Working Through GUILT of Quitting Work During Pregnancy
I can’t be the only one dealing with some of these feelings! I had to stop working during the first trimester of my pregnancy. The job I do (I work behind the scenes on food television shows) is not exactly conducive to someone going through a rough pregnancy.
Hours are long (sometimes up to 16 hours a day) on your feet for the majority of the time and working around food. Having all day sickness with these kinds of conditions is very difficult. I was spending half of my days with my head in a toilet then spent the rest of the day feeling sluggish, nauseous and over all crappy. The level of work I was doing went down dramatically. This was the point I needed to weigh whether or not I was being fair to the rest of my team. Leaning on other people to pick up my slack isn’t exactly something I am used to doing.
It was a difficult conversation to have with my doctor. After calling in sick so many times I needed to think hard about what was fair. Not only to me and my baby but to my co workers who I love and respect. I had the emotional conversation with my doctor who allowed me to have a sick note for the remainder of my contract and potentially for the remainder of my pregnancy. I had to think about contracts going forward. Could I drive the 2 hours in and 2 hours (minimum) out of the city during the winter months? Could I do a respectable job or would my team resent me because of the condition I was in?
I absolutely love my job. I feel left out constantly when I see the fun that my friends and co workers are having on set without me. I worry constantly about whether or not there will be work for me once the baby is born. Have they lost respect for me? Will they find someone easier to work with going forward? Someone who didn’t bail because of pregnancy or someone who doesn’t have a baby at home? Have I just lost the most enjoyable and satisfying job I’ve had in my whole life because of having a baby? These are the questions and worries that go through my mind at least once a day.
The PROOF (which is my boss telling me during our mutually tearful conversation about me taking time off) is that we will absolutely work together in the future. That I’ve proven myself in this role and the respect my co workers have for me goes beyond these feelings I might be having. That they are incredibly understanding and compassionate. This is the proof I see. It’s just so hard to remind myself of this when I see everyone having a wonderful time and working hard on something that I don’t get to be a part of.
I’m now 17 and a half weeks pregnant and I’ve still got a lot more time to go before this little guy comes along. My husband and I are beyond excited about starting our family but it still takes a lot of mindfulness to remind myself that what I am doing is OK. That I shouldn’t feel guilty about taking care of myself and the life forming inside of me. I hear and read stories about people who are able or have to work during their pregnancies and I feel jealousy but everyone is different. Everyone has different experiences and ways of life. There is no right way to do this. I think the important part is how you treat yourself emotionally and physically during this incredible time in life. We are doing a job and that
is creating a life inside of us. Maybe that’s enough? Maybe that’s what we need to remind ourselves from time to time. It’s all about perspective, self respect and doing what we can to get through this!