Am I crazy?


I started O chem and physics yesterday at my local university, and I am so excited and nervous (and lots of other emotions!) So far I like my prefessors and I have hit the textbooks, like it’s nobody’s business!

My question is, would I be crazy to try to get pregnant within the next few months? In addition to the classes this fall and spring (phys/o-chem both w/ labs), I plan on starting an MCAT prep course this fall with the hopes of taking MCAT in spring.

My husband and I are really eager to start a family, but now, I’m starting to wonder if doing it all is possible??!!! I know “anything is possible”, but i don’t want to ruin my chance by adding too much onto my plate, and at the same time, I don’t want to delay starting a family for too long. I’ll be 30 next year, so I know I’m not “old” yet in fertility years, but time is not exactly on my side.

If anyone has any personal experience or knows of anyone who experienced a situation similar to mine, I would love to hear your experiences.



I have not been in your shoes, but I have had three children and worked as a lawyer through two pregnancies (with a lot of travel). I am not concerned about your ability to maintain your workload during pregnancy, barring any unforeseen circumstances such as hyperemesis or pre-eclampsia/preterm labor/some other situation requiring bedrest. But if something like that happens, it is going to affect your life significantly no matter what you are doing (and actually, I have two friends who manage to work full-time jobs and manage small kids at home with severe hyperemesis requiring meds and IV hydration through home healthcare, so even that CAN be done…something requiring bedrest, however, would take you out). Don’t go into it counting on one of these things happening – assume you will have a normal, healthy pregnancy as most women do. Those are the odds (unless there is something about your medical history you haven’t shared). Are you also working outside the home? Or just attending school? If you’re just a student (not “just” a student, but you know what I mean), I totally think it can be done.

I would try to time it so that you would have the baby soon after you take the MCAT (allowing for the possibility of an early arrival, which is not common in first-timers but certainly possible!). This will make your baby at least a year old when you matriculate.

Good luck with your classes! I am as crazy as you are…starting prereqs at 33 with three small children and a husband who works a ton. :wink:


It is up to you and what you think you will want. Being a first time mom is different than having a few “under your belt.” I have 3 step-children that kept me very busy during my residency. I had always wanted a child or 2 of my own, but wasn’t sure for me when it would be a good time. I looked at my schedule for my 3 years and talked to others that had gone through it and made the decesion to wait until 3rd year (at 37 years young). The first 2 years were tiring and I spent a lot of time away from home (about 80 hours per week). My 3rd year was a lot more calm, most months were less than 60 hours/week. The plan was to not deliver before my residency ended (so I wouldn’t have to come back and complete it). It worked out perfectly and my water broke on my last day of residency. The reason for my choice was selfish, I wanted to have as much time as I could with my baby during those first few months. It is a huge change from your normal life. If you have a family member that is going to help you, so you can concentrate on your studies, that would be wonderful. I only had to study for my written board certification (5 months after delivery)but I never had the motivation to study; I wanted to spend all my time with my baby. I had it all planned out after the baby was born, how hard could it be, they ate, slept, and pooped I was going to organize all the closets, read Rosen’s (bible of Emergency medicine - 3 texts) cover to cover at least once,…I had almost 4 months off before starting my part time job as an Emergency physician. None of that happened…I ended up looking at a small Q&A book (Peer VII) the weekend before the test. I did fine, but I was a little nervous.

We had 4 students in med school that became pregnant, they all chose to do it in 5 years instead of 4 due to family issues. Medical school is pretty intense, but with a helpful supportive family you can do it. It’s all want you want to do and how much time you are willing to spend with and without your new little love of your life.

Just my $.02

Rachel Yealy

Emergency Medcine

Thank you Heart of Texas, in aswer to your questions, I am a “boringly” healthy 29 year old, so I agree with your comment about assuming it will be a normal, healthy pregnancy. I do plan on working a bit (I’m a women’s health NP), but that can be scaled back. Right now I’m going to work 1-2 days per week, but I would be able to eliminate that if need be. I have a pregnancy wheel at home, so I’m looking at optimal times, as you suggested. Obviously life doesn’t always work out the way you intend it to, but it can’t hurt to try! Thanks again for your respose!

Wow, talk about perfect timing (water breaking on last day of residency!!!). Thanks for your words of advice. We do have my sister-in-law local,and she has agreed to help out and of course my husband is very supportive, however, he works a ton! So, life is going to get interesting if this all works out! I’ll keep you all posted as my journey progresses!

One very minor thing which somebody once mentioned to me and my neurotic jewish mind latched on to: do you really want to be around a bunch of solvents and such in Organic Lab while pregnant? Probably not an issue with the safety and microscale techniques used today


That actually crossed my mind as well, but then I thought to myself “I can’t be the only woman who would have ever taken o-chem while pregnant”. While I’m sure there is not an overwhelming number of women who take this course while pregnant, I can’t imagine I’d be the first. Anyhow, the fact of the matter is, this is all speculation since I am not pregnant yet. I would imagine I could wear a mask so that I would not inhale any chemicals that could potentially be harmful. I have my first lab tomorrow, so maybe I’ll ask the TA in private what her thoughts are and if there are any measures in place for these situations. Thanks for bringing that point up, I had downplayed it in my head, but it is a valid concern.


I think I might not be the most qualified person to answer your question b/c I don’t have children yet… and it doesn’t look like any time soon is going to be the right time ;).

I’ve just started my second year of medical school and I’m going to be 30 next year. I’d love to have kids… rather sooner than later, but I started realized that it will probably turn out to be rather later.

3rd year is not the right time to have a baby… unless I don’t want to spend time with him/her at all. 4th year seems to be doable (at least from what people say)… but what if I won’t be able to time it right and end up having a baby right at the beginning of my intern year?! Probably even worse idea than the 3rd year.

I could keep going through all the ‘what ifs’ much longer, but my point is that… having known what I know now, I’d have decided to have a baby before embarking on this journey… so by the time the intense clinical years of my training arrive, my kid would be older and I wouldn’t miss all these precious moments during his/ her first months.

And don’t worry about organic chemistry lab. I’m sure that if you need to, you’ll be able to negotiate some kind of special arrangements.

Good luck with whatever you decide!