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Dr. Mom & Dad

And baby makes four

Drs. Paul and Angela Sanchez
Sophie, born October 2000
Isabella, born August 2006

Paul Sanchez, DMS '03, and Angela Sanchez, DMS '04, met as undergraduates at the University of New Mexico, were married, and moved to the Upper Valley when Paul was accepted to Dartmouth Medical School. Angela entered DMS the following year. Their older daughter, Sophie, was born when Angela was a secondyear student. At the time the interview below was conducted, they were expecting their second child, and Isabella was born in early August. Paul is now a fourth-year resident in ophthalmology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, while Angela is in her third year in Baylor's Family Medicine Residency in Garland, Tex.—and is serving as the program's chief resident this year. They plan to head home to New Mexico when they are finished with their training.

Why did you choose to have children while you were still in medical school?
Paul: We always wanted to have kids and were excited about being parents.
Angela: Sophie was not planned but not prevented either. We came to the realization that there is never a right time to have kids. We figured we would just see what happened.

How did you manage a new baby while you were both students?
Angela: It definitely was hard. We had no help. No family. No money. It was just Paul and Sophie and me. Day care in the Upper Valley was particularly difficult. From the beginning, it was all about balance.
Paul: It also was tough because with Sophie we were doing it for the first time. And while Angie was pregnant she was taking embryology, so it was very scary learning about all the things that can go wrong with a baby. The little that we did know was enough to make us very scared. Also, we just didn't have any backup. For family to come here, it was a major expense and a full day of traveling. It was those types of burdens—feeling

"People always talk about balance, but it's also a series of sacrifices. Sometimes Sophie is the one who sacrifices. Sometimes it's the house that suffers. Sometimes it's work."

like, "Game on, it's just you and me"— that were the hardest. Other medical students who had kids had had them for several years, and their kids were older. We didn't have anyone to relate to at that point. Even the twodoctor families we had as attendings hadn't had their kids while they were still in medical school.

So what were some of your Upper Valley day-care misadventures?
Angela: Students didn't have access to the Dartmouth or DHMC employee day-care centers. So we found a babysitter who went to our church. She was a young mother who was starting a new day-care business in her home. She was very organized and had spreadsheets about what time she would feed and change the kids. We felt very comfortable with her. But then one afternoon I went to pick up Sophie, and another baby Sophie's age was in a stroller sitting in front of the house, which was on a busy street in Lebanon. I said, "What is going on?!" And she said, "Well, she fell asleep and I didn't want to wake her up." I said, "We're withdrawing today. We'll just see you in church." We finally found good day care when Sophie was six or eight months old.

And you're pregnant again—how is it different being pregnant as a resident compared to as a medical student?
Angela: As a resident, people totally rely on me. I just got appointed to a chief resident position, with more duties on top of what I already have. And it's sick people relying on you, so you have to sacrifice yourself.

Looking back on your experiences so far, what has been the most significant or surprising thing about parenthood?
Angela: People always talk about balance, but it's more than that. It's also a series of sacrifices. Sometimes Sophie is the one who sacrifices. Sometimes it's her time with one parent or another. Sometimes it's the house that suffers. Sometimes it's personal time. Sometimes it's work. It's very, very difficult to do all those things well, so you figure out what you have to sacrifice that day.

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