Time off work - is this ok?

(22 Posts)
Levithecat Thu 21-Apr-16 16:18:40

It looks like I've had a missed miscarriage at 9 weeks. I've had two scans done, the hospital want to do one more next week just to be sure (!) and have also booked me in for surgical management a few days later. I really don't feel up to work (university lecturer) and I was thinking of asking for two weeks off--a week pre surgery (partly because I'm prettified of miscarrying at work two hours from home), and a week after. This feels over the top but I'm not sure what's normal (people don't seem to take sick leave in my department!).
Can I ask for reassurance from those who've been here, either that it's fine to want time off or that actually I might be better at work?! And finally, if I want time off do I see my GP for a sick note?

Thanks in advance

Kr1stina Thu 21-Apr-16 16:29:09

I'm sorry for your loss and I can understand that you are upset and stressed.

But in all honesty I think you are unreasonable to expect to have a week off work before what is ( physically ) a very minor operation. I had a slightly more intrusive procedure on a Friday and went back to work on Monday . I'm assuming that most of your job is desk based , it's not like your job is physical .

Practically , wouldn't you just get more upset sitting at home thinking about it ?

You are fortunate enough to to have a job with a lot of flexibility, so I'd just take a couple of days off sick ( the day of the op and the next day ) and then try to arrange a few less busy days at work .

Do you have a lot of teaching at this time of year ?

If y are just taking two or three days off you might be able to self certify, it depends on your contract .

There's a reason that people in your job don't take time off sick which is that it's very competitive .

Primaryteach87 Thu 21-Apr-16 16:29:14

I had a miscarriage which didn't require surgery. I had three weeks off in the end (after I came back too soon and my boss sent me home, bless her). I think two weeks it totally reasonable and also okay if you need more. It is counted as a pregnancy related sickness and so cannot be used against you. Also if you work for someone/where decent they will realise it's pretty awful time and be sympathetic.

Primaryteach87 Thu 21-Apr-16 16:31:39

Totally disagree with previous poster. Miscarriage is very hard emotionally and waiting for a miscarriage to start is not a suitable mental place to be a work for many people.

chelle792 Thu 21-Apr-16 16:32:59

Personally I would take the time off. I took a week after and felt when I went back that it was too soon. It was my choice though as I'm self employed. Tell your line manager - you need to look after yourself emotionally as well as physically

Heirhelp Thu 21-Apr-16 16:33:49

Take as long as you need to get stable emotionally.

You can aelf certify for 5 days but then you will need a sick note from GP. I sorted mine by telephone appointment. In terms of your sick record it will be classed as pregnancy related so can't be used as part of reducdancy criteria.

FuzzyOwl Thu 21-Apr-16 16:36:06

Sorry for your loss and totally disagree with Kr1stina. The physical side of things is almost irrelevant as it is all about how you will feel emotionally. I have had a mmc and also expected to miscarry naturally in the meantime. It is a horrible, horrible experience and I couldn't think of anything worse to happen to me in the workplace.

I found physical recovery from surgical management to be fine but everyone is different. Emotional recovery from any miscarriage is tough. Thinking of you.

Tollygunge Thu 21-Apr-16 16:41:07

I had two days off post procedure and I also work in same type job as you. Personally, there's no way I'd risk miscarrying at work possibly while teaching. I have also had another natural miscarriage at ten weeks and it was painless, not even like a heavy period just lasted for a while so don't be scared of it. Hope you recover well

Levithecat Thu 21-Apr-16 16:43:15

Thank you all so very much. I feel a bit of a fraud at the moment because it's more the emotional strain (I'm so tired and struggling to concentrate) and the awful thought of miscarrying at work before surgery.

I think the surgery will be relatively easy to recover from physically but yes, the emotional side is something else. I could work from home (no doubt I'll still do emails) but I don't want to promise anything and then feel pressure or disappoint people.

Thank you, and sorry for the typo in my OP (prettified?!) X

Minkypinky Thu 21-Apr-16 16:47:08

I'm sorry for your loss. I was in the same situation and took two weeks off, including the week before surgery for the same reasons as you. I did actually start micarrying a few days before surgery (it wasn't complete so I still had the procedure) and it would have been horrific to go through that at work. So I think you are completely sensible. Afterwards I was fine physically but it is important to take a bit of time to recover mentally as well.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Thu 21-Apr-16 16:48:09

I had a mmc 2 years ago and ended up taking 5 weeks off. 1 week between finding out and having surgery then a further 4 weeks because I bled very heavily and had complications but tbh emotionally I couldn't of coped for the first couple of weeks. I work with children and just didn't have the energy to cope plus my bosses were very unsympathetic and made me feel guilty for even having the time off for surgery which caused me to have anxiety about going back.

I lost my daughter due to her being born prematurely in December and I had 4 weeks off (2 of those were pre planned anyway as I only work term time). Her funeral was on the Friday and I went back to work on the Monday. I have a new job now and my boss was lovely and very understanding which made it so much easier. I also have a 1 year old son now so I had to just get on with things to some degree.

Take as long as you need

Levithecat Thu 21-Apr-16 16:50:21

I am so, so sorry for everyone else's losses, thank you for sharing flowers

fairgroundsnack Thu 21-Apr-16 17:00:35

I'm so sorry for your loss. I think 2 weeks is absolutely reasonable. I think the surgery is usually done under general anaesthetic and you are usually advised to take a week off after that in any case (although I know some people manage to go back sooner). But if you need longer to deal with the emotional side you should absolutely take it and not feel bad about it at all.

NapQueen Thu 21-Apr-16 17:03:31

If I knew or strongly suspected that I was awaiting a miscarriage no way would I be at work. I had one, and only had a day of notice that it was happening and it was the most agonising non-labour pain I've know. I was pinned to my bed.

I took two weeks sick off afterwards and had real physical pain, similar to the post birth pains with dd, as well as the emotional difficulties. I then had a weeks annual leave (which was booked in anyways).

Take the time. And take more if you need.

Jsy123 Thu 21-Apr-16 19:29:20

I'm sorry for your loss. I've been on your shoes but I had a scan at 11 weeks and found no heartbeat and then was able to have a ERPC the next day so didn't have a long wait (thankfully). I only had a few days off work mainly because my husband thought I would fall apart at home on my own and work would serve as a distraction. It did but I have an office job and for my first week back they sat me in an office on my own so that I could do my work at my own pace and have some privacy (I was very teary). If I had your job, I definitely would have needed longer because as a lecturer you have to speak in front on your students and that will require you putting a brave face on, something that you may struggle to do given all the emotions you are no doubt feeling.

So yes, it's totally normal to have time off and I think the amount of time depends on a woman's emotional state and the kind of job she has and like I said, in your case I think two weeks is more than reasonable.

Take care of yourself - the sadness never really leaves you but it definitely becomes less raw over time.

Bonbonelperro Thu 21-Apr-16 19:32:55

I'm really sorry for your loss. I agree with most of the posters who have said two weeks is absolutely reasonable. I had a mmc at 9 weeks recently and after finding out at the scan there was no way I could have gone into work whilst waiting for the surgery. I had a week off whilst waiting and then a week off after the surgery, I got a sick note for the second week which the GP was happy to give me. Wishing you all the best.

nailsathome Thu 21-Apr-16 20:53:16

I had an mmc 6 weeks ago. I had a week off before whilst waiting to miscarry and 2 weeks after. Take whatever time you need

Iggi999 Thu 21-Apr-16 22:14:10

I've been signed off for two weeks, could have had more but felt I had to go back sometime. I found it very hard to cope with work. GP signed me off no problem - although I could've had a week self certified, it was mentally easier for me to get the doctor's note.

GinandJag Thu 21-Apr-16 22:23:50

I don't think two weeks is unreasonable but it may not be the best.

If you are bleeding but haven't actually miscarried, then there is a case for bed rest (this was the advice when I was going through the same 25 years ago). I had my scan within a few days of the bleeding starting and they confirmed that the pregnancy was not viable. I was whisked up to gynae for a D&C - wasn't even allowed to go home for my nightie.

I think that was a Thursday and I was back at work on the Monday. I was fairly fragile physically (bleeding), but nothing more than a bad period. I didn't get it together emotionally until I was pregnant again (3 months later). What helped emotionally was everyone being matter of fact about it. There would have been nothing to gain by staying at home for another week. Getting back to normal was the best advice.

TheMightyMing Thu 21-Apr-16 22:28:18

I'm sorry for your loss Levi. I'd say there is no set time, just do what feels right for you. Everyone deals with these things differently and that's absolutely fine. Hugs xxxx

Iggi999 Fri 22-Apr-16 08:09:10

Not everyone can get back to normal though, especially in a performance role like lecturing. You can't just go to the toilet any time you're having a wobble, you are on display. OP, some people take a month, some people take a day. Don't be influenced by us just do what you can cope with at the time.

Levithecat Fri 22-Apr-16 11:59:17

Thank you all for helping me trust my feelings and not get too caught up in oughts or shoulds...
My line manager has been great and we've agreed that I can just do whatever work I want from home, but no pressure. It's a weight off my mind.
Thank you all and again, so, so sorry for everyone's own losses. X

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