I had a pretty easy pregnancy. I didn’t feel amazing (no pregnancy glow here!) but I didn’t have any bad symptoms either (no crazy morning sickness, no complications). The most annoying things I had to deal with were fatigue and swollen feet (the joy of having an August baby!)
I told work after the usual 3 months and they were extremely understanding and supportive throughout. Our production schedule was pretty quiet for most of my pregnancy (pre-production on Lego movie 2) but we also helped on Lego Ninjago which delivered in July (8 months pregnant!). To be honest I was a bit concerned about it at first because there was a lot of work, but it went super smoothly. The amount of overtime we had to do was minimal and I never felt pressured or overstretched by work.
The biggest challenge I had to deal with was the fatigue. It was hard to stay focused and I couldn’t rely on my usual friend “Caffeine” to help me through the day. For a period of time, I would fall asleep as soon as I got home from work, wake up just to have dinner and then sleep again until the next morning! Having an amazing supportive partner really helped. We usually try to divide household chores equally but I totally dropped the ball during pregnancy. He had to deal with everything: cleaning, shopping, laundry, cooking and making sure to keep me healthy and fed… and he did a great job! I have no idea how single ladies do it: I probably would have lived in a pig house and survived on a diet of frozen pizza and ramen for 9 months!
In hindsight there are a couple things I would do differently.
1 Give yourself a break
Being a stubborn girl, I didn’t want to be treated any differently because I was pregnant. So I pushed myself just a little… Nobody asked me to do it. There was absolutely no external pressure nudging me in that direction. It was all me. And honestly: it wasn’t worth it. I don’t think it made a big difference in my overall productivity, it was a cause of stress because I was trying to uphold this imaginary benchmark. It was a completely useless objective that I burdened myself with. And the fact is: you are different! On top of your usual workload, you are growing a tiny human in there, and that’s quite a feat! So give yourself a break: you are not super woman… and nobody is asking you to be. I read similar advice countless number of times and yet I didn’t follow it. I am not sure what I was trying to prove but if there’s a next time, I will know better.
2 Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Taking a nap during my lunch break would probably have helped immensely. But apart from curling up under my desk I couldn’t think of anywhere to go. I found out later that there is a First Aid room with a cot I could have used… if only I had asked… Once again I think it was my stupid resolution to keep things “as normal” that prevented me from reaching out. From my experience people are more than happy to make your life easier during this crazy period of your life so help them help you!
I stopped working two weeks before my due date which seemed like a reasonable amount of time to sort out a few things and take a breather before the big day and a good compromise depending on whether baby decided to be late or early. I didn’t want to stop too soon because I knew I would go crazy waiting at home for a month or more… In the end I barely had time to put my feet up! I was in the hospital 5 days after my last day of work (and that includes the weekend!) It was a bit short and I could’ve done with a few more days off, but I would still do it this way. I will spare you the details of the birth. Enough to say that I had an emergency C-section but everything went well… and then our lives changed forever…
Next post: maternity leave