Can There Please Be First Trimester Leave?

I just made it to the second trimester with my second child, so I’m in preparation (and saving) mode for what will come in five short months. And while the planning becomes more real every day, I can say with most certainty that I am beyond ecstatic to be out of the first trimester. See with my first pregnancy I was nauseated, got sick once or twice, and then figured out how to keep it from happening. I never felt great, but it was manageable. Thinking I had it all figured out from the first time around, I assumed this one would be a breeze.

WRONG. This kid has already thrown me for a loop. Morning, afternoon and night sickness. Crazy food aversions. And the energy of a sloth. I felt terrible. Yet I still had to show up and be a working adult and mom when all I really wanted to do was curl up in fetal position until I hit the magic 17-week mark. Clearly that’s not an option.

But what if it could be? We get time off after Baby. Can we have time off while we grow Baby? I think we can all agree our maternity leave is nothing to write home about, especially compared to other countries. As I’m making my mental wish list of what the perfect maternity leave would be I’m going to add this one to the list: First Trimester Leave. It may be completely unrealistic, but hey, a girl can dream. Here’s my top 10 reasons why we should be able to spend those first 2-3 months caring for our self and avoiding all those uncomfortable work situations:

  1. Morning sickness – Our mornings are already rush. In addition to morning sickness being miserable, it adds some inconvenience to an often already hectic morning.
  2. Fatigue – While I’m already tired in general from mom-life, the fatigue of early pregnancy has left me close to nodding off at my desk more than I’d care to admit.
  3. Keeping it quiet – For a lot of reasons people like to keep their pregnancy quiet in the early stages. It becomes a little tough when the only thing you are eating for lunch are saltines and your skin has a pale green tinge to it.
  4. Ill-fitting clothes – That awkward stage when your regular clothes don’t fit but maternity clothes look weird? Yeah nobody wants to go out in public then.
  5. Food aversions – One minute your turkey sandwich sounds delicious. The next it’s the most vile food on the planet.
  6. Afternoon sickness – As if morning sickness isn’t enough, for some it doesn’t end with the morning hours. Hurling in the office trash can is never pleasant and makes #3 nearly impossible.
  7. Public restrooms – People are totally looking at your shoes to figure out who is hurling two stalls over. Stomach flu or pregnancy?
  8. The bump- It may look like a bump in those early weeks, but really I’m just bloated and constipated. Thanks for noticing my lack of bowel movements.
  9. Shared kitchens – Just when you thought you could stomach some food, Bob from Accounting decides to reheat his tuna casserole from the night before. Aaaaand back to the restroom…
  10. Stories – While it’s not exclusive to the first trimester, the announcement of pregnancy always brings out people’s favorite stories to tell, good and bad. Thanks for the thoughts, but spare us, what we’re going through is enough.

This may be a lofty wish. And it certainly wouldn’t save you from the responsibilities at home, especially if you have other young children. But it certainly would be nice for people remember that being pregnant can be hard and taking care of ourselves is so important. At the very least cut the lady some slack. Ditch the side eyes when I walk into the meeting 10 minutes late, I probably just yacked up my breakfast in the office parking lot. Instead, I’ll take a high five for still showing up. 

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