I had a meeting with the faculty yesterday and finally officially confirmed the 'plan A' for my recovery from delivery as well as what will happen if X, Y, or Z situations occur.
Basically, the plan is that if all goes well, I'll have the week she's born totally off. I'll do as much of the work for that week ahead of time as I can, but I can't do my tutorial prep ahead of time since we have to set the objectives as a group, so the plan is that I'll still do my reading for that week and just send my notes to the group. So I won't be completely without school work, but a bit of tutorial prep isn't the end of the world and nursing (which is pretty much all I'll be doing that week) is really not the most mentally taxing of activities. I'd be sitting on my arse reading my computer anyway.
The next two weeks I'll be attending my mandatory sessions via Skype, and then I'll be back in the classroom for the last week of the foundation with my classmates. The week after that is the 'transition to clerkship' week and since I'll basically be nearly a month postpartum at that point, I expect to just attend with my classmates, just taking time as needed to pump.
If I end up needing a c-section, I'll just attend that last week via Skype too, unless I feel well enough to attend in person.
If things go completely badly and I end up completely incapable of even working from home - this does happen sometimes and I think it's entirely reasonable to address the "but what if you end up in the ICU" scenario - then the possibility of me doing the final bits of the MF at a later point (the way someone with an 'incomplete' would) or having to either extend my clerkship and graduate later in 2018 or take a full year off to recover, would have to be considered. The policy is that the faculty reserves the right to make me take a year off if they don't feel it is possible to accommodate my needs while still ensuring I've met educational goals, and I understand why.
We'll be in our psych unit during this time, so it's stuff that lends itself very well to self-directed learning at home. A lot easier to learn and practice the mental state exam than it would be to learn MSK exams when my ability to move around is limited because my whole body hurts.
The thing is, in the States it's incredibly common for women to take short maternity leaves, and while it's much less common here some people still do it. I have several friends in the States who took extremely short leaves, including one who pretty much didn't take leave at all. My pregnancy peer group (all women due in the same month) has a member who is a psych resident and she only gets 2 weeks of leave.
I think my plan is reasonable. The first few weeks are going to suck, I have no illusions about that whatsoever, but it's just a matter of persevering through a hard few weeks and things will get easier with time. This is the sort of thing that many, many women have done before me, and many, many women will do after me.
I'm glad the faculty is being very reasonable about this and is listening to me. We have a plan A, plus contingencies in place in the event things go off track since biology doesn't always like to play by the rules.
Overall, I think this is coming together nicely. Having a date in mind (which is a goal but not a guarantee since things depend on biological factors that are out of my control) makes things easier to plan around. It also alleviates my anxiety too, since a lot of my worry coming into this has to do with what happened during my last delivery, not just the scheduling bit of things. But anything that can help with anxiety during this period is appreciated.
Off to study MSK anatomy and clinical exams for this evening.