Thursday, April 8, 2010

Productive, pregnant, postdoc - Post 3 or Who am I kidding?

Don't get me wrong. I really am making the effort to be productive. I put in extra hours to make up for the trillions of doctors appointments I must attend and I try to keep my schedule at work so that I don't waste too much time while I am here. You know, the whole work smarter concept.

The problem is, I'm not smarter. I feel like my brain is on strike and I make a lot of really silly mistakes that I normally do not make. Let's take yesterday for example:
  1. While performing a plasmid prep, I dumped all my samples into the waste container instead of onto the filter (which is where they needed to go).
  2. I forgot to heat shock half my transformations. I went straight from ice to the plate.
  3. I inoculated all of my overnight cultures into media containing antibiotics. Unfortunately, none of my strains were resistant to that antibiotic. In fact, these strains aren't resistant to any antibiotics.

So, yeah. Now I am even more behind. The cloning is already going very slowly thanks to the fact that E. coli fucking hates the constructs I am making. I can't really control this, but I'm doing what I can to minimize the problem. However, the things I can control, like say, using the correct antibiotic, I keep fucking up as well, making a process that is already going way too slow, move at a glacial pace.


ScientistMother said...

If it makes you feel better, I used to make really dumb ass mistakes too. Actually I still make dumb ass mistakes, I just can't blame them on the pregnancy! :)

Anonymous said...

I do those kinds of things all the time - I can only imagine what pregnancy will do to my brain!

soil mama said...

I'm sorry to tell you, but it was the same way for me when I was preggo and only got worse after baby arrived. your brain is fried and you're totally scattered. you have to take breaks every few hrs to pump and never really get a full day in the lab.
I've heard some women say that they were most productive when their kids were little because it forced them to focus. NOT me though! I don't think I became fully functional till my kiddo was 2 yrs. the sleeplessness, the illnesses... even getting ready for, dropping off and picking up from daycare seemed to take more time than I actually spent working between all the pumping sessions and sick days resulting from daycare germs.
whew, sorry to rant. It must not be this bad for everyone. and really, now that kiddo is 3, I'm fully functional and have spent the last year making up for lost time.
Just don't be too hard on yourself, it might get worse, but it will get better...

microbiologist xx said...

SM and Micro Dr. O - I am not immune to dumb-ass mistakes. However, I usually don't make quite that many in one day. :)

soil mama - Indeed, I think my brain is fried. I am pretty sure that I am still in denial about how exhausted I am going to be after the baby is born and I go back to work.
One tiny little bonus I have is that my mother is going to watch the baby for the first year, so I won't have the whole day care plague to deal with during that time. That will at least cut down on missed days of work. I am not sure how much that will help in the big picture, but I'm sure it will become painfully clear when they start day care the next year.
Oh, and feel free to rant as needed. :)