Well, seeing as how I received very little advice on what to do when your boss catches you applying for another job... I will now explain how I got myself in that situation in the first place, and try to make sense of it on my own. Let's recap this week, shall we?
Monday - Busy work day. Emotional. Powerful day that sort of knocked me around until bedtime. (was also still feeling itchy from the lice outbreak)
Tuesday- The day started off good and ended very badly. At about 4:00 pm- the cramping began.. what I now know as contractions. (not Braxton Hicks contractions either) Telling you that they hurt would be an understatement, but I am well aware that this is only the beginning of it all - so I won't go into it. Anyways, the contractions came and went for a few hours, I took a nap, woke up, and suddenly felt like our house was on fire. I had a fever. 95, then 96.7, then 99, 99.9, then finally 100 degrees. (still feeling the contractions all along) So, we did what any normal pregnant woman would do - we waited it out for quite some time, hoping that the fever would calm down. It's 10pm at this point - who wants to spend the rest of the night at the hospital unless it's absolutely necessary? I DO! I DO! ME!! So, we ended up at the hospital at 11ish and stayed till about 2ish in the morning. Fever up. Fever down. Fever up. Fever down. For a few hours I thought the baby was coming. But no. They sent us home with a recommended pattern of taking Tylonol, rest, lots of fluids, and a note stating that I could not work the following day so that my fever would slow down. (sounds reasonable, right?) I spend the rest of that morning in probably the most pain that I have yet to experience in my short life.. tossing and turning, moaning, crying, shaking, standing, sitting, you-name-it.. I tried it.
Wednesday- I call my boss first thing in the morning to let her know that I can't come in. (keep in mind- this is my VERY FIRST day of calling in during my entire pregnancy) I knew that they were busy and understaffed- but I also knew that my body was not going to allow me to make it in to work. So, I did what I had to do - for my health and for the baby's health. By the middle of the day I was feeling MUCH better, and the fever eventually calmed itself down.
Which brings me to Thursday - I come to work and one of the very first things that I do is apologize to my boss for causing them to work extra hard the day before. Maybe that was my mistake - apologizing. To my apology - this was her (boss) response, "Well, you're gonna be uncomfortable while you're pregnant. You can't just stay home whenever that happens". So I tell her that I wasn't "uncomfortable", I had a fever.. and the doctor was concerned by it. That's why I stayed home. So boss's reply is, "Well, you always have a fever when you're pregnant. You just do". Okay, first of all - NO. Not true. Why would she say that??! A high fever at 37 weeks pregnant is NOT a normal thing.. you don't have to be a registered nurse to know that.
So, after this little spat of ours, I receive a lovely phone call from a woman at our corporate office 2,000 miles away. She called to explain my maternity leave to me. She pretty much just called to say that there is no maternity leave. My boss does not HAVE TO accept my leave of absence, and can furthermore decide to terminate me at anytime. Nice to know. I kind of knew this all along - but I just had to hear it straight from them I guess. I do not get paid while I'm away, and I am not guaranteed my position when I come back.
Sweet. That's the kind of love that you show to a dedicated employee? Nice. Very nice.
So, this all leads me back to where this post started. She caught me filling out an application for another job. This incident, among many, many, many other things has now shoved me into a job search at 37 weeks pregnant. I am confident that I can find a better job, with better benefits, making more money.. but I'm just not sure that any other job will be as rewarding as working with kids who need someone to hear their cries. I will most likely lose the sense of pride I feel when a child molester gets put away because of the work that I do. I have put up with the people that I work with for nearly two years - just for that reason alone. But I have also put up with steep hikes in my health insurance, extreme emotions, no pay raises, fights, secrets, and finally...they have broken my spirits for the last time. There have been numorous times during my pregnancy when I have felt discriminated against by my employers, and if I were a smarter, perhaps more evil, woman than I would consider filing a lawsuit. But I think I will just let it go and convince myself that they know not what they do. I am confident, however, that I am smart enough to know when to walk away.
So, boss lady can take my maternity leave and officially SHOVE IT.