Pregnancy and residency

The infamous July 1st.
When the hospital goes through a major change. The nurses feel it. The staff knows it.

It's the first day of residency for first year medical residents aka interns. Our Peds program start their Peds interns a week early. So the July 1st change was felt June 24th. And i totally experienced the the crazy first week of transition.

I was a wee intern myself 5 years ago. I knew I wanted to have children during residency. But never fully grasped that in 5 years ill have 3 pregnancies. {just the way God works in our lives when we let him lead!}

I tested the waters first during intern year before I felt that Derrick and I were ready for baby D1. 5 months into my intern year, we were blessed with a start of an easy pregnancy. I'm glad it was easy as I worked a lot that first year. How did I survive q4 {every 4th} night in hospital call, I won't completely fathom or understand.

First year done and one month into my second year, we welcomed Daniel {baby D1}.
Fast forward 18 months later, I'm 5 months into my first year of neurology we were ready for Baby D2. Isabel was born my first month of second year Neuro. By this time I'm on my track here. I wasn't following the July to June schedule of residency calendar year. I 'paid back' Peds for a few months because of maternity leave. Same thing for my second maternity leave which even pushed back my last month of residency to Nov.

And during my last year of residency we are expecting baby D3. I am due in 3 months. I will be gone for maternity leave for the third time.

So in my 5 years of training:
3 pregnancies
3 maternity leaves
3x the extension

Here are a few things I learned throughout these years:

-- there's no good time to have a baby during residency. Just do it. I waited till I sorta figured out intern year. But I have co-residents who had babies during intern year -- and they still made it through.

-- Taking leave is worth it. I had to pay back my time off. But it kept me sane. I'm off track and not on a July 1st to June 30th schedule and that's ok. I took 14 weeks off with Daniel and 10 weeks off with Isabel. I'm thinking 8-9 weeks off with baby D3 assuming all is well with me postpartum and all is well with the baby.

-- Speak up about call. I was on call for my first day back from maternity leave with babyD1 and that was a baaaaaddd idea. I was a total mess. 30 hours apart from my baby for the first time was hard no matter what. But for my first day back??? It was the worst! I learned my lesson the second time around. I asked not to be on call my first week back from maternity leave #2.

-- crackers and oj. When I was pregnant or breastfeeding, I was hungry all the time. I kept crackers in my coat pockets. I also had to have OJ once (kinda emergently) while rounding. I had a bout of low blood sugar.

-- stay hydrated. To prevent braxton-hick contractions or just ligamentous pain in general, I always bring a water bottle with me. A must as well during postpartum and nursing.

-- Take advantage of stairs. Since hours spent at the hospital pretty much take the most/rest of your waking time, might as well add your cardio while in the hospital. I took the stairs during pregnancy. One flight of stairs is better than nothing. But I'm no superwoman. I give in a lot of times and take the lift.

-- I survived calls postpartum all because of my husband. He brought me non-hospital food and the baby so I could nurse.

-- pumping as a resident can be done. It's all about dedication and motivation. This is another post of its own. I pumped at least 3x during a full day apart from my baby. And about 8x during a 28-30hour call. After pumping 8x you'd think I'd be growing breastshields. I was totally over pumping after a hospital call. And I enjoyed seeing my baby and nursing instead.

thanks to my sweet husband who made it possible for me to survive residency while carrying a human, breastfeeding a human and helping me be a momma to my little humans.

Linking up: medical Mondays.


  1. Wow! You have been one busy lady! Congrats and best wishes for the future.

  2. Hi there! I found you through the Medical Mondays blog-hop.

    I think you may be Wonder Woman in the flesh! LOL. Really, congratulations on all of your accomplishments and everything you are doing. I am most definitely in awe. :-)

  3. Visiting from MM! I'm so impressed that you managed three pregnancies during residency. As a young female in medicine myself, I've often wondered how I'd manage to juggle my career with eventually having a family... so your advice is MUCH appreciated!!

  4. Oh my goodness! Girl. You are amazing! I struggle with pregnancy and I'm not working outside the home. I cannot even imagine how hard that would be! You've got some serious determination and commitment and you must have a super husband too!

  5. Wow!!! I feel like such a slacker! LOL!!! I have to agree with you... there never is a good time to have a baby!

    Wishing you all the best with this next delivery! :)

    Thanks for linking up for MM!!!

  6. I'm not planning on having kids until residency and this post just makes me hopeful that us ladies can do it!

    Thank you for sharing!


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