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A Year of New Beginnings and Big Decisions

Happy New Year to all of you, my fellow bloggers! I am so happy and excited to welcome another year, yet I am shocked at how fast 2012 has passed.

The beginning of this year (tomorrow, in fact) marks the beginning of my clinical experience in the field of Medicine. Patient Care. Real Patient Care. This is what I have been waiting my whole life to do, and it starts NOW! I am a little sad to say, however, that this new chapter in my life brings a much busier and unpredictable schedule. As such, I don’t think I can commit to posting a blog entry every day. This makes me very sad because I have come to love my blogging community. I will, however, promise to post as often as my schedule allows.

So while there is really only one new beginning in this year (that I can foresee), there are many big decisions that I (and DH) have to make about our lives going forward. One of the biggest of these decisions is where I want to do my residency. I start the application process in the summer and will be doing interviews at this time next year. By February of 2014, I will have to submit my Rank Order List of the places I want to do my residence (and spend the next 5 years of my life). There are many, many considerations that need to be thought of. Here are just a few that I can think of now:

  1. The quality and intricacies of the residency program – My experiences on my electives will hopefully help me with this point
  2. Where DH and I want to live. We don’t necessarily like the city we live in and we think a lot about moving home. However, home also comes with the stress of our families. (I should note that these top two points are also in conflict with each other – I love the program here more than the one at home, but I love my home city more)
  3. Moving home would mean that we have family to help with the kids.
  4. There is a program that is neither here nor there, but it is in a bigger city than here, and it is closer to home (3 hr drive instead of 6hr drive).
  5. I have some amazing relationships with some amazing people here (KM for example) and I also have a great reputation in the department here.
  6. Where can DH get a job more easily?

The list goes on… I should also mention that after we make all these decisions and decide our top choice, it still goes into a huge lottery system and there is no guarantee that I will even get my first choice!

Another big decision to think about: Baby #3. Yup, I said it.

I’ve always wanted to have 3 kids. However, I practically had to trick force DH into having baby #2. Baby #3 also makes future life with residency coming up a little more difficult, not to mention that I have picked a busy career path, leaving less time than I might otherwise like to have with my family. Needless to say, I was coming to terms with the idea that I would only have two kids. I tried to cherish my last pregnancy (even though it almost killed me), I’ve treated E. like he is my last baby, I sold my maternity clothes, and we’ve been slowly selling off our baby stuff. I even joined weight watchers and lost all my baby weight and more!

But, on the drive home yesterday, DH dropped the bomb and said he’s been thinking a lot about what it would mean for us and our kids to have a third baby. I was shocked to hear him say this. It got me thinking about whether I really want to do it all again. E. is only 9 months, so it wouldn’t happen right away, but it would have to be carefully planned and orchestrated, much like both of my other pregnancies were. Here are the considerations in this decision:

  1. We wouldn’t want much more than 3 years between E. and the baby, so we would have to plan the pregnancy to be within the next 9-18 months.
  2. That time frame coincides nicely with when I would start residency.
  3. If I have the baby before residency, I would have a 2-3 month window between writing my board exams and starting residency. I wouldn’t take a break other than that. If I have the baby during residency, I would qualify for mat leave – so I could take as much time as I want off… with pay.
  4. KM has mentioned to me, on multiple occasions, that she doesn’t think it is a good decision for residents to have babies in the first 2 years of their program because that is when they are really developing their skill set (how much do I value her opinion?)
  5. Do I even want a third baby? I am so busy right now, and I have so much mommy guilt as it is, would 3 only make it worse? I know if I wasn’t planning on such a busy career and if residency wasn’t starking down at me, I would say yes… yes I do what baby #3… but that isn’t the reality of my life.

Decisions, decisions, decisions. If they were meant to be easy, they wouldn’t qualify as decisions, right? Well, considering I have enough trouble choosing a meal from a menu at a restaurant, these decisions will make 2013 a touch and complicated year.

Here’s to 2013!

15 thoughts on “A Year of New Beginnings and Big Decisions

    1. I’m excited to know that you are so excited for me! It’s always amazing how fast things happen and change (like DH dropping the baby #3 bomb).

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    1. Thanks! I really hope so too! I think making huge, life altering decisions like these is one of the most difficult parts of life…

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  1. Wow! Good luck with everything! Personally, I can’t imagine even having one child in residency, let alone three! Though it sounds like you fared well through the rest of medical school with children, so I bet you’re a pro by now. 🙂

    And, out of curiosity, why do you want your children to be within 3 years of one another?

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    1. Hahaha! I don’t know if I’d call myself a pro, but I haver certainly survived!

      I think the kids close together this is just a personal preference. I was 4 years away from my sister and DH was 3 from his brother and we both felt that we didn’t have very close relationships growing up. Also, A and E are less than 2 years apart and I think it would be hard for a third to be so much younger than them; we fear they might be left out.

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      1. You give me hope about having a family *and* being a doctor, and I see your point about the age gap thing. I am 4 and 5 years older than my younger siblings, and they are much closer to one another than I am to either of them. If you have a big enough gap, though, the baby will have the cool older sibling(s) who will stick up for him/her, though. 🙂

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        1. That is a good point… However, from my point of view, once a certain amount of time passes, I don’t think I will want to go back to sleepless nights and poopy diapers…

          As for being a doctor and having a family, it is very doable and you should never sacrifice your career for your family or your family for your career. Both of these things are important in your life and you need ot give them the respect they deserve. Your family should always come first, but you will be a better wife and a better mother if you love what you do in your work life.

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  2. Decisions, decisions, indeed! Holy smokes! Best of luck to you with everything this year (don’t worry about how often you post). I’m excited for you to start your clinical experience.

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    1. Thanks! I’m super excited as well! Although, this week is all orientation, so technically I don’t start until next week. But, at least it’s not more classroom!

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  3. Wow! Quite a lot of decisions you have there. And please tell me how you accomplished your DH’s change of heart. Been prodding and nudging here on my end with no luck.

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    1. Oh dear! I have no idea… He was ready to have the snip-snip the same day E. was born. He made me promise I would never ask for a third baby if he got me pregnant with baby #2. I never brought it up. That’s why I called it “dropping the bomb.”

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