Career,  Health

What working from home is like in the first trimester

Well, friends, we’re at the tail end of my first trimester of pregnancy and I thought now would be a great time to update you on the big happening of my life right now: The challenges of pregnancy and working from home!

With today’s growing gig economy and the fact that so many people are taking on remote job opportunities, it seems natural that many of us will become work-from-home parents eventually. And, well, I’m about to enter that world.

I’ve been a freelancer ever since I moved out of New York City and re-settled in Florida, met the love of my life, and we have now begun the process of starting our family.

In the past three years, I’ve had a lot of career ups and downs and am currently in a pretty amazing upswing. My editing work is amazing and my freelance writing is going well. Everything is great but everything is also about to change. So, to celebrate that change, I wanted to talk about what it is really like to be a remote employee or a work-from-home person… while pregnant. Here’s the gist:

It. Is. Really. Damn. Hard.

I don’t know about how most pregnant women handle their first trimesters but I have heard that fatigue is one of the most common symptoms. So is nausea and throwing up, of course, but I thankfully don’t have much of that. What I do have in spades, though, is the feeling of being tired. In fact, I would say that I am basically a ball of exhaustion and have been for the past 12 weeks.

I know this because I am currently sleeping an average of 10-11 hours a night. In fact, I can tell a pretty huge difference between the nights when I get “just” 10 hours of sleep and the nights when I get the full 11 hours. The latter days are much, much better for my mood and productivity.

Still, it’s hard. Even despite getting so much sleep, I am usually feeling exhausted again by the time 4pm hits. It’s really tough because I usually work for another hour or two, but it’s really hard to work when all you want to do is nap. I do it (and do it well, I think) but it’s fucking hard. Nobody ever talks about how hard this is, but here I am doing just that.

I can’t imagine how other women manage, especially those that have first-trimester fatigue AND nausea. I’ve had mild cases of nausea and I definitely haven’t been able to eat the normal things I want to eat (like vegetables) but I’m able to keep most of the nausea at bay by just focusing on a carb-heavy diet. Not my favorite, sure, but not the worst thing either.

But DAMN, the exhaustion.

However, I will say that working from home has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. One of the reasons that I can’t imagine how other women get through this is that most people not only have an 8-hour workday to worry about but they also have commuting time. In fact, my husband drives about 45 minutes to get to work. Twice a day! If I had to do that in my current state of tiredness, well… I just don’t think I could. It’s that bad.

The other really nice thing about working from home during the first trimester is that I can sneak in a nap between when my workday ends and when my husband gets home for dinner. Typically, this allows me about an extra hour of shut-eye and that really can’t be beat. Wouldn’t you rather be napping than commuting?

Sure, some things are tougher. Like, I haven’t been able to cook anything for weeks due to the aforementioned nausea not reacting well to vegetables and I really wish that I could just pop out of my office for a quick to-go lunch or something. Alas, I cannot do that. And I do wish I could, very badly, because a quick lunch that I don’t have to make would be really a blessing right about now.

Still, working from home as a pregnant lady hasn’t been too bad. One of the top reasons that I am able to get as much sleep as my body requires right now is primarily because I can pretty much sleep until 8:30am, wake up, shower, and hop online to start my day. There’s no beating that, really. And signing off at 5pm for a quick nap? Even better.

Working from home isn’t always easy. There is loneliness and alienation to deal with. There are issues and miscommunications at work. There are lots of other problems that have surely crept up in the last three years for me… But, for now, I am really enjoying the perks of the work-from-home life as a pregnant woman. I know that things will surely change as my pregnancy progresses and, GULP, as the baby comes. But, hey, gotta take my wins where I have them!

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Freelance Writer & Editor | I am a Moscow Chica: Half-Russian, Half-Cuban, All-American.

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