medical student family


As 2014 draws to a close I can't help but think about all of the changes and challenges that our family has experienced this year and the past 4 years. I used to be hesitant in sharing that my husband was a medical student because of some of the assumptions that are carried with it. But after the birth our second son I have realized that not only is he the student but we are going through medical school as a family. When my husband began medical school I was living in Minneapolis, Minnesota and completing my dual degree graduate program in Public Policy and Law. We were a newly married couple and at the time we thought it was a great idea to both pursue our dreams in separate cities. We were both late bloomers in finding out what made our passions tick and had experienced a lot of life before we met each other. But once we met each other we were both well on our way to pursuing our goals. Naturally we didn't want to interefere with eachother's dreams but we also knew we wanted to journey this life together. And that's when the idea of still getting married but independently pursuing our programs in different cities took hold. 

After months of traveling back and forth via Mega Bus (fun times!) and weeks on end of only Skype and phone sessions we realized that not only was this a huge challenge but we didn't want to go on apart from each other. My husband was in the thick of his first and most challenging year of school and my heart sunk every time I would hear him say, "there's no way he could get through another day of this." It hurt. At that point, I did not hesitate and knew what I had to do. I knew that I would have to postpone the pursuit of my profession to be at my husband's side. I sacrificed something that I had worked very hard towards. However, being with my husband and starting a family was more important to me than completing that program. It was more important to us. I withdrew from my program and moved to Milwaukee. 

After a year of working in Pediatric Genetics we had our little Gabriel and believe it or not that's when the most challenging part began. My husband was finishing his second year and beginning his third year which is easily the busiest of all of medical school. After the first and second year (that's made up of 9 hours of daily lectures and endless studying) third year rotations began. What's unique about medical school is that there are no summer breaks and after the first two years lectures are replaced by clinical experience. I remember holding newborn Gabriel and my husband coming home after a 24 hour OB shift absolutely exhausted. I would sneak out of our room with Gabriel so that he could sleep and have at least 5 hours of uninterrupted rest. I had no idea what I was doing and in those first several months my husband missed so much of Gabriel's life. However, we were in this journey together and I was at peace knowing that I was there, present and that we would get through this as a family.

There were moments where I thought that having our babies during medical school would somehow hinder my husbands ability to suceed. But there was no doubt in our minds as we quickly approached our thirties that we had to carpe diem and start our family. For us there would never be a "perfect time" and what was once the last priority in our lives became our most wanted desire. When I had those break down moments where exhaustion took hold my husband never failed to remind me that it was because of my support as his wife and the unconditional love from our boys that he had made it this far. We have had moments full of laughter, tears and long periods of silence. Moments where we have had to cling to each other's love and trust not only each other but in the unexplainable grace of a love bigger than us.

I have never regretted leaving Minneapolis and in becoming a mother I've found a new passion that is slowly beginning to unfold new goals. Now that 2015 is just a couple of days away I am so excited for what's next for our little growing family. We have plenty of milestones to look forward to, match day, moving, and graduation. And as we look forward to all of that we will also begin a new chapter of residency that I'm sure will bring a new set of challenges but also triumphs. I will not lie and say that these have been an easy close to four years because they have not been. However, we have seen so many more triumphs and moments of pure joy like the birth our sweet boys, finding my love for all things creative, my husband excelling in his studies, clinical experience and then being inducted into the AOA Honor Society. 

I embrace this new season of our lives because it is a part of our journey. A journey that we have chosen to live together and experience as a couple. On our wedding day a good friend of ours gifted us a book and she placed a bookmark on the following quote:

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.”  'On Marriage' by Kahlil Gibran 

I'm reminded of this as we ring in the new year because I find solice in these words. I whole-heartedly support my husband as he finishes his four years of medical school and I am so incredibly proud. His triumph is my triumph but at the same time it does not define neither of us. We stand together as pillars in order to hold our family together. That is our greatest success. 

I hope this new year brings much joy and success to your life but that you may always remember the definition of true success. 

Abrazos, Keila


  1. what a wonderful and genuine post... thank you for sharing.
    I'm sure all of the struggles will be worth it ;)

  2. i truly believe that everything happens for a reason. sounds like things are working out and it's great that your family is all together! but ya i feel your pain with the medical world -- it's pretty crazy especially when your spouse is in med school or residency (ppl just dont understand the crazy amount of work it takes!) but it'll all be worth it in the end! xo jillian - cornflake dreams