Friday, April 25, 2008

Being Pregnant in Grad School

Being pregnant in grad school wasn't really in my 5-yr plan, in that I figured by the time we actually got pregnant I would be so close to finishing it wouldn't really matter. Fate had other plans and here I am 7 months pregnant and not within 3 months of finishing. That said it is working out pretty well, all things considered. The male faculty in my department specifically have been really supportive and excited, my supervisor included (although I'm sure this is not an ideal situation for him either). For the most part it is the female faculty that I get the majority of the sideways glaces from and they generally don't acknowledge it at all. There are a few exceptions to this but overwhelmingly the case. Many of the women in my department are from the generation where in order to succeed as a woman in science you had to give up being a woman. My generation of women scientists insists on more than that and I really think I can have my family and my career. I'll let you know how it goes. For now I'm still a grad student. I plan on being in the lab through June when it becomes too uncomfortable to travel everyday and then I'll be here once a week when I come in for drs appointments. I'll be working from home until classes start again in September at which point I plan on being at school two days a week. And what will I do with the blueberry you ask? As of right now he will be watched by my upstairs neighbor. She offered a while ago and I haven't seen her since so I'm assuming the offer still stands. We bought our apartment from them and they moved upstairs to a three bedroom. She has four children total, but only the youngest three live with her full time, the oldest of which is a boy who I would guess to be about 12/13 maybe a little younger. Then she has two girls around 6 and 3 ish. She wanted to get a job outside the home but didn't really want to leave her youngest in day care, so she thought she might start babysitting! Works out great for me, plus shes bi-lingual and her kids are all bi-lingual (Spanish) so hopefully the nugget will pick that up.
I will still be funded by teaching although I may cut back and only teach half of what I'm doing now. I make it sound like this is my choice but its really the department telling me they can't fund my 6th year (not unusual for PhD programs).
I am hopeful that I'll be able to defend in January. What happens after that I don't really know yet. I'll be looking for a post-doc eventually but I don't think I'll be mounting a full on job search while prepping to defend so there will probably be a gap in my work schedule (which I am OH SO ready for).

I think I covered everything. Let me know if you have other questions.


Elaine said...

It is nice to know that someone so close to you will be able to watch your bundle of joy. It is nice to know as well that your work schedule is flexible in many ways. It is hard to believe how close it is, when I see that number on your site it floors me.

Erica said...

"Many of the women in my department are from the generation where in order to succeed as a woman in science you had to give up being a woman."
This is what really turned me off to the research route (working at a university), along with the male professors in my grad department, who were the opposite of how you describe yours. Women with children (not just babies, but kids in school, or families at all) were very unlikely to receive tenure in that department. My own advisor hated me because I was married. I can't believe I just posted that on the internet, but it is totally true. I am really glad you are having such a positive and supportive experience.

Sneks said...

I really am glad that everything seems to be going well for you and the baby and grad school! Ry & I often talk about kids, but I just couldn't fathom pregnancy now with the fieldwork I am required to do. Thought pregnancy with a postdoc doesn't seem a good idea either. Nor as a young professor. I am just happy that it is so smooth for you and Sean!