How to Go Back to Work

My husband and I lost our baby girl 6 weeks ago at 37 weeks. Nothing was wrong until then, so it was a big shock. We don't have other children. I am trying to think about going back to work, but get stuck on how I will deal with the adjustment back to what I left. I was hoping to be a stay at home mom, so it feels a bit surreal to think about it. I have avoided talking to anyone from my office, and have only had a discussion with HR (about how I don't qualify for FMLA, and need a note from my doctor to be out at all under the protected status of FMLA). Did anyone have a good experience with asking someone to tell coworkers not to bring up the loss with you? I am also job hunting, as I think a change could help. Anyone have a good experience with a job change after their loss? Not sure how to handle this hurdle! Thanks.

5 Replies

  • In reply to Osa:

    Hi and welcome. I am so very sorry for the loss of your baby. I think the best person to reach out to for this is the HR department, if you have one, or a manager you feel comfortable with. I think the key is that co-workers still conduct themselves professionally, and use a sort of silent understanding as support, and do not offer un-solicited advice that just really isn't helpful. I think it prevents "open mouth insert foot " type of moments. I wish you luck in returning to work. Please know we are here for you if your would like to share more about your loss.
    Love and Hugs
    Brandi
  • Hello and welcome. I am so very sorry for the loss of your daughter. I lost my daughter due to Trisomy 18, 11 years ago. When I went back to work, I transferred to a different branch, because I was worried about customers asking about my baby. As it turns out, it was almost worse as the co-workers didn't know me, why I was there or what had happened to me. I didn't have anyone who had empathy for me or why I had mood swings or bouts of crying in the restroom. That doesn't necessarily mean that change is a bad thing, I think that if I had been a brand new employee instead of a transfer, in a better branch (it was depressing and going down hill with bad management) it could have been a lot better. When I was able to get to a more stable branch, where a few coworkers knew a little of my story, I felt welcomed yet also not judged. I would reach out to your HR department, and see if they have some sort of protocol for the situation, a way to tell everyone to be supportive but also normal and professional. Good luck in your job search - sometimes better opportunities turn up when you least expect them. Please know that many of us understand how it feels to lose a child and we are here for you.
    Love and Hugs
    Brandi
  • I am so sorry to read about the loss of your baby girl. I know how it still must feel so raw. I am wondering if your doctor might be able to write you a note for postpartum depression? Would that help in giving you more time before going back to work (if financial need)? I don't think many of us knew exactly what the next step would be either, so please don't worry about not having a road map for this journey. I think there's that outside pressure too from whomever to get back to a job and "normalcy," but those people/family don't understand that every aspect has changed. I took two years away from what I knew, teaching, and did some daycare. Looking back, I don't really know how I did that, but I had this extreme urge to hold a baby and to care for little ones. I was still very quick to tear up and I knew that I couldn't handle being in front of teenagers. I also didn't have any interest in leaving my home, so being able to stay in one place in comfy pants, and be that hero to another family sounded good. Eventually, I missed my old job and went back part-time at a different school site. Months had passed and it was nice to be among work colleagues again. You just have to find what feels right and know that it doesn't have to be the next career. This can be the time to try something totally different. Give yourself time to make that choice if you can. If you venture into anything, you definitely want/hope it to be a positive experience.

    Sending hugs and strength,

    Lindsay
  • In reply to Osa:

    Thanks for responding. I am so sorry for your loss as well. Ugh! Terrible that we have this in common, but I will certainly keep you posted on what I do and how it goes.
  • I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my baby 3weeks ago at 28weeks and I am dreading going back to work. Like you, I would like to hear from others about asking someone to tell co-workers not to bring up the loss.
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