Ann was raised on a dairy farm, and really didn’t have much. But she wasn’t going to stay there. She had bigger visions for her life and went to school to become a nurse.
After she graduated, she went to work in an oncology department (that’s a cancer nurse) working long hours. It’s pretty common for nurses in hospitals to work 12 hour shifts, and it’s also well understood that “12 hours” really means 14 after you do all the handoffs from the outgoing and incoming shifts.
That is long hard physical labor. Ann watched other nurses become pregnant and do their shifts. Some of them would administer the strong chemotherapy treatments to patients while pregnant. Some of them would request that they be excused because of pregnancy. That mean that the other non-pregnant nurses would have to cover those duties.
At a certain point, she began to plan to have her own children. Ann was not willing to do these long shifts while pregnant, or to expose her baby to the strong medicines, so she looked for a different job.
Although she loved caring for people in her work, the cancer ward was sad. She chose to move into another field. As many nurses do, she found a position in a pharmaceutical company.
It was a desk job, and it allowed her to work while pregnant in a way that was easier than being in the hospital.
Her first pregnancy was tough, but her boss, a childless size zero woman was intimidating. Ann had joint pain, but didn’t feel comfortable asking this boss for accommodations.
After she returned from maternity leave, the first time she was transferred to another department with a much more sympathetic boss. This woman had 3 children and was more understanding. This was a blessing because the second pregnancy was even tougher. One of her symptoms was bladder spasms(pretty exciting in long meetings!). She also had sciatica nerve pain, making sitting extremely uncomfortable.
She got a note from her doctor, and her boss was totally on board with her working from home. This second pregnancy she was a lot more bold about asking for what she needed. Not only the work accommodations for her pregnancy discomfort, but also for what it took to take care of her children. Day care pick up and drop offs, and working from home–she wasn’t shy to ask for these things.
At this moment Ann is home waiting for their water to break on her second child. She’ll tell you it hasn’t been easy, but she loves her babies very much.