pregnancy and working
I am a full-time nurse, wife, step-mom, part-time Younique makeup presenter, and dog/cat mom. I met my husband, who is also a nurse, over four years ago. We've been married two years now. At the time, I was working in a very busy specialist's office. I worked 9-10 hour days, Monday-Friday in a highly-stressful atmosphere. We decided that we wanted to expand our family, and last October we got pregnant! It was a happy time for us. Unfortunately, it was short lived. I had a miscarriage at 11 weeks, the weekend before Christmas. It took a while to emotionally, mentally and physically heal from our loss. My husband and I thought a change in jobs for me would reduce my stress level and accommodate my wishes to pursue my Masters of Science in Nursing degree. After a total of 12 years with my employer, I left to pursue a "calmer" job in Utilization Review Nursing. I began my new job in January of this year. My job is much calmer, but almost boring, as I was so used to running around like crazy all day at my previous job. It took a while for my body to heal enough to attempt pregnancy again. In the meantime, I was accepted to graduate school and started an online program the beginning of May. And as things always work out as they should, I found out I was pregnant on May 3! My first trimester was extremely stressful. I was learning my relatively new full-time job, going to school online full-time, pregnant and scared at every turn that I would miscarry again, all while maintaining a hectic home life and prepping for my step-daughter to begin Kindergarten. At about 6 weeks pregnant, my stress level hit an all-time high. I began bleeding extremely heavy while at work. I cannot express the emotions I felt as I just knew I had lost my baby again. I was urgently seen by my doctor, who against my greatest fears, confirmed that my baby was just fine! I had had a placental tear and only time would tell if it would heal or cause me to miscarry. I was placed on a few days bedrest and returned to work soon after. I was sick for the first 11 weeks of my pregnancy with horrible morning sickness which lasted all day. Every little symptom or change caused me to panic that something was wrong. At 12 weeks pregnant, we found out that my placental tear had completely healed and that we are having a boy! I decided that dealing with the stress of school was pushing my sanity over the edge, and took this current semester off to re-evaluate my goals and be sure I was studying what I want to do long-term. As if we didn't have enough on our plate, my husband started his Bachelors of Science in Nursing in August.
Our baby boy has been growing as expected, our ultrasounds and bloodwork has all been terrific. That said, the constant sitting at my job has reeked havoc on my back, causing horrible back pain, triggering sciatica and causing extreme swelling in my legs and feet. Baby boy is due the first week in January and my anticipated last day at work prior to maternity leave is two days before Christmas. As I previously said, I began my job in January. Therefore, I am ineligible for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) when I leave for maternity leave. I will get Short-term disability while I am out, but it will not cover my full wages.
So now to the dilemma. The idea of putting a 8-10 week old baby in daycare just makes me and my husband cringe. I have a terrific and trust-worthy daycare provider, who currently keeps my step-daughter after school, but we're talking about an infant! As if the news media's recent influx of bad press regarding daycares across America and infants weren't disheartening enough, the cost alone is scary! It will cost just shy of $800 per month to have baby boy at daycare Monday-Friday full-time (or part-time, no discount) and my step-daughter there every other week after school. Staying home full-time would save money for daycare ($800 per month) and would decrease gas expenses to/from work, allow me to breastfeed as long as possible, etc. But it will cause our family's income to decrease, as I am currently earning half of our household income. We have been budgeting and crunching numbers, trying to figure out if we can truly afford me to stay home.
In the meantime, I'm left feeling an emotional mess. On one hand, I would love to stay home and bond with baby boy, do extra things around the house and work on my part-time Younique business to bring in some money for our household. On the other hand, I feel like a burden to my husband, who is already starting to pick up extra shifts to see how the money works without taking my wages into account. I want to do what is right for my family and I know that we will figure it out. In the meantime, I can't help but stress over what is coming. I'm enjoying knowing the end is coming with this pregnancy and excitingly anticipating meeting our little man, but I'm a planner and the wait and see approach to what's next is driving me crazy! If anyone out there has any tips, I'm all ears!