I'm a long time reader, first time poster, and am finally deciding to post because I really need some advice from women in similar situations. I apologize for the length, but I know this topic is very controversial, so I'm trying to give as much background about my situation as possible. I'm a first year dental student, and have three years of school left, but I can't stop thinking about having kids. It has always weighed heavily on my mind, but even more so lately, because of a slip up with birth control (I know the father is not interested in raising a child), and I am considering becoming a single mother. I was practically the primary caregiver to my younger brothers growing, as my mother was always busy with her friends (even though she never had a job outside the home) and my father was always busy with work. My parents relationship has always been very volatile, and they have separated countless times, but always end up getting back together "for the kids". I've never had any real desire to be in a long term relationship, and my longest relationship (two years) ended because my boyfriend felt I didn't spend enough time with him. I know this is not just because of my parents horrible example, but because I feel that I don't need (or want) to depend on anyone. I'm not really against the idea of being in a long term relationship, but I'm not optimistic about it happening anytime soon. I realize every girl (almost) feels the desire to have children as soon as they are able to, but I have always felt it so acutely. Whenever I see a pregnant woman, or see children, it seems like my uterus physically aches. I have been feeling this way for a long time, and I have tried to push it out of my mind by babysitting and being a nanny throughout college, hoping that I will convince myself to wait, but this only seemed to be counterproductive. I am in dental school because I believe it will lead to a fulfilling career, and I can't see myself doing anything else. I have just started my second semester, but I can't seem to focus on the schoolwork, because my mind keeps wandering to thoughts about having a baby. I know that single mothers are fully capable of raising healthy and confident children, although I know the majority of people disagree. I have weighed the pros and cons many times, but I keep coming to the same conclusion. I am seriously considering taking a semester or year off from school, and then coming back after having a baby. It is a lot easier to get through schoolwork when I only have a limited amount of time. I could care less about being at the top of the class, or having free time to go out. I have read through past posts on the best time to have a baby, and it seems like there is no real consensus. I know that most of you are in medical school, and the clinical years are very different, but I would still like to hear from anyone with advice.