Being a first-time mom is hard shit
Yesterday I blew up. I was so tired that I began to feel sanity slip from my grasp and I lashed out at my husband. I blamed him for everything. For my being a mother when I hadn’t planned on it. For the rocky start to my programming career. For my lack of sleep. For my flabby belly. For my sadness, anger, and resentment. For everything, as I said. He didn’t deserve any of it because he has been my biggest supporter since coming into my life, but my sleep deprivation needed a target and he was in the way.
I found out I was pregnant shortly after I completed a 12-week front-end coding bootcamp. I guess I hadn’t noticed that I didn’t get my period for over a month and chalked up my fatigue to the 80 hours of coding and studying I was putting in during the last weeks of the program to wrap up my final project. Six days after “graduating,” I started a contract gig and felt immensely fortunate to have gotten a paid job so soon. After almost 2 weeks of dealing with crazy sleepiness around 2 or 3 pm at work, the idea that I could be pregnant crept into my mind and I stopped by the grocery store on the way home one evening to get a home pregnancy test. Peeing on the stick confirmed my suspicion but because I was banking on the minute possibility of error, I tried again less than a week later, only to get the same result. A doctor’s visit a few days later informed me that I was 9 weeks, 6 days pregnant. Holy cow. How the hell did that just creep up on me?!
While working as a contractor, I was interviewing for a full-time position and ended up getting hired as a software development consultant for the professional services arm of a tech recruiting company. It seemed to be a great fit, considering that I’d get to work on multiple projects and with multiple clients, using various technologies. My INTPness loved the idea of working on lots of different things at once (my husband reminds almost daily that multi-tasking is a non-thing and that I must let go of the wet dream of believing I can accomplish 100 things all at the same time) and the salary was nothing to laugh at, especially considering that it was my first real job in the world of software-making. The job ended up being too good to be true because my boss, with whom I worked closely, was the quintessential douche-bag. He humiliated me in front of my new team one evening, as they were getting ready to hit up happy hour at a nearby bar for a team mate’s birthday. I had never worked with SQL before and he showed me something in 10 minutes without giving me the chance to grab a pad of paper to jot notes and when I ended up working on the task and asked a question, he screamed at me then forbade anyone from leaving until I could finish my work. We all stayed until about 7:30 pm. I left that place within a week of that incident with nothing else lined up.
Luckily for me, I landed on my feet pretty soon after the fiasco with the masochist boss, who ended up leaving a few weeks later. While I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have, I admit that had I not been pregnant, I would’ve casted my net wider still. My boss is probably the best I’ve had and will ever have, as he believes in giving his employees autonomy, but I do most of my learning through Google and Stack Overflow, since we don’t have any senior devs on our team. I started out as a contractor so my maternity leave was completely unpaid and now that it’s been over 3 months since our little guy joined our family, I am unsure if I am ready to work. I’m still dealing with sleep deprivation and just want to be around him more than I ever thought I would want to be with my child.
There are so many new thoughts and emotions that I am working through dealing with. While we tried breastfeeding at the beginning, especially after the “Breast is best” slogan was drilled into my head at the classes hubby and I took in preparation for our son’s arrival, it didn’t work out well and was nothing like what we were taught it would be like. Three months on and I’m still tied to the pump. My struggle and experience as an exclusive pumper will be for an upcoming post.
New moms, don’t despair. I hope I won’t and wish you’ll join me as I chronicle my journey as a FTM (first-time mom, anyone?) and a woman in tech.
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