If you could do it all over again......

linden higgins linden at mail.utexas.edu
Sat Jun 20 10:00:06 EST 1998

Hi, all - Well, just a little from older side, as we have been hearing from
many who had their children earlier.  I had my first (as yet, only) when I
was 38.  Yes, it was hard - I needed surgery to remove fibroids in order to
get pregnant at all (and the Dr., bless his heart, cheering me on with
comments like "well, fibroid removal only sometimes clears up infertility,
and we don't know why it does or does not").  But 3 mo later, there I was
in his office for a confirmation pregnancy test.  (He was proud).  And
there was the hold-our-breath period while we waited for the results of the
amniocentesis.  But she is healthy and bright and keeps us running (2s are
like early adolescence?).

I'm actually glad I waited, in spite of the medical problems -  I, too, at
30 was very tempted - thought of adopting, even (no viable partner on the
horizon).  I had finished my Ph.D. at 30, but was in the midst of doing a
sent-from-heaven post-doc (2.5 yrs in Mexico).  Althought the sleepless
nights of early infancy took their toll at 38 - I certainly have less
energy than in my 20s or even early 30s (I recall dancing 'til 3 and
getting up at 6 to run a transect.... couldn't do THAT now!).  But field
work and babies don't mix well.  And despite all the people who told me
about keeping the baby at work & getting lots of writing done, I couldn't
have done it.  It was all I could do to keep up with my class (and I was
team teaching).

I have friends who have had children during their grad. student days, and
most of them have had a very hard time finishing.  perhaps the ideal is to
have the job, then have the kid but many of us can't wait that long - I
agree that postdoc is a better time.

BTW, for those that are curious and remember my cry for help from 8 wks
ago, I have found a new academic home - a bit of a commute but they are
bending over backwards to make my transition easy, and my new position will
be better than what I leave (long-term post doc metamorphosing into adjunct
research faculty).  I'll get to write my own grants! (well, I've been
writing my own grants, but now my name'll be on them!).  So, it really has
worked out - after many sleepless nights.  Thanks to all who wrote in


Linden Higgins
Department of Zoology
University of Texas
Austin, TX  78712

telephone:  (512) 471-6905  FAX (512) 471-9651

linden at mail.utexas.edu

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