As I had posted a few months ago, being pregnant during law school wasn't what I would call easy. At first, it wasn't too bad, but when the morning sickness sets in, coupled with exhaustion during the first trimester, you're pretty miserable. You wonder "how can I do this?" Then, during the second trimester, you think "oh ok, I feel like a normal human being again...I can manage." And finally, by the third trimester, your mind has gone to lala land and you do have some problems focusing. There are many things to consider about having a baby in law school, or in my case, 6 days after graduation. There are, quite honestly, positives and negatives to both.
I do, however, think a few things are essential. If you are doing this completely on your own (in other words, wanting to be a single mommy), I would recommend you wait until at least the end of your first year. If I wouldn't have had my wonderful husband around, I honestly would have taken a semester off. Here's the problem with pregnancy: you can't plan how you'll feel! Some women are really lucky and they never have anything out of the ordinary happen, or they have no morning sickness. But, I had horrible morning sickness and I was still throwing up in to my trash can with my husband holding my hair up at nearly 20 weeks. So don't think it'll be perfect and that you've timed everything your way. My little precious girl was born nearly 4 weeks early. I still have no idea how I would have managed if her due date had been June 1st and then she would have come smack dab in the middle of finals. Yeah...not good. These are all things I strongly encourage you to consider.
Another thing to consider is how important grades and extracurriculars are in your life. Once the morning sickness really started setting in, it was very hard to focus. I'll give you an example: when I was 8 weeks along and my morning sickness was pretty bad, I took my MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam). I failed it the first time. This test is not hard...seriously...it's embarrassing that I failed. I took it the second time in my second trimester when I felt better and passed it with flying colors. Additionally, you can't be in a million extracurriculars either because you'd be letting down your teammates when not feeling well. I remained very involved on my journal, because I loved the people that I worked with. I also worked approximately 20 hours a week at a law firm. Looking back on it, I should have probably cut out my clerking at the firm. Working and the journal were ok together, but adding in the school work was too much and that is also why my grades suffered so much. You will have to learn what works for you and make sure to not over do it.
Another thing I really noticed through this entire experience is that there isn't ever a perfect time to have a baby. While my husband and I weren't exactly planning to get pregnant that fine day in September (oops! haha), I'm not sure it would have been any easier in the years following. This is a decision that you and your partner have to make TOGETHER (that is, if it's planned). Once Evan and I got to thinking about it, there were many positives about the timing. Throughout Liliana's first year, Evan will be in his fourth year of medical school which isn't nearly as strenuous as his first year of residency! So as I said, think about how things would be as a couple. This is going to be a balancing act. Get ready to start working together NOW, before you get pregnant, because you'll be a team more than ever once your cute bundle of joy comes along.
Note: if this is the first time you've seen my blog, I also recommend the following posts:
Just a Typical Saturday in the Lacefield House: This could be the kind of schedule you'd have on a weekend with a newborn if your partner is available to help you 24 hours of the day. Consider how this would fit in to your schedule during law school. In some ways, it's perfect because you study on your own time most of the year. It would obviously be hard during finals.
Pregnancy Doctor Visits: At my law school, they took attendance during our classes and we could typically miss between 2 - 6 class periods during each semester. Consider how this schedule would fit in to all of this. This is, in my opinion, a big positive for being in law school while pregnant because I don't care so much if I miss one class period, but when you're a brand new associate they will not be happy that you're missing so much work!
What to Expect when You're Done Expecting: Here is the hardest part about having the baby during law school: the recovery. If you had a job, you would have a couple weeks to physically recover. Sure, you'll be exhausted during your hours as an associate, but the recovery while you're sitting in class would be rough.
This is something to consider...talk with your school and see what their policies are.
Overall, it's a decision you will have to make! All I'm doing by writing these posts are giving you things to think about. There are definitely positives and negatives to both. That being said, personally, for me, if I didn't have the bar to be studying for this would have been perfect. I am happy I was pregnant during law school. Even though our pregnancy was not per se planned...it ended up fitting our lives very well, much better than if I had been working as a new associate. I saw how much the associates worked at the firm I clerked for... and let me tell you, when I left the office at 6 p.m. because I had had enough of the nausea, they had to stick around and keep getting their stuff done. Like I said, if I had to miss class for an appointment, it wasn't a problem. Also, yes my grades went down because I felt sick, but in the big scheme of things that sure sounds a lot better than the other option: when you're an associate, if your job performance goes down for months, there might be some more serious consequences. Hope all this information helped!! Please note, every pregnancy is different and some people might feel differently about this...I'm just giving my opinion from my experience.
Also...please excuse my subliminal messages .... ; )