A few months ago, after miscarriage number 4, I attempted to resign from my company (see that post here). However, my employer rejected my resignation a few months ago, and instead asked me to go on a medical leave because I’m just such an awesome employee and they didn’t want to lose me. So, I obliged. My medical leave was turned down effective last week (with no notice), which means my income has now completely stopped.
So, my company was seemingly very supportive of my family situation and wanted to give me the time I needed. And they still are, but in a much different way now that my short term medical leave was denied by their insurance provider – apparently recurrent pregnancy loss and the mental health consequences does not count as a reason to require short term disability.
My doctor really thought I’d get approved for short-term disability, so we thought we had about another month before we’d have to make a decision about my future employment. Options included resigning, long term unpaid leave of absence or going back to work either part time or full time. Since we thought we had some time, we were not focusing on this decision right now because as great as my employer has been regarding my family situation and medical needs during each miscarriage, for a number of other reasons they cause me a great deal of stress.
So, why does my employer cause me so much stress? I’m used to working extensive overtime (i.e working about 70 hours a week while only being paid for 40); they treat me horribly (i.e. give me a promotion, but then take it away the next day because someone in another office is jealous); rather than hiring a replacement for a maternity leave position, ask/tell me to take on their job, in addition to my existing insane workload; expect unachievable deadlines from both internal managers and clients to be met; do not provide additional staff support when I’ve requested it, but hire someone to support the group the second I went on medical leave, because they couldn’t possibly do all my work; the company is disrespectful and dismissive of opinions if they do not match exactly what the corporate culture is; etc. It’s really not a good place to work for someone like me who has integrity and no longer wants to be a modern day corporate slave.
So, now that we were forced to consider our alternatives a little bit earlier than initially planned, we made a decision and put it into effect.
I’m done. I quit. It’s over. I’m out.
Yes, that’s right, after months of indecision, debate, confusion, frustration, and discussions, I finally did it.
I did not back down, I held my own, and it was actually relatively easy. The seemingly understood. They want me back when I’m ready to come back. It could be once we have a healthy child, or even if we make it through the first trimester and want to return to work. They will leave it up to me, but made it perfectly clear that I have a job with them, whenever I want it.
While they were nice about it and I left on good terms, I just know regardless of what happens with our future family, that company was not the right place for me. I know that I must find a career that is meaningful, enjoyable, and is in a respectful and healthy environment. And I need to balance my search for that career with my recovery and our next attempt.
And, now, I need to focus on:
- Dealing with my guilt about not working and not contributing to our financial situation;
- Living stress free; and,
- Caring for myself, my husband, and our next baby.
And, I still need to figure out how exactly I am going to take the world by storm.
Before I jump into this, remember, we are diagnosed with Unexplained Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL). This means that our version of infertility is that we have the conception part down pat. We excel at the baby making part. But, that’s it. Not one of our babies has made it through the first trimester, all dying at different times between weeks 5 and 11.
So, given this, what does it mean to me to find out we are pregnant again? It has just been 3 months since we found out baby number 4 was dead, and only 2 months after we completed the miscarriage. We knew we were going to try again, we knew it could happen this month. We know we excel at the baby making part of pregnancy, so we knew it wouldn’t take that long, and it obviously didn’t.
So, what does this news do to me?
- I wake up my husband to tell him there is a very faint line. I think we are pregnant again. He doesn’t care to look at the faint line – so he just goes back to sleep. I wish he would have woken up to confirm that I’m not just seeing things, but I guess when you are on pregnancy number 5, looking at 2 pink lines no longer has any excitement to it. The fears that I have, he simply doesn’t share in the same way. Yes, I know he has fears, but they are just not the same. I am honestly not mad at him for this, I get it. I really do.
- As practical as always, I phone the fertility clinic and leave a voicemail (there is no-way they are open at 7am on a Sunday). We need to get the process started. I will likely get a phone call back tomorrow, and then have blood work at some point tomorrow. We’ve asked not to do the every 48 hour blood work with this pregnancy – it stresses me out to much. So, assuming the Doctor continues to agree, the plan is one blood test to confirm pregnancy and then, we wait until the first ultrasound.
- All my fears are rushing back. Asides from this one point, I am not going to write about these fears today, because I don’t want to focus on the fears of a dead baby or going through another excruciating miscarriage. I cannot go there, I just cannot let those fears take over. How do I keep these fears at bay for the next few weeks, and hopefully months?
- I am currently obsessed with that faint line. Why is it so faint? Why isn’t it darker? Should I be worried? Is this one going to end before it even really starts? Rationally, I know I should be thinking that based on my cycle I’m just dating at 3w5days and it’s so early that the line should be faint?
- Do I test again? When do I test again? How many times do I pee on a stick? How much money do I feel like wasting?
- Who gets to know about number 5 from the start? Should I call or text anyone? Do we really even want to tell any of our family/friends? We have a few important weddings coming up, so it might just be best to keep things quite as not to detract from those celebrations.
- Does this mean contacting the adoption agency is on hold for now? I think it may, but I know it will still be bouncing around in my mind constantly. So, I just don’t know yet.
- How close can I get? How much of a bond should I form? What happens if I don’t? I didn’t last time, I attempted to “protect” myself. In some respects it worked. But honestly, can you really protect yourself from the devastation of losing your baby? The second that baby exists, you connect. Building walls doesn’t really work at the end of the day, but it still might happen.
- Can I let myself actually be excited? Do I dare?
- What if it works this time? What if baby 5, is our lucky baby? What if he/she is actually the one?? I have no idea how to actually be in a healthy pregnancy, let alone how to deal with actually having a child. Oh, how I hope I get to spend the next 9 months actually getting to worry about this outcome!