I spoke with the recruiter for the new position and they sound really excited about me.  I applied yesterday and from the sounds of things, they want to get to the interviews ASAP, so probably next week.  Things are very exciting right now, next week we get to see our first ultrasound and I might be getting a job offer.  It’s been a rough few months for me with the job hunt, and it looks like things might be turning around.

Babies and Jobs

Huge news changes my perspective on my career.

So my wife told me last week that she’s pregnant.  We’ve been trying for three months to start a family, so I’m very happy to say the least.  I’ve always dreamed about this and I couldn’t be more excited that it’s finally happening.  She’s only five weeks as of this past Saturday, so we haven’t even seen a doctor yet, that happens in a few weeks.  I haven’t told anyone, none of my family or friends know yet.  It’s kind of exciting to have this secret between my wife and I, we both know there are huge changes yet but no one in our life know’s it yet.  I even bought plans to make a crib, and I’ve never even built anything before! It’s a very emotional and happy time for us.

However, this has definitely changed my perspective on the job hunt.  I’ve been pursuing a job with a local hospital to implement their electronic health record.  I was really excited about this opportunity and I have the right experience and skills to do really well.  However, it isn’t much of a raise, they can’t guarantee me paternity leave, and I’m leaving a job with 4 weeks vacation a year for a job with 1 week a year.  Seeing as I’m starting a family, I’m really going to want that time off.  And on top of that, during the actual go live implementation, I’m expected to work 60-70 hours a week for up to 2 months.  If the timing works out right, I’d be working 20-30 hours of overtime a week with a 4-5 month old baby at home.

I’m really torn.  My wife told me last Wednesday at 9 am that we’re pregnant, and I got a call at 10 am to come in for an interview that same day.  My perspective changed so quickly after talking to my wife.  I was so gung ho for this job, but now that I know there’s a real live baby inside my wife, I see things very differently.  I’m pretty certain that this is a God thing, the timing on the baby news and the call for the interview seem too coincidental to me.  I’ve been trying to be more prayerful and listen to God recently, and I think this is a pretty clear message.  I find out life changing news that immediately makes me see this new job differently, RIGHT before they call me in for an interview. I don’t see how the timing could be anything but a sign from God.

jobhunting

It’s a very strange place to be, because I am basically walking into this job with ease.  I’m the perfect candidate for what they need, and every step in the hiring process feels like a formality.  I haven’t decided what to do yet, but I’m probably not going to take the job.  It doesn’t really further my current goals, other than getting me out of my current job.  Outside of that one thing, everything else about it is a negative for me.

This is a very confusing time for me in my career.  I want to work as a web developer because I think that would make me most happy.  I can’t get a job doing that though, because I don’t have any education or experience.  I hate my current boss and want a change, but the benefits working for local government are very attractive for a brand new dad.  I am perfectly suited for this new job, but the benefits aren’t great and ultimately it doesn’t further my long term goals.  It actually further mires me down in the work I’m currently doing, which I don’t really enjoy and don’t want to do long term.

I think I’m going to stick it out here for a while.  The baby changes things for me.  Ideally, I could get hired on for some remote company doing some kind of entry level web design and learn the tools of the trade from their senior staff.  That way I could work from home for them for awhile, before ultimately starting my own web development business.  However, I don’t see that in the cards, at least not right now.  I think I’ll stay here in my current job, unless something becomes available at the hospital in the town I live in.  currently, I commute 45 minutes away from home.  If I could get hired on in my hometown, I’d see that as a worthy compromise for the time off I’d be losing.  I’d have more time at home to work on web development, so that’s the only thing I’m going to be looking at, at least until after the baby is born.

Whatever happens, at least I have my wife and my baby on the way.  I know this blog has been pretty heavy on the job hunt, but I’m honestly in a very lucky place.  I have a decent job with a lot of built in security, I have good benefits, I have a wife who loves me, I have a baby on the way, we live in the richest country in the world in a time of great financial and technological prosperity (despite Trump’s election), I honestly don’t have much to complain about.  Maybe it’s from reading The Rational Optimist recently, but my outlook on life is pretty good right now.

Now I just need to get started on that crib!