Forced to Quit

So that whole working thing was short lived. Yeah, that's what I'm saying - it's over. A total of three weeks, a new record. What happened was this:

A few weeks ago, as I was changing a child's diaper, I got kicked in the belly. He was about 18 months old but a really hefty boy and yes, it hurt. When I went to change the next child's diaper, I felt a strong pulling/tearing sensation in my stomach. "What is going on in there?!"
So, I headed to the director and was sent straight over the the Naval Hospital to make sure everything was still A-OK. The Labor and Delivery ward (in addition to the actual place you deliver, L&D is basically like the pregnant woman's E.R. after 20 weeks) cleared me, assured me that baby was fine and placenta was still attached, and that I might be a little sore. I actually didn't freak over this situation because I kind of figured it was an 'outside' thing... as long it's nothing with the baby - who cares?

Since that time, I've felt a pull in the same spot every once in a while when I move certain ways. I mentioned this whole scenario to my doctor when I went to see her at my 28 week checkup last week and she says it sounds like I indeed pulled a round ligament, and that muscles and ligaments are much harder to repair while pregnant, especially belly ones that are continuing to stretch the most in these final months. She also advised that I lift no more than 20 lbs.

When I left for the doctor from work the few weeks ago when the incident happened, the director of the center informed me that I should let them know ASAP if I have any restrictions because it would be difficult to work with lifting limitations. So, naturally I called her right after the doctor's appointment to let her know what was up. I assumed they'd be a little put-off and we'd figure out a way to make sure I followed doc's orders and still worked in the facility. However, she advised that I just "Put in my letter of resignation."

I was both half upset and half relieved. Work had been really wearing me out. The tiredness from the first trimester is beginning to rear its ugly head again, along with catching a cold (which is typical when you begin work in a daycare center) and other work stressors I had been facing. Ok, I'll just quit then, I figured.
But then I got thinking about it - they can't make me quit. They can't fire me because I have a medical limitation - they already hired me. And then I realized, this is basically discrimination. I went in on Monday with a resignation letter prepared as well as an "argument" to keep my job. I was determined to discuss the situation with them and see if there was any way around it - Could I be placed in a different room? In a room with younger (smaller) babies, or older (not needing to be changed) kids? Could I just be on call-in basis like a sub? All of these were shot down by the directors. They were nice and cordial the whole time, but were unwilling to work with me. "There is no other work we can provide which will guarantee that you won't lift 20 or greater pounds" was basically their argument. Re-apply in February after the baby gets here and you can "have your job back."
I was slightly taken aback but I handed over my letter of resignation - fully understanding what would happen if I did - There'd be no fighting it. My letter is my own choice, it is solid evidence that I chose to leave my job and I can no longer go to HR or to a lawyer and yell discrimination, now that the letter is handed in.

But I did one thing that I rarely ever do in my lifetime - I decided not to fight it. What was it worth? All the signs were pointing to the fact that right now isn't the time for me to work. I don't need the job to survive. And I don't want to burn my bridges in the case that I would like to resume working there again in the Spring. So, I let it go. That's right. Let. It. Go.

So while I may have "let them get away with it," I think in the end, it's what I wanted, too. It's just an interesting situation, in my opinion, to think about.

Just food for thought, I suppose.

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