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PhD & Pregnant - been there done that/doing that?

(98 Posts)

15 months to go (but reliably informed funding extended for 2 more years)
Data collection started this August through to May
Baby due mid June (unlikely to be early)
Already have 1 DC
Bat shit crazy?

Plan is to inform the (all male) supervisory team after 20wk scan so Feb time I think, to work v hard until end of May, then to take 7 months off with some mat pay, then return with 6 months of funding but switch to PT spread over a year to write up. Doable?

wilderumpus Wed 14-Nov-12 11:38:54

quod I feel your pain and am glad I have someone to share it with!! Mine was meant to be in for last tues and won't be in until weds. I am really enjoying it though, it feels very satisfying to me getting it all squeaky clean. I really hope I don't have much re-writing to do either, it will be a shock if I do... Will you have some time off between sending it off (I have to print mine and post it!) and getting it back? I cannot WAIT to have a few days of nothing to do!

oh and I am going to go to my mc appt tomorrow; DH has the morning off and i haven't cancelled it and it is pretty important. Realised phD is taking over my brain too much and other aspects of life do count too! confused

megandraper Wed 14-Nov-12 11:50:34

I have had 3 babies since beginning my PhD. Have 2 more years (part-time) to go... Whenever I see my (male) supervisors, I think their eyes go worriedly to my waistline (tbh I look pregnant regardless now...)

I'm going baggy clothes hunting on Saturday morning, I'm hoping as its winter then I can hide until 16 weeks (after Christmas break) but might ask the RC funding coordinator for advice before then on when I have to let the funding body know. I don't work with chemicals or in a lab so I'm hoping to work until 38 weeks.

beady hope you get some answers and all is well

Quodlibet Wed 14-Nov-12 23:49:35

I HAVE EMAILED IT! (OK, without a conclusion as yet but figure I'll be better placed to write that after my supervisor feedback).

Right, tomorrow I am just being a lazy pregnant lady who is enjoying herself and nothing else. Sharing the news with the folks tomorrow too.

wilderumpus Thu 15-Nov-12 10:25:49

quod congrats! I am nearly, nearly there, will be done by tues at the latest, I am SO envious of how relaxed you must feel smile

Interesting that you have left the concl until after feedback... maybe I'll do that too <remembers time I handed in a whole chapter to be told that actually, I didn't need it at all>

quod well done - swooning in envy wink

how are we all this beautiful Monday morning?

Its a five day FT week for me this week having secured extra childcare. I am shattered and queasy but a Twix has at least fixed the nausea

Literature Review, and first chapter needs completing by end of term along with a new evaluation technique for my data - possible? Maybe. Christmas is at the back of my mind though and I'm almost 11 weeks - its flying by.

dontcarehow Wed 21-Nov-12 20:16:32

just thinking, does anyone know if we get any kind of maternity allowance if we've been on a phd stipend for the last 3 years? i'm guessin i dont since i've not been paying national insurance, well at least not consistently.

redwellybluewelly Thu 22-Nov-12 14:13:18

depends if you are research council funded or not I think

redwellybluewelly Sat 15-Dec-12 23:15:52

Bump

How is everyone? winding down for end of term?

ruthietoothie Sun 16-Dec-12 12:21:43

Hi everyone, what a great thread! Fab to know there's so many of us out there trying to combine the old phd with pg / motherhood.

I'll throw my hat in the ring too. I've already had one baby during phd and now in early stages of second pregnancy (got equivalent of about 15 months ft remaining). I'm worried that it's particularly bad timing as I'll probably go off on mat leave just as I'm about to start the main writing up (hope it doesn't loom over me too much while I'm off)

Also nervous about telling sups though expect they'll be ok about it. Last time told them one said 'there goes my completion rate', which was obviously the last thing I wanted to hear.

In some ways I do think phd and motherhood combines quite well, especially as can be flexible with when and how you work. Think hardest thing is trying to write when had hardly any sleep and I did find it hard to get back into 'academic ways' after being off.

On mat allowance query, if you've been doing some teaching and been paid you might well be entitled to mat allowance, though possibly not on basis of phd stipend on its own (depends on whether it's treated as income for tax purposes)

Anyway good luck to everyone with their pregnancies and their PhDs!!

dontcarehow Sun 16-Dec-12 19:17:52

thanks guys, and hello ruthie. my funding already ran out but i did do some teaching in the first/ second year and have done odd bits of research. think i need to speak to someone, no idea who though...! i can imagine how long and complicated the conversation will be, and being passed from person to person while they work out what happens for phd students! i'll let you all know how it goes when i've spoken to them in case anyone else is in the same position

SantasWildeRumpus Mon 17-Dec-12 15:03:00

Yay the thread is back smile

I am not sure about maternity allowance if you have finished the funding time dont... you must be entitled to something from someone tho?! <helpful>

I handed in my first complete draft a couple of weeks ago and have nearly finished editing and changing it (15 pages to go!) I cannot believe it is written and edited! woot! then am doing prelims, sorting out the bibliography... final read through after xmas... then submission on the 31st smile

how you doing quod?

another how long have you got? is your lit review part of the first chapter (intro)? Am sure you'll be fine brew

am 19 weeks tomorrow and for anyone in early pg ohhhhh it gets so much easier to work in the second tri! My brain has come back! and it is lovely working and being grumpy with little happy prods in your tum grin

good luck all!

Quodlibet Mon 17-Dec-12 21:55:46

Hello all!

Santas well done! I am jealous - I am reworking my complete draft, which has required going back over some quite complex reading to define a position on a couple of key things that I wasn't clear about in my first draft. I had hoped to be nearly done by now but no, have still got the entire re-edit to do sad. It is hard going as I have been hit with the pregnancy tiredness stick and am also slightly struggling to care! I have got to try to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.

I've got my 12 week scan next Monday so that is playing on my mind a bit too - plus haven't finished xmas shopping, agghrhgghgh.

redwellybluewelly Mon 17-Dec-12 22:07:05

I n'ced wink but I have 25weeks of pregnancy left and about three days until the end of term which is the lit review deadline

The lit review deadline will just have to sail by but the amount I have achieved in the past few weeks is nothing short of mind boggling,I have determined my data collection method, I have loads of people interested in taking part in the research and I have faint whisperings of a job at the end of the tunnel. One reason to have our second & last DC now was so that I can complete the research alongside job hunting in my sector.

Still haven;t told the supervisors though - bricking it.

Quod I hope the tiredness goes soon, are you eating enough? This pg is far far harder than my first one.

Santas Well done! I'm so envious! Both of the return of the brain function and the completed draft!

june2013 Tue 18-Dec-12 08:26:55

I love it each time this thread returns!! I am not as far into the phd as many of you (only started in sept). 14weeks today and telling my supervisor in supervision today. Fingers crossed! Ach well, at least she'll have the xmas holidays to get over it if she's not happy!!

SantasWildeRumpus Tue 18-Dec-12 10:36:25

quod re-editing is horrid isn't it. I have hated it but there is the motivating factor being nearly there! Don't you have a few months before submission?

red and quod am mostly out of tiredness but am suffering today. Brain is fine for working but everything else is suffering - no shopping in, forget everything etc.

good luck with the scan quod and telling uni june.

I told my sup (on email as we only meet a couple of times a year now) and he has completely ignored it!

Quodlibet Tue 18-Dec-12 14:57:02

I still have not told my supervisor. I need to have the thing out the way by the time the baby is here so not sure what difference it makes really! Yep, reediting is horrid - I find I can do the close attention, page-by-page changes stuff but the stuff that requires thinking and decision making takes me ages at the moment, mainly due to me getting distracted. Today though I have had a productive morning and pretty much sorted my entire bibliography, which is a weight off my mind.

Santas I have until September officially to submit, but my issue is that I am now out of funding, so sitting at home working on my PhD is essentially now costing me money - I had budgeted for being done by January. And of course earning money = less time for PhD so it all drags out longer.

june2013 Wed 19-Dec-12 10:26:11

Thanks Santas....- if only your wishes had brought me luck!

My supervisor was very surprised when I told her I was pregnant yesterday (in supervision), which is fine. She said she couldn't give me any answers (presumably to practical stuff) which is fine. I thought I'd tell her face to face in supervision to give her the time to think things over during the holiday. She asked about money pretty quickly and then said she didn't want to tell my funders (a private institution) because "they would say that you did it on purpose to get more money out of them".

WTF??

They would say this or YOU think this?? Which I didn't say of course. I apologised, of course. What an idiot (me). And then I came home and cried and my mum told me that taking 6 months off wld be considered a luxury in some countries and that she only took one month off. But - she said - I'm not judging, you it's GREAT that you CAN take 6 months. And then I cried some more.

I wrote an email to my supervisor last night setting out my plans - just in case I wasn't clear in supervision: I will be coming back, I'll be coming back full time, I'll be taking 6 months off, money is currently not my priority, etc etc. Now she wants to 'chat' at 5pm today. I hope she doesn't say something mean again or I will cry in front of her and I really don't want to do that. She has been so supportive in the past, I think I'm disappointed because I am in fact really surprised...

This sucks!!

SantasWildeRumpus Wed 19-Dec-12 10:46:59

quod I feel your pain. I have been at home with DS since my funding ran out, so technically a SAHM, tho he has been in childcare so I could work since he was 1 sad It has been a really contentious point in our house that I need to 'work' evenings and weekends too to make up hours but DH has seen it as a hobby since funding ran out. Gah. You are nearly there tho! Am so impressed that you will get it in early! smile

June WTF! As if the funders put their maternity leave guidelines in place begrudging you that pay or time. How can you manipulate something that is already in place. My sup (with DS) wasn't very supportive either, I think they fret that we will drop out. It's ok tho, you know what you want to do and part of the PhD process is learning that YOU are in control of your work, your time and self-management. Whether you succeed or not is entirely down to you, not your sup, so at the end of the day this kind of opinion is not influential, is just a judgement. And so we must react as we do with all judgey people - we smile and nod, smile and nod. smile smile let us know how it goes later, good luck!

I have finished all my editing now grin and am now onto housekeeping like sorting the bibliography into sections and doing my pagination etc. exciting and a bit surreal. In fact I don't feel pleased... just that the thesis is an embarrassing load of simplistic tosh. I wonder if that is normal.

parttimer79 Wed 19-Dec-12 11:17:33

Hi, I'm tentatively throwing my hat into the ring. I'm 6w3d with my first and at the start of my 2nd year of PhD.
At the moment I swing between excited and terrified that something will go wrong - it is not helping at all that my broad area of study is fertility issues...

I am lucky that my funder will allow 6 months fully paid and 6 months unpaid leave, how long I take off will depend on how I feel but I am hoping to take a full academic year as it then makes it easier to pick up both in terms of PhD and my teaching commitments.
Most other people on the thread seem further along, both in terms of babies and their PhD...not that I'm jealous! wink

Askja Wed 19-Dec-12 17:55:47

I'm tentatively getting excited as I'm due to submit this week and the end's in sight! Wondering if it was sensible to book my viva for 10 days before my due date though...

june that's awful that your supervisor should make you feel so bad. I'm pretty sure that if you were employed rather than taken advantage of a student that kind of comment would be illegal. You are doing highly skilled research for your funders - why shouldn't they give you maternity leave and pay like an employee!?

dontcarehow Thu 20-Dec-12 08:24:35

santas i feel the same, massively simplistic! just waiting for supervisor comments on my final ish draft. not looking forward to hearing their comments though!

AlphaBeta2012 Thu 20-Dec-12 08:58:09

I'm due 2nd baby in June and signed up to start PhD in September, so will have a 3mth old and 2 1/2 yr old! Glad I am not the only one! :-) University have been really good about it talking about flexible time in my first couple of years etc. When I first met with supervisor she took one look at my bump and laughed saying I wouldn't be the first or last mother to do this and in many ways it made for better PhD syudents as when we had time to sit down and study we would really get on with and accomplish twice as much as others. she also pointed out the skill of multi-tasking as well was a huge benefit!

SantasWildeRumpus Thu 20-Dec-12 09:34:24

dont am reassured you feel the same! the comments at this stage are horrible aren't they, you just want to wash your hands of it all. When you finally get the email that says 'I don't need to see it any more' it is the most amazing feeling! I felt like my stabilisers had been taken off smile However, the viva is scaring the pants off me. Am sure I will cry if they are too mean and I will say 'I know it is crap! I know!' and wander off to feed me and the baby cake.

ask erm, I wouldn't do that! I couldn't really work beyond 35 weeks with DS as my brain wouldn't cooperate, I had SPD and was good only for watching boxsets. Also, actually, I gave birth 17 days before my EDD (two days before I would have been due to present at an international conference if I hadn't thought 'hang on, not wise'!). This could happen to you! However, you are probably one of those amazing women that can have a baby, storm healthily through being pg and still do a viva grin good luck with submission!

welcome part and congrats!

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