Friday, March 23, 2007

Being a Pregnant Classmate

I've written about being a pregnant law student and summer associate, but those posts focused on the reactions of professors and employers as well as how pregnancy has affected my law school academic experience. In a comment on my previous post "Amanda" asked about other students' reactions, so I thought I should address that as well.

I was initially nervous about being pregnant in law school because I knew I'd probably be the only one. UC's average student age is fairly young and many come straight from undergrad (like me), so most just aren't in that place in their lives yet. They're also pretty driven and seem to enjoy making law school as hard as possible (law review, moot court, yes please!), so their 2L/3L years aren't as "easy" as mine (relatively speaking). I thought I would feel awkward being huge and pregnant while my classmates are normal sized and going to bar review, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Because I'm the first of my friends to get pregnant, as well as the first cousin/grandchild, I think of everyone as being like me- inexperienced and slightly uncomfortable with this whole growing a baby process. I forgot that my classmates have lives outside the law school (crazy!) and in those lives their friends, spouses, and siblings have experienced pregnancy and babies. Throughout the last quarter people came up and congratulated me and asked how I was feeling, how classes were going, and to let them know if I ever needed any help. They were uniformly wonderful. Even people I didn't know very well, and guys I wouldn't have expected to be so understanding or talkative on the subject, would ask me how I was doing and give anecdotes of their sister, friend's wife, etc. I've decided the vast majority of people in my class know a lot more than I do about this whole process and they've all been so positive about it. I'm sure there are people who think I'm nuts or that this was an accident, but that's always going to be true, and no one has expressed those thoughts to me. Most seem to agree that this is a good time to start a family and are quite excited about a law school baby- I even have a long list of volunteers to baby sit (and I've written down every one of them :)

In all my planning and researching I think I lost sight of the fact that this is just a baby- its not an impediment to my career or something to be dealt with (not that I saw him that way, but I assumed others would) and most people are just genuinely happy for you. I have usually been the one to bring up timing or how great my firm took the news- most people just wanted to know details and share their own baby stories. This is also what happened when I told The Firm- I expected questions about school and how it was going to work out- instead there was lots of congratulatory emails and advice on baby registering, feeding, etc. Most people have or want children- including my classmates and future firm colleagues- and I'm not seen as blazing a crazy new trail by getting pregnant with career plans.

This is just my experience, I can't speak for other schools, but UC is (quite rightly) known for being "rigorous" and driven, so if they can be all warm and cuddly about a baby, I'd imagine most other schools' students would be similar. I'd love to hear other people's experiences- I've noticed that almost all the google searches leading new people to this blog are for "pregnant in law school" or something of the sort, so I'm sure they'd enjoy them too.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hi! I wish that I came across your blog sooner as I too was a pregnant law student! My experience went fairly well too as I was able to finish school and pass the bar exam with a little one (and yes, I used my break time during the bar exam to nurse my little one).

    I now have two babies and am "choosing" to be a stay at home mom. I often worry about starting my career late but I try not to worry too much about this. Everyone tells me that my kids will only be little for a short time, and although i agree with this, it also makes me feel guilty for wanting to advance my career sometime in the future. Is this so bad I wonder?

  3. Hi,
    I just started a blog

    I started it because I have a baby and am starting law school this fall. I was going to be pregnant in law school, but I decided to defer a year.
    I'd love to get some insights on how you survived law school while raising a child.


  4. I'm pregnant in law school right now. I'm a third year student though, so the baby won't actually be due until after graduation.

  5. Great advice--my husband and i are talking about getting pregnant towards the end of my law school career and it is comforting to know that it can be done!

  6. Wow good luck to you all. I was wondering whether it was even possible to be a mother while being in law school. I just don't know how that could be done. To those who are doing it, I respect you and commend you and deserve a big award for being a Superwoman.

  7. :) good luck

  8. i know i am 3.5 years late (LOL) but if anyone is interested, i have been blogging about my experience going through IVF and pregnancy while finishing law school (I'm currently 25 weeks along, and have one more class to go).