Being Self-Employed & The First Trimester
Republished with permission from Unapparenthood an Evio Community Partner
Being self-employed has its challenges. And by challenges I mean it's fucking hard.
I've recently gotten into the terrible habit of pulling out my laptop from my bedside table right onto my bed to start working as soon as I wake up. So bad, right? I "forget" to have breakfast, which you kind of need when you're pregnant.
I also have this really bad habit of not being able to say no to clients. No matter how crazy the demand, I feel this crazy sense of responsibility to figure out how to get them what they need, even if it's totally out of the scope of the project (bonus points to you if you leave a comment below on some tips on how to set better boundaries with clients, please help me).
So what I'm trying to say is, being self-employed is already pretty gruelling, but what happens when you throw something that's even more physically and mentally demanding into the mix? I'm talking about being pregnant while being self-employed. And even more specifically, I'm going to be sharing my experiences on being pregnant, while being self-employed, and being in the first trimester (aka the nightmare trimester, aka the disaster zone aka nobody should have to work in their first trimester, trimester).
I mean, we're super programmed to think that morning sickness is only bothersome in the morning, and then the movies tell us you just go back to your desk like nothing happened. But is that really how the pregnancy goes down in the first trimester? Well, for me, it was not like the movies at all.
Now, I am pretty lucky. I don't have an office I need to show up at for 9 hours a day. I don't really have to leave the house if I feel like absolute crud. I can work from my bed if I need to. But there have been a few times where I absolutely had to go to a client meeting and couldn't weasel my way out of it.
This is what happened to me with that exact meeting I couldn't weasel out of.
I had a meeting. Before the meeting I was cramping so bad I left a page for my midwife. During the meeting, I get a call back from my midwife. I had to take the call in the middle of my meeting and pretend it was for business purposes. I took the call in secret in the bathroom while she told me I had to get an emergency ultrasound asap. I slowly walked back to the meeting, sat down slowly, and tried to get through it as fast as I could. While I was pretending to take notes on my laptop, I was trying to find all the ultrasound clinics nearest to me. I waited until the meeting was over, booked an ultrasound for the next day, then proceeded to my next meeting of the day.
It was a very long damn day. I went to the ultrasound, and we saw the baby waving at us. Everything turned out to be okay.
You might be an entrepreneur and pregnant if:
- You spend 25% of your time in meetings googling "is it normal that my....."
- You get up at least 3 times in an hour-long meeting for a pee break
- You get hit with sudden exhaustion right before you're about to pitch your next big idea
- You spend 90% of the time you're supposed to spend on client work googling "is it normal that my..."
- You get super lost in your work that you didn't realize you skipped a meal, and then you get sudden nausea from your dip in blood sugar
- You had to fake the flu when you couldn't get out of bed and you didn't announce your pregnancy yet
- You realize that if you just work from home you can take 3 naps during the workday
- You're working on something time-sensitive, sometimes you have to bring your laptop with you to throw up in the bathroom so you can lay on cold tiled floor and work
- Most of your day is consumed by being sick, so sometimes you've got to work suuper early or veeery late. Whenever you're not tossing your cookies
- You're a lucky duck, and you're feeling totally like yourself! (that's okay too, there is no right way to be pregnant)
As I write this, I'm approaching my second trimester and my fingers are crossed for the glory that everyone talks about when that 14th week hits you. So, I've been pretty sick (clearly) but going into that 13-week ultrasound and seeing the baby's little bones in their hand? Makes all the vom totally worth it.
Do you have any tips and tricks to help other mamas survive their first trimester while being an entrepreneur?