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Miscarriage/pregnancy loss

Miscarriage and work

11 replies

Dottydadoo · 09/05/2014 12:49

I've had confirmation that I am miscarrying this morning. I think I am 8-9 weeks and I've been bleeding all week but carrying on as normal as I'm not in any pain yet.

I don't want work to know that I'm miscarrying for a variety of reasons - did anyone keep this from work and what did you tell them? I was thinking of passing it off as gyno problems. I did have another miscarriage late last year which they knew about so I could put it down to that?

I'm not sure how long I'm going to need off - I thought I see how things go this weekend but I do have the option of medical management next week as well.

I know it ridiculous but at the moment, I'm having trouble processing what's happening to me because I'm so worried about this. It's not that they won't be understanding, in fact my manager is lovely but I don't want them thinking that I'm planning another pregnancy.

OP posts:
polkadotdelight · 09/05/2014 12:52

Im so sorry this is happening to you. If you tell work about the miscarriage they can't use any sickness leave to discriminate against you as its pregnancy related. You could say it was a suprise pregnancy in that case or just make up a gynae problem like fibroids or unexplained bleeding that you have had procedures for. I hope you are ok.

Shallan · 09/05/2014 13:02

Hi, I'm so sorry for your two losses. I didn't tell work - similar reasons to you - and my Gp was very understanding and just wrote a note saying I was ill with no details.

Fishandjam · 09/05/2014 13:12

I'm sorry that this is happening to you. I had a m/c 3 years ago and I did tell work, mainly because I wasn't sure what was going to happen and I didn't want to not tell the truth, IYSWIM?

Plus I started by thinking I'd let nature take its course, but then I got a bit panicky about how long it would take and when things might happen (I was bleeding a little and the hormone levels had confirmed a non-viable pregnancy, but not much was happening and I had a toddler at home to look after on the days I didn't work). So I ended up going for a confirmatory scan and then having an ERPC.

I was in and out of the office rather than simply staying off sick, so if I hadn't given a decent explanation it would have looked odd. Also, I work in a very close-knit team and I knew my colleagues would be understanding. It may be that your work situation is different.

Though you know that it is absolutely none of your work's business even if you are planning another pregnancy?

squizita · 09/05/2014 13:24

Similar to Fish I have always told work. It was difficult but in the end worked out very helpfully: after one of my MCs there were complications involving weekly oncology blood tests (very rare!) and had I made anything up, it would have been obvious.

Then I had many appointments at the recurrent MC clinic. Again, as they were appointments so I showed my letter to get it booked off paid, it would have been a bit obvious had I lied.

The best way to state it on a sick form without saying it out-and-out is "emergency gynecology surgery". Because it's true, but not specific.

Metalhead · 09/05/2014 13:51

I'm sorry you're going through this OP. I had an erpc after mmc in February and I didn't tell my boss, I just said I had to have minor surgery and needed two days off.

It helped that I only work 3 days a week though and I felt physically fine after the op. Not sure what I'd have done with a full time job, or if I'd needed more time off. I'm sure if you have an undemanding GP they could sign you off for something vague though.

JBrd · 09/05/2014 15:10

So sorry that you find yourself in this awful position.

Would it be a bad thing that your work knows about you are planning on another pregnancy? If you have had already one mc, they will probably expect that you might want to try again at some point... They cannot use this against you.

I have also always told work about my mcs - like others have said, they will be far less inclined to give you any grief about taking as much time off as you need. For my first mc, I ended up having nearly 4 weeks off, and my work have been more than accommodating.
It might also help when you go back to work - they will be careful with your workload and listen to your feedback regarding how you are coping.

Can you only tell your line manager and HR? No real need for anyone else to know, so that should keep it to a minimum.
Don't underestimate people's capacity for empathy and compassion, even at work, you might be pleasantly surprised - I received a huge bunch of flowers from my work when I had my last mc.

And from a more practical point of view - if you tell work about your mc, you won't need a sick note from your GP... One less thing to think about.

Dottydadoo · 09/05/2014 16:36

Thanks for your responses everyone. I don't think that we're going to try to get pregnant after this so I just didn't want the wrong impression to get out.
Perhaps the easiest thing is going to be to come clean. I can't lie very well and I'll probably make the whole thing look unnesscessarily suspect!

OP posts:
Wantohope · 09/05/2014 19:31

A bit jealous on all those who can tell work Blush

I would never dare. I know they can't use it to discriminate against me as it is pregnancy related, but I should be very naive to believe they really would not.

I was actually asked, during the interview (by the CEO for that matter) if I had any plans to have any children soon Shock I looked at him puzzled and he said "oh, you know, we are very family orientated here". As if...

I wish I worked in a place were I trusted them enough to tell them about my mc, that would really be a healthy work environment.

I hate lying and I'm really not good at it. But last September when I had my first mc I said I had a gastro issue (GP suggested that) and blamed it on a bug I must have picked up in a recent SE Asia holiday. I took 5 working days off.

This time I had to tell them I have a cyst and I need to have it removed ?! My line manager said she was surprised and finds it odd that I require this surgery so sudden, with a 2 week notice. I'll rather have her suspecting me for something she can only try and guess.

It is also something very personal and even if I could trust them I am not sure I would feel comfortable talking about it with people that I only share a strictly work relationship.

I've read about others who came clean at work and then were no longer considered for promotions and had responsibilities shifted to other colleagues. I wouldn't want to risk it especially when we have no idea of how things will turn up next time.

But in an ideal work environment you should feel comfortable with being open about it. I wish you good luck!

Dottydadoo · 11/05/2014 14:16

Well, I think everything happened last night and it's the worst over. Am I bonkers for considering going back to work tomorrow and saying not a lot?

Physically I know things will start to get better now but it was the emotions that got me last time.

OP posts:
JBrd · 11/05/2014 15:47

As you say, it's the emotional side that might catch you out... How are you feeling? Do you think you could get through a work day? Stay focussed enough for people not to notice (if you don't want to tell anyone)?

It's a tough one - I have always been quite cautious about not going back to work too early because if I did, it just would make things worse. If you don't count the first one, where I had about 4 weeks off (due to secondary infections etc), I have usually had 10-14 days off work for my miscarriages, and this has been right for me.

But everyone is different. Work can be a good distraction, if you manage to get stuck in, stay focussed and get on with it - but this really depends on you. Don't push yourself too hard, this is not the time to be tough on yourself.

Fruli · 13/05/2014 15:04

I worked throughout mine (7/40), I was on call the long weekend and had no pain, so just kept going - worst of it was on my days off the following week. Didn't tell anyone at the time, would have feigned ignorance had I have become unwell. I find work enjoyable and a good distraction, I would have been miserable at home all day and would have felt terrible letting the team be a man down.

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