I was compelled to write after seeing Maria's post about work and her brave attempts to change the workplace.I find it hard at work. I work in a training environment so I deliver courses and work with colleagues on their work. I'm constantly amazed by how often they make assumptions that all the people they educate are parents or have had experience of bringing up children. They'll often put this into scenarios or role play.
I've had two rounds of IVF. We were pregnant on the second round and most of the company knew of this. We are a small workforce and it was hard to hide my absences and easier to explain them. I also made sure to read information from support groups like the Fertility Friends and Gateway Women so I was prepared for questions. A lot of what we train is about communication so I figured I'd get a few observations. I think we learned a lot at the time. At 18 weeks I miscarried and I truly couldn't have asked for more support. I took some time off on sick leave to restore myself, and when I got back, it was a phased return. People said they were so sorry and nobody tried to fix me, as if that was possible but were kind and forgiving of my woolly brain.
Despite this, they do need to be reminded that I am not the only one. There are people out there who are also affected. As you have said on the site, it's one in five so it's very easy to find that any training course could include someone who has suffered loss. Mine was six years ago but I know that if I was to sit in on a course and be asked to act out a scenario that included being a parent, I'd struggle very much. If you find yourself in that situation, you must tell the trainer if you can. Write a note if you struggle to speak about it. It isn't acceptable but know that I'm out there beating on a drum for you.