Post # 1
- Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY
Have any of you balanced pursuing fertility treatment with starting a new job? I’m leaving an incredibly toxic work environment that I’ve been in for almost 2.5 years for what seems to be an amazing office to work in at another large institution starting in June. The job is very similar to the work I’m doing now, but any new job will have a learning curve. It’s also better pay and I get to keep my awesome state benefits, which include infertility coverage. Yay! Because we have a severe form of infertility that requires ICSI/IVF.
I’ve had all of my preliminary testing done and if we have usable sperm from my husband’s biopsy next month, then we’ll essentially have the green light to get my egg retrieval started for IVF. As you may know, IVF will require some flexibility with the monitoring appointments and the actual egg retrieval, putting back embryo(s), etc.. So I’m a bit hesitant to jump right into it now that I have to prove myself with a new employer. Now this is me totally putting the cart before the horse, because there very well may not be any sperm found next month. But I’m just interested to hear any stories of balancing a new job and treatment. Did you move forward? Put it on pause? I’ve heard of how some people talk about women who get pregnant early on in a job and it’s almost always poorly received, unfortunately. I’m hoping to feel things out in the first few months and be able to decide from there when the timing will be right.
Post # 2
No experience in this, but best of luck for you!
Post # 3
I don’t have experience, but wish you all the luck in the world! Remember, it’s possible to be honest without providing details that you’re uncomfortable with. “Hey boss! I wanted to give you the heads up that due to some minor health concerns, I’m going to need to go to some appointments over the next month or two, and the doctors are notorious for scheduling things fairly last minute. I’ll make sure to let you know as soon as I do when I’ll need to be out. What is the best way for me to handle the leave/make-up for these appointments?”
FWIW, I’d never put my family plans on hold for a job. If you get the goahead, put yourself and your family first, since even the most generous and kind employer wouldn’t hesitate to lay off or replace an employee they loved.
Post # 4
I switched jobs 8 months into TTC, started fertility treatment soon after, and I gave birth around my 2 year work anniversary. My clinic does monitoring appointments between 7-8am so that you get in and out and to the office on time (they are super fast appointments). For my retrieval I told my boss that I had a procedure scheduled but that I was also on the cancellation list so I might call out sooner if an appointment opened up. That was my work-around for the fact that you only have 48 hours notice for when your retrieval will be. One of the female partners I worked with guessed it was IVF since she had done it too but she kept my secret. We’re gearing up for a FET this summer and I’m just going to say nothing and call out sick that day. You may also luck out and get it on a weekend! My transfer back was a Saturday morning so I didn’t need more time off.
You have no idea when you will get pregnant unfortunately. Don’t put your life on hold. You’re still in the testing phase so realistically you won’t actually start treatment for another 2 months, and then the actual cycle takes several weeks, and then if it works on the first try you have 40ish weeks of pregnancy. At this rate you’ll have been at the new job at least a year before you give birth so I’d vote for full steam ahead.
Post # 5
Definitely bring up needing some flexibility to go to doctor appointments to help your supervisor manage things, but otherwise, don’t put your life on hold for any job!
Unfortunately, there will always be people in the work place who are judgemental of a woman’s decision to get pregnant. You can’t let that dictate your family planning.
One thing you may want to look into, though, is your maternity leave benefits. At my current job, they don’t kick in until after 1 year of employment.
Post # 6
I just wanted to say if you are in the US make sure you check into any maternity benefits prior to accepting a job. Unfortunately a lot of companies use FMLA as “maternity leave” which you aren’t eligible for until you work there for a year. No other advice as I’m not a parent or TTC but just wanted to give some food for thought! Good luck
Post # 7
- Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY
I appreciate that, thank you!
Thank you for that reassurance. I’ve talked with some of my mentors in the field about family planning (without mentioning the IVF part) and they have the same attitude – do what’s right for you and your family. Of course they said to feel out the work environment first, but that I’ll have plenty of time to prove myself should I get pregnant right away. How my relationship with my supervisor develops will determine how open I am with what’s going on. I’d never tell my current supervisor anything more than, “I have a doctor’s appointment” or that I had a medical procedure the day I got my HSG. But she blabs everyone’s business and can’t be trusted with information. I definitely don’t want to put things on hold and especially not my husband, because he’s already getting a late start in terms of becoming a parent.
I think that giving birth at the 2 year mark is excellent timing because you were able to prove yourself in those two years. I like the way you phrased things for your excuse, I may borrow that! lol I definitely don’t want to put our lives on hold… I feel like I’ve been stuck in limbo for quite some time, especially after learning that we couldn’t conceive naturally. I’m curious about any additional testing that would come next as I’ve already had my blood work, baseline ultrasound, and HSG. Our RE made it seem like all we need is sperm now and then we can get my IVF cycle started. But that will be the big determining factor of whether or not we can move forward. We won’t know until mid June. Thank you for sharing your experience!
I asked about flexibility when I was negotiating things and it sounds like I’ll have it, which is great. My state recently passed Paid Family Leave and my union negotiated it into our contract so I am eligible for it after working 26 weeks. For some reason the FMLA policy isn’t spelled out as clearly on the HR website but I think you have to have worked for a year by the start date. Either way, I’ll have savings, PTO banked, and we have our own short-term disability policy so I’ll be able to take some combination of paid and unpaid time off.
^ Being the planner that I am, I definitely accounted for all of that. Thank you!
Post # 8
I don’t have personal experience with IVF and a new job but my advice would be to be upfront about some medical appointments that you may have in the next few months and that while you’ll try to schedule around work, some may not be able to be planned outside of work hours/far in advance. They should be able to accomodate that, and there’s no need to be any more specific.
I’d also ask the clinic about their general policies. Obviously, you’ll be out on egg retrieval day for the full day, but all my monitoring appts were before work hours (clinic started appts at 6:30) and I never felt uncomfortable enough during stims to not come to work. Transfer was another non-flexible time, but I could have went in to work that day before and after if I needed/wanted to.
Post # 9
IVF is a very long process. I would not put anything on hold. While it would be great if it worked the first time, most people require more than 1 round to get pregnant so it’s possible you wouldn’t be having a baby for well after you’ve been there for a year. Plus, the process of IVF is much longer than you expect. From start to finish, it can be up to 8 weeks for priming and retrieval. I am doing my 5th round in June despite being, on paper, an “easy” case so I would prepare yourself for the long haul just in case.
Post # 10
I don’t know about starting a new job, but I was able to do 8 retreivals and 5 transfers without my work having a clue what was going on. Monitoring was done either early morning before work or during lunch, so all was normal for the most time consuimg part. Retreivals require a day off, but it was pretty easy to say “something came up” and I need the day off, or it happen to fall on a weekend anyways. For the transfer, that was typically in the morning so I just “had a doctors appointment” and came in afterwards, or it was on a weekend, or if it was frozen, my doctor timed it for me to fall on a weekend.
I wouldn’t put anything on hold for a job, other than maybe 3-4 months if you need the 1 year at a job to quality for FMLA if that matters to you. Other than that, I think personal life always trumps job.
Post # 11
I would just make sure you’re employed there for a year so you can be covered by FMLA, if applicable.
Post # 12
I can’t speak to IVF or American mat leave, but I got pregnant very shortly after starting a new job. I was terrified to tell my boss but she has been absolutely amazing. You never know how people will react, so I hope your new boss is as good as mine.
Post # 13
it probably depends on your protocol, but after all the testing was done I had to wait for my next period to begin birth control for a couple weeks and then start stims. And while I REALLY hope you get lucky on the first shot like I did, I know a few couples that didn’t get pregnant until their 3rd or 4th transfer which would push you further out. I actually had planned on not getting any maternity benefits and I didn’t care – I just got lucky that it took so long to get pregnant that I did lol. If you aren’t going to be covered by FMLA see if your state has their own provision. I live in MA and you only have to be employed for 3 months to have 8 weeks of job protection.
Post # 14
- Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY
Thank you for sharing your experience! I believe that our clinic works the same way with early morning monitoring appointments because I was able to get my baseline ultrasound and blood work done very early (I think I had a 7am appointment) and got to work by 8:30. My new job is actually closer to the clinic, which is great too!
I feel like everything around TTC for us has been a long process. So many setbacks and delays. My husband was already supposed to have had his surgery and biopsy but that got pushed back. Right now I’m just hoping that we even have a chance since our infertility diagnosis is kind of difficult to treat… for my own mental wellbeing, I can’t think about going through all of this and it not working right now. I know it’s a possibility but I’m not there yet.
Thank you for sharing your experience! I think that waiting at least 3 months is the way to go. The summer time is a bit quieter for our industry. It would be great if we could do the egg retrieval process over the summer but then hold off on the transfer until later this year after more time has passed. You’re so right, our personal life and marriage are much more important, but I do need to work. If anything, that’s a plus because I’m definitely coming back after maternity leave lol
Thank you, I’ve already considered that and will be lucky to have Paid Family Leave too.
That is SO amazing! I’ve only heard wonderful things about my supervisor and we’ve had great interactions, so I look forward to getting to know her better. She has two children herself, one is going off to college and the other will be soon. The assistant director has a toddler so that’s a good sign… They all seem family oriented. Fingers crossed!
I see! It’s so interesting to see the different protocols. But I guess the longer it takes, the better in our case, kinda. I can only hope to be lucky but you just never know. Our RE is confident because everything on my end is perfect but we know that it’s totally unpredictable. I know we have an FMLA policy but the HR page is vague about it. I plan on sitting down with them at some point to talk about everything.
Post # 15
I started a new job and knew I was going to need fertility treatments. I gave myself 4 months to get through all my job training then I was just honest with my boss. I mean I didnt give her all the details but basically told her we were doing fertility treatments and would need some flexible scheduling. She was super understanding and I’m so glad I told her bc we had a tough go of it. Started with iui and that didnt work so she was super supportive when I started ivf. She even helped me cover for me with my coworkers saying I had family stuff and would be working from home etc. No one questioned it! It was just easier for me to be honest! I have a daughter now and no one in my office knows I did ivf accept for one coworker who I am super close with. Good luck with whatever you chose!!!