Wednesday, November 09, 2005

rational baby lust?

Anonymous's comment on my herd of elephants post got me on the defensive but it also made me realize that my wanting a baby may not make sense to an outside observer. So here's my rationale:
  1. I have a fellowship for the 11 months that pays more than double what the average grad student around here makes (one reason you won't hear me complaining about money).
  2. once my husband's unemployment runs out he will settle for anything (Kmart!) that will keep him busy. In the meantime, I'm happy that he can take the time to be a bit more selective. He's only been unemployed 3 weeks. Unfortunately, even if he does land a job soon most of the companies he is interviewing with don't offer health insurance for the first 3 months. So what we really need is coverage to fill in the gap between now and January or so.
  3. I am fairly confident that I will land a post doc or faculty position for next year. And even if I don't land one, my advisor desperately wants to keep me on and has guarenteed money for a post-doc here for me.
  4. The original plan was not to simultaneously have a baby and defend my thesis. Originally, I was going to have a baby with six-nine months to go before my fellowship ran out and I defended. Of course, we started trying over a year ago...
  5. At least for me, given that we've been trying for a year and have a medically confirmed reason that it might take us a long time to get pregnant, having to forgo trying for 4 cycles is incredibly unfortunate.
I respect the comments of Anonymous and others who feel like her. I think if the average grad student came up to me and said "I'm uninsured, with an unemployed husband, and I'm trying to get pregnant," my first reaction would be to think "Are you nuts?"

Science "Nutcase" Woman


Zuska said...

I don't think there is ANY good time to have a baby. You can plan and plan, and it can still be difficult - or you can not plan at all, and things can work out just fine. If you want to have a baby, that is your decision to make and nobody else's business but your own.

The only reasons not to try to have a baby are: if you are trying to have a baby because subconsciously you want to get out of science and a baby will be a good excuse; if your relationship is in trouble and you think a baby will help fix it; your parents/in-laws are nagging you for a grandchild; you want to sell it on E-bay in a get-rich-quick scheme.

All that said, I hope things will work out with the health insurance real soon. Good luck!

BotanicalGirl said...

I'm sorry to hear your insurance situation is so difficult with the pregnancy issues. I don't think you're being irrational at all. I want to have kids fairly soon, but my goal is to A)get married first (the engagement ring is on layaway!)
B)finish my PhD

After that, it's fair game, though I don't want to screw over my career by doing family instead of a postdoc. I want to stay with my kids at least half-time until they get into grade-school, not sure how that will work out...but that's the ideal.

Good luck with everything.

PhD Mom said...

Are you sure that pregnancy is uninsured? My husband and I were in a similar situation for a while (he was self-employed) and at least in Texas, pregnancy HAD to be covered. Maybe the laws are different there. I totally understand the baby lust, it is only beginning to subside for me and I have two! I don't know that I would hold back, even for the insurance, but it is very expensive. Even with insurance (which negotiates lower rates) delivery was about 4K, about $900 of which we paid. Uggh! Of course you could just go for a mid-wife and home birth.

Oh and my son was born the day after my defense. There were pretty good odds around the department for my water breaking in my defense. So don't let that bother you either.

Good Luck

Doctor Free-Ride, Ph.D. said...

My own hunch was that reproducing in grad school (rather than midway through the tenure probationary period) would be a better strategy. (Easier to get a Ph.D. than tenure, after all.) But, no matter when, a baby will destroy Life As You Know It and replace it with something else. Once you come to terms with that, you will figure out the best way to make it work with the circumstances you've got at the time.

Shooting all manner of good vibes your direction!

K said...

You can plan and wait until the "right" time comes along for a child, and by then it might be too late! Insurance is a big deal though, I hope you can work something out. But don't ever let yourself reconsider your choices because someone tells you you haven't got the money or the time. By the time you have everything you could ever want for a child you'll be 90!
Good luck and don't give up!

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