Hello! I'm so pleased to be joining the MiM community as a new poster. I'm a rising fourth-year medical student with a fifteen-month-old daughter. I'm currently wrapping up a year of research and will soon be starting my final clinical rotations before the residency interview season commences.
Just shy of two years ago, I took Step 1. I was 8 weeks pregnant at the time and came to the testing center armed with acupressure bands, ginger and saltines in the hopes of keeping my first trimester nausea at bay. Adrenaline turned out to be a more effective remedy, containing my queasiness all the way through the final question. I left the testing center wondering if I'd passed, but mostly feeling relieved to be done. Before long, however, tendrils of uncertainty began to creep into my consciousness. I felt suddenly overwhelmed by all that lay ahead - pregnancy, labor, an infant to care for...all while on my 3rd year clerkships. I was still learning to survive as a medical student - why on earth had I decided to add learning to be a mother on top of that?
Fast forward to today, when I sat for Step 2 CK. This time I came to the testing center armed with tissues and lemon tea (because if I've learned anything since being a parent in medical school, it's that the week of a board exam your kid will get you sick). I made my way through the sections, feeling only marginally more knowledgeable than I did two years ago. As I was signing myself out at the end of the day, the ladies staffing the testing center kept commenting on the cute little girl who'd been popping in. My test-addled brain didn't quite make the obvious connection ("Who's just letting their kid wander around the building?" I wondered vaguely as I waited for the biometric scanner to register my fingerprint).
As I turned to leave, I saw that it was me (or, rather, my husband), who'd been doing just that. My daughter stood in the waiting room, her face breaking out into a huge grin as she ran to meet me. I swept her up into my arms and covered her with kisses. In that moment, everything in the past two years - the weeks of dragging my pregnant body through ORs and wards, the hurried pumping sessions in call rooms and restrooms, the 3 am diaper changes when I had to be at the hospital to pre-round only hours later - everything felt worth it.
Today, with the hardest parts of medical school behind me, and only residency interviews and a handful of electives (plus one pesky Acting Internship) ahead, I'm feeling excited about what the future holds. I'm looking forward to welcoming all of you along as I hit the interview trail, agonize over my rank list, and wait impatiently for Match Day. I hope that I can offer encouragement to other women who are parenting
or contemplating parenting in medical school, or maybe just a sense of
solidarity during those moments when none of it seems worth it (or even possible). I'll be posting here under the name "Juggler" - a role I'm sure all of you are intimately familiar with.
Thanks for reading and for making MiM such a vibrant, dynamic community for women at all stages of motherhood and medicine!