I've been enjoying and learning from MiM for several years - since before medical school and before I was a mother. So thanks for creating such a great forum.
Now I am a second year medical student with an almost-3-year-old. She is great. And for the most part, medical school is great. But that's right now. My husband and I have been through a lot in the last five years to get here. We've both gone back to school and dedicated ourselves to new and intense professional fields. These changes have required two moves. In that time we have also both had pretty significant medical problems that have since resolved, but that caused a whole lot of disruption and stress, including stress on our marriage. In my case, this lengthened the medical school process.
Things have finally settled down. My husband has recently found steady work that he loves and provides him exciting opportunities. And our daughter, almost 3, is thriving. And now I feel like I can fully enjoy her.
Some years ago I thought I'd be trying to get pregnant right now. I put that thought out of my mind as we worked through all our many challenges. But as things settled down recently, I started thinking about a baby. The timing of things are no longer what I'd planned. We could try to get pregnant very soon - in which case I'd take Step 1 very pregnant. Or we could wait another year. Another year means an almost 5 year gap between children. (I am trying to prevent another year of school, hence the timing constraints).
I think our daughter is ready now for a sibling. She is becoming independent, potty-trained, able to start to share, etc. And if it weren't for all the circumstances, my husband and I would be more than ready. But I am concerned about perpetuating that pattern of being in constant stress, in constant needs-only, no time for fun mode.
On the other hand, some of that is inherent to the early childhood period, even if we were not dealt a few additional challenges. We all have to balance family and career and if this time is not going to be great fun anyway - why not create another awesome creature while we're at it?
I worry about some of the details. Would being 35 weeks pregnant affect my ability to maximize my step 1 score? (I have lots of interests right now, including one that is very competitive). And would having a baby in early 3rd year be crazy? I was back at work with a lot on my plate three years ago. I know I can do it. But doing it while missing two kiddos instead of one seems worse.
These are all details. And big picture is that family is important to me. And living the kind of life I want to live and become a doctor (rather than living life to be a doctor) is important to me. But so is happiness. And I don't want to push myself and my family so hard we can't enjoy what we already have.