Monday, July 11, 2011

2 Weeks and Counting...

I can't believe that in 2 short weeks I will be sitting for the IBCLC exam: the Global Certification for Lactation Consultants.  It's amazing to think that all on the same day - July 25th - I will be taking the same IBLCE exam as every other aspiring lactation consultant around the world.  Talk about a global community!

I started this blog with the intent of chronicling my journey as a student, and well, my plan to post weekly has proved challenging due to the intensity of my coursework, while trying to balance being a mom, wife, La Leche League Leader, volunteer with my local breastfeeding coalition, and friend. 

I must give thanks to my fantastic teachers: Kayellen Lascheck from the Grow Our Own Program and the infamous Gini Baker from UCSD Extension, plus the many moms who came to me for information and support.

Kayellen, as an IBCLC with Riverside County WIC, had a spunk and collaborative can-do attitude that I immediately connected with.  Her frank, yet friendly approach to first relating to moms and then assisting them with their breastfeeding goals was reminicent of my LLL training.  Acceptance into her program was the inspiration and catalyst I needed to jump start my journey.

Gini, with her infinite wisdom from her decades as a hospital RN and IBCLC working with some of the most at-risk populations in our state (I think her hospital NICU now has 100 beds) really challenged us to be advanced practice lactation consultants.  She pushed us to think critically, read between the lines of research, taught us how to identify reputable sources, and gave us the hands-on clinical experience that allowed us to put into practice all that we were learning. 

How gratifying it is to go to school for something you are truly passionate about!

Now it's "game-time."  Putting all that learning together and getting test-ready, physically and mentally.  The exam is only given once a year, so after working towards this for the past three years, I better be ready.  The last time I had to sit for such an important proctored exam I think was the SATs.  (Just a few years back.  *wink.  *wink.)  I mean, this is serious business - you get an escort to the bathroom if you have to go during the exam!  No pressure. 

Wish me luck!