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Anyone else a student?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
I'm a student in a FT demanding medical program- Respiratory Therapy. I love it but I had not planned on being pregnant during any of my schooling Last semester was horrible but doable. Not a lot of sleep and some days where I only saw my daughter for an hour, some days where she was in bed before I got home . This semester we're starting 12 hour shifts on top of school work, research papers, elementary presentations, oh yeah- and a freaking MANDATORY club that you have to participate it that has numerous, numerous functions around town including lung walks, bake sales, school activities etc. Did I mention that this is the most intense program in the state of Texas? Its seriously crazy and I have NO idea how I'm going to work this out. I just know that this has been done before and I know I can do this too. But I am just so exhausted everyday where I just almost literally pass out at bedtime. I've been lucky so far that DP's been great about helping me out and taking care of DD so I can try to squeeze in a nap right after school. Anyone "been there done that", or going through this right now? I'd love some advice or commiseration
post #2 of 30
That sounds awful! My schedule isn't nearly that bad so I feel guilty comparing it. But I am a student. I'm working on my Ph.D. I am a teaching assistant, I supervise students and I work at a counseling office part time. But I'm all done with my classes and still have a very flexible schedule.

I was also in school when I was pregnant with DD. My school was very accommodating. I took a lighter course load and did an independent study. I got maternity leave when the time came.

Do you have an advisor or faculty member you trust who you could talk to about your situation? Maybe there's a way they can help you lighten your load just a little. I mean, they can't expect you to do a lung walk when you're pregnant. I get out of breath just walking up the stairs!

Also, know that by getting your education in a field you love, you're helping to ensure a happy future for you and your children. The sacrifices (like not being able to spend much time with your DD) are temporary and will be worth it in the end. At least that's what I tell myself.

It's hard though.
post #3 of 30
I'm also a student. I'm in my final semester of a PhD. The first few years of the program were much more busy with late nights etc., but at the moment it's mostly tying up loose ends and writing my thesis. In the beginning of my program I was so stressed out and really unhappy, but then eventually I realized that *everyone* found the program hard, and that I was actually doing alright.

In my last pregnancy, I found that I just had to choose what was most important to do, and let some other things go. I didn't do this enough, though, I think, and am trying to do things differently this time. In my last pregnancy I tried really hard to push through and maintain the same level of work as everyone else, and ended up fainting during a lab tour amongst other things. I don't know if you have that kind of flexibility in your program, but I agree with gradstudentmommy about talking to a supervisor if that's possible. I freaked out yesterday because my supervisor kept piling more and more work on me, so I emailed him and told him what was going on, and now he's working with me to find what's manageable for me. I'm sure everyone would understand if you just couldn't do especially some of the more physically taxing things.
post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thanks ladies! I'm glad I'm not the only one pushing through school Unfortunately there is NO flexibility in my program. My professors are great but they believe that if this is what you really want then you will find a way to do this. There is absolutely not a lighter load for anyone. I know that last year, a second year student got pregnant and she was still expected to do the same as everyone else. She got through it with A's and had her son on the Christmas break. So she sure didn't make it easy for me! I just made the dean's list again and am really going to have to lower my expectations of myself this semester. I haven't had a chance to see her and talk to her as we have VERY different schedules. I just know that everytime I saw her last year she was exhausted, bags under her eyes and dragging everywhere. I'd see her at the hospital doing her rounds and shifts just the same as everyone else. And there's also no missing school. I go to school whether I'm naseous or throwing up or whatever. You technically get two days unexcused a semester and class is SOO fast paced that you really can't afford to miss a day. So I don't. You also can't miss clinicals or you have to make them up on your own time. Okay, whining over! LOL! I feel better when I'm able to vent to someone and lately I've just been so busy that I haven't. Thanks mamas I'm going to take another nap!
post #5 of 30
Oh man Stephanie, your program sounds AWFUL! It's certainly not very student-friendly. Did the woman who had her baby over winter break already have kids or was that her first? It's so much harder when you also have another child(ren) to worry about.

Can you take a leave of absence or defer for a semester then pick up next Spring semester with next year's cohort? I realize that would mean waiting a whole year to get back into your program. And I'm guessing from what you've said your school wouldn't go for that.
post #6 of 30
My Dad heads up a very demanding residency program (radiology--5 years) and has had pregnant residents before. They're always willing to work with somebody... even if it means that it may take them slightly longer to finish their residency (as one must do a certain # of procedures, etc.) I really think you should talk to somebody... give it a try.

As for me, I'm just trying to finish up a microbiology course--and that is killing me. Three kids, husband with looong hours, and pregnancy exhaustion makes spending valuable sleep time with bacteria unappealing.
post #7 of 30
I'm in school full time too, but it isn't as demanding. I'm taking a ton of credits because I was going to beging Student Teaching in August, well instead I'm giving birth in Sept, so it won't be happening then. My adviser asked if I was going to start back up Jan 2011 and when I said that I'd rather wait until Aug 2011 to try (since I'd be away from the baby 8 hours a day, 5 days a week) she did a little dance and was SO happy that I was planning on waiting. It is times like this that I love being in the education department because the good ones understand child development and how important it is in the beginning months. I was a little worried that she would push me to get back in the program too soon, but now I feel like once I get through this semester (5 classes and a practicum at a preschool), I'll be able to breathe easy for awhile (until the baby comes ).

I do plan on working on my professional portfolio in my year "off" so that it is one less thing I have to worry about while Student Teaching with an 8 year old, 5 year old and 1 year old (omg).
post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 
Well I do plan on taking a year off starting in August. So I will go through this spring semester and also the summer. My head professor (a man) was very understanding and told me that I'm young (25) and I'm very smart and also very determined, so he recommended me taking the year off and then coming back to pick up in the fall. He said the most important time in a baby's life is the first few months and although he will work with me if I wanted to come back after the baby was born (like take a week or two off and then immediately pick back up) he would rather I enjoy my baby stress free. I really wanted to hug him for saying that!! LOL! I'm also top of my class so he said that he would have no problem getting me back in the following year. So at least I know that I will get a break come August and get a whole month to rest up for the baby. Its just the mean time....
Congrats to all the mommies who're still working on getting their education. We can do it!
post #9 of 30
I just checked back on this thread and am so happy to see that you have figured a way to take a year off, Stephanie! That is fabulous. It is so true that the baby really needs you in the first months - year - years of life!

I'm a student also, and I have a 26 month old. I was always planning on going right back after childbirth, were I to have been working full-time. Thank goodness I had my son while in school. I worked out to only take one course the spring semester. He was born in December, and I started back 6 weeks later. I still found it very difficult to go back to a full load in August, when he was 8 months old!! I seriously contemplated abandoning everything and staying home (DH wouldn't permit it -- guess that's a good thing)! So, just watch out -- becoming a mother really does change you. You really have to be committed to furthering your education, and to your career once your education is complete. I have managed to do a full load while only having my son in part-time care (about 24 hours a week for the first 2 years), with DH taking one 3:00 pick up a week. I am very thankful to have the flexibility of a phd program!

Anyway, how is everyone feeling with pg symptoms?
post #10 of 30
I am Though right now my program is all done from home. I will be moving to do an apprenticeship though in the future and I'm not exactly sure how that is going to look yet with nurslings (currently I have two, and then come September probably three).

I just started a new session of course work today. I love learning, so that's a bonus but sometimes it's hard to find time with little people around.
post #11 of 30
I'll chime in...I work full time (~50 hours/week) and go to school full time and have a toddler as well. I take my PCAT in June, and I cannot wait to get into a program. I gotta believe the full time school alone, with no work, will be a million times easier. There are quite a few days when DD is already asleep when I get home, and sometimes I just shed a few tears. It is definitely hard. I think the added exhaustion from pregnancy is definitely a factor that "pushes it over the top" sometimes.

For me, I think the worst part of it all, is all my friends that aren't remotely in the same boat as us and they just don't understand why you can't simply pick and and do 'XYZ'. When you're this busy, almost every minute of your day is allocated to something. And those that aren't, you want to spend with the family or simply take a nap!

Hang in there mama, you are not alone!
post #12 of 30
Thread Starter 
So glad that we are all somehow managing to make it through the semester (mid terms are almost here!) wow, I don't have any idea how i'd handle your schedule southern belle. That sounds crazy and you have such strenth to pull through that. I wish you the best and also hope that your 2nd trimester relief comes soon for you. I've been having more good days than bad lately and I really feel like I'm waking up or coming out of a long dark tunnel. Everyone at school and the hospital has noticed it. How's everyone else doing?
post #13 of 30
I am feeling like this semester is going to be a trying one. First the 3 weeks of migraines, and now my daugther may have surgery. It's hard to want to even focus on school when that's on your mind.
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules09 View Post
I'm also a student. I'm in my final semester of a PhD. The first few years of the program were much more busy with late nights etc., but at the moment it's mostly tying up loose ends and writing my thesis. In the beginning of my program I was so stressed out and really unhappy, but then eventually I realized that *everyone* found the program hard, and that I was actually doing alright.

In my last pregnancy, I found that I just had to choose what was most important to do, and let some other things go. I didn't do this enough, though, I think, and am trying to do things differently this time. In my last pregnancy I tried really hard to push through and maintain the same level of work as everyone else, and ended up fainting during a lab tour amongst other things. I don't know if you have that kind of flexibility in your program, but I agree with gradstudentmommy about talking to a supervisor if that's possible. I freaked out yesterday because my supervisor kept piling more and more work on me, so I emailed him and told him what was going on, and now he's working with me to find what's manageable for me. I'm sure everyone would understand if you just couldn't do especially some of the more physically taxing things.
I very much agree with this. I remember the 1st time I was pregnant, I felt this unspoken...discrimination...I suppose you could call it. Both with my professors and work. And instead of telling them to jump in a lake, I went about to convince them otherwise. It was stupid. I was working 80+ hr weeks on top of ft at one university and part time at another. Stupid, stupid. Should have had a calm pregnancy and appreciate the moments.

I just got through my spring I session and nausea. That was a dark night of the soul. But now I am looking forward to the next session b/c the nausea is gone and the energy is here. yay


OP, you have a really demanding schedule and I hope it all works out for you.
post #15 of 30
DH and I are both full time teaching students (he also works) and it's challenging! I am taking 21 credits this semester to finish up my degree so I knew this semester would be tough, but I didn't expect to be pregnant too, lol. The morning sickness really made getting going in the morning rough! I'm really proud of us all for sticking with school though mamas-because I totally agree that it can be really tough staying focused when you have kids and a life outside of school that in many ways feels waaaaay more important than school-add being pregnant on top of that and yeah...I just keep reminding myself that we are making these sacrifices now so that we and our children can have a better life

*Hugs* and Hang in there mamas! This is my last week of midterms (hope everyone else's have ended or are ending too), and May will be here soon!
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2chloerae View Post
I am feeling like this semester is going to be a trying one. First the 3 weeks of migraines, and now my daugther may have surgery. It's hard to want to even focus on school when that's on your mind.
I hope your daughter is OK. That sounds scary. I know what you mean. Whenever something is wrong with my daughter it's hard to care about school.

I'm so impressed with all of you mamas! I had to call in sick yesterday due to morning sickness. I've never had to do that before. I felt guilty but I just couldn't function. I slept all day and I feel better today.
post #17 of 30
I just wanted to update here to say that I'm done with my dissertation! It's currently being checked for formatting requirements, but I'm so, so close to graduating! I'm really, really excited about being done. I've been a student for so, so long (well, my whole life really!) so it feels weird to be done!

I hope all of your studies are also going well, ladies!
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules09 View Post
I just wanted to update here to say that I'm done with my dissertation! It's currently being checked for formatting requirements, but I'm so, so close to graduating! I'm really, really excited about being done. I've been a student for so, so long (well, my whole life really!) so it feels weird to be done!

I hope all of your studies are also going well, ladies!
Congratulations!!! What a HUGE accomplishment. And just in time for baby. Will you be looking for work now? I'm taking the year off from teaching and I'm just going to work on my dissertation next year.
post #19 of 30
Thanks I'm taking some time off, probably about a year from when baby is here, and then I'll think about getting a job. Good luck with your dissertation - sometimes it feels so overwhelming and like it'll never finish, but I promise it does!
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules09 View Post
I just wanted to update here to say that I'm done with my dissertation! It's currently being checked for formatting requirements, but I'm so, so close to graduating! I'm really, really excited about being done. I've been a student for so, so long (well, my whole life really!) so it feels weird to be done!

I hope all of your studies are also going well, ladies!
CONGRATULATIONS!

Until recently I was grad student, until I decided to leave my program ABD, so I was curious as to what was going on in this thread...and having bowed out early, I can only imagine the effort and determination it took you to get to the finish line. Awesome!
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