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IVF and Career - how do you manage?

(13 Posts)
Hisdarkmaterials7 Thu 21-Nov-19 10:01:15

I have been approached by a manager about going for a promotion that has opened up in my team. It’s the worse timing as I’ve been struggling to focus in work and get my current workload done and I’ve had a lot of sick leave this past two weeks related to IVF so I’ve been struggling even more than usual. It’s now 2 years of Infertility and I’m starting to have a lot of anxiety. I have no idea what to do - going for promotion is the last thing I want to do - the thoughts of preparing for an interview and adapting to a new role are awful. But in reality if it wasn’t for IVF I would want the role and be motivated to get it. I feel like an emotional anxious mess and like quitting my job not going for a promotion but there’s also the worry of how I’ll be perceived if I don’t go for it. The manager who called me does know and I told her that for personal reasons I didn’t know if it would be a good idea but she told me to think about it.

How do you all manage job/career and infertility? Is this just another life impact of it that career needs to be put on hold until there either is or isn’t a baby?

peachesforfree Thu 21-Nov-19 10:12:52

I really sympathise with your predicament. I’ve had (so far) a relatively easy run of the ivf/infertility stuff and it’s still floored me and made me want to quit my job which I feel completely unmotivated for atm. It seems as though your manager knows what you’re capable of and has faith in you. If it’s a long term plan I would try and go for it if I were you. I’m trying to hire someone below me (so in effect a promotion) at the moment and whilst I feel like a complete fraud given how much effort I’m not putting in myself, it’s for the best long term and what I would be doing if none of the ivf stuff was happening.

fool11 Thu 21-Nov-19 10:32:48

I agree with @peachesforfree...i would go for it as it's long term..2y ago i was offered a job (which i really wanted and was waiting for ages) but just found out that i'm pregnant, very early stage, but as i knew them (company) i felt i had to tell them, wanted to be honest (and i knew they would not take me whilst pregnant), we were very happy that i was expecting after more than a year of trying..2weeks later i had a 11w scan and found out that there was no heartbeat, had a mmc...which was devastating...i sometimes wish i took the job and just went with it, i'm sure i would manage the job and the pregnancy etc. Do what feels right. The ivf is very stressful (i have my OTD tomorrow and dreading it as this is the only try we have) it's not easy, i work full time and i have one 4y old..i just need to be more organised and always be 2steps ahead...maybe ask your manager if you could have a trial for 3-6 months and see how you like it..if possible...good luck.

Lalla525 Thu 21-Nov-19 10:37:08

I have a highly demanding, Male-dominated job. I am doing well, was promoted last year, great relationship with my manager who is supportive of IVF. Yet the process (which went almost smoothly) devastated me completely.

I dont think I could have added the pressure of a promotion and interviews.

However, I'm also very career focused and completely understand where you are coming from and I'd hate to find myself in this position. However, all considered, I would not go for it, because I would not be able to sustain the pressure mentally. I would rather do I job I can do with only one hand during the ivf process.

Wish you the best of luck with everything.

itwasalovelydreamwhileitlasted Thu 21-Nov-19 15:35:40

I also have a challenging very male dominated job - I didn't want the fact I was a woman and going through infertility to make me different to my colleagues by having lots of time off etc - I chose a clinic close to home where scans started at 730am so I do them before work.

I booked annual leave for egg collection day and transfer day. I work up and down the country and luckily my clinic is part of a group so if a scan fell on a day I was working in say Manchester then the clinic arranged to have scans done there.

I also did short protocol mild ivf so from starting injections and scans to egg collection was only 2 weeks

I did injections and pessaries at work but my male boss is lovely and arranged for somewhere private to do them and also allowed me to work from home on a couple of days

I held off moving jobs and promotions for years telling myself that I'd be pregnant in a couple of months but we are now into year 3 of infertility and I could have been on a much larger salary by now (which ironically would have helped us pay for all the IVF!)

kell2126 Thu 21-Nov-19 15:38:34

I have lost a lot of motivation for my job since starting IVF earlier this year. It's really hard. I haven't told anyone at work that I'm doing IVF – I don't want to be passed over for opportunities because people think I'll be taking maternity at any point. But my head is so full of schedules /injections / pills / scans etc. that work just seems much less important now.

I'm interviewing for a promotion in March, but if my FET next week is successful that means I'll be 4.5 months PG at interview so I doubt I'll get it. But there's no way I wouldn't go for it, even if I am PG

peachesforfree Thu 21-Nov-19 15:43:20

It also sounds as though you have had a particularly bad few weeks and your judgement may be a bit swayed by that. As your manager already knows about the ivf and has even encouraged you to take your time with the decision, it sounds as though you could be honest and say that you know you should go for it and do want to but feel a bit worried about getting overwhelmed in the short term. She may be able to suggest a compromise or plan for it with you. On the other hand, if you don't go for it you might not get another chance in the near term and end up having to move jobs away from what sounds like a nice boss etc.

Disclaimer on my advice: I am going for an interview next week (at 9 weeks pg) which is completely mad!

ginandtonicformeplease Thu 21-Nov-19 20:56:36

Think of it from a practical point of view as well: IVF is expensive and presumably promotion means more money?

Hisdarkmaterials7 Thu 21-Nov-19 21:53:17

Thanks all for your advice. You’ve given me a lot to think about. I’ve already moved today between thinking I’ll definitely go for it versus I’ll definitely not. From a money perspective, we recently inherited alot of money so I don’t need it from a finance perspective. It would purely be from a job perspective.

If I go for interview and get it I’ll have to take it - it’s a competitive process and I’d be up against up to 15 people so once I go for it there’s no trial run or backing out which would be worse.

I’ll have to figure out what to do soon. I actually like my current role but I guess I’ve been in it w good few years now so without ivf it would definitely be time for a promotion and it would be to this role. It’s so hard to know what to do. The poster who said I’ve had a bad few weeks is right and maybe that’s clouding my judgement but I don’t want to be under any more pressure and stress in work either. Argh. Thanks for the replies.

Misty999 Thu 21-Nov-19 22:18:45

I didnt go for any promotions just concentrated 100% on ivf. I needed multiple rounds though.

DameSylvieKrin Fri 22-Nov-19 13:29:12

I had three rounds of IVF while in a fast paced high powered job (something not dissimilar to the diplomatic service). I miss two full days of work over all three cycles. Apart from that it didn’t affect me at work at all, although I was lucky and didn’t have OHSS or anything.
I did have a horrible pregnancy after the third round worked and could barely stand up from week seven. I missed a lot of work and otherwise worked in bed for months. I still got more done than my colleagues.
I would say just go for it. IVF doesn’t take long in the scheme of things, and work takes your mind off it.

physicskate Fri 22-Nov-19 19:35:55

Before my first (and only because it was thankfully successful) round, I quit my career. Both would have killed me (nearly did).

Two years on from quitting, I've sometimes looked back at that decision but never regretted it because of the very real fact that I would have committed suicide if I had continued with both.

I was a teacher in an all male department, in a male-dominated subject. In hindsight, I can still always go back to it, but I'm not really cut out to cope with the shit behaviour anymore (my confidence is still pretty shit).

I'd be super flattered if my boss had ever put me forward for promotion or been encouraged by my seniors for any sort of recognition. But I'm not the best at compartmentalising. If you are the compartmentalising sort, this sounds just the thing to take your mind off it, and as previously mentioned, some of the financial pressures too.

Chichz Fri 22-Nov-19 20:19:34

Funnily enough, I'm a teacher too and was going to post that I've also stepped back rather than pushed forward with my career. Then again, I'd already put it on the back burner, so it's more a case of delaying making a real go of it again, if that makes sense. I figure that if IVF doesn't work (we've not started yet) then I'll throw myself into it then!

Teaching is quite a unique environment though, and for me it's more about having time to look after myself outside of work, than the actual pressures of time in the 'office'. Perhaps look at it that way - will you have enough work-life balance for your own physical and emotional needs during IVF?

Sorry if I'm rambling rather than helping, but it is an interesting one for us working women, so to speak! I think as long as you can stay healthy with the new job, then it will take your mind off the IVF and is probably a positive thing. smile

Let us know what you decide! X

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