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Thread: IVF and teaching

  1. #1

    Default IVF and teaching

    Today we got the news that we would need to do IVF (and ICSI, fortunately our clinic doesn't charge extra for that), and I'm wondering just how that will impact on my job as a teacher.

    My school has been great with me taking time off for appointments in the past (I have rheumatoid arthritis and have regular specialist appointments), and last year I was fortunate enough to have gaps in my timetable that allowed me to attend them with minimum disruption to my classes. This year, I'm not so lucky. I don't have any days where there is no teaching after lunch and I can race away to an appointment without trouble.



    I'm aware that I'll need sizable chunks of time off work for things like EPU, and I'm wondering just what I should tell the school. Should I just tell them it is surgery and not what it is for?

    Apart from the time off, there's also the effect that hormones and stuff will have on my regular day to day life. I just went through the year from hell last year and had to go through a review process in order to keep my job. The entire school is up for registration this year (board of studies process to check that everything is up to scratch and we can continue being a school), and that means that in the initial part of the year there is going to be increased workload and stress getting programs and such up to date.

    Thanks to said year from hell, my HOD knows that we have been trying, and have been having problems (his wife suffers from PCOS as well), and thanks to a nasty little gossip (not my HOD) who I thought I could trust the deputy principal also knows that we have been TTC and have not been having an easy time of it. It seems fairly pointless to keep the information from my HOD as he is the one who will have to deal with kids I can't cope with at any particular time, but I *really* don't want to tell the deputy just how far we have got in this process... but he's the person I need to speak to when I'm not going to be at work for any reason, so I seem kinda stuck.

    Finally, any tips on how to cope with a high-stress, high-pressure job that has previously been trying to fire you in the middle of an IVF cycle?

    I'm really annoyed now that I didn't get onto this earlier to go through a cycle while on the summer break and I could learn how it was all going to effect me...

    BW

  2. #2

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    I did 3 IVF -ICSI whilst teaching.
    My appointments were all before school except EPU which was on a Saturday so it worked out well.
    The only coflict I had was I was on school camp when i had to inject- but I got around it
    as for coping with the hormone changes and a high pressure job - whenever I felt hormonal, i just kept reminding myself that I was feeling this way because of the drugs.
    i also told my principal as well as she was a great help. If you can't confide in your boss, as least confide in another teacher that can be a backup plan if you need extra help.
    The only control we have over when you do IVF is who you tell. Only tell people you can trust and rely on - the rest are just stickbeaks that drive you insane
    good luck.
    BTW usually if you do a down reg cycle, you are on the pill for a month anyway. Any chance you can time your first cycle so that hormone meds and pickup are in the school holiday in term 1?? just a thought to save you stressing.

    HTH and good luck

  3. #3

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    BW - Have no advice for you for IVF but I am a teacher and kow what you mean about having extra pressure with hormones and pg and who you can trust with info. It would be good if you could confide in your HOD at least and just tell you principal it's private. I had to tell my principal very early on in our pg as I had hideous ms and then extra complications and although I don't think my principal handled things very well my deputy was so supportive and helpful (and suprisingly male).

    Is there any chance you could take some leave somewhere along the time to help you out?

  4. #4

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    Thanks... there are a few teachers in my staff room that I'm exceptionally close with (they are friends rather than colleagues), and that I know I can trust so I will definitely tell them.

    I guess I'm just going to have to tell my principal what it's all about and that I will be using a lot of my sick days... I think Easter is early this year, so it may just be possible to get things to happen in holidays to some extent...

    I suspect it's going to be something that I take step by step - deal with each problem as it arises, as I've already seen in getting this news that nothing really can prepare you for what it's going to be like.

    BW

  5. #5

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    BW,

    I can't tell you about IVF as I haven't done it, but I told my Head Teacher and my Principal (both male) about what was going on when I started IUI. I also have a really good faculty that were very understanding.

    Unfortunately I also told someone that was less reliable - she was going through a divorce at the same time as I discovered DH's infertility and I thought that she would be more understanding. The consequence was a lot of silly comments such as "isn't infertility hereditary?" (which prompted me to find this forum, btw). However, if I hadn't told her, I wouldn't have found out about HSG from her Head Teacher - so swings and roundabouts.

    I must admit that I told people at a time where I was a lot more hopeful about getting pregnant - I thought we had gone through so much that the decision to go with IUI would mean instant pregnancy. I think I would be more reserved about who I told now. Then again would have been rather hard to explain why I was continually crying while on the hormones (not my usual style and made teaching teenagers rather difficult at times...)

    The one thing about school is that people quickly move on to discussing other things, particularly when you say "look I can't talk about this now".

    The other option I took was to talk to the union rep - we also have a school that is quite quick to put people on review and on programs if they believe they are not coping. He and his wife went through IVF so it was good to have this back up. The only issue from this is that I am very reluctant to tell men about DH's infertility, so this makes things a little but uncomfortable as both my Head Teacher and union rep can't work out why we're on a 6 month break.

    Anyway, that was a bit long and rambling, but I HTH.

  6. #6

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    Gargy, it sounds almost as though we could be teaching in the same school! Is yours also in the nasty habit of believing the word of the child/parent and not giving you a chance to explain yourself? There's a teacher at my school who has also gone through IVF, but there's no way in hell I'm telling him! He's the worst of the gossips in the whole school, it is absolutely sickening and disgusting to see him in action.

    Yes, I can see the advantages of only telling people on a strict need to know basis... The worst thing will be trying to explain to the kids why I'm so messed up this year, and why I'm probably going to be gaining weight (no, I'm not f***ing pregnant! - I hate the way that's the first thought that comes to everyone's mind when a woman is sick, or just putting on weight) and just generally behaving oddly.

    BW

  7. #7

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    BW,
    I think you are right in taking it one step at a time. I am not a teacher but did my first cycle last year so it is all fresh in my mind. I would see there are 4 things you need to deal with:

    1. time off for EPU and transfer. - this is completely out of your control so you just have to use sick days and hope they don't coincide with an important day at work.
    2. perhaps time off for ultrasounds and BTs during your cycle. At my clinic they do these early morning so I just got them done as early as possible which meant I was not late for work but this depends on when your clinic does them and how early you have to get to work.
    3. how the drugs affect your ability to function. I had no problems with mood changes but did get tired at night ie. was often in bed at 8.30. Again no telling how they will affect you - you could be fine.
    4. who to tell? - I just told a few people I was working closely with who I knew would be supportive.
    Sounds like you have it all sorted but thought I would throw that all in. good luck.

  8. #8

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    Wow! How bizarre that I found teachers that are also doing IVF

    I had surgery at the beg of last year, so my boss knew what was going on and was very understanding about it. But ive decided to take some leave this year. Im going to start IVF soon as well, I just didnt want the stress of work on top of it. Im going to do some casual teaching for the time being. I didnt want to touch my long service leave so Im taking leave without pay, and you can do that for up to a year. My boss was really good about it, she didnt pry as to the reasons and I haven't told any colleagues (or friends for that matter) what is going on. Not that I don't think they would be supportive it's just that if I dont talk about it the less it upsets me.

    If your feeling like you need a break and concentrate on IVF like I am, then talk to your union, or your boss. As teachers we are in a fortunuate position that we are allowed Leave, most businesses do not offer it. And as far a money coming in, well hopefully Ill get enough casual work, and when I don't feel up to it, or Ive got an appointment I don't have to work!

    All the best to you this year!

  9. #9

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    Hee hee BW - you make me laugh!! No, must say my old Head Teacher was very supportive when it came to sorting out issues between teachers and kids - then again every time there is an incident we are expected to write a detailed report of exactly what happened, and the kids do the same, and we get witness reports as well. Very bureaucratic and time consuming, but it works. Unfortunately for our faculty, but good for the school, my Head Teacher has just become the Deputy, so not sure what will happen next year.

    As for gossips - well unfortunately they're everywhere.

    And now I'm going to take one of the bonuses of being a teacher and go away to Terrigal for a few days.:biggrin: Catch up with you all when I get back...

  10. #10

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    Thanks, Gargy. Your advice has certainly been helpful, and I'm feeling much better about getting through the whole thing.

    And thankyou, Brooke! I can't believe how close you are to having B4! It seems like just yesterday we were TTV together.

    BW

  11. #11

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    BW, I'm also not a teacher, but like the other girls have said, the majority of my appts for blood tests, ultrasounds/follie monitoring were very early morning (sometimes before 7am), so I found that part of it intefered with work very little.

    In terms of the mood swings, I found it didn't affect me so much, but the Puregon did make me really sore - my poor ovaries jumped every time I sat down or stood up, so it might be a good idea to make sure you can sit down if you need to, rather than standing up for great lengths of time during classes (I'm not sure what your normal process is), or at least have a tall stool to prop yourself on intermittently.

    Best of luck sweets - I hope it all works out for you

  12. #12

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    Thanks, Cherie.

    Normally while teaching, I'm running around like a mad chook going from student to student to make sure they are doing ok... But, if I'm not feeling well, it also works ok for me to just sit at the desk and have them come to me. It's not ideal as it's harder to keep a check on whether everyone is on task or not, but it's doable.

    I'm really starting to feel a whole lot more positive and less scared about this!

    BW

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