Hi MiM community,
I am a 31-year old medical student just finishing my first year (M1). I'll be 32 this fall. I got married last summer before starting school, and while my husband and I considered having a baby during the pre-clinical years, we didn't want to try until we had gotten used to our new married life and were sure we had gotten into the swing of school. Earlier this year I thought that maybe 2nd year would be a good time to have a baby because although my school has an attendance policy, it would be easy enough to stream. But then I started to stress out about Step 1 and wasn't sure how a new baby would enable me to put in 12-14 hour studying days and so I have been stalling. At this point, timing seems pretty bad.
I met with someone at school about best times and what I should know for planning, and they of course told me to do whatever I wanted, but that it was easier to take blocks of time off in 3rd and 4th year. So, right now we are thinking about trying starting later this year and having a baby sometime in 3rd year ideally, or 4th if it takes longer. We would like to have two, and I'm hoping that maybe we could have a second after intern year of residency (when I'd be 36 or 37). If it didn't happen, hopefully we'd at least have one, but I know we would both be a little disappointed.
I feel like I'm running out of time and I don't know how to handle it. I know everyone says there is never a good time, but it seems like all the times are downright bad and every time an opportunity comes up I get cold feet. I've been honoring most of my classes and would like to at least leave the door open for matching in fourth year and hopefully eventually a career in academic medicine (probably not in a hugely competitive specialty - right now considering EM, neurology, family med or internal med). I am nervous that I won't be able to keep it all up with a baby, or that the feelings of guilt I already have towards my husband and dog will only get bigger as our family expands. I already hardly see my family or friends and spend most of my time at home holed up studying.
What I'm hoping for advice on is:
1) Anyone have experience with a first pregnancy/new baby in M3 year? Any advice on how to plan for it or handle it well? Pitfalls to avoid?
2) In my situation, is it better to just try and wait until M4 and then PGY2? My fear is that since pregnancy is unpredictable, I'd rather start early.
3) Does anyone have advice on managing competition in class? I feel like I am putting a lot of pressure on myself to succeed to the point where I actually make myself unhappy and burned out and I'm not even sure how much it matters much in the long run.
Thanks for all you do. This is a great community and I am really glad to see the support.