Update: I did end up taking a gap year since I ended up requiring additional surgery after the baby was born and the healing process took several months before I was back to my normal self.
I just want to say ... BEST DECISION EVER. Taking a gap year took the stress of school off my shoulders and allowed me to learn how to be a mom. I've been studying for boards in my spare time to keep up with everything Ive learned but the gap year has been great. It really allowed me to think through everything and has reconfirmed my passion for medicine. Im sure many of the moms on here have felt the "mom guilt" -- should I really do this??? The answer is yes. I should, and will, become a doctor because its definitely possible to be a doctor AND a mom, and to do both well.
I get to pick up where I left off and start the second half of my second year this January. 6 months of tough classes and boards, then 3rd year, which I am really looking forward to! Becoming a mom has definitely sparked an interest in pediatrics, but I can't wait to experience rotations and make a decision!
A quick note - whether or not my gap year makes me less competitive for residency is something I have yet to discover. But since I REALLY feel drawn to primary care (or at least I have little to no desire for the very competitive specialties anyway), I don't think my decision will have much of a negative impact.
From my experience - I love that I had a baby during 2nd year. Wouldn't change any of it for the world. For me it was the best decision ever. But if you are a med student and would rather not risk having to take a gap year (things just might happen that you don't expect, haha), wait until 3rd year or 4th year. Its at least flexible enough to take a month off and make it up later.
I feel extremely blessed to have been able to be a stay at home mom for a whole year, then pick up right where I left off (no repeating classes). I can't think of any other situation where something like this could be possible. I don't know if any other med school would offer this, but mine did and I am so grateful.
Becoming a mom has made me even more motivated to do better in school and become a doctor. I know Im right where Im supposed to be. I am still nervous about residency (the whole working 80hrs a week thing has always made me nervous haha) but I have learned that everything is a season. Med school is a season, residency is a season, your career is a season. A year off with my baby was an amazing season of life. I know things will be tough during my last semester and boards, but Ive never felt so refreshed and ready to take a challenge head-on. Ive never felt happier.
Congratulations! It sounds like you're doing well and enjoying being a mom Just FWIW, having gone through the matching process last year in peds, I can share that it did not seem to make a difference at all for me. I was very worried about having to click that box, but I got interviews at all of the programs that I applied to (and was geographically restricted so applied to literally every program within a 2 hr radius along with a couple other programs I just happened to be interested in that were a little bit outside of the radius). Even at the "top tier" programs that I interviewed, it either never came up... or if it did, it was positively commented on. I feel very fortunate to have ended up matching at my top choice and also getting the wink from a couple other programs. In the end, my thought was that I would not want to end up at a program that would think less of me as a candidate simply because I had taken a "year off" anyhow - figured it wouldn't bode well for their support during my training. Best of luck!