I had just started my new job three weeks ago, my boss didn’t even know I was pregnant, and now I had to break the news to a man I barely knew that I not only had a miscarriage but I was going to be out of work for a few days.
I was terrified.
Thankfully, my new bosses were amazing sources of support; however, I do know that unfortunately not all bosses are going to be as supportive or understanding. So, let’s talk about how you can prepare for a conversation with your boss while you’re a complete emotional wreck.
1. Talk to your doctor and figure out your course of action.
Before sending that quick email to your boss in the doctor’s office letting them know what’s going on and you won’t be back to work immediately, talk with your doctor and figure out your course of action.
When you let your boss know what’s going on, they are undoubtedly going to want to know what the plan is moving forward. No, with miscarriages you never know how it’s truly going to progress and there are so many factors at play and this plan may change…so be prepared for this.
To give you an example, when I found out that my first sweet baby no longer had a heartbeat I hadn’t started to bleed yet – my body hadn’t recognized the loss. My doctor’s appointment was on a Thursday and the plan was that I would receive a D&C (Dilation and Curettage) on Monday. The doctor stated that I would be able to go back to work the next day; however, due to my mental state agreed to write me a work excuse through Wednesday.
Having this plan in place gave me more confidence to talk to my boss.
2. Write down the dates of your planned absence and provide a doctor’s note.
Whether you talk to your boss in person, via email or over the phone, you want to be able to provide him or her with the dates you plan on being absent, the doctor’s note(s) and be open and honest that this is just a tentative plan and that things may change but you will keep them updated should that happen.
To continue the story of when I had my first miscarriage, I went to work the day after we found out and told my boss everything in person. I went to his office, hands and voice shaking, and asked if it was okay if I talked to him for a minute. I let him know that I was in fact pregnant, but unfortunately had found out at my appointment the day prior that my baby no longer had a heartbeat.
Bless his heart he didn’t know what to say and blurted out, “So are you going to have a D&C?” (By the time this conversation was over and I had returned to my office he had sent me an email, apologizing for being so blunt. He was caught off guard and truly sorry about my loss.)
I was actually relieved he was talking so matter of fact so the tears would stay at bay.
I let him know that I would indeed be having a D&C, that it was scheduled for Monday and I would be able to return to the office on Wednesday. I provided him with my doctor’s note and that was that.
3. Plan out what you want to say beforehand.
Once you have created your plan with your doctor, have the dates that you will be out of the office and your doctor’s notes in hand, next you want to plan out what you want to say.
Let’s face it, you’re already a total wreck, crying in front of your boss (old or new) is pretty much inevitable, but having a plan of what you want to say and talk about is so important in order to be fully prepared for this difficult conversation.
For me, I planned out in my head what I wanted to say the night before and that morning on the way to work. I had rehearsed it a couple times in my head so it was almost as if I was going to be on autopilot when I walked into my bosses’ office.
If you feel more comfortable, write everything up in an email and re-read it a couple times before you send it. This way, you also have the option of someone else proof reading it for you as well.
4. Do what’s best for you.
Despite the planning of it all, having a miscarriage is going to be messy for you. You’re emotions are going to be all over the place and you may not know how you’re “supposed” to react to what’s going on to you.
But let me tell you a little secret…
Are you ready?
You don’t have to act any certain way.
You do you mama.
If you need to take extra days off of work, do so without the guilt.
If you want to color your hair some crazy color, have at it.
If you want to get a tattoo, tat it up girl. (The elephant tattoo on my wrist is in remembrance of the sweet babies we lost too soon…because an elephant never forgets.)
This is YOUR time. You do what is best for you without the guilt of anyone else telling you how you should or shouldn’t act or feel.
Tell them to mind their business.
For me, I did a little of all three. I ended up going home early on that Thursday and took Friday off as well (unfortunately that morning is when my body began recognizing the loss so I was in an extreme amount of pain, physically and emotionally).
I got the elephant tattoo on my wrist.
AND I colored my hair.
I’ll admit, I went a little crazy during this time; however, it’s what I needed to help myself heal.
So there you have it. If you’re worried about talking to your boss (old or new) about your miscarriage, don’t be. Just follow the steps I talk about here and you’ll be set!
- Talk to your doctor and figure out a course of action.
- Write down the dates of your planned absence and provide a doctor’s note.
- Plan out what you want to say beforehand.
- Do what’s best for you.
Stay strong sweet mama,