Anyone else in academia? — The Bump
April 2015 Moms

Anyone else in academia?

Would love to discuss issues relating to pregnancy and academia. :) Like what happens to my courses when I give birth in during a semester, departmental politics, etc.
**********************siggy/ticker warning**********************

***Losses mentioned.*** TTC #1 since May 2012. Me: 37, OH: 41. Ectopic August 2012 => tubal damage. :'(  Stage 1 endo removed June 2013. IVF #1 Oct/Nov 2013: Long Lupron with Gonal-F. 7R, 7M, 7F. 2 [email protected] Nothing frozen.  => M/C @ 8 wks. :'( Selected RPL panel all normal. Very hyper and brittle response to stims. IVF #2 (antagonist protocol) Feb 2014 => Converted to IUI (Perfect conditions). BFN. IVF #2.1 w/ new RE June 2014: Antagonist protocol. 33R, 31M, 30F, 19 blasts to test!!! I made it through without crashing!! :) Hats off to Dr. Fancypants!! ET of one 5AB blast. BFN. 13 10 CCS'ed snowflakes! FET #1 PUPO as of 7/29 Betas: 8/[email protected], 8/[email protected], 8/[email protected] (etc.) Two sacs on 8/15, one seen on 8/18 after a bleed. U/s 8/25 (6+3) "perfect": 5.9 mm + [email protected]! U/s 9/4 (7+6): 15.9 mm + [email protected] bpm! Please, PLEASE stick this time!!!!
http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae39/catfreeburg/866da40f5178fed79efe23fc8a4e8a_zps4498a9cc.jpgimageimageimageimage
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Re: Anyone else in academia?

  • Postdoc here. Worried already about breaking the "good" news to my PI.
    pblge
  • I'm finishing up my Master's this semester, which means I'll be done well before I give birth, but I'm finding it hard to get anything done during the first tri. The fatigue is killing my already poor work ethic...
    pblge[Deleted User]
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  • pblgepblge member
    edited September 2014
    phdmom1 said:
    Postdoc here. Worried already about breaking the "good" news to my PI.
    Ah yes. I've had professors tell me they don't hire female postdocs because of the risk. They generally just shrug when you point out that's illegal. ETA: Hope your PI is more enlightened than this!
    **********************siggy/ticker warning**********************

    ***Losses mentioned.*** TTC #1 since May 2012. Me: 37, OH: 41. Ectopic August 2012 => tubal damage. :'(  Stage 1 endo removed June 2013. IVF #1 Oct/Nov 2013: Long Lupron with Gonal-F. 7R, 7M, 7F. 2 [email protected] Nothing frozen.  => M/C @ 8 wks. :'( Selected RPL panel all normal. Very hyper and brittle response to stims. IVF #2 (antagonist protocol) Feb 2014 => Converted to IUI (Perfect conditions). BFN. IVF #2.1 w/ new RE June 2014: Antagonist protocol. 33R, 31M, 30F, 19 blasts to test!!! I made it through without crashing!! :) Hats off to Dr. Fancypants!! ET of one 5AB blast. BFN. 13 10 CCS'ed snowflakes! FET #1 PUPO as of 7/29 Betas: 8/[email protected], 8/[email protected], 8/[email protected] (etc.) Two sacs on 8/15, one seen on 8/18 after a bleed. U/s 8/25 (6+3) "perfect": 5.9 mm + [email protected]! U/s 9/4 (7+6): 15.9 mm + [email protected] bpm! Please, PLEASE stick this time!!!!
    http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae39/catfreeburg/866da40f5178fed79efe23fc8a4e8a_zps4498a9cc.jpgimageimageimageimage
    image
  • @Blergbot - I know how you feel!!
    **********************siggy/ticker warning**********************

    ***Losses mentioned.*** TTC #1 since May 2012. Me: 37, OH: 41. Ectopic August 2012 => tubal damage. :'(  Stage 1 endo removed June 2013. IVF #1 Oct/Nov 2013: Long Lupron with Gonal-F. 7R, 7M, 7F. 2 [email protected] Nothing frozen.  => M/C @ 8 wks. :'( Selected RPL panel all normal. Very hyper and brittle response to stims. IVF #2 (antagonist protocol) Feb 2014 => Converted to IUI (Perfect conditions). BFN. IVF #2.1 w/ new RE June 2014: Antagonist protocol. 33R, 31M, 30F, 19 blasts to test!!! I made it through without crashing!! :) Hats off to Dr. Fancypants!! ET of one 5AB blast. BFN. 13 10 CCS'ed snowflakes! FET #1 PUPO as of 7/29 Betas: 8/[email protected], 8/[email protected], 8/[email protected] (etc.) Two sacs on 8/15, one seen on 8/18 after a bleed. U/s 8/25 (6+3) "perfect": 5.9 mm + [email protected]! U/s 9/4 (7+6): 15.9 mm + [email protected] bpm! Please, PLEASE stick this time!!!!
    http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae39/catfreeburg/866da40f5178fed79efe23fc8a4e8a_zps4498a9cc.jpgimageimageimageimage
    image
    Blergbot
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    pblge
  • I am a doctoral student graduating soon and I am looking for a post-doc right now. I do really wish there was more structure and support for women doing research in academia. At my institution, there is literally nothing on the books about what my rights would be in terms of leave (as a student). Or the maximum number of hours I can be expected to work in a week. All is theoretically at the discretion of the PI.
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    Me: 27, DH: 28
    Married 7/2012, TTC #1 1/2014
    BFP 8/8/14 EDD 4/15/2015

    pblge
  • I work in academia, but in an academic medical center (a series of hospitals), not a university campus.  I do more clinical work and supervision of trainees than actual teaching, so I don't think I can help with your concerns about teaching per se.  I also do some clinical research, but am fortunately high enough up the chain these days that I can delegate some things while I am out.  I'm much more concerned about my clinical load and my colleagues having to cover for me.  Our group is super family friendly and I'm not worried about overt hostility, but more the inconvenience for my coworkers.  My plan is to try to be as helpful as possible to them leading up to my leave (covering their vacations, coming in on holidays that others don't want to work).  I wonder if you could do the same?  Volunteer to replace someone on a committee they hate, edit their manuscripts, help their students?  I also wonder about asking a trusted college higher up the chain about how you might facilitate a smooth leave.  If you get any good advice, I'd love to hear what it is!


     BabyFruit Ticker
    pblge
  • Glad/sorry to hear others are grappling with similar issues! I was told once that the best time to have a baby was actually as a doctoral student, but I met my hubby too late for that. At some universities the graduate students are unionized, which can help with the issues that @7DeadlyZins raises. My university is in transition with respect to faculty leave and similar issues, so I really have no idea what to expect in 7 months. Probably nothing beyond the current six months paid leave, in which case a mid-April birth is pretty perfect, assuming all goes according to plan.

    @grailseeker14, wow sounds like you're getting out of a nasty situation! Glad you're got a good plan!

    @drmrsmantis - I understand your position, and it's definitely a different set of issues. It's good advice about the trusted colleague, but I honestly don't think there's anyone that birthed a baby on the tenure clock that has tenure among our faculty. There are a lot of childless folks, and I worry about them. Making this more complicated is that my dean (we're a school, not a department, so we have our own dean) actually knows about and has supported my infertility battle with a tenure-clock stoppage. That's amazing, but I worry that the many senior women who possibly forwent child bearing for their careers will not look favorably upon that leniency. Terrified that people will get resentful, especially as we have an automatic stoppage for the adoption/birth of a child.
    **********************siggy/ticker warning**********************

    ***Losses mentioned.*** TTC #1 since May 2012. Me: 37, OH: 41. Ectopic August 2012 => tubal damage. :'(  Stage 1 endo removed June 2013. IVF #1 Oct/Nov 2013: Long Lupron with Gonal-F. 7R, 7M, 7F. 2 [email protected] Nothing frozen.  => M/C @ 8 wks. :'( Selected RPL panel all normal. Very hyper and brittle response to stims. IVF #2 (antagonist protocol) Feb 2014 => Converted to IUI (Perfect conditions). BFN. IVF #2.1 w/ new RE June 2014: Antagonist protocol. 33R, 31M, 30F, 19 blasts to test!!! I made it through without crashing!! :) Hats off to Dr. Fancypants!! ET of one 5AB blast. BFN. 13 10 CCS'ed snowflakes! FET #1 PUPO as of 7/29 Betas: 8/[email protected], 8/[email protected], 8/[email protected] (etc.) Two sacs on 8/15, one seen on 8/18 after a bleed. U/s 8/25 (6+3) "perfect": 5.9 mm + [email protected]! U/s 9/4 (7+6): 15.9 mm + [email protected] bpm! Please, PLEASE stick this time!!!!
    http://i955.photobucket.com/albums/ae39/catfreeburg/866da40f5178fed79efe23fc8a4e8a_zps4498a9cc.jpgimageimageimageimage
    image
  • nellie13nellie13 member
    edited September 2014
    Hey! What an exciting feed to find. Im a postdoc. When I started at my current position I looked into some of these questions. While the answers will certainly vary based on department, PI, etc my understanding has been that many of the research based positions follow NIH guidelines. This is 6 weeks paternity. If your position is NIH funded, even a grumpy PI will have a hard time arguing.
    I guess my only advice, not based on experience bc I'm a FTM is to be as open as possible. Certainly wait for the right time to tell- you're not obligated to tell at any point. But I plan to tell when I'm ready- then make the best possible plan for preparing for maternity leave. I've also considered talking to colleagues who have gone through similar. Sadly in my experience, though there just aren't that many working mom postdocs around.
    pblge
  • Postdocs are in an odd position, treated as both staff and students depending on what's convenient to the institution. I get 6 weeks unpaid, but I'm hoping my research PI will allow me to work from home for a bit after that. I'm a clinical/research postdoc, and am worried about what'll happen to my clients as the clinic where I'm training doesn't have enough funding/clinicians to pick up my caseload. I'll need to tell my clinical supervisor soon, and consider whether it even makes sense to resume clinical work for a few weeks after I return from maternity leave and move on to postdoc 2.0 at another institution across the country.
    pblge
  • @pblge  Do you have friends from graduate school/postdoc who are working in similar institutions?  Might be worth asking them, or maybe talking to your grad school mentor if you two have that kind of relationship?

    I feel the need to offer advice, even though I know full well what an uphill battle it is as a woman with a family in academia.  I saw this with several female faculty when I was in grad school.  Not sure there's an easy solution, but I'm glad it sounds like you at least have the support of your dean.  


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    pblge
  • I am taking courses at Tufts as part of a post-masters research program (it's actually really cool, and makes me wish I could afford to pursue my doctorate!). We had to commit to 3 semesters of course work and I am just beginning my second semester now with the third and final being Spring 2015. I wouldn't be so concerned if it was just coursework, but I have to conduct interviews, analyze video lessons, and collaborate with teams for it, so if I go on bed rest or deliver early (bed rest for 7 weeks last pregnancy, then DD was 3 weeks early) I am up a creek. I am going to tell the instructors next week and see if they have any advice! Certainly not ideal timing on my part...
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    pblge
  • I work in an academic med center as well, but I teach a few classes that will likely be affected... I have no idea what I will do. For one of them, I can condense the material down and hopefully finish a few weeks early. For the other one, I think I am going to have to collaborate with some colleagues and delegate.

    I am non-tenure track clinical faculty, but I have known many post-docs to have babies. I am sure it is very institution-dependent.

    I think we should focus on the good we're doing for future generations of women, instead of the irritation we may cause people who had to give up everything for their careers. Women will continue to leave for private practice/pharm/etc until academia changes its culture.
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    Looking forward to 4/2015!
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    pblgedrmrsmantis
  • @Jaysway08‌ well said! Moms in academia are not easy to find. But when you do, many will readily admit to their personal and professional happiness. I'm choosing to follow their leads as best I can, as a new academic just beginning this crazy career.
    pblgeJaysway08drmrsmantis
  • I am a PhD student in biomedical sciences, hoping to finish in the next year. I live in Israel. Here it is the norm for people to have their children during their PhD, but it stretches out our PhDs even longer. The average Israeli PhD student is already at least a few years older than the average North American PhD student when they start, since everyone has a couple years of mandatory national service or army service post-high school. That being said, the whole system here is incredibly friendly to starting a family as a PhD student.

    I was a visiting PhD student in Toronto when I was pregnant with my daughter while my husband was doing his fellowship training. The timing actually worked out well in that I was due right at the time we intended to return to Israel, but I was definitely the rare exception being pregnant as a PhD student in Canada. I think there's sort of an assumption there that if you have a baby during your PhD, it was probably unplanned.

    I don't think my PI is going to be shocked that I am pregnant again, but I am really not looking forward to telling him I am pregnant with twins again since my previous twin pregnancy (2012) involved months of bedrest and hospitalization and ended very poorly. It also really impacted my time in the lab. I am praying this twin pregnancy will go much more smoothly and uneventfully. 
    IUIs #1-3 (1x unmedicated, 2x Clomid) = 2 BFNs, 1 m/c at 7w3d
    IUIs #4-6 (injects) = 3 BFNs
    IVF #1 = BFN
    FET #1 = BFN
    FET #2 = BFN
    IVF #2 = BFP, b/g twins lost at 20w due to partial abruption/PPROM
    IVF #3 = c/p 5w2d
    Long-shot Clomid/Prednisone cycle before next IVF = BFP, our beautiful, healthy girl born 6/26/13!
    ~~
    TTC again March 2014
    FET #3 - May/June 2014
    - all embryos arrested before xfer - back to the drawing board...
    IVF #4 - July/August 2014 
    beta 1 (11dp3dt) 220, beta 2 (13dp3dt) 671, beta 3 (19dp3dt) 10762
    pblge
  • So happy to have found this group. I am a Phd student in Religion. I just defended my proposal yesterday. Yay! I was supposed to leave for fieldwork to India in two weeks but i am doing my America research segment instead this year because of the pregnancy. I have a fantastic advisor who writes about women's worlds so i cant say some of you are as lucky. I will be taking a leave of absence in the Spring to save my funding for another semester. I think it is very possible to do. If you are still in coursework there are special options available so do ask your department. My department had many things mentioned in the graduate studies handbook. Do check. They sometimes even offer paid leave for month with special exclusions for coursework etc.
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