Infertility: Baby Troubles and the Workplace

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When my wife and I were dealing with our infertility problems I was pretty open at work about our struggles. Most everyone I spoke to was pretty understanding and interested in knowing about the process of having a baby with the assistance of fertility doctors, needles and medication, and many many many appointments. Fertility treatments mean doctors appointments by the dozens and I was lucky that my boss at the time was very flexible in letting me attend them with my wife.

The guys I was closest to would think it was funny to tell me that they would “pinch hit” for me to help us realize our baby dreams. That was somewhat funny the first few times but after a while it got under my nerves. Most of the questions I got where about how IVF or IUI worked. I was the resident expert. If I looked the least bit down I had a small circle that was great about asking how it was going. I was surrounded by some pretty amazing people who backed us up all the way to my daughters birth five years later. I was lucky though because they were so supportive. I did have one person tell me that maybe God just wanted that way. That never sat well with me. A word of advice to anyone who has deep religious beliefs that would make you say such things to someone: keep that crap to yourself. It is incredibly rude, close minded, and quite frankly who are you to speak for God in the first place?

If you are going to try an IVF cycle you will need to be very organized especially if you are planning appointments around work. If you choose to tell your co workers be ready to possibly deal with some judgement issues or possibly people knowing about your business that don’t even know your last name. If a cycle fails you may have to tell your story over and over to every co-worker that knows about your journey. If  you open your book it will be read and there may be critics. There are always critics. Sometimes we confuse co-workers with true friends. In some cases this is possible but in some cases your life could be their live action soap opera that they gossip about when as you pine away at your desk. You also need to be careful what you share because some supervisors may feel your ongoing  journey is having a bad influence on your work. In todays work environment you have to be very careful what you share because there are unscrupulous bosses that will use it to their advantage. If you choose to share be sure that what you share you would not be ashamed to see in a company news letter.

There are several good things about sharing. The more you talk the better you feel, in most cases. The more you share the more likely you are to find that friend that will support you all the way and even be a spokesperson of sorts. The more you share the more likely you are to find that person that has already been there done that and can share their experience. I am a fan of sharing. Be honest with yourself and know what you can handle. You need to know how thick your skin is if you have a knuckle head in your workplace.  You also have to be careful because it is easy to get caught up in the fertility journey and share too much or share too long.  You do not want your boss to see you in the hallway talking about your fertility more often than working your company excel sheets. 

I shared but I was lucky and work environments were different then. I am not so sure I would share now. I don’t say this because the people I work are any different but almost all work environments have changed dramatically over the past five years. I wish you the best, never say quit, and you are deserving of a child. Never forget that last part.

Give 100% at work

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2 responses »

  1. I’ve always been a fan of your blog and this one reminds me of how incredibly lucky I am to work for a company that is 100% supportive of pursuing family-building, what ever form that may be. Of course it helps that I work at Attain Fertility. 😉 But I haven’t worked at Attain my entire career and I’ve been at other companies that weren’t as family-friendly. Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom. And always with a touch of irony.

    • Thank you Shelly. I hope to always be able to keep it positive and maybe put a smile and glimmer of hope in the hearts of the families still waiting to be realized. Attain makes a difference and that is a job worth having.

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