Hi Mothers in Medicine,
I love, love, love the blog and use it as a nice way to procrastinate from studying when I need a break. It's medically related, so that makes it okay, right?
I thought I would submit a question with something I am struggling with in hopes that I can get some advice from all the mommy-doctors out there.
I'm currently a rising 2nd year and I would like to have my first child while still in school. However, I am battling with the timing of it all. I realize that the entire process of parenting doesn't necessarily work out as planned, and that we may not conceive immediately, but ideally I would like to conceive in November so that the baby would be due in August since I would like to take off a year to stay home with the baby and the natural break in the summer would be perfect for that.
So, my options are either have the baby between second and third year, or between third and fourth year. I found my passion this summer while shadowing, so I know without a doubt I want to be an emergency medicine doc.
Here is my assessment of the two options for 'baby having'.
Between Second and Third year-
Pros: natural break in curriculum between class and clinic medicine, when I do start back in 3rd year I will be still be sharp in 4th year during my ER rotation for a rec. good letter, starting family sooner (28 instead of 29 if we wait a year)
Cons: Being preg. during 2nd year when the courses are tough, being pregnant while trying to study for the boards (I've heard 'pregnancy brain' can really affect your memory), and being very pregnant (7~8mos) while actually taking the boards (bathroom breaks?), having a 1 year old during 3rd year rotations when time is limited and not your own
Between Third and Fourth year-
Pros: Not worrying about how pregnancy may have effected my board scores, having 4th year coming up which is considerably lighter than the first 3 years of medical school
Cons: Since I would be off an entire year between 3rd and 4th year, I'm worried that I may be rusty on my clinical skills and I really need to impress during the ER rotation which is during 4th year, Being pregs during 3rd year and how this may effect those grades which are more important than preclinical grades.
I realize there is no "right" time to have a baby during this training process, however, I was wondering if I could have some insight from women out there who have been through it and have children now. Obviously, I have no idea the amount of energy and time a child needs, so from women who have been through this arduous process of medical training and know what it entails to be pregnant and to be a mother, what would you do if you were me?
Many thanks in advance.