Academic common room
Pregnant, tired, trying to write
AcademicNerd · 19/08/2016 10:58
I'm a PhD student in a humanities-related field, spending the summer writing my lit review. For a deadline of the beginning of September, me and my supervisors agreed to an expanded chapter of one topic, and refined/improved versions of two other chapters. Not long after the deadline is my annual review, so stakes are high.
Over the course of the summer, I became pregnant, and am currently 9 weeks and a bit along.
I am finding the pregnancy exhaustion extremely difficult to cope with, and it's making it very hard for me to get work done. Given how I feel, I'm not sure I can get everything I promised them done for the deadline. On the plus side, the nausea seems to be letting up.
But I don't want to tell them I'm pregnant before I have the 12 week scan, which will take place before the review.
What do you think of this as a course of action: I tell them I have been having trouble with exhaustion (true), I have been to GP and hospital for tests (true), and am waiting to see a specialist (mostly true, ultrasound technicians are specialists right?). I tell them I don't think I will be able to do an expanded chapter and two other fully polished ones, but that I think the expanded one and a slight polish on the other two is doable.
Telling them I'm pregnant in my annual review is going to be interesting .
TheWindInThePillows · 20/08/2016 11:40
I would ask to move the review on a month, just say you are ill over the summer and need slightly more time to complete the work. I wouldn't go into all these details, it sounds very odd to say 'I've been having tests' when in fact you are pregnant.
AcademicNerd · 22/08/2016 10:04
The review's already been delayed, so I can't ask for another one.
I think part of the problem is that I never feel happy with my work: there's always something else to read, something I haven't considered, something to change. I could spend months tinkering with one chapter and still not be happy.
Might just have to battle on and do what I can. Stupid BBC weather says it's going to get up to 30 this week. When it gets hot, I get awfully exhausted. There's no buildings with air con near me where I can just go and sit and work, so stuff flat it is. Ugh.
On the plus side, according to my 'how big is the fetus compared to real-life objects' chart, it's now the size of a Lego minifig :)
TheWindInThePillows · 22/08/2016 17:42
Go with 'good enough' then, not brilliant, and once you have told them you are pregnant, you can decide if you want to rewrite later. Least you have kept your sense of humour, it is going to be hot!
fluffikins · 22/08/2016 19:32
My husband tells me to 'just bash it out' when I'm getting stuck on writing
nosireebob · 22/08/2016 19:48
Better don't suggest something that sounds like a serious illness - I'd much prefer a student just said they weren't feeling well, gave me a new deadline and explained when they were ready.
For what it's worth in my own pregnancy the exhaustion let up just as suddenly as it had come on a around 10-11 weeks. If you get a good second and third trimester, maybe you can try make up for lost time - anything you can get out of the way before littlie arrives is going to be helpful, especially any data collection if you do that kind of PhD (I've supervised a few pregnancy-interrupted PhDs - they all completed but it can be quite a challenge with lack of sleep or toddler demanding constant attention).
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