Pregnant, fatigue, nauseous - while preparing for viva in two weeks.

19-Apr-17, 08:27
edited about 4 seconds later
by appleby
Avatar for appleby
posted about 6 months ago
I have been advised that my viva will take place in two weeks from now. Several weeks after I submitted my thesis I found out about my long awaited pregnancy, and I thought why not, now that I have submitted my thesis and I can finally start a family. But I never anticipated experiencing such an extreme fatigue and terrible nausea that last all day, now approaching four weeks of sleeping in the bed not able to consume anything. I have done everything I could to fight this first-trimester symptom but at the same time, I still find myself not able to get things done. I am so worried about the viva preparation. I have read forums, followed their advice, and focus on the 5 key questions but I am still left becoming more anxious because I just sleep all day and I am afraid I am not totally ready for the interview. I am afraid with this energy level I have, that I am not able to defend my thesis intelligently as I should. I am afraid I am not being able to answer some questions I have not prepared for.

5 key questions:
19-Apr-17, 10:47
Avatar for DrCorinne
posted about 6 months ago
Dear appleby, first of all congratulations! Secondly, what you are experiencing is pretty normal. Don't fight against it. I had a baby in the middle of my PhD and although I didn't have nausea I definitely had the dormouse syndrome!

If you feel that you cannot be in control and sustain a viva, you should speak to your supervisor immediately and ask whether is possible to postpone the viva for a few weeks. It shouldn't be a problem.

However, the symptoms you are experiencing may be over in a matter of days, so if you think that you can go ahead as planned do not dwell too much on small details.

I don't know which field you are in, but you surely know your thesis better than anyone else. I can tell you that I got none of the questions I had thought prior to my viva - and I passed anyway. So, take stock of the work you have done and be confident.

Good luck on all fronts!
19-Apr-17, 18:31
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for timefortea
posted about 6 months ago
Congratulations! Actually it sounds as if you are pretty much prepared. As long as you are doing a little bit of reading to remind yourself of your topic every day then I think you will be fine. (My memory went to pieces when I was pregnant and I never really got it back!)
20-Apr-17, 06:37
by appleby
Avatar for appleby
posted about 6 months ago
Dear DrCorinne, thank you for your supportive advice and I really hope the symptoms will be over in a few days so I may have time to really prepare mentally and emotionally. Also congratulations for passing your viva! At the moment I just use whatever energy I have to re-read the thesis and make a mind map of the important bits. For some very difficult reference papers, I record my voice reading it and listening to it for at least some of it can eventually enter my brain :)

Dear timefortea, thank you. "My memory went to pieces..." ---> THIS, exactly what happen to me that make me freak out in case during the viva I can't remember most things. So right now I have to jot down the key things, make a mind map, and hopefully during the viva I have enough energy level to be confident with my work.


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