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Managing pregnancy and birth as an international student in your first year

April 8, 2009

We are delighted to have our first? story from a student from China. L is in her first year at Booth, moved here alone? and gave birth in late January, in the midst of winter quarter. Like many international student moms, she may likely live without her little one for some portion of her time at Booth and hopes to graduate early in order to minimize time away from her family. We are grateful to L for sharing her? experience and hope to bring you more stories like this in the months to come. Feel free to leave any questions for L in the comments section.?

How time flies! My son is ten weeks today. I still remember how nervous I was moving here from Beijing last year as a first year student and an expecting mother, how anxious my husband and I were as the due date approached in January and how disordered we were during the baby’s first week.? ?

Moving here alone and being a first year MBA student and an expecting mother at the same time, is certainly not easy, but it’s not as difficult as many people, including myself, think. The most important thing is to be prepared. Choosing an apartment, making academic and recruiting plans, and getting family help to look after the baby are all very important. I live in Regents Park, close to campus and many of my classmates. I get much help from the warm hearted friends in the community, enjoy the friendly and cheerful atmosphere here and probably will stay at Regents until graduation. As an undergraduate Economics major, with experience in public accounting and principal investment, I’m familiar with economics, accounting and finance. I took four courses in both autumn and winter quarters, most of them in my familiar areas, which made me feel comfortable and gave me time to get used to the life here. My job before Booth is similar to private equity and I’m planning to do private equity after graduation. I didn’t do any on campus recruiting in autumn and winter quarters but am focusing on off campus recruiting now in the spring. One month before my due date, my mother and my husband came from China to be with me. They gave me great courage during labor and delivery and provided me lots of help in the toughest time – the baby’s first month. My husband went back to China when the baby was one month, but my mother is still here and will help me till we go back home in this summer. I won’t bring the baby back after the summer, but will try to graduate early and go back home before he’s one year old. I don’t want to miss those important moments that will happen when he’s about one year old, for instance, starting to walk and starting to call mom and dad.

Many people say that the post-MBA career creates inevitable conflict with family life, especially for women. Many of my former colleagues chose to have their first baby in their late thirties, so that they have to go all out for work in the first few years after graduation from b-school.? Although having a baby here was not planned, both my husband and I feel lucky to have our first baby when my schedule is flexible and time is manageable.?

The snowy winter has gone away and the spring is here. Both my son and I have been doing very well. I’ve recovered and he has grown very fast, from 51cm to 61cm and from 6.8 pounds to 13.8 pounds. We want to give our sincere thanks to the friends here. Thanks for all your help and friendship.

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