The Pregnant Scrum Master

April 20, 2020

My slightly satirical, stream-of-consciousness take on scrummy pregnancy.

First Trimester Scrum Master

You were a developer before you became a scrum master, so you’ll get a kick out of calling your baby a monad, because – like – “generically automating away boilerplate code” and something about “a thing that creates side-effects.” I mean, come on it’s so perfect. Your mom is not amused.

Part of being a scrum master is being a work therapist. You’ll have one-on-one’s with your teammates, and the most important thing you can do at this point is not throw up on them.

As the team’s designated facilitator, you’ll be hyper-engaged in all team meetings. This means fighting that eternal exhaustion you feel, and definitely not snapping at your teammates when they do something your best self could normally handle.

As the team’s designated facilitator, you’ll probably need to show up to the daily scrum. You’ll want to explain this to your OB’s receptionist when you schedule all of your doctor’s appointments for the next 8 months. I’m sure she’ll understand.

Second Trimester Scrum Master

Since you have the team’s most sociable role, you sit in a ton of meetings. Your go-to active listening pose: legs crossed, body leaning forward, elbow on table, head nodding along attentively. Yeah, you’ll want to pick a new active listening pose because your swollen belly won’t let you cross your legs, let alone lean forward. I recommend starting with a wide stance, and then layering on the rest of your normal active listening indicators.

As a developing leader in the company, you’ll be invited to training sessions. They might be half day, they might be all day. But, really, it doesn’t matter because your back will hurt after the first hour. You’ll want to bring a lumbar pillow with you, and sit close to the door so you feel less terrible about running to the bathroom every 45 minutes. You’ll consider pre-dehydrating to avoid the embarrassment. It will not work.

As a responsible employee and just flat out nerd, you’ll be so excited to learn that your baby can hear. Your little one can tune into all of the work related audio books you listen to on the way to the office. She’s going to be such an effective STEM baby.

Third Trimester Scrum Master

As the designated daily scrum facilitator, you’ll have a fun time facilitating a meaningful daily plan with your team as your baby kicks you violently in the ribs.

As a member of a collaborative team, you’ll have a bunch of meetings to coordinate. You’ll be asked, “When is a good time for you?” to which you should always remember to respond, “My back starts hurting around 2, so anytime before then would be great.”

As a member of a co-located, collaborative team, you’ll be getting up from your desk quite a bit. Just know that you’ll have to pee every time you pop up to pair with a teammate or join that impromptu collab sesh. A close teammate of yours will eventually notice and start building this into team planning. Say, “Okay, she just stood up, so she’ll have to go to the bathroom, but after that we should point this story.” You’ll be too relieved to be annoyed at how well they know you.

As a developer, you’ll still spend some quality time typing, probably at a desk. By now, your bump arc length is substantial and you wont be able to slide it under or over your desk. There’s no fix for this, so you’ll just be annoyed for 3 months.

Now, I’m off to maternity leave to enjoy some quiet time with my new bundle of joy!