I’m currently finishing my second to last semester of graduate school. This semester is kind of unique in that I’m in classes on Tuesday and Thursday and I’m working in a clinic on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. My hours absolutely hideous, but so far I’ve been managing. It was only the second week of the sixteen week semester that I found out that I was pregnant, and so far, I’ve kept it largely a secret.
I’ve told one of my clinic coworkers, because she saw me one morning while I was struggling with morning sickness and the truth just sort of spilled out. It’s actually been nice to talk to someone about it at work because those have been some of my toughest nausea days. I’ve also told one of my classmates because I am a terrible secret keeper and she’s a good friend of mine. But I’m struggling to figure out how to tell the other people that probably need to know soon.
I have two OB appointments coming up in the next few weeks, both of which will require me to miss clinic hours. My clinical instructor has children so I know he’ll be fine with it, but I can’t get over the awkwardness of the conversation. How do I tell a man I’ve only know for 8 weeks that I’m pregnant? I’m half tempted to just walk in and blurt it out because I cannot come up with any way to make this announcement more smooth.
Similarly, I have to tell two of my classroom instructors about my pregnancy because I’m not going to be able to participate in all of our class components in the next few weeks. This won’t be a problem for finishing the class, but it needs to be declared. I simply cannot be put in certain physical positions (it’s a hands on skills class) and it’s up to me to disclose that to my instructors. I still have a few weeks before I will absolutely have to say something, but of course both of these instructors are also both men, and I’ve known them exactly as long as I’ve known my clinical instructor.
I have the option of telling my teachers via email and I will probably exercise that right, especially because telling them in person would risk exposing my poorly kept secret to other classmates. Though considering that there are 2 other Katies in my class, I may also have to say something in person just to clarify. This wouldn’t be the first instance of Katie confusion, but it would probably be the most awkward.
That said, email isn’t really an option when it comes to clinic. My clinical instructor and I have never communicated via email and because I have plenty of opportunities to tell him, I have a feeling that it’s just not how I should go about handling things. I’ve had opportunities last week and today, and I just can’t seem to walk into his office and tell him. I will need to tell him soon so he can block my schedule off during those appointments, but I just can’t get the words out. I trust him and I know it’s going to be fine, but I still can’t bring myself to disclose this secret of mine.
I know this is potentially opening up a can of nightmarish worms, but I want to know how you told your bosses (especially if they were men) and if you had the chance to do it again, how would you tell them now?
Photo credit: Someecards
Working during pregnancy: your health and your rights