Halfway through my second year of medical school, my husband and I moved from a small apartment to a house. Moving from one bedroom to a two story house in the same town seemed not too daunting a task, so we engaged our extended families and moved furniture and boxes, and more books than either of us had time to read. When we looked at our apartment’s worth of furniture in our new big space, we realized what a huge undertaking this was and how much more work was facing us. We took two days to move everything in and start setting things up. At the end of the move, we realized we hadn’t unpacked forks and pots, so we ordered New York-style pizza with extra mushrooms. I was never much of a pizza eater, maybe two slices.
That night I easily ate four slices of pizza, commenting, “This move must have had me working harder than I thought. I’m still famished!”
We looked at each other, and I went to the drugstore to buy a test. I knew from the pizza. I was pregnant. I still had seven months of my second year of medical school to go, which would end on June 30th. According to my calculations, my due date was August first. The planning was perfect. When I went to medical school, the first two years were classroom work, and the second two were clinical rotations. I would finish my second year of medical school while pregnant, deliver a few weeks later, and then stay home, on a leave of absence until I had the baby. I would then take six months off and start my third year clinical rotations in January. Then I could go back and do my last two years of medical school, which consisted of hospital clinical rotations, and not be too far behind. (6 months)
I thought “Who gets to stay home for six months with a baby?”
I felt lucky. Looking back, I cannot believe I was making major life choices and thinking I had some control over the timing of things. I had been raised to believe that if I could just control things, they would not scare me so much. Things are often not in my control, and sometimes all the planning in the world cannot change that. At the time, planning was the only thing I knew, my modus operandi.
My husband and I slowly got used to the idea that we would soon be parents. I was worried we might not have the same ideas when it came to parenting. I…