Tuesday, January 5, 2010

6 weeks, 4 days

Halfway through the first trimester already, can you believe it? That
whole counting from last menstrual period thing makes it seem like
time has just flown by. :-P Anyway, I'm still feeling pretty good.
I've been a bit nauseas at times, but no vomiting. Shall I spare you
the details of my yuckier or more private symptoms? I think so. The
grad school related bits of the experience will presumably be more
interesting to my readers, right?

Still haven't told anyone at work, and I definitely won't until after
tomorrow's ultrasound confirms a heartbeat. I thought I'd wait for
the end of my first trimester, but people keep telling me they'll know
long before then. I figured as soon as my symptoms start to interfere
with my work, or I start showing, but I may decide to tell my PI even
before that. My thinking there is to hopefully get him to stop piling
more non-thesis-related work on me every day, but I doubt it will
really work.

I'm expecting (hoping) to get my first publication out before the baby
comes. It should, for one thing, serve as evidence of "adequate
progress" or whatever they call it, in case there ends up being any
debate on my request for paid leave. It turns out that I'm due at the
end of August, the same time as our 2nd R01 runs out, so the graduate
program may have to pick up the slack on my stipend during a brief
funding gap.

My division already has a recommendation on the books for 6 weeks paid
maternity leave, but I'm still hoping we can push this new 8 week
policy through in time, or at least I hope I can argue it successfully
for myself. Six weeks is just such a pitifully short time...the
absolute minimum for recovery from an uncomplicated vaginal
birth...nevermind bonding with the new baby.

So my little work-life balance advocacy crew has accumulated support
for our policy proposal from various other people and organizations
representing women or grad students, and we're just waiting on some
sort of official statement from each so we can present it to the dean.
I also volunteered (before I knew I was pregnant...) to organize a
larger group meeting to find new leaders and get sub-groups working on
other projects. Unfortunately, since discovering my pregnancy, I've
had a hard enough time focussing on work, and I haven't done a thing
on this meeting, preferring instead to chat on the bulletin boards at
babycenter.com all day! <Sigh>

Sent from my mobile device

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