Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Flashback part 4

After I took the plunge to work on a Ph.D. in Biomedical Studies with the emphasis in Immunology, I was bound and determined to complete it.  Now this was a special deal because what I was developing was able to be used as a Ph.D. project.  I just needed a paper published and the classes done.  The first semester was nothing…  Just a journal club class where you read an article that someone has chosen to present, sit in on the presentation, and write a summary.  That was an easy semester.

The next semester proved to be a little more challenging with 2 additional classes with the journal club and intense series of experiments for the vaccine development all with morning sickness…  That’s right!  I said it, morning sickness!  I was pregnant!  It was totally not planned by us, but rather by Him.  At the end of this crazy four months, the vaccine was no longer in research but in a clinical trial!  I was so proud of that vaccine but I put all my effort into it just to give it to another department and sit on the sidelines to watch what happened.  Frustrating?  TOTALLY!  However, I had my studies to complete, a paper to write, a birth to give, and stay sane.
The year of 2009 had many ups and downs.  The ups: I gave birth to the most perfect baby girl!  She was incredible, and still is!  Finished writing my paper that was published in Journal of Immunological Methods on the development of a therapeutic HIV dendritic cell vaccine.  The downs: At the end of the year, we lost a most amazing woman to old age, my husband’s grandmother.  This started the cascade of a bad 2010.  Both my husband and I lost an uncle.  My uncle was a link to my grandmother that I was not fortunate enough to know and I loved him very much.  My husband lost his uncle who was very dear to our hearts.  Both were due to cancer.  Our daughter was also going through bad bouts of ear infections that resulted in the development of a drug resistant strain.  Ear tubes were our only hope and they worked beautifully! Then she suffered two daycare injuries that really put us in the mind frame of me staying at home as soon as possible.
Ok, so I know that last paragraph was a big downer but actually living it was even worse.  On to a more uplifting tone…  This time last year I was writing my dissertation!  Yes, I know!  I was excited too!  I was nearing the tail end of my schooling!  It was a great feeling!  I could have stopped when I became pregnant with my two year old but I have to finish what I start.  Now, writing the dissertation is in fact a very stressful time especially when there is no guidance.  It was really tough setting deadlines for myself and keeping with them.  I would wake up at 5 am and write, read, write, read, write, read, eat, read, write and then sleep at 1 am.  This would go on for 3 months!  It was tough.  The last month was really stressful but I got done. 
Now, I should wait for a few more days to share this but on June 29, 2011 while I was practicing my defense (which is a presentation that is given to a public audience about your research and you had to defend your work.  People can be really nasty and ask really challenging questions or they could be nice and not ask anything), I started to feel a little queasy to my stomach.  Since I was planning on celebrating the following day regardless if I passed or not, I thought that I better be certain I wasn’t pregnant.  So I did want anyone would do.  I went to the drug store, got a test, brought it back to work and went to the bathroom.  You know what!?  The test stick had two lines!!!!  I WAS PREGNANT!!!  WOOHOO!!  I ran out of the bathroom and the first person I told was the lady at the front desk!  She is a very good friend and one person I really miss to this day but she told me I needed to call my husband.  RIGHT!  Of course, what was I thinking!?  So I called him and we were really excited… Then I called everyone in our family!
I went back in the building and ran up to tell my best buddy!  I pulled him out of his office and said I was pregnant!  I asked him if he wanted to see the test stick.  At first he said, “NO!” and looked at me with his sideways look but then said, “Well ok”, we laughed and I showed him.  Another friend walked by, I pulled her aside and showed her too!  Sorry to tell you, but it is very HARD for me to keep a secret! I really wanted it to stay a secret until the 3 month mark but I will have to tell you tomorrow what kept that from happening.  
Anyways, I have a good friend coming over to show me how to make cake fondant and to catch up on old times.  I have a real obsession with Cake Boss and have to learn this technique.

Until tomorrow, kindest blogging wishes!

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