It’s not unusual for folks to share photos of their newborns to social media, but it’s a LITTLE unusual when that newborn is a stack of papers.
Sarah Whelan Curtis staged a maternity-style photoshoot with her PhD thesis, bound by two clips and complete with an open-knit baby blanket. “Yes, I did a photo shoot with my thesis,” she wrote alongside three hilarious photos of herself posing with her new, er, child. “Longest labor ever,” she added.
Curtis is a Ph.D candidate at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, studying epigenetic variation and exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds, according to her Twitter bio.
She told Yahoo that the 183-page thesis focuses on how gene regulation changes, and took her four years to complete rather than the usual five-and-a-half it usually takes in her program.
The labor of love clearly resonated, and Curtis’ tweet racked up hundreds of thousands of likes, comments, and retweets, in just a few days’ time.
I mean…imagine being pregnant for FOUR YEARS???
Her viral tweet even prompted other scholars around the world to share their own ‘newborns.’
i think we should be friends lol
— novayorkines (@joydevision) June 4, 2019
— paula 🏳️🌈 viúva e triste (@naoehanapaula) June 4, 2019
I meant to do a PhD baby blanket, but never got past knitting the central panel… pic.twitter.com/eIu7AMdVPJ
— Dr. Stephanie Craven (@OpusMixtum) June 4, 2019
OMG SIS SAME ENERGY pic.twitter.com/38MubK9H2W
— Rendang McFlurry (@AlexanderJSator) June 4, 2019
Me birthing my undergrad dissertation 3 years ago! pic.twitter.com/0wM7xzf8rM
— Amber Wood-Bailey 💀🌈 (@apwoodbailey) June 5, 2019
This is EVERYTHING!!!!!
This was my hand in photo. As I couldn’t bear the smiley normal photo as if I just casually wrote 130,000 words. No I was goddam showing the pain and torture too. Dragging myself to the finish line! pic.twitter.com/lh8lWtkANM
— Dr. Jennifer Cassidy (@OxfordDiplomat) June 4, 2019
Shortly before defense, I posted this to social media. It exploded within my small circle. My mom was getting congratulatory texts. Like a lot of folks missed the obvious photoshopping and thought it was real?
I also dressed up my cat. pic.twitter.com/qoRjqaMA4t
— Dr. Katherine Glover (@gloverkatherine) June 5, 2019
Curtis told Yahoo that her mom had given her an ultimatum, “Either get a PhD. or give me a grandchild. I got my doctorate.” YASSSS KWEEN!