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Thread: Coping with m/s whilst working/studying fulltime

  1. #1

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    Default Coping with m/s whilst working/studying fulltime

    Now I am not pg yet, but we are most likely going to TTC soon. There is something that is really worrying me though... if I fall pg in a couple of months time, then I will be going through first trimester whilst on my Nursing Clinical Practice for uni. It is fulltime work for 2 weeks, and I'm worried that the morning sickness may hit right at the time whilst I am on prac.
    Did all of you who are working FT manage to cope ok with m/s? Did you need to take any days off because of it? Did any of you have 'all day' sickness when you were working?

    I know it sounds like I am being a worrywart, but I really do not want anything to jeopardise my uni prac - I HAVE to get through it this semester (its the first one I go on) and so I'm wondering if I should consider TTCing a little later, so I will only be 4 wks pg or so when I go on Prac.... or is that just silly?
    I am also studying FT at uni, and praying I can cope... I remember with my last pg all I did was feel neauseous, then eat, then sleep - all day!... and I just can't do that this time!

    TIA!


  2. #2

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    Ambah - how exciting! I was pregnant on two clinical rotations and didn't have too many drama's. I didn't suffer severe MS but did find that I was more susceptible to certain smells which wouldn't normally bother me. I told my preceptor/supervisor from day one to protect myself incase I found myself caring for someone with an illness I best not come into contact with (such as TB, measels, Chicken Pox and a few others) as a pregnant woman. I also had a couple of days where I was EXTREMLEY tired (but then 10hr shifts will do that )and I found the nurses were very "protective" and encouraged me to rest on those occassions. Really, most of the nurses you will come across will be very sympathetic and empathetic and will look out for you.
    On the rare occasions I DID feel nauseated and had to "exit in a hurry" the nurses were fine with it and took over. You *shouldn't* be left to practice on your own anyway unless you are in the second half of your degree (of course there are exceptions to that). And once most patients realise they get excited for you!
    About Uni itself, it's best to let the lecturers know you are PG (when you get your BFP!) so that they can be a little more flexible. Most are really understanding and will give you extensions on work and understand if you leave the room in a hurry. Maybe just be prepared to get notes from a friend if you miss chunks of class. And just do whatever works for you when you feel nauseated. Some find constant snacking works whilst others find sipping on water all the time works. It is doable though. I studied full time, worked (full time for part of my pregnancy and part time for part of it) and also volunteered with the CFA during my pregnancy and just did what I was comfortable with and capable of. Just be aware of your limits and let people who need to know that you are PG to cover yourself. Try not to stress about it though - HEAPS of nursing students rock up at clinical pregnant and do part of their degree pregnant! My Uni had a baby boom last year!

    HTH

    MG

  3. #3

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    I didn't cope well with it at all. For a few weeks I was working only two or three days a week as I was just too sick to function. I work in an office job too so I wasn't on my feet or anything. I had terrible all-day sickness, even though I wasn't physically sick often, I usually wished I could be, just so I could feel better for a while!

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    At the begining of my pg, I was studying at uni part time (to be an early childhood teacher) and working full time (in a long day care centre). I found this really draining and I couldn't focus on my assignments and work like I should have. I would fall asleep on the lounge after work and sleep for two hours then try to study and end up going to bed at 11pm or so anyway. This resulted in me failing one of my assignments and just scraping by in another. For my last semester I would have had to do a prac for three weeks and also had two big exams to do. I decided that it would be best for me to wait until after bubba comes to do my last semester and deferred as I didn't want to fail and have to do it all agian. I didn't get much morning sickness, though some smells were triggers and I can only imagine some of the smells you'd encounter as a nurse! It was more the fatigue and vagueness that got to me with my studies.

    Hope that helps

  5. #5

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    I did find it hard as I had MS of the all day tiredness/sickness variety. I just took little breaks for fresh air when I could and spent my lunch break, sleeping in the sick room (told my supervisor to avoid any problems or misunderstandings about that). I found I could get through the day but it was hard.

    I guess it is one of those things that somehow you cope with according to whatever circumstances you might find yourself in. I know on the weekends, I used to hit the couch and not get up at all but during the weekdays, I somehow worked around it.

    I'm sure you'll be fine Ambah, whatever happens. Best of luck with your course.

  6. #6

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    I worked full time at the beginning of both of my pregnancies and I was sick in both of them.
    I didn't cope all that well either I'm afraid.
    With my first one I ended up telling my boss at six weeks because I was really ill and I didn't want to her to think my general apathy at work was the result of lack of interest or something.
    The second pregnancy I didn't have to tell her because she picked it herself as soon as it started LOL.
    My advice would be to be upfront about what's going on. That way they can make allowances and it won't reflect badly on you (especially since on prac you'll be working with people who don't know what you're usually like).

  7. #7

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    Ooh I am a bit worried now... as it is I am worried about coping with the FT load whilst pg, yet alone going on prac...
    Maybe I should TTC later, and get most of this first semester out of the way... it just means that the gap between Aidyn and his sibling will grow bigger and bigger...

    Thanks for sharing your experiences everyone!

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    Ambah, truth be told... You will cope.. Even though we all felt ill & like we wished we werent at work etc, we still all managed...
    so either you'll feel queasy & manage or you'll put off TTC for a bit & manage with a bigger gap...
    It will all be Ok & will work. I have my own office & so can snack all day & come & go as I please etc...
    I still felt crappy etc, but if I knew it was for only 2 wks I'd have easily coped!!!

    Now I am a eating machine!

    Good luck with whatever you decide!

  9. #9

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    I have worked full time throughout my pregnancy, though mine is an office job, so a bit different to your nursing prac. I was rather ill from about 5 to 12 weeks. I had one day off work during that that time.. It was hard because my colleague was away so I was having to do both our jobs. I found that if I just tried to concentrate on other things, it would help a bit. But, I did manage it.

    Can you move your prac if you are too sick to go?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambah View Post
    Ooh I am a bit worried now... as it is I am worried about coping with the FT load whilst pg, yet alone going on prac...
    Ambah, I totally understand your concern but can I make a suggestion? Take a look at the work actually involved in your classes for the year before making any hard and fast decisions. Even though you are doing the full load, the work load might not be too severe. I make that suggestion to everyone trying to juggle multiple things. For example, your subject might have a clinical component but very little theory work. You might have a subject that is all assignments and that's it. Or you might have subjects that are all reading and an exam... does that make sense? You might be able to cope. If you can remember what stages you struggled in your last PG you might be able to gauge where you will be in your studies during those times and whether or not you can handle it. Also, don't be frightened to request extension on assignments or to defer exams - if you have a medical cert from your doc you will qualify for a deferred exam - I know heaps of girls who have done that. It buys you at least a couple of weeks which can make all the difference. If you had 4 exams you could do 2 at the designated time and 2 on deferred which staggers it out. Also, see if you know anyone who has done the subjects before and get them to help you out if they can. Get any hints or tips from them on what the focus of those subjects REALLY are.
    Some tips I've had from women who have suffered horrendous m/s whilst PG at Uni is to put their notes on tape. These girls felt worse when reading so they would record their lectures on dictaphone (have to sit up front) or take notes and then either transcribe them to tape or get their partner to do it for them and just listen to that tape as opposed to reading all the time. The beauty was they could do it whenever travelling or resting or working around the house. To tell the truth, I pinched that idea even when I wasn't PG!
    Does your Uni give you the option to study part time? Maybe you can try F/T load and then cut back if you need to? You can often pick subjects up over summer so you wouldn't necessarily be too far behind other students.

    I hope that helps hon. Good luck with your decision, it's not an easy one to make.

    MG

  11. #11

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    Thanks guys! I do know that I will cope, no matter what happens, but at the same time I dont want it to be hell... DP is also concerned that it might be too much, because I also have to run the household and look after Aidyn (although he will be in daycare for 3 days per week) and I think he would rather me be pleasant to live with, rather than a stressed out monster LOL

    MG - I already started PT in 1st semester last year with 2 subjects, and then did 3 subjects in 2nd semester. This year in 1st semester I was hoping to do 4 subjects, but am considering maybe just dropping it back to 3 subjects because I will *hopefully* be pg. I'm not worried about failing, I have been getting really good grades so far, so I dont think pg will affect me so much that I wont pass.... I think I am just worried about the stress, because I am a perfectionist and I get very stressed about assignments and exams... and when its exam/assignment time the housework almost completely stops - and I am snappy and a bit mean to DP ... so I can imagine it being even harder whilst being pg!
    I think your suggestion about waiting to see what is involved is great actually... I will wait till they put the semester timetables for each unit up, and have a good think about it. I would love to get an extra subject out of the way... but I don't know if it will be worth the stress??...
    I really appreciate you sharing your ideas and experience with me MG!
    This is tricky, cause with TTC I dont even know how quickly (or slowly) I will fall pg anyway!

  12. #12

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    You're welcome Ambah. If you're really not sure how quickly/slowly you will fall, maybe do whatever workload you were planning on doing and then re-asses it when you DO fall PG. No point in stressing about the what if's until they become reality!

    I hear you on stressing about exams and assignments, my poor DH suffered too. And when I was on clinical and PG he copped it too - HAD to pick me up after my shift and drive me home (I would crash in the car and sleep from door to door!) and then cook dinner as well! I *was* a perfectionist once upon a time. I don't know how I got over that but I did! Just make sure you make some down time for yourself so you can de-stress.

    And feel free to PM me with assignment Q's - I didn't go to your Uni but I kept EVERYTHING and I know several Uni's often use similar topics for assignments.

    MG

  13. #13

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    I had all day MS when working full time hours. I think at the time, work took my mind off it alot. I must admit, for me it wasnt easy some days, but luckily I never had actual vomiting, so I didnt require any time off work. To be honest, I dont think it matters where you are with ms...It isnt pleasant no matter where or what you are doing. Good luck!

  14. #14

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    Hey Ambah,

    Good luck with TTC.. I'm still early days yet (around 5 weeks i think), and i've just started a FT massage course (2 days a week formal studying, but i have to do lots of practise and outside study), anyway, i just started on Monday, but i've noticed with this preg (and so did DH) that i'm barely having any m/s at all, and i had a reasonable amount last time.

    I only felt slightly nauseous today lying on my stomach on the massage table, but that was it.

    So maybe it wont be so bad this time??

    Like i said, still got plenty of weeks for it to get worse i guess, but i'm hoping it will be better than my last one.

    Good luck, i'm sure you will do great, but let them know of your circumstances and apply for special consid just to make it that bit easier!

  15. #15

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    If you're really not sure how quickly/slowly you will fall, maybe do whatever workload you were planning on doing and then re-asses it when you DO fall PG.
    The only prob with this MG is that you cant withdraw from a subject after the 6th week of uni without academic penalty (ie, I think they fail you??) Though being pg, I'm sure I could talk my way out of that penalty somehow...

    Thanks for the offer of help This semester I am doing Bioscience 3; Clinical Practice 1; Health, Human Development and Ageing; and Communication for Nursing Practice (a psychology subject). I think they are all pretty straight forward... though I think the psychology one might be the most challenging with assessments (having to tape record interviews etc)

    Anyway girls, thanks again... you have certainly given me something to think about! I cant quite believe that I have the green light from DP to start TTC so soon... I have been slowly warming him to the idea for nearly 2 years, and now its a reality!! Eeeks!!

    ETA - typing at the same time - thanks Yael! Goodluck with your course too, I hope your m/s isnt as bad for you this time round either!

  16. #16

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    with DS had really bad m/s until 14wks (used to throw up every 15 minutes form 5am - 10am) work was very understanding and I didn't 'feel' sick so it wasn't too much of a problem. Mind you I was working in a supermarket Deli so not a lot of responsibility. With this bubba I was a teacher and got all day sickness with vomitting at random intervals during the day. It meant I had to tell my work a lot earlier than I would have liked as I often had to run out of the classroom to throw up. It wasn't easy but doable. I'm sure if you explain to your work place they will understand

  17. #17

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    I was studying FT when I was PG with Emily... it was hard at times, but most lecturers are VERY understanding if you talk to them about your situation. Plus you can get dr certificates if you need them to give you a bit of leeway.

    HTH's and good luck

    Tanya

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