× Women Medical Students

pregnancy in 3rd Year

12 years 2 months ago #28087 by medstudent24
Hi, I am sure there is a post somewhere about this but I wanted to start a new one. I am welcoming any comments whether pro or cons.

My husband and I really want to have a baby by 4th year. I was thinking the earlier in 4th year the better since it is the most flexible as far as picking my electives. We have 2 five week blocks to take off anywhere in 4th year and 3 wk Christmas, but this time is also for interviews and Step 2. The plan is to start trying in Oct of 3rd year which if all went accordingly and I was one of those amazing 1st tries then the baby would be due in July. In reality it will probably take more than attempt 1 to get pregnant.

For anyone who did this, how did you plan your interviews, Step 2, and "maternity time" into your break time? If the baby comes earlier I could take a 5 wk block off and then schedule a lighter elective, leaving the other 5 wk block for interviews and Step 2. Is this practical?

As far being pregnant in 3rd year, what complications did you/or anyone you know face? I realize the sleep schedule is not going to be ideal. What about morning sickness? How did faculty address this? Other students? I don't want to be a "special situation" but then again I know pregnancy may not be ideal. I also realize 3rd year clerkship grades are extremely important.

When the baby is finally here, how did you find time to pump? What about residency interviews. I don't want to be pregnant on them but then if all goes according to plan, I will have a newborn/infant during that time. I am actually thinking about OB/GYN, so most programs tend to be family friendly I hope. Do I bring up my family or just not talk about it. I am the type of person that would probably end up talking about my family. I would love to stay here because both my husband's and my family are here. I have a great support system for child care. If I have to move away for residency then the baby would be older and daycare would be an option.

There are a million what to do's and what if's going through my mind, but I really want a child. I hear all these mixed opinions about when is the "best" time but there never is a "best" time. I wish it could be more spontaneous but unfortunately timing is a must.

Thanks in advance.

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12 years 2 months ago #28088 by Emily2651

Originally posted by medstudent24:
I wish it could be more spontaneous but unfortunately timing is a must.

I understand where you're coming from, I really do, but ... sometimes this baby stuff doesn't go according to plan.

I'm a 28 YO MS4, now in the beginning of my second trimester. I'm due in April. Originally, however, my *plan* was to be the mother of a 2-3 month old baby by now, but instead, my husband and I had trouble conceiving. So the "early fourth year baby" plan went out the window, and we turned to IVF. (And my plan about keeping my medical school debt low? So much for that one too. We borrowed an extra $10K for IVF.) After becoming pregnant, I *planned* to finish all my rotations before the baby came, then take a nice long maternity leave and do 10 months of research before intern year. But whoops! Now, I'm on bed rest, after being diagnosed with a subchorionic hemorrhage last week. I've withdrawn from one rotation so far, and won't be surprised if I withdraw from a couple more. Another plan bites the dust.

Obviously, I hope your experience is completely different, and chance are it will be. But I still think it's wise to build some flexibility into your plan. Plan to take an extra year if possible -- that's been my plan all along, and it's really the only part of the original plan that's remained intact. The fact that I postponed graduation has been my saving grace so far. I feel so lucky that I've given myself the flexibility to adjust to the changes (and disappointments) as they come at me. Don't get me wrong, I'm overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude that I'm likely going to become a mom this spring. But this process has been humbling to say the least and I've really lost enthusiasm for mapping out my future in detail.

The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea. -- Isak Dinesen

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12 years 2 months ago #28089 by Drey
I got pregnant December of third year and had my baby September of fourth year. This let me get my surgery and OB rotations out of the way before I got pregnant, which I highly reccomend. I took Step 2 during my vacation week between 3rd year and 4th year. (So much for taking a month to study for that, but I scored well, so it was a good decision).

I'm sorry Emily above is having such troubles with her pregnancy, but I have the opposite story to offer. I was very lucky in that I didn't have much morning sickness. As long as I could keep something in my stomach, I was fine. Pretzels and baby bell cheeses in my white coat pockets went a long ways. Rounds were rough occasionally since we had to stand for a long time, but I could usually find a friendly wall to lean against. I was tired all the time, but I was a third year medical student, so it's not like I would have had boundless energy had I not been pregnant. I did not tell faculty that I was pregnant until it was obvious, and even then I didn't talk about it until they brought it up. I did end up developing gestational diabetes and needing insulin, which was obnoxious, but didn't require special accomodation (again, food in the pockets was key).

I am currently taking all of my vacation time in a row, which will take me into November. Hopefully I can get some interviews in during November, so that I don't have to take time away from rotations to interview. (Although, I'm told people are very flexible about it during your fourth year, and your fourth year grades just don't matter much as long as you pass.) I am not planning on delaying my graduation, and I really think that was the best choice for me. I don't think you necessarily have to plan on taking a year off. I would actually plan NOT to, and then modify that plan if you need to. I love my daughter but staying home even 4 weeks has been driving me batty.

I'm not sure how going back and pumping will work, nor am I sure about pumping while on interviews, but I plan to just let them know that I need 15 minutes or so every 3-4 hours, and I think it shouldn't be an issue. I'm not sure how "family friendly" OB is, but I was told by my dean that I shouldn't talk about my daughter on interview day unless I'm getting a very clear message that they welcome families. (I'm matching in EM) However, I won't be able to hide the fact that I'm pumping and have wedding rings on, so who knows... :rolleyes:

Anyways, just thought I'd offer a different perspective. I've had a good experience without much in the way of complications, and I'll graduate on time. Feel free to PM me if you have any further :confused:


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12 years 2 months ago #28090 by medstudent24
Thank you both. I prefer not to take a year off but if I have to then I am ok with it. I just like to always have a plan and then alter it accordingly. If I don't conceive in 3rd year then I will just wait until residency.

Does anyone know how long I should be off Mirena before TTC?

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12 years 2 months ago #28091 by Baby Einstein
I'm pretty sure you can TTC right away after Mirena. I remember reading a study that found that fertility was the same as with women who had not been on any hormonal BC.

I'm only my second year, but here is my opinion: I agree with Drey, I think it's fine NOT to plan to take a year off (unless that's something you would really want), but be ready to have to take it if complications arise. With my first, I was on bedrest more or less the entire third trimester. I'm now 28 weeks with #2 and it's going well so far. I'm a second year and not planning on taking any time off, but if I have to, then I'll roll with it.

I do get a lot of morning sickness. I think that would definitely have impacted my performance as a third year. My grades (end of first year) went way down in the first trimester of this pregnancy... way down! But hopefully you'll be lucky and not get any. Good luck with TTC! Have fun :D

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12 years 2 months ago #28092 by docE
I agree that this process is unpredictable, and as long as you're aware of that and willing to accomadate the "surprises" then I see no problem with an "ideal plan."

medstudent24--I think we pretty much have the same plan. I'm hoping to become pregnant July (beginning of 3rd year and deliver in April at the end of 3rd year--but am going to start trying in June so I have a "buffer" window. I know this probably sounds crazy, and maybe my plan will not work at all, but maybe it will, so it can't hurt to try. I'm "planning" on taking my 2 vacation blocks together for 8wks of maternity leave and my husband will stay home in the summer. Also, I'm planning on going off BC 5-6 months before I start trying and charting basal temperature (and condoms of course!) to see if my cycles are regular and give better "predictability". This probably takes all the fun out of making a baby, but if this somehow miraculously falls inot place it will be the most convenient for my schedule.

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