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Babies and Research - do they mix?

sneaks No I don't think it is true! But you are often tired until the day you become supermummy, and you managed to keep everyone happy yourself included. I learn to be more efficient as you have to manage you time really well.

During the pregnancy, the three first months you tend to be normally tired, but as for me I was so busy writing my thesis that I forgot I was pregnant, was sick only once and it was because of a spicy curry.

The second trimester, you feel so good; I travelled and went out a lot. I was feeling really well and full of energy.
And then I lost three members of my family in a raw including one of my parents, so that was not easy and it still isn’t.
I am at my third trimester and I feel heavy and tired, but again I have to focus on my viva so it keeps my mind off the pregnancy. The little one just keep kicking me to remind me of it LOL :-):-):-)

Babies and Research - do they mix?

I took me five years to do my Phd, and as i said it is not finished as I am waiting for the viva. I have friends who didn't have babies and they phd lasted 7 years. I have a friend who did have a baby no problem and finished in 3 1/2 years...so it varies...

In term of what kindof pregnancy you could have, reallly believe me you cannot plan it at all, family history included :-(

Babies and Research - do they mix?

Hello Cupcake,

I am 8 months pregnant and waiting for my viva next week.
Babies and PhD.....mhhhmmmmm one answer: Possible but far from being easy especially during the last months of the Phd writting.
But then every woman, every pregnancy is different and every PhD experience is different...so there is no direct answer to your question.
It also depends on wether you are well organised or not.

I had my first baby when I was a year into my PhD (it was not really planned), the pregnancy was a difficult one and they made me stop everything for the all period. I had to stay at home and do nothing for 8 months...my baby was born ok and is very healthy now...but it was a very scary experience and it made me forget my PhD subject.

This pregnanc is planned and for now everything is ok...but having to deal with the stress of the writting up and then now with the viva preparation...I start to feel very tired and stressed so I hope this baby will not pop out too early.

So again it has to be your decision and plan, but this kind of plan always hid good or bad surprises.

On the other side, I cannot imagine my life without my daughter and I am so excited to be expected a second one.

VIVA next week Friday

I still haven't finished preparing the questions I hoped to prepare, but at the same time I followed the advice of trying to relax and sleep well, and BINGO I slept 7  hours in a row, it changes a life to sleep, I feel fresh and less stressed. Even if the feeling is only probably temporary, it is nice to feel good.

My philosophy at the moment: "the research is done, the thesis written and submitted, so stressing at that stage won't add anything ":$
The outcome has probably been decided already, "I think"...

I am meeting one of my supervisor today to discuss the viva, I hope it will help.

Good luck to all of you who are writing or preparing their viva, be strong ... never give up!

VIVA next week Friday

Thanks Tennie,

I think you are right I should ask them about the length. I thought the same thing, since they read the thesis they don't need me to repeat the whole thing, so what do they expect exactly is the question to ask...
I am preparing the presentation at the moment and will ask my supervisor to correct it if he has time.

I am so happy to go through the possible questions now because I would have been in big trouble if I didn't...it takes me hours to think of answers...so how I would have managed at the viva? I would have struggled so much...

I am trying to sleep but find it very hard. I will have to survive until the VIVA's date I suppose.

Had a scan today and the baby is doing fine so it makes me fell better as I don't want the baby to live my stress

VIVA next week Friday


Thanks for the advices it helps so much you cannot imagine how much I feel less alone in my stress
I am still up reading my thesis, I cannot sleep because of the heartburn ... perhaps baby is trying to help by keeping me awake like this I have to read :-)
I am starting my presentation for the VIVA, they asked for it to be short (not sure of what they mean: e.g. 20 minutes?)
I am trying to do the plan but I know that I always struggle with presentations as I always want to put too much in...
I am starting with basic presentation slide: Title of thesis, my name and supervisors names (one slide done Hooray...)
Then perhaps:
2. Problem statemements
3. Hypothesis
4. Contributions
5....I am dead tired I should try to sleep my brain might collapse...

Good night all of you!!!

VIVA next week Friday

Thank you all for your advices. I will try to follow them and keep my spirit up. I have re read my thesis and now planning to read it again but this time adding some notes where needed and start preparing the basic questions you suggested.
English isn't my first language so I would probably have to practice out of loud as I tend to speak my own language when stressed or tired LOL My poor students find it hard to follow me when it happens :p
Yesterday I went on Amazon and ardered this book: How to Survive Your Viva: Defending a Thesis in an Oral Examination (Paperback) by Rowena Murray
I don't know if it is really worth doind this but I suppose I did it as a conforting action...Is there anybody who read it?

While I was there stressed thinking of preparing the VIVA I thought of a silly thing: my tummy is now enormous so I won't fit the nice suit I bought (nice skirt and jacket) for the VIVA. I need to think of a solution but it is silly to invest into a pregnancy suit when I am 8 months pregnant, I will wear it only once...another question added to my mind. I was planning to do my best for them not to notice my pregnancy, but being tall and slim with a massive tummy I will have some problems hiding it. Yesterday, I had this nightmare where I gave birth during the VIVA I woke up crying asking them to keep going with the questions....oh god this PhD is really making me CRAZY.

VIVA next week Friday

Squiggles Did you have a mock VIVA? or did you meetwith your supervisor to get ready? If yes what was his advice on getting ready.
My supervisior refused to organise a Mock viva saying it is useless as you cannot predict the questions that would be asked. I am hoping he will accept to give me some guidance on what to do and avoid for the viva.

VIVA next week Friday

Thank you so much for your encouragements Squiggles, and GOOD LUCK TO YOU TOO!
I think you are right, we should not overdo it as it will be no use to be dead tired but at the same time as a PHD student I am so bad at knowing when enough is enough :$
I hope we will keep in touch until the big day, it is so good not to feel alone, most of the family and friends around have the same answer: "you will be ok"...but at the same time I think "they haven't done a PhD they don't know what it is like this anxiety killing you and his fear of failing and making a full of yourself with everybody waiting for the final results after all these years........ahhhhhhhhhh I want o hide in a cave until everything is finished! LOL I am becoming crazy"

I have just been told that I have to prepare a presentation...is it common?

VIVA next week Friday

Thank you so much for your support. Is is so good to hear your experience and CONGRATULATIONS!!! you must be over the moon it is finished.

Some questions :
"How did you get started when they asked you the question "How did you embark on this research?""
Was it easy for you to find the right words when they asked you the questions?
When they test your knowledge of the area is it more philosophical or technical questions?
How much did you prepare on your examiners research?
What was your preparation like overall?

Some advice to hopefully have the same sucess as you LOL in my dreams

VIVA next week Friday

======= Date Modified 25 12 2010 12:12:42 =======
Hello All,

I wish I knew the existence of this forum earlier . It is so good to read all your threads about life as a PhD student. I would have felt less alone and miserable.

It took me 5 years to complete the thesis, I am mum of a 5 years old and I am 8 months pregnant. I know it is crazy but it is a long story…

I have my VIVA in 1 week and 5 days. I am so stressed, so so so stressed…

I am trying to get ready but find it hard to focus…it is like if my brain stopped working.
Do you think it is too late to get ready, did I leave it too long? Any advice?

I have read most of the threads on how to get ready and tried to follow the advices.

I did submit my thesis in January so it was a very long time ago and I had to rediscover my thesis. I finished re-reading my thesis today, it was like rediscovering my subject…LOL…I kept saying to myself: “Did I really write all of this my self”. I don’t remember some of the referenced papers.

Some might ask why it took me so long to get back to it. But since January I have lost three members of my close family including one of my parents. So life was not too easy. I wanted to give it all up but I promised myself not to after all that time.

It is the last days left of misery before I will finally get the answer about my PhD, so I want to make the most of them. But the stress is taking over and I am not efficient.

Even simple questions such as: “Why did I embark on this research?” I can’t think of an answer…it is true WHY ooooo WHY did I embark on this research???? What would you answer?