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Eight weeks pregnant - feel terrible - should I tell my work?

(18 Posts)
Queazy Sat 12-Jan-13 14:51:00

Hi,

I'm hugely grateful to be pregnant, but eight weeks in and I'm feeling rough and pretty low. Work is relentless and it's all I can do to just sit there and concentrate on not being sick. I'm struggling to focus, and know I must look pretty gaumless in meetings. I've already had one day off because of a migraine and panic because I started spotting, and I was late in another day because I fainted on the train. I just want to wake up at 14 weeks smile

However, the real issue I'm grappling with is when to tell my boss. I've only been there a year, and she's not going to be delighted. I'm going to a 2-day conference with her and two peers in a week (which was my oh-so bright idea before pregnancy). It's a full-on conference, about 4hrs away, and she's emailed round to say we can all go out for a curry with someone in her network on one of the nights. I'd normally just go but the thought of the conference is bad enough at the moment without trying to survive a night out afterwards. I either need to go, be knackered and make an excuse about not drinking (pretty tricky) or tell her I'm pregnant the day before at nine weeks and say I'll stay in thanks. I know this may sound trivial, but I'm not sleeping so I've had way too much time to obsess over it, and really hoping for some advice. I really need this job in a year's time to pay the mortgage, and really scared of jeopardising it.

Sorry for the long, 'woe is me' rant.

Thanks all xxx

Bluestocking Sat 12-Jan-13 14:56:08

Poor you. I found the first twelve weeks really exhausting and queasy-making. Why do you think your boss will be annoyed? People do realise that if they employ women of child-bearing age, this is one of the things that will happen. She might surprise you and be completely OK.
However, I still think that hanging on to tell people until twelve weeks is better if you possibly can. Can you go to the conference but say that you're on antibiotics for something so you mustn't drink?

Queazy Sat 12-Jan-13 15:02:36

Oh thank you Bluestocking smile I just can't bear the thought of going from 8am to 11pm, and then doing it again the next day.

My boss isn't known for her skills of empathy, and will be focused on crises at work, which I completely understand. She's mentioned three times over the last six months that we better hope no one in the team gets pregnant this year...all my peers are over 40 but me. I agree that she might absolutely surprise me though, and hope she does!

Notmyidea Sat 12-Jan-13 15:05:07

tell your boss in confidence. Feeling rubbish=climbing hormone levels=good. If anything did go wrong now you probably would need time off sick and her understanding. I don't think this is worth sweating over if you're feeling bad. The sooner your boss knows the sooner she can support you.

Queazy Sat 12-Jan-13 15:06:24

Oops, not suggesting in my post that people can't have kids over 40! They are closer to 50 and none of them want children. xx

Msbluesky32 Sat 12-Jan-13 15:29:34

Poor you, sorry to hear you're suffering. I had horrendous morning sickness and my job involves carrying and lifting but I decided to stick it out to the 12 weeks scan. You would be surprised how little people notice! At work I was looking as green as anything, stuffing my face every two hours and devouring mints and ginger tea and no one guessed. I managed to avoid heavy lifting by saying i had a problem with my shoulder. We also had two very drunken weddings to attend at the end of the summer - one when I was 6 weeks (absolutely exhausted and sick as a dog) and another at 9 weeks (ditto, but much sicker) and at both I held champagne glasses and pretended to drink. Your own perception of what you think you look like is probably much worse than it actually is. It's a very personal thing though, so do whatever you think it best for you, good luck x

Queazy Sat 12-Jan-13 15:32:33

Thank you notmyidea and msblueky, I really appreciate your advice. I'm chaining gingernuts and ginger tea too! I have such admiration for you making it through two weddings too during that time...I'm busy hibernating at the moment smile

rainand Sat 12-Jan-13 15:45:44

I'm so sorry to hear how you are feeling. I'm not sure what to suggest for you, but I was also very ill and had to take sick leave around the same time. I didn't tell my boss I was pregnant, I just told her I was very poorly, and took off. After 4 months, I told her.

beaver33 Sat 12-Jan-13 15:47:35

Queazy sorry to hear you're feeling so horrid. I remember it well, and it can feel so relentless, particularly if you're having to hide it.

I felt the same and because I was struggling to cope I eventually told my boss in confidence when I was 9 weeks. He is normally a bit of a tyrant - and that is not an exaggeration - but was wonderful about it and not only kept it to himself but really cut me some slack. It became so important that I didn't have to 'pretend' to be coping. It also made me feel confident that if something went wrong, the explanation I'd have to give would be accepted and involve minimal discussion.

I know your situation is different because of the time you've spent in your job and your sense of uncertainty - that wasn't an issue with me. But you can't be fired for getting pregnant and although the worst-case scenario is that your boss really doesn't like it she can't hold it against you.

If you're worried about this conference and how you'll cope - and importantly, don't want your boss to think you're just shirking or being weird - I suggest you break it to her gently. Honesty is the best policy. You'll feel better because it's out there, and she will at least have some understanding of your situation. You really don't need to be any more stressed than you already are naturally at this point!

Good luck.

Bluestocking Sat 12-Jan-13 18:26:27

Thinking on, I do wonder if you might do better to tell your boss in confidence. It will also give her four extra weeks to work out how best to cover your maternity leave - and you might gain brownie points by saying to her that you know it's unusual to let people know before twelve weeks but you want to give her as much notice as possible. You could also mention all the marvellous preparation you'll be going in advance of handing over to your maternity cover - if that's what's going to happen. By doing this, you will be inviting her to be your ally, and also telling her how responsibly you'll be managing the situation. If you invite her into your corner, you may well find that she will help cover for you during the conference and not expect the full 0800-2300 act on both days. What do you think?

massagegirl Sat 12-Jan-13 18:51:17

I was the same felt awful. Told my boss around 9 weeks in confidence, burst into tears as was feeling so dreadful and felt terrible letting them down. She was lovely and incredibly supportive when I needed a chunk of time off due to pregnsncy complications. You might feel relief once you tell her.

TwitchyTail Sat 12-Jan-13 19:10:07

Personally, I would suggest you tell your boss, and close work colleagues.

I struggled on until 10 weeks in a (sort of) new job with terrible sickness through some vague notion that it wasn't the "done thing" to announce before 12 weeks. I eventually caved in and told everyone, and the difference it made was incredible. Everyone then understood why I was looking tired/unwell and not able to go above and beyond, and they were hugely supportive. It was a massive relief to me.

It is much better that they know the truth and can support you, than assume you are just work-shy and lazy. Yes, things can go wrong with the pregnancy, but they can at any stage, and I would still have preferred my colleagues to know even if the worst happened.

Reebok Sat 12-Jan-13 20:36:16

I think it's best to tell them if you're feeling that bad. I had to tell my boss at 5 weeks as I have HG and had a mmc 6 months ago so had to tell them in case something happened to me. Also was signed off from work from 6 weeks and still have not returned at 13 weeks.

dizzy77 Sat 12-Jan-13 21:27:05

I told my boss in confidence, both times, at about 9wks: for me it was a "risk management" thing. I was so tired and dozy I was worried about making a mistake and really wanted to cover myself. My boss also appreciated the extra time to start thinking about cover herself, before I gave her the go ahead to go public (ie tell her boss) post-scan.

Looking back, I also think I'd have appreciated the air-cover if anything did go wrong with the pregnancy at that stage or the scan wasn't straightforward: it would have meant if I'd needed time out for anything that conversation would have been easier.

Springforward Sat 12-Jan-13 21:35:39

I told my boss around 8 weeks with DS and in my current pregnancy, as morning sickness was affecting my performance and I thought it best to ask for slightly later hours than just keep quiet. She kept my confidence until I was ready to go public, bless her.

Queazy Sun 13-Jan-13 16:34:52

Thank you all so much for your advice. I'm going to see how I go this week, and will probably tell her the day before the conference. I'll definitely follow your suggestions about saying I wanted to give her extra time and make sure she knows I'm fully committed. I will ask her to keep it quiet and just tell one of the people who works for me but also sits next to me...she's fab and I've been pretty snappy recently. Poor soul.

Thanks all again - it's been wonderful to share my concerns and receive such valuable advice. My first time taking part on the forums!

TwitchyTail Sun 13-Jan-13 16:37:35

That sounds like a good plan Queazy smile Hope you start to feel better soon!

Bluestocking Sun 13-Jan-13 19:31:07

That sounds really sensible. Good idea to tell your team member who's next to you too - she may well have guessed but if not she's probably worrying about you! Good luck and let us know how you get on. I do hope you start to feel better soon. There's usually a nice bit in between the tired-and-queasy and the too-huge-to-do-anything phases of pregnancy!

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