I am a current MS3 and just found out that I am pregnant, due in early September (currently only 4 weeks 5 days). This was a planned pregnancy, but now that it has actually happened I am getting anxious about to balance pregnancy/a baby with my last 1.5 years of school.
I have 3 months of third year rotations left - 1 month of psychiatry and then 2 months of surgery. I have April off for Step 2 and then my fourth year will start (rotations not scheduled yet). I am thankfully aiming for a field that does not require away rotations so that is not an issue. I also only plan to interview within a 6 hour or so driving distance, so I won't be traveling far for interviews.
I think the timing is actually pretty good. The baby will be born a few months before interviews and will be about 9 months by the time I start internship. The main issue I am worried about is upcoming my surgery clerkship. I am not sure if I should tell the surgery rotation that I am pregnant before I start, as it is still very early but I will probably be dealing with morning sickness/fatigue and radiation exposure is a concern (I will be 8-16 weeks over this rotation). I am also not sure if I should tell my advisor soon or wait until we meet to discuss fourth year scheduling (in another month or two).
I think my real issue is that I am a first time mom, so I don't know what pregnancy will be like for me and I don't have any friends/classmates that have been pregnant during third or early fourth year, so I just don't know what to expect. Third year rotations have been hard enough as it is, so dealing with morning sickness/fatigue/etc during my last few months just seems like it's going to be a struggle. Any advice or support would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Secondly, I think I wrote a post almost verbatim to this one 9 months ago.. I don't have any solutions to offer you but having done all my 3rd year rotations thus far pregnant I can tell you that everyone was VERY nice to me about it. I didn't tell my first preceptor I was pregnant until about 18 weeks and by the next rotation it was fairly obvious so I didn't have to tell anyone per se. Re: feeling sick, I was pretty lucky and didn't feel too terrible after the first trimester, even then it was manageable for me but overall I would say that most people have been kind and understanding so long as I worked hard/was a present and engaged student otherwise. I personally made it a point to not ask for anything or take any breaks I didn't absolutely NEED.. then if I did sit or take a min or eat a snack/have a drink of water/ go to pre-natal visits I didn't feel guilty about it & everyone was always supportive. By the end of my pregnancy (my daughter is 2 weeks old now) I was on OB and we had a lot of 24h calls.. perhaps unsurprisingly the OB's seemed very aware of the super pregnant student and I did take them up on it when they let me go home earlier occasionally (For the record my evaluations were still very good from that rotation).
As for telling school, I waited a while for that too but I don't know if there's a right or wrong way to do it. I needed to change my rotation schedule a bit so I gave a few months to work that out.. but if you feel like you are struggling and you think the school will be supportive do it sooner rather than later and see if there is anything they can do to help you (I worried a lot about the stigma tbh but no-one seemed to care/everyone was kind).
Re: morning sickness.. there are lots of things to try but I would totally mention it to your OB and see what she suggests in your circumstances (aka: surgery), mine gave me an emergency rx for zofran and it was lovely in those cannot-be-miserable-right-now moments.
Anyway, congratulations again!! I know this is super tough (and as I start to panic about leaving a 3 week old at home w/grandma in a few days to go back I don't think it gets easier) but OMG I am so glad I did this now and didn't keep putting it off.. she is beyond worth it!
And thank you for your kind words. It's really nice to hear that I'm not alone in having a minor freak out at this point haha and that everything will be okay. Your advice was greatly appreciated. My nausea kicked in today so here we go!
Congrats! I operated through 2 pregnancies and am in the OR daily 14 weeks into #3. So it can be done!
Tips for morning sickness:
1. Ginger everything (ale, tea, chews0
2. Preggo pops with VitB (but beware the packaging if you are trying to keep things quiet)
3. Eat and drink constantly, whatever you can hold down. Keep crackers by your bed and eat immediately on waking. Eat between every case. Full stomach = less nausea
Tips for telling:
1. If you need to get away from radiation, you may have to tell someone. If that person is an MD, they understand privacy, miscarriage, etc. But be warned that once you tell one person, the secret may be out. It can be easy for people to spot the signs of pregnancy too. I'd tell the person who makes your daily OR schedule (resident?) and no one else unless you are ready for things to be public.
Tips for being on your feet into 2nd and 3rd trimester:
1. Compression stockings
2. Blanqi (maternity spanx)
3. Elevating the bottom of your mattress with books so the edema drains out while you sleep.
Good luck and congrats! Remember to be excited and happy in the midst of your worry about your career -- it will all work out!