Academia, Higher Education, Teaching

The Miscarriage

I have been dreading writing this post because just thinking about the events that transpired makes me emotional and sad. However, I feel encouraged to share my story thanks to the many comments I have received (in person or online) from other women who can relate to my previous post about been an  academic mama. I hope that this post reaches others (men and women) so that we can be more open to share and discuss the emotions, decisions, and life experiences during/after a miscarriage.

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Here is my story:

It was August 2014 and I was super excited! I had recently found out that we were expecting a baby. I am a woman in my mid-thirties so, before finding out about my pregnancy, I was a bit worried about the possibility of getting pregnant. Finding out that I was expecting, filled me with joy. I was happy. Of course, I experienced all the symptoms that a woman will endure¬†in the first three months of pregnancy (nausea, exhaustion, vomiting). As an assistant professor that Fall 2014 semester was difficult, both emotionally and physically. However, pregnancy wise everything seemed to be going well. During my eight week check-up, I had an ultrasound and was able to hear the baby’s heartbeat.

The day before my 12 week check-up, I looked in the mirror and I remember telling my significant other that I did not feel pregnant. I was no longer feeling nauseous and I noticed my belly was not growing as much as before. He told me not to worry (perhaps it was normal as I was going into the second trimester). The next day, October 30, was probably the most difficult day in my life. I met my husband at the hospital to see the doctor and have an ultrasound. It was going to be his first time getting to see the baby. I remember laying in the hospital bed while the ultrasound technician tried for several minutes to find the heartbeat of the baby. However, after a few minutes she turned to me and said: “I am so sorry. Your baby does not have a heartbeat. Based on the size of your fetus, you probably miscarried a week or so ago.” I felt my heart drop to my stomach. I kept wanting the technician to be wrong. A few minutes later, the doctor walked in and she reassure me that I had not done anything wrong. She mentioned that a high percentage of pregnancies end in miscarriages. She asked me if I preferred to wait for my body to miscarried on his own or if I prefer a D&C¬†(Dilation and Curettage). I decided that I would much rather have a D&C (your body can take weeks before it realizes that you need to miscarry the fetus). The doctor scheduled me for an emergency D&C the next day, which meant full anesthesia and a trip into the operating room (OR). That evening we went home and cried for hours.

I could not sleep at all (this went on for several nights). I spend hours thinking about everything I had done the previous weeks. Wondering if I had too much stress, if I worked too hard, if I ate enough… maybe it was the yoga class I did… I thought I did something wrong…

The next day, October 31, I had an emergency D&C. It was an outpatient procedure so I went home that evening and was given orders to return for a post-operative appointment in 6 weeks. The following week, still feeling sad and heartbroken, I attended the AECT conference. I really was not in the mood to socialize but I did it because… at least I could focus my attention on something else for a few days and it was in state so if I had any medical issues I could return home quickly. After returning home from the conference, I still had a month and a half until the end of the semester and I had to find strength (mentally and physically) to make it until finals week.

I wish I could tell you that my recovery after the D&C was smooth sailing. Nope. It was far from that. I found out after six weeks of “recovery” that the D&C was not performed correctly (I still had tissues of placeta from my pregnancy in my uterus) ¬†and that in order to recover I was going to have a second D&C. Yes, this things happen. For a second time, I had to go into the OR (on December 26: a day after Christmas and just a few days before leaving the country for a professional development trip overseas). I was extremely weak physically (anemia) and upset by the fact that I was still dealing with something I wanted to put behind me. So there I was on December 26 back in the OR. A few weeks later, during my professional development trip, I was sitting in a coffee shop in Istanbul reflecting on everything and just hoping to recover. At the beginning of the Spring 2015 semester (beginning of February) I had my post operative check up for the second D&C and I was relieved to find out that it had all gone well.

The physical and emotional recovery from the miscarriage took months for me… Yet, the world continued to move forward around me. I tried my best to deal with the loss but I would lie if I told you that I “took time” to myself. I had only told a few friends what I had experienced and I could tell it was extremely awkward for them to find ways to approach the topic. I was able to openly discuss what had happened with my mom and husband. It helped me tremendously. I know that there are women who experience many miscarriages (two, three, or more). Just know that you are not alone. When I told my mom what had happened, she told me that she had also experienced a miscarriage. Something she had never shared with me before. Again, it is hard for me share something so personal but I think it is important. I no longer blame myself for my miscarriage. I have taken the time to read more about it and discussed the topic with other women who have experience it.

 

 

Academia, Distance Education, Education, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Research, Seminar

#UTampa Honors Program Symposia [Presentation]

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of presenting to the UT Honors Programs students and faculty as well other UTampa colleagues and staff members. I presented on the topic: “Use of Social Media by Graduate Students and Programs.” This is a research area that I am currently exploring and I was able to share some preliminary results.¬†Click on the image below to access the link to the complete Prezi presentation:

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Click on the Image to Access the Slides
Photo Credit: Gul Sahin
Academia, AECT, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Professional Development, Research, Travel, Webinar

#AECT16 R&T Division Webinar [Convention Highlights]

Please join the AECT Research & Theory Division for a Webinar!
2016 AECT Convention Highlights
Thursday, September 15, 12:00 Noon – Eastern
Register Here: bit.ly/2016RTD

 

Here is a copy of the slide deck for the webinar: 

Academia, application, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Job, Research, Teaching

Assistant Professor of Education Position at The University of Tampa #TenureTrack

We have an “Assistant Professor of Education” (primarily Instructional Design & Technology) position open for Fall 2017. Application due September 30, 2016. Hope you consider coming to work with me.

Assistant Professor of Education [University of Tampa] — Employment Site

Academia, AECT, application, Conference, Dissertation, Distance Education, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Job, Research

Apply Now: #AECT16 Early Career Symposium

If you are an advance doctoral student or an early career faculty, I strongly recommend applying to the AECT 2016 Early Career Symposium. I participated in 2012 and it was a wonderful experience. For me, it was a great way to meet other graduate students and early career faculty (network). I also enjoyed interacting with the mentors (they shared their experiences in academia and provided advice). This are the intended outcomes of the early career symposium:

  • Mentoring of doctoral students into the social/professional network as partners in ideation, prototyping, idea execution, and knowledge curation;
  • Supporting early-career faculty and doctoral students in developing viable short- and long-term cyberlearning research agendas;
  • Providing specific feedback and guidance to early-career faculty and doctoral students about their research agendas (e.g. how to build a research agenda, pursue funding, and maintain successful collaborations);
  • Expanding and strengthening the cyberlearning community by creating a community of researchers committed to designing the next generation of learning technologies and increasing understanding of how people learn in technology-rich learning environments.

For more information or to apply: http://www.aect.org/events/mentor/CareerSymposium.asp?clientid=

Academia, AECT, Conference, Education, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Professional Development, Research, Travel

Sneak Preview: #AECT16 Research & Theory Division Highlights

Yesterday, I purchased my plane ticket to Las Vegas (to attend the AECT 2016 International Convention later this year). ¬†This reminded me that I wanted to share a sneak preview of the AECT Research & Theory Division (RTD) sessions. As you know (if you read my blog posts regularly), I have the pleasure of serving as the AECT RTD Convention Planner as well as the Featured Research (FR) Sessions planner. The peer review process for all the sessions was earlier this year (it was not an easy process). The AECT¬†RTD¬†had a large number of good submissions and, at the same time, it had a limited number of allotted presentation hours (plus we had very rigorous reviewers). Now that the review process is completed and all accepted authors have been notified, all planners put together division highlights for the conference printed program.¬†Below are the sneak preview or “highlights” for the AECT RTD and Featured Research Sessions. The full AECT16 schedule will be available in a few months.

Featured Research Sessions: https://cloudup.com/cZomjap6oqL

Research and Theory Highlights: https://cloudup.com/cs6T_t6JAID

For more info about the conference, visit the AECT 2016 website: http://www.aect.org/events/convhotel/