What/when to tell my boss about miscarriage

So. I was pregnant, and now I’m not. Well, technically I still am, but as of day before yesterday the ultrasound showed two empty sacs instead of the two babies and heartbeats that it showed the previous appointment.

Needless to say, I took all day yesterday off and I’ll probably take today off too. Husband and I are both really torn up. This was our very last chance after about 5 years of trying, IUI, & IVF. We’re coming to terms with the idea of never being “natural” parents.

I don’t know what to tell my boss at work. She seems pretty cool so far, but I don’t know her that well (I just transferred to her as of the beginning of June.) I had explained all the appointments, both for the IVF and afterwards, as “ongoing GYN issues” and the IVF procedure as “some fairly minor surgery to hopefully correct it.” All of which is true, of course, but not the whole truth as I felt it wasn’t anyone else’s business and I didn’t know how gossipy she might be.

The doctor said I can either wait for things to come out naturally or have a D&C - I definitely want the latter, and soon, to help me move on - also I’ve miscarried on my own before and it was highly unpleasant to say the least, and I wasn’t as far along that time. I’ve called the doctor to let him know but I haven’t gotten a call back yet, so I don’t know when they’ll be able to take me in. If I’m lucky it’ll be today, but I doubt it will be before Monday.

So how do I explain all this? I told her I had a migraine yesterday, instead of “I’m too sad to work.” But if the D&C is done Monday, that’ll be at least 3 1/2 days in a row that I’m off, and she’ll want some sort of explanation.

I dunno. I can’t really think well right now. Help me, Dope?

I think I’d opt for “this is an unfortunate but not entirely unexpected complication of the ongoing gyn issues, but should be the end of the time off needed to deal with this issue”.

Alternately, just tell her you had a miscarriage, and need a D&C.

I think you are right not to make a big issue out of your history–even though that’s part of what’s making you so sad right now.

I’m sorry for your loss.

God, I’m so sorry to hear that - it sounds awful all around. You have my total sympathy.

I don’t have much advice, but you could try your doctor’s office? Mine has nice general non-specific forms that they give to people who need to be off work for medical reasons, and they don’t go into detail.

As long as your boss has the doctor’s note, you don’t have to tell her anything specific to justify being out - the note takes care of it.

Maybe after you’ve worked longer, and maybe know her better, you can decide if you want to share the details and personal part with her then.

I’m sorry for your loss. :frowning:

Good call, Lasciel. Let the doctor’s office do the talking for you, Maggie, if that makes you more comfortable. Some people don’t mind letting the whole world know what’s up, and some people keep every last detail of their lives to themselves. Wherever you fall on that spectrum is OK.
I’m very sorry for your loss and that you’re going through this. My sympathies to you and your husband.

My wife and I have gone through that a few times. It’s awful.

You shouldn’t have to tell your boss anything you don’t want to. Just tell them you have a medical issue that requires you to take some time off. If they require documentation, get a suitable note from your doctor. As far as I know, your employer cannot legally require you to provide details about exactly what’s wrong.

So sorry for your loss.

Can you just say that you found out that you lost the baby and the doctor wants a follow up appointment on Monday?

I’m sorry for your loss.

I don’t think you need to tell your boss anything specific. I had a minor gynecological issue (ovarian cyst), and didn’t feel like sharing the information with my boss, who was very nice, but a somewhat reserved and traditional male. I told him that I was having a medical procedure and would need to take a week off. He said, “I don’t want to pry, but I’m concerned. Are you O.K.?” I told him that I would be after the procedure, and he was fine with that. That was 10 years ago, and to this day I don’t think he has any idea what my issue was. Since your boss is already aware of your ongoing situation, I don’t think you need to tell her anything more than, “I need a few days off to deal with a medical issue.”

I’m sorry for your loss.

My approach in these kinds of situations is always honesty. I know you don’t have to say anything. I know the doctor’s office can take care of it. I know you don’t have a personal relationship with your boss. Yet.

But really, if the tables were turned and you were the boss, what would you like to receive, a personal phone call from your employee, or an anonymous doctor’s note. Unless you’re working for a completely cold, heartless bitch the personal call works best. IMHO.

Exactly, that info is a little too personal to disclose to someone you barely even know …

I’m so sorry for your loss. As for what to tell your boss, just tell her you’re having a minor surgical procedure related to the ongoing gyn issues and will be back at work on X day. If you want to share more, feel free to, but you’re under no obligation at all.

That’s assuming the issue is one you don’t mind being potentially broadcast all over the entire office. Because people do that kind of thing, often with the very best of intentions. “Guys, y’all be extra nice to Maggie, she just had a miscarriage and is all torn up about it.” For some people the resultant outpouring of sympathy would be balm to their wounded soul, for others it would be salt in the wound, keeping the loss fresh and in the forefront of the mind when they’d really rather just move on.

As for what the boss would like in this situation, fuck the boss. This isn’t about her, nor should it be. When she’s the one with the painful personal issue, then it’ll be time to worry about what she would like.

Assuming you want to tell your boss, I can’t imagine a woman being unsympathetic in the case of a miscarriage.

“I would like to request the following 3 1/2 days off.”

Preferably with some notice and indication of who will cover you while you’re out.

I really don’t need any more info than that.

I agree with this. When I was at my last job, I had been there about six months when my boss asked me to cover for another employee who would be out for a few days.

She lowered her voice and told me “She had a D&C.” I was 22 years old and had absolutely no idea what a D&C was, but I nodded solemnly and went to work. I can’t imagine why the boss thought I would need to know why my co-worker was out – for all I knew or cared, she could have been taking bullfighting lessons.

And when I learned what a D&C was, I was shocked at the boss’s indiscretion.

Leffan’s post wasn’t so much about the content of the message but the delivery method. She’s already told the boss that she has “ongoing GYN issues” and needed “some fairly minor surgery to hopefully correct it” and a shitty boss would have broadcast it already (and apparently hasn’t). Leffan’s point was that you’re not showing much respect for your boss by turning in some random Dr. note, which was suggested by a couple other posters, as opposed to personally contacting the boss to tell her you won’t be in. No details needed.

I think those of us suggesting a doctor’s note were saying to do so only if the boss needed some sort of documentation. Not all bosses out there will give several days off just on the employee’s say-so. Not knowing the OP, her boss, or their relationship, I was just trying to cover all the bases. I think generally everyone here is on the same page. I think the OP’s feelings in this case trump those of her boss.

I don’t think it is necessary to say more than “I need X days off for a minor medical procedure - I’ll provide a doctor’s note for the HR records.” It is really in your boss’s best interest to have no more information than that.

Do what you think is best for you right now - as you say, if you knew your boss better, I’d probably tell her what was going on since most people will cut other people some slack when they know they’re going through a difficult time. Since you don’t know her well, you don’t know if she’d turn this into the hottest new gossip instead.

I think I’d go with the neutral medical procedure explanation for now, too.

You’d be surprised, some women can be some of the nastiest and hardest-ass bitches when it comes to problems with another woman’s reproductive systems.

Thanks for all the input, everyone.

I did get a doctor’s note today, taking me off work retroactively from Thursday through this upcoming Tuesday. The doctor was able to schedule the D&C for Monday, so that will give me a day to recover. I’m going to scan and email it to her, with a note saying that what I had referred to as migranes were actually my GYN issues acting up again, and that the doctor had recommended another procedure on Monday, which should hopefully be the last of it. I think that should do it.

Thank you, everyone. My brain is just not capable of anything resembling thought, ever since I found out about this. I really appreciate this community.

I have no advice but just wanted to say I’m so sorry to hear that. Hang in there.