Two years ago, much of May was spent fretting about having a bit of an awkward conversation with my boss.
After almost a decade of trying for a baby, my husband and I were about to have IVF.
Six rounds of clomid and three rounds of IUI – despite there being nothing medically wrong with either of us – still hadn’t resulted in a baby, so we had finally been referred to Barts, St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London.
We were lucky. This was before the cut backs the NHS is now suffering. We were entitled to up to three rounds of IVF on the NHS. We didn’t have to face decisions like donating my eggs to fund our own fertility treatment. We just had to think about us.
And that was enough.
IVF is a huge undertaking. It involves daily injections, hormone manipulation, visits to hospital every other day, internal scans, sedation for egg retrieval… and that’s just the prelim to the actual IVF process.
I’d been able to juggle our previous treatments with work. But this wasn’t going to be possible while having IVF. Hence my fretting.
It’s usual to wait until you’re 12 weeks pregnant to bother your employer with anything baby-related. But I was going to have to tell them I needed time off, at short notice, in the hope of getting pregnant. We weren’t even telling some of our closest friends, but my HR department was getting the low down. It made me feel a bit vulnerable. Like I’d suddenly stop being taken seriously because they would think my mind was on planet baby.
And if the IVF didn’t work (and there was only a 40 per cent chance it would) then would I be overlooked for opportunities at the office?
Thankfully my boss was super understanding. And I don’t think I said it at the time, but seriously, thank you.
This was first published in the Echo newspaper on Friday, May 5 2017: www.echo-news.co.uk