Balancing work with IVF and TTC stress

(10 Posts)
mouse1234567 Fri 26-Apr-19 06:57:32

Hi all-well basically I’m wondering how others find working alongside IVF - the physical and emotional stresses of it as well as the time commitment expected.

I’m a teacher and I do struggle -getting time off and then rushing to apppintments and then having to get back to class. Luckily I managed a lot of my egg collection in my holidays otherwise it would have been a nightmare!

I have been wondering about asking to go four days a week -has anyone gone part time? If so did it help? When you feel sad and tired and stressed it’s also hard to get enthused for work everyday and I feel like a day off a week would give me some joy to do something fun with.

The other question I have though is -money-luckily we have two NHS rounds it after that need to start paying so really wondering if we can afford for me to drop a day when we might need serious cash soon!

Any thoughts on any of this and experience of others would be great. Thank you. If I’m going to ask to go to 4 days I need to do it soon before the start of the new school year. Not sure what to do!

OP’s posts: |
miracleon13th Fri 26-Apr-19 09:16:07

I would say find a clinic which is local to home/work and starts scans early - mine starts at 730am so I have enough time to go there then get to work. I took annual leave for egg collection and transfer day worked out to be on a weekend so actually the impact on work was very minimal

physicskate Fri 26-Apr-19 10:28:37

I quit teaching. I didn't find it possible to balance the two!

I found it really difficult to do the work that I would be absent for and then to have to mark that work on top, so found it trebled the workload when I wasn't there. Plus I would fret over the absences and I got complaints from kids and parents about missing lessons too... and obviously I didn't tell them why, which I also found it difficult not to discuss.

Tbf, teaching and I always had a love/hate relationship. Best decision I ever made to leave.

Whatelsecouldibecalled Fri 26-Apr-19 11:15:40

I’m finding it hard I’ll be honest. I’m a teacher too. Clinic we use is close to school ish and scans start at 7.45am. Although school have been ‘supportive’ in that time off requests have never been denied the first response is always can you not work it around lessons? Unfortunately my body hasn’t quite worked out how to operate to the school calendar yet!! My head is a Male and can’t work out why I don’t know exact dates for egg collection and transfer and how my time I need. He is trying to help but obviously his number one priority is cutting the cost of cover and my number one priority is focussing in treatment. I constantly feel guilty about the time off even an hour and the extra work load it results in in setting cover. I have stopped dealing with dramas that happen when I’m not there. If you’re paying someone to cover me then they should be competent enough to not have a monkeys tea party in a classroom. However I try to push those feelings to one side and be a bit more selfish because ivf is more important.

I went 4 days for a year last year to try and relieve some stress although in one way it did as I got my Sunday’s back but only because I worked on my day off and was £300 worse off a month. Gone back to 5 days now and try to stick to the if it’s not done by 6pm it will have to wait. Also been firmer in saying no to the ‘just do this for good career development but we will not give you any extra time or money’ routine.

Wishing you lots of luck. If you want to pm to chat for moral support etc please do x

mouse1234567 Sat 27-Apr-19 09:21:45

@miracleon13th yes good advice re clinic close -we are lucky enough to be NHS and my clinic isn’t far from home but it’s not super close to work unfortunately. They also don’t open till 9 annoyingly. But as I say it’s NHS so I know I can’t really complain-I’m one of the postcode lottery lucky ones. Glad it’s not impacted on your work too much.

@physicskate @Whatelsecouldibecalled

It’s great to get perspectives from teachers.

@physicskate did you take a career break or try something else? It’s so hard to know why to do. I do worry that this whole ttc thing has somehow knocked my confidence at work -not sure why as it’s totally separate but it’s got me questioning things a lot more. Maybe it’s just a demanding job and I don’t feel so strong for it anymore.

@Whatelsecouldibecalled that’s interesting that you tried four days and now have gone back to 5. It’s just such an exhausting job isn’t it?! By the end of the week you want to collapse! My head is female but clearly hasn’t struggled to have a family and I am allowed to appointments -but there is talk of not paying the time out and I do find I feel guilty all the time and they just don’t get that sometimes I have to go in at an hour or a day’s notice! I just wonder if a day off to relax, sort stuff in flat and find a bit of joy for myself might be a good thing. I worry about money though too if we need to start paying for treatment.

OP’s posts: |
physicskate Sat 27-Apr-19 10:15:00

My confidence was rock bottom. Kids were calling me a shit teacher and I agreed (despite other evidence pointing to my not being a shit teacher). My value added pre-fertility treatment was 1.23!! Former pupils used to come back and visit me (and some other teachers)! I started antidepressants.

I left teaching at the end of Jan and we started our cycle the beginning of June, so I was unemployed. I got pregnant end of June. I started part time work as a science technician (was a physics teacher). My god I loved that job!! No stress and the job stayed at work unless I had to up some red cabbage or chocolates from the shop! Left when I started maternity leave as wage wouldn't cover nursery... sadly.

It gave me spending money. But my husband and I were smart and lucky. We bought our house specifically because one wage could cover the bills and mortgage. My husband is on a similar wage to when I was teaching. We have/ had savings to cover more cycles, should we needed them, which we were so lucky when we didn't need them.

I now have a job to start after my Maternity leave finishes in a totally unrelated field. I'm lucky they're holding the job for me, but I did apply before I got pregnant.

I can always go back to teaching physics... again I was smart to teach a shortage subject that will always be in demand!! But for now, I'm ecstatic that I don't teach!!!

I made decisions that meant we've had some short-term financial squeezes (we don't go on hols, but wouldn't have anyway during this time. I don't buy clothes. We don't go out to eat often, etc). But I didn't close many doors by leaving teaching and opened some new ones!!

Sorry for the essay!!! Wanted to give you a full picture!

sandytoes84 Sat 27-Apr-19 11:01:01

I can only imagine it must be incredibly hard with a job like teaching. My clinic are extremely inflexible and I get zero say in appointments - it’s over an hour from where i live an about 1.45 hours from where I work, so could be a total nightmare. However my employers have been amazing and I’m so glad I was completely honest with them. I was very nervous as I have 2 older male bosses but they couldn’t have been more supportive (probably because they don’t want to ask too much lol).

It’s a shame employers don’t have to have policies in place for treatment, or that ivf isn’t viewed in the same way as treatment for other medical conditions is.

Do you have any scope to take some unpaid leave OP? If you could take a term off you could focus on treatment without the added stress.


Teddybear45 Sun 28-Apr-19 00:42:22

I used to use my GP self-fill in appointment card to manufacture GP appts. As I was working around them and later nobody noticed or asked for proof. For egg collection I booked three days holiday (I have PCOS so it got painful) but only if my EC didn’t fall on a Friday in which case just one. I like booking holiday the day of and day after ET too as I find them painful, but you don’t need to. Plenty of women just need an hour and are back at work.

mouse1234567 Sun 28-Apr-19 08:48:04

@physicskate it’s interesting that you found it also knocked your confidence -this journey really does affect all walks of life.

Thanks for giving me the full picture. I would say that my DH and I do enjoy spending so we will have to curb this if I went down on my hours. In teaching you always feel like it’s harder to leave during the year but I have to remind myself that actually it’s just half a term’s notice and that I can always give it in at October half term. I also just don’t know what else I would do if I weren’t teaching and you do get so used to the wage. It’s all very tricky isn’t it!!

@Sandytoes84 thanks for your reply. Yes clinics are fairly inflexible aren’t they!! Makes it tricky! My clinic is also quite intense -they want you in a lot to check things! Although I have Frosties so hopefully frozen transfers shouldn’t be so bad. I have thought about a sabbatical but honestly then I don’t know if I would want to go back! Ha! And also maternity leave is a consideration and don’t know how that works!

@Teddybear45 thanks for your reply -interesting you found you liked a day after ET -something for me to consider if it’s u find it painful.

OP’s posts: |
Jenbot78 Sun 28-Apr-19 09:19:15

Hi, I’m not actually a teacher but my husband is. His school have always been great about letting him have time off for our treatments/scans etc. Before IVF we checked out his LEA employment rights. There was a policy and it said that teachers are allowed reasonable time off for fertility treatments. Not sure what the situation is for academies but worth checking what your HR policies are on this (if you haven’t already.) If school are not allowing this or making it hard for you and it is in a written policy you have every right to take it further. It makes me so mad the way some schools treat teachers.

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