How does getting pregnant start for many of us? We walk into a store and buy an ovulation test. I started with Clearblue because I liked seeing the smiley face versus a boring pink line. However, taking this test entailed sneaking around work and hiding the fact that hopefully a baby was in my future.
Is it just to torture us right off the bat and show us that this potential new addition is already controlling our world by saying that the best time of day to take the test is between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. So, you either need to carve out 5 minutes to “hang out” in the bathroom as you wait to see if you get a smiley face (impossible with back-to-back meetings) or you have to pee on a stick, carefully wrap it up and then hide it while keeping it horizontal as you go back to your office.
After a few months of this, I realized that this process gets old really quickly. Not to mention that taking a test between those specific hours when travelling, including a flight to a rented car to a meeting to a rented car to a flight again (with others by your side) is way too stressful and not very hygienic.
So I switched to the not as fun tests that show boring lines because those apparently are fine to take any time of day. For those keeping score out there on the stress continuum, is this already creating too much pressure in a time when we are supposed to remove and reduce stress? Work wins this one.
On top of that, once you are pregnant, if you are like me, there are many doctors appointments which means canceling and moving meetings because doctors tend to have one available timeslot and you need to take it. Some doctors must forget that you need to work in order to have insurance that covers your visits and calls with them.
How about taking calls from nurses or doctor? You have to interrupt your scheduled meeting or task and say it’s a doctor calling and then rumors start (after a few of these). Otherwise you make up a lie and then you just seem rude because something else “not that important” is taking precedence over people with scheduled times in your office.
People tell you to get a lot of rest and avoid stress when trying to get pregnant and in your first trimester. If someone could tell women how to do this successfully with the realities of today's working world, then that person would be very rich. Until then… essentially you plan your “work” around a pregnancy that doesn’t exist or no one knows about yet.
And when you are pregnant, the stress turns to telling those at work. It’s a weird phenomenon but this is scary for many women, almost as scary as giving a resignation or giving birth itself. On top of that, with the many social media outlets out there today, sometimes you end up telling work before close friends and family to ensure that no one at your company finds out by accident when a friend congratulates you on your Facebook wall. However, it doesn’t really matter when you tell work, it is usually painful and whether you come back after one month or six from maternity leave, it will be a crazy transition.
Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user earlypregnancytests.com.