Wednesday, July 7, 2010

32 weeks, 5 days

I was reminded yesterday that it has been a ridiculously long time since I posted, again. I'm in my 8th month of pregnancy and still doing well...starting to get a bit more uncomfortable, from the baby riding up against my ribs and causing reflux, to the weight of this big baby causing pain in my pubic bone and the summer heat causing swollen feet and ankles. But overall, the pregnancy has really been treating me well. No complications - my "low-lying placenta" resolved itself completely and the baby has been head-down since my 25-week ultrasound. Hubby and I took a 12-hour roadtrip a couple weeks ago to go back to our hometown for 2 weddings and 2 baby showers, and I had no trouble with that either. We got a ton of loot from the showers - so much that we had to return a bunch of bulky items to re-buy when we got home! So with all that taken care of and a couple more people to take up on their offers of hand-me-downs, I think we're pretty set for gear and clothes. Time to start stocking up on diapers and wipes, I guess.

The more worrying thing that I have yet to figure out is childcare...I've really been dragging my feet on this because it's very anxiety-provoking to be trying to find the best possible person/place to care for your precious infant but to be restricted to such a ridiculously minuscule budget. So far, I've surveyed the field online, finding a dozen or so home childcares and centers that are on the lowest end of the price range, since that's all we can afford. I mean to call the other NAFCC accredited home childcares in the area to check their prices since they usually don't have websites...but somewhere between web/email and phone/in-person-visit is where I hit my brick wall and start making excuses like needing to take time off work to make calls and visits during business hours, etc. Any advice on getting over that anxiety and getting my ass in gear would be much appreciated!

I have a similar problem at work... Things have been going fine, generally. I've pretty much wrapped up the experiments I wanted to complete before I got too incapacitated by my big belly, and my undergrad assistant is back from a 6-week summer trip so she can finish up the rest of it without much assistance from me. The problem now is I have 2 papers I'm supposed to be writing (one of which I tried to get out of, but my committee "strongly encouraged" it, so 5 against 1 wins). There's still a load of histology and data analysis to wade through on both, in addition to the actual writing, so I just don't exactly know where to start. I've always had anxiety about starting writing projects, so this is nothing new, and probably partially explains why I'm beginning my 6th year of graduate school with no publications to my name (but there is a 4th author paper to be submitted any day now, whoohoo!). The other part of that equation is the fact that I chose a wildly ambitious project involving setting up a new technique in a lab (and in fact, at a school) where no one had done it before. Crazy naive me...but really, I wouldn't trade it for a thing. I learned so much more through that painstaking process of troubleshooting every little thing than I ever would have if someone had just handed down all the protocols and tips and tricks of the trade. Well anyway...speaking of work, I better get to it!

ETA: Oh! I completely forgot to mention a very important point! My project (and in fact, the whole lab) is now completely funded! We got both R-01s renewed, plus I had that other foundation grant I mentioned last fall, so we're all covered now. Whoohoo!