How can you afford a family and med school?

Hello. I’m new to this board (this is my first posting), but I’ve been looking around for a while, and thought this would be a good place to get some perspective and advice from others who may have been in the same situation as me not long ago.
I’m really considering changing careers and heading off to med school. From an academic perspective, I have every confidence that if I pursue this I will succeed. But I have a huge concern regarding the financial and familial aspects that this change will bring.
A little background: I’m 28, and worked in IT from the time I was 23 until last year, when I decided it would be a good move to go off to grad school and get a degree in computer science. In just four months I will finish that off and get my master’s—along with about 30 grand in debt (fortunately, I don’t have any debt from my undergrad years). After that, I will be getting married. In a few more years (3-5, probably), my fiancé and I hope to start a family.
I don’t have any of the pre-reqs for med school down, so if I started a post-bac after graduation, that would be another 1-2 years of school, and more debt. Then of course comes med school (lucky me, I live in PA, so there is no “cheap” state school that I could go to for that), and residency. So I’d probably be at least 35 before I start earning a wage again (a pauper’s wage, that is), and then something like 38 or 40 before I could earn any decent money.
To be clear: my interest in medicine has nothing to do with making money, and I am perfectly content to live in a modest home and drive a used Toyota the rest of my life. But I am really concerned that if I go this route, it will negatively impact our ability to have kids (my fiancé doesn’t earn a lot of money, and even if she did, we both really want her to be able to take some time off when our kids are young), and that I’ll be too wrapped up in med school and residency to be a good father or husband.
I feel like in the long run, assuming nothing disastrous, the money I earn as a physician will enable me to pay back the loans incurred, but I’m not sure if I can survive the ten years it will take me to get to that point.
Has anybody been through a similar situation, or know of people who have? Is there any way to get through this ordeal without going bankrupt? Does anybody have experience parenting young children while in med school or residency, especially if your spouse is not working?
Please let me know the good, the bad, and the ugly. Thanks.

Okay…I’ll give it a whirl… First I’m not a physician nor have I started my pre-reqs. I do have friends who are and one who is now in his last year of medical school. He will be 42 when he graduates and has 3 kids. 19 year old, 2 year old and a 1 year old…the two youngest were born while in medical school. His survival was because they had to find a way to make it work. Right now looking at everything it is a very daunting task with little hope in sight…
If medicine is what you want then go for it. Will life get “tight” while in school and residency? Yep. Will children add to the challenge? Yep. Will the cost of medical school stop your heart? Probably for a second…
The biggest adjustment is going from making money to not making money. If you’d like for your wife to stay home and raise the kids then just make it so. Uncomplicate your life as much as possible…meaning get rid of all the debt you possibly can. Look into programs to help pay for medical school (loans, federal payback ala NHSC, HPSP, USUHS…) There are ways to make it happen but you won’t be “living the life” while it’s happening. Count the cost and see for yourself. Make certain that your fiance KNOWS what this quest is going to mean to her. Make certain that she is the type to be able to handle not having two nickels to rub together because that is the most important. If she’s okay with being a paupers wife then things will work out.

BTW, I know of several physicians who drive beat up Toyotas…however their homes are enormous and their kids have college paid for. Only issue is their kids aren’t even in 6th grade. Financially they are more than okay and they are happy in their profession…well kinda…not to happy with malpractise nor the NIH infrastructure but what cha gonna do.

How about this for a challenge: When I go to med school in England, my financial aid (and tuition) is in dollars, but living there in on British pounds, which are worth TWICE as much as the dollar. Also, because my husband is not upper level management, or a working professional (he’s an admin asst at a CC and finishing up his BA)he won’t be able to work AT ALL! We won’t have a vehicle either, due to our tiny budget. My husband says he’ll get to know lots of the folks in the large Pakistani community there (he is from the Indian subcontinent) so we’ll have LOTS of dinner invitations! I expect things will be VERY tight the first two years. Of course, when I do my clinicals back in the US, he’ll be able to get a job, thank goodness. My two kids going are 7 and almost 13 (21 year old is staying in the US) so they’ll eat, walk to school, and if anything is short, (1) the type of food we have, (2) my food.