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Reproductive Issues in 2003

16 years 8 months ago #55917 by amyk

I really hadn't thought about taking a year off. I mean I'm 26 and I would like to be somewhat done with my training soon. And besides, I know myself...if I stop now and take a time out for babies it will be dfficult, emotionally to go back.

Girl, you sound truly torn, but you have so much time ahead. I'm not a doctor, but I understand commitment to work and having no time for family. If what you want in your heart of hearts is to have children now and be with them at least "normal working mom" hours while they're little -- and if you can afford this financially...

1. Talk it over with your husband, your mother, anyone else who'll be supportive. They can help shove you back into school after you've been out for a few years.

2. Talk to your advisors/mentors, and see if there are courses you can taking on the side while your children are small, to keep you from getting completely rusty and to follow interests you may not have had time for so far.

I don't think it's a great idea to try to do four people's worth of work at once, and that's what it sounds like you're setting up to do. To me, it looks like any crashing hurry you're in is self-imposed. Keep in mind how many women here are just getting started in their mid-30s.

I think DrMoo is right; there is this magazine fantasy of doing it all. Someone else here pointed out a while ago that the main problem is the unspoken "at the same time." For me, I can't see any sensible reason to kill myself and make my family nuts by living that way -- I want some chance of enjoying life as it goes. I don't think it's made me less ambitious or willing to work, either. Just adjusted my sense of what might be reasonable for me to accomplish in a lifetime. It's still a lot; life's long if you're used to working hard.

Just one more perspective for the pile --


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16 years 8 months ago #55918 by jessie
I agree with the previous posts. If you can control when you get pregnant, internship is NOT a good year to have a newborn (even in pediatrics.) I had my first child before my second year of med school. I decided then not to have another child until AFTER I finished residency. Newborns are ALOT of work and medicine is ALOT of work. I still feel I could have learned more if I had not had a child during my training (but we can always learn more!) I, too, worried about infertility issues as I aged (had first child at 28.) I did experience secondary infertility when I decided to have my second child a year after finishing residency. I experienced all the typical feelings associated with infertility--grief, regret for not trying sooner, blaming, etc. But, I NEVER regretted delaying til after my training was completed. After 2 yrs of treatment we did succeed in conceiving and now have a 14 mo old with an 11 yo sibling. Quite an age spread but it works. And I had the time to savor the experience of having a newborn without feeling I was not doing something else that I should be doing--like studying, staying late to look good, schmoozing with other doctors, etc. If you plan to breastfeed you will have a very tough time if you are an intern. Many women who stay at home have difficulty, many women who work have difficulty and being an intern is more than working as expressed in previous posts. My child was almost 4 when I began my internship and I had many difficulties. Believe me when I tell you NO ONE is going to care that you have a child at home that needs you. NO ONE is going to care that you can't find a babysitter for Christmas Day or any other holiday. NO ONE is going to care that your child is ill. Even in a peds residency. I can tell you, because I've been there. Whenever you choose to have a baby you will need a lot of support, outside support, not just your husband. And you cannot predict what you are going to be feeling or how helpful your husband is going to be. Sorry so preachy but as I said I've been there and I wouldn't recommend mixing internship with new parenthood if you can avoid it.

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16 years 8 months ago #55919 by Anki
I completely agree with the posts above! :twocents: , but of course there is no one way to happiness that would fit all.

Whatever your decision will be about when to have children, I wish you good luck and happiness! :) I hope you will write us how things are going in your life!


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16 years 8 months ago #55920 by momz
You cited being 40 and childless but you are only 26!
I understand your clock ticking but there is time!
I got pregnant with my first after residency and have had three children. The best thing about my choice was that during residency I got to be a resident Full Time. I did a lot of reading and learning. If you go home and have a newborn to care for - it is going to be a lot harder to master your basic medical training. Reading is SO IMPORTANT! Once you have children, that is all you will want to do with your precious little free time. I think if you have to do it sooner rather than later wait to deliver sometime during your final year of residency. That year is usually the most manageable

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16 years 8 months ago #55921 by **DONOTDELETE**
I think you should do it if you want to. Sure, having a child during intern year is hard but others have done it and survived. The program I attended was very family friendly. I think that is the key. The more malignant programs won't be as understanding. Would one of these places make you happy, knowing they would be unsupportive of you?

Most programs give you the entire year's schedule of rotations ahead of time. If you are already pregnant by the time the schedule is being made, be sure you lump all the hard rotations at the begining, making those post maternity leave months lighter while you are trying to get your act together again. As for call if your child is sick, we had stuff like that happen all the time. All the residents just changed the call schedule among themselves and then let the chiefs know so a new master could be put out. Things like that (illness, etc) were just never a big deal. They were handled. At least half of our residents had families and half were females/mommies. Believe me, no one will be letting you out of anything.

Some people say intern year is bad for having children. Others say that all through residency is bad. I would like to say that in my situation, the first year of practice is no better. I am salaried this year as I accumulate a patient base and then I will be expected to earn my own income (productivity based) next year. If I had a baby now, I would be out on maternity leave for a few precious patient building months. Two months in which I could be adding patients but don't is a big deal. Also, though, one of our docs who has been there for 3 years already is now pregnant. She is concerned about taking longer than 6 weeks off because she is worried that the "sheep will stray from the flock." We had one doc who only took 4 weeks for the same reason. When you eat what you kill, this becomes a big deal.

I say, there is no better time than now. Go for it!!!

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16 years 8 months ago #55922 by KiddyDoc
Well I really appreciate all the advice. I have been reading ALL of the posts. Some of you were more than harsh, but i certainly understand your passion. We are still hashing out the 'family details' in the mist of a 5 year wedding anniversary party in Feb, Match in march, and graduation in may.

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