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Looking for opinions from Mom/Dad Dentists & Dental students... (timing of babies & d-school)

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CareerNumTwo

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Fellow Parents,

I'm in need of some advice/opinions on my situation. This is a major decision for my family but, unfortunately, my current line of work leaves me with childless co-workers and I don't have any friends familiar with dentistry to figure this out with... As for me husband, he is going along for the ride with whatever I want - he's a good guy.

About me: I am married and have a four year old daughter. I'm looking to expand my family but am having trouble on the "when." I'm currently working on my pre-dental requirements. I'll be a non-traditional applicant after 11 yrs of active military service; I'm currently 32 and, despite taking classes with 18 years olds and BLOWING lots of them out of the water :D, I'm not getting any younger. :arghh: I work full time-ish. I plan on taking the DAT in the summer of 2017 after completing Orgo II in the spring.

I know how life works so I understand it's possible that I might have issues getting pregnant or something else may come up. However, I'm a planner - it's just what I do. So, please humor me... :)

The four options I'm debating:

Option A) Start "trying" in fall of 2016, shooting for a summer 2017 delivery. Take DAT before the baby comes. Apply to school that summer and *hopefully* matriculate in Fall of 2018.
Pro: Shortest timeline to get into dental school. I'd be 34 when the baby is born. If I don't get into D-school on the first attempt, applying the next year most likely wouldn't mess up my timeline with my job/family.
Con: Baby would be one when I start D-school. I nursed my first till two... The thought of pumping + dental school + studying w/a baby stresses me out. However, I know I'd have a lot of support (husband, grandmas, etc.)

Option B) Start trying in fall of 2016, shooting for a summer 2017 delivery. Take DAT before the baby comes. Apply to school in the summer of 2018 and *hopefully* matriculate in Fall of 2019.
Pro: Baby would be two when I started D-school - more independent and most likely no longer breastfeeding. I'd be 34 when the baby is born.
Con: It would delay my timeline getting into dental school by a year.. That might have some 2nd/3rd order impacts with my job (I'd have to keep the job till I get into D-school) but I'm not sure what they are at the moment. Although this one seems like a great option, the idea of possibly delaying applying a year and then NOT getting in freaks me out.

Option C) Delay "trying" until the middle of the 2nd year of dental school.
Pro: More time to focus on pre-reqs in order to get into D-school in the first place, get through NBDE part I.
Con: I'd be 37 when trying to get pregnant. Inherent risks.

Option D) Wait till after D-school.
Pro: More time for studying before/during school and the most amount of time to hang with baby after birth (I'm looking to remain military so I know what to expect on this end).
Con: I would be 39 when I'm trying to get pregnant... I just had a 40 year old friend have twins, but this option makes me nervous due to the risk to the baby and myself.

thank you!!!
 
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Miley Cyrus.

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Option A and B

Problem with Option C is that 2nd yr is brutal physically and academically (you'll have to be in sim lab late and study when you get home)
Problem with Option D is that 39 when trying to get pregnant, is old and that can lead to some very unwelcoming and heartbreaking problems with the baby (Down syndrome for example).
 

Bifenthrin

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I'd go with option A or B, whichever works better for you.

I'm guessing trying for the baby now-ish isn't an option?
 

oralcare123

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You can get problems like Down Syndrome now too, so it is not really a problem - there are plenty of very early screenings now for that and other abnormalities
Have your baby ASAP, just make sure you have help and support. Later you might not even want a baby any more.
I do not think you would be breastfeeding this baby till 2, just because you most likely be pretty stressed and out of milk
The biggest problem, that I see in this situation is to have enough money for the childcare and supportive spouse to watch children, when you need time to study
 

CareerNumTwo

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I'd go with option A or B, whichever works better for you. I'm guessing trying for the baby now-ish isn't an option?

Now-ish is an option but it's incredibly important for me to do well in my pre-reqs and DAT due to my sub-par undergrad performance about ten years ago. So.... technically, yes. I could start trying now. However, I vividly remember how hard having an infant is for at least the first six months. I would not be able to be taking orgo or physics or studying for the DAT during that period. :(
 

CareerNumTwo

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The biggest problem, that I see in this situation is to have enough money for the childcare and supportive spouse to watch children, when you need time to study

Fortunately, I'm in a great situation in that money for childcare wouldn't be too big of a worry. However, time to study is critical.

I guess I've been so torn between the different options because I've read plenty of threads on here about women who were able to successfully have a child during dental school and it not be a deal breaker as far as their academic and clinical performance goes. However, based on the responses I'm getting, it seems like everyone who's been through school favors the options where I have another child before I even go. My age is definitely a factor. Not just for health of the baby but for myself as well.

I would have much less to go back and forth on if dental schools would allow deferrals for pregnancy...
 

oralcare123

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Fortunately, I'm in a great situation in that money for childcare wouldn't be too big of a worry. However, time to study is critical.

I guess I've been so torn between the different options because I've read plenty of threads on here about women who were able to successfully have a child during dental school and it not be a deal breaker as far as their academic and clinical performance goes. However, based on the responses I'm getting, it seems like everyone who's been through school favors the options where I have another child before I even go. My age is definitely a factor. Not just for health of the baby but for myself as well.

I would have much less to go back and forth on if dental schools would allow deferrals for pregnancy...
Majority of people here do not have children, so they can just guess. The best option for the dental school is to be single and wealthy. This way you can concentrate thoroughly on your education without worrying about SO feelings
Since you already have a child, it would not be so difficult to have another during dental school. In general moms are not as paranoid with a second child compared to the first one.
Problems will never end, unfortunately. If you wait until the end of DS, then you would have concerns of paying off your student loans and maybe some health problems, difficulties conceiving
 

tbiv21

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I would go with option A. I would prefer to be done as soon as possible, but that's me. I'm a father of two and we're going to try for our third soon and I'm a D1. It is a little easier for me though since my wife is at home most of the time.
 

AlyssaRof2012

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My mother suggested freezing my eggs til I'm done w/dental school and have practiced a few years.
 

CareerNumTwo

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Well... 35 is rapidly approaching unfortunately. But if I hit it and we haven't had any luck getting pregnant, I may consider freezing them as an option (or having medical intervention to increase the odds). I'm still undecided between option A & B, but I feel a lot more confident in saying that I won't be looking for another pregnancy during dental school itself. Thanks everyone.
 
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Jalcalde

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Hey Career,

I have a similar story to yours I am currently 2nd year in dental school doing the military HPSP. I was prior service army for 5 years. You should definitely apply to Buffalo as they are very military friendly. I also know what it's like going back to undergrad with 18 year olds lol. Am also married but am planning on having a baby after I graduate/during 4th year. You should have no problem having a baby doing option A. Don't put off getting a start in the field I don't know of any school that won't be accommodating for you.
 
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rev_rend

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I'm a (male) mid-30's D1 with kids. The youngest is 2. The oldest is 5. My advice is to have another kid ASAP.

They stress me out and keep me from doing as much studying as I'd like. But seeing them when I get home is also a pretty high point every day. And it's nice to know that as tough as it is now, it should only get easier as they get older. I'd hate to have figured out a rhythm to doing things at school and then throwing in the x-factor of a new baby (who could turn out to be much different or difficult from the first kid) into that.
 
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wildzodiac

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I'm currently 32 and, despite taking classes with 18 years olds and BLOWING lots of them out of the water :D

At first, I was skimming your post and came across this sentence and mistakenly thought that it was going in an entirely different direction...

Anyways there is a D1 guy in my class who just had a kid a few weeks ago. He says that he is really getting used to the whole lack of sleep thing during school. It's possible, but I would guess that it's slightly easier during D3 or D4 year than during D1 or D2. Either start now of wait until the latter half of D school.
 

SEA203

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Hey there! I'm a second year dental student (in the middle of Hell), and there have actually been a few people pregnant in my class. One of my closest friends gave birth about two months ago, and somehow everything worked out for her! Another friend of mine is due in April. As an older student, you have to know how much more there is to life than just school. If I were you, I'd pop out that baby as soon as possible and try to get into school as soon as possible too. I guarantee you that dental school will be one of the hardest things you've done, so having a baby and doing college/DAT studying simultaneously would be pretty good prep for that. (haha!) If you decide to wait until school, know that it is do-able. You'll have some time off if you plan right. There are limitations to time off (I think thirty days is the limit at my school), but legally professors have to work with you to get you caught up. My husband and I are wanting to start trying soon, and hope for an end of next semester delivery (I'm a non-traditional student too). Fingers crossed! Good luck to you!!
 

Zo_FutureDDS

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I found out I am pregnant this morning so I guess I can chime in :) Nobody but my husband knows yet and now all you lovely people on this forum.

About me: finishing up my Pre-reqs and applying this year. Our thinking process of whether to get pregnant or not was similar to yours. It was either to have it asap. Or wait till second year of D school or after graduating. I am currently 25 (non traditional student) so waiting was definitely worrisome to me bcos of my age and complications associated with age if I waited another 5 years. This is my first child and definitely want more.

My advice, have it asap and go with the flow ! I'm sure it'll be difficult but you can always put the baby in daycare since money is no issue for you.

Good luck !
 
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CareerNumTwo

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I found out I am pregnant this morning so I guess I can chime in :) Nobody but my husband knows yet and now all you lovely people on this forum.

About me: finishing up my Pre-reqs and applying this year. Our thinking process of whether to get pregnant or not was similar to yours. It was either to have it asap. Or wait till second year of D school or after graduating. I am currently 25 (non traditional student) so waiting was definitely worrisome to me bcos of my age and complications associated with age if I waited another 5 years. This is my first child and definitely want more.

My advice, have it asap and go with the flow ! I'm sure it'll be difficult but you can always put the baby in daycare since money is no issue for you.

Good luck !

Congratulations!! The first is so exciting, I remember those feelings well. :) Wishing you a safe pregnancy and healthy baby!

Since posting this, my plan has changed to half planning and half going with the flow. I'm going to try this fall for a few months. If it doesn't happen, it's ok. I have a few periods of time over the next 4 years where it would be reasonable to start a pregnancy. If none of that works, I'll start seriously trying after the second year of school. Assuming, of course, that I even get in!! :heckyeah:
 

capsaicinguy

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My wife and I have a 6 month old, I will be starting dental school this fall. Our plan is to have another baby sometime in D1 and then possibly another D3. From what I've heard that's a better option as D2 you are in class a lot more on top of studying for the NDBE part 1, and D4 you are getting ready for the second part of boards/etc. We're already in our 30's so we don't intend to wait until I'm done with school to grow our family more.
 
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Daneosaurus

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Do it after D2. I'm in the 2nd semester of D1, and my kids are 5 and 7 and I have virtually no time for them. I feel like I'm squandering their childhood. My wife is also in graduate school so our life is hell right now.
 
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gatorfan99

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My opinion: have all the babies you want before dental school (keep doing well in your classes, though, even if you have to take fewer classes at the same time) or wait until your 4th year (when you are more in control of your own schedule - because you will be heavily clinical).
 
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CareerNumTwo

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Do it after D2. I'm in the 2nd semester of D1, and my kids are 5 and 7 and I have virtually no time for them. I feel like I'm squandering their childhood. My wife is also in graduate school so our life is hell right now.

Daneosaurus: This is my life right now! And I only have the one child while balancing the post-bacc pre-reqs with full time work while my husband is getting after his undergraduate while working nearly full time. It's gotten to the point where I've been repeating a sort-of mantra with my almost 5 year old that goes something like this: "mommy needs to study so she can get good grades so she can get into dental school so she can become a dentist so she can get out of the Army so she can stop leaving the family." (Referring to deployments and multiple training exercises each year.) She likes the last part enough to put up with a parent. I've said it enough that she's memorized the whole speech. It's cute. It makes me feel like less of a neglectful parent. But only a tiny bit less.
 
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