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Pregnant during my final year? Is this silly?

Discussion in 'Parents at Medical School' started by Cally, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. katieks

    katieks New Member

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    Hi there, I just read my posts back and they are still 100% how I feel. The only thing I feel differently about now is having missed out on 2 lots of maternity pay - I didn't qualify for any with either baby no.1 or 2. However, I am currently on maternity leave with baby no. 3 who is 9 weeks old and this time I am getting maternity pay :) This is something to consider if you have financial responsibilities but my husband's salary was enough that it wasn't a problem, it was just an annoyance. The NHS mat pay is good compared to standard mat pay but it's not amazing.

    I'm currently ST3 in GP and would have qualified in August had I not had another baby. Another thing I have noticed, I suppose by socialising with other mothers more, is that older mothers, or at least the ones I've talked to, did not have easy straightforward pregnancies which meant they took more time out because they went on mat leave early or needed sick leave during their pregnancies.

    As for F1/F2 transition - I timed my mat leave with second child so that I finished F1 in August ready to start F2. This meant it was shorter than I might have liked (just over 5 months) but seeing I wasn't getting any mat pay and had good childcare, it was fine.

    What I will say is that once you're in the throes of your rotations that are heavy on out of hours work eg. A&E, you need either a partner who can pick up the slack or a nanny. Because my husband is away alot, often at short notice, we ended up getting a nanny for most of their younger years and then changed to au pairs once they were 3-4 years old. Even when I was on call from home, I had to have someone there in case I got called in and this was the only way. That said, I pretty much handed over my salary to the nanny every month so factor that in, as well as losing a bedroom (which is a pain). Au pairs are much cheaper but much more limited in hours and kids ages - I sent them to nursery in the mornings when we had au pairs so that they didn't exceed their hours.

    My final 'advice' would be to consider having them close together - my first two are 13 months apart and it meant that they used the same nanny (rather than paying for a nanny when one of them is at school), enjoyed the same things eg. TV stories or soft play/play park and now it means they play together 99% of the time. Which is great because I'm looking after a little baby and can give him my attention whilst they pretty much entertain themselves. I'd like one more and this time we're aiming for 11 month gap so yes, we're trying again. My husband was a bit like 'WHAT?!' but I explained my logic. The 11 months thing is because of mat pay calculations so that I at least get a little bit for child no. 4.

    I hope this helps. As for forgetting stuff - you'll be fine, I promise you, 100%. Most of the theory you learn at med school gets stored somewhere and it's the day to day stuff on the wards that you need to know and that you can only learn by working on the wards. Even the practical stuff you'll initially be scared but then you'll get back into it. Before starting F1 I did a week on the wards to get back into cannulating and taking blood. This was helpful in boosting my confidence but it wasn't essential as I was still rubbish when I started and it was only as I did a million cannula's that I got better.

    And it's true that things don't work out - I planned a baby, fell pregnant, then had a miscarriage whilst working on a Paediatrics rotation. It was a pretty difficult time and is partly why there's such a huge (almost 5 year gap) between my middle and youngest. The other reasons is mat pay considerations - I wanted to make sure I got mat pay with the third.

    Good luck with whatever you do, but I'd get a move on, if you were hoping for straightforward conceiving and pregnancies. You might be fine but as a GP trainee, I'm seeing lots of older mums having problems conceiving and then it becomes a huge issue which impacts on their lives and relationships.
     
    #21 katieks, Jul 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
  2. katieks

    katieks New Member

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    As for delaying starting F1, I *think* that if you get allocated a job and have to delay starting for maternity reasons, that they have to keep it for you as long as you still finish medical school/graduate at the 'standard' time i.e.when everyone else is in the summer. If it's going to be with the following year, then apply in the next application round. If you don't graduate at a 'standard' time i.e.if you have to delay graduation by a few months, then you don't fulfil the 'criteria' for their offer of a job and therefore they can offer it to someone else. This is what I recall being the case back in 2010/2011.

    I have no idea what the situation is for applying for specialty applications but I would try to stick to the August changeover for simplicity's sake as they do interviews etc. for speciality and these will only run on certain times of the year for set intakes.

    Also, someone asked but if you take time out between med school and F1 you won't get any mat pay unless you're working and earning enough to qualify for it whilst still in med school (which is unlikely unless you're working part time as eg. a pharmacist or lawyer - some graduate entry medics do this).
     
    #22 katieks, Jul 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
  3. katieks

    katieks New Member

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    Oh yeah, one more thing: when I applied for F1 rotations initially, I was only pregnant therefore no special circumstance. Then I went on mat leave and because we moved in the meantime, I had to move Foundation Schools. So I reapplied for F1 jobs (in order to complete my F1 year) and this time because I had a baby I could get the special circumstances thing, but even then, it's limited help because I think if I remember correctly, you can't specify which post/hospital, you can just choose a Foundation School and they can be huge geographically which is an issue when you're working late (you will be, most of the time) and trying to leave to pick up the children on time! It worked out fine for me both times because I got my third and then first choice jobs, but you will be relying on your application for this!
     
    #23 katieks, Jul 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
  4. katieks

    katieks New Member

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    I wrote the posts above in response to a message from a poster that showed up on my phone today. I logged in and it turns out I had loads of private messages from years ago that I didn't know about so apologies if I didn't reply to you!!

    Someone asked about who did I speak to at med school, when did I tell them, etc. Fortunately the person (I think she was a 'Clinical Dean', if there is such a position?) who I was 'checking' with whether pregnancy would be ok and how I'd fit in the whole course, etc. was a) female (a big help, I found as males tended to be unsympathetic to broodiness) and b) the very GP who I ended up being allocated to for my GP rotation so she was very understanding and supportive (although I have to say she didn't approve of my plans initially). I didn't get any special treatment in terms of Uni hospital rotation allocations except for swapping round my elective time as I've already stated above (I did it in holiday time instead when I was less pregnant). The Uni therefore found out pretty early on because I had morning sickness when I was on GP placement, but it wasn't an official 'notification', I didn't submit anything official like you have to when you're employed.
     
    Martigan likes this.
  5. katieks

    katieks New Member

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    one last thing (because people have asked in their messages) - I studied at Nottingham and started F1 part time in Severn Deanery then continued F1, did F2, ST1 and ST2, all full time, in West Midlands Deanery , then returned to Severn to do ST3, initially full time, but I will be going back part time after this bout of mat leave to finish my GP training.
     

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