The Infertile Mother 

After our first IVF and subsequent loss, I started to think about how it would be nice to stay at home with our child for the first few years of their life should we ever have one.  

By the time our 3rd transfer and 2 more losses occurred, I no longer was just considering being a stay at home mommy should we have a child, I was set on it. After all the trauma, I couldnt (and wouldnt) even ponder the idea of going back to work after a short maternity leave. 

Note: Im well aware all mothers struggle with going back to work after they have a child. I get it.  But Im going to be brutally honest here and share my inner thoughts on the topic (some might not want to hear them, if thats you, stop reading!) 

I feel like after all the injections, pills, surgeries, procedures, thousands upon thousands of dollars, tests, pregnancies, losses, bloodwork, scans, and appointments that I earned the right to stay at home with our awaited baby longer than the normal amount of time.  I didnt just accidentally get pregnant, I didnt just try a few times, get pregnant and deliver. In fact, I didnt even try for many years, get pregnant and deliver.  I didnt undergo the all mighty IVF and achieve success the first few times either! 

After everything I have given and lost, how could I NOT stay home with this child for a few, measly years??? Come on!

It wasnt until this year, 2016 (1 full year after out 3rd loss), that I have begun seriously considering going back to work after a maternity leave.  I must say I have even surprised myself (and hubby) with this new state of mind.  

Some background on my career-I am a teacher. I have been teaching for 6 years now, 5 years in 4th grade and 1 (this year) in 3rd grade.  I love working with kids and watching them grow, probably one of the reasons I want to be a mommy so bad. I also enjoy working with adults, teaching at the local college. I guess I just enjoy learning and teaching, and teaching and learning! I have my Masters and dream about getting my Doctorate eventually. 

I have always liked to succeed at my job, I dont mind working hard, giving 110%, or putting in extra hours. But infertility and pregnancy loss took a lot from me in 2014 and 2015. It didnt happen overnight, it was sucked out of me little by little, day by day. I didnt want any of my career anymore–I just wanted our baby. These diseases can change so much. Its nuts. 

However, my outlook right now is that I would like our baby, and my career. You know…kind of like a normal person!?! Im not sure if this will change. It very well could. But right now I am getting my self back I think.  I want it to stay that way. I hope it does. The group of adults I work with this year have made it really easy for me. I am blessed with where I am at right now career wise, and I would love to keep my position and have a smiling (sometimes crying!) baby to come home to everyday.

I know juggling a career and a baby wont be easy. But being a stay at home mom sure wont be either. Both deserve all sorts of props if you ask me.  And having a baby wont be all rainbows and unicorns anyway it is sliced, but finally, I feel ready for the challenge of having that family/work balance in my future should I be so fortunate. And for that, I am proud of myself!

20 thoughts on “The Infertile Mother 

  1. I have friends that have done both – stayed at home and go back to work rally soon after. What I think is that every situation is different and you (and your husband) have to decide what is best for you and for your baby. There is no right or wrong. I do agree with you regarding ‘earning’ the time… I have similar thoughts! Xx

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  2. I’m lucky that where I live we get to have almost one year of paid maternity (or paternity) leave. It makes me feel comfortable about (probably) going back to work when the leave is over and continue to pursue my career, which is also important to me. But if the leave was only a few short months I’m sure I’d feel like staying at home for longer, after fighting so hard to get there (I hope we both get there!). I’m sure you’ll make the right decision for your family (whether it’s staying or going back) when the time comes!

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      • I actually thought it was 4 months, like most countries. 8 weeks is a really short time. We don’t get full salary for the whole year here, only about 5 or 6 months. After that, it’s reduced. But still much better than nothing, and the is guaranteed when we return. I really think the US needs to improve on this, give mother at least 4 months.

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  3. I’ve felt like you have too…after ALL of these years and all of the struggle, I’m taking some time to appreciate this precious, hard earned, blessing once he/she is here…but working is always rewarding as well. And I do believe that you can have both! Whatever you decide, I’m behind you because I truly get it! xoxo

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  4. I think sometimes what you choose will surprise you. I have always been super into my career and made quite a bit of money and really enjoy it. But after all it took to have my son- I felt so attached I just couldn’t go back yet. Here he is 2 years old and I have now created my own work from home situation. I know I am truly fortunate enough to have this option ( along with the help of credit cards) to be at home with my son. I see the benefit of both but if you are lucky enough to choose based on what feels right, you are truly fortunate. I know many women have to go back to work. Xo

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  5. It’s hard to know what I will want, but right now I imagine I will miss working after mat leave. My job is for the government and it’s very intellectual and interesting. I suspect when I am up to my armpits in nappies and breastfeeding my ‘litter’ (as my SIL calls it, I’m having twins), I will miss the mental stimulation and adult company. So at this stage, my plan is to return to work after 1 year at home with the twins. But I will go back 3 days a week. Best of both worlds?

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  6. I totally hear ya on this one!! I love my job and I worked hard for that PhD that I have. I also worked extremely hard to have this little girl and I deserve to take time at home with her. I am going back to work (actually I am still working now and not really on leave) full time and will continue in my same job. I am fortunate that while I teach at a state university I do so fully online. This is allowing me to stay home much longer than I normally would. That being said I used to want to go work at these crazy, high pressure research universities, but that feeling has changed for right now anyways. I don’t want to work 60-70 hours a week to meet the demands that it would have. I may decide in several years to go that route and that’s fine but right now that’s not what I want to do.
    You need to do what’s best for you at the given moment!

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  7. I don’t think there’s a wrong option and as long as it works for you, that’s the right decision for your family. Just like you’ve thought about it in the past and changed your mind before, you might find that once that baby comes something else feels right and you can change your mind again.

    If a woman enjoys her career, I’d like to believe that there is a way to successfully juggle both even if that means working part time for a few years to devote the time to a growing family.

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  8. Do what you feel is right! It’s ok if that changes over time! Interesting post as I have never considered being a stay at home Mom (I have no idea what I will feel if I actually have a baby). I guess I’ll hopefully find out.

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  9. Excellent post and I’ve been meaning to do one on the topic, too, so a good reminder. Me, I’m all about choice and people doing what feels good for them while honouring that financial stuff often trumps want.

    In our case, I took a high paying, high stress job to pay for IVF. My hours were 7:30 – 8 pm, and weekends. For about 4 years (while doing IVF etc). I did it praying things would eventually pay off with a baby.

    Thank god it finally did. We also squirrelled a bit away so I could extend my maternity leave. I’ll be looking at 1.5 years with Smoochie. I know with every fibre of my being that’s the right choice for us and I respect that for some women it’s not an option or they’d prefer to head back to work.

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