Saturday, November 24, 2007

It's been a while

Yeah, I haven't posted in a while. It's not for lack of pictures--I have hundreds of those--but for lack of ideas. Life with a baby is time-consuming, but it's not terribly exciting. I could regale you with tales of poopy diapers, late-night feedings, and naptime. But it's pretty much the same story every day. Now, I like my time with Sophia, but it doesn't make for riveting conversation.
Having said that, Sophie will be a month old tomorrow. She's doing well. We're still getting up every 3 horus or so at night, but it's pretty doable. And Tim took all of Thanksgiving week off. That was a huge help--having another set of hands around is fantastic.
Sophie being a month old also means I'm more than halfway done with my maternity leave. Dr. B has been out of the country, but when he gets back, I anticipate he'll start asking me when I'm coming back. I'll probably be back part time in mid-December and back full time in January.
I'm having a lot of anxiety about going back to lab. Things aren't moving well on my current project, which is nothing new. But the paper I wrote with my old lab has been in progress for over a year now. We first submitted it in the spring, and then again in late summer. My old lab is taking charge of where to submit it/formatting it/being in contact with reviewers, so I'm at the mercy of the old lab's timetable. I'd like to move it a bit faster, but they are doing me a favor by handling the details. We submitted to two pretty decent journals to start with--and I didn't have a lot of hope for either accepting the paper--but now I'm starting to worry that no one will take it.

I need two papers. There's no way I can get two out of my crappy current project. So if the old lab paper falls through, I don't know what I'd do. And with my current lab having money/PI issues anyway, things could get worse before they get better.

I'm trying not to focus on it too much, but the thought of going back into the lab is freaking me out. Part of it is leaving Sophie, but my mom is going to watch her in the beginning, so I can transition a little there. Most of it is just the general anxiety of the lab. It's been so nice to leave that behind for a month. I knew the lab affected me--it took being away for me to realize how much it really messes me up.

Still, I've come this far, and I want to finish my PhD, barring disaster. I need a break from research then. Who knows, maybe after residency/fellowship I'll decide I miss it. But, I think the likelihood is that I'll never do research full time, and doing clinical research is much more likely than doing basic science at this point. I do like the teaching aspect, so I'd like to stay at least partially involved in academics. But my original plan of research full time? Gone.
There have been four main sources of anxiety for me lately. First: the baby. That's a good anxiety though, and as time goes on, I'm feeling more comfortable.

Second: the lab. I already went into it, and it's getting worse.

Third: selling the old house. We've lowered the price again, but nothing is selling in Cleveland. At all. And while two mortgage payments aren't sending us into debt, we just break even every month. And once we add daycare into the mix, things could get ugly.

And fourth: post-baby body issues. I definitely don't want to get into it. I've only got ten baby pounds left, and it's great to be in real clothes again, but the stretch marks and flabby skin don't help my already crappy body image. My doc said no diet or exercise till after my six week checkup. But once I'm cleared, I'm going to work on losing the last ten baby pounds and the thirty I had hanging around before I got pregnant. I can't go crazy, since I'm breastfeeding, but I'm actually hoping that will help the weight loss.

Anyway, I've got a hungry baby calling for me. I love being a mom, and I'm excited that at least I have a little more time home with her. The rest of my anxieties can wait, because Sophie comes first.

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