Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Even bigger dilemma

I went to see my Deputy Principal today to ask her for more leave for next week. She is the only person at school (other than one close friend) who knows anything about what I have been going through.

And I really wanted to keep it that way.

She's happy to keep my secret for me, but she suggested that for my own professional appearance, I really should tell my Principal as well.

Now, I don't feel particularly close to my Principal, even though I have to work quite closely with her at times. I don't entirely trust her and I am not sure how she will see this in terms of my career. I know I am planning to take time off work once I actually have a baby, but if this takes a lot longer (which it very well could), how will her knowledge of my plans impact on my professional standing? Will she start to perceive me as time-framed ... no point considering me for long-term projects as I may not be there? Enforce the ceiling as they can't afford for me to be off with maternity leave?

The problem is, I know my Deputy Principal is right.

Last term was really a shocker for me (emotionally, physically, some aspects of professionally) and I know she noticed it. I know she has been questioning my lack of focus. We have met about things I know I have let slip. I know I don't want her to this perception of me and it makes sense to fill her in a little.

But what do I tell her? I can't actually tell her about the IVF as I'm at a Catholic school and it's a sensitive subject amongst Catholic viewpoints. I don't actually know her personal opinion, but it's a little like pre-marital sex and taking contraceptives. Don't talk about it and you can't be judged.

So, I tell her about the pregnancy last term. I tell her about the miscarriage. I will have to tell her my intentions to continue trying ... but how do I explain the time needed? I told my Deputy I had recurring ovarian cysts (which is kind of what those follicles are really), but my Principal used to be a nurse. I'm not sure if she'll need more or know more.

And I really just don't want to be that vulnerable with her. I don't trust her not to use it against me. And I just don't want to be weak. I'm so protective of this experience, the last person I want to share it with is her. But I will have to.


I am trying to look at the possible positive outcomes. Perhaps it will help her understand my state of mind and health last term. Maybe she will actually show some compassion. She's not so good at that, but it must be in there somewhere. I have other important things to discuss with her too, so I will discuss those with her first. But I know I'm going to cry. I don't want to so badly ... but I don't know how to stop myself.

So that's my plan for tomorrow. In between Year 8 History, Maths exam supervision, a counselling meeting with a student and another meeting with one of my staff, I will spill the beans. At some point in this day I will cry and at some other point, someone I speak to will. After school I will go and pay for my cycle and tomorrow night I will go and paint faces for the opening night of our school musical.

I really don't think I'm going to like tomorrow too much at all. It's going to be a very emotionally difficult day and I will have to be excited and bouyant for the students and their opening night.

I wish I didn't have to do this.


At 12:09 am, Blogger Meg said...

Stell - I hope the day goes better than you think it will. I am planning on calling in sick again. Just can't face it yet. Am still a little crampy, but it's mostly about my brain not being ready.

Is the principal catholic? Perhaps she will surprise you. I do think its important that you tell them and don't just look like you're losing focus in your job. (though i guess it depends if it matters) Much as I hated sitting in my principal's office, weeping, at least they know I am not just a slacker.

I hope tomorrow night is mildly fun. You know how excited the kids get about these things. Despite the time it takes up, these things are the good bits of being a teacher.

Thinking of you. xxx

At 1:26 am, Blogger Lassie said...

Could you be vague? Since she was a nurse maybe she'll understand your need for privacy. Could you say you're dealing with some serious women's health issues which include many tests and follow-ups. I've done that and most people don't probe further.

On the other hand, I did share my IF info with my principal and a few other supervisors. They all have been very supportive and it makes it easier to work on projects etc. because I'm not worried about hiding anything or breaking down.

Good luck with tomorrow, sounds like a really tough day. Take care of yourself.

At 10:47 am, Blogger Bea said...

Good luck. There's really nothing to be said to make the day easier. I hope everyone is understanding.


At 10:51 am, Blogger Kris said...

I've just told my bosses I have an ongoing medical condition that requires frequent medical attention. As for the Catholic issue... many devout Catholics view this as a grey area and she may be one of them. And many Catholics won't even know about the Church's issues with IVF anyway if it's not something they deal with (I'm Catholic and I never realized that until I looked into it. And that's when I found out about many Catholics view this as grey. Oh, and I've done IVF and am doing another. And I have Catholic friends who have all done IVF, too.) And if you can't get away with vagueness, you could always just fudge it and say you are doing GIFT- which is nearly the same protocol so your absences would be the same- and is an "acceptable" form of ART.

I hope things go better than you anticipate.

At 10:20 am, Blogger Mary Ellen and Steve said...

I hope that everything went okay and that everyone was supportive. Thinking of you.


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