The first trimester is seriously difficult at work. This is the time that you feel like crap, you’re exhausted, you can’t remember anything, and you spend your meetings trying not to vomit on a conference room table. If it’s summer, and you work at a law firm, you also have to attend approximately 40 drinking events in a 12-week period. It’s also the time that you don’t tell your boss you’re pregnant.
A good friend of mine, who I work with, recently had a baby. I knew that she was pregnant from about five weeks on, and I think it made it much easier when I realized that if it was 8:30 pm, she was probably at home, fast asleep, and I could cover for her. Unfortunately, she is now on maternity leave, so I am here, faking like a responsible employee, while sneaking out to buy hard candies in between meetings and sleeping each way on the train to and from work.
(currently working my way through this bag)
When my friend finally announced her pregnancy, our (male) bosses were reasonably accommodating, and tried not to overload her. Of course, by then she was comfortably into the second trimester and past the puking/exhausted phase, and could much more easily have increased her workload, had it been necessary.
I used to think that if I were in charge, I could make periods a lot more convenient (like – why can’t you hold the blood in until a convenient time, the way you can with pee?). So, I would like to point out that if I were in charge, I could also make pregnancy more convenient. Like – your physical appearance should bear a proportional relationship to how you actually feel, on the inside. That way if you are green with nausea, want ice cream for dinner, and fall asleep while people are talking to you, they can look right at you and think “Oh yes. She is harboring new life, no wonder she’s behaving strangely.” Instead of thinking, “She used to be a good employee, but today she called me three times to ask me the same question, even though I saw her write down the answer on her notepad. Maybe she’s off her game.” And then only three months later realize in retrospect that its because you were busy making a placenta at the time, and your attention was elsewhere.