Tumbling Through the Rabbit Hole...
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In preparation for an interview..

Posted by Haisla Saturday, 3 May 2014

I got an email yesterday inviting me for the interview on Thursday..

I was elated. And then I got terrified. The whole ramifications of having a 6K paycut just washed all over me. Turns out I have huge anxiety issues around money, that somehow to this date I haven't had to confront yet.

To be fair, it could also be the Clomid I've been taking for the past days. How is one to make rational decisions when in a hormonal haze? It doesn't feel fair somehow.

To make things worse, M. had a leaving due to attend with work, which meant he spent most of the night in a pub and then trying to find his way back home, poor lamb. Which meant that I spent the whole evening alone stewing in my anxieties. And when I'm anxious, I'm not great in reaching out to friends. Somehow I don't feel it's fair to start pouring out my problems on others (esp.  with kids) on a Friday night. And I felt far to overwhelmed to blog. So I stewed and stewed and finally fell into a fitful sleep.

So this morning, when M. and me were both up, I couldn't contain myself, but just had to pour out all my anxieties on him (sorry, M). Not a great thing to do to someone who's trying to overcome a massive hang-over. But he did a stellar job. He was kind and sweet and funny and listened to all my fears and anxieties and then with his usual calm and rationality went about allaying them all.

So, I feel a bit better now. Not great (which is a shame, as I'd prefer to go to an interview 100% excited about the new job opportunity) but better. And what can you do really, this is real life and not some pollyanna bullsh*t.

We have jointly come to the conclusion that my mental health and well-being is more important than money. And that this fairly well paid, but high-stress job that I'm in, is just not cutting it for us. Yes, it may mean that we won't be as attractive to mortgage lenders, but so be it. We wouldn't be able to buy yet anyway, as we don't know whether we'll need to spend our deposit savings on a round of private IVF somewhere down the line.

Yes, it may mean that we'll have to tighten our belts a little bit and think before making certain larger purchases in the future. And yes, ultimately we won't be able put away as much money onto our savings account as we have so far, but we should still be able to put something away, which is the way I prefer to do it.

There's a little part of me that can't quite believe that I am having to write all of this; that this is actually my life. Never in a million years would I have envisaged having these problems and these decisions to make. Even when I started reading other people's blogs, I kind of thought, oh, how exotic - having to think through such complicated scenarios. My life plan was always fairly simple - get married, have kids, live happily ever after (and somewhere down the line buy a house). And here I am, having to make difficult decisions with variables of which many are unknowable (like will we ever actually be able to get pregnant).

So there we have it. I'll give the interview a good try and if I get it I get it, if I don't I'm gonna keep my eyes peeled on other opportunities. And I do obviously reserve the right to totally still change my mind and cling on to my old job and the comfort of my plush paycheque and refuse to let it go.

I am still to make a decision as to how or whether I'll bring up the IVF thing at interview, though. But I think I am leaning towards the 'I will not'. I just want to be sure that if I get turned down, it is because there is a candidate who is more qualified than me, not because I spilled the IVF beans.

So if I get the job, I'll probably take a three month treatment break (providing the NHS will allow this) and then resume on the activities, once I have passed my probation. This should give me enough time to a) prove to my new employer that I am a good and trustworthy and hardworking employee and also b) build enough rapport with my new line-manager to feel comfortable telling them about our fertility struggles.

So that's the plan. 'Cause I always need a plan. Control-freak much, moi?

On the IUI front, things are not looking good. I spoke to Nelly Nurse on CD2 (today is CD4) and it would seem like the IUI date will coincide with a weekend. Whoops. And do NHS clinics open during weekends? Well, no they don't, silly. So we may have to 'try naturally' AGAIN. That seems to be Nelly's favourite saying 'try naturally'. The kick in the teeth for us, is that due to the fairly heavy medication that M. is on (oh yes, did I forget to mention that he is recovering from an extremely painful slipped disc and is on a bucket full of medication at the moment) it's become a real struggle for him to ejaculate. Oh, joy. A side effect for one of his medications, indeed is, retrograde ejaculation, which basically means that the semen will end up travelling backwards rather than out. Not conducive to conceiving. He does normally rise to the task, but man, it is an uphill struggle.

Our clinic doesn't seem overly worried about this, but I do think we'll need to have a stern talk with them about how much stress this 'just trying naturally' business is causing us. And I think we'll have to sit down with them and discuss the possible new job, it's implications to our treatment plan etc. I don't think somehow, that they are used to having these kinds of conversations with their patients. Without wishing to sound cynical, I do think that we are just figures on their sheets and not really real people with real jobs and lives apart from this infertility business.

It always seems to baffle the NHS staff that we are working people and that trying to arrange the treatments around our working hours can be a struggle. This really isn't a patient-led system at all and I am getting increasingly unhappy about it. Yes, I should count my blessing in that we are getting this chance at all and free of charge, but man, how poor a service are we meant to expect in return?

Sorry, rant over.

This has turned into a bit of a longer post than intended, so thanks for your patience if you managed to read this far. I will try again, to find my happy place and be a bit more balanced a writer in my next post. Perhaps that'll happen once all this Clomid wears off. Two more days to go..


TwoPlusOne said...

Good luck for your interview. As someone going for heaps of job interviews (unsuccessful) in the past year, I suggest you do not bring up IVF during the interview stage. General suggestions I got is that it will make the whole process uneasy for the interviewers due to the risk of appearing as unfair treatment if they do decide not to hire you for any reason, and you should avoid that. Also, my understanding is that the first couple of months in most new jobs are probationary, so a good idea to take some time of IVF in those first few months too for both sides. At least that has been my mantra.
It is great that NHS supports the first few IVF cycles. When I was in the UK, I always thought it was a great country to get pregnant in. NHS may feel slow and not understanding us at times, but overall it works I think. I am in Australia, and although the health system is not that great, I always feel lucky that I don't have to break the bank to do most stuffs here, unless I want to go to the best of the bests.

Haisla said...

Thanks for your comment! I decided in the end not to bring up the IVF issue in the interview and I'm glad I didn't. It's just such a personal topic and like you said likely to make the panelists feel uneasy. Also I think it would almost inevitably affect the interview panel's decision. I just wanted to get a fair hearing.

Re: NHS - I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the good old NHS. I am so utterly grateful that it exists and even more grateful that we're getting all these treatments for free, but sometimes their slowenliness just frustrates the heck out of me! I try to count my blessings at those moments and learn to have more patience. That's one thing that this process has certainly taught me! : )

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