Ever Been Pregnant on a Construction Site?


construction selfie

Being pregnant for the first time is tough.  Couple that with spending lots of time on construction sites for work, and I experienced one interesting year!

At Bright Power, I am a senior energy engineer on new construction projects.  The job involves a lot of (local) travel and construction inspections.  I am on project sites from the time of kickoff, to foundation inspections, all the way through to duct blaster testing of leakage from exhaust shafts (and beyond).  I love the work I do, but it is not without its challenges – not only does it include physical labor (e.g. lugging heavy test equipment from borough to borough and up and down multi-story buildings), but it also means asserting oneself as an authority in the midst of construction professionals who are mostly men.

Pregnancy has many joys, like feeling your baby kicking inside you, but it also has what lots of women euphemistically refer to as “stuff.”

For starters, there’s having to use the ladies’ room a lot.  Let’s just say the closest I come to a “ladies’ room” on a construction site is being granted use of the “special” Port-o-Potty, which comes equipped with a lock and key.  Let’s be real: it’s a Port-o-Potty.

And never have I sympathized more with residents of South Bronx food deserts than while pregnant: I seemed to always be extremely far from a restaurant or coffee shop where I could beg for a bathroom break or satisfy my unending hunger.  Did I mention being pregnant means being hungry?  All. The. Time.

Then there’s the issue of just being huge compared to the size you were at the start of the project, and site supers never quite knowing if they can broach the topic.  And though some days I’m totally ready to chat about bringing new life into the world, some days I just don’t feel like it.  So, we skip the banter while instead I descend a giant dirt pit on a precarious ladder they’ve pointed me toward that’s been assembled from leftover two-by-fours.

In 18-33 months, this pit below me will be a beautiful building I’ll take much pride in having played a role in.  But for now, I’m exhausted, hungry, desperate for a real restroom, and for the life of me (not to mention the little one’s), am trying my hardest not to fall off this ladder!

Elan Klein Brennan was born on 4/25/2016 and is already asking Mama when he will get to join her to play with all the power tools and big trucks.