how much time off did you & SO take when baby was born? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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More for curiosity than anything.

With our first my husband didnt take any time off at all. He was there in the hospital for the 'birth' and then went right back to work.
I honestly didnt even remember because everything is so brain mushy and foggy about that time. (after we came home) it was just one big hibernation period in my bedroom with the baby. We were in there for about 3 weeks. Only coming out for bathroom/shower and fixing some food to take back to the room. lol.

With this one we've decided to have him take a month off.
All his coworkers were pretty surprised that he would take that much off... That made us wonder what everyone else did.

Thanks in advance for sharing.
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#2 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 10:20 AM
 
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Let's see...we were in the hospital for longer than expected and my husband did take this time off from work (5 days). He returned to work the first work day we were home from the hospital.

I had 2.5 days of help from his mom, but then I was on my own. My mom lives close enough to help, but she didn't volunteer and I didn't ask because it would not have been very helpful, unfortunately.

My husband also worked extremely long hours, sometimes not getting home until past 10 pm.

I felt I did not have enough help since I was recovering from a c-section and also had to care for a newborn. It was very difficult because the pain was overwhelming and really prevented a lot of movement. I tried to wean myself early from the medication because I was breastfeeding and my child was very lethargic until I stopped the medication. That was so hard, but I'm glad I did it.

In retrospect, I wish I had hired a post partum doula or a mother's helper. If I ever go through anothe birth, I would definitely arrange for hired help, no matter what the cost.
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#3 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 10:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by hetaera View Post

With this one we've decided to have him take a month off.
All his coworkers were pretty surprised that he would take that much off... That made us wonder what everyone else did.

Thanks in advance for sharing.
My husband didn't take off this amount of time, but I do have many friends and acquaintances whose husbands took off several week at the time of the birth and they also took some paternity leave when the mom went back to work.

A few of them took just as much paternity leave as the mom took maternity leave - 3 months or more.

Of the moms whose husbands only took a week after the birth, they ALL had other help either from a grandma, a sister, or some other relative.

Many of the moms also had help when transitioning back to work, as well. I didn't have much help after the birth and I didn't have any help around the time I was scheduled to go back to work, so it played heavily into the decision to stay at home.
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#4 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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your post reminds me of how hard it was for me too... Recovering from a c section even though I hibernated basically. I didnt take any pain meds because they made me feel really out of my head and dizzy.
I know with a 2.5 year old running around hibernation wont be possible this time. I also have a bigger house this time so doing anything at all is harder than it was. I was just thinking the other day how After Arien was born I made my world really small and I think it made things really simple for me. I didnt THINK about anything outside my room until I felt better. I cant do that this time.

I do plan a totally natural VBAC this time, so I will probably feel a ton better than last time physically, but maybe I just want the extra cushion to make sure.
Plus him being home for extra bonding cant hurt either.

They already told him if he wants to come back early he can, so it may not be as long as we plan. Even though if it is we're covered.
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#5 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 10:31 AM
 
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I'm a sahm, but dp took 4 months off. He could have taken a year, but the first 4 months get paid at 93% and the rest only gets paid at 55%, so we could only afford for him to take 4 months off.

I really needed him, and wouldn't have more kids if he couldn't take significant time off.

Parental leave is pretty common here. There are several fathers at dp's work that take leave.

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#6 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 10:36 AM
 
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I'm getting 12 weeks and DH will take 5 or 6 weeks.
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#7 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 10:47 AM
 
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your post reminds me of how hard it was for me too... Recovering from a c section even though I hibernated basically. I didnt take any pain meds because they made me feel really out of my head and dizzy.
I know with a 2.5 year old running around hibernation wont be possible this time. I also have a bigger house this time so doing anything at all is harder than it was. I was just thinking the other day how After Arien was born I made my world really small and I think it made things really simple for me. I didnt THINK about anything outside my room until I felt better. I cant do that this time.

I do plan a totally natural VBAC this time, so I will probably feel a ton better than last time physically, but maybe I just want the extra cushion to make sure.
Plus him being home for extra bonding cant hurt either.

They already told him if he wants to come back early he can, so it may not be as long as we plan. Even though if it is we're covered.
Best wishes! I hope the VBAC goes just as you hope. I think it is wonderful you will have help this time around!
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#8 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 10:48 AM
 
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I'm a sahm, but dp took 4 months off. He could have taken a year, but the first 4 months get paid at 93% and the rest only gets paid at 55%, so we could only afford for him to take 4 months off.


Parental leave is pretty common here. There are several fathers at dp's work that take leave.
That is wonderful. That is the way it SHOULD be, in my opinion!
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#9 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 10:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post

I really needed him, and wouldn't have more kids if he couldn't take significant time off.
That is exactly how I felt and still feel. I needed so much help, especially because of my c-section. I won't have more kids, unless my husband takes more time off the next time around.
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#10 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 10:52 AM
 
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My DH takes off as much paid leave as he has on the books at the time of the birth. Last time it was 5 weeks and this time it will be 4, plus he can take off as many half days as he wants to because they dont count as time off for him, so we're going to play that by ear.

My DH wants to bond with his baby and spend as many moments with her as he possibly can when she is first born, and the time he spent with our last DD was magical for all of us. When he went back to work it got tough because I was up all night and couldn't grab a nap during the day so I just unloaded baby and housework and frustrations on him when he got home. That first 6 mos was tough on us and would have been a breeze if he had been able to stay home longer.

I cant imagine doing this without him at my side atleast for the first few weeks.
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#11 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 10:53 AM
 
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Recovering from a c section even though I hibernated basically. I didnt take any pain meds because they made me feel really out of my head and dizzy.
You said it! The drugs they give you after a c-section are just so strong...so disorienting, so dizzying...they literally knocked me over. And made my child so lethargic. It was like night and day when I stopped taking them.

But gosh just thinking about the pain of the c-section recovery without the numbing affect of the drugs. It was pure hell. I think a mom with a regular delivery needs at least a week of help and a c-section mom needs at least double that!
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#12 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 10:57 AM
 
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I cant imagine doing this without him at my side atleast for the first few weeks.
Yes, definitely. New parents need help.

It was the worst point of my life following my c-section and the birth of my child because my husband went back to work right away and worked long, long hours. I was alone with the baby almost all of the time, hobbling around and even taking showers was a major accomplishment for the day.

It took about 6 months to feel "back to normal." If I ever go through it again, I am definitely hiring a post partum doula.
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#13 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 11:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
dp took 4 months off

Parental leave is pretty common here. There are several fathers at dp's work that take leave.
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I'm getting 12 weeks and DH will take 5 or 6 weeks.
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My DH takes off as much paid leave as he has on the books at the time of the birth. Last time it was 5 weeks and this time it will be 4, plus he can take off as many half days as he wants to because they dont count as time off for him, so we're going to play that by ear.
Just out of curiosity...would you mind sharing what line of work your DH/DP's are in where they are able to take off a paternity leave like that?

I do have friends whose husbands were able to take off a few weeks or a few months and most of their husbands are nurses or work for government. My husband says it's not the norm for men to be able to take off a lot of time and not to expect it the next time around...but I wonder about that.
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#14 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 11:11 AM
 
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My son was born on Friday before the Labor Day weekend, and my dh went back to work on Thursday, so he technically took off 3 days.

My mom came, but she came on Monday and Tuesday of that week, so I had both of them at the same time. It was me and a newborn at 1 week postpartum.

Even though I was recovering from a c-section, I was only taking care of a newborn, so it was just diapers and nursing. Dh made sure we had food in the house, I did take my pain meds, and I was fine. I wouldn't have wanted anyone there (that's why they all left).

Next time, though, I know I'll need more help caring for a toddler or preschooler along with a newborn.
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#15 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 11:15 AM
 
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With dd1, dh stayed home for two days, went back to work for two or three days to finish a project, then took three or four weeks...then worked for another month or so and left his job, as we moved...so that was another month plus "off."

With dd2 (XMas Eve baby), he just took the holidays off...

And with ds1 (3rd baby), he took a few days off before birth (thought I was having the baby...water broke early...), and then the rest of the week post-birth. Not as much as we would have liked for sure!

I'm so jealous of those in countries with real paternity leave! What a wonderful thing...and a great social commentary on the importance of fathers and families...

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#16 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 12:23 PM
 
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My DH is in the Army, so he can take off pretty much whatever leave is accrued and granted. He deployed right before the birth of our DS so he wasn't even home till 6 months later (that sucked). With this birth, his unit is giving him 3 free days then there is a 4 day weekend (so 1 week free!) plus he's taking 10 days of leave- so about 3 weeks total.
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#17 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 12:27 PM
 
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With DS1, DH took off a total of about a week. We spent most of that in the hospital though, so when I got home I was pretty much on my own with the baby. Like some of the PP's I spent that first 3-4 weeks hibernating in the bedroom with the baby, only venturing out for food and drinks and the VERY occasional visit from family.

This time, we'll be lucky if DH gets a couple of days. He's working tons of overtime, and this is his busiest time of year. My mom is going to help a little bit, but it's also her busy time and she only has a few vacation days left after my sis had twins earlier in the year, and she had to go to a funeral last month.

So I'll be basically on my own within a few days of birth for 15 hrs a day, with a 2yo running around. I'm a little freaked out. :

DH is really disappointed about not being able to spend time with the new babe, but unfortunately we just don't have any options.

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#18 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 12:33 PM
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With DS1, he took off about 9-10 days, I think. With DS2, he was born on a saturday, and DH was back at work on Monday. He had no paid vacation time, so if he didn't work, we didn't eat. This time, he has paid vacation time, but the amount of time he takes off depends on when the baby is born. If the baby comes in December, probably a week or two, if January, probably more. He gets more vacation time in January.
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#19 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 12:36 PM
 
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Let's see....

DH is military (Army), and even though he's always had more than enough leave 'in the bank', actually being able to TAKE leave is another matter altogether. There simply isn't enough staff to do what he does with all the deployments.

First pg, full term twins, scheduled section with no labor, he was off four days total. They were born on Monday, we came home on Tuesday, he went back to work on Friday. He was only *supposed* to have Monday and Tuesday, but 9/11 was that Tuesday, and the base was locked down to all non-essential people. At the time, he was still a student and considered non-essential, so we got two extra days.

Second pg, full term singleton, ERCS, he was off the day of delivery only. Surgery was on Monday morning, he was back in the OR with patients Tuesday morning. That sucked as I wasn't even out of the hospital yet.

Third pg, full term singleton, ERCS, by this point he was finally staff instead of student, though that didn't help a whole lot overall in terms of leave time. Surgery was on Tuesday afternoon, he was off Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Went back to work on Friday. Worked the following two full weeks, then was off pretty much the entire next two weeks with just a few hours here and there to show his face. That was only because it was Christmas holidays for his students though, not because we had a new baby.

He was around the most by far after this delivery, and it was very nice. I can't even imagine having him around for weeks on end immediately after having a new baby. Heck, with him currently deployed (left when baby number four was 3 months old), I can't imagine having him around at all right now. I cannot wait to be civilians again. 10 months and counting....
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DF is taking all of his accumulated vacation days, which is a week and a half. Hopefully this will be enough. If not, I've got family in the area, most importantly, a 12 year old niece who I could take for a week or so to be a mother's helper and fetch things and do dishes. Luckily she's sweet kid and enjoys helping.

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#21 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 01:29 PM
 
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I took off 2 months, but went back less than 10 hrs/week.

DF took 6 weeks. He is the chef of a conference center run by an educational nonprofit. They had to hire a temp replacement for him. For him, the first month is paid, the second is paid at 75%, and the third is paid at 50%.

It was nice having him home, but he probably could have went back at 3-4 weeks and I would have been fine. Next time (with DS around full time and DSD around half-time) I will be happy to have him around for a while.

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#22 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 01:33 PM
 
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I took off 12 weeks.
DH took off two weeks after the birth of the baby (I was recovering from surgery too, but even when I was planning a natural birth he was going to take two weeks off to help). After I went back to work DH took 12 weeks off (we overlapped on my last week/his first week for Christmas vacation though) and so DD did not go to daycare until she was 5.5 months old. He was a trend setter and his other coworkers started doing the same thing. He got lots of positive comments about it, although sometimes I got annoyed by it. He was called a saint to stay at home with his daughter for twelve weeks by his mother, while when I told her I wanted to be a stay at home mom I got laughed at and told "You are no suzy homemaker."

Someone had asked about DP line of work if they were able to take leave. DH works for the state in Law Enforcement. Back when he was single he never ever took time off, so he had more than enough annual leave to cover his 12 weeks (plus the 2 to take care of baby and me at the beginning). The state obviously has to uphold FMLA laws.
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#23 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 01:40 PM
 
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DH took 2 weeks with DS1, 1.5 weeks with DS2. He plans to take 2 weeks this time.

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#24 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 01:43 PM
 
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Just out of curiosity...would you mind sharing what line of work your DH/DP's are in where they are able to take off a paternity leave like that?

I do have friends whose husbands were able to take off a few weeks or a few months and most of their husbands are nurses or work for government. My husband says it's not the norm for men to be able to take off a lot of time and not to expect it the next time around...but I wonder about that.
My DP is in the IT industry. Here in Canada, parental leave is through the government , and you get 55% of your pay to a certain maximum. That is offered as 37 weeks that one or both parents can take or share. There is an additional 15 weeks that is solely maternity leave (so a woman can take 52 weeks off, for example.)

Then, a lot of companies here offer parental leave top ups. So my partner's work offers to top up the 55% to 93 for 17 weeks. Some offer varying amounts of top up for varying amounts of time.

His last job only offered top up for women, so we saved his bonus and our tax refund so he could stay home 8 weeks. It was nice, but not really enough.

The other thing is having him home made things a lot easier for my daughter. She never had any problems adjusting to the new baby, and I think that was because there was two of us home for the first 4 months.

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#25 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 01:53 PM
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My husband is a carpenter.
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#26 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 01:55 PM
 
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None for dh. We had planned on two weeks, but with Lilly coming early things didn't work out. At the time I had my dd, dh was working full time at night plus trying to start is business during the day. He took the night before I had my c-section off (we didn't realize I was going to deliver the next day, he was just worried because I was so sick), the day after dd was born was Thanksgiving so he already had that off, and he went back to work on Friday. My mom drove me to and from the hospital until for two weeks until I could drive. I basically lived at the NICU for the six weeks Lilly was there. When she came home I was pretty much on my own except for my mom coming over to help when she could. Jimmy was sleeping most of the time he was not working. This time around dh is self-employed so he will have a much more flexible schedule and will be able to stay at home more.

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#27 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 02:43 PM
 
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Let's see... DH worked the Tuesday before DS was born, we drove to the Farm during the night, he was born Wednesday, we drove back home Friday, and then DH worked half-days the next week... So, three full days and five half-days off.

It was enough for us, but it was the first baby, no c-section or hard recovery, and my parents were around for most of the time, so that made a big difference. Next time he might need to take more, with a little boy in the house.

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#28 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 03:02 PM
 
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You all are making me drool with envy!

I was a single mom when I had my twin boys, but my parents were staying with me, and they stayed for 2 months. HEAVEN. I met my dh when the boys were 3 months, we got married when they were 6 months, and he adopted them last year.

When I had dd, he took off only a week. My mom came for 2w after that, but I ended up having emergency gallbladder surgery, so I couldn't do much.

This time dh is taking off 2w, and my mom is coming after that for 2w. So I'm hoping a month will be enough to get into somewhat of a good groove with 4 kids under the age of 5. :

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#29 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 03:27 PM
 
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I'm a sahm, but dp took 4 months off. He could have taken a year, but the first 4 months get paid at 93% and the rest only gets paid at 55%, so we could only afford for him to take 4 months off.

I really needed him, and wouldn't have more kids if he couldn't take significant time off.

Parental leave is pretty common here. There are several fathers at dp's work that take leave.
: : :
We live in Ontario also, but since we are a one-income family, and there is a cap on parental benefits, and most people don't get any 93%, and there are 2 weeks of ZERO, we can't afford for dp to take any parental leave.
It would not even pay our rent, and we're a family of five. We also need to eat and pay our bills. I'm so angry that he can't take any of it when he's paid so much into EI. This system is lauded as a great example, but it's really not accessible.

4 kids under 10
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#30 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 04:31 PM
 
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No I agree. We are a one income family too and the maximum is less than 55% so my partner actually gets less than 55% from the government. We were lucky that my daughter was born right after we got our tax refund and bonus.

It also varies greatly by industry I imagine. Most of my friends also have benefits that include parental leave top up.

It needs to be more accessible for sure.

It is still better than the big fat zero one gets in the U.S.

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