Grad school

richey%poly.DecNet at BIGBRD.CHEM.WISC.EDU richey%poly.DecNet at BIGBRD.CHEM.WISC.EDU
Fri Nov 11 10:28:50 EST 1994


I don't know if any generalizations can be made about babies and timing.
Since it appears that there are a lot of negative opinions on having a child
in grad school, I'll throw in my experience to counter that....

My daughter is 3 months old. I will defend my PhD dissertation in less than
a month. My husband is also a graduate student (we met here).  Although daycare
is expensive, we use ~ 5 hours a day, and split our schedules to take care
of our daughter the other times.  

The timing was very good for us- I was pretty much done with the experimental
work towards my thesis when I became pregnant- and I've been writing and doing
some theoretical work in the last year. This has had several advantages:
I don't need to work in lab necessarily all day- a home computer is a wonderful asset.  I haven't worked with any neurotoxins (like acrylamide), mutagens (like
ethidium bromide) or radioactivity in the lab.  Although with care these
factors shouldn't effect a pregnancy, I had miscarried before and was probably
over-cautious. 

We have very good health care here at UW Madison. This is an important issue
when one considers that somewhere between one in 6 and one in 4 deliveries are
by C-section, or other problems could arise. 

I definitely think that waiting until i was nearly done with grad school
was a better decision than if I had had a baby at the beginning of grad school
but in my opinion, one can't wait until the exact right time. There will never
be one.

Paula Schlax

Sorry about the typos- my daughter is on my lap and one handed typing is 
sometimes tough- also- I hope this isn't essentially a repeat of a letter
I thought I deleted before sending



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