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Starting a Family

Discussion in 'Spouses and Partners' started by ussdfiant honey, Dec 16, 2001.

  1. ussdfiant honey

    ussdfiant honey New Member

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    Dec 15, 2001
    Hatboro, PA
    I'm new to the forum, but my fiancee isn't. He's supposed to be starting medical school next September, in New Jersey. I am 34 and want to start a family in the next couple years, but I am concerned about the amount of time he'll have to be a father, and the amount of time I'll be able to spend with him in general. Does anyone have any direct experience being married to a med student and/or starting a family while your spouse is in med school? I'd love to hear from you.

    :cool:
     
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  3. Wifty

    Wifty Eccentrically Silly Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Oct 2, 2001
    Jefferson City, MO
     
  4. im4real

    im4real Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 12, 2001
    Martinsburg, WV, USA
    Hi there!

    I hope I can be of some help! When my husband started med school back in Fall 1996, we already had a 3-year-old. That was doable for us. Actually I think having children in medical school is the best time to have them if you want to start a family right away. I know that the worst time to start a family in my opinion is the end of the 4th year of medical school and the first year (aka, Intern year) of residency. I don't know how this will sound, but I actually liked having our 3-year-old around during medical school so that my focus wasn't always on being alone, rather it was on having some time spent with our son. My husband's medical school was not bad as far as hours and studying goes. I guess it depends on your spouses work habits and the difficulty of the medical school program. That's just a guess on my part.

    I personally would encourage spouses to either start their family medical school or if it doesn't happen to wait until after the 1st year of residency b/c it's a killer and no one can begin to tell you how draining it is. You just really have to experience it! My hubby's first year was so depressing for me, although in my situation I DID have a newborn at the beginning of his Intern year. I was so depressed being a single mother to a newborn son as well as a 7-year-old son of whom I drove to school everyday. I felt sooooo alone and like a single mother with the father ignoring me when he walked through the door. It was tough and I didn't have a strong support system going, so it made it even more unbearable. But, finally, we made it!!! Second year has been so much better! I feel so much better and we are even trying for #3 now. I can handle it now because my husband's schedule is more realistic than before. I so much value having a family man as a husband, so that's probably why I took it so hard as a wife and mother. It was tough!!!!

    So, if you can read all my mumbo, jumbo, hopefully you can comprehend my advice. If it were me, knowing what I know now, I would have a child during the 2nd or 3rd years and then wouldn't have another one until my husband's 2nd year of residency... but, of course, this is in my perfect little world!!! haha! I hope this helps. Please ask me any more questions or concerns. I will help you in any way I can by sharing my personal experiences.

    For what it's worth,
    Christy
     
  5. jlsrn

    jlsrn Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jul 12, 2001
    Syracuse, NY
    Hi,

    My husband will be starting med school in a month. We have a 3 1/2 year old son, and one on the way due in April. WE souldn't change a thing. Like the previous poster, I feel like having my children around, will give me something else to focus on, rather than being alone. My husband is a wonderful father. He went back to finish his pre-med when our son was 4 months old, so been thru the school scene and on top of it he worked full time. He still made lots of time for our son, and they are really close. If your fiance can manage his time well, then I think that having kids in the beginning of med school is the best option, unless you want to wait til the end of residency. Just make sure he has his priorities straight and knows that he wants a child as bad as you, or else the child will suffer for it. Good luck in your decision...it can be done...and it is lots of fun too!

    :)
     
  6. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy* 10+ Year Member

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    Jun 22, 2000
    We had all three of our children during residency, and I guess because I didn't have anything to compare it to, I was more easily able to accept the role of "single parent". If I had it to do over again, I'd still begin my family during training....I think it's important to weigh in on the pros and cons and decide what works the best for you...

    I would agree with Christy...Having my little ones to take care of and focus on was a great relief to me during training (of course, I'm not suggesting having children to have something to focus on :lol). The challenges included not having money, having little to no time alone or for myself, and the lack of a support network because we moved several times during training...this meant no family to help out or give me a break for even an hour when I really needed some quiet time....

    That being said, I still wouldn't have done it any other way!

    Christy, we had Amanda during our Internship year in the US. She was also just a few weeks old when we started and I'd agree completely to try and avoid having a newborn during that year!!! I remember how exhausted, stressed and depressed I was....I'm glad that PGY-2 is going so well...can you believe that you guys are halfway done with residency now?!!!

    Kris
     
  7. im4real

    im4real Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 12, 2001
    Martinsburg, WV, USA
    Kris,

    That's what we focus on!!!!! 1 1/2 years and we outta here!!! Woohoo!!! I just want to move on and have some stability in our life... Residents don't lead stable lives at all in my opinion...

    Christy
     
  8. ussdfiant honey

    ussdfiant honey New Member

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    Dec 15, 2001
    Hatboro, PA
    Thank you all for your feedback and comments to my post. Now I have another question for you. . .

    How did you handle finances while you were raising the kids? Did you work, did your spouse work while going to school, did you use loan money to support yourselves? The financial aspect of starting a family is also going to be a strong contributing factor to our decision of when to start a family.

    Looking forward to hearing from you all again.

    Barbara :cool:
     
  9. I'm actually Dr Tom's wife. My husband went back to medical school after being a chiro. We sold everything and started over. We had a 6 and 5 year old and an 18 month old when he started. He spent 2 and a half years in an Emergency Medicine residency and decided the hours were too long and switched to anesthesia (starting over). We have less than 2 years left. I stayed home and took care of the kids. We lived on loans and our savings from the sale of the chiro clinic, but looking back, I can't believe we survived. Once they are in residency (after the first year) they can moonlight, which makes things much easier. If you work or not depends on what you can do. My degree was in social work. It didn't pay to have me working and hiring a baby sitter. Maybe you can look into doing something out of your house. I now to claims processing 20-30 hours a week from my house and it works out great. Any extra money helps.
     
  10. csgirl

    csgirl Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Oct 12, 2001
    OH
    Christy...

    I'm confused... are you a doctor? Are you saying you had a kid while YOU were in medical school.... or while your husband was in medical school?

    I'm really worried about when I should have kids. Just the thought of getting pregnant while in medical school makes me want to faint. So it's interesting to hear that someone actually did that. How was it? I mean... how did you get thorugh all those classes while being pregnant!? And Anatomy!? Wow.

    -Sara
     
  11. csgirl

    csgirl Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    548
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    Oct 12, 2001
    OH
    I'm so confused here... it seems like you guys use "we" and "our" for everything. I mean.... are you ALL in medical school?! Who here is actually IN medical school... not just married to someone in medical school?

    RIght now... my fiance is the only one IN medical school. I'm applying to medical this coming summer.

    I, myself, will be in medical school in about 1.5 years (hopefully :) )... I really have no idea when I should have kids... it's all so complicated. I'd appreciate advice from any woman who is in medical school, residency, or in practice HERSELF and has had kids.

    Thanks
     
  12. Wifty

    Wifty Eccentrically Silly Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Oct 2, 2001
    Jefferson City, MO
    Dr.Toms Wife -

    Thanks for the input. You mentioned that you do claims processing at home. I am looking for a job to do out of the home and was wondering if you could tell me more? How you got into it, how you like it, etc. :)

    If I have a child while hubby is in med school, we will likely be living off loan money.

    Also, and I know that many people don't like the idea, but if you make as little as you do with a spouse in med school and a stay at home spouse, you and children are eligible for aid from the state. Almost all states will at least pay for childrens doctors visits and many will pay for pregnancy and the cost of that.

    People pay from their taxes into the system so that the system can be there to help people when they need it. Besides, when spouse is a doctor, you will again be paying for then enough back into the system PLUS physically helping people. I think that trade off is more then fair if needed.

    Just my 2 cents about why people should get help when needed to make their life goals work out....which can include having children and getting to stay home with them. :)

    Wifty
     
  13. MrsJohnDO

    MrsJohnDO New Member

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    Nov 10, 2001
    Kirksville, MO
    ussdifiant honey:

    I thought I would share what it is like to have children while marreid to a med student. My husband is a first year KCOM student and we have two little girls. Our oldest is six and the youngest just turned two. The kids do make it hard for my husband to study at home but as far as spending time with the kids my husband always makes time for that. Med school is hard enough without kids but it really depends on your partners priority to family. John (my husband) is a very family orientated man and loves spending time with his girls. True a lot of the burden of everyday things with the girls does fall on me but we wouldn't have any onther way. It can't be that bad though because we are planning to concieve baby number three next year.

    Many of the student here in Kirksville, MO have children so we support each other. We have play days, children's social, and parents night out.

    Kids are great but i don't think there is ever a perfect time to have them so you just have to go with what works for you.

    Hope this helps!

    MrsJohnDO
     
  14. ussdfiant honey

    ussdfiant honey New Member

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    Dec 15, 2001
    Hatboro, PA
    csgirl:

    I am not a med student, but my fiance will be one starting next fall. I've been asking all these questions because I'm 34 now and want to have children soon, but don't want to wait until 4-5 years go by, when my fiance is out of school.

    Thanks for the info about your life now, MrsJohnDO, I hope that my fiance can handle spending some time with our child(ren) while he's in school, but, although I know he wants to have children with me, he doesn't really get how important the timeline is to a 34 year-old woman. His top priority would probably be school. . .although who knows how that might change or how he might change when the reality of his child being born comes up.

    Barbara :cool:
     
  15. im4real

    im4real Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 12, 2001
    Martinsburg, WV, USA
    Kris,

    I totally admire you taking care of three little ones while your husband is in training! You could giv a lot more insight than I about having children during the training years. I hope you'll share your experiences. I miss hearing from you!

    Christy
     
  16. k's mom

    k's mom Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Nov 12, 2001
    Pennsylvania, via Tucson
    What wonderful comments! I am really happy to see this forum taking off the way I had hoped it would.
    Regarding having children while in Med. school, here are my comments:
    First, my background. Hubby will (hopefully) be starting med school this coming fall at 32. However, he has been a full time pre-med student for over five years, (three of which while I was also a full-time grad student), and our son is 18 months old.

    When we made the decision that he would go to medical school, we talked long and hard about when we would start our family. Of course, like many people, we were naive and arrogant, assuming it would be easy to get pregnant. It wasn't. We were exceptionally fortunate to have our son. Because of what we went through, it reaffirmed our belief that there is no "perfect" time to have a child, and we plan to start trying for #2 in the spring. As my mother so aptly put it...when are you going to have more time for your children? When you are at school 70 hours a week, or when you are trying to set up your (family) practice, putting in 100 hours per week?
    I really think she has a point. Right now my husband is at school M-F, and works overnight W-Saturday. He still has time (and energy) to be an active part of his son's life, as well as a considerate spouse. What keeps me going, (even though we still have 7+ years to go!), is that I will never be a "single" parent...even when my husband is out of the house more hours than he is in, he is working for us, for our family.

    Something else that really helps is a magazine article I read years ago, written by a pediatrician. If I remember correctly, she had five children...all while in her medical training. I believe #1 came a few weeks before med. school started, and #5 a few weeks shy of the end of her residency. Have hope ladies!!!!
     
  17. Wifty

    Wifty Eccentrically Silly Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Oct 2, 2001
    Jefferson City, MO
    I am really enjoying the input!! Thanks everyone....extra goodie in the stockings if I meet the great bearded one. :)

    Welcome to Mrs JohnDO!!! This is Rebecca aka Wifty....the same rebecca and hubby you showed all over town. :) I am glad that you posted your thoughts on this matter...because it is really important. Having children is a major decision and all matters on the subject should be thought over. I am glad to see people doing that (including me!).

    Csgirl, I can understand you wanting info from those in med school, and you might want to post an individual question either in this forum or on the med student forum. Although we have some lurkers and dropper-inners, most of the people that post here, are married or partnered TO people in med school (or going) and not med students themselves.
    It can get confusing with all the use of 'us' and 'our' but the reason I use those terms is because my husband and I are a unit. I am not just his wife....I am a partner in this adventure. Our relationship comes before all else and it is 'our' decsicion for him to go to med school and even where he goes. If either one of us thought it would be harmful to the relationship, he wouldn't do it pure and simple.
    So, because it is 'us' making 'our' decisions about life and the adventures we undertake, I use those terms and think others do as well for similar reasons.

    K's mom, I loved when you said "I will never be a "single" parent...even when my husband is out of the house more hours than he is in, he is working for us, for our family."
    Thank you! It really rings true for me and settles some stuff in my head. :)

    We also are having problems just getting prego and so are not going to fret too much about the timing at this point. Its encouraging to see 'the other side'. :)

    With jingly smiles,
    Wifty
     
  18. radspouse

    radspouse Saint 10+ Year Member

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    Sep 15, 2001
     
  19. Wifty

    Wifty Eccentrically Silly Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Oct 2, 2001
    Jefferson City, MO
    Jennifer,

    Wow!! Let us know how it goes and good luck!! Another tykelet. :)

    And I agree about the 'we' and 'our'. My smart hubby honestly needs his smart wife (thats me! lol) to accomplish all of this to the best of his abilities.

    It is something we are doing that affects our life. :)

    Good luck!!!
    Rebecca aka Wifty
     
  20. k's mom

    k's mom Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Nov 12, 2001
    Pennsylvania, via Tucson
    Hey radspouse.....you are so cool!
    I hope that you and new baby (is he/she out and crying yet?) and family are doing well...when you get a second..okay, half a second, could you pass on some wisdom as to how you and hubby have held up the financial end of things over the years?
    Our son is 18 months old, and we plan (hopefully!) to have baby #2 during MD1. Were you guys able to get a reasonable change in "cost of attendance" for financial aid purposes? I will most likely work part-time, and we are VERY GOOD at living on a tight budget, but
    I would obviously prefer not to work full-time with a toddler (and more, I hope!) to chase after. The fin.aid. offices don't want to talk to me until hubby matriculates, but I want my ducks in a row NOW!!!!! From the literature at many schools, it looks like an increase in COA for childcare is fairly easy........can we simply use that amount to subsidize my staying home?
    Any help is appreciated!
     
  21. Vasiley Zaitsev

    Vasiley Zaitsev Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 5, 2001
     
  22. Wifty

    Wifty Eccentrically Silly Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Oct 2, 2001
    Jefferson City, MO
    >>how wonderful! I hope that I can find a woman like you some day..

    Anyway, I just wanted to say congrats on your obvious determination and dedication to serving your family! You are rare and a blessed woman indeed!<<

    owcc16,

    I am not the one that you were addressing this to, but I just wanted to let you know that such woman DO exist! :) We might be rare, but we are out there.
    It makes me sad when people snatch up the first thing that looks good on their arm....a good and strong relationship requires so much more!!

    And it is EASY to support your spouse, and EASY to think of the adventures of life as roads to travel together as an 'us'....if you wait for your soulmate.

    So, good luck on your search....you seem to know what is valuable in a relationship....so I know that you will find it (or rather...it will just fall in your lap when you are looking the other way....always seems to work that way! lol).

    Wifty aka Rebecca


    <img src="graemlins/lovey.gif" border="0" alt="[Lovey]" />
     
  23. Vasiley Zaitsev

    Vasiley Zaitsev Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 5, 2001
     
  24. radspouse

    radspouse Saint 10+ Year Member

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    Sep 15, 2001
    :) :) :) I am flattered! Really I have to say that my husband makes my job so much easier by acknowledging the work that I do. And trust me, it has taken a good 7+ years of our relationship to get to this point! :D But, thank you very much for the compliment, owcc16!

    Jennifer
     
  25. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy* 10+ Year Member

    2,577
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    Jun 22, 2000
    Jennifer,

    Print that out so that you can have it around in case Jon forgets how valuable you are ;)

    hee hee!!

    Kris
     
  26. Vasiley Zaitsev

    Vasiley Zaitsev Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 5, 2001
     
  27. protocol

    protocol Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 29, 2002
    I just went thru some of the posts ..Iam new to this form too....My problem is a little different from what was posted by the owner of this thread.
    My husband wants to start a family soon (he'll be 37 yrs old next month) & I'll be joining school april-june this year & he wont be able to join me for another 11/2 year or so. If we decide to have a baby he'll have to take care of the baby( we'll be living in different states)...He cant take time off work either .
    Has anyone come across dad's who take total responsiblilty for their kids for atleast the first couple of years ? How do they do that ? We have no previous experience with babies.
    Iam a bit skeptical about how he'll be able to manage, I also understand that he isnt getting any younger.
    Is paternal instincts as strong as maternal instincts ?
    Dad's & mom's please give me your views & opinions .
    Thanks !


    Pavi
     
  28. radspouse

    radspouse Saint 10+ Year Member

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    Sep 15, 2001
    Well...., we knew a couple in medical school who had their first child while she was a medical student. They did things this way: She got a year deferment from medical school to stay at home with the baby (which we got as well right before my husband's first year for pretty much the same reason). After she returned to school her husband stayed at home with the baby. He had a job as a writer which allowed him to have a huge amount of control over the hours he worked from his home (he pretty much entirely worked at home). It seemed to work out well and he was an excellent father from all indications (a really sweet, attentive father from my own dealings with this couple). So, I know of one situation where the dad staying at home with the baby worked quite nicely. The thing that concerns me is the seperation you two will have. It is difficult enough to maintain a marriage while living in two different geographical locations. I cannot imagine the problems associated with long-distance parenting! Come to think of it, I do have a friend who had a unique situation where her husband moved to a new location for job purposes six months before she could join him. He had their two children with him during that time. It was painfully difficult for her and the children to be away from each other. From her descriptions I'd NEVER want to experience a similar situation!
     
  29. protocol

    protocol Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 29, 2002
    Hi,
    Thank you for your input .
    Yes the distance is what concerns me the most too.
    His mom is willing to help us,( stay with the baby when he's at work ) but I
    dont know how that'll turn out. Looks like i'll have to put my foot down on this
    issue.
    Do most people who have babies in their 40's (male) have healthy babies or does it come in the high risk category ?
     
  30. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie 10+ Year Member

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    Apr 11, 2000
    Dickinson, Tx
    Men can contribute to healthy babies at any point in their lives, women become high risk because their eggs have been in stasis for SO long and have a higher risk for mutation.

    As for the DaddyMom thing (our term), my fiance raised his daughter from age 3 to age 8 completely by himself. I know that this doesnt include infancy, which (Ive heard) is more difficult due to time demands and neediness of the baby. He did a good job, but Grandma and Daycare spent a LOT of time helping out. I would suggest waiting until you're at least in the same location to start the family - 2 more years isnt going to make *that* much of a difference, and it would put less strain on your relationship both with him and your inlaws. Good luck!

    Star
     
  31. protocol

    protocol Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 29, 2002
    Hi Star,
    Thanks . You are right .
    I have another question. What happens if hypothetically speaking I were to have an needle injury with contanimated blood (AIDS /Hep ) during pregnancy . If AIDS i'll have to take anti-viral,right . Will it be ok to continue with the pregancy then ?

    prospective dental student! ;)
     
  32. Thebeyonder

    Thebeyonder Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Jul 8, 2000
    Earth, for now
    desi-
    there is an anti-viral that reduces the chances of the baby contracting HIV from the HIV pregnant mother.
     
  33. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie 10+ Year Member

    745
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    Apr 11, 2000
    Dickinson, Tx
    Desi - there are 2 major viruses that cross the placenta - one is CMV and the other is Rubella. If you got a needlestick at any point, you would go on prophylactic drugs if and until they proved that HIV/whatever else wasnt in the thing you stuck yourself with or until your tests came back with a definite answer. The risk of transmitting HIV is actually fairly low, and like someone mentioned above, some antivirals can decrease that risk. I dont know the effects of the drugs on the baby. Also, keep in mind that while needlesticks do occur, 1) they arent that frequent in the 1st 2 years and 2) they arent that frequent, period. I think in the last year, seven students had needlestick injuries here, and that was considered unacceptably high. And Im rambling now so Ill stop. Good luck.

    Star
     
  34. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth. 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 15, 2000
    I'm an HIV test counselor, and we were taught that if an HIV positive mother was given anti-virals during labor, AND had a C-section (less chance for abbrasions (sp?) and other injuries, apparently), the risk to the infant for contraction of HIV is &lt; than 5%. Which is pretty awesome.
     

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