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Casa accommodation question

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
This is mostly a question for those of you who have been to Casa in the past...

If I was to do an internship there in the future, do you think it would work for my family to come along and rent an apartment somewhere in the vicinity? I would still plan to stay in the on-site accommodations myself, as I've heard it's pretty tricky to stay off-site and still be available enough. I figure if they were close by I could still see them a few times a week (?) Does that sound reasonable, or would it still not work out?

Is there stuff for kids to do around there? Right now they are 6.5, 4, and 20 months, and we aren't going yet... maybe in a year or so. Are there places to stay that are decent? (basic is fine, we don't need anything fancy as long as the area is reasonably safe etc)

Thanks!
post #2 of 13
I think if you bring a family with, it works best the way that you have stated.. you still keep a bed and space at the birth center, and then schedule to go with your family a few times a week. You still end up missing out on stuff, but for some that is the most workable solution. Only you know what will work best for your family and I think it could be a reasonable solution.

I left my family at home and I missed them terribly, but I was also glad that I did leave them. When I was there as an intern I worked a TON. Most times that I had a shift off I only had time to sleep and run to get some food and call my family. I think my husband would have been resentful if he had been staying in El Paso to be able to "see" me when I would have only had a tiny bit of time to see them at all. And by staying at the birth center all the time, I ended up catching extra babies because suddenly the birth center was swamped and so I got to hop on shift to help out.

There are lots of places to stay from hotels that you can rent by the month for about $300 to actual apartments/townhomes. I would ask over on the Texas tribe forum for people who live in El Paso to give you the best neighborhoods for simple, cheap, and safe. There are things to do there. There are places to go hiking, shopping, eating, swimming, etc. I guess it depends on what your family likes to do!
post #3 of 13

It's doable...

I went to Casa in 2003 for three months and my husband and my son came with me...

We stayed in a furnished one bedroom apartment and it worked out great for me...my son was only 20 months old at the time and was still nursing...

It was busy and often I had to come in on my days 'off' for a meeting or something else needed but we had no other obligations at that time and my husband was extremely supportive...the shifts get switched around so sometimes you have to work day and then night and then day etc....so it's best if your family has stuff to do and lets you sleep in when you're 'home' with them ...

Also, sometimes you have to pull a double shift...first shift as a primary midwife and the second midwife as a second on, so I'd stay in the intern house on those days/nights and my husband and son would come to 'visit'....but that happened only few times...

I feel like I got to see and do a lot, maybe I did miss out on 'extra' stuff but for me it was also important to stay together with my family....

Hope this helps!
post #4 of 13
Can you ladies tell me more about Casa? Do you work there while in midwifery school? Is it part of a specific program?
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies! That is helpful

Wow, only $300 a month for a hotel?? I live in one of the most expensive cities in North America, so that is, um, kind of shocking to me that there are places that you can stay that cheap. But it's shocking in a good way

Erika, we like outdoorsy stuff... hiking, parks, swimming, etc. Heck, my kids are pretty happy with a big field to run around in Not into shopping at all. The kids and DH have a bunch of food allergies/intolerances, so we don't really eat out.

I am okay with the fact that I wouldn't have a ton of time to spend with them. I figure something is better than nothing... plus it makes sense for them to relocate - we're getting ready to make some big life changes/moves anyway, and this would kind of be a stepping stone to whatever comes next. If DH and the kids stayed here, he would not be able to work his "day job" anyway, as we don't have anyone else willing/able to care for the kids, and childcare here is outrageously expensive. He's working on switching to a more flexible, online-based income that can be done from home. I figure that will be easier if they all relocate to an area with lower cost of living, rather than staying here. I'm not sure if that will cause issues with Canadian/US Customs though - need to research that more, lol.


Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
Can you ladies tell me more about Casa? Do you work there while in midwifery school? Is it part of a specific program?
The website is here: http://www.casamidwifery.com/
It's a high volume birth center on the Texas/Mexico border. It is not affiliated with a particular program - you could go there do to clinical for a midwifery program you are already enrolled in, or to supplement an apprenticeship, or as a self-study student, etc. I am not totally sure if they have minimum requirements for midwifery skills, but I don't think so. It sounds like the more background you have the sooner you would be considered ready to work shifts on your own. I personally have a fair bit of experience with attending births (not as a primary midwife though), so I haven't really researched the minimum requirements, kwim?
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tema View Post
I went to Casa in 2003 for three months and my husband and my son came with me...

We stayed in a furnished one bedroom apartment and it worked out great for me...my son was only 20 months old at the time and was still nursing...
Ooh, I just noticed you're Canadian too... any issues with staying that long? Was it hard to get through Customs?
post #7 of 13
I went for six weeks with my 14 month old and a friend who I paid to watch him. Most interns with family seem to stay at the Warren Inn, which seemed just fine but did not work out for us for too many reasons to get into. And yep, its about 300-400 a month. There are lots of short-term rentals there.

I did not hang out at the birth center much off-shift and since I had a car was often taking other interns out. I did sleep there the nights before an early morning shift and sometimes after if I had been up all night.

I was fine leaving my 4 year old at home in MO. He did fine, but it was ROUGH on my 14 month old, even though he was in the same city as me. My milk supply almost dried up and he was just a wreck.

On my days off, even if I was tired, I forced myself and my kiddo out of the apartment and outside. El Paso straddles a giant state park (only city with a state park in the middle of it) and I went hiking there as much as possible. I went to Las Cruses, hung out at the river, and ate tons and tons of yummy northern mexican food. We went to the botanical garden and hung out downtown. I know my friend took the kids to the library and there are some great parks and little natural history museums.

B/C I brought my kid, I did miss out on tons of birth observations, but oh well. I'm not one for boot-camp style conflict and camaraderie, so I am glad I had my own space. I don't know how people without cars survive an internship. I would have gone crazy.

Overall, I am extremely glad I went. I would not have been able to do it without my kids for another couple years, so it worked out just fine.
post #8 of 13
I didn't go to Casa, but I did (and still do) go to Bumi Sehat in Indonesia. It has been WONDERFUL taking my family with me, even if I don't get to see them much. Even young children can have a great experience with all the new things to see around. And if my kids absolutely need me, then I'm there.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies
I love hearing about other people's experiences. MamaRabbit, I forgot about Bumi Sehat, thanks for the reminder! Sounds like it might be a good possibility too. We are planning to travel a lot and work internationally (esp. Africa), so I'd like to get as much international experience as a student as possible. I'd love to hear more about your experience there... do you have a blog? Can you give me an idea of the approximate cost of living there? (for a family - we are 2 adults and 3 kids)
post #10 of 13
My blog

There is a student fee. Also housing can be super-cheap or expensive depending on the size/rooms etc. The houses we've been in were around $350-600 a month. Plus unless you like Indonesian food (I don't!) it'll cost more for food. They are now taking very very few students and may soon not take any. Feel free to PM with any questions!
post #11 of 13
Does anyone know if Casa does apprenticeships for CNM's? I am 90% sure I am going to go that route verses Direct Entry Midwife. I love the look of Casa and love the concept behind it. Thanks
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by misidawnrn View Post
Does anyone know if Casa does apprenticeships for CNM's? I am 90% sure I am going to go that route verses Direct Entry Midwife. I love the look of Casa and love the concept behind it. Thanks
I don't see why you couldn't go there if you wanted to, but I don't *think* that it would count towards a CNM... you'd have to check with Casa and/or your CNM program though, as I am not an expert on this!!
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaRabbit View Post
My blog

There is a student fee. Also housing can be super-cheap or expensive depending on the size/rooms etc. The houses we've been in were around $350-600 a month. Plus unless you like Indonesian food (I don't!) it'll cost more for food. They are now taking very very few students and may soon not take any. Feel free to PM with any questions!
Thank you!! Great info to have
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