I haven’t always been blessed to have a work-from-home job. In fact, up until the day I went into labor, I was working in an office. While I do miss the social aspect of working in an office environment, I don’t miss having to deal with life’s issues with an audience of coworkers sitting in the front row. Take working while pregnant, for example.
I didn’t tell my coworkers I was pregnant until I was around five months pregnant. When I did eventually tell them, I only confirmed what they were already speculating. I’m not going to lie, working in an office environment while pregnant had its perks—I didn’t have to wait in line for the restroom; I had first dibs on all the free snacks that were brought into the office; and I got a pass on having to wear heels when we hosted client parties. It wasn’t so bad. But what sucked was having to deal with the physical changes of pregnancy while working in an office.
For Me, Working While Pregnant Meant Tons of Unwanted Attention
I felt like every morning I walked into the office, all eyes were on my belly, my swollen face, or my swollen feet and sausage-like toes. Oh, and it didn’t help that another coworker was also pregnant. And while she was an entire trimester ahead of me in her pregnancy, we were always coupled together. Sometimes we didn’t mind because we were already good friends, even outside of work, but when our coworkers began to compare our physical appearances, that’s when things got awkward. I would get comments like: “Wow, she’s about to give birth but you’re way bigger” or “Are you sure you aren’t having twins?”
It only got worse once my coworker left for maternity leave because now there was no one to share the awkward attention. I was already self-conscious about the fact that I was down to rotating between the same three dresses and two pairs of maternity pants because I refused to buy any more maternity clothes; add to that the tiredness from not sleeping because heartburn was keeping me up all night. I didn’t look the best and I had reached the point of not even caring. So comments about me looking tired only added more passengers to my struggle bus.
As I neared my due date, goodbyes at the end of each workday turned into “Maybe, I’ll see you tomorrow.” Whether or not I would go into labor at any given moment was a guessing game between me and my coworkers. My worse fear was that I would go into labor at work and that would mean even more attention that I didn’t want while at work. Thankfully, my water waited to break until after I left work but I’d apparently been having contractions all day and I didn’t even know it.
I say all of this to say, if you’re currently struggling with working while pregnant, look on the bright side: soon, you’ll be on maternity leave and you’ll be able to enjoy looking how you want while also enjoying your new baby.