It didn’t take long for me to realize that working while incredibly sick is impossible. Not only could I not focus on work, but I was constantly vomiting in the bathroom and worrying the kids and their families. It’s difficult to visit and interview families when I am dizzy and rush through things so I can run to the bathroom. In my field, I strongly believe that if you cannot or do not wish to help those you are working for then you should switch jobs. In this case, I really loved my job but sickness hindered my ability to help the families.
Last Friday, I gave my two week’s notice; unfortunately, after a weekend when I couldn’t move or get out of bed without puking, my husband called my supervisor and explained the situation. She agreed that terminating employment immediately would be the best for me and my health.
Thus, now I am unemployed and sick in bed. I can take medications but these medications don’t cure everything. I might stop throwing up as much; however, I still can’t get out of bed or off the couch. As soon as I stand up, move around, or get in the car, I start the vicious vomiting cycle.
Part of me is sad to bid adieu to working and the other part of me knows this is the best for me and my family. I will miss actively earning a paycheck but I also know that my time as a working mom isn’t over, it’s just put on hold.
This experience has taught me that continuing to fight for women’s rights is more important than ever. If my job had allowed flexibility–like working part-time from home until I stop vomiting–I would have continued. Unfortunately, like other women, I have found that many workplaces are not friendly to pregnant women, or women who have young children. In bureaucracies, this deficiency is even more apparent as autonomy for supervisors is limited; they must follow the chain-of-command which restrains their administering abilities and breeds ineffective management. A topic for another day.
The guilty feelings I expected haven’t surfaced, probably because I am much too sick for negativity. Or maybe it’s because I am happy that I can spend my time enjoying this pregnancy–the first viable one after so very many losses and most likely our last.
Lucky for me, the kids are in daycare for the rest of the month allowing me to rest and vomit in peace. And for that I am thankful.