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Dealing with work while undergoing IVF

(15 Posts)
CakeInMyFace Thu 08-Jan-15 15:04:41

I�ve recently started posting on these boards and am finding them so helpful so thank you for the support. Due to blocked fallopian tubes and DH having abnormal sperm, our consultant advised that IVF is our only option. We�ve been trying for DC2 for 2 years now, and I don�t understand how we could have conceived our DD with all of these problems.

We can only afford one round of IVF � this terrifies me as so much will be riding on this one �shot.� I�m also really struggling emotionally with all of this, and finding friends� and family lack of understanding of what I�m going through painful too.

I wanted to ask those who have been through IVF how they found managing work alongside treatment � I�m on a contract currently and to make a long story short, I have the opportunity to stay on at my company but in a different role. I�ve been told I�m allowed a maximum of 3 days off during a cycle, but mostly just unsure whether I�ll be able to cope with all the emotions of it while looking after my DD (3) and managing work as well. My DH is very supportive and happy for me to take a break from working for a while (our DD starts school in September and we�ll struggle with childcare as no family nearby and this school as no after school clubs, so there is a chance I might be looking for alternative work then anyway). I guess our thinking is that we want to put everything we have into this and I don�t want to have to be stressed out about work as well.

For those that worked through IVF, can I ask how you found it generally, and how much time off you needed? Is 3 days realistically enough?

CakeInMyFace Thu 08-Jan-15 15:16:37

Not sure whats happened with my post and all those symbols! Sorry for that!confused

onthematleavecountdown Thu 08-Jan-15 16:34:47

3 days might be enough if you took them at egg collection time, say 2 days then a day for embryo transfer. You can't assume that all will go smooth though. I had horrendous side effects from the down reg drugs (buserelin) and needed a week off. I then got OHSS after egg collection and had another 3 weeks off due to the internal bleeding, couldn't walk, etc. Then as the ivf worked and I got pg, the OHSS got worse and worse due to the hormones. Not fun.

I was honest with my work from the start, god knows what my boss and HR would have thought if I kept them in the dark. It would have been a disciplinary for sure, thankfully as a woman, you are considered pregnant from day of egg collection so any sickness must be recorded separate from other sickness and can't be used against you in disciplinary etc.

keeponjuggling Thu 08-Jan-15 19:03:30

Hi, hope you don't mind I'm just following not really able to advise. But my situation is similar to yours. We have a DS also 3, no idea how we conceived with all my problems. We're hoping to start ivf soon, like you can only afford 1 round so want to throw everything at it. I've reduced my hrs at work in the hope that alongside taking a few days holiday will cover it.
Out if interest how did your employer come up with the 3 days? And do you work full time? It's hard to know how you'll cope with it all, could you take some annual leave to top up those 3 days? Sorry for all the questions.

CakeInMyFace Thu 08-Jan-15 20:18:35

Thank you both for your replies. Wow matleave that experience sounds so hard. How far along are you now? I wish you all the best and hope your pregnancy goes well.
Keepon I work 3 days a week and just realised that may mean I dont qualify for all 3 days. Not sure how they came up with that but they have a fertility treatment policy. We want to put everything we can into it too and hope it works, and so confused about what to do. I guess there is no knowing how it will go until doing it. I am just so emotional already though am worried I wont cope well. Im not keen on using holiday as I'll need that come sept for settling my dd into school and half term etc. I do plan on being upfront with my employer though...will be harder for them to sack me if they know rather than unauthorised absences.
It's so hard all of this such a roller coaster the infertility journey. sad

onthematleavecountdown Fri 09-Jan-15 11:29:43

Thanks. I'm almost 34 weeks so getting there

My experience was extreme but the bugger is there is no way to know how you will react. I was actually on allow dose of drugs believe it or not!

Good luck with the treatment.

onthematleavecountdown Fri 09-Jan-15 11:31:53

Oh wanted to add, govern work place has a different policy for ivf treatment. Some have no policy, some are very generous. Mine gave me 5 days paid leave and the option to take 10 days unpaid. This was seperate/additional to anything that counted as sick leave.

You need to think about all your monitoring sessions too. For most women it's appointments every 2-3 days for at least ten days when stimming.

onthematleavecountdown Fri 09-Jan-15 11:32:24

Not govern workplace - , every workplace

Heels99 Fri 09-Jan-15 11:36:53

sopopsorry I think would be tricky to manage on 3 days off.
On the other hand I found work took my mind off the treatment to a certain extent which was helpful. A "business as usual " approah helped me, I had 4 cycles I found keeping busy was more helpful than relaxing. Good luck

naty1 Fri 09-Jan-15 13:26:25

I think i probably had only 3 days off total.
Of course if it falls on your 2 non working days you wont need to take time then
I had
1 day EC
A few hrs ET used some lunchtime
A few hrs at a time for each scan
These started day 8 of stimms and i think the op was day 17 so 15 days of stimms apptments alternate days
Day 8
Day 10
Day 12
Day 14
Day 16 depending on weekends where i think i skipped fri-mon
So 5 scan days. But i think that was unusual as i have pcos so likely to hyperstim and had to go in for the blood tests.
A lot of ops seem to be by day 15.

Its going to depend how long it takes to get to the clinic- whether you can get appts first thing or when travel time to and from work would be shortest.
(Ive probably had more time off with maternity appts)
I didnt tell work as i considered it hospital appts and an operation. Luckily it was only 1 round while at work. ( l only had about 1 day sick otherwise in like 7 yrs)
But also i didnt want them to know i was ttc as if it didnt work i might still get sidelined.
My clinic were very cautious about the dose and monitoring to avoid the ohss. In fact probably too cautious as kept triggering when only 1-2 follicles were big enough conpromising the results.
I think its not too bad if your work let you make up the time, lunchtimes, getting in early etc. i then used holiday folr the first few maternity appts (as i didnt tell them till 20w) so overall they probably lost very little time

Trooperslane Fri 09-Jan-15 13:40:20

I also considered them hospital appointments and an operation.

I was able to have all my scans/bloods really early - 7.30am - so they never needed to know about those.

I also worked from home but took the day off (as hospital/operation) for EC and EI.

I didn't really want any more disruption than necessary and wanted to keep my mind active rather than brooding.

Good luck. After 2xIVF and 2xICSI dd is nearly 17 months and I am commencing negotiations with Dh who is having none of it

bluemoonday Fri 09-Jan-15 14:05:52

Hi - I agree with Naty, it depends how far away your clinic is.

Mine is a 10 minute walk from work so I could do scans and appointments first thing in the morning or in my lunch hour. I only needed to take one day off for the egg collection (day 14). I even did egg transfer at lunchtime and went back to work afterwards.

In a nutshell it's definitely possible to do it with 3 days off....providing your clinic is nearby.

bluemoonday Fri 09-Jan-15 14:09:05

Oh and I didn't tell work about the IVF treatment. I called in sick for the egg transfer day off (naughty me) and nobody said a word. It's up to you but I knew that my boss would be utterly unsupportive, so decided to avoid the issue altogether.

strawberry1202 Fri 09-Jan-15 15:25:35

Hi, firstly, just wanted to say I really feel for you, I remember all those emotions so well. My (public sector and otherwise quitereasonable) employers policy was no time off, because "ivf is a choice" . Seriously. Luckily my immediate manager was far more understanding and told me to just manage the time I needed off through our time card system, ie jus inputting the hrs I'd managed to work and nothing more was said. The main parts of our treatment also happened over a bank holiday weekend, which was v lucky, but I would say you are likely to need more than three days for a couple of reasons. Firstly you need the day of collection and the day after (i had to sign something to say I would have someone looking after me for the 24 hrs after collection and I wouldn't do any work/drive etc) and then the day of transfer. But in between that you can't anticipate how you will feel either medically or emotionally. Also before the collection I had to go into the clinic for scans every day for three days, which even first thing in the morning meant I wasn't at work til 10.30 each I'd say there were 3 days when I worked a half day at most, and then 5 when I couldn't have gone into work, which, as I say, luckily fell partly over a bank holiday. I'm sure experience varies hugely, but this was mine.
Best of luck.

victoria401 Sat 10-Jan-15 14:38:22

I've told work I'm.having fertility treatment and boss just said to treat it like I'm having hospital appointments. Put it on 'the board' and tell a senior in charge. Luckily I work at the same hospital that my clinic is at so I can just pop across site for my scans. I will take the whole day annual leave on THE big day. Good luck everyone and congrats to the ones it has worked for!

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