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How to deal with work when you don't want them to know?

(8 Posts)
mishmash24 Wed 02-Sep-09 17:18:26

I feel so conflicted and confused at the moment, my head just can't deal with it!

I had my first MMC last week. An early scan (10wks) following light bleeding showed that the baby has stopped growing at around 6.5 weeks. The actual MC started on Thursday. Physically I think I'm probably up to going back into work now, but mentally I feel far from it.

I really can't face the idea of all the questions and don't know how I will respond to them, I don't want work to know we were planning a family as I know I'll start to be sidelined and will hate the feeling that everyone is waiting for me to announce the next pregnancy. At the moment all my boss knows is that its 'women's problems' and as he's male I was hoping he wouldn't ask me for any more details but I'm fairly sure everyone else will.

I saw a Dr at my local GP surgery today and she was very unsympathetic, made me feel bad for asking for a medical certificate at all, let alone asking if she could use any other phrase on it than miscarriage. She actually said she wouldn't 'lie' for me. I came away in tears, wish I'd waited to see my usual Dr.

My only choice is to work tomorrow when I don't feel up to it, or use a medical certificate that will give away alot more information than I want it to and lead to alot more questions than I think I can cope with.

It's just more pressure and turmoil for my already very woozy head to try and deal with. I could really use some advice on how to deal with this - what can I say to stop the questions in their tracks? I'm just dreading it - how do you get through that first day back?

shyla01 Wed 02-Sep-09 17:24:21

hello mishmash

firstly im very sorry for your loss.

i haven't any probs with work when i previously mc'd but my boss has always known about my pg's quite early on.

as for your gp i would recommend changing asap! no way should you be treated this way.

with regards to the certificate, your gp can just say gynae probs.

even though i have never needed a sicknote for my mc related leave, all of my sick forms in work just state 'on-going gynae problems'

this is the last thing that you need to be dealing with right now. your gp should be ashamed of herself.

hope you start feeling better soon. take care of yourself as best you can. hope you have good support in rl.

xx

Mouette Wed 02-Sep-09 17:40:08

I'm so sorry for your loss. I would seriously consider telling the boss, but no one else - you might find him to be a lot more sympathetic than you think and I'm sure he won't ask any questions. I found when I lost my baby that having told my boss was beneficial, because she fielded questions from other people and was very understanding when I needed time off for follow up appointments.
(BTW they have no right to sideline you because of a pregnancy).
However it's entirely up to you - my boss when she had a mc herself didn't want to tell anyone, so she said she had a urinary infection. You could go to work, stay a couple of hours, say you're feeling unwell, then go home and get a certificate from your usual GP saying you have had gynaecological problems. Returning to work is hard - when I went back I couldn't stop crying, but it progressively got better. I just tried to focus on the job. Doing stuff was better i found than sitting at home alone. I wish you all the best! xx

mishmash24 Wed 02-Sep-09 18:09:43

Thank you Shyla and Mouette for your kind words and support. Its just so comforting to hear from people who actually know how you're feeling, no-one around me quite gets it and thinks I'm putting work before myself and my health. I'm not, I'm just frightened about how it will play out and how I will fare when I'm feeling so vulnerable.

I've only been working with my boss for a couple of months so I can't be sure how sympathetic he would be, he's already made some 'jokes' last week about having no contingency for sick leave in our plans so it doesn't bode well. I am also being considered for promotion at year end and the sad fact is that if there is an inkling I'll be disappearing on maternity leave at some point next year then this will impact on my chances. I know work shouldn't be important at the moment but like you Mouette, if I can just get over this first hurdle I think focusing on the job will help me through this, it has helped my through some really bad times in the past.

I'm kicking myself for not being more assertive with the Dr I saw today, I wouldn't shy away from it normally, but I just don't feel myself at the moment and feel I shouldn't have been put in the position where I needed to argue my case!

I think I'm going to opt for working from home tomorrow and make my first contact with people by phone which might be a little easier to deal with than face to face.

Habbibu Wed 02-Sep-09 18:23:14

Do you have an HR department? You should be able to inform them directly - medical information is confidential, and you should be allowed just to tell HR.

So sorry for your loss.

shyla01 Wed 02-Sep-09 18:24:54

mishmash just do whatever feels best for you. i didnt have the option of working from home but it does sound like a good way of easing yourself back in.

your right that work shouldnt be the most important thing right now but the sad fact is that that life goes on after mc and we still have to consider thing like work and promotions etc. after my 1st mc i ended up staying home from work for about 2 weeks in all. tried going back a few times but just couldnt face it. but i defo think the longer you leave it the harder it can be.

just remember that everyone is different and mc affect people in very different ways.

i am currently going through my 4th mc and each one has affected me very differently.

starkadder Wed 02-Sep-09 19:56:53

HI mishmash. I found that going back to work helped a bit actually - took my mind off it - but I am also lucky in that I can work from home. I took one day off for the D&C but it was Friday so I had the weekend to recover. I haven't told work what happened with any of my MCs - I just told them that I had to have a hospital procedure and would be out of the office for a day.

I also did not want to tell them as I think it's true that if you mark yourself out as someone aiming to get pregnant and be on maternity leave, you're treated differently. Plus, my bosses are all men, all American and mostly childless, and I don't want to be the token woman who's obsessed with babies - it's bad enough that I already work part time because of DS (no more promotions for me, I think!)

I think I am lucky in that I have been with the company long enough that they trust me not to be taking the p*ss and in that I can work from home if I want to. I have also been concentrating on very boring work which needs to be done but which does not require much brain power (since I have none of that at the moment).

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Definitely don't tell them if you don't want to and be easy on yourself if you do go back - just get the necessary done and give yourself some leeway. You can catch up in a few days when your head is better.

Mouette Wed 02-Sep-09 20:04:02

Working from home sounds like a very good solution. Hopefully your usual GP should be able to provide you with a medical certificate if you need one that doesn't state mc. In my cie you don't have to provide a sick note unless you've been off for a least a week, and the line managers don't see it, we send it straight to HR, but every cie is different. Speaking to HR could be a good idea, but perhaps you don't want them to know, either.
Hang on in there - just take it one day, one hour at a time. I found that working helped because a) it forced me to think about other things b) I got a sense of achievement from doing some work - even just completing a report or sending an e-mail was a small victory, proof that I could carry on functioning. The last thing I needed was problems at work.
Just to explain: I lost my first baby last year at 17 weeks - everybody knew I was pregnant because I was so far gone. People at first did not seem too sympathetic but that was because they didn't know what to say. Then I got pregnant again and was very moved by how supportive everyone was - it was a difficult pregnancy, I had to take a lot of time off, but colleagues covered for me and bosses never complained. I now have a beautiful son. I hope things work out for you too. xx

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