So, I'm in lab. At 7 PM on a Tuesday night. And I will be here until at least 10, probably later. Why? Because every time I think I am done with experiments, I am not. Let me rewind.
I've been working on lab stuff since mere days after I delivered. I came into lab to run experiments about three weeks after I delivered. And on Saturday night, I was up all night long re-doing figures so that I could meet with my boss at 9 AM on a Sunday. I worked for eleven hours straight, no sleep, during a tornado watch/warning (the same one that killed 5 people in northwest Ohio). And this was a night that Josh was cooperative and actually slept well (Sophie did not--I think she was up 8 times that night). I pulled an all nighter, got into work before 9 AM Sunday morning, and didn't get home until close to 3 PM. And really, it was nothing we couldn't have done over email.
Part of the Sunday pow-wow led to this week's experiments. I have to re-run gels in a different layout so that we can get a pretty picture for the paper. The data collection is done--this is just for an image. So, running today, blotting/stripping/reprobing tomorrow, blotting/stripping/reprobing again (probably Friday), then blotting on Saturday.
Where is this so-called "leave" that I am supposed to be on? This is really getting out of hand. Ok, it's been out of hand. I want to graduate, but I'm burning myself out. Taking care of a newborn is hard enough. Last week, we had Sophie at home for "vacation." Luckily either my mom or Tim was home to help with both of them. But really, the entire point of maternity leave is to heal, rest up, and take care of a newborn. Josh turned six weeks old on Monday, and I have yet to take one nap while he was sleeping.
I am supposed to get eight weeks of leave. I was thinking this would be better than the six I got with Sophie. Not so much!! I have absolutely no energy whatsoever. I'm still flabbergasted that my boss thinks I should have all this time to be working. She has two kids--granted, she had them before she started her PhD (she didn't get her PhD until she was in her 40s). But still--it's a lot of work. I knew I'd have to be splitting time when I went back to work. I really think it is unfair that I'm splitting so much of my time now.
Unfortunately, there is no on to complain to that has any power to change things. The requirements for graduation are clear, and unless I get this paper out soon, there's no way I'll be on the schedule I set for myself. So, that's why I am here.
This sucks. I think my final verdict is in: the PhD was so not worth the time, energy, or emotional angst I put into it. I wish I had a do-over. But I'm too stubborn, and I've put too much time into it, to quit at this point. So, it's back to experiments and the paper for the rest of the evening.