A little back story to lay the groundwork as to why I had to come out to two bosses regarding our fertility journey. I’m a CPA that works in an accounting firm. People always ask me who my boss is and I answer that, at this particular juncture in my career, I have 9 of them. See as a manager in my firm you report to the entirety of the partner group because each client is serviced by a different partner and a different engagement team. That said, as a lowly associate in my firm, you report to all the senior associates, all the managers and all the partners. fortunately for me the chain of command is shortening.
It’s not like my co-workers are completely in the dark about this journey but the male-dominated bosses of this company likely are. The one female partner we do have doesn’t have a spouse/partner and is also currently living child-free. Anyhoo, the reality of the significant financial investment we are about to make was weighing heavy on me. All of the overtime I work during tax season is stored very nicely as extra vacation time and as a result, I have a lot. There have been times when, if your balance gets too big, you can cash it out. I am not sure if I have that much time but so instead of waiting to find out I wanted to see if I would be able to do. The punchline: I will be able to cash out some of that time which will be a big help. I went into the managing partner’s office, as he is the one who approves the cash out, and asked him if I could cash mine out. He asked why and said I didn’t have to say but I knew the answer would probably be yes if I told him. When I told him what I would be using the money for he responded emphatically “Wow, congratulations! That’s great!” I was stunned. What exactly is so great about it??? The shots? The ultrasounds? The fact that conception occurs outside the body? The fact that we’ve had to endure several bumps in the road to get here? It was such a strange response. I guess I thought he would say “Oh man I am sorry you have to go through that”…but no. Maybe he thinks that we just decided that we didn’t want to even try on our own and that we aren’t getting any younger so we proceeded with IVF. I mean it’s what all the celebrities do to fit children into their busy careers, right?? Gimme a break. fortunately, the conversation that followed was positive and supportive and he said all the “right” things from the standpoint of career progression, etc.
The story doesn’t end there. The retrieval and subsequent implantation are tentatively scheduled for a time that coincides when I would normally be out at a client so before we really set things in motion I wanted to get approval from the partner in charge of that client to be able to take a couple of days off. That partner’s response was almost exactly the same. I was flabbergasted! He too, was ultimately supportive and tried to make a few jokes because it can be an uncomfortable and very personal topic but again with the congratulations. Sigh.
I guess I learned that a lot of people truly have no idea what infertility looks or feels like. They can’t, in fact, comprehend it. Now I kind of regret telling either one of them. I sort of feel like I should have kept my mouth shut and said “I need to cash out some vacation for personal reasons” and “I need to take a couple of days off during this timeframe for personal reasons” but no, I opened my big mouth and now they know. What bugs me is that they know but don’t understand and they will figure out if it’s failed in pretty short order and they won’t understand that either. Oh well, what’s done is done. Hopefully the knowlege that motherhood might be in my future doesn’t slow my career progress… that’s another post.
On a totally unrelated note: I just spell checked this post and every word that ends with a “lee” sound, I misspelled. Are those adverbs? I can’t spell adverbs, is that it? I’ll work on that. No, I probably won’t. Suck it, adverbs.