I know there are already a ton of threads on here about people deciding when to have kids, but I was hoping to get some specific advice on my situation.
I'm 23 and a current M1; my husband is 25 and works about 10 hours a week at the medical school (he is a disabled veteran). He will be starting an MPH program in the fall, but the classes are in the evening, partially online and always webcast. We have known each other for 5 years and been married for a year and a half. I want to go into surgery, so I know I am looking at a long and physically demanding residency which might make pregnancy during that time very challenging. I should be done with residency at age 32, but then there are fellowships...
I want to have kids relatively young. My mother was 34 when she had my sister and 37 when she had me. She had a hard time keeping up with us when we were younger. My sister is developmentally delayed, and I have some concerns about having similar issues. There's no history of Down's or obstetrical issues in the family, but I know those risks go up pretty fast when you hit your mid-30s.
So we were thinking about trying to conceive this spring, which would mean the baby would be born around Christmas of my M2 year. This means he/she should be about 6 mos old come boards. My med school classes are all webcast and the pathology lab slides are online, so I should be able to keep up from home if necessary. I think this way I will be able to spend some quality time with baby in second year, MAYBE third year when I'm conscious and not at the hospital, and 4th year before starting residency.
I didn't want to aim for getting pregnant 3rd year and delivering 4th year for two reasons. First, I don't want to have a big pregnant belly at interviews. I don't want to have to worry about potential travel restrictions if there are complications, potential discrimination at interviews, etc. Second, I don't want to disappear into residency right away.
We live far from family, but my school is fairly family-friendly and my husband is going to stay home with baby most of the time. I'll have baby when he is in class (if he can't watch the webcast). For the immediate post-partum period, I figure I can watch webcast lectures while nursing, while baby sleeps, etc. We have a good support system of friends (some of whom have kids 3 and under right now). Finances will be tight but manageable.
What things am I failing to take into account here? I feel like there must be something that I'm missing, besides of course the fact that things inevitably go wrong or change when we least expect them to.
How can I make sure that my husband doesn't go totally crazy home with baby while I disappear to the hospital in 3rd year?
Any advice from current med school moms?
Thanks!! I love this site and this community, by the way!
I love my dog and my chickens. They are much less demanding than professors or patients.
You have really thought this through! I found everything you said to be true. I watched the podcasts of my classes while feeding and holding baby. When they start being more conscious you can't do that, but for a couple months that is exactly how it went down for me. 3rd year is hard with a kid because of all the time spent at the hospital. Having a baby during second year was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am M3 and just had my second, not so easy as my between first and second year baby.
Mommy to two boys (7/2010 and 1/2012)! Expecting number 3!
I agree - MS2 baby was the best decision ever. My husband stays at home with our child, and it works out great. I think you are thinking through things well. Do you have a good pump or an environment friendly to pumping? Is your school supportive? That stressed me out a lot, and I found putting a rotation I thought might allow me time to pump first would help. Turns out - I probably should have opted for a different sequence for that, but it still worked out fine, and I made it to a year with breastmilk for my baby.
Maybe have a nanny on call?
My baby was born in early Dec, and I recovered over Christmas also. Do everything you can the summer between M1 and M2. Seriously! No matter how crazy people think you are! It made life so much easier, because when I was pregnant - I was exhausted, so just getting studying done was challenging - I can't imagine trying to prepare for a baby with his room/clothes/other stuff. I was so glad I got it done when I was not in school!
Oh and 5-6 months old baby for Step 1 prep worked fine. They are still little enough to where you can cuddle them some and study intensely without feeling guilty. Worked for me. Don't sweat that. Just pump prior to the test, during the test, and immediately afterwards also, and you should make it through just fine.
I think your plan sounds great. Having a stay-at-home dad is a huge plus! And I think you're wise to avoid childbearing close to third year. I wish I had been able to do that...but it took us longer to conceive than we had planned. Good luck! Keep us updated!
I had my first in the summer after MSI. I wanted to be able to breastfeed for a year (and the becomes harder once MSIII begins). Looking back on my delivery, the hardest thing for me was the 8 week brain fart I had postpartum. I was waking up 3-4 times a night for the first two months, and the lack of sleep left me unable to remember anything I read. (Not ALL moms have this experience). My husband also works from home and takes care of the kiddo 24/7 (I am now in third year). It works out wonderfully...I just need to make sure my husband is emotionally taken care of, as staying at home is hard for some men.