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To contemplate not taking maternity leave

(63 Posts)
OopsIAteTheWholeToblerone Tue 21-Jul-15 13:20:01

I think this isn't as insane as it initially sounds but welcome other views:

Am unexpectedly pregnant with DC2, and am currently a student. For family financial reasons, I really need to crack on and finish my course as have already had a year off with number 1. DC2 is due at the beginning of a 3 week holiday, and as I have gestational diabetes I know I won't be going over my due date. There is then a four week block of 9-5 lectures, before a 10 week clinical placement, before a four week study leave block and a four week holiday.

I keep thinking that a) I could take the baby with me for the lecture block on days DP is working. He does shifts so often off weekdays. (Huge, dark lecture hall- I'd sit at the back and wouldn't disturb anyone- of the baby cried I'd take them out. A baby that young is realistically going to do nothing other than eat and sleep.)

B) If DP saved his annual leave and paternity leave and swiddled his shifts we could then just manage the clinical placement. It's only three days a week, the baby would be between 6ish and 14ish weeks old.

c) I'd then be on study leave for a month and off entirely for a month, which would get us round to almost five months, which isn't an unreasonable time to start nursery? PFB didn't go til he was 13 months as I could be off but I know a few little ones who started between three and six months and it doesnt seem to have scarred them.

The alternative is to take another whole a academic year off, which is doable in terms of the course but just makes everything else harder. We're stuck in a tiny flat in an area we hate and cannot move until I'm qualified and working, which is three more years if I don't take a break.

Am I mad to think just gritting teeth and cracking on will be best? I don't know what to do.

Apologies for epic post!

TribbleNamedDave Tue 21-Jul-15 13:22:49

Hmmmm it's not the most insane thing I've heard in the world. I take it you're on a nursing or similar sort of course. You may be totally bamboozled after the birth, or you may be ok. But I do see where you're coming from in terms of just wanting to get it done. I think I'd be tempted to do similar in your shoes.

Christelle2207 Tue 21-Jul-15 13:27:02

Blimey. I've just had my second and no way would be able to do this. Looking after a newborn in a lecture theatre all day sounds like a nightmare. At 8 weeks my newborn needs some entertainment already and when he is asleep or feeding he is generally attached to me so can't see how I would take notes etc.
this one isn't so bad but my first was a terrible sleeper and if I'd tried to get up and out for 9am every day it would have killed me. Sorry I'm not very helpful. Nurseries do take kids from 6 weeks I think your best option is to look at what childcare you can arrange.

PurpleHairAndPearls Tue 21-Jul-15 13:31:21

How difficult for you! I was coming on to say I once went back to work after six weeks, but DH was a SAHD and I absolutely couldn't have done it without that and an easy birth/recovery.

Firstly,will they induce you early, I was induced at 38 weeks with GD?

Secondly, is there no way you could the baby into childcare?

I don't think it sounds doable without some form of childcare sorry. My first baby was a dream, fed every four hours and slept the rest of the time, my second was the spawn of satan grin I don't know much about lectures sorry, but I can't imagine it is baby friendly and your concentration might be on the baby rather than lectures.

I also think you will be on your knees with exhaustion simply from the stress of juggling. You also have no back up so if you, your DH or any of your DCs are poorly the whole thing could fall apart.

My honest advice would be to wait, unless you can get reliable childcare, and have a good birth and recovery, but it will be interesting to see what people with more experience of studying think. A year sounds a long time but it will pass quickly.

flowers for you, it sounds like a hard decision to make.

DixieNormas Tue 21-Jul-15 13:32:15

When I was nursing someone did this, not the taking into lectures though

Athenaviolet Tue 21-Jul-15 13:32:58

You can't take a baby to 9-5 lectures every day!

You can continue your course but only if either DP becomes a sahp (at least during the hours of your course) or you get a nanny for the 1st 6 weeks then nursery.

I think you have good cause for using a nursery at a young age-don't feel bad about it. Tiny babies don't get the seperation anxiety older babies get.

Nolim Tue 21-Jul-15 13:34:18

A baby that young is realistically going to do nothing other than eat and sleep.)

Or cry! My baby was a terrible sleeper and would cry all the time. I was exhausted all the time.

Best of luck op.

MuffMuffTweetAndDave Tue 21-Jul-15 13:35:21

Will you be able to bring the baby to lectures? What happens if you have the baby before the due date? Can you defer at short notice ie plan to do this but change your mind if you have a difficult birth?

PurpleHairAndPearls Tue 21-Jul-15 13:36:49

Another thought. I know this has huge financial implications but if you can manage it, could your DH take unpaid parental leave on top of his paternity leave?

MuffMuffTweetAndDave Tue 21-Jul-15 13:37:38

Do you have to physically be in the room for lectures or could you watch online? My cousin was in the 3rd year of a degree when she was pregnant, unfortunately the uni was a long commute away though, and she was finding travelling in extremely difficult so she just watched them virtually.

foolonthehill Tue 21-Jul-15 13:38:14

have you considered a childminder? I have from time to time taken on very very young babies in situations like yours...means they can be with just one person in a home, if you can find someone whom you trust and like enough.

WickedCrip Tue 21-Jul-15 13:39:13

I thought you could know split the "maternity leave" between both parents

LaurieFairyCake Tue 21-Jul-15 13:39:28

They won't allow you (due to insurance) to
Take a baby in

MuffMuffTweetAndDave Tue 21-Jul-15 13:40:49

You can wicked but they both have to be working to qualify.

hannibalismisunderstood Tue 21-Jul-15 13:44:15

I really wouldn't advise taking the baby to lectures, 1) it's unprofessional, 2) you will be exposing the baby to too many germs (freshers flu etc) and 3) you will not be able to concentrate at all!

Does your uni have a January intake? Could you defer for one semester only rather than a whole year?

I would really recommend you have a chat to any student support you have for your programme.

OopsIAteTheWholeToblerone Tue 21-Jul-15 13:52:00

Actually whoever said about doing them online that is genius. I did that for the final weeks of my last pregnancy as I found the commute hard going. I have no idea why that hadn't occurred to me!! Can't see the wood for the trees I think confused. I don't know about the 38week induction - they might do it that early- iirc I had to persuade them to leave me til 40 weeks last time as my last exams were at 39+5 but my levels were very well controlled - don't know if I'll be as lucky this time round.

IssyStark Tue 21-Jul-15 13:52:43

I did a p/t MA during my mat leave for ds2 (started it in autumn, baby born mid-December). My marks did suffer in semester 2.

Ds1 started nursery at 4 months, so I think 5 months is fine.

However it's the lecture days I would worry about. I have taken a baby to lecturers and seminars and when they are that young it is doable but I was doing an hour here and there, not a whole day. Are your lectures recorded?

IssyStark Tue 21-Jul-15 13:53:07

Ahh, just seen your update!

Ilovecrapcrafts Tue 21-Jul-15 13:56:14

What's the deal with the lectures? How many, for how long? Assume they're a couple of hours a day rather than 9-5?

Can they be missed? When I was feeling naughty I used to miss lectures and get the notes after. Depends on how tough the course is really.

I'd be reluctant to take the child. Can your h take the maternity leave after the first 6 weeks? I don't see why you both have to be working as long as the claiming parent is and you're not both claiming?

sparechange Tue 21-Jul-15 13:58:03

How do you travel to lectures? What would you do if you had a c-section or tough birth?

OopsIAteTheWholeToblerone Tue 21-Jul-15 13:58:45

A childminder might be better than nursery for such a little one, yes. DH can't take unpaid leave - financially we just keep our heads above water as it is. That's the other consideration- I'm not entitled to SMP as a student and wouldn't be receiving any student funding during any time off.

I actually think the best thing for all if us would be if I quit the course and got a job, but I can't bear it. I worked so hard to get a place and to keep going until now, and am desperate to be a doctor.

OopsIAteTheWholeToblerone Tue 21-Jul-15 14:02:05

The lectures are literally 9-5 with an hour off for lunch. Some can be missed, others less so but difficult to tell until you see the notes. They are, however, online. And I'm an idiot for not joining those particular dots.

I commute by train - 50 minutes each way with a little walk at each end. Hadn't considered the C section thing, but would have three weeks off before the lectures started.

Ilovecrapcrafts Tue 21-Jul-15 14:03:53

Don't quit OP. I actually think you should at least try this. You'll look back and think you were crazy but you might just pull it off.

Totality22 Tue 21-Jul-15 14:06:46

My second birth was a dream. My second baby was not. She was a crier, she would only boob feed still won't take a bottle at 6 months so I still can't leave her for long periods and hated to be out of my arms until she was about 4 months.

'Twas a shock to the system after having a quiet, independent, happy, bottle fed baby first time round.

So don't bank on baby being easy and able to sit in lectures!

Totality22 Tue 21-Jul-15 14:07:49

I agree you must not give up though!!

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