Graduate school and parents

Mary Jane Nather natherm at
Thu Mar 9 22:45:20 EST 1995

I will be getting married this July.  My fiance and I are both in graduate
school.  Hopefully we will have our PhD's in 2-3 years.  We both want
children.  Currently, I work with chemicals I would not want to expose my
child to if I were expecting (ethidium, polyacrylimide, radioisotopes,
etc).  I do however want to have children while I am still fairly young
(I'm only 24 and I can already tell I'm losing energy ;) ).  My fiance
will probably go into academics and therefore look for a post-doc upon
graduation, but I'm leaning more towards working in industry so I'm not
sure if I'll look into post-docs or not. 

So, my question is this:  For those of you with families, did you have
children while you were in graduate school or wait until you had started
your first "real" job?  If you could do it over, would you do anything
differently?  I've been thinking that conceiving after most of my work at
the bench is completed, but before defending would be ideal (I wonder if
the stress would warp the poor baby?!).  Oregon State has great student
health insurance, so that's not a consideration. 

All comments or suggestions (except not to have kids at all!) are welcome 
here or to my e-mail account.

Mary Jane Nather 
Dept. of Microbiology
Oregon State
natherm at

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