Thursday, January 7, 2010

6 weeks, 6 days

I got to see my little lentil bean's heartbeat yesterday! It's just a little flicker in the middle of a 6 mm blob, but apparently that's exactly as it should be for this point in my pregnancy. Everything is going perfectly and I'm thrilled!

I'm thinking of telling Beloved PI this weekend (after confirming everything is good, before anyone else at work finds out, and over the weekend where there are fewer people around and he has some low key time to process). I expect somewhat of a mixed reaction from him. He'll be happy for me, because he has his own precious little girl and knows I've wanted a baby for a while, but he'll be upset at the prospect of losing me, if only for a couple of months, and he'll be terrified about affording to pay me during my maternity leave, since the last big grant runs out right around my due date. I'm sort of assuming the graduate division will take care of it, since they guarantee my stipend for 6 years of adequate progress (I'll be starting my 6th year then) and have a "recommendation" of 6 weeks paid maternity leave in the student handbook (which my advocacy crew is working to extend to the whole grad school as a minimum of 8 weeks for both parents). I'm hopeful that we can work something out, one way or the other, by starting as early as possible.

Anyway, any suggestions on breaking the news gently?


  1. Ah, its sooo nice. And I am very happy for you.
    Risking to spoil your happines, I'd wait until 12 weeks, 8 minimum. It's hard enough when you loose it, but if you have to tell your PI (and everybody whom he told), it's horrible. Plus then they all know you're trying and wait for the next one... horrible situation. Maybe I am overcareful, but remember, there is a 25% chance of loosing it before week 12... I do not want to disappoint you at all, but 6 weeks is nothing, really.

  2. As I understand it, the risk of miscarriage is 15-20% during the first trimester, but that drops to 5-10% once the heartbeat has been detected on an ultrasound. I think that's an acceptable risk to take, and besides, I would probably end up telling him anyway if I miscarried, as I would need a few days off to recover. But anyway, this weekend didn't turn out to be a good time, so it looks like I'll be waiting until 8 weeks (next weekend) anyway.

  3. Congrats! I have been reading sporadically for a few months now and am thrilled at your news! I am an aspring mommy scientist myself (1 girl, a boy on the way, year 4 in PhD). Good luck telling your advisor. It is good your advisor has children - mine doesn't and really doesn't get it - usually compares it to his having dogs. When I told him about #1 he said "well, that's fine if that's what you want to do." He definitely didn't ease up the workload, and he has since mostly ignored the fact that I have a daughter, even if she is sitting on my lap during a meeting.

    I had to tell him early (around 7 or 8 weeks) with this pregnancy because there is no maternity leave for grad students in my program and if I take an official leave-of-absence I lose my health insurance (not ideal for pregnant ladies). I was losing sleep over how to actually have the baby and not lose my insurance or have to TA the entire semester. He basically told me to work it out with the department chair (who thankfully was ultra-supportive!).

    It wasn't ideal for him to be one of the first people I talked to, but it was OK, and I was glad for everything to be out so I could start preparing. I think unless someone is a total jerk, at a minimum they will be professional about it. It sounds like you have an advantage since your advisor has kids and your program at least has some minimal written guidelines.

    Anyway, good luck!