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Tough Decision...

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by vetschoolz, May 9, 2008.

  1. vetschoolz

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    Hi everyone! I just wanted to get your feedback and see the poilcy of your schools for my situation. I have been accepted to Vet school and about the same time I learned I was pregnant. I am due in November and will not be able to complete the required vaccines prior to matriculation. Has anyone else experienced this situation and how did your school handle your situation? I would like to start school this year, was there a form your doctor filled out for you? Thanks for your help!
     
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  3. sofficat

    sofficat AU CVM c/o 11
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    Talk to your school about it. They may let you wait a year. If your heart it set on going this year then you have to be VERY careful because you will be spending a lot of time in anatomy with many chemicals. Congrats on both your pregnancy and vet school!
    As far as vaccines, I wasn't really exposed until 2nd semester (ex- rabies vax- we didn't see live animals until 2nd semester)
    Personally, especially with a due date in November (right before finals), I would try to delay entering for one year. That way the baby will be a little older and you can leave it with a sitter/hubby/whatever. I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving a 1 week to 5 month old at home/daycare while I'm busy at school (and wouldn't that make nursing hard?)
    Good Luck!
     
  4. LVT2DVM

    LVT2DVM UGA-CVM c/o 2013
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    I totally agree with Sofficat. As a mom of three I can tell you that however hard you imagine it will be...it will be at least twice as difficult. Vets who know me think I am crazy for attempting vetschool with 3 kids and mine are not infants. Im not trying to talk you out of school because I wouldnt want someone doing that too me but you need to be realistic about what you'll be dealing with. Sleepless nights, nursing (perhaps??) hormones! and finding your way as a new mom. A life altering event even without vetschool. I can tell you, you will no doubt be exhausted and pulled in multiple directions and something will have to get less attention. Will that be school or your child? Not an easy decision to make.

    If you choose to start in the Fall, then make sure you document all conversations and get every thing in writing, and ask lots of questions (your responsibilities as a student, expectations of the school, ect) so you are sure all your bases are covered. Keep in mind if you want to nurse, you wont be able to get vaccinated until after the baby is weaned so thats added time. Your physician will most certainly have to document your pregnancy and make written recommendations about when you can be allowed to perform certain tasks (get vaccinated, be around anesthesia, chemicals, ect.) They usually do that for employers anyway so that should not be a problem. I cant answer what the vetschools will require since that will depend on your school. I wonder if there's a way to find out their policy without identifying yourself (if that is a concern)?

    I wish you all the best Vetschoolz. I truly believe everything happens for a reason, so dont get discouraged, it will work out.
     
  5. nyanko

    nyanko 360noscope squidkid
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    I really don't want to sound like a jerk, but I also agree that you should probably try to defer for a year because of this. I think that vet school itself is stressful enough, and pregnancy itself is stressful as well, and those two things together may lead to problems for you. It would absolutely NOT be fair for you to try to demand special treatment from your professors (not that I'm saying you would, but you know..), and you're due right before finals. That seems like quite a distraction to me. Not to mention the chemicals in labs and such.
     
  6. LVT2DVM

    LVT2DVM UGA-CVM c/o 2013
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  7. SweeTeaPie

    SweeTeaPie Cornell class of 2012
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    I know someone who went through the same situation and she chose to defer a year. Wish I could offer you more advice than that, but I don't know enough of the details to really be able to help out. But just thought I'd let you know what someone that WAS in your situation chose to do.
     
  8. alliecat44

    alliecat44 KSU CVM Class of '11
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    Best of luck to you and CONGRATULATIONS on vet school and the baby!!!
     
  9. QHluver77

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    Alliecat, I think it's great that you are trying to give advice, but I would suggest that you not do it by displaying a classmate's personal information on a public forum that they may not want to be posted. It's highly unproffessional to be posting information this personal about a person whose classmates could read this and automatically know who the person was. If it was your own information you wanted to share, fine, but please remove this post and make it less personal (it can be equally helpful and informative without the personal details and criticism).
     
  10. ri23

    ri23 OSU CVM Class of 2011
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    What criticism? Alliecat didn't post any personal information about this student or anything she knew in confidence (that I can see). I don't see how this post is inappropriate.
     
  11. QHluver77

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    The student I'm sure didn't necessarily want Alliecat to post PERSONAL (yes personal) information about her pumping between classes, her grades, her decision to induce labor... The criticism was of her going into anatomy lab with just a mask as protection "I don't know how safe that was." The issue is that this is personal information that didn't need to be up here in a public forum and Alliecat could easily have made her point without the personal details, or at least with permission of the person she was discussing.
     
  12. DVMorBust

    DVMorBust UW SVM Class of 2013
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    I don't think that was criticism. I think it meant that Alliecat has never been in that situation and didn't want to state that it was OK for everyone in that situation to do, since obviously the OP should talk to her doctor and make a plan that works for her.
     
  13. alliecat44

    alliecat44 KSU CVM Class of '11
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    Sorry--you're right in that I shouldn't have been posting personal details in a public forum. Oops. Just wanted to emphasize that it's possible to go through it and do WELL, not just barely scrape by. Also I felt the timing of her labor was important to compare the feasibility of her situation to that of the OP, who is due earlier. Saying "she had a baby towards the end of the semester" isn't very helpful when we all know that finals also occur at the end of the semester--I would want to know when she had her baby in relation to exams.

    Regarding her induction of labor being a private issue: she set up a pool at the end of the semester to bet on what day she would give birth. The people who won were the ones who knew when she had scheduled her induction. It was kind of funny at the time. Sorry for sharing this private information.

    Also, my comment about safety was because I DON'T know how safe that was. I was not privy to the school's discussion on safety issues with her. I don't know how she arrived at that decision, or what data the university used to find it acceptable/enough/whatever. To my knowledge, it could be that it's perfectly safe--I've never researched this and so I really don't know. I didn't want to profess to be an expert on pregnancy safety issues to the OP, as I have NO direct knowledge. I'm not pregnant and not planning on it, so it is not my issue.

    I'll go ahead and omit the details--keep in mind that the details will remain as long as your own original post contains the quote, so I would go ahead and remove it.

    I was unaware that I was sharing any information our classmates were already not aware of. In fact, one of our instructors made a comment about her "pumping" in front of the entire class--so I felt it was common knowledge and certainly not anything damning.

    Have I defended myself enough for you?
     
  14. QHluver77

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    I understand that your intentions were good, and I thank you for removing the personal information. I misunderstood your comment about safety in the lab and for that I was wrong in assuming criticism. I will remove my previous comments to remove the personal information quoted. The whole class was not necessarily aware of all of the details, and even if they were, I don't think it was appropriate to post it on a public forum. Plus, I can tell you that the person in questions was very embarrassed about the faculty member's comment and didn't want that information shared to or by anyone. Again, thank you for removing the questionable information.
     
  15. QHluver77

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    Oh, I failed to read the last line of your message. In response the sarchasm is unneccessary, but not unexpected unfortunately. I was trying to aid a friend and maintain her privacy. Apparently you take offense to that.
     
  16. alliecat44

    alliecat44 KSU CVM Class of '11
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    Sorry; for me, it was the personal criticism/response and need to defend myself that was not unexpected. It was a genuine question, not sarcasm.

    I would assume that the person in question would be glad to think her experiences could help someone else out there make an appropriate decision for themselves. You can apologize to her for me. I wasn't aware that I was speaking of her in any sort of negative light--but again am not surprised that something I said was automatically taken that way.

    Back to studying--i'm not going to waste any more of my time defending myself.
     
  17. DVMorBust

    DVMorBust UW SVM Class of 2013
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    Sarcasm may or may not be warranted (everyone has their opinion on that), but at the same time, I can see how the comments would put someone on the defensive. In your response to other posters commenting, it did sound like you were being more accusatory than strictly necessary - which is understandable given that you are emotionally involved in the situation.

    So, I say, good job to you for standing up for your friend, and good job to Alliecat for being in an uncomfortable position and responding better than most people on the internet would.

    Now, back to answering the OP's initial question!
     
  18. QHluver77

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    Listen, I didn't say that you projected her in a negative light. I apologized for what I thought was a criticism...I said I was wrong and that was it. MY POINT was that the information was personal and should be removed for the privacy of the individual in question, it was removed, I thanked you, end of story. I don't know why you're overreacting so much.

    But yes, let's get back on topic.
     
  19. QHluver77

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    Getting back on topic, I think it all depends on your personal situation. I know people who have children or have had children in vet school, and I think that the best decision is based upon your time budgeting abilities, family and school support, and if you're the type of person that can pick up on things quickly or if you have to work at subjects a little harder. I would say that if it were my decision, I might defer for a year, especially being my first child, so that I would have more time to experience being a mother and then decide whether I would have the time dedication and ability to go to vet school. Best advice I can give (though I've never been in the situation) is to continue to weigh the options and you will find the best solution for you! Good luck and congratulations!
     
  20. Truth74

    Truth74 DVM
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    Having had children, that first child will totally change your life.

    I totally agree with deferment, because you will be tired, stressed, forgetful (that's the hormones during and right after pregnancy).
    [Why do you think women keep having them? Because we forget how much it hurts] I’m not going to mention the things that happen to your breasts those first few weeks. Even if you took lactation, it's a whole different ball game if it's actually happening to you. :D

    You don’t know how you are going to be able to handle these things on top of the rigors of vet school.

    Congratulations on the bundle of joy.
     
  21. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers no wake up time. sleepy time.
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    Haha truth74's message just made me want to grab my boobs and cringe.

    Maybe she should mention some of the joys of motherhood, too? ;)

    I agree with the deferment, if possible. Just tell them that you didn't know and it wasn't exactly planned, but you want to give the child the best start you can without hurting your future as a vet. I think they'll understand.

    Congrats, and don't worry about your boobs. :D
     
  22. Truth74

    Truth74 DVM
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    Come on. I was getting back to the topic! ;)
    We moms know what I was talking about.:laugh: Your breasts will be fine.... eventually. :laugh: You just need to take it into consideration.

    There are absolutely great things about having a child. You will rediscover the world through their eyes. There's that smell. New baby smell = crack. :D You will redefine the meaning of love. :love: I could gush about my babies here, but I'm not gonna.

    However, I was mentioning the memory and the boob thing, because those are some of the main occurrences that happen within the first few weeks. That is what she would be dealing with just before finals or during the preparation for finals.

    This being the first child, she has no idea how she will react to these things (along with the emotional roller coaster of hormones going back to normal). :rolleyes:
     
  23. clawsbeatskin

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    Don't worry, nyanko, you don't sound like a jerk. I personally wouldn't want to be in a class with a pregnant woman and her hormones. I've never met a pregnant woman who could talk about anything other than the baby, and quite honestly, it would get on my nerves if we had a lab together or had to work in a group. And even if the student in question demanded no special attention, it's an unavoidable truth that special attention would be given in one way or another. Just my opinion.

    Congrats to the OP, and good luck making your decision.
     
  24. hoodle

    hoodle UC-Davis DVM/PhD
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    Whoa - this is a fine line from being "pregnantist" if that exists. Just replace "pregnant" with "black" "gay" "jewish" whatever, and this sort of statement becomes extremely out of line.

    Clawsbeatskin, I'm not saying you're racist/sexist/even pregnantist - but you should know how this came across. If I were pregnant and made the decision to go to vet school, I'd expect my classmates to treat me with respect, and I'd return the favor. And what sort of favoritism are you implying pregnant women get? Other than perhaps slightly extra time on the exam due to having to breastfeed? You can't really be implying that professors would grade pregnant women less harshly? or that pregnant women are incapable of active learning/doing anything other talking about their pregnancy?
     
  25. VAgirl

    VAgirl UC Davis SVM c/o 2012
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    It's interesting to hear some of these responses, because I actually don't think I would mind some special treatment being given to a pregnant classmate. I guess it depends on what it is. But reasonable things in my mind include accommodations for aspects of the pregnancy that cause illness (morning sickness, preeclampsia, etc.). I see no reason why the administration shouldn't be as flexible on attendance, make-up exams, etc. as they would be for any other illness (with doctor's note, if necessary) or other special life circumstances (illness or death of family member). I suppose one could say that people might have more control/choice over their pregnancy than over their parent getting sick. But sometimes pregancies can be just as unexpected.

    Not trying to spark an argument or anything, just posting my musings. I've definitely been in situations where people have milked special exceptions to their circumstances far beyond what is fair, and that's a pain. But otherwise, I think special accommodations are not a big deal. Life isn't always neat and clean. If someone needs a little more help to get by, that's fine by me. I assume if I had a similar need, I'd be granted the same courtesies.
     
  26. clawsbeatskin

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    I understand that my remarks may be viewed as "pregnantist" (ha! now I've heard it all!) but the truth is that I've never seen a pregnant woman NOT get special treatment.

    I just finished taking a class with a pregnant professor. She was able to do her job about 1/4 of the time. And by her job, I mean lecture 3 times a week and grade exams on a timely manner. I just finished the final and I still don't know what I made on Exams 2 or 3.

    I also work with a pregnant woman. I am constantly picking up the slack because she leaves early 4 out of the 5 days a week she works because she's tired. I also spend about 3 hours a day listening to her talk about diapers when there is a ton of work to do.

    My point is....pregnant or not, if you can't do your job, you need to draw the line and be realistic about your situation. I've worked with individuals who had terminal cancer and still worked their butts off harder than any pregnant woman I've seen. And I'm pretty sure they didn't choose to be in their situation.
     
  27. alliecat44

    alliecat44 KSU CVM Class of '11
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    Wish I could give you an example of a pregnant woman who didn't need/get any special treatment, but I'm sure I would get my head bit off again... :rolleyes:

    But "pregnant women getting special treatment" is definitely not an "absolute" situation. Especially when one vet student's success/failure does not in any way depend on another's. Even when you're in the same lab group, you're independent entities. Trust me on this. The work they do (or don't do) doesn't really affect you. The only thing I can imagine is that you have to clean your lab area/cadaver slightly more often if they leave early routinely--not a big deal. Especially in the grand scheme of things. You will be in school with people who learn differently than you, who have learning disabilities, who need more time than you and who need less time than you. People who are faster than you and people who are slower than you. Same goes with the workplace when you get out. In the grand scheme of things, being pregnant is likely to be one of the most minor "differences" you have to deal with with your classmates.
     
  28. winglessflight

    winglessflight Iowa State '12
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    So I was bored/procrastinating and looking in the med forum, and heres a post about a med student with a pregnant wife

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=521112

    Even though the situation is reversed, it may be helpful. Also, maybe you would be able to PM one of the women with kids and ask them about their experiences.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
     
  29. VAgirl

    VAgirl UC Davis SVM c/o 2012
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    I think this is the most important thing. Clawsbeatskin, the two examples you gave are very frustrating, I'm sorry you've had to deal with that. Those situations also could have come about from someone being lazy or not caring, regardless of whether or not they were pregnant. But in a situation where someone else's performance has no effect on you, your activities, and your ability to perform, I think it would feel very different.
     
  30. nyanko

    nyanko 360noscope squidkid
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    Well, as you said in the second to last line, you have control over when you get pregnant. Even if it's unexpected, there are ways of dealing with that if you don't want to have the baby. Especially as a woman it is 100% your choice. That is one of the things I love about this country, that I have that choice! I'm sorry, but I just can't bring myself to have any sympathy for people who have a normal pregnancy and want special accommodations because of it. It's different if there is a problem beyond what a normal pregnancy entails, but I really do think that things like morning sickness are part of a normal pregnancy and if you need to miss class or an exam because of it then you should be penalized accordingly, like other people who miss class or exams because of something they chose rather than something that just happened (most other illnesses).

    This person has a choice at this point. I'm sure the vet school will be equally accommodating with either choice. I just would find it unfair as a classmate if the person got special accommodation for it, which is what I think clawsbeatskin was trying to say.
     
  31. alliecat44

    alliecat44 KSU CVM Class of '11
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  32. nyanko

    nyanko 360noscope squidkid
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    In response...

    1) I'm not really assuming anything about the OP, just talking about the discussion at hand.

    2) Not even bothering to respond to this. That's good.

    3) It affects me because if I feel really sick some morning, and I miss class or an exam because of it, I don't get a bye because I'm not pregnant, and I don't find that fair if she does. I have to suck it up and go to class.

    4) That's ludicrous. I'm stating my opinion. Obviously I have no bearing on what the vet school itself does. It's just my opinion on it.

    Perhaps you should be more tolerant of other people's opinions too. I don't want anyone to fail. I just want everyone to be treated fairly.
     
  33. alliecat44

    alliecat44 KSU CVM Class of '11
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    Nyanko,

    Apologies for my own assumption that your comments were directed at the OP. It was not clear to me.

    Secondly, you seem to be assuming that the administration would not be as "lenient" (how you seem to be viewing it/how I'm interpreting your take on it) were you to have some sort of illness/personal crisis/whatever. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a school that would not accomodate you for a sudden illness. Hope this makes you feel more comfortable with the possibility of going to school with folks who need different accomodations than you.
     
  34. DVMorBust

    DVMorBust UW SVM Class of 2013
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    I'd just like to draw attention to something that Allicat said, since it made me stop and think before giving my what-would-be-current reply to this situation:

    I think a lot of us - well, I'm thinking of myself at the moment, since I'm applying this upcoming cycle, but being a pre-vet forum it's safe to say a lot of us - are living in FEAR at the moment that someone is better than us - whether that's someone else nudging us out of the A we worked our butts off for, or someone who's just more in line with what the adcoms are looking for, and thus will be accepted over them.

    Point being - I realize that once you get in, it must be different. I don't know how different, since I'm not in yet, or in what way it's different. I DO know that the only way I have to relate to this situation is to look at the same thing occurring in undergrad - where 'special treatment' often seems, to an outsider, to equate to less work on their part and more work on my part needed to get that grade.

    Is this a fair assumption? Probably not. But it's how it appears, to me, to work on a gut-reaction level.

    But this is undergrad. Not vet school.

    Perhaps the OP would have better luck posting in the vet student forum, where there are people with the right lens to look through in order to answer the question easier?
     
  35. VAgirl

    VAgirl UC Davis SVM c/o 2012
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    That just doesn't bother me. If I'm sick, hopefully professors understand. They're human, they've been sick before, too. If they don't understand, well, I'll be better in a day or two. Someone who is pregnant, though, won't likely feel better in a day or two. She'll still be dealing with common-place odors making her naseous (like the coffee we'll all be drinking to stay awake that her doc says she couldn't drink even if she could stomach the aroma), or getting her morning sickness during lecture, or the hundreds of other random symtoms I've heard of pregnant women developing (if you want stories, I have stories! Not mine, mind...those of coworkers, but still, it certainly makes me think twice about finding alternate ways of growing babies!:))
     
  36. nyanko

    nyanko 360noscope squidkid
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    You're right, but the disconnect is in that I believe that since she chose to be pregnant she understands those things and "knew it going in" so she should basically deal with it. I respect those who wish to have children but sometimes you have to prioritize in life. I realize that some women are very strong, like the one that alliecat is no longer allowed to mention ;) but I mean, it's gotta present a hardship even on her. Kudos to that chick for being so cool about everything, honestly.

    For the record, and this may be coming through in my posts more strongly than it should, I'm not interested in ever having kids. I like kids, actually, but I just don't want any of my own. That little fact may be why there's such a disconnect in my beliefs and opinions and those of many of the others here.
     
  37. DVMorBust

    DVMorBust UW SVM Class of 2013
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    Nyanko - I'm in the same boat. I think it does effect the way that I view concessions given to people with/having children, because I find myself simply incapable of understanding that situation at all. I can't even imagine it, I'm so far removed from the circumstance.

    However, we're in the minority, and I understand that. I don't even really feel comfortable commenting on the situation, since I know I can't put myself in her shoes. You know?
     
  38. Whirr

    2+ Year Member

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    Woah, lots of :hijacked: here...

    I've put a LOT of thought into the problems of vet school and pregnancy/babies. For the last few months especially, I have been trying to decide how to plan having a baby, which is something my husband and I both wish to do--we don't want a big family, but we would like to raise one or two children, and I would prefer to not wait until I am 30 to start a family. The trick is how to time vet school around this. I've been reading as much as I can find regarding medical/veterinary school and family, mostly in the form of anecdotal evidence on message boards like this one.

    If I were in vetschoolz's position, I would try to defer for a year, but this is an incredibly individual decision. It depends so much on how much local support you have; personally, I'm sure that I would find it very hard to deal with the end of pregnancy, labor, delivery, and a new baby... all around finals time. As far as vaccines and so on, if you do decide to go for it and go to vet school this year, I'd certainly contact your school and try to plan ahead as best you can. You won't be their first pregnant student trying to solve these problems.

    On the topic of fair treatment... whether you believe pregnancy is a choice like any other or not, it is something people do. With so many women going into veterinary medicine, and many of us going in our mid-late 20s and beyond, there are going to be students who are pregnant or with small children. Even as there are women who talk incessantly about pregnancy and ham up their problems, there will be women who deal with the whole process with aplomb, working hard throughout their pregnancy with minimal complaining. A little understanding goes a long way. Still, the issues of balancing pregnancy, which can be unpredictable, with something as all-consuming as vet school, are exactly why I will probably defer even applying to vet school for a year or two.

    Best of luck with your preparations, vetschoolz! Congratulations.
     
  39. StealthDog

    StealthDog U of MN 2010
    Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
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    In my experience, you'll have crummy lab partners and great lab partners, and whether or not they're pregnant has little to do with which one they'll be. Honestly, you're more likely to have a lab partner that wants to scoot out early to tend to his/her horse than you are to have a lab partner that needs to go do something pregnancy-related. It's best to be understanding of everyone's responsibilities outside of vet school, because a) my classmates are all happier when they have a life outside of school and b) I will inevitably be in that position someday. Like alliecat said, we help each other out because we're good people and we're colleagues, not competitors.

    As far as making a decision, vetschoolz, I have to agree with the general theme that I would try to defer if I could. It might not be that hard if you have an uneventful pregnancy and deliver when expected, but what if something happens that, say, might force you to be on bedrest for the last two months of your pregnancy? That would be a waste of what portion of the semester you were able to attend, and might very well cost you a lot of money if you school weren't willing to refund your tuition. Two major life-altering experiences at once would be rather overwhelming for me! Talk to your school about what sort of alternatives they offer, or even better, see if they'll give you email addresses for students who were in your shoes. Good luck and congratulations!
     

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