Nightmare Fuel, the What If Scenario of Family Building in Medicine.
One of my friends from before medical school texted me early in the morning with this revelation. I suppose I should be comforted by her concern but at the same time I am worried about the content of her dreams.
Take a deep breath. My partner and I have a plan, and babies are not coming for a while.
All of that aside, family building is definitely a very relevant topic within medical school, especially among the ladies in our class. When should marriage happen? When should we all begin raising a family? For the men of class, this is a subject that can be taken slowly; for the ladies, biology is not as kind to them and our obstetrician lecturers took every opportunity to drive that point home:
“Advanced maternal age starts at 35, increasing the risk of Down syndrome. The choice is clear for all you young ladies: get started now! Because medical school takes forever and you do not want to miss the deadline!”
Those be fear-mongering words.
Of course, things are never that simple. Following rearing, there is that critical period of nursing, transitioning soon after to raising the child. The dilemma that many of my female colleagues face is the fear of taking maternity leave and losing their edge and falling behind or falling out altogether; on the other hand, nobody wants to wait too long to begin the family process. Thus, should the solution be to pursue a shorter residency, even if it meant not doing what they wanted to? Is the answer to start now? Later?
There is no right or wrong answer for many of the young ladies in class and it is something of a struggle for themselves and their partners.
Planning far into the future is always at the mercy of change; for me and my partner though, this particular plan is one we intend to stay the course.