Support for the journey and impact on work
I have a very large, supportive family and I did talk to my family, they all knew about the process that I was going through and I felt very comfortable being able to express how I was feeling along the way with my family and I think from talking to other people along the way I think that’s possibly, you know, that’s a very lucky position to be in because I know that I’ve spoken to some women who don’t feel comfortable sharing it with even their family and particularly with their in-law’s family but in my case I felt that it was important that everybody knew where we were at. Having said that I definitely didn’t extend it outside the family and I didn’t want anybody to know who I wasn’t in control of telling myself. So very close friends knew what was happening. No one at work knew what was happening.
I found work an extremely stressful environment because I felt like if I revealed the fact that I was trying to conceive then somehow that would affect my career development and I didn’t want that to be the case but further along in the journey I actually found that telling a few select people at work was actually really helpful and I actually felt like a huge burden had been lifted off my shoulders because I actually shared where I was at emotionally and you know, I mean the way that IVF works, it’s a cliché to say that it’s a rollercoaster but it is a rollercoaster.
You are on an absolute high when you have produced embryos that are viable and they are implanted and you have the positive belief that perhaps that could become a pregnancy and then in my case when it actually does become a pregnancy you know it’s just an amazingly euphoric and positive place to be and then you have the other side of it when it doesn’t become a pregnancy or when it becomes a pregnancy and that pregnancy is not viable which also happened to me and the sense of loss and the sense of disappointment or if you have a stimulated cycle that doesn’t produce any viable embryos the disappointment is so great and so personal and so inappropriate I guess in a way to be sharing at work but affects every inch of your being and of course you bring it to the workplace as much as you try so hard and so stoically, you know like I did, to prevent it impacting in the work environment. Of course it’s going to and even the hormones that you are taking can make you feel hormonal and you know, I liken it to being in a constant state of PMS and that can impact. For me it definitely did impact on my work and I actually work with children as well, children and families so that sort of was another I guess you know aspect of how difficult it was and when I finally did open up to people at work or select people at work, I just found that I really gained some support and some understanding, particularly from the women. I mean I did only tell women that were in my workplace and some real sensitivity about how I might be feeling and some real support and some care.