That time I got pregnant in grad school…

This is the first of the next few posts where I hope to share with you the crazy journey we have been on during the last year.

My husband and I always knew we wanted to have kids. We also knew timing of producing said offspring was going to be important, especially when it came to where we were in our academic careers. We decided that we were finally going to be able to swing it. My husband was a postdoc and therefore making more money. I knew that my research was coming to a stopping point and I would be writing up to defend soon, so we figured, what the hell, lets try it. Our goal was to try to get pregnant so that I would deliver in the summer, when I knew I would have enough time to stay at home with baby should I have to go back to teaching in the fall.

Surprisingly, we got pregnant the first month we tried, putting me due in July. We kept it hidden from everyone until we went home for Christmas, where we surprised our families. Then came the time to tell my PhD advisor. He was fine with it and apparently had an inkling I was pregnant (probably due to my sudden avoidance of formamide).

Things were great, we were happy to be pregnant, but unfortunately there was a wrench thrown into our plans: my husband’s postdoc lab was running out of funding and he wouldn’t have a job after May. Great. We had a baby on the way and now my husband’s job was up in the air. Thank goodness we still had health insurance through my position as a research assistant so we could have the birth covered by health insurance.

Hubby soon took on the very stressful task of applying for jobs. My advisor told me I could write my dissertation from anywhere, so to focus on getting as much data as possible. Needless to say we were stressed and freaking out. We were working six days a week and nervously awaiting any news about hubby getting interviews.

Next time, I’ll share with you the difficult process hubby went through his first time on the job market.

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Blog Hiatus

As I’m sure many of you have noticed, we haven’t written anything–in a very long time. I promise we have a good excuse. Well, a couple of good excuses. First and foremost, we produced offspring!! Well, one offspring. But she is pretty amazing. In true nerdy fashion, we named her after a genus of cichlids. She is about to turn one and we can’t believe it.

Our other excuse: a grueling job search, moving for a temporary job, another grueling job search, a dissertation defense, and moving again. Our life has been absolutely crazy this past year and it made us sometimes question why we got involved in academia at all. I hope to get back to blogging for a little while to share with you our crazy journey over the last year.

So you want to go to grad school: GRE and application prep

Today I continue my posts on applying to graduate school. So, you have chosen the schools you are interested in. Having done this, you probably know by now the minimum GRE scores you need to get into a particular program. So, now its time to prepare for the GRE. I will say that personally, I was horrible at studying for the GRE. I was super busy with school, student teaching, and work. I still managed to pull off the score I needed, but it wasn’t as high as I would have liked it to be. Continue reading

So you want to go to grad school: Choosing the right university

Ok, so here is post number two for my series of going to grad school. Alright, so you have decided that you want to go to grad school, but now you need to figure out where you want to apply. Once again everything is going to be from a biology perspective since that is what I am most familiar with. Continue reading

Oh where oh where should I publish?

As a scientist, part of life involves writing up scientific papers about the research I’ve conducted and having them scrutinized and reviewed by a body of my peers, which hopefully culminates in publication of said paper in a journal. One of the major things to consider is where to submit your papers for them to undergo review and hopefully publication. I am currently trying to figure out where I should send a QTL paper. Here are some things we have to consider when choosing where to publish. Continue reading

So you want to go to grad school-Step One: Is grad school even right for me?

I thought it would be nice to give out some advice about the whole applying to grad school process since I really didn’t have any given to me when I under went this process. Trust me, it would have been nice to get some advice. The advice I will give pertains to applying to a biology program, since that is the one I am most familiar with. Today’s post, do you even really need to go to grad school? Continue reading

The two body problem: Academia and Marriage

Hello readers!! In addition to our regular topics here at darwinbookcats, I thought it would be nice to give you a glimpse into the life of academia. Unless you are actively in the thick of it, you may not quite understand what it is all about. Also, no one really warns you about the ups and downs of it beforehand, so maybe I’ll help better inform some people who are thinking about getting into this wonderful/crazy life.

I don’t think many people realize the struggles that academic couples go through to balance finding the perfect job and maintaining a happy family life. I thought I would provide a little insight into that today.

Hubby and I are both scientists. He has completed his PhD and I’m working on finishing mine in a year (fingers crossed). We both want careers at the university level and as a result we run into what is known as the “two body problem”. Two qualified scientists looking for two jobs in the same geographic area where two jobs usually aren’t available. Continue reading