Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Just when I thought nothing could derail us...

There is a rather exciting job opportunity in the system I work in. It's a significant vertical move, both in annual salary (the cost of our IVF cycle, incidentally) and in job classification. Having been at my current job for 3 years, I could easily take it without being accused of job-hopping, and frankly, it's such a signficant promotion, I'm pretty sure it would be considered justified even if I'd started at my current job a week ago.

There is no guarantee I would get the job. I don't know who else is even thinking about it - maybe some good candidates. However, several people with influence asked me specifically to consider it, so that seems like a promising sign. I at least have a good enough chance that I have to take my decision to apply seriously. It's not a "eh, I'll just throw my hat in and see what happens" situation.

Here's my concern: I'm pretty sure they're looking to fill the position quickly, as in, definitely before I know the outcome of our IVF cycle and probably before we even have the retrieval and transfer, but probably NOT before I would need to start medications.

The pros as I see them:
  • GIANT leap in terms of job status
  • influence on a system I care about
  • excellent resume builder
  • a TON more money

The cons as I see them:

  • how irresponsible would I look if I had to announce a pregnancy two months into a new job?
  • what if I have a difficult pregnancy and am sick during some or all of my probationary period?
  • what if I have a very difficult pregnancy and have to spend the whole thing on bedrest?
  • the only surefire way to avoid those last three points is a con itself - postponing IVF until... who knows when?

What the F am I supposed to do?

In the 18 months we have been trying to get pregnant, I have turned down two other opportunities for major promotions because I was so sure I'd get pregnant right away and look like a jerk. In hindsight, I wished I'd made a different choice and I made a pact with myself I wouldn't let a similar opportunity pass me by again. No point keeping my life on hold for something I can't control or predict. So now here I am, and based upon past promises to myself, I should pursue this opportunity without regard to anything that may or may not be happening in my reproductive life. That said, this is IVF. I feel like an idiot for saying this, but what if I get pregnant? I mean, I've used that excuse before but this time it could actually happen. No really! You know? I would NOT forgo this opportunity if we were going in for IUI #11, but we're not. We're paying a boatload of money and enduring an exceptionally advanced procedure based on the relatively high likelihood that it will be successful. It's seems a little messed up of me not to give the possibility this will work at least as much credence as I gave our past attempts in regards to making future decisions. I mean, it's just one more try, really. If it doesn't work, we're taking a break and I'm free to take any and all promotions that come my way. The thing is, they won't. I work in a system that is notorious for having few internal promotion opportunities. People get supervisory jobs and then sit in them foreeeever. To move up, I'd have to move out (the last two job openings I passed up were external) and I love what I do. This is a really unique opportunity. Fuck.

I think the worst case scenario is that I take the job, wind up pregnant (possibly with twins or more!), and have the pregnancy from hell. I won't qualify for FMLA because I'll be a new hire. I don't know what their short and long-term disability coverage is like and whether I'll even qualify for it yet. We could really get screwed. At my current job, I am not on new-hire probation, I have accrued sick and vacation leave, I'm enrolled in short and long-term disability programs, and I have 3 years of strong performance to encourage them to accomodate whatever I may need. That is definitely a better position to be in going into what has a minor but real chance of developing into a medical problem where I need leave and flexibility.

But this is a really, really good job opportunity. So do we postpone IVF so I can pursue it? Is that seriously an option I'm even willing to type? M is as ambivalent about it as I am, but we both have strong emotional responses to the idea of postponing IVF. But are we cheating ourselves if we put too much weight on that? Are we letting our resistance to waiting push us into a poor long-term decision? IVF is the culmination of something that has consumed our every thought, minute, and dollar for the last 18 months. It's all been building to this. It's not just some small thing we decided to do.

Here's my question, for those that want to give input: How bad is it to get pregnant at the same time as you're starting a new job? I mean, clearly it's not ideal, but is it a major offense or just one of those "probably better not to if you can avoid it" kinda things? We hired someone a couple of years ago that got pregnant pretty much the weekend after she signed her employment papers and while I thought it was an extremely irresponsible move, the rest of my office (including my boss) didn't seem to think anything of it. So, am I just being prudish about this? I kind of feel like, if it came to it, I could tell my future boss (who I already know well and have great rapport with) that we tried for a year and a half with no success and I genuinely didn't think it would be an issue. Once she finds out we did IVF that compromises my story a bit, but I could tell her our cycle was already past the point of no return when the job became available. Yeah, I know. That's a lie. It's not a big lie, though, and hardly a lie at all if you count emotional momentum, and we did already pay for it.

What to do? What to do? What to do? I worked myself into a fit over this dilemma tonight. I tried to watch tv to quiet my thoughts but I felt queasy and couldn't relax at all. I really don't want to put IVF off, but I also feel like I'll regret it if I don't pursue this opportunity, especially if our IVF is unsuccessful. I'm pretty sure the BFN will hit me hard enough on it's own without piling some "AND you missed out on a once-in-a-blue-moon professional opportunity!" on top.

I'm just gonna keep hoping for clarity. Something will rise to the surface soon, right?


Lizzie said...

Oh, wow. Well, first. Congratulations on having several people ask you to put your hat in the ring. That's awesome. I've had this very same conversation in my head a lot recently (though IUI not IVF) because I am launching a job search and am searching WHILE actively trying to get pregnant. Your back and forth and mixed feelings is all very logical and you've come at it from all angles. Here's what I think (and you can take it or leave it). It's really no one's business if you are doing IUI or IVF. You could be a straight person who had "tried" for 18 months and sort of given up and taken a new job and bam! ended up pregnant by "accident." It seems to me that the IVF has been put in motion long before the job became an option. The job is not a sure thing. I guess you could delay a month to see if you get the job, but then you're just going to feel WORSE about starting IVF when you already HAVE the job. At least this is happening while you're applying, before they've committed to you. (But if your new job is in the system, why doesn't all your vaction and disability and etc transfer with you???) I'm sorry it is so complicated. I think you've learned from other jobs you didn't apply for b/c of TTC that it can lead to regrets. Ok, I'm just rambling now and trying to justify as much to myself as to you!! I guess for me, bottom line, pregnancy is a miracle and a surprise now matter when or how it happens, or who it happens to (a straight couple on their own or a lesbian with IVF) and you can't stop the rest of your life in anticipation of that miracle. And other people can't expect you to. One other question: is this new job one that you'll want when you have small children, in terms of hours/stress/responsibility?? (because you will have them, i just know it!!) Good luck with this hard decision.

Elise, said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
K said...

Elise! Thanks for your sweet comment - I'm sorry I had to delete the original. Below is a C&P of what you posted, minus the identifying information. :-)

Oh K, when does the roller coaster end?? I deem that once your baby is in your arms, you may stop making any and all decisions. you have officially made enough big ones for the rest. of. your. life.

but, since you asked, I think you should absolutely go after this job opportunity! If (when) they hire you, they are making a long term commitment and investment. 9 months is nothing in the grand scheme of things. And, honestly, I dont think announcing a pregnancy early into a job is nearly as offensive/irresponsible as you suggest. You must look out for what is best for you. So, go beef up that resume and pick out a nice suit for the interview - you CAN have it all.

K said...

Lizzie, thank you so much for your insight. I really love this point:

I guess for me, bottom line, pregnancy is a miracle and a surprise now matter when or how it happens, or who it happens to (a straight couple on their own or a lesbian with IVF) and you can't stop the rest of your life in anticipation of that miracle.

That's really the heart of it, isn't it? I guess what I'm most nervous about now is the possibility that I will get pregnant, and then so sick I can't work, and we won't have a safety net because we've pretty much committed every last penny we have right now to IVF.

I wish, wish, wish I could transfer my accrued leave. Our "system" is actually a collection of different non-profits so people are rarely able to take anything with them if they change positions within it. This job happens to be at the state so I have a feeling they are extra structured in terms of their pay and benefit schedules.

You've definitely given me food for thought, so thanks again!

K said...

One more thing I forgot to mention... We are planning to relocate within the next 1-2 years, regardless of what happens for us with ttc, so it isn't crucial that this be a kid-friendly position. I wouldn't be taking this job with the vision of being there 'til the end of time. The people that would be hiring me already know this, and I would be clear about it in my interview(s) as well. One of the people who talked to me about the job felt it wasn't a problem at all because the "goal" for this position right now is to transform it from being the place state employees go to wait for retirement into a dynamic, thriving position. It'll probably involve as much PR as anything else. So, if I can come in and develop the position then hand it off to someone else, they're okay with that. On the other hand, this position has historically offered the opportunity to work from home after 6 months, which would be nice with an infant (or two)...

Thanks to everyone who has made it this far! I'm so grateful to have this forum as a sounding board.

Meegs said...

Wow, what decision. I agree with pp. Go for the job... you have to give it a shot, there's too much chance for "what ifs" if you don't. It's a great opportunity, and I don't think you should pass it up.

I'm confused about one thing though, if its a vertical move in the same company/system, then why wouldn't your accrued vacation, etc come with you? Wouldn't your "time served" be from the start of your time there, and not just the start of this new position?

In anycase, don't put either of your dreams on hold! Balancing baby and work and life is never easy, but it is completely do-able. Plus, if you are the right person for the job, then they should be willing to work around your (inevitable) pregnancy. :-)

Good luck lady!!

Meegs said...

I wish, wish, wish I could transfer my accrued leave. Our "system" is actually a collection of different non-profits so people are rarely able to take anything with them if they change positions within it. This job happens to be at the state so I have a feeling they are extra structured in terms of their pay and benefit schedules.

Opps, just saw that in your comment... so ignore that part of my reply.

That's really the heart of it, isn't it? I guess what I'm most nervous about now is the possibility that I will get pregnant, and then so sick I can't work, and we won't have a safety net because we've pretty much committed every last penny we have right now to IVF.

To that I can only say, obviously you want to be prepared for the worst... but you can't assume it. Are you really willing to pass up on two things that might together make you even happier then you have been because of a problem that may or may not ever even arise?

Obviously you have to make a decision that you are happy and comfortable with, but some steps just have to be taken in faith.

So many good wishes for you!

Elise, said...

Whoops, sorry about that k.

Inlocoparentis said...

Pregnant or not, you will be a tremendous asset and they would be crazy not to hire you. I won't lie to you and say it's ideal to be pregnant when starting a new job (for all the reasons you listed), but at the same time, people do it every day. It's happened several times since I started at my current job, and no one really says much about it. It's certainly not a "career killer." I don't think the expectations should be different simply because you are planning your pregnancy.

Plus, from what you've said, it's not really a *completely* new job (like it would be in a new city). You are already in this system, and people already know your professional reputation.

So, here's my opinion. I think you should apply for the job. I also think you should tell them as part of the interview process that you and your partner are trying to get pregnant (no need to disclose methods). I would share this fact rather than future relocation plans, because by the time you are ready to move, they will know you and love you. If they don't hire you because you are trying to get pregnant (illegal, but it happens), it probably would not have been the best job for you in your current life space anyway. If they are fine with it and hire you (as they should) and you get pregnant right away, no one can say you didn't warn them. As for what people in the office will think, f 'em. You're leaving in a couple of years and you'll have to start from scratch at a new job anyway.

Just my two cents, with love.

Inlocoparentis said...

PS: You could look into purchasing individual short term disability insurance that will provide complete income replacement. Ours is not that great so I purchased a commercial supplemental policy for $17 a month. Maybe that could help with "safety net" peace of mind?

K said...

Elise - No worries! :-)

Meegs and inlocoparentis... thank you so much for the feedback.

Coming clean about my ttc endeavors during the interview is something I never even considered but I think it might be the solution for me. I felt a lot of my tension melting away just thinking about it, and you're right - if it's a problem for them, it wouldn't have ended up being a good fit anyway.

I just did a quick search on private short-term disability and I think it's not available in my state (?!) so I'll have to do a little more research on that.

Here's the latest update: I finally found some details on the health insurance I'd be eligible for and it covers 50% of infertility expenses including medications. IVF is excluded, but I'm sure I'd end up with some coverage on my prescriptions and auxilliary services. Sooo, it's really looking like it might be worth it to wait a month or two. Not only could I pursue the job but, if I were to get it, we could save money on our IVF in addition to the big fat raise.

I think I'm going to make an official inquiry today and see where things go.

Denise said...

Another vote for trying to get that job. You never know - it may be the perfect thing for you. I'd go for the IVF cycle, too, and I doubt anyone would begrudge your happiness just because you took a new job.

Whether or not you postpone this cycle, I wouldn't say anything about moves or TTC until they offer you a job. Then, when you're negotiating salary and everything else, you can ask for what you need. You can still tell them... but only -after- they already think you're the best candidate. Chances are they'll make it work, and if they act funny about it you have the option not to accept.

Good luck, whatever you choose.

veeandjay said...

Others have said it all really, but I too think you should go for the job, for what it's worth. We put so much of our lives on hold for this hope of being pregnant. Infertility eats our lives, but pregnancy should just be a transient phase to parenthood and I think that's how they'll see it, because that's how it is for most people. Telling them at the interview is not a bad idea, if you feel comfortable telling. Good luck. Go for it.

NotesFrom2Moms said...

my two cents:

You have a right to get pregnant and you have a right to a good job. Go for it and see what happens. Explore all of the benefits the new job has to offer (which you would do IVF or not) and trust yourself.

bleu said...

I would absolutely go for the job and absolutely go ahead with the IVF. If you were straight this would not even be an issue. Your IVF is also none of their business. You could have a total bed rest pregnancy, or an easy active one, or you could fall down at work tomorrow and be out on disability for years. PLEASE do not alter your life any more to accommodate others, you deserve so much more!!!!!!