Post # 1
My husband and I got our BFP three weeks ago, and I have not yet scheduled my first appointment. We are incredibly excited, but I am starting to get nervous about going back to work after next week.
I understand how early in the pregnancy I am, but I’ve been reading about feet swelling and frequent urination and back pain and morning sickness and aaaall kinds of symptoms that seem like they get in the way of your daily life, regardless of your profession. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on getting through pregnancy while staying sane and comfortable in the classroom?
I teach third grade, and my students need me constantly on my feet, walking around the room, being energetic. They are in my classroom from 7:30-11:20 and then from 12:30-3:30. That’s a long time to go without a bathroom break as it is, and I am starting to (probably unnecessarily…) freak out. Just looking for some advice or reassurance that it IS possible to make it another semester. 🙂
Post # 3
@JackieDe: My coworker’s wife taught 3rd grade through 3 pregnancies and worked for the duration of each pregnancy (2 stillborn and 1 at 41 weeks). Do you have an aide or co-teacher? Let them know super early so they can cover for you. You will need this. If not, there is no harm in running out for 3 minutes while the kids are doing group work. Just put one kid in charge.
If you do get horrible morning sickness or it is unbearable, talk to your principal. There are things that can be done. I know my coworker’s wife got an aide and the floater sub in her room and the teacher next door took over during the really rough days. She also was dual certified and could work as a reading or math specialist and let the specialist take over her classroom. There were options and her kids did awesome on the state tests.
Post # 4
@JackieDe: I teach high school, but I used to teach elementary school. Once they know about the baby, I would give different responsible students class jobs that lessen your load…Maybe you can have a super smart kid help other students once he/she is finished working, I’d also have a student who hands out papers, who sharpens pencils, and other tedious classroom things. In my old elementary building, a teacher would just let the teacher next door or across the hall know that they needed to run to the restroom, and that teacher would keep an eye out.
Post # 5
I teach second grade. It has been tough to stay patient and energetic … no bathroom breaks is a killer! I find myself finding people to watch my classroom quickly while I run to use the washroom. Weeks 7-11 were awful because I felt sick 24/7 but my doctor put me on diclectin which helped tremendously. I felt the same as you did at the beginning but you get through it, believe me! Now at 19 weeks I feel a lot better and although I am still needing my bathroom breaks I have a lot more energy and am a lot less nauseous. Near the beginning of my pregnancy I would come home from work and be in bed by 7 and not wake up until the last possible minute… 7 am… which would give me 12 hours of sleep a night and I was still exhausted! I also told my principal at 7 weeks which was super early but I was starting to feel like crap and knew I would look slack sitting down a lot getting my students to come to me. It was great having her on my side; most administrators will be very supportive and understanding.
Things get better and you will get through it.
Post # 6
@Pollywog: I do not have an aide or co-teacher, but I will definitely let someone know (possibly the special education aide who does pull-outs) as soon as the symptoms get bad enough that I’ll want some extra help, especially during those much-needed bathroom breaks. And I’ll definitely talk to my principal, too. Thanks so much!
@WhatMaeBee: Thanks! That’s great advice! I’m one of those possibly too-controlling teachers that passes out papers and sharpens all pencils myself, so delegating some of those jobs is a wonderful idea. And I will definitely let my lead teacher, who is just next door, know as soon as the symptoms kick in and I think I’ll need some extra help.
@Mrs.H2B: I know! I’m way too early in to start panicking, but all those things you listed terrify me. And because I’m already feeling exhausted, I can’t imagine how things might progress. Although I don’t work in a school where I can leave my classroom unattended, I do have good administration and I think my principle will be very supportive. Thanks so much! Very encouraging to hear other teachers have survived. 🙂
Post # 7
I teach 9th grade, so I do have bathroom breaks scheduled into my day luckily. However, I have such a needy bunch of students who keep me on my feet constantly. There is either always a hand up or someone not doing what they are supposed to be doing. I was about 9 weeks when school started, so I was right in the middle of feeling terrible. I told my ed tech right away and she helped a lot when I had to run to the bathroom or just take a walk down the hall to get away from Freshman B.O. I felt great after the 14 week mark and things got a lot easier.
Now I am 27 weeks and have had some back issues. I ended up having to rearrange my room so that I could sit up at the front of the classroom instead of constantly walking around. The kids have been great about it. They are so good about picking up my floor and coming to me when they need help. They have also started to keep each other in line by saying “get to work” or “quiet please” to each other. Another thing I had to do was really make it so that my students were more independent. I organized and labeled my room so that they could get their own materials and I use my iPad and my Apple TV to go over the material so that I can stay sitting. It has been easier than I thought it would be so far, but I am still nervous for when I get even bigger and more uncomfortable.
Post # 8
@JackieDe: I teach a similar age to you (7-8 year olds) and I found out we were pregnant in mid-November. Here in NZ we finish the year in mid-late December for 6 weeks then start the new year in late Jan-early Feb. What I did was to tell my Principal early, like as soon as I found out. I also told my teacher aide who was able to cover for me when I needed the bathroom (frequently) or needed to grab some fresh air and a glass of water. It was hard in the last couple of weeks of school as I was just exhausted, and the kids were exhausted too and harder work than usual. I found the sofa in the library really wonderful to lie down on for half an hour during lunch time, and it was lovely and quiet in there. I would leave early when I could, about 4pm and get home and have a rest or a nap before dinner. My husband was amazing and cooked and did everything for those few weeks. It was hard but I got through. I’m due in late July so I’m hoping that by the time I go back to school in late Jan I’ll have more energy and be ready to go again.
Post # 9
I teach 4-6th grade. Fortunately I am a co-teacher so I take my breaks when I need to. I had bad morning sickness, but I did’t vomit at school at all…I just kept crackers on my desk at all times and carry my water with me everywhere I go. I still haven’t told anyone at school yet (i am 16w) but I plan on letting the cat out of the bag to my principal when we get back from break. I can’t wait to tell the gen-ed teachers I work with so they understand why I run out of the room (we have 80 minute blocks so…yeah, I can’t make it lol).
If I were you I would tell my 3rd grade team asap if they are trustworthy. I work with a bunch of loud mouths so it was not possible for me. In my “pod” we will watch each others classes so someone can go to the bathroom, etc. I would also tell a trustworthy assistant who might have time to pop into your room a few times a day to see if you need a break.
Good luck! I am dreading when my students start asking me why I am so fat haha
Post # 10
First of all, congratulations!
I am a teacher, and I got my BFP at the start of May (I’m due in 13 days). I taught 4th grade last year and teach gifted education this year. I’ll be honest…I was hoping to be able to give birth sometime in March and just take off until the start of the next school year, but work-wise, I am really happy with how this pregnancy timed out. I had about 3 weeks left in the school year and luckily things didn’t get too bad. I got to spend the 1st trimester on summer break, and my last few weeks are coinciding with winter break. Because of the way my due date works out, I will head back to school for a few days after break before my maternity leave starts (ours doesn’t start until you give birth).
I am really fortunate in that I have mainly been able to build my schedule with a few breaks scattered throughout the day. Definitely rely on your coworkers to cover for you while you run to the bathroom. I would do a lot of small group lessons and teach from my chair. Something else that helped me (and it totally depends on your relationship with your boss) is that I did let my bosses know right away (in one case, he knew before my parents, but this was because I had literally just accepted a new job). They were incredibly supportive and appreciated being given a heads up. I also didn’t have to worry about them spilling the beans to anyone.
Good luck!!! 🙂
Post # 11
I teach kindergarten and found out I was pregnant in September. i had horrible morning sickness and constantly had to go to the bathroom. Plus, it was difficult to stay patient with my little ones sometimes. I told 2 of the other k teachers and they helped me a ton. I’d send a student across the hall to say I needed a break and the other teacher would stand between the classes. Haha. Also, i had spotting early on, so I told my principal then. I was able to keep it a secret from everyone else for a while, thank goodness.
Post # 12
Get off google lady! Everyone’s symptoms are different! My feet have not swollen at all, in fact at 15 weeks 3 days I feel completely normal except with tight pants. Don’t borrow trouble OR symptoms, one day at a time!
If you DO get MS, get yourself ginger gum, sea-bands for your wrists, ginger ale, lot’s of crackers (snack frequently an empty stomach makes it worse), and I heard those preggy pop things are good and helpful.
Post # 13
Thanks everyone for the advice! First day back, and I’ll definitely be checking this thread as everything progresses to keep all the great suggestions in mind.