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Interweaving Motherhood and Science: The Beginning

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In all honesty (and it’s ok, my husband knows this!) I never thought I was going to get married, and especially have kids!  I know some girls from a young age dream of becoming a mother and having a family, cuddling away at dolls, wanting to hold or play with every new baby that came around.  Me… I was the complete opposite!  I could have cared less about my baby cousins (love you guys!  Just didn’t want to change your diapers!), and playing dolls was just boring!  I wanted to get dirty- go to the zoo, go on a hike… learn about the nature around me!  Instead of dreams of being a mother and a wife, I Lula horsedreamed of working with animals, growing up to be a great conservationist, being a catalyst for re-building that bridge between nature and man, and running around in the jungles and tropics all over the world!  Yes, having kids was a thought, but I figure I would end up adopting or having kids past 40.  Over the years, my thoughts changed, but starting a family still wasn’t my priority.  We no longer live in the 1800s or a society (I’d hope!) where a woman’s worth is based on her fertility- so in my head making a difference in the world was more important for me.

Well, I turned 30 and a freaking alarm clock started ringing.  Yup, I became DSCF1958baby crazy. But even though there were days I dreamed of starting a family, I kept thinking to myself, “but what about my career, my research???  I love this too much to give it up!”  But I found the right guy who was going to live my dream no matter what.  And he made me realize starting a family doesn’t mean I have to give up all that I love to do.  More than ever, I realized I had to live with “balance in the force,” a life-style of “ying-yang,” to have a happy family life and a successful career in the research of crocodiles.

Kids-when is it a good time to have kids with my life style?  Going back and forth to Belize (and inquiring a full-time move to the country), continuing field research… in all honesty, it probably wouldn’t be a good time until I was 50+ years old!  So I told the hubby whatever happens, happens.  And what happened was way quicker than I thought!

So my last trip to Belize in November, I had food cravings, a bit of nausea, and all honesty I just ragtime-alienthought I got another human parasite.  Pretty much ignored my symptoms, drank a lot of jagar and Panty Rippas with friends, and felt if my immune system didn’t kill the parasite, the alcohol will!  It wasn’t until something inside me told me this wasn’t the type of parasites I’ve had in the past.  Immediate return upon home in Seattle I took a pregnancy test, than a 2nd, than a 3rd.  I guess most girls might get emotional and cry of happiness and tell their significant other in a really cute way.  I came out of the bathroom laughing hysterically, called my husband over and told him, “I’m f*&C@in’ pregnant!”  Yes, I’m very lady like 🙂

So now I’m 13 weeks.  Overall my symptoms are not bad.  Definitely have days of fatigue, so working 8 hour days is very hard.  But I do what I can to the best of my ability, and that’s all I can do.  I’mdefinitely not the non-stop work-aholic that characterized me during college and graduate school.  So I’m adapting my science to my pregnancy right now.  And oh yes I’m still researching crocodiles!  And oh yes I’m still planning on going out into the field in the next couple of months to implement my rocky4research.  I’m not stopping what I love, I’m not ending my dream because I’m pregnant.  Pregnancy isn’t a disability- yes it is a challenge, and now I must learn how to adapt to the challenge to make EVERYTHING work.  I’ve got the Eye of the Tiger.  And maybe this attitude will change further down this pregnancy, but right now all I can say to that stigma of pregnant woman not being able to work or doing certain things while they’re pregnant (I’ve had WAAAAYYYY TOOO MANY PEOPLE tell me what I’m going to be like, how I’m going to feel, thus what I can and can not do) … “I will break you!” (I really love Rocky 4).

So how am I going to make this interweaving of science and motherhood work out?  ADAPT.

So hello week 13!  Let’s see what fun we’ll have this week!

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