Sometimes you get lucky and you get a really great boss – encouraging, inspiring, personable, someone you’d like to be one day.

I’ve had a few of those in my time. Unfortunately the boss I have now, as I am struggling to balance work and IVF, is brusque, self-serving and less than supportive.

IVF is so much more than the month or so you’re jabbing yourself and waiting for the results. There’s a long awful lead-up for most people, where it slowly dawns on you that you are probably not going to have a baby the “normal” way.

There are endless blood tests, visits to different specialists, and for some, procedures such as laparoscopies. It costs a lot, it takes a long time, and it takes a big toll on a person’s peace of mind.

We’ve been trying now for more than two years, and many times I feel as if we’re living some kind of dream. That this can’t be real – this can’t be me, my life.

Unfortunately this private struggle has coincided with the arrival of a new boss who has pressured me from the very start to move countries. I told him from the outset that for “personal reasons” it was not the optimum time to do so. By personal reasons I mean: we have been bouncing between doctors trying to figure out what’s going on in the fertility department and eventually coming to the very difficult decision to try IVF; my partner has his work and life here and would have to start all over again in a new country; moving is EXPENSIVE whatever they say and we are flat broke meeting IVF payments; and mentally I just don’t want to make a big life change right now. I just want to put my head down, work hard and quietly go about my business.

It all came to a head when I dissolved back in May and realised I really would have to do IVF. I ended up contacting my other boss – who is actually my boss’s boss as well. She gave me a fair hearing and the time to do the first round of IVF. She also advised me to tell my immediate boss what was going on; which I did. We worked out an agreement to just let things sit until the end of the year so I could focus on one or more treatments, depending on how things go.

So I relaxed and felt like life was getting back on track. I increased my output. Now my boss is asking me if I want to move after all, and suggesting (I think) that he could have someone else go do that part of my job and leave me here. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to lose an important part of my job over this personal issue. But I also don’t want to jeopardise our chances of having children with all this work stress.

The bigger boss is away at the moment; I think I need to talk to her again. I am so far away from head office, working solo, that at times like this I feel very cut off and vulnerable. I wish I could have just had a baby naturally without all this emotional turmoil – and I wish this difficult time in my life could have coincided with having one of those great bosses, who go into bat for you and encourage, rather than leave you feeling you’re walking on a knife’s edge. It’s not fair, but then none of this IF business is.




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