To say that this blog has been a bit stagnant lately is an understatement.
I know every med student blogger goes through this phase of long stretches without posting, but that doesn’t mean that I have to like it. What have I been doing since the new year? Mostly, focusing on family and doing well in classes while gearing up for Step 1 prep. But there’s plenty of other stuff too.
One of the reasons that there hasn’t been much posted here is because of how I’ve been writing for other sources. I agreed to be one of the Class of 2017 bloggers for the new ULSOM blog that I shared earlier on this post, but I also have been working on a piece of writing that was very personal. My editors at in-Training have liked my work so much that they asked me to write a column. I mulled it over for awhile and agreed. They’ve been waiting on my first post for the column since around Thanksgiving. I don’t like that I took so much time to write the first piece, but I wanted to make sure I got it absolutely perfect.
The first piece is about my experience of being pregnant while in medical school. In all of the blogs that I have followed over the years, I’ve stumbled upon some really good ones of both moms and dads in med school, but they already had kids before starting. I hadn’t found ANY that actually talked about being pregnant while being in school–so last year, I really did feel like I was isolated. So when the editors approached me about a column and I pitched my ideas to them, I was ecstatic that they thought these experiences would be valuable to others.
And so, I wrote. And wrote and wrote and wrote. Then deleted. And deleted some more. Then took a break from it all.
Pregnancy was much harder on me than I had imagined it would be. I did have a few hormonal breakdowns, usually on mornings where I was running behind to get to school on time, my clothes didn’t fit, I couldn’t even bend over to tie my shoes, I was always sick, but yet the only thing I wanted to do was study. I didn’t really feel like there was anyone I could talk to about it, either. None of my close friends understood what it was like to be pregnant and be a medical student. David tried his best to be a great husband, but he still didn’t really understand. Not every day was that horrible; in fact, there was quite a lot of excitement and joy, but the feelings of inadequacy and doubting myself took a serious psychological toll on me after awhile, especially since there really wasn’t anyone to talk to about it.
When I reflected on my experience, I realized that I didn’t want anyone else to feel the way I did. So I wrote about the truth of my experience. And I wrote and wrote and wrote some more. And I hesitated on submitting the piece for a long time, because I wanted to make sure I got it just right. Because this is important. In this day and age where there is still a glass ceiling, and there are still some who would criticize a woman physician’s right to start a family when and how she chooses during her training. I wanted to make sure that I conveyed how difficult it was to try to pursue my dream of being a mom and my dream of being a doctor simultaneously, and yet also give hope that both can be done, and can be done well. It wasn’t easy for several reasons: for the undue stress I put on myself, for being much more sick than I had ever imagined, for finding mentors, for figuring out how to budget for a baby and figure out my school schedule and daycare… the list goes on. There were many things that I wish I had known before we made the decision to start a family, but as it turned out, first year wound up being a great time to welcome a baby into our family.
So early last week, I decided enough was enough, and I needed to pull the trigger and submit the darn thing. So when I did, I left a note for the editors explaining why it took me so long. Not long thereafter, I got a very nice email from my editor saying that it was a great piece and they can’t wait to publish it, which should be sometime this week. I am so excited that they liked it already, and I’ve got the “go-ahead” to write more pieces for the column (hopefully without taking so long this time).
That piece of writing took up a good deal of my time, and the blog was neglected. I also wrote a few pieces for journals, and of course the entry for the ULSOM blog. It didn’t feel right to C&P those into this blog, so it’s been sitting and pretty much off of my radar. For now, though, I hope I can get back into the habit of sharing what medical school is like from a second year’s perspective.