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To want to start a degree when I'm 6 months pregnant

(64 Posts)
Holly94 Tue 25-Jun-13 18:19:55

I'm 18 and just finished my A-levels. I'm 8 weeks pregnant. I wanted to go to uni but obviously things have changed now, so I was looking at starting an open uni course in October, when I'll be around 6 months pregnant. DP is adamant that I won't manage it when 'heavily pregnant' and told me I have to put our baby first. He said that I need to wait till the October afterwards when the baby will be about 9 months old, because he thinks I won't manage uni work with a newborn baby.

I feel like if I don't start it this year, I never will. AIBU not to wait?

No experience of doing it with a baby, but I am doing an OU degree at the moment. I would say October is a good time to start, there are lots of short modules that last just a few months and you can work your way through it faster than the schedule to be finished by your due date. Look for a 10 or 15 credit Level 1 module which fits the subject you are studying, I'm registered for the Open degree and mixing mine up a bit. They have a series of modules called Openings (put Openings in the OU search box, they aren't easy to find by browsing). These are meant for people either just starting out or returning to study from a long absence and are perfect for seeing if you get on with the studying and the subject. I did one last Nov to March and had excellent tutor support. You can put one of them towards your degree.

You could then have a break and resume studying when your baby is a few months old (assuming you stick to whatever rules there are for funding, I know it has all changed since I started mine). I haven't read that other thread though.

Holly94 Wed 26-Jun-13 08:40:46

Thank you for all your replies everyone! I really appreciate reading them all.
I think I might wait until after the baby's here to start. I don't want to miss out on those precious first few months; so many people, my parents and DP's included have told me you never get that time back and you always wish for more.
I am only 18 so I've got the rest of my life to do a degree.
A couple of people have asked exactly what DP said and if he's controlling. He said he didn't think it was a good idea because all my attention needs to be focused on the baby (as though he really thought I'd be capable of putting an essay before a crying, hungry baby). And that he'll support me, but would prefer me to wait so I don't take too much on all at once, which I can understand as I work in a shop which involves standing up for 8-9 hours a day and I want to work right up until the last date possible so I can spend as much of my mat leave with the baby as possible.

AnnoyedAtWork Wed 26-Jun-13 08:48:28

OU will be harder to self motivate as u won't be with other people most of the time. Think u might get more financial help at a traditional uni but I'm not sure. Personally I would take a gap year and then go to uni . Don't be so hard on yourself you are 18 - u have loads of time. Take a year and enjoy your baby. If u r worried u will flake out why not apply now and defer your place to sep 14. Then u know u are def going.

I'm a bit hmm at your partner telling you "you won't manage studying while heavily pregnant" FFS I worked full time when I was pregnant in my gap year! Tell him he's talking rubbish.

AnnoyedAtWork Wed 26-Jun-13 08:50:24

Also I really valued the friends I made at uni and would have been really lonely studying at home alone with a baby. You say your relatives will help with childcare so why not go to a normal uni? Doesn't have to be far away.

maternitart Wed 26-Jun-13 09:13:49

Sounds like the best decision to me.

What I would do though is start a hobby or similar you can do on mat leave before and after the baby is born so that you have something just for you.

coldwater1 Wed 26-Jun-13 09:18:32

It can be done! I did it myself. I started an OU module whilst pregnant, my baby was born just days before an essay was due in! I did the essay, got it in and passed with a good grade. I then had the exam when my baby was 6 months old, passed that too!

I am now expecting again and starting university in September, baby due in December, i will have the Christmas break at home to recover and then go right back. I'm not planning on deferring or taking a year out.

I also have 8 other children and work part-time...

LottieLaBouff Wed 26-Jun-13 09:20:20

Although this is different... I'm 21 and finished my HND when my DD was 10 weeks old. It was so hard, i stayed right up until I went in to labour and I had to go back when she was 4 weeks old, and that was after an emergency c section. She had awful colic too so it seemed like she never slept.
If you think you have great support and that you can manage, I don't see why you shouldn't. It'll be really tough at times, but you can do it! smile I feel really proud looking back! I bet you would too.

badguider Wed 26-Jun-13 12:39:46

I see now you have a pretty full-on job - that changes what I said earlier.. I was encouraging you to start now believing that you weren't doing much now you'd finished Alevels... with a full-time job and pregnant then I would NOT start now but instead wait till the baby is born and through the first few months.

As I said I am self-employed and work from home doing work that has about the same amount of flexibility as OU study (e.g. flexible hours but set deadlines).
I intend to resume a few hours a week after 3months, working up to 2 days a week from 6months when we'll start using a very nearby nursery... I know a lot of people take more time off but I do not want to and with my DH full support (he'll be doing all the weekend childcare when I work at first) I think this will be fine for us providing we both survive the birth healthy.

melliebobs Wed 26-Jun-13 12:44:21

I'm not saying its impossible but it'll be bloomin hard work.

I know after having my dd I couldn't have taken something like that on. (traumatic section, transfusion, 1 week hospital stay. Poorly dd with horrific reflux that only got identified at 13weeks and didn't really resolve until 8-9 month) and now at 15 months we still have regular hospital appointments for something else. Just keeping a house in order and work is hard enough.

But if you have the support/money/time n get lucky with your baby why not. But uni isn't just about the degree it's all the other stuff you we'd to do to complement it. Internships/placements/volunteering etc n that all takes time

BionicEmu Wed 26-Jun-13 13:08:43

I'm pleased you're leaning towards waiting a year. I've been doing a physics degree with the OU for the past few years (it's not called physics anymore, can't remember what it is called now, but it's changed it's name twice in the last few years). In that time I've had 2 pregnancies and babies & I've really struggled keeping up with work.

Both pregnancies were difficult, with multiple issues & several hospital stays. Luckily I wasn't studying too much when I was pregnant - got pregnant with DC1 while studying, did exam at 23 weeks, a week before first hospital stay in premature labour.

DC1 was premature in the end & had lots of medical issues so I didn't study at all until he was older. Then got pregnant with DC2, was expecting nightmare pregnancy, which it was, so no studying when pregnant. However, I was forced by the OU to study a module beginning in early Feb - DC2 was due mid-Feb but was born early Jan. I tried so hard to do that module, but ended up deferring it for a year.

I hated the way I had to palm my newborn off on anybody who would take her so I could study. I hated the fact I would watch her for any sign of tiredness so I could try & get her to sleep so I could study. I was missing being with her as a newborn & hated myself for it. I was also struggling badly with post-natal depression & was actually admitted to hospital with it. Plus, I had the realisation that even if I made all these sacrifices, due to sleep deprivation, pnd & other factors I wouldn't do as well in the course as I could do. All that effort for just a pass, or even a fail, instead of a 2:1.

You're young, you've got time! I would rather look back on enjoying my baby - lots of cuddles & laughing - rather than forego that for studying. It's a cliche but it's true - they do grow up so fast.

I would also do research on the OU. For my degree course the quality of the course has gotten worse every year, and it really is awful now. I would certainly not recommend the OU for physics/physical science/natural science/whatever they're calling it now.

Holly94 Wed 26-Jun-13 13:20:43

BionicEmu I've had problems with my pg already. Sorry to drip feed I really don't mean to, just it didnt seem relevant when writing it. Sorry to hear you had issues, it's awful isn't it sad
I had a suspected ectopic at first and then an awful 2 week wait before second scan where I was just waiting to start bleeding as my hcg levels were way below what they should have been. Thankfully everything's sorted now but I think DP is scared after that. He doesn't want me to 'overwork' myself and I thought I'd be fine but in hindsight after reading other people's experiences, I think waiting until the October after baby is here would be better. After all, I don't know how I'm gonna deal with the birth, etc and I don't know what my baby will be like.

AnnoyedAtWork Wed 26-Jun-13 13:22:10

Coldwater you have 9 kids?!!! And you work and study?! Are you superwoman ?!

Squitten Wed 26-Jun-13 13:33:27

I'm studying though the OU too.

I've been studying for 4yrs now, plus one year's break when I had DS2. I'm lucky because I'm still on the old fees system whereas you'll be getting the newer fee rate so be sure you are ready before you sign away all that money! The schedule of work with the OU is relentless, even part time. On the course I've just finished, for example, the workload was every single week from Oct-May and then the exam. I got a week off for Xmas and Easter and that's it, and I didn't even use them because I always had to catch up with stuff. It is an utter slog - worth it, but really hard work.

I'm a SAHM with two sons (4 & 2) and a new baby on the way in Oct, just as DS1 starts Reception. I'm applying to have next year off because I know taking on a course as well as a new baby is suicidal. I would really wait until the baby is a bit bigger and you feel that you can commit the time. Your partner will also have to commit to a lot of childcaring so you can study so make sure he's on board with it - my DH has spent many weekends taking the kids elsewhere for me!

Good luck!

YummyYummyYum Wed 26-Jun-13 14:22:48

Good decision OP, I am sure you will be fine. Good luck!

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