Infertility & the workplace

I had been toying with the idea of telling my bosses about our fertility treatments lately, and yesterday when a friend blogged about the same thing I knew it was time to pull the trigger. Our treatments and appointments don’t interfere with my work schedule much, because thankfully our RE’s office is in the same city….but it’s a bit much on a week like this week where I have 3 doctor’s appointments, I had an ultrasound yesterday morning, I’ll have another ultrasound Wednesday, then probably my IUI Friday.

I’m pretty sure my bosses will be more than understanding. My workplace is flexible and accommodating, but I think by being honest with them I will be less stressed on days I have appointments about missing time. Currently I just get anxious about taking time off, I don’t want them to think I’m abusing the system or anything like that. No, I definitely didn’t HAVE to tell them anything except that I have doctor’s appointments, but I just felt like being honest would alleviate some stress on my part. And during this very stressful time if I can do that I think it’s a good thing to do.

One of my bosses came into my office this morning. He said, “I got your email, and I wanted to let you know I’m rooting for you. If you need ANYTHING just let me know. Don’t worry about the time for your appointments, just take care of yourself”. This really made me feel so much better, and I’m happy with my decision to “come out of the closet” with my bosses, I know they won’t tell anyone else in the office. I just wonder if the other 2 will be awkward around me from now on, or if they’ll say something too.

How has infertility affected your job?

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28 thoughts on “Infertility & the workplace

  1. That’s so awesome that your boss came and said that to you! I have a pretty flexible work place. I work from home and even though I work 10-12 hrs a day, as long as I attend all necessary meetings (via phone) and all my work gets done they don’t really care if I take time off for a dr’s appt. My RE is only abt 45 minutes away and they luckily had early hours (most of the time I was leaving the office by 7am after blood work and an ultrasound). So I was able to start work just a 2 hours after my “normal” time (and it makes it that much better because most everyone else in my department doesnt start work till after 8:30am so they were none the wiser). For IUI days I simply put in for PTO and didn’t tell them why. I am debating on whether to bring up the infertility thing when I tell them that I am actually pregnant (still praying I make it to that point). I guess it depends on how my manager reacts when I tell her. I would love to speak up now so I can start planning and research my companies maternity policy but can’t bring myself to do it!

    • Well that’s nice, that would make me feel okay about the appointments too. When do you plan to tell your manager? I pray you make it that far too! LOL. I fully researched our maternity policy, even purchased an additional short-term disability policy that will pay me through 12 weeks (since work only offers 6 weeks paid) well before we started TTC. I’m sure you’re ready to get started doing your planning/research. Is there nothing you can do on your end without telling anyone? I guess if not it’ll be here soon, and I’m sure everything will work out.

      • I plan on telling them after our 12 week ultrasound. I did as much research as possible with out having to ask someone. I know that my short term disability policy allows 12 weeks at 60% pay and it mentions “childbirth” as a means to use it but I don’t know if there is another policy we have. I looked through the handbook which I would have assumed something would have been mentioned but no such luck. I am dying to do the research to know how much money I need to start saving now to supplement if I am losing out. Such fun stuff!

      • 12 weeks at 60% is better than nothing, but like you said it’ll be nice to know the exact amount so you know how much to be saving now. Hopefully you’ll find out soon!!

  2. Glad you “came out”. I’m a teacher. We did IVF and I needed to miss time in the mornings, so I told everyone that we were going through treatment. Well, my faculty, not my students obviously. It made life so much less stressful. I do think that contributes to the success during intense treatments like that. Plus, it’s nice having people rooting for you, even behind the scenes. I believe in the power of positive energy and thoughts. 🙂

  3. I didn’t tell work last time and found it quite stressful trying to fit all of the appointments in. My boss was always fine about it and I was making the time up but it felt like I was constantly emailing her to rearrange yet another morning. She now knows that we’ll be starting IVF again soon and it does feel like a weight has lifted to some extent. I can just let her know roughly how much I’ll be out of the office each week rather than trying to make up an excuse for each appointment. A round trip to our hospital can be easily over 2 hours so one less thing to worry about is always good! Best of luck to everyone xx.

    • Yea, I think with IVF it would be even more important that work know b/c of the extra time off. It’s nice that your office is being so accommodating too. Thank you!! Good luck to you guys too.

  4. I’m glad you shared with them! I let me principal know as soon as we started setting up consultations. She was very understanding and told me to let her know if I need anything. I’m so happy that your leadership team is accommodating as well. It’s a great feeling to know you’re being supported by the people around you!

  5. I was SO nervous to tell my boss, but I got to a place where I knew I had to. We were beginning IVF, and I knew the appointments would be frequent and time sensitive. So, I just bit the bullet. My boss was SO understanding and nice about it. He asked me along the way how things were going, etc. This lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. Good for you!

    • I imagine with IVF it’s even more important to open up to the boss man. I’m glad your boss was so understanding and nice too! It does make things “easier”. At least it is one weight lifted from our shoulders!

  6. You have a wonderful boss! I am nervous about telling my workplace about our fertility issues. I am a teacher and if we have to go the IUI or IVF route I will be having to miss work (the closest fertility specialist is an hour away, but they have a satellite office 30 mins away for ultrasounds and bloodwork only)
    I am sure you feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders now that you have the support of your boss!

    • I really do feel so much better now. I was super anxious about hitting send, but relieved now. Good luck to you, sounds like you’ll have to tell as well. I think honesty is really the best policy. And it doesn’t hurt to have extras rooting for you either!

  7. I’m super lucky to work for a small non profit, where I am close to all of my coworkers. It wasn’t even a question to tell everyone, and folks have been so great about giving me space to talk but not pushing it. Aside from missing time for appointments, this journey is so hard and sometimes you need to have some space to show up sad, hurt, whatever. I’m glad you felt you were able to ‘come out’ and got a positive response!

  8. I am pretty close with my direct supervisor so I have been able to share everything with her. She has been writing my schedule since we started IUI so that has made it easier. But before she was doing that, a male workforce manager was definitely concerned about all the time I was taking off (for acupuncture) and I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable so I was just vague. Finally another supervisor clued him in and he actually asked to meet with me, and let me know that whenever I needed time off for that just let him know, no questions asked. He has two kids and also some medical issues so I think that made him more sensitive to it. I also have several coworkers who know what’s up and we talk about it openly. I’m very lucky.

  9. Good for you! Anything you can do to alleviate stress is such a plus for your cycle. I was fortunate to have understanding bosses as well – it makes such a difference knowing you don’t have to worry about taking time off for multiple appointments – especially when they can sometimes run long. Best of luck on your IUI!

  10. I told my boss as well, which has been a good choice. There are days when I go to the storage area and cry because my hormones are out of whack! It has been wonderful to just be vulnerable. I am glad you made that call.

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