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Posted by leigh14 , 03 February 2011 · 1589 views

Do any of you feel like you're leading double lives? It suddenly occurred to me that this whole IVF business sometimes feels like I'm in the middle of a James Bond movie except it's not nearly as glamorous! :) Being in the midst of an IVF cycle or on the cusp of just starting or just finishing a cycle sometimes feels like a covert operation--only some people really know what is going on, and others are left wondering and guessing, or they are totally out of the loop.

So here's my deal---I'm recovering from a missed miscarriage but only some people know. I am "expected" to just carry on but the truth of the matter is that I kind of feel like I'm treading water here. This is unchartered territory for me. I don't really know how to expect to feel. I have moments of "Yay...I'm finally back to being me!" to moments of "Nobody cares that I was pregnant with twins and nobody cares how much it hurts." In short, I'm all over the place. By the way, I certainly feel that people on this community *get* it. I have had a lot of supportive messages and PM's and, for that, I'm ever thankful.

The issue for me is the outside world--ie. the world outside of this site and how they have reacted or responded to my loss. My gynecologist said that if I had a broken leg or arm that people would automatically *get* it because it is something that they see. When it is something that they don't see, it is harder for them to comprehend. My workplace has been hard. My supervisors have said that they understand but I've had mixed messages. I heard from a colleague of mine that one of my supervisors (someone I'd had a lot of respect for) complained about the time I'd missed from work. Yes, I had time off for some of my IVF but I returned virtually right away from my D & C. That hit me hard, and it hurt me. It also made me seriously start to consider my job.

In that moment of hurt I began to contemplate and plot and consider what is really important to me. I began to contemplate a switch in jobs. And that is where I find myself...on the cusp of applying to different jobs. And maybe that's not a bad thing. In a weird way, maybe getting a BFP and then miscarrying has shown me who is in my corner and who is not.

The hard part for me right now is "playing the game." Clearly, at work, the expectation is that I'm "ON." So, I smile, go in and do my thing, try to exude positivity and resilience because that's what THEY want to see. But that's not always what I'm feeling. But I can do it because there is no other choice.

I'm playing the game, presenting a facade, and I know that in time it will be okay. This is how most of my 30's have played out, by the way--huge amounts of trauma. I may seem melodramatic here but seriously I've had a Rasputin-like ability to keep bouncing back, like the cat who has 9+ lives.

I may seem a bit "low" in this entry but don't be fooled. I've done it before and I'll do it again. I will bounce back. Compartmentalization has been a saviour to me in the past and I'll use it again. But I can't help but feel that compartmentalization is duplicitous and just a coping strategy. I am coping but my efforts to avoid being seen as weak take a lot of energy on some days.

  • gibasgirl and Tracy1234 like this

Feb 04 2011 12:03 AM
Absolutely! It's such a juggling act.
((HUGS)) Us secret agents are tough folk but that doesn't mean it's always easy for us.Sending you lots of love and positive vibes! :Emoticons09710:
So true, now that you say it, it was like being a covert agent, living a double life trying to juggle work and acting normal when all you could think about was IVF or m/c. I had a boss tell me a few years ago that I seemed a little "disengaged from my work", that was around the time of my first IVF and m/c and nobody at work knew what I was going through. It is tough.
Thank you for blogging about this. I feel similarly as we have told few about our IF and ART adventures.The effect on a job can be interesting - I hope it's ok if I indulge a little about my experience.I had been working for several years in an environment that was not healthy despite the fact that I loved the work, I was tortured by working for a bad manager. In order to keep sane I had moved from full time office to part time from home work for the last two years.As my work was getting close to winding down this summer, IVF worked, but then the pregnancy failed. Around that time I had a meeting with this manager which was quite fractious. I was just sick and tired of working for this person and was struck by working under someone NOT legally trained who was not understanding a basic legal principle which was critical to the issue at hand.This manager had been aware I had had several medical issues ongoing, but not that any of them were IF related. So there I am in this meeting while carrying around a failed pregnancy - I sorta lost it and said - all of my legal training supports ..bla, bla, bla - you probably get the idea. It did not go over well.Since then the work has "dried up" despite that that Commission is badly understaffed and case work is well behind where it should be (months if not years). Meanwhile I have been out interviewing for new positions - and one interview for a job in the same area the feedback came back that my reference said I cause conflict. Thankfully the potential e'er did not believe it and was somewhat aware of the problems with the source.So - then what are the choices? - to speak to the manager about what was going on that affected that meeting? Not likely - this gal is particularly judgmental of women who have issues during pregnancy. And you know what - it's none of her business. However - how much will it continue to affect my ongoing job applications?Sorry I'm nattering on - but perhaps what I'm trying to say is that it really stopped being worth it so I hit eject. I am so glad I am out of there and looking for an environment that is healthier for me - but the residual effects of this toxic manager still touch me both personally and professionally as I try to move forward. Having experienced another failure since then has made it interesting.At times I have wished that I was stupider, or better at not letting stuff like a stupid B manager affect me, but my own integrity and the work I do has been more important than continuing to put up with crap. I suppose there will be some of that no matter where you work, but I am optimistic as I move forward that something better will present itself.I hate to repeat this - but the struggle and duplicity reminds me of something I heard Dr. Phil say some time ago:"fake it 'til you make it."Honestly - I'm faking it as fast as I can. Is it working yet?All the best to you Leigh.-kj
Feb 04 2011 04:54 PM
I'm really fortunate that I work from home so I don't have that negativity around me at all. I've told only a few people at work, one being my boss, and found out that she is a fellow "infertile" and totally understands. I've also been lucky enough to have so many people surrounding us who are completely understanding and supportive... it's truly the blessing that has come out of our miscarriage. Honestly, we probably told about 30 people, all from our church, and all people who we knew would be supportive. The one person we told who wasn't supportive was my sister and that's not a surprise... we only told her out of an obligation to do so and she was the last one to know. I think the difference in our situations though is that we never had fetal poles, just gestational sacs, so to me and my DH, they were never babies... God had taken their souls to heaven before they were ever ours and the embryos simply grew as a biological response (sort of like cancer cells do, because they were programmed to grow that way). Too, we've had many hurts in our lives so we weren't getting excited until we saw a heartbeat. That's not to say that we haven't had our share of tears but it was one or two days and I've been able to move on from it. It truly has turned out to be a positive experience for me, simply because it's shown me and my DH how loved we are. I think you need to allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling and be honest to yourself and those around you... and if those around you don't get it, then it's time to weed them from your life. I've had that lesson given to me lately too, through a Bible study I'm doing. It was based on the Vine and the branches in John 15 and one of the things God revealed to me is that while it is important that we as branches remain on the Vine (Jesus), we also need to be careful to only have other "branches" around us who will support us... if you don't have those or if there are a lot of "suckers" (like on a rosebush) then they will simply suck the life out those around them and prevent the other branches from growing well. Deep, I know, but basically a way of telling you maybe it IS time to look for a new job. You will make it through this! Big hugs.
What great responses to my blog ladies. KJbabies, thanks for sharing the story about your workplace. I never would have thought when I got into this IVF stuff that it would take over every aspect of my life--even filtering into my workplace. RainbowsPromise, thanks for sharing your story too and I really liked the lesson from the bible. How true it is! Many in my workplace HAVE been supportive although some have not. But I also decided to take a critical look at the overall tone of my workplace and how it was affecting me. So..I actually DID apply for another job today. We'll see what happens. Part of wonders if this is the time to start to look for a new job (in some ways if we're to do IVF again, it's important to keep things stable). BUT...there is also a part of me that is tired of stopping my life and giving up potential opportunities for IVF. Maybe it's just time to live a bit.
Feb 04 2011 07:13 PM
Hi leigh14,Thank you so much for this blog post. IF treatment is such a emotional and financial rollercoaster. I have told very few people in my life about my struggles since I am a very private person. It is difficult to pretend like everything is fine when you are going through a failed IVF cycle or miscarriage. At times I have said to my husband, it feels like our losses never happened since so few people know about them. Stay strong and all the best to you!
I know exactly what you mean. Athough I did not tell my boss about my last IVF cycle, she did indirectly remind me about excessive appointment times. I was really stressed about all those appointments and tried to do too much while I was at work. I m/c last April and decided to apply for a new job, new environment, new people. While I was waiting for my body to return to normal, I got a new job. I love my new job but it has definitely been stressful the last 6 months as there has and still is lots of changes to come and lots of uncertainly. The positive side to my decision is that i am not stress about appointments this cycle but the bad part is work has been very stressful the last 6 months. It took 8 months for my body to be at a place where I could start IVF again. Sometimes I do wonder, had I stayed in my old job, would things have changed. Would my body have healed faster and would my current IVF cycle be any different. I know that I will never know and am ok with it but do wonder. Not trying to put a damper on things, Just thought I give you a different perspective. Only you will know what will be right for you. Good like and all the best.Everyone deals with loss differently, this site really help me last April, thought I share. http://pregnancyloss.info/how-to-cope. sorry..not computer savy, not sure how to add the link. Also, a song by Gerrit Hofsink called "still." There's a preview of it on the preg loss site but you have to listen to the full song. I must have gone through a box of Kleenex listening to it, It pretty much summed up my thoughts and feelings during a time of darkness. You can find it on you tube. Make sure you have kleanex ready.
Feb 05 2011 12:56 AM
i'm sorry your work is not more understanding. that makes an awful situation even harder. i was curious as i read if it was reliable information you got about your supervisor. could it have been gossip or just out of context given that it was 2nd hand? if that's even possible, i hope you temper any decisions about leaving as starting a new job can be equally stressful during the ivf times.yes i had some people say stupid shit to me after my m/c at 12 wks.. but i also got a lot of compassion from people too.. i wish that compassion for you also

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