Post # 1
DH and I recently decided this would be my last pack of BC and we would start TTC in August! We are both very excited because we’ve talked about and wanted kids for a little while now. I’m currently in grad school and it is a lot of work with clinicals and I also work 10-15hrs a week, but not too bad. DH has a great stable job, benefits, and good savings for our standard of living. As we are getting so close to TTC I just started to get nervous, which worried me. I’m worried about being sick and not being able to focus on class/my patients, any complications would make things more difficult, etc. I also know it will be difficult studying, writting papers, etc when there is a young infant. I have worked as a daycare teacher for 6wk – 18mo for 4 years so I kind of know what to expect. I think the main positives are we have a great support system, both our parents and all siblings live less than 10mins away and are always begging to watch SIL’s kid, my mom stays at home and would watch our kid 3-4 days a week, also have a daycare directly across the street from us that you can just pay for the days you use them. DH is also amazing, cooks, cleans, everything so I know I will have a lot of help from him too. I would be taking one semester (hopefully next summer) to stay home with the baby which may or may not extend my program a semester which is fine, and I won’t be working after the baby until I graduate (May/Aug ’16). I know I can’t be the only one whose done this and I know many people make it through much worse situations. I’m just worried about giving the baby all the love and attention it deserves while still doing good in grad school, but DH keeps telling me it’s really not much different than having a full time job, which is very true. Sorry this is so long! Just looking for advice/encouragement/honesty, anything you want to give me! I know it will be very difficult and challenging, but are we crazy for wanting to do this?
Post # 2
Honestly, you are going to set yourself up for a lot of unneeded struggle by having a baby whilst still in school. Yes, it can be done, but from my POV, I wouldn’t purposely put myself through it.
With pregnancy, you don’t know how it’s going to go. We all assume that we’re going to have a typical, textbook pregnancy. I am a super-healthy person when I am not pregnant, but in both of my pregnancies, I have developed kidney complications of all things–something no one could predict or expect.
Then when the baby comes, you will be busy and exhausted, even if you have a “good” baby. Your emotional side may find it extremely difficult to balance your new mommy responsibilities, and school might not seem so important. You might not feel comfortable with people looking after your child.
Having a baby is MUCH more different than having a full time job…so don’t make that comparison. At the end of your shift at work, you go home and the day is done. With a child, that never ends. There is no set schedule, they need to always, and don’t care that you have a deadline to meet.
Sorry to make this sound so negative, but in my own experience, there is no way I could have a baby while still in school. Both are INCREDIBLY demanding, and trying to do both is a surefire way to guarantee that one is going to suffer.
Maybe other bees can offer positive experiences in trying to do both, but I struggled to even complete a few online courses while working full time and being a mom to a toddler!
Post # 3
- Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI
It can be done, but it probably will be hard. One of my closest friends had both her kids while in school. One during medical school! She was often sick and had a lot of trouble focusing. She would leave exams to be sick, had to make up exams, etc…overall her health suffered for how much she pushed herself. She was put on bed rest and still went into school because she felt she had no option. Eventually they had to induce her early because she couldn’t keep her BP down and was too stressed. She had to leave school early that semester and made it up over the summer. That said, her and baby were happy and healthy in the end.
Both her kids called other people “Mom” before they called her “Mom”, things like that were very hard on her. But at that point her kids spent more time with other family than with her. She tried to spend as much time as she could with them but admitted she put her classes and career first. Her own mother and husband helped out a lot and the kids got plenty of love and attention, just not a lot of time with their mother.
Now her kids are a little older 7 and 4 years old and they’re great kids. She’s since divorced and her husband left the country so she’s on her own but still has the help of her own mother. The kids know their Mom works hard to support them and that she loves them. She still does a lot of running around and has to occasionally miss out on things but tries her best to make it to as many things as she can for her kids. I think constant exhaustion is just a given in her life, but nothing makes her happier than coming home to her two boys.
To this day she says her first pregnancy was just the worst thing ever. She loves her son, but she was so sick and so stressed. It was horrible to watch her basically suffer for the whole 9 months. You just never know how you’re going to feel. Some people make it through feeling great, other people are sick all the time. Just be prepared to deal with what may come. Having a good support system like you do will help a lot. Seems like it is all about rolling with the punches, prioritizing, organizing, and having help when you need it.
Even with help, she had times where she had to leave class to go get her son and take him to the doctor or something. Things unexpectedly can come up at anytime. Some people were understanding other people were not. Not all profeessors were understanding about her leaving class to throw up five times during an exam, others were very considerate and let her put her feet up and sit near a door just in case. She had to leave finals to take her son to the hospital, make up finals becauseshe was in labor, etc. Just a lot of things to think about and figure out what would you do if these situation happen.
Having not gone through it myself, this is more my point of view from talking to my friend and being there to witness everything during our time in school together.
Post # 4
MrsN14: I do not have kids yet so I can’t speak to what it will be like when a baby is actually present, but I can share a few stories (and my own opinion). Personally, I wanted to be completely done with school-at least for the forseable future- before DH and I had children, but he won’t be and that doesn’t bother him. I think it just depends on if you think you can do it. My parents always told me to finish school before having kids because it is so demanding. My mom had my older sister (technically my half-sister) on her own. I can’t remember the exact details, but I believe she had finished her Associates, was working as a nurse, and then went back for her Bachelor’s when pregnant with my sister (I may have that a bit off-she may have just finished her B.S.). But my mom did get her Master’s after having all 3 of us! She worked full time, went to grad school full time, and had three kids (10, 6, and 4) at the time. She was motivated and knew she would get through it.
Even if you decide to wait, there’s no guarantee you won’t go back to school in the future with kids. My older sister became pregnant unexpectadly and had already graduated from college and was had been working full time for years. While pregnant, she realized she wanted to go back to school for nursing and started after my niece was born. She also worked full time, went to school, and raised my niece while being a single mom.
I think the most important thing is that you feel ready to be a parent. If you are truly ready and want it, then you’ll get through school while pregnant and a new mom. It will for sure be hard-probably very hard at times- but you do also have your husband who should be helping with the baby, house, etc.
Good luck, OP!
Post # 5
MrsN14: I would say it depends on your age. If you have time to wait then I would. If age could be a factor I’d go for it as you dont know how long it will take.
Post # 6
MrsN14: I think it depends on your age. If you’re older and worried about fertility, then I get it. If you’re young, then I really don’t see why you would want to make things so difficult on yourself. You only have so many hours in a day. So whether it’s time spent on school work or time with your infant, something will be taken away from you. I’m TTC myself, so I understand the feeling of wanting a baby NOW, but don’t let excitement get the best of you. I completed a graduate program that started with 20 students. 3 dropped out. And all of them were mothers. I know that’s anecdotal, but sometimes babies and a demanding school schedule do not mix.
Post # 7
- Wedding: September 2011 - Baby boy 12/2015
MrsN14: How long until you finish? I am also in grad school and started to TTC in January, no luck yet. I am getting close to the end of my program, so I should be fine. 🙂
Post # 8
I am currently 33 weeks pregnant and in a doctoral program, though I am done with coursework and my hours are now extremely flexible. No one can tell you if its the right time for you to have a child. This article summarizes my thoughts more eloquently: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/549-should-you-have-a-baby-in-graduate-school#sthash.fHWqNHln.gbpl
Post # 9
I’m pregnant and still have 2 years left of my masters degree. Although due to my specialization my course is only offered externally so I don’t have to physically ever go to classes which makes things easier. I think if you believe you can handle it then go for it. People do it all the time
Post # 10
MrsN14: Sure it CAN be done, but as someone with a 4 month old I would never choose to do it. It’s not really like going to a full time job because on top of being in class, you have to work after hours studying, etc. It was hard enough going to work sick and tired while pregnant (and now just tired). I can’t imagine having to do work at night/on weekends on top of it. Plus, once I get home all I want to do is snuggle with baby for the short amount of time we have together before she goes to bed. Then when she is in bed it’s time to prepare for the next day. I don’t know where in the world I would fit studying in! When I was in grad school I worked 4 jobs and it was still easier doing all that then having a baby is! And I have a VERY easy baby!
Only you can make the decision though.
Post # 11
I have no advice, just commenting to follow since my DH and I are trying to decide whether to TTC during graduate school or wait until I graduate. I start my grad program in the fall.
Post # 12
I really think is depends largely on your program and the demands. If you are in the classroom from 8-5 with lots of assignments and exams, it might not be the easiest (but not impossible) task to TTC and be pregnant. But if your program is largely field work where you have a more flexible schedule, it might be more doable because it would be comprable to having a job. Millions of women have children while working a job.
I can’t speak from experience, but I know that H and I might start TTC while I’m in school. The first 2 years of dental school are all classwork, so that’s not realistic, but my last 2 years are all clinic. You schedule your own patients and it’s all flexible. As long as you get your requirements for graduation you can schedule them however you want.
Many women have had children in school before, its doable. It requires a lot of sacrifice and you’re going to be more busy and sleep deprived than you would be with either school or a baby independently. But, if you are otherwise in a good place to have a child, don’t let school stop you.
Post # 13
I am currently in my second year of graduate school and 8 weeks pregnant. This summer of class and clinicals has been so hard, and I would not recommend it. Grad school is hard enough while not being pregnant or with an infant. Having morning sickness and being exhausted when i’m seeing patients in the hospital and nursing home is miserable especially with all the horrible smells. Seriously, I’m about to dry heave thinking about it haha. Although I’m very happy to be having a baby, I wish we would’ve waited until after graduation.
futuremrsslp: are you a speechie? (I’m assuming based on your name). If you are going to TTC in grad school, I would at least wait until second year and time it so baby is born after graduation. No matter how prepared you are, the first year of grad school is brutal– we had 4 people drop out the first semester and none of them were pregnant or had kids. I’m due early February and I should still graduate on time (next May); however, it will be really stressful on me and hubby. Anyway, just thought I’d give you perspective based on the same program (if my assumptions are correct– if not, just ignore haha).
Post # 14
Thanks everyone I did want the honest opinions, so thank you! My program isn’t very demanding. I’m taking four classes this summer + clinicals and work, and I still have a lot of time with hubs. I did graduate undergrad a year early, school thankfully comes pretty easy. We do have time on the age issue but we want 3 before 30 so not much time. Classes are only one a day for 1.5-2 hours, then 20hrs of clinicals, so it’s really not bad at all and the classes aren’t bad, professors are amazing and have been super accomidating already.
mayahpay: I’m also an SLP! I think it depends on the program. We started this summer taking four courses plus clinicals, and it’s a lot easier than I thought. Even my fall and spring semester aren’t very busy. There have been many people in the program who have had kids or just take a semester off while their husband is oversees, etc and still end up graduating fine. It helps that I took 4 graduate courses in undergrad though.
Post # 15
mayahpay: I am a speechie! I start my slp program in the fall. We were thinking of starting to TTC next fall/winter 2015. I should graduate in either May or August 2016 (I haven’t decided yet on whether I want to do the extra semester). Thank you so much for your insight! It’s great to be able to hear from someone who is going through the same program. And congratulations on your pregnancy!