What should I do? My pregnancy isn't 'convenient' for my boss and the stress is killing me :'( — The Bump
2nd Trimester

What should I do? My pregnancy isn't 'convenient' for my boss and the stress is killing me :'(

I'll start off by saying that I just turned 25 and am 23ish weeks pregnant with a baby girl due for mid January.

I actually got pregnant a week after I started working for a newborn photography company (not intentional but we were incredibly happy once we realized it, my husband and I). I had extreme nausea starting at around week 8 and it hasn't left yet :(

I've tried my best not to call in sick and muscle through it. It's hard to smile when you're feeling like this MOST OF THE TIME if not ALL THE TIME. But I've done it. All in all, I've called in ONCE for my nausea, ONCE for back pain, and I had a 3 day break unrelated to the pregnancy (I'm gluten intolerant... Ate some wheat bread... Ended up going to the hospital for an intense gluten attack/poisening).

All of these incidents were at least 2 weeks apart. And I have doctor notes for them too...

But every time I've called to let my boss know that I'm not doing well, I get so much guilt and pressure...

I called in this morning 4 hours before my shift (6am) because I had been stuck in the bathroom pretty much all night puking my gutts out. This is the SECOND time I called out for morning sickness in the last 4.5 months. And the FOURTH time I've called out, total... This is the response I get 3 hours later ---> "Gee thanx .... that means I get to work all weekend....how the heck did u do that....I'm sure....u sure have lots of reasons not to work don't you?"...

How am I supposed to even answer that? :'( I was in love with my new job, and now I hate it. I dread feeling this way, not because I hate puking, but the fear of having to deal with my boss has become that much more intense than any sick feeling I have. At least the nausea reminds me of the little bundle of joy I'll soon have in my arms. But the stress my job is causing me is driving me insane.

I can't sleep. I don't want to eat in fear that it'll take my nausea over the edge and God forbid I have to call in sick again.I feel like I have no way out, no options. I just don't know what to do... :'(

Re: What should I do? My pregnancy isn't 'convenient' for my boss and the stress is killing me :'(

  • @DaisyBlinks‌ yes ma'am. The back pain seemed more of a one time issue. But the nausea... That's something the doctor and I have been working on... It get's better when I eat SOMETIMES. But I'll get it before, after and during :( And sometimes I'll be fine, eat, and the waves come on.

    I don't mean to be a baby about it. If the nausea didn't lead to vomiting, I'd probably just stick to it. But running out of a hospital room in the middle of a photoshoot to go throw up seems very unprofessional to me... And the nurses that I work with on the maternity floor that have seen me sick all ask why I'm even at work when I'm so sick... No sleep and the heaving just tires me out...

    I'm just scared about loosing my job. I feel like the way my boss has been treating me and the way she talks to me is wrong and unprofessional... Heartless... Especially when I'm trying...
  • @Bliss+Berry‌ my mother-in-law had gotten me a loaf of GF bread to try out. And she than proceeded to make a sandwhich with the wrong loaf :/
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  • I own a small business and I would have let you go. I need to be able to rely on my employees to do the job I've hired them to do or I'll find someone who will. I think you have a choice here: quit or do your job without whining or complaining. Employees are hired to make their companies run smoothly. When you call in sick to a small business my bet is the owner fills in and works without a day off. Again, not something I would put up with at all.
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  • It sucks but the calling in seems excessive. Your boss is showing restraint not firing you. Show up & do your best.


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  • I know it probably seems like you're getting some very harsh feedback here, but I would pay attention to it. Look at things from your employer's point of view - photography is typically a very small business with few employees. She thought she was hiring someone dependable, but calling out frequently causes more work and stress for your boss. So I'm not surprised she is responding tersely.

    There are medications your doctor could prescribe to help with the nausea. I think you might also need to sit down and have a genuine conversation with your boss. While the idea is probably terrifying, you guys need to be on the same page. If your illness from pregnancy is making you a liability, then perhaps you shouldn't work in that job anymore. If your boss is willing to keep you on, then you need to be very up-front and honest with her. Tell her your limits. If they are too much for her business, then she should start looking for another employee.

    Pregnancy can be hard, and a lot of the physical issues that come with it suck. But there are women who work multiple jobs and take care of kids all while feeling shitty. They manage because there is no other option for them. Sucking it up is often the only way to survive. So what are your options? Do you need thus job? If you do, talk to your doctor and find a way to suck it up and show your employer you can do it. If you don't need the job, then maybe you should re-think working right now.

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    minirellawintersong139[Deleted User]bakingmama123
  • I've also had really bad morning sickness and have puked both in private and public (worst was in an elevator museum). I recommend working with your doctor and take the suggested prescription medication for your nausea and vomiting. That seems to be your best bet to avoid missing work and helping you feel better.

    This medication has been proven to be safe for pregnant women, and to be honest...it's great when you feel great. Take the meds and go from there.
  • Kimbus22 said:
    Can I just say how relieved I am that people are keeping it real here? It actually gives me the warm fuzzies to see people telling people that pregnancy isn't a disability and that you need to actually show up for your fucking job <3.
    And be glad it's your first kid and after work you can lay on your ass and do nothing.  Once that baby is out, you'll never have that luxury again.
    While this is probably directed at the OP, I have to say that I also don't know what it's like to get home after work and sit on my ass because in addition to my 50-60 hour work weeks, I also go to school full-time and have several volunteer things I do during the week. So... I too would like to know about this ass-sitting. And calling out. Because I've never called out of work in the four-and-a-half years I've worked at my company.
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  • imsohappy077imsohappy077
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    I know it's hard the first trimester with morning sickness and all. But I would have to say that bosses and managers don't feel that pregnancy and being sick are legit reasons to call out.

    I was working as a nursing assistant at a hospital for over a year. A few months after passing the boards, my manager hired me as a nurse. Then boom, we found out we were expecting. I must tell you the first few months were hell on wheels. I was sick every morning and I mean every morning. But I knew that calling out would have just looked bad on my part. So I would be sick in the am and then go to work as if nothing happened.

    here are a few things that helped me and may help you with the morning sickness: ginger gum, toast and fluids (lots). Not to say these things will totally rid of the morning sickness but it might help.

    GL and hang in there.
  • I have to say from my experience, it's a hard call. I've been at my job for over 3 years and during my 1st and 2nd tri, I suffered from HG. I took off 3 days over a 2 month period and still got a verbal reprimand from my manager for calling out sick too much, even though 2 of those times I was in the hospital and used PTO that I had saved up. My point is OP, is that sometimes you have to just suck it up. You're at a new job and while pregnancy will make you feel like crap, you have a job to do. I'm sorry that you feel awkward or unsure of what to do because you're boss isn't happy with your attendance, but the only thing you can do is throw up, have your queasy moments, then get back to work.
  • Chiming in to agree with others. 4 times in 4 months when you are still just learning the job is excessive. I'm guessing there aren't a ton of people who work there so just having to fill in for one employee with little notice is a lot of pressure on the manager. The way she handled it was unprofessional, but I get her frustration. I think you need to talk to her about the expectations of your job and whether or not you can fill them going forward, especially after you are juggling caring for an infant in January. 

    Has your doctor prescribed you diclegis? It is basically B6 plus unisom if you don't have insurance. It is supposed to really help with extreme nausea. What are the two of you doing to help the nausea? You are in the 2nd trimester so eating is very important. Try small bland meals every 2 hours. I know it sucks. I wasn't sick but had a really low appetite in the first trimester and had to force feed myself and track calories. Your protein intake is also very important. And make sure you aren't taking a prenatal with iron in the mornings as it can make things a lot worse. I hope this gets better for you!

    DH is lactose and gluten intolerant so I get what you mean about getting a hold of something without realizing it. He stays sick for days from trace amounts, and a lot of people don't get how extreme these allergic reactions can be. 
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  • Huh.  I'm genuinely surprised by this thread.  With the exception of the back pain, I don't see this as excessive.  For one instance she was literally in the hospital - there is nothing to be done about that.  Two times in 4 months for throwing up is not, IMO, excessive.

    I absolutely get that as an employer they need people to work and that, being new, the OP doesn't have the flexibility other people may enjoy.  But her boss' response was baiting, catty and unprofessional.

    OP, if you hope to keep your job, be a professional adult and schedule a meeting with her to discuss the situation.  Talk to your doctor about the nausea so that you can limit the time you may miss in the future and make damn sure you truly can't function on any day you call out because it's clear you're on thin ice.
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    [Deleted User][Deleted User]jennypolkadotslyndsaynicole
  • I too am surprised by the responses.  I work fulltime with benefits and have called in sick once for nausea.  Never the less, we have earned sick leave and have every right to use, no questions asked.  If it's been 3 days, then we are required to have documentation from a physician. 

    I'm grateful to have a pretty easy pregnancy so far with minor back pain, but I can imagine that I would have called in sick a lot more if I felt like the first author in this post.

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  • So you've been out "sick" for 6 days in the last 4 months?! And at a new job... And you wonder why your boss is getting frustrated with you?

    SMH...
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  • eleolin8 said:

    I too am surprised by the responses.  I work fulltime with benefits and have called in sick once for nausea.  Never the less, we have earned sick leave and have every right to use, no questions asked.  If it's been 3 days, then we are required to have documentation from a physician. 

    I'm grateful to have a pretty easy pregnancy so far with minor back pain, but I can imagine that I would have called in sick a lot more if I felt like the first author in this post.

    She called out for back pain. Something tells me she's a drama llama. Andplusalso it sounds like she works for a small business and likely hasn't earned any PTO
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  • While I would have to agree that your boss's response  was rude, she has legitimate concerns. She just could have worded it in a better, more professional way. 

    I have to echo the other sentiments though and say pregnancy is not a great excuse for needing off work. I would be especially cautious with taking off for things like a little nausea or a backache because as your pregnancy progresses, you're going to need to take more time off for all of your doctor visits that will only get more frequent. If you are physically able to get up and go to work, then go to work. Because when you're in your late 2nd/early 3rd trimesters and having to take off every other week for doctor visits, you will wish you had saved as many days as you could have. Conserve time while you can. If your nausea is really that major of an issue, it warrants a sit down with your doctor to discuss treatment and your boss to discuss a plan. 
  • I work in a clinic setting for people struggling with eating disorders and would either be sick or throwing up every day.  The only time I called in was when I also had strep throat.  I think you have to take care of yourself obviously but realize that even being at home isn't going to make you feel better.  You have to push through it and be professional as well.  I was still able to keep it secret from all of my patients and co-workers.  I agree with a PP that be thankful you have no children yet because I would get home and still have to chase around a 1 1/2 year old. 

    Sorry you are sick! It does suck...but it's part of it!


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  • Not sure if you've tried any medicine, but I take Unisom and vitamin B6... approved by my doctor. They are the same exact ingredients in a medicine he prescribed me just cheaper when you buy them separately. Maybe talk to your doctor about it. They would be able to tell you the exact dosage you could take.
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  • The one thing I will say because I noticed that it wasn't really addressed, although I don't know if this is only a law for my state, but you say that you had doctors notes for all the days that you were out of work. Could this mean that things WERE bad enough that your doctor wrote you a note for it? I know that i cannot receive one unless I went for medical treatment/appointment/was seen by a medical professional. Back to my original point though, in my state it is ILLEGAL to be fired (no matter how long you've been there) if it pertains to a medical issue that you have seen a medical provider for and they have given you doctor's notes to give to your employer. 

    I DO however agree that you should soldier through as many days as you can. At the beginning of my pregnancy, when I was still working, there were days where I spent a good amount of my day running to the bathroom/trash to puke but I came in and left it up to my boss to decide if he wanted to send me home. That was the advice given to me by my mother and friends, if my employer decided I was sick enough to send home, it couldn't be held against me.

    There are many amazing women on here that are going through a much more difficult pregnancy than you or I but they are still working and/or doing as much as they are able to with little complaint.


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  • I'm going to have to agree with most posters and say it seems like excessive absences to me. While I did not suffer morning sickness, there were plenty of days of sheer exhaustion/migraines that I experienced where I would have LOVED to call out sick, but pushed through it. I have PTO at my job and haven't used 1 hour of sick time so far in my pregnancy, although I've used comp/personal time when I wanted some time off. If your job is important to you, you should try to be there everyday and push through feeling sick. Easier said than done, but at the end of the day, you will still have a job and happy boss. 


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