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Thread: telling work - ivf treatment

  1. #1
    jules30 Guest

    Default telling work - ivf treatment

    i know that some of you have told work, others not. I just want to ask how you told them.

    I have only been at my job for just over 3 mths and even though i feel like they would understand, im not sure how to approach it. I also have a male boss directly above me and then another male boss above him. I would need to tell both. I know that they would keep it confidential but i think if i said just 'medical treatment' they would be concerned and want to know details. So if im going to mention it at all I have to be prepared to actually say what it is.

    I have already had a couple of hours off for appointments during the last 2 weeks and i have another 2 again before i even start any treatment. I work about 45 min drive from the specialist and the fert clinic so i have to take a bit of time out.


  2. #2
    NAT025 Guest

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    Hi Jules - I eventually had to tell my boss as I was having days off and a few hours off here and there for appointments. I told my boss but inconfidience. I was scared at first at how they would react. Would they then just ignore me now as they know I am trying to have a baby and won't be here for a long term career? But its been the total opposite!!
    They are not stupid. They do realise that eventually women are going to be thinking about starting a family. I think they would actually respect you for telling them the truth then not. I hope this helps in some way

  3. #3

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    Hi Jules!

    I haven't told my boss either, but a few of my colleagues know and have agreed to keep it on the QT. My boss is pretty good at giving me time off when I need it, so I just told him that I have a medical issue that I need to sort out which will mean that I will be late a few mornings, and will need to take a couple of days off here and there. He didn't ask, and I didn't tell, which suits me. I think as long as you give them plenty of notice, they'll be fine. And I don't think that you have a responsibility to tell them the ins and outs of what you're doing: as long as you keep them informed about your absences, and make sure you keep up with your workload. Then again, I work for a govt agency, which is a lot more flexible. If you work in the private sector, it might be different.

    Well, that's my two cents worth anyway lol.

    Good luck whatever you decide to do.

    Vicki

  4. #4

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    I told my boss and my boss' boss, and DH told his boss. And guess what? Two of the three of them have done IVF. You may be surprised at the sensitivity you may receive, and personally I would rather my boss knew so that would be one less thing I'd have to stress about. IVF is stressful enough without having to worry about whether work thinks you're bludging. :P

  5. #5

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    jules it is fantastic to have support from work when you are under going this. however, it isn't easy telling anyone especially those at work, so i understand where you are coming from, especially as you are new to the place. but, this is a life decision, a job is a part of the journey of life but a child is forever. i told my ex boss who was a father of three but seemed always complaining about his kids so i was worried he would ask why i would want to do this. turns out his SIL had done 5 IVF cycles so he was aware of the difficulties emotionally and physically and was really supportive of me. people are complex creatures and bosses should know from experience that we all have things going on in our lives and that flexibility and understanding in the workplace should actually mean you are happier and more productive in the workplace. i know i am. it is totally up to you, but sometimes you just don't know until you bring it up, and as sushee says the not knowing can be more stressful.

    as to how to tell them, i don't know how your workplace works, but perhaps set up a time (in advance if possible) for a quiet, private conversation. that way they can see you are serious and you have their attention. you don't have to tell them the reasons why you have decided to do this, but a bit of the practicalities of how it may affect your work and how you plan to build it into your working day and how you see it working (provide them with some of the solution if they are worried about you not being there) could be a good way to go. it shows you are also serious and committed to your work but that you have a serious life issue also taking up your time emotionally and practically.

    this is a medical issue, so they really don't have any right not to support you and they can not ask you to defer etc. you will have medical certs for procedures etc. most clinics have a stock of these for you to use.

  6. #6
    jules30 Guest

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    thanks for all replies. I have the same view regarding 'having one less stress factor'. I definately have to say something, will just have to see how it goes.

    We have decided not to tell my mum (because whole family - aunts/uncles/cousins/inlaws will find out) and sister (she is super fertile so will be asking me every week whether utd). So i feel a bit strange telling work but not family. But i will just have to get over that!!

    Did any of you keep it from your family when you started?

  7. #7

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    Hi Jules
    My hubby & I have told our employers, friends & families. This has meant that we have had a lot of support along the way. Both of employers have been fabulous. I work in the private sector, my H for Govt. My employers let me cry or talk when I need to & just take a day out when it all gets too much. Both DH & I are long term employees (him 11yrs, me 8yrs) and only had a handful of days off prior to starting AC/IVF Jan 06, so if we didn't get supported we would've wondered why not. I have always been very upfront that I want a family & luckily I work for people who are family based & know that staff will want to do things other than work (eg, travel, have family, study). My employers are very happy to accomodate these things. I definitely couldn't do this without the support I get from employers, workmates, friends, family & of course, DH.
    Take care & best of luck.

  8. #8

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    Hey Jules,

    DH and I are keeping it from our families because somehow it just makes it all seem more stressful if I have the expectations of my family to worry about, as well as everything else. Also, my parents have been DYING for grandchildren for ages and I would hate for them to get their hopes up only to have them dashed if it doesn't work.

    Having said that, I am a bit sad that we have decided not to tell them, because sometimes it would be good to have my Mum's shoulder to cry on when the going gets tough. But I know it would break her heart also to see me go through all this and possibly come out the other end without a baby. So, for me, it's easier just to tough it out myself.

    It's a tough decision to make eh?

    Vicki

  9. #9

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    I told my family but as time went on I wished I hadn't. I had hoped for support, and I suppose in the first few cycles, I did get it, but as time went on and success eluded me, things changed. They began becoming uncomfortable around me, esp since my sister fell pg 'accidentally' during my second cycle. I was treated like a pariah for a while, and as more failed cycles piled up, the pressure began from my parents for us to give up. I won't go into too much detail as to how difficult it was, but if I were to ever go back to IVF, I wouldn't be telling my family.

    This is my own personal experience though, and probably one end of the extreme, but it's honestly not a bad idea to be discreet about who you tell.

  10. #10

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    In some ways, telling work has been good, and necessary with some of the disasters that have befallen me along the way. However, I have found that it has exposed me to a great deal of people who now think they can ask how I'm going with it at any given point in time. Not something I'm appreciating at the moment!

    I did tell some of the family, but we have since stopped telling them. My family are weird and just can't say the words, have been incredibly unsupportive, even through miscarriage (the one they know about). DH's family is supportive, but also nosey. I'm tired of getting phone calls asking about the success of a particular cycle. I just wish they could accept that it's a long and ongoing process, and we'll tell them when we have success, when we are ready to do so. I do NOT want to deal with "how did you go?" on blood test day!

    Sorry, excuse the random rant there... I think that the sheer amount of time out makes it necessary to tell work, but there's good and bad sides to doing so.

    BW

  11. #11

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    i had no choice but to tell my employers that i had some things coming up that would require me to have time off work (lap/ovarian drilling) - and then follow up appointments after that - i've swapped supervisor several times since the initial surgery (july 2005) and each supervisor has then had to be told due to the flexibility needed, sometimes at short notice, to get to appointments (i live about an hour from the clinic). i ended up having a conversation with the site supervisor so that it was out in the open as to what was going on. he's not exactly known for being the best person to help out with things, so i was extremely intimidated, but instead of copping flack, he asked about the process, whether leave was a possibility to reduce impact on work - and then sat with me for over an hour trying to understand the process and then help me with working out a work schedule that is appropriate and flexible for accomodating treatment. i now have a group of supervisors that know what is going on, and i can approach any of them if my own supervisor isn't available, so that i can alter my schedule to meet appointments.

    it's not exactly ideal having so many people know what we're going through, but i don't regret telling them because i know i have their support.

    as for family - my bro/sil and parents know - but that's about it! i'd prefer not to share with too many people family wise - don't want people to be feeling uncomfy at family get togethers

  12. #12
    slyder Guest

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    Jules, I told three of my managers, but only the ones that needed to know. They've all been great and none of them have asked any questions. DW has told both her bosses and a colleague and had similar experiences. I think it helps to be upfront just so your employer doesn't think you're skiving off or making a mountain out of a molehill.

    DW has told her family. I reluctantly told mine, but only so I could find out what their infertility issue was prior to me, so that I could figure out if I'd inherited it. They've actually been good for the most part, but I still wouldn't have told them except that I sort of had to.

    We've told our good mates, all of whom have been good. Well except for DW's best friend who jokingly asked DW after a couple of months if she wanted to use her DH's sperm to speed things up. Yep, I was ****ed off about that. She's got a good sense of humour and the two of them are always mucking about, but I didn't see the funny side on that one.

  13. #13

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    Jules - from my DH's point of view...he told his immediate boss who said - "oh cool, good luck, we did GIFT 13 years ago and had twins! Take as much time as you need." DH asked for a bit of privacy, but being a very small FIFO team, it eventually needed to be told to a few more co-workers who were becoming ratty at having to do extra cover shifts, when there was 'nothing wrong'. Telling more people eased the pressure on DH in a way - but it meant he was ALWAYS being asked how it was going... and most people don't realise that a lot of time is spent doing seemingly NOTHING AT ALL!

    As for the family - we did not get the support we needed from anyone, and I have always wished we never told them. We did assisted conception for 2.5 years before we got a result, and half way through that time we told family that our TTC was no longer news and no longer up for discussion...and they would simply not be told anything anymore.

    You get over the weirdness of telling some friends and colleagues and not your family. It's not a time to care too much about their feelings...it's a good time to protect yourself and be a little selfish.

    I hope everything works out for you.

  14. #14

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    I found telling work was one of the best things I could have done. I had a few appts without them knowing and then I just decided to bite the bullet and tell them. I had only been there 3 months on a 6 month contract. They're were great about it and ended up offering me a permanant full time job shortly after.
    I found that I needed quite a bit of time off during and leading up to my first cycle, but it has been much easier in subsequent cycles. I have also been very lucky that it has been kept confidential and no one talks about it unless I bring it up first.

  15. #15

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    Hi Jules,

    I told my boss at the interview for the job and thought it would go against me but guess what they actually hired me because they thought my honesty was great. They felt if i told them that i was on IVF before i even got the job then they knew i would always be honest with them, they are highly supportive of me which is also a bonus. They are chiropractors and are actually working on me to help my odds - i always find honesty is the best policy. As far as family and friends go well they all know and they have all been 110% supportive of it which helps, IVF is so stressful and we really need the support of family and friends to through our thoughts around. I hope you get as much support as we have. Best of luck to you.

  16. #16

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    my "real" area (I'm relieving in another area at the moment) know that IVF is planned, where I'm currently working haven't been told (we're not starting till next year and I don't know if I'll still be here then).

    I'm lucky, I work in a Govt dept and they've got some amazing HR policies with regards to pregnancy etc. I know when the decision is made that we're going to start, then I will sit down with my supervisor and discuss it.

  17. #17

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    Jules,
    I told work a while ago when we first found out that we had probs and were needing to have tests etc tha we had some medical probs...we hope to start IVF early next year and I'm planning to tell my boss. I think he will be ok, but I know it is going to be a hard conversation. I'm in a good team- we are pretty close and know about each others families - so my prob is if to tell them as well as they are going to ask questions about why I'm in and out so much. I dont know what DH is going to do - prob after our appointments to set everything up we will have to work out what he is going to do. For us it is a bit harder as we have to travel 3 hrs to get to the IVF clinic we are using.

    As for telling family DH's know - but really have not been that supportive and steer clear of the topic. If I instigated the topic they would prob talk about it but they wont bring it up. I have not told my parents - my dad has just had a baby with his new wife and I really dont think he would know what to say. My mum is a drama queen and would make it all about her! Close friends know, and they have been good so far and we will prob tell them when we start treatment as we will have to stay with at least one set when we do treatment.

    Good luck

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