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4 kids before first year

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Indymom, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. Indymom

    Indymom What?
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    I am so excited to start medical school this fall. Anyone else starting with a bunch of kids? I'll have four when I start (preg with my 4th right now).
     
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  3. NTF

    NTF PGY-6
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    My first is due in April. You officially deserve the title of supermom.
     
  4. Signal9

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    I have a 3 year old daughter, son due in April, start med school in August. That's enough for me, four kids = crazyness!!!
     
  5. MDToBeInNC

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    Hey Indymom,

    Just wondering, did you talk about your kids and your role as a mom during your interviews? I can't imagine how you couldn't really....3 kids is a pretty big part of one's life!! If so, how was that received? Did you get questions about balancing motherhood with medicine?
     
  6. PunkmedGirl

    PunkmedGirl Freshman Member
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    I second the SuperMom comment.:D Yay for the medical moms!!!!!!:)
     
  7. sindadel

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    Well I have only 3 kids, and my youngest will turn three in May before I start school (if I actually get accepted, that is!). I can't imagine being pregnant right now, but I'm sure you have a great support system all worked out, and really, the pre-clinical years are pretty compatible with an infant. WTG!
     
  8. PunkmedGirl

    PunkmedGirl Freshman Member
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    I love your signature.:D
     
  9. sindadel

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    Thanks! I really feel like I have a good handle on what it feels like to be woken up every 45 minutes by unreasonable people for several years! :p
     
  10. babars

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    i am wondering if i should defer a year because of my family. i want to have a baby sooner than later, but if i start school this fall, then i wont be able to for at least another two or three years...
    anyone been in a similar situation? do dental schools allow you to defer before your first year? or has anyone started school with a newborn?
     
  11. PunkmedGirl

    PunkmedGirl Freshman Member
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    There are plenty of women who have started medical with a new born,....KateB(although I believe her baby was a couple months old though), the OP, Nanon and a few others. I'm sure they will all chime in with there experiences. :):)
     
  12. EMT2ER-DOC

    EMT2ER-DOC Why so Serious?????
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    I am in my 2nd year and I have 3 kids (7, 5, and 2).

    It is very difficult and you need to learn time management. But do-able. If you have specific questions, do not hesitate to ask.
     
  13. babars

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    thanks for all the words of encouragement!
    are you, emt2er-doc, a mom or dad?
     
  14. EMT2ER-DOC

    EMT2ER-DOC Why so Serious?????
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  15. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.
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    I haven't started medical school yet, but I'm applying pregnant, too. The baby is due in July, but if it follows it's brother's lead, it will be delivered and HUGE in mid-June. (Dylan was born at 38 weeks, almost 9 lbs and 21.5 inches long. :eek: ).

    Quite frankly, I'm kind of freaked out about starting medical school right after having a baby. And a few of the programs I'm applying to start in June! Anyway, I haven't decided whether or not I'll defer. It will really depend on a ton of other factors, like, whether or not we sell the house quickly, how far away we'll have to move, etc. I'll take it as it comes, I guess.

    At least the OP has some baby wrangling experience under her belt! :D
     
  16. dpcdoc

    dpcdoc VMRCVM Class of 2012
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    i just wanted to chime in. I am in my first year of veterinary medical school at the age of 41 with a wife and 3 children. It is extremely difficult (but not impossible) to balance family with the #1 factor, the need to study without looney toons, scooby doo etc invading your preparing for a histology final. i have found it is doable, but I have come to the realization that i will no longer have a 4.0 gpa. which is fine because c = DVM so they say.
     
  17. Crelal

    Crelal So close, yet so far away...
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    Class of 2013- I will be starting with a 6, 4, and 2 year old. We debated finishing off the family (we have always wanted four) before this next fall, but decided to hold off for that 3rd year baby that I see/hear so much about. Maybe by then we will decide we are done- who knows?

    I was pregnant/delivered the last two while working FT and taking 9 credits- school and family is doable, it is just a question of quality time versus quantity of time.

    And- IMO- family/kids are the perfect, instant destressor. Who doesn't forget a horrible day when your kids run to the door yelling "Mama!/Papa!"? :love:
     
  18. EMT2ER-DOC

    EMT2ER-DOC Why so Serious?????
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    I am doing this now. If you have any questions or problems, do not hesitate to PM me. Enjoy your time now.
     
  19. BK421

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    I'm in my first year and have four children. Last year I did a full-time post bacc program. Patience and time management are an important part of being successful! I think that is true even if you don't have kids.:p
     
  20. Deepa100

    Deepa100 Junior Member
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    You are kidding, right?
    If not, good for you. I wish you all the best!!
    I have one who likes to take up most of my time. So, I am happy with one.:thumbup:
     
  21. Deepa100

    Deepa100 Junior Member
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    Nanon,
    My son was also born 37 wks (well, 3 days shy of 34), 9 lbs and 21.5inches:p
     
  22. autumnmuse

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    I'm going to school for the first time since HS graduation in 97. I start full time in January. I have three kids, age 4, 2, and 4 months. My husband works three jobs.

    This is going to be . . . interesting.
     
  23. Crelal

    Crelal So close, yet so far away...
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    4, 2, and 4 months? This is exactly what I did last year! It is interesting, but organization and ability to let the pile of dishes/laundry/messy toys sit for a day or two is the key. (Well, maybe the dishes need to sit not that long, but you get what I mean.)

    Our now 5 year old has impressed his teachers' with his diligence on his homework- he keeps telling them he does his school stuff just like his mom. I can only picture what his teachers think when he says this, as he attends a Title 1 School. :laugh:

    Good luck, and feel free to PM me with any questions! :luck:
     
  24. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.
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    :laugh: Crazy kindermooses. :D
     
  25. sharona1121

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    You guys are SO inspiring!! :)

    I really do think that reading posts here have given me more hope and confidence that it IS doable (having kids and going to med school, that is)... with a good support system and supportive husband.

    My plan is have our first right before med school, one during pre-clinical years.. and the third (and last!) during my fourth year... we all know these plans rarely work.. but it's fun planning anyway. :love:
     
  26. NTF

    NTF PGY-6
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    WOW! Three kids before you graduate!

    You should name them Step I, Step II, and Step III ;)
     
  27. jinx520

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    I'm 40 and I have 9 kids. I was asked "how do you manage school and taking care of your kids" by an interviewer & I told her "the same way working women with kids manage." Also, the way my kids ended up being spaced out helps, b/c each of them has another child close in age. It helps when I'm doing other stuff like housework or studying.
     
  28. Valvool

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    I started my first year of medschool in August with four children between the ages of three and eight. This is the first time I have heard of others with this many children starting medical school.

    I had four interviews. At two schools I was asked about children and I 'admitted' to having the four. And at those schools I was waitlisted. At the other two schools, where interviewers focused on my writing and my EMT experiences and no questions were asked about my past successful reproductive activities, I was accepted.

    I am a member of a class containing no other mothers, and two fathers (of 180 students) and so it is sometimes hard for me to find those I can identify with. For me, one of the biggest challenges has not been time management or maintaining grades. I feel quite on top of my academic game. For me, the biggest challenge has been overcoming the biases and reactions of others in medschool, some of them faculty, some students, toward the fact that I have four children. One of my instructors revealed that fact in front of about 50 others in my class during a small group activity and after that I had my fellow students approaching me. "Oh my god, I could never do that." "You're a supermom!" "I admire you SO much!" and so on and so forth. I did not at all like this. Some of it seemed very condescending. I didn't even know the names of some of these students, and the basis for them wanting to meet me was simply to talk to the girl with four kids. Since then some students, ever time they see me, ask constant questions about the children (some of them in this high-pitched cutesie voice that is very annoying). This too is tiring. I am in medschool, just another student living the dream. If I wanted to answer questions about my children all day long I would have gone to a mother of twins convention, not medschool.

    I do have a few close friends in the class, and with those people I am comfortable discussing many aspects of my life, including the children, but this is very different from the conversations I have with those in my class who don't know me well. With them I have many conversations like this:

    Fellow Student: Hi, how are your kids?!
    Me: Fine, its my daughter's birthday today actually.
    Fellow Student: Oh my god, you're making a cake AND studying for the physio exam?! Dear god in heaven....
    Me: ......um, no, I have a husband who is at home with the children. He's making the cake.

    Or

    Fellow Student: I heard your older two kids are homeschooled.
    Me: Yes, that's true. The New Orleans Public School System is sort of a mess right now.
    Fellow Student: I just can't believe it. How do you homeschool AND do medschool?
    Me:......See, I have a husband, he is at home taking care of our children while I go to school, and he is actually the one doing the homeschooling.

    The whole concept of role reversal is hard for some of them to conceptualize.

    When I anticipated medschool as a 30 year old with four children, these issues never came to mind. I was worried about time management, missing out on important days of children's lives, the usual anxieties. I didn't realize I would be such an enigma in medical school, or that the males in my class with children would receive far less scrutiny. It has been very frustrating at times.

    One instructor, when they learned that I have four children, made this statement in total seriousness: "Well, I hope you're married!" This was on the first day of classes, and I have to say that my heart sunk a little that day. It wasn't a positive or encouraging response.

    I'm glad to see that the tone of this thread has been so positive and upbeat, and I see now that many women with three plus children are contemplating or attending medschool. It's good to know there are more of you out there. For those not yet in medschool, unless you attend a medschool where a decent number of parents compose part of the class, you may run into some 'interesting' reactions to your status as a parent (especially of four).
     
  29. Deepa100

    Deepa100 Junior Member
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    I have one kid and I wrote all over my PS about my pregnancy. I always get asked in the interviews how I plan to balance my life. But in the end, I do get accepted. So, I don't think it is a big deal.

    Those of you with 4 or more kids, I think people are just wondering how you pull it off. Take it as a complement. Having known what it takes to raise one kid, I can not even imagine having more AND being in med school. But if you can pull it off, good for you. Don't let peoples' ignorant comments bother you.:thumbup:
     
  30. dragonfly99

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    valvool,
    I think you are taking the other students' comments the wrong way. It looks like you have a big med school class, there are a lot of people, and they don't know you well. They are just trying to make conversation, and it seems they admire you. Also, remember a lot of the students are pretty young and things like marriage and family are all mysterious "undiscovered country" to them.

    I agree with you r.e. the faculty/instructors though. They shouldn't be bringing up your family/kids in an inappropriate context. That is your personal business.
     
  31. woolfda

    woolfda Junior Member
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    OP,

    I am a second-year at IUSOM with two children:7 and 6. Let me know if you have any questions about IU. Congrats on your acceptance!

    BTW: I am not the only person in my class with kids- in my class (Indianapolis campus) alone I know of 3-4 other women with children, and at least 4 other men with children. All of them have done just fine:laugh:
     
  32. bigDinLV

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    I started med school with 1 kid, graduating with 4. Busy times....
     
  33. jlhall744

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    I wrote about my daughter in my PS and got an interview; the whole interview was about how the Dr. waited until he was out of school to have kids and how "you don't want her to come back in ten years and tell you you weren't around enough"...etc. Needless to say I didn't get in.

    I think it is very doable though, taking 18-21cr in undergrad and working and having a child and husband is busy; take out the working and make the classes all similar and there you go! Good luck to everyone!
     
  34. jinx520

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    I don't think that Valvool was taking it the wrong way so much as venting some frustration at being seen as some sort of weirdo for having kids and going to medical school. I'm sure she probably realizes that most people mean well and admire her, but I've had some insensitive people make backhanded compliments to me b/c of my large brood, and it does get frustrating. Let's face it, there are people in this world that will look at a woman who is in medical school (hard) and is a mother (hard) of 4 kids (harder!) and make comments.

    I think it a lot of it is b/c deep down they wished they had your intestinal fortitude and wish they could do it, as well. At least that's what I tell myself when I get the occasional comment!

    Valvool, do you ever visit MomMD?
     
  35. Valvool

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    No I haven't, thanks for the tip. I will check out that site.
     
  36. jace's mom

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    I have four children, and I just finished my first semester of med school (successfully enough, too). I'm having a fantastic time, and I don't really feel as if I've had to sacrifice any family time yet. Will I have to eventually? Of course, and my husband and I are making plans for those time periods. For the record, he works full-time as well. Our children are all in school (ages 6,8,14,15), which has benefits and challenges. It's nice not to worry about diapers and midnight feedings, and older kids are definitely more self-sufficient! However, four children in school = four people all involved in different activities which generally require parents for transportation/attendance at important events. The Christmas season got a little stressful, as I was studying for finals and also attending a school concert/church activity/group party every night. But I survived, and I'm still very, very happy. It helps that I've wanted to study medicine my entire life, so I get up every morning extraordinarily grateful for the opportunity. It also helps that I study quickly and retain information fairly easily.

    If this is truly what you want to do, if you *enjoy* studying, and your home life was solid and happy to start with, you should be fine. Best of luck to you!
     
  37. mouseben

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    Wow, you are a supermom. I have one 7-month old and I thought that was crazy. LOL. Good luck.:p
     
  38. Crelal

    Crelal So close, yet so far away...
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    I think the other point in Valvool's post about role reversal is valid- I don't know how many times in undergrad I had people saying "You want to go to Medical School? But who will take care of your children?" :rolleyes:

    I don't know, maybe their father? Do people forget that working women use day care all the time? That there are female CEOs with children? :p

    I have one interviewer ask me if I thought my 'spot' in their school would be well-utilized, since I have children and may want to go part-time in the future. I responded that everyone is different, and I knew for sure I was not capable of being a happy stay at home parent, and truly loved working full-time outside of my home. Then I added that there were probably 800 people in their school who were not yet parents and could not speak to their feelings in this area until they became parents. I was accepted. :D

    At the end of the day, I do not want to be treated any different because I have children- that is my choice and stress-reliever at the end of the day. I am just psyched to be able to start this fall.
     
  39. jinx520

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    You know what? From all the different posts I've read on SDN re: stress/burnout, bitterness/lack of, and general contentedness w/ the choice to go into medicine, it seems like those that start with a family and have THEM as their top priority are the ones most likely to emerge from their training unscathed and sane. Just a thought.
     
  40. punkiedad

    punkiedad punkie's dad
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    I am starting med school in July and have two kids....more than two kids = zone defense. Don't know how you do it, but it does support my theory of time management.

    I seem to be most productive when I have the most going on. No spare time = every minute of your day is accounted for. My theory is that when you know this, you actually plan out your quality time with your kids and studies versus putting it off (I am tired now. I will zombie out in front of the TV for a couple hours and then play with the kids, etc.....) When you know you have exactly 90 minutes before the next task, those can be some of the best 90 minutes with your kids....IMHO.

    Either way, the rest of you with >2 kids are my hero (my wife thinks we have enough going on.....but I am still hoping she will give in):)
     
  41. Mama070609

    Mama070609 New Member
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    Punkiedad: I think you are absolutely correct about being more productive when your day is scheduled and you have a lot going on.

    Our kids are the same age, practically! My youngest is 5 months as of right now, and my other two are 2 and 4.

    My biggest issue right now lies in having the finances for quality childcare while I gain veterinary experience and for paying for the courses I need to take prior to applying (I have a Bachelors degree, but I'm missing some required courses). Unless I do something big-time, I'm well on my way to another year of not being prepared to apply. It's rather depressing, actually.
     
  42. punkiedad

    punkiedad punkie's dad
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    I feel your pain with the whole childcare thing...Our oldest is good on his own, but the 4 year old runs approx. $600 per month for daycare. I have thought about this as well. My wife saysa lot of people get reduced daycare expenses (kinda like the reduced cost school lunch program) when they don't make a lot. this may be something to explore. As far as the pre reqs pile on the student loans...a couple extra classes won't be anything compared to the debtyou will accumulte while in vet school......best of luck to you......keep focused and you will reach your dream.
     
  43. Indymom

    Indymom What?
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    I have not been on SDN for months and I am so happy to see that there are other people who started school with 4 kids! I know I can do it, I am not worried about the time of studying since my husband is 1000% there for the family and is perfectly comfortable asking his mother, sister and cousin to come babysit if he needs them. Also, he works for his family business which gives us good income and lots of flexibility. After the baby is born, we might get an au pair to help out so he can work, or he will work from home for the first year. His father really wants him to continue working and has even offered to pay for the au pair - so we are happy about that but we also don't want the baby raised by a stranger so we are still trying to decide if we are going to take him up on the offer.

    I am hormonal now because of the pregnancy so every once in a while I get all teary eyed about not being able to bond with this infant like the others (i just posted this in the marriage thread too). Also, I have low milk supply and still successfully nursed two of my other three children, but it took a lot of time and work. When we decided to get pregnant, I told my husband straight out that I am not going to have the time to get breastfeeding to work again and that we are bringning this baby into the world fully intending on bottle feeding it. I tell everyone who knows me that I am bottlefeeding this baby because when the baby is born, I will feel guilty enough for not breastfeeding so I need everyone elses support in that area - not their judgements and condescending looks.

    I also co-slept with my other children for the first year since it made night nursing easier. The oldest - who was not breastfeed because I hadn't yet learned the tools to make it work - still co slept because I wanted to be as close to him as I had intended. I wonder what my nights will be like in medical school and if I will be able to keep up this tradition. The baby waking me up in the middle of the night will probably not be condusive to studying but OTOH I think that bottle fed babies sleep through the night faster....

    I guess I will take each day as it comes. The baby is due May 1st and school starts August 10th or something (i don't think they set the start date, but that was around the time of last years) so the baby will be about 3 months when school starts. I am really hoping to give birth at 37 weeks so that the baby will be a little older - but with my other three they were right on time so I am not holidng my breath.

    My 7 year old already offered to be in charge of the baby and share a room with him/her and feed it all night. Of course he has no idea what he would be in for, but I just htink its soo cute that he offered this.

    Ok - i think most of this post has been incessent babbleing, but I am just so happy to see other moms of 4 in medical school. :thumbup: Keep it up girls! :thumbup:
     
  44. Mama070609

    Mama070609 New Member
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    Indymom-

    Instead of going into things so sure that breastfeeding will be impossible, you should give it a try, knowing that if things don't work out, you will go to formula. You never know if your body has 'figured things out'; you might not have the same breastfeeding issues this time around. I also think that your peace of mind when it comes to caring for your baby will help you stay the happiest and most stress-free and thus help you perform better in school.

    I know typical undergraduate, even with a full load, is nothing compared to med/vet/grad school. But I breastfed my first while my husband and I were both in undergraduate. We also co-slept. I did learn a big lesson: purchase a good pump and use it between classes (especially if you have a history of low supply). Did you use supplements before to help your supply?

    I think the co-sleeping is comforting to both baby and parents. And you don't have to go to sleep when baby does to co-sleep...just put them to sleep in your bed and put pillows beside them while you stay up for studying or whatever. And on nights when you aren't home, your husband can be the only one co-sleeping and that will be just fine.

    I'd just suggest not giving up before you even give it a try, because I suspect you'll do yourself and your studies more harm by fearing you are being a bad parent or even having feelings of resentment (especially while your hormones are still going haywire). If you'd like to talk more about things, feel free to send me a private message.
     
  45. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.
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    Hey Indymom! I so, so, so feel you about almost everything you wrote. I've decided to defer, because my kid is due in the beginning of July (!!!). Even though I kind of expect this kiddo to follow it's brother's lead and come a few weeks early, there's no way I can do the first semester of medical school and a brand new newborn. Some women can - I can't, and I'm at peace with that. If the baby was due in May, that would be totally different.

    I second the pumping suggestion. I did that w/ Dylan exclusively, because we never got the latch down and I also had really low milk supply even with a ton of supplements. So Dylan got about half breast milk, half formula for the first six months. All the crap that people gave me about it turned out to be just that - crap. He's huge, brilliant, has no behavioral issues, is completely bonded to BOTH of us, has no dental issues, has never had an ear infection and has a firm jawline. All that said, I'm going to give breast-feeding another try, because it is nice, it's excellent nutrition and it's waaaaaay cheaper than formula. But don't feel guilty if it doesn't work for you right now, and don't let anyone give you a hard time.

    As to co-sleeping, if you don't have one, get a co-sleeper! We had one, and it worked pretty well for us, although we moved him to his own room at 2 months. That way you can spread out on the bed when studying without bothering the kiddo!

    You'll get all kinds of support from me, and probably a lot of other folks here. Keep us updated! You can totally do this!!! :D

    S.
     
  46. Indymom

    Indymom What?
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    Nanon and Mama - thanks soo much for your support!

    I should clarify that I will breastfeed this baby for at least the first 6 weeks. In the past I used domperidone to increase my milk but I think it was harming my liver. My liver always went back to normal after I finished nursing. I am considering whether this time I should do the domperidone again or if I should just supplement formula from the beginning. I have had 2 babies drop below 10% (one was hospitalized for dehydration) within the first week, so exclusive breastfeeding without formula or domperidone is dangerous for me to try again. My third I started the domperidone after 4 days, before she dropped below 10% and it worked out well. The domperidone did increase my supply enough to exclusively breastfeed two of the kids but, like I said, I had elevated liver enzymes both times.

    The thing is, if I supplement from the beginning with formula (as I did with my first) my supply might dry up within a few weeks. The domperidone will give me a good jump start before school starts.

    As far as pumping - I can sit at the electric hospital grade pump for half an hour and barely cover the bottom of the bottle with a layer of milk. It is depressing and after my second child I gave up on its usefulness. I did all my undergrad with these nursing difficulties and my solution was to hire a student to hold my baby outside of the classroom so I could nurse right before and right after. My babies nurse every hour since my supply is weak. I tried to take an orgo lab with this arrangement and it was impossible because I was feeling rushed in my lab to get to the baby, and I was extremely stressed by it. After three weeks of labs I dropped the class and got a W (even though my lab reports had all been As). I retook it the following summer when I wasn't nursing so much. Since I have been there done that, I can't imagine worrying about nursing during anatomy lab.

    I think that as long as I can nurse the baby occasionally without feeling stress about it, I will continue to do so throughout medical school. I am glad to hear that you guys co-slept. Now that I know that it has been done by med students succesfully I am more comfortable planning that. I do have a co-sleeper but I haven't used it since kid #1 - I think I'll put it together because your right - the bed is a great place to lay out my books to study!
     
    #45 Indymom, Jan 10, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  47. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.
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    OMG, those horrible industrial hospital grade pumpers and the WORST!!! I had one for the first month, and then my sister (who also pumped exclusively) came out and educated me on how to do it. Thank god, because I was having the same experience as you, AND I had mastitis. If you haven't yet, try a medela with adjustable suction.

    Still, pumping is a bitch and takes a long, long time. I'd spend 20 - 30 minutes at a time pumping (maybe getting 8 oz), and then another 15 - 20 minutes feeding. Worth it? I dunno. We did save a ton of money on formula during that time, though.

    God, just thinking about that makes me want to take a nap... :sleep:
     
  48. Crelal

    Crelal So close, yet so far away...
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    Never tried the hospital grade pumps, but the medela pump with adjust. suction was fabulous. I would pump out over 8 ounces in less than 20 minutes.

    I had a horrible time with my first, last two were a breeze. Lactation consultants are wonderful people, and after a month, finally got my son to figure it out.

    Good luck- I miss having one that little. My youngest will be two next month, and has become quite sassy the past few weeks. ;)
     
  49. punkiedad

    punkiedad punkie's dad
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    OK, since this is turning into a breastfeeding thread, I might as well share mine...........Yes, I know, I am a guy as in a dad but I still have a funny story.

    I used to be a very sound sleeper before doing all the pre med pre reqs and when our second child became mobile.

    My wife used to pump in the middle of the night if the baby did not wake up. This would help, as she was also going back to school and it made it bearable for her.

    Anyway, she left the cord to the pump plugged in and just laying in the bed between us. Even though the actual pump aparatus was not there, there was still basically 'hot plug' there.

    during my sleep, I rolled over on it with my arm and it basically, slowly burned a hole in my arm, near the shorter head of my tricep!! I have no idea how it did this and am still clueless.

    Of course my wife has no idea how I splet through it, but it was so deep it left a nasty scar........

    Even still doesn't come close to how tough women have it. Esecially trying to nurse in between experiments in O Chem! Indymom, you should get a medal.
     
  50. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.
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    Oh, that's messed up. I can totally see something like that happening to me, but ... dooood. :eek:
     
  51. Crelal

    Crelal So close, yet so far away...
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    What I wouldn't give to sleep that soundly for eight straight hours in one night... :p

    That is messed up about the cord! It just goes to show... parenting can be hazardous to your health! :D
     

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