During my pregnancy I noticed that changes were happening in the department at work and at the last minute, my maternity cover advert got pulled. This was a huge worry to me and it was very clear that I was viewed as an inconvenience for getting pregnant – though in my reviews my line manager was very happy with my performance and said the quality of my work had stayed consistently high.
Stress from work and the added complication of a high risk pregnancy (I have type 1 diabetes, which means I had to constantly watch my blood sugars and my food intake) meant I developed pre eclampsia, then went in to early labour at 34 weeks and my son wasn’t breathing. After a very scary couple of days, my newborn and I remained in hospital recovering for a few weeks.
The week after I returned home I received a letter, ordering me in to the office the following Monday. I had had an emergency c section and couldn’t drive. I also did not wish to leave my fresh out of hospital newborn baby. They arranged for HR to come and visit my home and I was sent some papers. I was then told that I was being made redundant – although my job still remained and was given to a colleague, under a slightly different job description.
I was told I could apply for another job 150 miles from my home. Obviously I took the redundancy over this. The stress and worry of this resulted in me taking blood pressure medication for the first 6 months of my son’s life, which, whilst obviously still a very special time, was hugely tainted by the experience.
It’s now 3 years down the line and my career is still not where it was. Happily the health of my son and I has improved.