Posts Tagged ‘maternity leave’

Run Dry

I breastfed for the last time this morning. I am not a woman who loves to nurse, it took Herculean efforts to produce anything for both of my babies. Which is why ending so early is bitter sweet. There certainly is something to looking down onto a completely satisfied face, knowing that I’m providing everything she needs. My first weaned herself at 10 months, about 12 weeks after I received my graduate degree and headed back to work. Life cannot afford me a 7 month maternity leave this time and things have already run dry. The benefits and freedoms of moving on will hit me soon, but for now I am feeling the sting of a far too short baby leave.

I’m trying not to rant here, but this is a national issue and, if I don’t speak, it won’t be corrected. I will not have another baby, but my daughters might and I hope things are better for them. We all know that, when we compare our national maternity leave policy to other developed countries, we come out on the short end. At least 178 countries have national laws guaranteeing paid leave for new mothers. More than 50 nations, including most Western countries, also guarantee paid leave for new fathers. In the US, like most things, it has become an issue dividing the haves and the have-nots. Evidently, family values have a price.

My experience is a shining (or not so shining) example: I am the full-time working mom of a lower-middle class family. My field is small and does not provide paid leave, relying on its employees to purchase disability insurance to cover their own time off. I have the unlucky circumstance of suffering pre-existing conditions, so the Aflac duck rejected me. I had to pay for everyday of my leave out-of -pocket. I took on additional consulting work throughout my pregnancy and its going to take an act of God to keep us economically afloat through Christmas. I have used every second of sick time I have through June of next year.

I’ve returned to the office despite the fact that I am still working with my Docs to get my health back on track, my daughter is up twice a night with colic, breast pumping has failed almost immediately and, lest we forget, my husband and I are suffering the economic stress of digging out while trying to pay for childcare, more health insurance and the looming Santa season. Not shocking that 60% of women who return to work before 12 weeks suffer from diagnosed, medical depression. The cost to employers in productivity and tax payers in welfare/health coverage should be enough for us to reconsider our policies.

Going into the pregnancy we knew that this would be our burden to bare. I did not make the economic downturn, it has denied me so many things but I’ll be damned if it was going to keep me from being a mom. Maternity leave should not be the major barrier keeping otherwise stable families from having children. My baby girl has started to coo at me, so many stories she has to tell. No doubt she is worth all of this, but it is my job to always want more for her. To want more for the families in our country.

MORE information from Human Rights Watch.

Advertisements

Ridiculousness

I’ve decided to choreograph a dance piece called Way Too Pregnant Woman Gets Off the Couch.  A former dancer and current fan of  So You Think You Can Dance, I’ve decided it is the only performance I could ever do better than Melanie. Next up: Too Pregnant Woman Gets Out of the Bath Tub.

I’ve reached a point of ridiculousness, where everyone I run into seems surprised to see me, AGAIN. The neighborhood coffee girl, my office mates…I’m even kind of surprised that my legs continue to get me around. But they have managed to deliver me to the office and four doctors appointments this week.

And, the news is all encouraging:

  • My pain Doc and my OB/GYN actually talked to each other! On the phone! I didn’t know actual communication in the medical field was allowed. This means that my pain management for the C-section and recovery will be planned and in my chart, so as not to surprise anyone on delivery day.
  • My Ped is prepping the chart for the baby’s observation, meaning an unsuspecting Doc on rounds won’t throw my kid into child protection for weird blood levels.
  • And, the lactation consultant has approved my plan to nurse, based on a recent study published by the Journal of Ob/Gyn that found doses of Vicodin as small as mine to be perfectly safe.

I guess the lesson of the week is that preparation is your chronic pain friend, even if it means lots of time in waiting rooms, with people staring at you  – like you might just deliver right there. 18 days left, and yes, I AM going to make it.

The Littlest Rabbit

Just another WordPress.com weblog

National Pain Report

What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

SeasonedSistah2

Today is Better Than Yesterday

These Next 6 Months

It's all about perspective...

The New Melissa

Finding the new "normal" and creating a new life with migraine disease

Tissue Tales

My journey, navigating through life with a Connective Tissue Disorder.

Chronically Inspired

Rising Above Pain Creatively

intoxreport.wordpress.com/

'The Contra-Connoisseur’s Guide to Wine, Beer, Spirits And Other Stuff The World Got Right'.

Living Life As I See Fit

Because There is More To Me Than Just Rheumatoid Arthritis & Fibromyalgia

The Diary of a Happy Mom: 40 and Beyond

The trials and tribulations of an adventurous modern mom

Pain In The Mom

...trying to keep sane while in chronic pelvic pain

Graceful Agony

Living your best life in spite of having chronic illness and pain

grUBER FIT

Health, Fitness, Experience, and Adventure

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

Not From Around Here

Adventures as a Stranger in a Strange Land

Tea Time with Mandy

Only in Canada? Pity.