Pregnant in Nursing School....

It was my second year of my four year BSN program. My very first set of actual nursing clinicals. The ones where we actually went somewhere, and that was a LTC. I was excited, scared, and every other emotion all combined. I was actually more emotional than I pictured myself. I was so emotional I was nauseated. I was exhausted.

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On our third clinical day I went to watch a nurse do a dressing change. Wound care, how exciting! I was absorbing information like a sponge. Then, suddenly it all hit me. The nausea, the exhaution, the weakness all came at once. I excused myself, walked out of the room into the hall, slid down a wall, and passed out. I remember a nurse coming up to me and asking if I was okay, and my clinical instructor being called over the intercom. "Great," I thought. Here I am, in a facility where I should be helping, and learning, and I'm being surrounded by staff. I came back to, alert and oriented, Vitals WNL, BS a little low but not critical. Then, my clinical instructor asked the golden question... "Could you be pregnant"

Well, I could. I'm married, and along with that comes the, ummm... "act" that causes pregancy. But I couldn't be. The doctors said so. It would take "medical intervention" and we had been unsafe for 5 years. "I'm not pregnant, there's no way." To which my clinical instructor said "call your husband, have him pick you up, and stop by the store and pick up a pregnancy test."

Well, okay. I still thought there was no way I was pregnant, but what could I do? She would ask the next day about the results, and I didn't want to lie. So, off to the store we went. My husband took a friend to the clinical site to pick up my car and took the test.

I follow the instructions, wait the period of time and look at the test. Whew.... two lines...that means...wait a minute, I look at the directions again. I look at the test. The directions. The test. I'm pregnant. When my husband comes home I have him verify there are indeed two lines.

I'm scared. I gave up a decent job to go to nursing school. My husbands work was erratic. We didn't have health insurance. Most of the time we didn't even have an extra five dollars. What will we do? My mind goes on a brain storm? Quit nursing school and find a job. Work part-time and go to nursing school. What can we sale? What will we have to buy?

Fast forward four years.... today. My son was born during the summer, but I slowed down nursing school and worked any job I could find that would fit within daycare hours. Americorps, tutoring, at the daycare itself. It took five years to complete my four year degree, but it was completed. We had to used Medicaid for my pregnancy and son, but we have health insurance now. We were on food stamps for awhile, but can afford our own food now.

So many people didn't know how I could "do it"- go to nursing school and have a baby. I didn't know how those who worked full-time or spent hours partying or in their sorieties could do it. Things just came together. Sure, there were days and nights I was exhausted. Days I left the daycare in tears because I didn't want to leave my baby. Days I counted out change for milk. However, no matter what the challenge that arose I chalked it up to being a bad day and pressed forward.

I graduated last May. I had a job before graduation because I worked in the hospital as a student nurse and did my practicum on the floor I wanted. I also graduated with a 3.94. Inducted into Sigma Theta Tau. Passed NCLEX in 75 question and 30 minutes.

Today, my son doesn't have to go to daycare anymore. Between my husband's schedule, my schedule, and his preschool schedule, there isn't the need. I don't have to count change for milk anymore. I don't have to pray that my gas tank makes it one more day. In fact, we are taking our first family vacation to Disney in a couple of months.

Don't let anyone tell you that having a baby during nursing school is impossible. It's hard and tiring. Some days it seemed like the end would never come- but it did. And it was well worth the wait. I wouldn't change a thing.

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luvbug

170 Posts

Has 8 years experience.

I was in much the same situation when I had my daughter and went through the same dilemma in my head in the very beginning. I thought "how am I ever going to finish school now,when we're only allowed 2 absences per semester?" But something in me and the Lord above told me I could do it, no matter what. Back when I went, the very last class--kind of an internship--was only offered for 2 weeks in the summer. I finished all my clinicals and had my baby...2 weeks before the internship was to start. Again, I debated on whether to try to tough it out or wait until the following year. Thanks to my mother and sister being able to watch my daughter, I was able to do the class and not have to wait. If I had waited, I probably never would have gone back. It is amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.

Beautifully written artcile, proudnurseRN!!

Specializes in Critical Care, Med-Surg, Psych, Geri, LTC, Tele,.

Thank you both for your inspirational stories. As an at home mom who wants to be a nurse, I often worry about how it will affect our kids. We've also been trying to conceive another baby for 5 yrs almost and I'm tired of putting my dreams of going to school in case we get pregnant.

THANK YOU!

dtsh26

37 Posts

You, my dear are an inspiration.

:yeah:

Dee

NiamhRN

2 Posts

I can certainly sympathize - I had two babies while I was attending nursing school. I had my son two days after I took my final exam for my first semester in my two year ADN program, and I had my daughter just before the end of classes (and two weeks before the final exam) of my final semester. I also graduated with a 3.8! I spent 3 out of 4 semesters pregnant. Now, I would certainly not recommend that anyone else do things the way I did, but I did get through it successfully. In fact, I might even do it again, as I'm now in an RN to MSN program and we'd love to add another little one to our family. I'm a glutton for punishment, I guess. ;)

Jeannai

26 Posts

Specializes in peds and cardiac.

Im a 29 yr old nursing student. I have been freaking out for the past 4 days, thinking that it is very possible that I could be pregnant. I know my body and I am scared of all the symptoms that im having. On top of that I have a five yr old daughter so ive been there before. I start my second sem of nursing in a couple of weeks. My cycle is 25-28 days at the most and today is day 28!! :heartbeat My husband is telling me to think positive and that AF will come but I cant help thinking otherwise. I need all the support I cant get. I keep thinking there is no way I can give up my spot in the program I worked so hard for but how will I fit in all the demand. The first sem I did wonderful but it wasnt easy. All everyone can say is how hard 2nd sem is and how many people fail out :eek: Im so scared to take a test b/c I really dont want to know!! I am a mess please help with insight or advise. Im usually alot stronger than this but I feel this is a week spot :crying2:

proudnurseRN

1 Article; 187 Posts

Personally, my first peace of advice would be to get the test ASAP and see the results. From there, one of two things will occur... it'll be negative and there will be nothing to worry about, or it will be positive and you have time to plan. There is truly a reason God makes women pregnant for so long.

At my school, it seemed like one girl a semester would get pregnant. The way they handled varied from giving birth and coming back full-time the following week, to extending the time it took to graduate 1-2 years. Fortunately, my program was a 4 year program that allowed that to occur, I've heard there are others that do not. However, you do have time to get things figured out, but the longer you wait to test out of fear is delaying the time you need to plan or causing you unnecessary worry.

If you are pregnant, the most valuable resource I had was a supportive family. My husband was great, most of the time, and my MIL owned the daycare my son stayed at... one less worry financially and emotionally.

Good luck, and I hope you keep us updated.

Specializes in HH, Med/surg- liver & kidney transplant, ortho, ++. Has 13 years experience.

All of your stories are so wonderful. I am in my second year second semester of an ADN program. One more term to go after this!!!!! I dont have any children and don't work and have found nursing school difficult so I admire you ladies who have children and get through nursing school. I can't imagine how hard that must be.

My husband and I have been together for 6 years, married for a year and a half now. I am soooooo ready to have children now. Especially since I will be graduating in June. We will be completely finished with classes at the end of may. Some of us will have the opportunity to sit for boards before graduation day and be RNs at time of the graduation ceremony. EXCITING!!!!!

I am getting ready to have the "lets have a baby" talk with my husband this weekend. I know his feelings about when to start a family but he doesnt entirely know my feelings about starting a family. I know what I am going to say and have so many examples of friends and family who have had children and have made it through some difficult times. Your story is just another wonderful example of how people can pull thorugh.

Wish me luck. And congratulations to all of you. That is something to be proud of!

enuf fun

1 Post

Last year I became a living proof that a baby and nursing school is possible.

We had been trying for about two years and were about to start an infertility program so we hadn't been safe but i'd just decided to face my studies. I got pregnant a month after starting a one year accelerated LVN/LPN program and had my baby two months before graduation by C-Section. Sounds crazy most people thought I was. Easy it wasn't, possible it is by God's grace.

I was in a program I couldn't just take time off, could only miss two clinical days but i successfully completed and i am currently awaiting my board results-85 questions and just started job hunting.

It takes determination, i just took one day at a time. Had morning sickness for 6months, threw up in the mornings, at clinicals just went to the restroom and threw up when needed and went back to work(potatoes are great for N/V). after the c-section was still hurting, could barely walk but took my ibuprofen and had colleagues driving me until i could resume driving as i didn't have family around and my husband had to work two jobs.

People will tell you its not possible but some key things are:

1) Be determined and just push on even past your comfort zone

2) Be healthy- take ur vitamins, attend prenatal- get medicaid, medi-cal, whatever it takes but have a DR ready to work with you.DON't let anybody or anything to raise your B/P - even your grades, just make sure you are getting good grades. Eat healthy.

3) Let the school know-find out your options as soon as possible so u can plan ahead, make up clinical/theory hours before delivery if possible . also your work duties will be adjusted for your safety

4) DON'T give up no matter what. We all pray for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby, but it can still be done if otherwise. I freaked out when I was told I had GDM and was scheduled for a C-section because of expected macrosomic baby, I was scared i won't be able to complete my course, but I was back at clinicals within a week, developed Post partum Hypertension but still successfully completed my program. I did it with no family except my husband so can YOU!.

samoanmary

1 Post

I too was pregnant going through the nursing program. I was 35 (36 now) and this was my first pregnancy. I didn't know if I should wait until after the program (but then I would want to use my RN & work a few years) or try to have my baby during my summer break. It had taken me over two years to be accepted into a nursing program and I didn't want to take a leave of absence either. I had a strict timeline, in that I wanted to have her at the beginning of my summer break or as late as one month until 4th semester started.

Amazingly I got pregnant the first time we began planning. I was pregnant during my 2nd & 3rd semesters and had my daughter 2 1/2 wks after school was out leading into summer break. I was home with her for 4 months and started my last semester with everyone else.

I had a huge support system which allowed me to continue my focus on school. My daughter was with my parents if my husband was at work and I didn't have to worry with daycare issues. I had the mindset that whatever came up, I was going to finish school with my class that I entered with. I didn't know what to expect with the pregnancy but I knew as long as I keep myself healthy everything else should fall into place.

Many people couldn't believe that I was doing the nursing program through pregnancy including studies and clinicals. I never thought twice about it; I mean, it was hard but doable.

I graduated Dec. 2009, just passed the boards and will be starting my first job as an RN in a hospital. I did it!! As you can see from many of the posts, WE did it. For Jeannia & others alike, stay positive YOU can do pregnancy and school. Best wishes to everyone in their careers and families!!!

Thank you! I am pregnant with baby #6 and in nursing school! I am due in August and I graduate in November 2010. Thanks for the great inspiring story! :)

Rebecca

lene_snider

11 Posts

i had two babies during nursing school! It perhaps makes it a bit more stressful but is completely able to be done. I had evening class and clinicals so the kids just went to daycare while I was gone. My husband would pick them up when he got off. Studying was more difficult but I just did it when they went to bed. Sleep deprivation is also hard but you just grin and bare it. Nursing school is 20% knowledge and 80% determination! You guys can do it!