I worked through the end of the school year and once a week at summer school. My son was born in October, and I am now a stay-at-home mom. It was really tough the first three months, especially with the loss of my identity as a teacher. But, things keep getting better.
“You have to know your limits and make whatever changes you can to adjust the way you work.” Karen Zuckerman, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Before I got pregnant, I anticipated that my work as a massage therapist would be affected late in the pregnancy because it’s a very physical job. As it turns out, my work was affected almost immediately. During my entire first trimester, I had constant nausea, heartburn, vomiting, fatigue and my sense of smell was off the charts. It also made me very sick just to move around.
Fortunately, I work for myself and have my own private studio, so I was able to lie down on my massage table between clients and make changes, such as not using essential oils when I couldn’t handle the smells. I kept thinking how lucky I was that I didn’t work in a corporate environment. I couldn’t imagine having to get up early, get dressed up, go to meetings and be “on” all day. The second trimester was much better. I felt really good and was able to tell my clients about my pregnancy, which helped. I was also doing a lot of yoga at the time, which kept me strong and fit.
The third trimester started out much the same, but as I got bigger, I got really tired toward the end of the day. I gradually cut back the number of clients per day, then the number of days I was working and, finally, stopped working at 35 weeks.
Being self-employed gave me a lot of leeway throughout my pregnancy. However, it also affected me financially. I didn’t get any paid maternity leave so I was not only making less income when I cut back, but also no income when I stopped a month early and then took another three months off after the birth. It was financially tight, but my husband and I were able to make it work. I feel incredibly lucky that I was able to do it the way I did.
Find more real life stories from being pregnant with twins to advice from single moms, click here.