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Lives of Doctor Wives: First Baby During MSIV....

Friday, February 19, 2010

First Baby During MSIV....

Hi there Doctor Wives!

I am seeking some words of wisdom....we are having our first baby this August and while it is wonderful and precious and truly a blessing, I am concerned how this might affect fourth year (MSIV) and when/how/where my husband will be able to schedule away rotations (Ortho)...

While I try to focus on the baby and his/her health as well as my own - heck the single breadwinner is pregnant! - I can't help but worry about fourth year and the timing of everything.

Any advice?

13 Comments:

Blogger Married to a med student - Marissa Nicole said...

Congrats to you and your hubby!

This isn't baby advice, but rotation advice. I would schedule the away rotations as soon as possible. My husband couldn't do his first until August, but I know other schools people can do them as soon as June and July - if he can he should. If he does more than one or two away rotations do the ones that you want the letters from FIRST. Applications open up September first and ideally you want your letters by then. But my hubby couldn't get his until mid Sept and Oct (so his application wasn't complete.) So ideally you want the away rotations done in June and July IF POSSIBLE.

Ofcourse you need to do what works for you and your family and I know being apart and under the stress was very hard for us and we didn't even have any little ones. If you do think you can handle the aways I would make sure you schedule trips home or for visitors to come help distract you and help with your new baby girl!

Feel free to email me if you have any other questions about sub-I's - I think you have my email. CONGRATS!

February 19, 2010 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Beth Hollenbeck said...

Hi and congratulations! My husband is now a 2nd year ortho resident. We had our SECOND baby 4th year of medical school; however, he was born the end of October. My husband did 3 away rotations plus all of his interviews between August (7 mos. pregnant with mono I might add!) and March. His final away rotation was in February. I worked 3 days/week with each child in a different childcare setting, plus my oldest has Down syndrome. I'm not telling you all of this to make my situation seem so hard, but to tell you it is doable and looking back it wasn't bad at all!! Actually, I think 4th year is a great time to have a baby.

I have the typical advice like ask for help from family close by, if they are, or to have family stay a couple of weeks for you to adjust and heal. Also...if you have a group of wives/sig. others you lean on and have social gatherings with, ask for dinners. It is okay to ask. They can take turns and bring something every 2-3 nights for a few weeks. We do this in the residency program here as the wives are VERY close. We also assigned someone a breakfast basket and a snack basket. All of this is a huge help.

To stay connected with your husband try a "365" blog..take a picture each day of your baby so he can see he/she change and develop. And SKYPE!! While it seems overwhelming as I look back I cherish the moments I had with my sweet baby boy(s) and how we bonded since we were often on our own. Their Dad isn't around much at all now since he is in residency, which leaves me blessed with this amazing bond with my boys. You will do great, and like I said 4th year is a great year to have a baby. When the away rotations are done and interviews are behind you, BOTH of you will be able to relax a bit and enjoy that bundle of joy :)

I know I left a lot of advice out. Please feel free to email me (bhollenbeck10@bellsouth.net) with any questions or worries. I had a lot on my plate that year, but I wouldn't change it for anything.

February 19, 2010 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

Congrats!!!I think that 4th year is the best time to have a baby, that and 3rd year. At least at our school, you needed to complete 22 months of rotations and had 24 months to complete them, so students just always planned on taking 1-2 months off around the time of their baby's birth. I know that this is an important time for away rotations and interview, but we interviewed at some places in December, so you should have plenty of time. If you guys don't want to take a month off, and you hope to rotate at a program close to your home, this would be a great time to do it also.

February 19, 2010 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I had our first baby in December of MSIV, and it wasn't too bad... I also didn't have high expectations of help from my husband and I am pretty independent. He came home 5 days before I went into labor and was gone for the last trimester of my pregnancy (Ortho rotations as well) and then he left to do another rotation (luckily in the same city we were in) a few days after the baby was born. I was on my own for the most part, although my mother stayed with me for a week or so, and my mother in law helped out some.

I really tried to downplay my stress as much as possible because the Ortho stress was enough for my husband without me adding to it with my own worries. There were times it was hard to keep in touch with my husband (he stayed in a parking garage out of his car for a few weeks at one, er, blissful rotation) but I just kept thinking that I didn't want him to have to worry about us as well as what was already on his plate.

There will be tricky times and easier times, but you will look back on it and think, well, it could have been worse. I think that having a good attitude throughout the whole deal is the most important thing. You really have the power to set the tone for how things are going.

Good luck to you!

February 19, 2010 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger TheFamousStacie said...

Alexandra is totally right. 4th year is like a dream.

I had a baby August of surgery intern year. 08-08-08 to be exact! Not smart.

We've always kept moving. We did a rotation in France for 6 weeks while I was pregnant and with two little ones. Newborns are a little more trouble, but at least they sleep for hours on end.

If you are planning to stay home it could be fun to travel with him to the away rotations. I tried to do that, but he didn't really do many away rotations, only 1 fourth year. No matter when he does them it will suck.

I would suggest doing rotations later in the school year, rather than right after the baby is born. You will need the most help when you are a new mama! After 6 month you'll be a pro : ).

February 19, 2010 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger TheFamousStacie said...

In the last paragraph I meant "away" rotations.

February 19, 2010 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger Melisa said...

We had our third during 4th yr. You can totally do this! Be willing to ask for and accept help!

February 19, 2010 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

We had our son in August of MSIV too. What was really nice was that my husband had worked it out that he had a research rotation for the first 6 weeks which meant his schedule was really flexible and he mostly stayed home. He only did one away rotation and that was in February which meant the baby was 6 months old and almost sleeping through the night. It was hard doing it all on my own but the baby, the two dogs, and I spent a lot of time at my in-laws. I have a friend who went on away rotations with her husband and brought their toddler along too.

As for interviews, we would tag along when my work schedule allowed and when they were within reasonable driving distance. It was nice to see the places we might be living.

I agree that 4th year is the best time to have a baby. It gave the grandparents 9 months with our son before we moved across the country for residency and it was nice having a support system nearby. With interviews, away rotations, ranking programs, and a growing baby the year just flies by. Good luck!

February 19, 2010 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

I forgot to say that we went with Tom to ALL his away rotations. We had a 2 year old with us and I got pregnant while we were in Orlando on a OB rotation. It was a blast!!! We spent a month in Fort Worth, one in St Petersburg FL, one in Orlando, one in York PA, one in Philly/NJ, and one in Danville PA(got to spend Christmas Eve and Day in their ER with a kidney stone at 6 months pregnant!!) All during that time, Tom would fly during some weeks to different programs to interview and we ended up being seen at over 10 programs during those 8 monts on the road!! If you can go, go, it really grew our marriage and we got to see places I would never have gotten to go (and some I NEVER want to see again, hehe!!)

February 19, 2010 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

I forgot to say that we went with Tom to ALL his away rotations. We had a 2 year old with us and I got pregnant while we were in Orlando on a OB rotation. It was a blast!!! We spent a month in Fort Worth, one in St Petersburg FL, one in Orlando, one in York PA, one in Philly/NJ, and one in Danville PA(got to spend Christmas Eve and Day in their ER with a kidney stone at 6 months pregnant!!) All during that time, Tom would fly during some weeks to different programs to interview and we ended up being seen at over 10 programs during those 8 monts on the road!! If you can go, go, it really grew our marriage and we got to see places I would never have gotten to go (and some I NEVER want to see again, hehe!!)

February 19, 2010 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger JLee said...

Hi! Congrats on your baby :) My husband and I had our first, 1st year of school, our second 2nd year of school. (See more at my blog wifemd.blogspot.com)

I always hear that 4th year of school is the best time to have a baby as well. We call it "the calm before the storm" since intern year will be very busy. At my husbands school you can't do more than 12 weeks total in a specialty which gave him 3, 4 week rotations in ortho. We were also told to do them summer because you want to be seen before interview season in December/January.

As far as having a baby, the 1st month for me was the hardest. You may be healing from c-section or tearing. Sorry so blunt! And you have to get used to taking care of a newborn and the new "routine" in your life. Have family or friends stay with you to help with laundry, dishes, and groceries!

I also know that some banks have available a loan specific to 4th year medical students for residency and relocation costs.

Good luck and congrats! Enjoy and cherish this time ;)

February 20, 2010 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger Mrs T #3 said...

Thank you for all of your great comments! This was reassuring. I may be reaching out to some of you ortho wives in the near future!

February 21, 2010 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

First of all, congrats! My husband is an MS4, hopefully matching in ortho in just a few weeks. We don't have kids yet, but I wanted to offer some suggestions about plannning ortho rotations and interviews.

Scheduling ortho rotations as early as possible is best. My husband did three, in August, September, and (for various scheduling reasons) December. The earlier slots were great because he was able to get rec letters from attendings at both of those places.

Ortho interviews are almost exclusively in December and January and my husband really wished that he'd planned better and taken both of those months off for interviews. He was able to attend some December interviews, but not as many as he would have liked because of the difficulties of getting time off from his rotation.

Also, try to start scheduling his rotations now, or at least quite soon. Ortho spots fill up quickly. Do have him explain your situation to program coordinators - the ones we encountered were generally very nice and helpful.

Good luck!

February 22, 2010 at 5:56 PM  

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