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Starting maternity leave before birth

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Anyone else doing this?

I'll be going out on leave in another 2-3 weeks for health reasons...totally unrelated to the fact that I'm pregnant I have a stupid amount of stress in my life right now that I can't avoid (mostly having to do with being a single mom and going through divorce) so my midwife agreed that it's best I take disability leave from work to prevent endangering this pregnancy.

DP and I came to the decision that I'll be staying home after baby girl gets here (I say I'm still a single mom because he juggles full time work and full time school so we literally only see other on the weekends). It's just so weird to realize I only have a handful of days of work left for quite a long time. It's hard not to be scared silly either by the loss of a paycheck. And crazy to imagine the backlash we'll get from our families about me becoming a SAHM because every woman has worked while her kids were little and we assumed that I would too (until we saw the price of daycare for 2 under 2 ).

Anyone else in any of the same boats? How are you feeling about it?
post #2 of 16
Yep, I'll be finishing up at 37 weeks, since I'll be induced at 39. It's the norm here, people keep telling me to take more time!!
post #3 of 16
Still debating. Will probably go into labor at work
post #4 of 16
I will be 32 weeks tomorrow and am not scheduled to work another day. I may, if I feel up to it work two Saturdays in July, but I probably won't. It is different for me though because I only work per diem which for me is usually 3 Saturdays a month. I am very happy to be off from work for a while as I have two little boys (ages 2 and 5) that I am thrilled to spend the time with before their little sister arrives. Good luck to you and it sure sounds like you have made the right decision.
post #5 of 16
I'm taking off 3 days before my due date. Does that count ? Everyone thinks I'm crazy, but I did this last time, too, and the baby was 4 days late, which was PLENTY of time for me to sit at home thinking about when she'd come. Honestly, if I were to quit working now, I'd wear myself out a whole lot more than I do at work. I have a desk job, but when I'm at home I am constantly cleaning out closets and rearranging furniture and digging up weeds, etc.

secondimpression-- It sounds like it's totally the right decision for you. I hope you enjoy SAHMing.
post #6 of 16
secondimpression, sounds like you really need to take this time off, I hope it helps your stress levels.

I put my due date down as my first day of leave, so did my DH. I did stop traveling for work, so now I am either working from home or visiting local customers only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyKT View Post
Honestly, if I were to quit working now, I'd wear myself out a whole lot more than I do at work. I have a desk job, but when I'm at home I am constantly cleaning out closets and rearranging furniture and digging up weeds, etc.
Same for me, I think having work to do does help distract me a bit. I'm not nearly as efficient as I used to be though!
post #7 of 16
I don't work out of the house, but I am babysitting my cousin's three kids while school is out. They are 12, 7, and 3 so together with my 4 and 2 year old I consider it a full time job .

I have already let her know that as of August 1st I am done. That is 4 weeks before my due date. For myself, I want to de-stress and be able to enjoy time with my family for those weeks before we have such a big change.

I am very excited about this because there are so many things I have wanted to do this summer but cannot until I stop babysitting. I don't have enough seats in the car to drive all 5 kids somewhere. And with the oldest kid being a runner I don't even feel comfortable walking them to the neighborhood park anymore.
post #8 of 16
i'm in a pickle about this one too. i have my leave date set at 37.5 weeks but i'm starting to think it's not soon enough. i'm only part time now but my job is so physically demanding that i don't know what to do. the company i work for is very supportive but in my dept it's another story. my manager told me the other day that basically he can't "accomodate"me and there's no light duty in my position. which i think he was saying i should just go....which was very uncomfortable. i'm on my feet all day and i've been having back/hip pain that my mw yesterday told me to call HR and see about my options. i just am scared that if i take my leave now, i'll be faced with a 1 month old baby and a decision to go back to work or lose health insurance...i have no idea what my options and rights are. i keep telling myself i'ts only part time but when i'm halfway through my shift i want to lay down and cry.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyKT View Post
I'm taking off 3 days before my due date. Does that count ? Everyone thinks I'm crazy, but I did this last time, too, and the baby was 4 days late, which was PLENTY of time for me to sit at home thinking about when she'd come. Honestly, if I were to quit working now, I'd wear myself out a whole lot more than I do at work. I have a desk job, but when I'm at home I am constantly cleaning out closets and rearranging furniture and digging up weeds, etc.

secondimpression-- It sounds like it's totally the right decision for you. I hope you enjoy SAHMing.
That's exactly what I do when I chicken out at work and take a half day (and don't pick DS up until my regular pick up time). When you're used to the work/daycare/being a mom shuffle, it's so relaxing to just take time to catch up on chores (or play in the dirt without an LO eating it ) without having to worry about the kids. I'll probably do great at being a SAHM for the first month before the daily grind starts to kick in and I'll be wishing I was still working

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimkim View Post
i'm in a pickle about this one too. i have my leave date set at 37.5 weeks but i'm starting to think it's not soon enough. i'm only part time now but my job is so physically demanding that i don't know what to do. the company i work for is very supportive but in my dept it's another story. my manager told me the other day that basically he can't "accomodate"me and there's no light duty in my position. which i think he was saying i should just go....which was very uncomfortable. i'm on my feet all day and i've been having back/hip pain that my mw yesterday told me to call HR and see about my options. i just am scared that if i take my leave now, i'll be faced with a 1 month old baby and a decision to go back to work or lose health insurance...i have no idea what my options and rights are. i keep telling myself i'ts only part time but when i'm halfway through my shift i want to lay down and cry.
Look into your FMLA rights. It's not just job protection but also protects your health insurance benefits. 12 weeks (even if it's unpaid) can suddenly seem like the world when you were originally faced with the more typical 6 that's covered under most employer disability plans.
post #10 of 16
I've just dropped to 4 days a week, starting next week, I'm really looking forward to it! I have sick leave I need to use up, so this seems like the best way to do it.
post #11 of 16
update: i found out that there's a "pregnancy disability leave" i can take (also unpaid, up to 12 weeks) before i take my maternity leave. so that takes some pressure off. i'm thinking of getting a doctor's note saying i can only work 6 hr shifts as well b/c even though i'm down to 2 or 3 days a week, 8 hours wrecks me. i'm basically in tears my last hour. i'm sure my boss will hate it but i keep reminding myself to not be a martyr and it's not about sucking it up-my baby needs to rest too. but i still have this little stubborn voice in my head telling me it's only part time, i'll have the rest of the week to recover and rest, but honestly when i'm in the middle of my "monday" it doesn't matter if i have to wokr 5 days or 1 day, it's hard! at least i've started refusing to lift 50 lbs.
so now i've decided to use the disability leave at 35 weeks and have that run to my due date (i was having mat leave start at 37) which gives me a few more weeks later of maternity leave. i hate how stressful this is.
post #12 of 16
I'm off now - I finished at 30 weeks (first 2 were vacation). Since I live in Canada I get paid mat leave for a year and sickness benefits before baby comes. I wouldn't have minded working longer with reduced hours, but the way it works here is that they count your last 26 weeks (average out pay) to decide what your benefits will be. This means that if you reduce your hours at work, you will also be reducing your benefits! I just couldn't work full-time anymore. I have an autoimmune disorder and don't want stress to make it flare up (I'm currently asymptomatic), plus I am a bank teller and on my feet all day at work which is terrible for my sciatica and my swelling ankles! My feet and ankles are so swollen that the bottoms of my feet feel bruised and tender. I feel justified in taking this time off, even though my income will be greatly reduced (55% of regular earnings).
post #13 of 16
I'm a teacher, so I'm on summer holiday, but I'm not going back in the fall. My due date is actually three days before the first day of school. So if this little one is late, I'll be calling in "sick" until baby arrives. Hopefully not too late because I only get 7 sick days a year. But they take them as part of the leave, so I figure why not? I'm very happy not to be working right up until baby comes like I did with DD#1. (Yes, I worked the day I went into labor.)
post #14 of 16
i'm so jealous of other countries maternity policies. it's so frustrating in the us. while we get time off and our jobs protected, it's unpaid so it's not like there's any extra income to count one which means a lot of mommas go back to work for money reasons, not because they are ready or rested. i'd take a year's pay reduced over 12 wks unpaid anytime.
post #15 of 16
DDC Crashing from September. I'm planning on going out at 38 weeks, at this point, but I'm seriously considering bumping it up to 37 weeks. I would ideally stop much sooner, but I'm not sure how I could swing that! My midwives said "there is always a reason to write someone off work in late pregnancy," so as soon as I can get a good enough reason to cover it I will go out on short-term disability, which my employer covers at 100% pay. Technically this counts towards my FMLA, but it's not really an issue.
post #16 of 16
Hi Kimkim,

I have to say I DO feel very fortunate that I do get paid maternity/parental leave because I live in Canada, even though my pay is reduced. I know many people believe that they shouldn't be subsidizing mothers taking time off to have children, but I think that these people aren't looking at the whole societal picture. There are a few reasons why paying women to take this time with their babies benefits society and possibly even LOWERS costs in the long term. For one, giving mothers time off with babies encourages breastfeeding for longer periods (and exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months) which long term studies show this encourages healthier children and therefore less of a burden on the medical care system. Northern European studies (I can't cite any, but have read them in the past) show that in countries where a parent is given paid time off for a year or more, the crime rates are MUCH lower!!! If that isn't a great cost-savings to society, I don't know what is. Having time to bond with parents is invaluable!

I'm sure there are more studies showing even more reasons.... check our parental leave stats around the world according to Wikipedia. Interesting!!!
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