I’m in a much better place than I was when I wrote that last post. And I want to say a very loud THANK YOU to the lovely ladies who commented. It was such a relief to realize that I was not the only one to have such feelings. It’s fascinating how my blog friends are in some ways so much like me- funny how we’ve gravitated to each other. It really helped to calm me down, and I’ve put “Conquering Infertility” on hold at the library.
One of the reasons I think I’m in better shape now is that I’ve finally come to realize that, yes, I really am done comps, I really did pass with distinction, and I really can put the lists away and STOP trying to read five books a week. This is, not surprisingly, a huge relief. I’ve also started reading for fun again at night or in the afternoons, which has been a huge mood booster. I am a voracious reader- always have been. One of the first things I do when I move to a new city is find the public library and get a card. When we lived near a used bookstore a couple of years ago I had to create a rule that I could only buy ONE book a month to keep me under control. I love my books. But even though my comps were basically all about reading books, there’s a big difference between staring down a list of 200 books that have to be done by April because you’re going to have to write exams on them, and books that you read because you WANT to. I’m also getting smart with ordering books that I want to read and getting them sent to the nearest branch of the library. It requires me to be a bit more organized, but I’m also finding some great reads.
I’ve also had a good couple of weeks with PhD stuff. Last week I was at a conference in my favourite city in North America. I had a great time- the rule in my discipline is you tend to have the most fun the least amount of time you spend at the actual conference, and this proved to be true for this one. I think my best moment was getting up early on the second day and going for this long run along a boardwalk and through a national historic site with the river beside me, and almost no one else around. It was so beautiful. I just repeated to myself as I ran: “This is a good moment. This is a good life. Hold on to this.”
Anyway, we do have to work, so I gave a paper at the conference. This was my first paper at a big conference (I’ve done graduate conferences before) so I was pretty nervous. But it went well. I had a number of people find me over the next couple of days to tell me that they’d liked the paper and, more importantly, a significant number of people found my supervisor and told him how impressive I’d been. Unsolicited praise to the supervisor- very key.
I also got some great news about my funding. I’ve been given a really big scholarship- it goes for the next three years, and it comes with a pretty ridiculous amount of funding, all of it tax-free. And none of the funding is tied to teaching, so I’m now free to decide whether or not I’ll teach in any given year. This is a HUGE relief: if I’m pregnant, if we have a bub- I don’t have to worry about what to do. The scholarship also means I can stop fretting about money. The IVF cycle this summer won’t break our bank account. This is great news for my mental health, and for my marriage, as I have been driving Q. bonkers.
So it was a great couple of weeks from an external validation point of view (and I do love my external validation).
I am SO glad we decided not to cycle in May/June. This would have been my first week on stims, and I just would not have been ready for all that nonsense. Instead, I’m just pootling along with my work, building up my running fitness, and generally trying to take moments every day to really enjoy my life. Because honestly? Life is pretty damn good right now.
And if the powers-that-be were waiting for Q. and I to get our ducks in a row before we got pregnant, well the ducks they are a-quacking, and they are all lined up. Don’t get me wrong- there has been nothing so serious over the last few years that we couldn’t have coped with also being pregnant or having a baby. Our timetable for some work things would have changed, certainly, but we could have adapted.
But there could not be a better time. Q. is in the final months of a huge project and will be able to really scale back his work energy after September. I’m onto the dissertation- no more coursework or exams. My funding is now sorted out (and this scholarship actually has maternity leave, which is just too awesome). I’m fit and healthy and at a good weight. By any standards- we are ready.
But, just in case, I’ve thought of a secret weapon that should guarantee success with the IVF in August- I’m going to buy a bikini in July. Because nothing screams “Wait- she’s finally happy with how her body looks, quick- get her pregnant!” like buying swimwear.