Monday, May 06, 2013

Thesis Baby

Thesis baby (noun): Any child born within a year of one's thesis defense - generally after.

I defended my thesis when 35 weeks pregnant with my own thesis baby.  Successfully, even.   (I did bike to work that summer and removed the baby-related chub.)

(I have completely forgotten what my point was.  Maybe: Thesis Baby!  Everyone should have one!  If you want and you can and so on.  Plus, it's an excellent excuse for My Defense Must Happen By This Date So Help Me God.  Also effective: lease expiring, spouse leaving town, parent who is ill, or a general extremely-cheesed-off-at-grad school feeling.)


  1. Anonymous8:41 AM

    I wanted a thesis baby! But things didn't work out that way, so we ended up with a "I'll wait until the contract on the new job is signed and THEN tell my new boss that I'll be working 6 weeks and then going on maternity leave for 16 weeks" baby. We then moved for said job, in two stages, once 4 weeks before and then again 18 days after. I'm still not sure how much my dislike of the town we moved to (which we have since moved away from) stemmed from the town itself, and how much of it was just post-partum stress and the middle of winter!

    (Found you via glumbunny; it's nice to hang out on the blogs of other educated/academic-y moms.)

  2. Kiddo is my very own thesis baby. I was about 6 weeks pregnant with him when I defended. My defense was about 5 days after I had extreme morning sickness, which was how I found out I was pregnant. (I was very sick, called my doctor in a panic to make an appointment to beg for drugs to get me through my defense, ensuing conversation suggested I take a pregnancy test, I indignantly did, and sheepishly canceled my sick person appointment.)

  3. I miscarried my thesis baby 2 months after I defended. I agree that a thesis baby is a great idea. When it works, of course.

    1. I do remember that (and I'm still sorry). It was definitely a great idea and so sad that yours didn't make it. There's definitely a big 'if it works' component - another pal of mine had a few miscarriages while attempting a thesis baby (it turned out to be a faculty baby in the end)

  4. ivfcycler1:54 AM

    i tried to have a "no i won't ask for a 1 semester research sabbatical pre-tenure because i'd hate to waste a sabbatical when i'm going to get maternity leave instead" baby. no luck. repeatedly. even when i gave up and asked for the sabbatical.

    finally pregnant first time ever with ivf right after tenure, but no babies, only miscarriages and chemical pregnancies.

    don't know if i wish i'd tried for the thesis baby. if it had gotten me to ivf sooner and that had led to a live take-home baby, would have been a good idea. if it had worked, i probably wouldn't have a faculty job, and that would probably be preferable to bitter infertile tenured. if it had only added more years to infertility saga, not regretting that.

  5. Thesis baby! A great idea, if it possibly works out. C1 was somewhat of a thesis baby, in that we had him, then decided we needed to be done with grad school.

  6. Thesis baby clearly sounds preferable to ill parent, if you ask me. We tried for one of the former, but alas, no luck. Now hoping for a post-doc-IVF-baby (although post-doc salaries and IVF costs clearly aren't made for each other).

  7. Anonymous11:06 PM

    My husband's grad adviser was notorious for this. Everyone either had to have a job-in-hand or a baby on the way or both (in my DH's case) before he'd think of letting them defend.


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