Well, somehow the last several months have come and gone with nary a post from me... I cleaned out my bench, handed over my projects, and, I'll admit it, cried a little over the past 5 years as I did my last experiment - both in a happy and sad way all at the same time.
And on October 26, a full two weeks early, after 25 hours of labor (!) my little boy entered the world. And I haven't looked back. He is, by far, my greatest piece of work, and my most important project. WAY better than my C/N/S paper. Hands down.
I've been back to visit the lab twice now since LittleOne was born, and have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity and support from my supervisor and lab mates. If you'd asked me a few years ago how any of the people in my lab environment would react to me having a baby it would have been the total opposite of what I've experienced. I never thought I would say it, but I LIKE, almost LOVE, my lab mates and I kind of miss seeing them on a daily basis. Some of them even showed up at the hospital to visit me, flowers in hand, the day after LittleOne was born. Living away from home, they were my first and nearly only visitors in my whole 5 day long hospital stay. I was so touched that they would come.
Professionally, there have been no changes. I sent some data to a collaborator a few days before LittleOne was born, and I'm receiving regular updates from the PhD student who took over my project, but otherwise I'm on total professional hiatus. I even stopped reading Science blogs.
But here in LittleOne's 6th week of life, I'm starting to feel a bit more like myself and starting to think more about how to go on from here. I've given myself permission to NOT look actively for something new until Easter. My maternity leave benefits here in PhDCity allow me a full year with great financial support so I don't have that pressure pushing me to find something new, and can really take the time to enjoy LittleOne's earliest days. But still, I'd like there to be a future for me professionally. I'm just not sure what that future looks like anymore. If you'll bear with me (and I find some time during naps) I'll be trying to figure that out in the coming months.
Happy December everyone!