Two lines

Two lines orthogonal to each other makes a plus sign. I don’t have to tell you all that. And when you see that on a stick that you pee on you realize it can change your life. I’m terrified though. Will I not be able to travel anymore, have spontaneous trips, stay late at the lab, get sleep? My parent couldn’t be less excited, but my friends are stoked.  How will this affect my career with all the parenting duties coming up?  Will I have to take calls from home or will I have to bring the little one into my office?

I’m freaking scared and excited. So freaking scared and excited. I’m not sleeping at all.  Oh God….


17 thoughts on “Two lines

  1. Congratulations and best wishes for a healthy, uneventful pregnancy and delivery. You will be fine, your career will be fine, and you will manage.


  2. Congrats! You will love it. Kids are awesome. Pain in the ass, too, but mostly fuckin’ awesome.

    It’s not the end of the world or anything really. Especially if you have 1 or 2 kids and not more. You will travel and sleep (eventually; sooner if you don’t breastfeed and partner can take some nighttime feeding). I have written code (kid No 1) and major grant proposal (kid No 3) in the week after giving birth.

    You’re in a great situation professionally, and your CV won’t even feel your temporary absence. Also, kids give you special efficiency superpowers.

    Don’t worry too much. Rejoice! Kids are great.

    Big big big congrats!


  3. Huge congratulations! Came to your blog from xykademiqz. You will be able to travel again, though perhaps not spontaneously, and you will be able to stay late at the lab and get enough sleep — not right in the beginning, but some months in (depending on the kid). I’m three months into baby #2 (still on parental leave) and it’s wonderful — life-changing in the best possible way. Here’s hoping pregnancy is smooth sailing for you, and that baby will be here before you know it! Being a scientist-mom involves combining two of the coolest jobs on the planet!


  4. Congrats! Here’s my unsolicited advice: 1. Trust yourself. You’ll be getting lots of advice from all sorts of people, much of it conflicting. Just trust yourself. (Most of these decisions don’t really matter, and for the ones that do, you’re in a better position to decide than the people giving the advice.) 2. After the baby is born, if you’re breastfeeding and traveling and you need to dry up your breasts temporarily, antihistimines will take the edge off without any long-term negative effects (assuming you can take antihistimines normally, #IamnotanMD).
    #unsolicitedinternetadvice #takeitwithagrainofsalt #butseriously #trustyourself


    • Oh gosh, I did not think of any of that stuff! I already bought a few books on all sorts of work/baby balancing and so far nothing practical. Time to head to Costco for Benadryl.


      • My other unsolicited recommendation is to not pay any attention to the books that make you feel guilty– most baby books are based on zero research and the ones that have One True Way are the worst in terms of scientific basis, or really any kind of basis. (It’s been over a decade since I read a baby book, but I did find Our Babies Ourselves really helpful after DC1 was born– it’s by an anthropologist and basically explains how babies have been raised in different cultures and over time and how there’s so much variation… it basically made my guilt fade away. I live in a red state that is very into scheduling/FF/etc. YMMV if you live in a blue state that is equally into NP. Do what works for you, assuming that isn’t putting hard liquor in baby bottles. Bonus points if you never learn what FF and NP and other contentious acronyms stand for.)


  5. Also followed from XY. Something I didn’t realize until we had our first kid is how it changes your working schedule. When you’re single and have to dive down and focus on something, you can just withdraw from the world for several days and really get into the flow of it. Once you’re in a relationship, that is harder to do but once in a while you can say “Honey, I need to go into the bunker for a couple of days to focus – I love you and will see you again during waking hours on Tuesday”. Once you have a kid, it is MUCH harder to do that and you have to learn how to either work in much smaller chunks of time, or find a way to schedule “bunker days”.


    • We already have scheduled Han-days, as we call them (as in going Solo), but we are already suspecting (based on intereaction with friends that have kids) that these will have to be more randomly allocated. I’m already thinking my one late night at the lab that I have every week will have to be cancelled for the foreseeable future…….


  6. Congratulations to you! Each kid is different, and each parent is different – you will figure out what works for you. For kiddo #1, I obsessed over every small decision (but which stroller is the best….. aarghh). For kiddo #2, I just let it flow. And they both survived and I still earned tenure. 🙂
    I totally agree with XY that kids give you super-efficiency super-powers. And for me, they gifted me the power to no longer get jet-lag (a silver living for disrupted sleep schedules). And most importantly, they gifted me the power to finally be able to say “no” to professional requests that weren’t in the best interest of my career. Only after kids did I realize how many times I would agree to do random service stuff for my department, my professional societies, peer-reviewed journals, my university, and student groups. But post-kids, now I only do the stuff that will either (1) improve my career, (2) teach me something, or (3) impact something that I care about. It’s easy to say no when saying yes means that I would have to spend less time with my kids.


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