Tips to Cope: Full Time Student, Employee and Mommy

HOW I DID IT

  1. Schedule. I worked the day shift 730-4pm, my husband worked the evening shift 330pm-12am. There was a 30 minute gap. My sister in law(bless her heart) watched our son during that time and took him with her to pick up her children from school. If you don’t have relatives or anyone around, look up a great babysitter to save money or look into daycare. Choose something that works for your family.
  2. Homework. A baby carrier is your new best friend at the early stage. Grab your baby and snuggle them up in the carrier make sure you have enough room to have your hands free. I completed my math homework this way. The baby is happy and you get to get things done.
  3. Breast Feeding/Pumping.  I breastfed any chance I got. Once I started working and going to school again I would pump at work and go home during my lunch break and breastfeed. It was exhausting and I was not pumping enough. It is true, your body knows when and how much to produce. It was like clock work by 1145 I was ready to feed. My son was ready and he would feed for 20 minutes and fall asleep. I tried mothers milk capsules to buildup my supply and non alcoholic beer as well as Guinness and Malta. It all worked. I decided to stop breastfeeding at 5 months. You can also join a breastfeeding group on facebook or a local group in your community.
  4. Let them help! If you are married or have a significant other let them help you. Yes I know, you want it done right the first time… One wise woman gave me the best advise I know. She said. ” Let him help you in his own way, if you nag he wont be helping you at all”. It works like a charm. It was weeks before I changed my sons diaper. My husband has his own way of doing things and I have mine. Same result. During your first days as a new mom you get this surge of energy. If someone asks you if you want them to hold your baby while you get some shut eye, let them! you will regret not letting them help you later on.
  5. Don’t feel guilty. Everyday at work I get a patient who asks me what I am doing there and not with my son. I have missed a lot. I felt like a horrible mother and questioned why I planned so many things at the same time. I had started a gym membership and stopped after 2 months because I rather spend my little extra time with him. I joined a Bible Study group and stopped going because that interferes with his bed time. Life is about compromises. Right now, I want to spend all of my free time with him. He started daycare at 8 months and you can see how great of an impact it has had on him. He learns new things and interacts with different kids all day. He has a very busy day as do I, and when we get home we are inseparable!
Advertisements

Team no Sleep

Monday October 27th, while I was at work, I kept  having contractions. I had been in and out of the hospital with pre term labor symptoms twice. I had received the terbutaline shots to stop my contractions and sent home. I could see my sons heart rate speed up every time I had a dose. I felt horrible, but it was too early for him to come. That Monday I had my first set of weekly prenatal visits. I went in, I was 2cm dilated and everything looked good. When I got home I started bleeding. I thought it was my mucus plug. I started getting more contractions and decided it was time. we went for a mile walk and decided to head to the hospital. I am one of the lucky ones that can tolerate pain very well. I get to the hospital and the security officer signs me in and calls a nurse. The nurse says they are too booked and asks if I really look like I am in labor or even in pain. He looked stumped. I was in pain! My tolerated pain. They make me wait. I walk, I stand, I breathe. They let me in and ask me if I am having contractions. I said yes I am, otherwise I wouldn’t be here! I explained I was bleeding and I felt like this was it. They wrapped the contraction monitor around me and voila! he was going full force! They looked at me like I was inhuman. How on Earth was I tolerating that? I remembered all my breathing techniques from youtube! Time passed, they had me on pitocin to speed up the process and monitored his heart rate. That actually numbed me. Like I said I am one of the lucky ones! They broke my water and 1 day, 8 hours and 3 mins later he was here. He hit the first day of week 37.

Though I was happy and scared all at the same time I was thinking about my finals! Yes Finals! I sent my Government Professor a text and let him know that as soon as I got home I would take the exam. He had no idea I was pregnant and expressed how crazy I was to even think about school at that time. I was cleared to go on Friday and took my final exam quietly in my in laws guest bedroom. I was relieved. Thoughts about work went through my head. I had been fighting with the VA for FMLA and was unable to receive it since I was a new employee and had not worked there for more than a year. I was granted 4 weeks of non paid leave and was to return to work without pay for another month. I thank my co workers and supervisor for donating some of their leave to help me out!!

So in a moment where you are supposed to be filled with bliss, reality hits. You are a full time student, a full time employee, and now you are a MOM!

The Beginning

The Beginning

January 2014, I started my full time student status at Hodges University in Naples FL. I was one month out of the military and ready to start my civilian life. I was ready to be “Free”. Since I have always been an over achiever or maybe just a busy bee. I decided to start off in full blast. Hodges University is not a traditional university, like I stated on my about me section. My life has not been so traditional,so Hodges University fit perfectly in my lifestyle. They have your traditional semesters, mini term accelerated courses, morning /evening classes as well as online. Let’s just say I maxed out my mini term accelerated courses and didn’t take a semester off.  That’s 4-5 classes in seven weeks.  Then a two week vacation and another 7 week semester. And if a class was not offered in that way, I would take that class for the full 3 or 4 months however long a normal semester is along with my mini terms. Let’s talk about organization and when and what class I was working on that day. I even managed to get all A’s and maybe two to three B’s. if that. Pretty impressive. Ok, so…. a month later on March 1st 2014 after two months of trying we got the two pink lines we were waiting for. We were pregnant! Were we crazy to plan a baby in the midst of recently applying for a great jog, applying for school ect.? Yes. But, I know we have all heard this before, ” You will never be ready”. Also true.

All of these events were planned in December of 2013. I applied for a job at the Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans clinic and interviewed with them in February.  Government jobs take a long time in processing the employment process. So I waited. I got the job offer in April and I emailed my now supervisor explaining that I was now pregnant and if the offer still stood. She said yes and I finally had a start date of June 15th 2014. That’s six months since I applied!

My pregnancy was not very nice. I had morning sickness ALL day long! I could not eat or smell any meat. I guess my son was a vegetarian.  I could only keep toast and some fruits down. I had ONE craving. It was a green mango with salt and cumin. I chowed it down and a second later threw it all out. Not fun. I lost about 20lbs. He was literally eating me alive. So I continued with school, of course puking and peeing every chance I got. I didn’t look pregnant so I kept getting those awkward looks.  I was the first one in and out of class. Yet Aced all my tests and exams.

June came and I started working. That meant waking up at 5am and commuting an hour from Naples to Cape Coral. Worked from 730 am to 4pm. Commuted another hour to an hour and a half back to Naples and went to school from 6pm-950pm.  Thus began my journey.