Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month: How Avanade supported me through my pregnancy
- Posted on October 15, 2019
- Estimated reading time 2 minutes
Though many countries across the world recognize Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness during the month of October (and specifically on Oct. 15), this month has specific significance to me. It was in October of last year that I found out I had miscarried nine weeks into my second pregnancy.
Everyone processes their miscarriages differently. Many choose to take months or even years to mourn the loss before they feel ready to try for another baby. I wanted to try again right away. I had lost a possibility – the potential to grow our family and give my daughter a sibling – and I wanted that possibility back as soon as I could make it happen.
The trouble was that I was interviewing for a new job just the month after my miscarriage – my husband worked at Avanade, and a friend at work thought I would be a good fit for an open internal communications role. As I went through the interview process, I couldn’t help worrying about my desire to get pregnant again. It would be hugely inconvenient for my team to start a job and then have to take a leave within the first year. Would I even qualify for maternity leave with so little time with the company?
I found out I was pregnant the weekend after I was offered the job at Avanade. I was excited about the new opportunity and thrilled that we were expecting again, but all those anxieties bubbled to the surface. By the time I started, I would need to tell my boss that I was pregnant – what a conversation to have to have during your first week!
I asked my career adviser for a minute to talk about something our first day together in the office. I told myself not to apologize, but I couldn’t help it. “I’m so sorry,” I said, “but I’m pregnant. I found out right after I got the job.”
She smiled at me. “First of all, congratulations! Secondly, don’t be sorry. We have plenty of time to figure it out.”
I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Pregnancy discrimination is not a thing of the past in the American workforce, and I knew that many companies and managers would not have handled that conversation with grace, let alone enthusiasm and support.
This October, I’m two months into a maternity leave with my sweet second baby, James. I still think of that pregnancy I lost, but I’m so grateful for everything that happened in the year since. I joined a company that is sincere in its values and dedication to support its employees and their families. I didn’t have to choose between a great job and growing my family.