Forcing My Hand


On Tuesday my boss called me from one of our other offices and asked if I would be ok to go on a business trip in late May. She caught me off guard, and I said yes, even though I knew I should be saying no. It’s not that it would be a problem travelling because I was pregnant but I know the company wouldn’t spend the money to send me if they knew I was going to be going on mat. leave. Plus the trip would entail a cruise and cruise lines do not accept passengers after their 24th week of pregnancy. If all goes well, at the time of the trip I will be 26 weeks.

I talked to J about it Tuesday night, and told him I thought I might have to tell my boss what was going on, because otherwise I didn’t really have a good way out of the trip. I could have made something up, but in the end my boss would find out that it was really because I was pregnant and I didn’t really want to have to lie, even for good reason. He agreed that I should just go ahead and tell her, so, I resolved to speak to her Wednesday morning.

Of course she was on a conference call when I got into work yesterday so I couldn’t sneak into her office first thing before all of my coworkers were milling around. I caught her after the call, but just before she was about to go into another one (and she had one more after that). I closed the door to her office (which is in plain view of the rest of the staff) but she has a window looking into her office from the main work area so coworkers could see I was in there if they walked past.

I didn’t love that I was feeling rushed as my bosses next meeting was in 5 minutes. I sat down and told her that she caught me a bit off guard with the work trip she was suggesting and that I actually wouldn’t be able to go. She just said, “Oh, ok.” and didn’t seem like she was going to question it but I wasn’t just going to tell her I wasn’t going and not tell her why. I told her that she was inadvertently forcing my hand a bit, but that I was pregnant and that’s why I couldn’t go. I was really nervous so I don’t remember her exact reaction but I think it was something like “Oh!”. I kind of started blathering on that I hadn’t wanted to tell yet, but the situation kind of put me in a tricky situation. She gave me a hug, and asked how far along I was. I told her I was 9 weeks and somewhere in there I managed to tell her that it was a long time coming, that we had tried for 2 1/2 years and finally had to do IVF.

I don’t know that it fit into the conversation, I kind of just blurted it out. She then responded with, “Oh so there could be more than one in there!”. I told her that we knew it was just one, as we had only transferred one embryo and that we had already had an ultrasound to confirm just one heartbeat. I told her we had done IVF back in July, but hadn’t transferred until December. It then clicked for her some of the time I had taken off around my egg retrieval for a “medical procedure”. I told her I was still really nervous and wasn’t planning on telling anyone else for a little while yet and she said that was fine, and that I could tell whenever I was ready. We chatted briefly about how I was feeling, and she told me a woman from one of our other offices had done IVF and though she had a miscarriage she did end up getting her baby (mind you she was in her 40’s). I appreciated that she knew someone else who had done IVF, and I know her story was to make me feel at ease.

I never thought I’d be telling someone outside of my family so early (besides my best friend), let alone my boss but life gets in the way of plans sometimes.

In a totally different direction, my best friend came over last week to visit, and see me for the first time since I told her we were pregnant. I’m happy she’s here for me, but there still feels like a distinct difference in our relationship. Infertility has definitely driven a wedge between us, particularly because while I was trying to get pregnant she was successfully procreating. I don’t think she’s ever really “got” what I’ve gone through (of course she doesn’t because she hasn’t been through it). And now, though I know she is truly happy for me, I feel like in a small way she is happy for herself as well. It seems to me that now that I am pregnant, she expects everything I went through to fall away, and that we can finally be in the mom club together. I think she wants her friend back, and for things to be how they were before infertility turned my world upside down, but I just don’t think that’s going to happen. It’s unfortunate, but people change and grow in times of grief and suffering. Though I’m no longer currently living in infertility, it still follows me like a shadow.

So far, both my boss and my best friend have sort of dismissed my fears and worry of something going wrong by telling me that everyone is paranoid during pregnancy. I get that, clearly it’s not just pregnant infertiles that worry, but what they don’t seem to get is the amplification of my worry due to the back story of how I got here. I’m hardwired to think something, anything and everything is going to go wrong. I don’t know how to handle a successful pregnancy, I’m only familiar with handling failed fertility treatments. I’m sure this will be a recurring theme throughout pregnancy, and it’s going to be tiresome. But when I told my boss that we did IVF it felt good. And I hope to keep doing it, because I am one of millions representing the face of infertility.


13 thoughts on “Forcing My Hand

  1. My employer knew well before my family and friends that we were trying (and having significant problems) because, like you, I had no other way to explain why I couldn’t commit to certain things. In my experience, in a way, it makes life just a little bit easier because you aren’t dodging the truth whenever you are in your office.

    • It’s funny because I made it through all of my fertility treatments, embryo transfer, ect without divulging what I was up to, and then pregnancy forces me to tell early on. Murphy’s law…

  2. I have had the exact same feelings toward my best friend! It’s crazy how God reminds me I’m not alone. My best friend has had two children, one of which she conceived while I was trying to get pregnant. Her first kid was unplanned, and the second she got pregnant with in three months. So she can’t possibly understand what I’m going through. And sometimes I get mad at her for that. Not that I want her to go through this, but that she can’t relate and empathize with me. So it’s sort of put a strain on our relationship. Thanks for sharing! Nice to know that I can relate to someone. 🙂

  3. My employer also knew way before family and friends (outside of close family and you guys). I had to let them know I didn’t have surgery so I wouldn’t need the Accomodations I requested earlier. As far as still being concerned…..I have been there and it is scary. Even at almost 15 weeks I still have my moments where fear creeps in. I do think everyone gets a bit nervous during pregnancy, but it’s different for us than a fertile girl in the fertile world.

    • It’s kind of a funny circumstance that I managed to go through all number of fertility treatments and never told work what I was up to, and then a silly business trip outs my pregnancy! Oh well. And yes, pregnancy after infertility is a whole different ball of wax (in my opinion).

  4. What you said about your friend describes my experience perfectly. I had a falling out with my best friend surrounding my infertility and some other things (she got pregnant while I was in treatment). Since we adopted, she has seemed to just think all is well now and since I’m a mom I will agree with her on everything, but that’s not the case. I don’t think our relationship will ever be the same.

    • I’m starting to see that our friendship may continue to grow apart, and not get better now that I am out of the infertility trenches so to speak. I suppose that’s life, but it is unfortunate.

  5. It’s hard to explain what you’re feeling to others who have never experienced it. That’s why I love our blogging community so much! I don’t like having to explain myself and our situation to family and friends. I don’t know if I would ever tell my friends that we are starting IVF.

    It’s great to hear that your boss is supportive!! I worry about what to tell my employer when I start disappearing for appointments!

    Congratulations! xo

    • It’s a truly impossible task, but I would like to hope I can instil a grain of understanding in the people around me. And it’s interesting because while we were going through fertility treatments and IVF I would never have told anyone but now that we are pregnant I feel like it’s an important part of our journey and I want people to know.

      Hopefully you can find a way to balance work and IVF so they don’t interfere with each other (too much).

      • Thank you! I hope so too!! I do think it’s important to start conversations about infertility. But unfortunately it’s still such an uncomfortable topic for so many people. Once they look uncomfortable, then I start getting awkward, then it just spirals! LOL

  6. My boss saw me eating saltines and drinking ginger ale A LOT at my desk since I was so nauseous, and she asked me about it. I was only about 9 weeks too and not planning on sharing for awhile, but it was also nice for her to know. But I did feel like my hand was forced a bit too. Good luck with everything!

    • Ha ha, I’m surprised none of my coworkers have noticed anything. I am constantly eating pretzels, or almonds, at my desk. I think I still won’t be telling the rest of my office for sometime if I can help it though!

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