Not sure when to take off..

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Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 1937
Not sure when to take off..

I guess I could always ask my MW or OB, but I've been thinking about when to start maternity leave. I get 12 weeks at 60% of my pay. Except that very first week has to be covered by vacation time before it actually kicks in, so 13 weeks really. DH and I don't make enough money for me to stay out of work that long at only 60% of my pay. He said (a longggg time ago) that he thinks I should be able to stay out for 6 weeks and we'd be okay. (Well, not "okay", I'm gonna have to ask my family for money LOL). So, 6 weeks. Okay fine. But I *really* don't want to go into labor at work. But then again, I don't want to go into labor at home, by myself, either. I've never been in labor, so I'm not sure I could drive to the hospital. There's a hospital about 2 blocks from my house, but I don't want to use to that one, I want to use the one about 30 minutes from my house. That's more on DH's way home as well, so... if I were to go into labor, I'd either have to wait an hour for him to get here, then take me 30 mins away or drive it myself for him to meet me. (obviously, that's a perfect world if I get to CHOOSE where to have the baby.)

So, I'm stuck. Do I take off the week before I'm due and wait for it, not so patiently at home, or work right up until the end? I'm the only one who does what I do at work, so if something were to happen at work, it might cause an issue as they'd have to bring someone in to finish my job.

What are you guys planning on doing?? And, how scared did I just get realizing that delivery is NOT that far away? EEEEEEKKKK

browntown's picture
Joined: 04/30/11
Posts: 515


Do you think you'll physically be able to work until you go into labor? I think it'd be safest to pick your end date at work and plan to stick close to home, that way you can have a plan in place as far as who can bring you to the hospital of your choice in the event that your DH is at work when you go into labor.

PS. It always blows my mind to see what you US ladies have to deal with having children, it makes me grateful to live in Canada! I know that we often get criticized for 'long wait times', but if you're in urgent need of anything the services get provided. Pregnant women don't need to worry about insurance providers, co-pays, and the increased costs in the event that you may need a cesarean. Our Employment Insurance covers most of the time you take off before your baby is born as 'sick leave' and then we get a year. I think that while you collect unemployment you're able to work up to 10 hours a week too to supplement your income.

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 1937

Jessica, there's aspects of my job that require heavy lifting, but I've been able to ask one of the guys around and they'll do it for me. It's never really been an issue, if I had to break my job down into percentages, about 80 percent is spent at my desk doing paperwork and the other 20 is sweeping/standing/whatever. I know I'll catch hell down the road for not being able to do simple tasks, but the guys will still do it for me. I think.
Yes, we do face some obstacles here in the states with insurance, etc. DH has better insurance than I do, so the baby will go on his insurance, but in order for ME to go on his insurance, he'd have to pay an additional 25 dollars a week PLUS whatever extra cost he will incur for adding me. The 25 bucks is just so the company can get some money back I guess. It's ridiculous. I have a 1500 dollar deductible - which was met rather quickly this year with my ectopic in Jan/Feb, but still... I still have to pay it. (and yes, I mean STILL... I haven't paid it yet lol). And with mine, it's not considered unemployment, it's short term disability through my insurance carrier. Which means I can't work at all. I don't really think I'll want to work anyway, and I've been tossing the idea around of another job when I get back from being pregnant. I work odd hours and although I'll be able to see my baby earlier everyday, I also need to go to bed early and I don't see that happening. However, my company makes me sign a piece of paper that says I won't look for another job while I'm out on short term LMAO

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Canadians have a great system as far as I have been able to tell.

I get 2 weeks 100% paid leave before my due date plus 8 weeks paid after my due date. So, I will be taking off my 2 weeks early. We can also use any vacation time that we have at that time, and I will have 5 weeks vacation time in 2013 because I have been with my company 10 years, so I am trying to decide how much of that I want to take. It's tempting to take all 5 weeks, but then that leaves me with zero vacation time for the rest of the year, so I am thinking about maybe doing 4 weeks and saving one week for around the holidays. Haven't decided yet.

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 1937

Alissa, Ill have three weeks... Ill HAVE to use one but Ive definitely thought about using more...haha. Sounds like youve got a great plan/insurance. What is it? If you don't mind me asking if you don't wanna share it's cool. I have BCBS, but maternity leave is handled thru Cigna for some reason.

Joined: 03/19/05
Posts: 338

With Sam, I worked on my due date (He was born at 41w1d) then took 6 months off. It was lovely! I could do that because we moved out of state 1 month after he was born and I just waited to apply for work until he was about 5 months old.

I am a nurse and work was able to accomodate my lack of being able to lift near the end. If I only had 6 weeks to take off, I would really try to work as long as possible to maximize my time with baby.

This time, I will be taking the 12 weeks FMLA (thankfully I can cover it with accrued sick and vacation time). The issue this time is that I will be required to go to Anchorage at some point in March (125 miles away from home) since our town hospital does not deliver babies. I am hoping my boss will let me work remotely for the few weeks leading up to my due date.

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

lurking to say I'd want to spend time at home with the baby rather than by myself. I would work until the end. you don't know whether you'll go at 37 weeks or 41. The first 3 months are hard because your sleep is so fragmented.

The Canadian system is great. I want a third but we are living in the US now and I don't want to go back so soon Sad

eliann's picture
Joined: 04/19/11
Posts: 2440

DH and I talk about moving to Canada all the time Wink

My firm is small so there is nothing governing what they have to offer as far as maternity leave goes. FMLA is for employers with 50 or more employees. However, my bosses are nice enough to give me 12 weeks off. All 12 weeks are unpaid, but I'm allowed to use my vacation/sick time if I want. It's sad but I actually feel grateful for that. I had a friend that just had a baby and had to go back to work after 8 weeks because her employer made her or wouldn't keep her job.

I plan to work up until the day. Like Jessica, there will be things I don't want to do like walking 5 miles through a tree nursery or doing certain construction site visits. But mostly I just sit and draw all day in the computer. I could probably work from home if I'm really uncomfortable or something. Plus I like to stay distracted. I'm terrible when I laze about the house.

Joined: 08/15/12
Posts: 109

Barring unforeseen complications, I will work until I deliver. The majority of my job is spent sitting at my desk and my office is 5 minutes from the hospital. I am not taking new litigation with trials set for April or May (trying to avoid hours standing in court, in heels, in a suit, while giganto-pregnant). I plan to take 4 weeks of maternity leave and work part-time through the rest of the summer. My DH will be a SAHD again this time - I went back after three weeks with DS for the same reason.

I would be scared to take time off before birth - I would be bored at home and feeling like a ticking time bomb!

Cherrychip's picture
Joined: 01/31/09
Posts: 1134

With my first, I worked until delivery and I plan to do the same with this one. I actually went into labor on a Saturday night with my first which was very convenient. If you are only taking 6 weeks, I would favor working until you go into labor unless there is a medical reason not to. I think its even recommended for a vaginal delivery that you are off for 6 weeks after delivery and if for some reason you ended up having a c-section the recommendation is 8 weeks, not to mention you will really want that time at home with baby when the time comes.

As far as worrying about going into labor at work, labor normally is a fairly drawn out process so its not too likely that you would all of a sudden be in the midst frequent intense contractions or even that your water would break at work (I think I have read somewhere that only 1 out of 4 pregnancies starts w/ water breaking). My labor started with period like cramps about 20 min, apart, so if I do go into labor at work with this one, I think I will figure it out in time to drive myself home until I am ready to head to the hospital. Is there a hotel or somewhere private close to work that you could go to until your DH came to take you to the hospital if you did go into labor at work? Then you wouldn't have to worry about dealing with labor with all of your co-workers as onlookers.

I am taking 12 weeks which is the max allowed under FMLA, most of that will be covered from my sick bank and vacation bank, however I think there will be 2-3 weeks unpaid. We are financially able to weather that so I am taking the full 12 weeks. I am envious of those in Canada who get a whole year, that would be lovely.

Joined: 07/26/04
Posts: 1595

We are in the midst of trying to figure this out. With my high BP I can be put on bedrest at anytime, like with DD. I was on bedrest at 30 weeks. If that happens I'm totally screwed! IF ALL goes well, I will use up all my sick days until the end of the school year, then I'm luck to have the summer off, then in September I get 6 weeks paid leave. I may take an additonal couple of months unpaid leave then go back in December.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"babywings1" wrote:

Alissa, Ill have three weeks... Ill HAVE to use one but Ive definitely thought about using more...haha. Sounds like youve got a great plan/insurance. What is it? If you don't mind me asking if you don't wanna share it's cool. I have BCBS, but maternity leave is handled thru Cigna for some reason.

My regular health insurance is handled through United Health Care, but all of our leave stuff (FMLA, short term and long term disability, and maternity leave) is handled through Heartland. It is a pretty nice deal, compared to a lot of what I have heard from other moms, but nothing like Canada. Smile The only reason I get 100% pay is because I have been there for longer than 5 years.

I agree with the other ladies that if you don't have time before already worked into your program, then I would spend as much time as you can AFTER the baby is born, unless your job becomes too physically demanding. Our program has the two weeks before, but you can't transfer it to after the baby is born if you don't take it (believe me, I tried with T; he was born 3 weeks early so I missed out on those 2 weeks) so unless I don't have my replacement trained on time, there is no benefit to me to not take those weeks. But I worked up until I went into labor with T, and it really was fine since I sit down at a desk for the vast majority of the day. I'm sure it's different if you are on your feet all day.

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 1937

I know I'd want to use as much time WITH baby, I guess just the thought of being able to take a week off - with no one at the house to bug me and get it all cleaned and ready....and OFF from work has me wanting to take off early.

My house is a wreck. Is anyone "nesting" yet? I don't think that's gonna hit me at all, I'm so friggin lazy LOL

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I am definitely not nesting yet either. I am on "How little can I do and not feel like a total loser if anyone comes by" mode.

Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 1937

Bahahaha that made me bust out laughing!

OkieMommy04's picture
Joined: 07/03/10
Posts: 511

Thats a hard one to decide.. You could be one to go into labor sooner than your EDD, or you could be one to go until your 42weeks(eek!). If you take off too early you will get very bored just waiting I would imagine. I know I do! Since im a sahm and having a c-section I will know when baby will arrive given he doesnt decide to send me into labor early. It wouldnt hurt to ask your widwife and see what she suggests.