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How to handle going back to work after m/c?

(18 Posts)
LunarSea Sun 05-Jun-05 18:58:13

I probably sounds a silly question - but how do you cope with the "what happened" questions from people you work with when you go back after being off post m/c?

m/c at 11 weeks in fairly dramatic fashion 2 weeks ago - lost a lot of blood in the process, ended up with emergency late-night op and was actually kept in hospital for a while afterwards as a result. Am due to go back to work tomorrow, but am dreading the inevitable questions. None of them knew I was pg, they're almost all male, but they're all likely to ask why I've been off and I don't really want to have to explain the gory details to them. I might get away with minimal explanations by just saying "women's troubles", but that is probably just going to storing up trouble for myself for the future as I work in a very male dominated company/industry where it's a definate disadvantage beiong a woman even without having to own up to that.

Any ideas, anyone?

docket Sun 05-Jun-05 19:19:10

LunarSea, sorry to hear that, hope you are okay.

I think if I were you I would say that I'd had an operation and leave it at that. Surely people wouldn't be so insensitive as to pry further? Hope it goes ok.

batters Sun 05-Jun-05 19:21:12

LunarSea - sorry to read about your miscarriage, I hope you are ok-ish.

Agree with docket, tell your co-workers you had an operation. If they ask for details, tell them you'd rather not talk about it.

Hope your first day back at work goes well.

Janh Sun 05-Jun-05 19:23:10

Oh, Lunarsea, I am sorry to hear that - hope you are feeling OK physically and that you are really up to going back emotionally.

If one of the blokes was suddenly off for a couple of weeks, would he get the Spanish Inquisition when he went back to work?

LunarSea Tue 07-Jun-05 11:52:49

Well yesterday wasn't too bad, although the person who I thought was most likely to be persistant about wanting to know why I was off hasn't actually been in for the last couple of days.

But.... I've just overheard my delightful colleagues speculating as to the reason. One of them reckoned they'd get it out of me eventually and suggested an office sweepstake on the answer. None of them seem to have got it right yet though, though one of them suggested "botched abortion" which I suppose isn't so far out in outcome if not in intention.

Actually I can sort of see the funny side of it, and tbh I'd rather they just speculate amongst themselves than try to drag it out of me, but I am angry that they can do it, because a lot of people would find it very upsetting (including me a week ago, but I'm feeling a lot more in control of myself now).

piglit Tue 07-Jun-05 12:15:41

So sorry to hear about your m/c LunarSea. A friend of mine had a similar experience and when she went back to work a couple of her colleagues (male) made "jokes" about her having had a tummy tuck/liposuction because she looked thinner (she barely ate following her m/c so lost a lot of weight). She finally lost it one day and announced to the whole office (open plan) that she had had a miscarriage at 16 weeks and that she and her husband were beside themselves with grief. She also told them that she was finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning, let alone face their speculation and pathetic attempts at humour. It worked and the culprits were suitably ashamed. So much so that she got the biggest bunch of flowers I've ever seen from the 2 men involved and some seriously grovelling apologies.

docket Wed 08-Jun-05 10:01:54

Hi LunarSea, glad your return wasn't too bad.

Your colleagues' speculation is really silly and I am sure they would be mortified if they knew the truth. Not nice though, I hope it tails off and doesn't upset you, sounds like you are coping fantastically (didn't mean that to sound patronising if it does).

Pamina3 Wed 08-Jun-05 10:13:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jampots Wed 08-Jun-05 10:36:48

Lunarsea - I didnt realise you were pregnant - sorry! and Im sorry you've miscarried.

Disgusted by your colleagues attitude. Would suggest asking to join the sweepstake and if they havent put "m/c" in their pot, take it and the money and make them all feel bad about it!

Am around tomorrow lunchtime for about an hour if you fancy a coffee in Beatties!

LunarSea Wed 08-Jun-05 11:04:03

jampots - lol at the idea of scooping the pool! They haven't actually done it as far as I know, it was just something one of them said.

And I'm definately planning on being around tomorrow so can probably get out for a bit.

yoyo Wed 08-Jun-05 11:30:06

LunarSea - sorry to hear about your m/c. Pleased to read that you didn't find your return to work too awful.

When I had my m/c I was determined to tell noone but had to fill out an absence form. My boss (female) called me in to her office and suggested that she tell my colleagues so that I wouldn't have to go over it again and again. It worked really well and everyone was understanding in a discrete way. When I fell pregnant the second time my colleagues could not have been more supportive. Would it be possible for you to put an end to the speculation in this way?

Ronniebaby Thu 09-Jun-05 20:36:25

LS- I am horrified at your work colleagues, but then again typical men, not sensitivity/

As I said last night, really sorry to hear of your m/c.

Hope the tests go ok, and you'll be posting happier news again soon, luv & hugs xxx

huggybear Thu 09-Jun-05 20:40:30

Lunarsea - i didnt realise you'd had a mc and hadnt asked how you are cause i didnt know if you'd announced it on mn yet.

im so sorry for your loss, i'm thinking of you and your family.

take care

xx

mears Thu 09-Jun-05 20:51:34

Lunarsea - why do you feel you cannot say you had a miscarriage? That would put an end to any discussion and perhaps you would be cut some slack on your return to work. You may well have some emotional days ahead and it would possibly be easier for work colleagues to understand (well, possibly not men admittedly). I personally was glad people knew why I was off sick when it happened to me.

lucysmum Thu 09-Jun-05 21:06:21

Lunarsea - so sorry to hear about this. For what its worth (everybody reacts differently) I had a very similar m/c three weeks ago, in hospital a couple of days for blood transfusion afterwards. I was very shocked by the physical process but was told this was not normal and most people have bleeding more like a normal period. I did tell a few (mainly male) colleagues what had happened as I needed them to cover client work for me and couldn't be bothered to make up a story. I went back to work after a week off followed by a week's holiday that was already booked. I have been taking it easier since I came back and although I haven't talked about it at work (macho male culture) I do think it is easier that people know what has happened and understand if I am not as engaged/cheerful etc as usual. Have also seen a great HV a couple of times (she contacted me) to chat through feelings, issues etc which has been very helpful in being able to 'let go' after having to be in control and relatively normal at work.

LunarSea Fri 10-Jun-05 11:24:32

lucysmum - sounds very similar. They did tell me that it wasn't at all normal, which I realised anyway as I'd had one - albeit earlier - m/c before which was nowhere near as dramatic/traumatic as this. In fact while I was in they didn't have anyone else as an in-patient due to m/c at all, so I guess it was pretty unusual.

mears - unfortunately it's a very male environment I work in (both in terms of the people and the attitude) and telling them would be more likely to the cause of putdowns than sympathy. Also, because of that, it wouldn't do me any good career wise if they were to suspect that we might be trying to ttc again. As we were trying for two and a half years for this one, and have now been told that what happened might reduce the chances of conceiving again/increase the chances of miscarrying next time, it doesn't seem sensible to take that hit for nothing. Since we've managed a total of 3 conceptions, but only one baby, in nearly 7 years of ttc, and I'm 39 now so can't try for ever, those reduced/increased chances could mean "no chance" for us. A question for you - after this, would I be able to get any extra scans/checks/whatever next time (if there is a next time of course), or is it just treated as one consecutive miscarriage as if it had been striaghtforwards?

Hulababy Fri 10-Jun-05 14:09:44

Sorry to hear about your mc lunarsea And really cross about your collegeaues behaviour.

I chose to tell 3 or 4 people about my mc, as I was still very delicate about it all (only had a day off, went in on day it happened - bad idea, just the shock and not wanting to believe). The others who were nosey about why I had gone home upset on the day, and then had time off (linked to weekend) I jsut said I'd had some bad news.

mears Fri 10-Jun-05 17:40:02

I see no reason why you should not have extra scans etc. It is not unusual to have excessive bleeding with a miscarriage so depite it being so dramatic it will still be recorded as such. Where I work women are treated very symapthetically as far as reassurance scans go and they are scanned more regularly if that is what they want, despite the number of miscarriages they have had. Hope you are feeling better and sorry you have such an environment to work in.

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