Give me options.

(8 Posts)
alice93 Thu 07-Nov-13 17:13:39

I have written on the Student Parents board a few times before, but always quite optimistic. I am 31 weeks pregnant doing a full time degree. And the chances of finishing this degree are becoming more and more slim. I know I can get a good degree. I could easily get a first. But right now, I have no energy, I have 3x 3500 words due in 21-25 November. I've written zero. I then have another 1000 words due in before I finish term and then the option to do 2 essays (I imagine 3000 words each before the baby is born - because I won't be doing the exams and I'd rather do them before the baby is born than after).
I then plan to go straight back and continue my degree full time, whilst look after the baby. My partner will finish his degree in June. I will have another year after that. There are no jobs in our uni town - it's super small and isolated.
I could transfer my degree to wherever he gets a job.
But all of this just seems so flimsy, I can see the achievement of finishing my degree go further and further into the distance and yet I want it so much! sad

I don't really know why I'm writing this. Maybe support, maybe for someone to tell me it's all possible (although I very much doubt it is now..)

If only I could sit at a desk for more than 30 minutes without getting back ache, and if only I could be less tired and actually work rather than be on MN :/

TheWanderingUterus Thu 07-Nov-13 18:35:40

Have you have talked to everyone at the university that can help re. deadlines, support etc?

If you are organised you could get those essays done in time, they might not be top quality but they would be out of the way. Do the research when you are feeling lazy, plan plan plan and find your most productive times to write it up. Some people have recommended the Pomodoro ttechnique on here, I need the scare of a deadline to focus myself unfortunately.

What is the subject? Would any of your fellow students be up for a study afternoon or similar to boost productivity and share ideas?

When I was pregnant and studying I abandoned the desk and worked in bed or on a mound of cushions on the sofa. I sat the exam for that course with a three month old baby, I don't recommend that.

At the end of the day you can always come back to this, take a break, transfer, extend etc. You can give it up, but you really need to think about what it is that you want. Better to do stuff before the baby arrives, they are time and sleep suckers!

TheWanderingUterus Thu 07-Nov-13 18:35:58

Oh and good luck!

alice93 Thu 07-Nov-13 19:57:47

Thank you smile
I'm feeling slightly more optimistic at the moment, lying in bed actually reading a bit. I'm doing a degree in International Politics, with my partner and all our friends doing it too. My partner can't help with my work as he is doing different modules - and thinks I'm studying 'leftie modules', so political views just get in the way of our discussions haha, and I have such a competitive streak in me that I couldn't bare to share ideas with anyone else!
Oh gosh good on you for doing an exam with a 3 month old!! I wouldn't be able to revise in that situation! If I don't postpone, I'll be doing more essays with a 2/3 month old, and exams with a 5 month old - which is slightly better by then I guess.
In terms of essays - I'm half like you - I need the pressure of the deadline.. but I'm also reading wayyyy too much, I'm too perfectionist to think that I've read enough to start planning. :/ I really don't help myself..
I think I'll talk to one or two of the lecturers and ask for extensions closer the time, if I need them. The midwife today said my increase in braxton hicks is probably because I'm over doing it :/

TheWanderingUterus Thu 07-Nov-13 21:10:03

I think you need to lower your expectations a bit, not for good, just for now to get those essays out the way. You can definitely do it, but the anxiety and uncertainty will not be good for your blood pressure whilst those essays are hanging over you.

Yes I was mad. I am even madder now and doing a PhD with two young children, which has beaten a lot of perfectionism out of me. I have study time, I have to work in that study time or it doesn't get done! But the more you can get done now the better. This is well within your capabilities and even better, is work that you can do mostly lying down or resting!

This is a very short period of your life, imagine you are looking back at it in ten years, telling your 9 year old (!) about it. What would you like to tell them? DD loves hearing about how I used her as a desk when studying (when she was a bump obviously, I didn't rest textbooks on her precious baby face) and she is very proud of me, hopefully I am setting her a good example.

alice93 Thu 07-Nov-13 22:22:49

Awh thank you for giving me hope! I really feel there isn't much information/support out there for students who become pregnant - it seems like the expectation/norm is to quit uni. It's so good to hear of someone who has actually done it! What are you doing your PhD in?

TheWanderingUterus Thu 07-Nov-13 22:28:49

Medical history. Mad women essentially. And ironically!

I'm sure you will be fine.

And if things don't work out as planned then you never know how things are going to go in the future. But if you want this thing badly enough you'll find a way to do it. It will be hard but worth it.

likelytoasksillyquestions Fri 08-Nov-13 10:50:34

I was pregnant during the penultimate year of my degree - baby born in the middle of exam season. I sat one exam the week before he was born, and two when he was 4mo.
I'm going to buck the trend and say I actually found putting stuff off til after the birth the easier option - even as a LP with a spectacularly poor sleeper, the exhaustion of motherhood really didn't compare to the brain fog of pregnancy for me. 'Option' is the wrong word as I didn't have a choice really - I prob would have chosen to do it all before he was born if I could, but in hindsight I'm glad I wasn't allowed to.
I finished my degree this year with a first overall. The module I sat the exam for at 38/40 is by some margin my weakest, in spite of not being any harder than the rest.

It's probably worth mentioning that I was working f/t and going to evening school - I didn't finish work til 37/40, bad bad decision. So perhaps 'normal' pg women are slightly less mentally incapacitated than I was. But I did spend the last year with a baby who woke every hour of the night, every night, right through the year - that really didn't feel as tough as trying to focus on uni when my body was gearing up for the baby. ymmv of course.

Good luck! My baby still doesn't sleep and I'm now doing a f/t MSc, so the experience obviously hasn't put me off, but like both of you in this thread I am probably also mad.

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