Advice please

Hi all,

So I failed my first cycle last month out of my 2 from NHS.

Clinic has told me I have to wait 3 months until next go which would be February at least. I see the nurse this week to get a general idea.

Anyway I'm a teacher and head of year at quite a challenging secondary school that is also even worse then usual. The temporary head and others above me who I told were really supportive last month and I can't fault that. Other then the couple hours for apps, I had 5 days off for EC, ET and rest days.

I am now really sure that in Jan my workload is going to get worse due to staff leaving. I don't know how I can mentally, physically and emotionally handle it and ivf.

In talking to the hubbie, I am seriously considering at least postponing ivf until march. I've even thought of postponing till early summer.

I have approached my union about my thoughts. The head etc has told me she will continue to support me but I can't understand how more work is helpful!

I've also told myself that next time I'll get signed off.

Are there any teachers who have been in a similiar situation? Or anyone generally?

Would I be best to postpone until things have calmed down? Is that fair on me?

Head is messed up! Xxx

10 Replies

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  • Hey allibe21,

    Slightly different circumstances as I'm not a teacher. However I work as a social care worker in a care home where the work load is physically and mentally demanding. I decided to get signed off for my first shot at IVF due to the job being so stressful I wanted to give myself the best chance of success. I didn't want to have work to blame with a negative outcome.

    You could maybe get yourself signed off during treatment so that you'll have no regrets and no what if moments?

    You could postpone like you say although I guess their are no guarantees that your workload will calm down and you could find yourself in the same predicament?

    I know it's a tough decision. Xxx

  • Hi I'm not a teacher but i do know stress as a huge impact on IVF. I read some research somewhere that showed teachers doing IVF in their summer holidays had the best ivf outcomes. I would get signed off or wait until Easter or summer. Depending on your circumstances and age if you can't wait speak to your head teacher about it. IVF is a tough process and you want to feel relaxed as possible and it sounds your job is quite hard.

    Good luck all the best xxx

  • hello i had one failed attempt in september only one egg taken and didnt fertilise. i work as a nursey nurse and they were half and half with me more bothered about their staffing and ratios than when i had to go at certain times. my work wanted to know a week in advance for each appointment. so after the stress with it all from first attempt im definitely thinking of a sick note as my hope of a family life must come first. but i guess everyone is different.

  • Hi there,

    I am an English teacher and also Head of Media Studies in a challenging secondary school. I know what a tough job head of year is and I don't envy you having to deal with it all. Like you, my first IVF round was unsuccessful, it ended in a chemical pregnancy and, like you again, my Head was really supportive of all my time off etc, but when our first go failed I knew that it wasn't sustainable to keep having so much time off and, more than anything, I felt guilty for putting my already financially struggling school in a position where they would need to spend loads of money on covering me again, so I know completely how you feel.

    I don't know your position, but we were lucky enough to have two eggs frozen from our first round and when our consultant told us that she saw no reason why a natural FET wouldn't be as successful as a medicated one, I knew straight away that natural was the road I wanted to go down. This made it so much easier for work as I didn't need to take all the time off for scans etc beforehand (I only had one scan a few days before transfer) and then, after transfer, I only took 2 days off because I wanted to get back to work ASAP to take my mind off of the torturous wait! Also, I didn't have to deal with the emotional and psychological effects of all the drugs, which made work really hard for me the first time around. I can wholeheartedly recommend this route if it is one on offer to you, not least because I am now nearly 6 weeks pregnant!

    I think your second go is always easier than your first because you know what to expect. This is why I wanted to go back to work so quickly this time rather than take the whole 2ww off. As my work knew the situation, I was able to take it easy and my head of department just did little things to make it easier for me, like not delegate me certain tasks or postpone work scrutinies, etc. Do you have a deputy who can, perhaps, take on some of your work? Your Head sounds really understanding so, if you go to them with your concerns, perhaps you can work something out between you, like maybe you could temporarily job share your Head of Year position or take on a kind of 'apprentice'? Can you afford to sacrifice some of your salary to someone else? It would be a great opportunity for a young teacher to get some experience in that role. Also, if your IVF is successful, you already have a replacement sorted for your maternity leave!

    As for postponing, I would recommend it if it feels like the best thing to do. I was originally due to have my FET with my October cycle but postponed as we usually take the October half term as an opportunity to go on holiday because I get two weeks and we can usually pick something up cheap. It felt like a really selfish reason but, actually, a holiday was just what we needed. It also turned out that the dreaded Ofsted inspection that had been looming over us for nearly 18 months also happened at the beginning of November so, when I had my FET at the end of the month, all the stress of that had lifted and I was in a much better state for it. Who knows what would have happened if Ofsted had turned up in my 2ww.

    I think the main thing is to just do what feels right and what your instincts tell you. Make sure that you get everything sorted out before you start your cycle and go into it as relaxed and stress-free as possible - hard for a teacher, I know, but I really think that stress is the biggest factor in success. If it takes a couple more months to get to that stage then so be it - it is better to be in the right mental state and therefore have a better chance of it working. Your school sound lovely and supportive so that is already a massive bonus for you. You are clearly an big asset to them, so they will want to look after you and help you now to ensure that you have a long and successful career with them in the future.

    Wishing you the most massive amounts of luck! I hope this epic essay of a reply is of some help to you! Let me know how you get on. Xx

  • Thank you for all that. I do think my heart is saying postpone but I hate that as it's wrong to be placed in the situation. It'll always be stressful there unfortunately x

  • Totally understand this! I'm a head of subject in a very full in school and department and agonised about this. My first cycle was in October and my second was a year later in June. I timed the latter so I could go back at 12 weeks if it worked.

    I have always been very conscientious and keen to not take time off, but I have a very different outlook on going through it now. Your life and your family are the most important thing, work will manage without you. My advice would be to get signed off, be honest with work, don't feel you have to tell the world and be kind to yourself.

    Over the last two years I've had time off for both cycles, three weeks off for a miscarriage, three weeks off for extreme morning sickness and now going on maternity leave right before exam season hits!! The kids haven't suffered, everyone seems happy with the job I'm doing and I wouldn't have done it any other way and would've hated waiting.

    Put yourself first all the way. Good luck xxx

  • I am in a similar situation. We had our first failed cycle in October and last nhs cycle will start in January. My work know and were a little supportive. My job is extremely challenging and I know this is way more important so I went to go to see if poss to get signed off for 2nd cycle before and during treatment as I get so stressed with work and they said it was no bother. If I was you I wouldn't postpone treatment this is far more important and I would just get signed off and put yourself is just care of you xx

  • Hi all. Thank you so much for all your advice. I've told myself so many times that I come first and that I should just sign off sick with all this. I'm never off so last time having a few days off it was fairly noticed but I don't care.

    I think I may postpone even for a month or so. Closer to Summer is less stressful or even Easter. But even still I'm angry I'm in this position as those above know my situation but are happy to over load me even more. Just isn't fair.

    I need 2017 to be positive x

  • Hi allieb21, I'm in a similar situation to you except I'm the head of a primary school in an extremely deprived area with lots of challenges. I don't think there is ever a right time in teaching and the work load is ever increasing especially as you move through the year. I've put my job first for so long now and recently I've had to be selfish and put me first for a change. You have to do what's right for you, sometimes the job has to come second (and that's the difficulty for teachers, we always put the kids first). Good luck with your second round x

  • surely ivf is best to be done in a calmer period of your life. and it is all up to you what to choose honestly, but the thing is that getting ivf when you are overworked or stressed is not the best idea

    as for example I have reduced all of the things that could led to stress and even though i have done it i still feel worried and nervous due to that my clinic is in another country and i would have to go there for examinations and stuff. this is stressful enough but with the help of my manager I think I am getting through it well. but it is not that healthy still...

    good luck with the next cycle xx

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