I thought that I would take a few posts to talk about my experiences as a pregnant middle school teacher. Being pregnant has it's own challenges and so does being a middle school teacher... put those two things together and you have a pretty unique situation that deserves a little planning to make it through!
Today I'm focusing on the first trimester.
If you are like me, you will be feeling a little nauseous. Hopefully you won't be one of those poor people that can't keep any food down and are throwing up in their classroom trashcan. For me, it was just a constant nauseous feeling (why do they call it morning sickness when it lasts all day?). The worst part is that this is the time that you are probably not telling your coworkers what is going on, so you can't even pull the sympathy card.
Bring snacks to munch on. I found that keeping a little something in my stomach was better than having an empty stomach. Some mornings I had to force myself to pack snacks because I thought nothing sounded good, but then later in the day I was grateful to have a little something to eat.
I think that is is hormones during this time that make you have to pee constantly. Think about your breaks or passing periods and when you can make a dash for the ladies room. Be sure to plan ahead and have a warm-up (bell ringer) on the board so that the students have something to do if you are a minute late coming back from the restroom.
If you are keeping the secret until 12 weeks or so, you will want to wear clothes that aren't too tight. Tops that flow away from your stomach are good. I also made use of scarves that hung down and covered my front. If your pants are getting too tight, you can get a belly band so that you can unbutton the top button but still keep the pants up.
Telling Your Secret
I told my principal first and then I told the other adults that I work with. I waited until 11 and a half weeks, but I know that some people like to wait longer. I also realize that sometimes it would be best to tell people earlier if you are having severe symptoms such as throwing up that you just can't hide. At 12 weeks I told my students. Telling them was the fun part. Read about it here. Telling your students can be a bonding experiences that really adds to a feeling of community in your classroom. Be sure to do something special.
You will probably be tired... like, really t-i-r-e-d. Cut yourself some slack. Perhaps you will have to cut back on some things that you do after school so that you can go home earlier and rest. For me it got better during the second trimester (although I still fall asleep on the couch at 8:00 PM
sometimes most nights)