Monday, February 8, 2010

Being Pregnant During Law School

As soon as I found out we were pregnant, I started looking for blogs to tell me "you can do this. You can be in law school and be pregnant." I was, quite honestly, terrified.
Fortunately, I did find a couple blogs where women have gone through the same thing (some of the women intentionally getting pregnant this early, unlike us). That calmed me down. And yes, if people do happen to find this blog and they're in a similar position, it can be done. However, you need to get a few things clear.
(1) Grades will likely go down.
Mine did. A lot. I had horrible morning sickness while studying for finals and also the 8 weeks leading up to them. So, I had my doctor call me in some Zofran to help with the nausea. That sounded nice, until the medicine got me beyond constipated and I had to time myralax between the finals and would stay up all night going to the restroom. Long story short: it wasn't fun. At all. And, oh yeah, my grades DEFINITELY went down.
(2) You need support.
We all have great husbands, boyfriends, partners, etc. etc. Yadda yadda. No, I'm talking about REAL support. I didn't cook or clean for over a month throughout finals and the morning sickness. Any energy I had, I had to use while studying. Fortunately, even though my husband is probably busier than pretty much anyone else I can imagine (he only worked about 85 hours a week throughout his OB/GYN rotation some weeks...ha...yeah I told you...BUSY), he came home, stroked my hair, told me to relax, and knew I was doing all that I could. He knew I was unhappy just laying on the couch with the wastebasket underneath me the whole day. He knew that I missed working out and that if I could, I would be up doing it. I thank the lord for his support because even though my grades went down, had he not at least fed me those days, my grades would have dropped, AND I would have starved to death. Not a pretty combination.
(3) Things NEVER go as planned.
So even if you planned this pregnancy, or even if you're like me and think "well at least it was late enough so that I graduate on time," some things NEVER go as planned. Six weeks in to the pregnancy, I had some spotting, got put on pelvic rest (which means no hanky panky) for 3 days, and was worried sick for a few days. I hadn't planned for that! Now, there was a few days where school work just went out the gutter. Then, we made this surprise trip to San Antonio where fortunately my Mom gave us an ultrasound (she's a radiologist). Whew...everything looked wonderful. Well then, at 8 weeks, spotting again. This time, I was put on bed rest and pelvic rest (so I had to call in to work and couldn't have sex again for a few days...geez...if I'm gonna call in to work, at least let me have fun!) This time, my OB here in Lubbock wanted us to go get an ultrasound. We did: everything looked great. I thought, finally we were done with the unplanned visits, calling in to work, feeling sick, etc. WRONG. At 19 weeks pregnant, I fainted in the grocery store. I had unfortunately gotten a horrible cold from my niece and I got sinusitis, strep throat, and it threw off my balance too much. But as you guessed, this was another trip to get some care. I called Evan, he had to step out from seeing a patient, rushed home, and took me to the E.R. for the next 5 hours. Again, nothing will go as planned. I promise.
(4) Even with insurance, you're gonna spend money.
Having insurance when you're pregnant is an absolute must. We are lucky to have great insurance through the school, but even with that, our medical bills have already surpassed $1500 (including an upfront $700 fee for all the visits with your OB). And for those of you that think we're going to Covenant (the private hospital), wrong. We went cheap-o and are at the University hospital. So no matter where you go, get ready to spend money.
(5) NO ONE at school will understand.
In general, once people started hearing our news around the law school, people were nice about it. BUT, the MOST common things I heard were:
(1) Don't worry, I did it, you can do it too - I had ALL males tell me this. Not one female. It infuriates me. No, you haven't been pregnant in school. Your wife is the pregnant one, and not one of them have the stress of finals and pregnancy at the same time. So please, even though you're trying to be nice, don't tell me "you've been there too." You know what it's like to a certain extent, but you by no means are in the same boat.
(2) I don't know how you'll do it. You're so brave. - is this a compliment? When you get the positive on the test, you don't know how you'll make it either. There's really no other option. I saw it as "ok, now I have to make this happen. Let's go. I need to kick some ass." My only response to people is, "there's nothing like this pregnancy to make me realize that I'm not brave one bit. There are things SO much bigger than law school and taking the bar." And I mean that...even if I have to repeat it to myself on a daily basis. : )
(6) Screw any of these negatives, you're pregnant...enjoy it, love it, we are so lucky.
Yes there are negatives to this...but aren't there negatives to everything in life? Even though grades went down, I kept thinking to myself, would this have been ANY easier as an associate? I don't think the answer is yes. I think even though this hasn't been easy, it's never easy. I am so lucky to say I'll be a Mom soon. As long as we keep things in perspective, I realize that everything else doesn't matter.


  1. Hey Cristina! I enjoyed reading your post, and am glad that you'll be able to help other law mamas one day! =D You've helped me think about things from a new perspective, and I applaud all that you and Evan do! You're truly the power couple, hehe... We're praying for you every step of the way, and hope that the second and third trimester go a LOT better than the first! Lots of love!

  2. Hi Cristy,
    Congradulations! Good for you and your family. You should be so proud!!
    I am applying to law school this year, and I am also 2 weeks pregnant, crazy but true.
    Do you think I can do it? Since I have not started law school yet, but I am married and 2 weeks pregnant??
    Take care,

  3. Hi there! Thanks for reading the blog! I hope it's helpful to've inspired me to do a post relating to something just about this. I'm busy studying for the bar, so I'll do my best to post it by tomorrow. Hopefully it'll help you out some. Have a great fourth of July!

  4. Christy - I am entering my second year in law school, am 6 weeks pregnant and couldn't be more depressed. I always thought God was calling me to be a lawyer - but now I ask, how can He possibly call me to be both! Am I really to leave my little one for 60 hours a week? Also - another lady was pregnant last year and she told me about all the negative feedback she received from other women...I'm terrified of people finding out..and am feeling so overwhelmed.

  5. Anonymous: This is NOTHING to be depressed about! Having a baby is such a gorgeous thing. Yes, your priorities will have to change and that's ok. As you have probably read on my recent posts, I decided not to work in a law firm after all, partially because I knew logistically my husband and I couldn't swing the two of us having 50 + hour jobs. However, if you are loving law school, it's entirely possbile to do both. Law school and the legal profession aren't very favorable to pregnant women or mothers for that matter. You just have to close your eyes to their ignorance and often their jealousy. I had moments of freaking out when I found out I was pregnant as well, but I decided I had had ENOUGH of other people making me feel bad about the fact that a beautiful baby was growing inside of me. Embrace what you have now, it's so truly special. Hope that helps!

    If you have any questions, my email is on my profile. Please feel free to email me.

  6. You are so happy i know. Congratulations!

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  8. Thanks for this post, I'm 6 weeks pregnant and tomorrow I start my exams 2L... you encourage me!