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What was it like being pregnant and a student?

(19 Posts)
MeadowHay Sat 15-Oct-16 17:14:12

Hello! I am a final year student and DH and I are thinking about starting ttc within the next month or two aiming for the baby to be born not too long after I graduate. I am on the pill though atm so I know it usually takes 1-3 months for fertility to return to normal.

I'm on course for a high 2:1 atm despite mental health problems (much better now than they once were). DH has been unemployed the last few months but should be starting FT work within the next few weeks, and as things stand I get the full amount of SFE loans and grants.

BUT this is my final year and I know it will be hard work. It is 70% of the mark of my degree classification. I'm also working a part-time job at uni for about 10hrs a week too but I could sack that off if things got too tough.

So how realistic is it to plan to get pregnant and still do really well on my degree? Is it super hard being pregnant and a student?

MeadowHay Sun 16-Oct-16 20:27:42


IDontBowlOnShabbos Sun 16-Oct-16 20:37:01

Hi, what degree are you doing?
I'm in my last year and 9 months pregnant at the moment. I've had sickness all the way through but did really well on my last exam. Half of my course I'm on placements which I really enjoy, so that helped with the sickness in a way.

The main things to consider are if you need to take a break would you be able to return the following year? Would you be able to take time off for hospital appointments? If you did need to take time off during the course and catch up the following year could you afford it? Every pregnancy is different so what's easy for one person might not be for someone else.

Good luck with your decision!

Chippednailvarnishing Sun 16-Oct-16 20:39:50

What happens if you get pregnant straight away and the baby arrives early? It might stop you passing.
I've never made it past 35 weeks...

Why the rush? Wouldn't it be better to see if your DH likes the job before getting pregnant?

PotteringAlong Sun 16-Oct-16 20:43:00

I would delay ttc until Easter so you know you can finish.

Cakescakescakes Sun 16-Oct-16 20:52:01

You've no idea what kind of pregnancy you might have. You could have hyperemesis, SPD, problems with the baby etc. Anything can happen - I think you'd be crazy to try and throw that into the mix of final year. I had one straight forward pregnancy and one wheee I was sick all day every day for 23 weeks and could barely lift my head. No way I could have done my final year. I could barely get dressed!

Patapouf Sun 16-Oct-16 21:30:42

Why the rush OP? How old are you?
What are your plans for after uni and how will a baby fit into those?
As a PP mentioned, if you need to take a break from studying and no longer have the student loan how will you cope financially?

MeadowHay Mon 17-Oct-16 23:04:50

Sorry, I am aware that I probably sound nuts...blush. I don't want to give tooo much info though for fear of outing myself. I'm in my early twenties and so is DH. But older than most people are in their final year of uni.

I wouldn't say there is a rush, but we're both agreed we want children sooner rather than later. In terms of career, my dream career is notoriously un-family friendly and requires being self-employed but in a particularly odd way. There is no maternity pay or anything like that, and repeated periods of mat leave etc tend to just ruin the career. It also necessitates further study and training before I could enter it. Our thoughts are that we would have a child (or more) first and then later I'd go back to study and enter the profession if I still want to. I am very aware that it may never be possible, but if I had to pick either a family or the job I would pick having a family. I feel that if I wait and start entering the profession and then want to have a family, my career will be ruined anyway (unless I took very short periods of mat leave and DH gave up work or the babies went into FT nursery straight away, which is not what I want), in which case I might as well not bother the expense, time and investment etc in starting up a career that would probably end very quickly. And it's not the kind of job where you can take like many years out and then come back into it either.

If I had to break up my final year, obviously that wouldn't be ideal, but I've done it once before due to health reasons so I'm sure we would cope. DH should have a stable job by that point and actually as perverse as it is, we may even be better off if we had a baby! We would be entitled to CTC I'd imagine, as well as CB and maybe other things as well? DH will be on min wage (not the higher one for over 25s). Also if push came to shove we could borrow money off my parents.

I guess if I had an easy pregnancy, it would all be fine. But if I had a horrendous one, then it would be problematic to say the least...

Cakedoesntjudge Mon 17-Oct-16 23:16:42

I understand what you're saying as I'm studying my degree with an aim to going into
Law - whilst studying it has made me exceptionally glad that DS (now 6) came along much earlier than I had planned to have children and I don't plan on having any more. By the time I am fully qualified childcare won't be such a nightmare and I'd be lying if I said it hadn't crossed my mind that it will likely work in my benefit to not require mat leave or deal with the amount of childcare required in the early years once I switch to that career.

However, and it's a big however, my pregnancy was horrendous. I had hyperemesis and like a PP said I couldn't get out of bed most days (and the days I did it was normally to be admitted to hospital), I definitely couldn't have studied. I think you'd be taking a huge risk unnecessarily, waiting until you finish your final year really won't make that much difference in the grand scheme of things. Whereas if you do end up with a problematic pregnancy and have to drop out, it could be years before you find yourself in a position where you're able to finish off your degree.

MeadowHay Tue 18-Oct-16 11:53:16

It may be a good option for us to delay ttc til at least Easter as pp mentioned and then I could look to get a job for after I graduate that is at least in the sector that I want to work in. Then if I had a horrendous pregnancy I could just quit the job or something, that would be better/easier than interrupting the final year of my degree I guess, and in the long run waiting an extra year or even less won't make much difference I guess.

PotteringAlong Tue 18-Oct-16 13:50:52

It won't make any difference at all. If you're in your early 20's you're probably still at least a decade younger than most people having children!

Tiggywinkler Tue 18-Oct-16 13:59:46

I've done it twice as a mature student - one baby during my BA, and another in the middle of my MA.

It's bloody hard, but doable - I got a first, although it nearly finished me off.

What part of it worries you? I'm in my 30's so felt time wasn't on my side, but if you're younger it might be easier to wait just a little until you've finished. There's nothing like vomiting in the library toilets while researching a dissertation to make it all feel very real!

MeadowHay Tue 18-Oct-16 20:18:24

Just worried in case I got pregnant and then had a really awful pregnancy, for example hypermesis or some other complication that would mean I'd have to suspend my studies and take me longer to graduate. And that worry is more pertinent to me because I've already had to suspend my studies once due to illness so I worry about future employment prospects too as that would mean it taking 6 years to complete a 4 year degree, if I had to suspend again.

Also I can't believe you got a first as well! There's no way I'll get a first even without being pregnant/having children haha! Well done!

KarmaNoMore Tue 18-Oct-16 20:29:54

It was so very interesting to witness my brain turning into mush by the week. Reading turned into an almost psychodelic experience... First I was doing tons of reading before seminars, then I had to start keeping notes of what I read to keep it in my mind, then writing summaries so I could remember what was the thing about, by the end I knew I had read the articles because I could recognise my handwriting in the notes but had no recollection whatsoever about the reading the thing.

Then DS was born... such fun was to write my dissertation between 8 pm and 4 am, as that was the only quiet time in the house (fortunately DS' dad used to take care of him between 7 and 9 am so I could get 5 hrs of sleep.

Would I do it again if I could reverse time? No, it was very stressful, I couldn't enjoy my pregnancy or the course. Not to say that paying for childcare when you are a student it is far more difficult than when you are working.

everythingis Tue 18-Oct-16 20:33:50

I did it and it was bloody scary. Dd1 wS due on my graduation date. On the day of my final exam I was puking in the sink whilst the taxi was outside waiting. I did it and got a high 2.1 but I could have got a 1st if I wasn't pg and I'm a bit gutted about that.
I would say don't risk it - you're doing so so well and it's not long to wait. You can't rule out pregnancy health issues and you don't want to have to defer and finishcwhwnnyou have a tiny baby.
It was exhausting and stressful and there were times I didn't think I would make it to grad sad

KarmaNoMore Tue 18-Oct-16 20:34:40

If you have a student loan, keep an eye on time remaining to complete the course, as if you have to stop again, there may not be enough funds left to come back to complete it later.

MeadowHay Tue 18-Oct-16 22:42:46

First I was doing tons of reading before seminars, then I had to start keeping notes of what I read to keep it in my mind, then writing summaries so I could remember what was the thing about

As a dyslexic I have to do this anyway because of my poor short-term memory!

If you have a student loan, keep an eye on time remaining to complete the course, as if you have to stop again, there may not be enough funds left to come back to complete it later.
I have one extra year after this, so I could suspend for up to a year if I wanted/needed to, so that means it shouldn't be impossible for me to finish my course. But obviously not ideal if I had to extend the time taken to do my degree even further.

Thanks ladies for all your input, a lot to think about! I think overall the risk probably isn't worth it really is it?

KarmaNoMore Wed 19-Oct-16 09:48:22

"As a dyslexic I have to do this anyway because of my poor short-term memory."

As a member of a dyslexic family, I would suggest finishing the degree first then.

LittleNettle Wed 02-Nov-16 19:32:46

I did this last year and can say, while challenging - not impossible. If you are aware of your work load, plan and be sensible. I also made all of my tutors aware of my situation so that if I needed extra time for assignments, this could be arranged.
I also arranged all of my appointments first thing in the morning so that it didn't interfere with many classes - so if I did miss one, it wasn't impossible to catch up.
Also make all midwife's and your support network aware of your situation so of you do become overwhelmed, it is easier to take control of it.
Although in all honesty I wish I had waited - my pregnancy was not enjoyable due to stress of uni and baby related things! I was also terribly sick at the start of my pregnancy - so keeping in mind a time line for you, that could come at a crucial exam time at Uni.
Good luck with whatever way you decide to do things!

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