I dreaded it. I did it. Turned out alright.
I knew I was 18 weeks pregnant when I went in for the interview. We needed the income, and I was planning on returning to work anyway. Plus, in our transition from Hawaii to San Diego, I tried the stay-at-home thing. It wasn’t for me. So I knew the clock was ticking on me getting a job before my belly really started poking out.
I guess in my head, I was thinking what employer would want to hire someone who’s pregnant. They shouldn’t discriminate, but let’s face it. No one wants to hear “Hi, I’ll be working here a few months, then taking a few months off, then coming back, is that chill?”
The decision was made not to directly tell any interviewer I was pregnant because frankly it’s none of their business. It’s not legal for them to ask either. If I did inform them, I would hate contemplating if I was discriminated against if I didn’t get the job.
A few days later, I find out that I did get the job. My elation quickly evolved to dread. How was I going to tell them I was pregnant? I couldn’t hide it for much longer. The 1st day was a typical first day full of meet and greets and learning about the company. The 2nd day was the most stressful time of my life. I really didn’t have anything to work on because I was new, so I just sat there contemplating the ways to tell my boss I was pregnant. I tried to talk myself into it on the 3rd day but chickened out. On the 4th day there was a happy hour planned, and I knew that this was it.
At the end of the day, while most of the office was heading over to the restaurant, I stopped in my boss’s office. My heart was beating out of my chest. My palms were sweating, I could feel my face getting red. I was making small talk, and express how much I liked working there, and then just blurted out because I couldn’t take it anymore. “I’m pregnant”
“congratulations!”- said my boss
All of that stress I put myself through only to find out my boss completely understood. We glossed over the year long schedule, and noticed that my maternity leave would fall at a time where I wasn’t going to be extremely busy. I felt such a relief afterwards. Like I wanted to jump up and down and scream because I was so happy.
My advice to those in find themselves in a similar predicament. 1) try not to stress about it. You and your baby don’t need it. 2) be honest as soon as possible 3) know your rights. They can’t fire you because you’re pregnant (unless the job is a danger to the baby) but if they start treating you differently because you’re pregnant, then it’s not the kind of company you want to work for anyway.