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fatherhood during medical school...timing, money?

Discussion in 'Spouses and Partners' started by Adcadet, Nov 21, 2002.

  1. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27
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    hey all -

    I've recently been accepted to my state school, and am very happy to begin my medical studies. However, I have the opportunity to also get my PhD in the lab I currently work in. I'm very interested in continuing my research and getting the PhD. The problem is that my fiance is 22 years old and we would much prefer her to have all of her children before she's 35, and save a little time in there in case we have trouble conceiving (her parents took a few years to get her). I'd prefer her to have her first child before she's 30. So I face two issues:

    1. When is the best time for use to have children? I t ypically though it would be best to have our first child either while I'm in medical school, or after my internship year. However, with a PhD, my internship year could be a bit late.

    2. How on earth to we "finance" a child? My fiance won't be making tons of money, and I'll be incuring the usual medical school debt. Then if we have ta child while I'm still in school, we will effectively have zero income. Is this a bad thing? Is it tolerable?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Adcadet
     
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  3. Nic_machiavelli

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    I'm a parent, and let me warn you that kids don't take too kindly to being scheduled.

    First off, your fiancee is 22 years old. That strikes me as a bit young for children although biologically she is in her prime. What are her feelings? When does she want children? Does she have any career goals herself?

    Secondly, how stable is your relationship? I would hesitate before having children until both of you have a "track-record" together. Why? Because divorce sucks. Be prepared to do everything to make your relationship work once children are involved because honestly, children don't give a damn about your happiness or whether the two of you love each other or not. All they care about is having a mommy and daddy together who love them.

    Before children enter the picture you need to make sure that you and your fiancee's needs are met. Why? Because children demand you to be self-less - and your needs will take second place to your children's. You seem set - I'm concerned more about your future wife. Is she ready to be a stay at home mom?

    As for money... If people considered the so-called dollar cost of children they would never have them. It's a cliche but things do eventually work themselves out - just don't expect to be rich - money wise at least. On the other hand, it's amazing how wealthy I am when I put my kids to bed...
     
  4. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27
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    How do people afford kids when the father is in school and the mother is at home with the kid?
     
  5. Nic_machiavelli

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    1. Live with your/her parents.
    2. Go to a "cheap" state school. Hopefully, yours is one. Then borrow everything you can.
    3. Have her work until she becomes pregnant and live off her.
    4. Wait to have kids.

    There are no magic-bullets out there for you, AD. Any way you slice it you are going to have to work hard. However the sooner you are done with med school, the sooner you can start your residency - and you'll have some income there. Just make sure you're loans are deferred until after that - or you'll be up the creek.

    I guess my advice is to get yourself situated first in your relationship AND your career before baby-clothes and toy commercials give you a warm glow. Meanwhile, study your butt off and don't have children until you both are ready.
     
  6. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie
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    A few thoughts, having watched a few people go through it and having become a stepmom myself...

    1. Babies are expensive and time consuming. They dont conform to a schedule, during or after pregnancy. Be prepared. However, they are absolutely worth it.

    2. Be sure you have health insurance. Go through med school via the armed forces or something - that way you get paid AND you have decent insurance.

    3. Make sure you are ready for it. As someone else mentioned, kids dont give a damn about your problems, they want their parents. And you cant expect them to be any different.

    4. Save for the baby. Let your fiance/wife work until the baby comes. Maybe she would feel comfortable going back to work after it's born? Maybe not.

    5. Be sure you have close, consistent family support, if possible.

    6. It CAN be done. One of my friends had a baby last April (end of MS-1). Her husband is a PhD student at a different University. It's hard, but they're managing. Her Mom comes and watches the baby when they both have to be gone. Her in-laws are apparantly very well off and bought them a house to live in and 2 new cars (their old ones were baby-unsafe). I know of others that have done it without having the rich relatives.

    Keep in mind that the financial aid office should be willing to work with you - and the second your child is born, you qualify for a much higher maximum allowance. Just live frugally. It can be done. But please, wait a few years!

    Star
     
  7. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27
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  8. kd

    kd Senior Member
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  9. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27
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    Thank you for the great info!

    My fiance will begin working this January and will continue to work until she's pregnant (not sure how long into the pregnancy she'll work). She may not be making much, but it's something. We're on the waiting list for student housing, so that will save us bunch of money.


    Question: are most c-cestions that expensive? Are natural births that expensive?
     
  10. kd

    kd Senior Member
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    I think the average vaginal delivery costs around $6000, depending on where in the country you are. Average C-section is about $10,000 or so. But, of course, prenatal tests, OB visits, and newborn care make it even more expensive. And heaven forbid, if something went wrong and your wife and/or baby needed extra care (NICU or something like that), the costs could go much, much higher.
    One thing to consider: most low-income pregnant women and infants are eligible for Medicaid, which would cover probably the entire costs for both mom and baby. The flip side is it can be tough to find an OB that takes Medicaid and you'd have to deliver at a public hospital that provides indigent care (which would almost certainly include your med school's teaching hospital).
    Also- don't know about your school, but my school provides free physician services to med students and their families. Again, you still pay all hospital charges, diagnostic tests, etc. but at least they don't bill you for the physicians' visits. Every little bit helps!
     
  11. kd

    kd Senior Member
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    Well, my numbers were close. According to Dr. Spock's website:
    http://www.drspock.com/faq/0,1511,8285,00.html
    average vaginal delivery as of 2001 cost $6,000-$8,000 and average C-section $10,000-$12,000 ($14,000 in some parts of the country.)
     
  12. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27
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    great info kd! Seems strange that med students get free doctor's visits (sortof)....makes medicine seem like some strange club
     
  13. jhug

    jhug 1K Member
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    my wife just had triplets so i chose to defer my first year of med school and start when the kids are a bit bigger. Someone said kids aren't up for planning-- that is totally true! I learned that life can be flipped inside out in a 2 min. ultrasound!!! Have good insurance-- no deductible- each of our kids "cost" over 70K each...we paid our family out-of-pocket and that was it. As far as other costs--try and work/save as much as you can now-- even if it means biting the pride and working for less than you imagined. There are a bunch of easy, no-brainer jobs where you can study/work on other things at the same time. All of my undergrad i had two jobs (70+ hs/wk) and school full time but at one of my jobs i could study. We would take out X amount of money from our checking acct each month in anticipation of rent/school expenses-- now that pays for baby stuff! Develop great communication with your wife-to-be. That is the one thing that has supported us through all this-- and remember, once the kid(s) arrive, anything you say/do from about 11pm-7am doesn't count ;)
     

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