So, today I had a good conversation with my midwife about when I should stop working, but it's made me a little nervous!
I have had a rough couple weeks. I am not sleeping well at all, nothing is comfortable...my hips or arms end up numb and it wakes me up. Then I wake up to pee. Then I wake up because of heartburn! I'm miserable my joints are starting to hurt too, luckily I just saw my massage therapist and chiropractor, which helped...but I'll probably have to go back in a week or two, nothing takes the discomfort away entirely. Anyway, my job is also very intense, urgent deadlines every day, and just a lot of work. I am starting to feel very stressed even though I am already on modified duties.
My midwife suggested that I might not be able to make it all the way to late November like I was planning. She said I may need to go much earlier, and I could consider taking medical leave prior to my mat leave. I could get 8 weeks on top of my 52 weeks of maternity leave, and I think medical leave is paid the same at 55% of my average pay.
I feel guilty leaving so early though like I am failing or something, like I'm not able to handle it. I do feel grateful that I have the option, I know not everyone else is lucky enough to have paid leave, but I still feel bad for some reason!
What is everyone else doing? Is everyone feeling okay, or anyone else considering taking off early?
Wow, Hilary, you shouldn't feel guilty about having to start your leave early. You are so lucky that you have that option for paid leave before and after the baby. Maternity leave in the US stinks! I am hoping that I don't have to start my leave early because if I do it won't be paid, and I only get 6 weeks at half pay after baby is born. And at my appt today my blood pressure was slightly elevated so that worried me a little. And I totally feel you on starting to feel miserable. The last couple of weeks it has hit me too. Sleep is awful for me right now and my back hurts most of the time. Today my doctor wrote me a note for work to let me sit down whenever possible.
If you do start your leave early, enjoy it and relax
I am planning to work as long as I possibly can, but that's because I can't really afford to take off any sooner! Don't beat yourself up if you need more time. Your health is the most important thing right now, and that includes mental health...all that stress and deadlines can't be good for you. Listen to what your body (and your doctor) is telling you.
I'm planning on working up until my C-section date. But my job is super flexible. I can usually sleep in until I'm ready to get up, so if I have a bad night I can go in late. Also, I can arrange my schedule to where I can work from home and take lots of breaks. And the last couple of weeks they will not give me any new work, so I'll only have to clean up my desk for the temp to take over for me. Also, my boss already modified my job so I no longer have to do large fires or drive long distances.
Trust me, if my job was not so flexible I would have to stop soon, I'm having a hard time moving around these days too!
DH Mike 2/10/01
DS Caleb 11/19/05
DS Jonah 11/25/11
WOW, I wish I was in Canada!
That said, California's maternity leave laws are better than a lot of states' laws. I was pulled out of work at 26 weeks. I'm bored, SO bored, and wish I was able to work (and earn more money.) The maximum here is 16 weeks disability if you're actually unable to work like me (most people get 4 weeks before birth max, 6 weeks after max) and the pay is ~55%. Then 6 weeks of paid family leave at ~55% and another 6 weeks unpaid (men get this, too). If I'm disabled more than 16 weeks (hopefully, since that will mean I kept these babies in for a long time!!! AND got my disability time afterwards - usually 8 weeks for c-section) that will cut into my leave time available to me afterwards. No matter what, I have no job protection after 28 weeks.
Hilary- There is no failure you have the option you should use it and relax. When my hubs said we could make it with his salary and I could be a SAHM, I quit that week lol.
Most women in the states do not get any paid leave, so that is so awesome that you have the option to take additional time off with pay before your already generous maternity leave. Don't feel guilty. You only have a baby one to a few times in your lifetime. It is a special moment in time, not to be filled with regrets and stress. Do what feels right and don't sweat anything else! Sounds like a little earlier leave will do you good. Afterall, you are already so busy baking a baby in there! People think it is so easy and we do nothing, but that couldn't be further from the truth! It is a hard job to carry and grow a baby.
I work from home and have actually been a pretty big slacker these days... just so distracted! But I am really lucky to have been granted 3 months half pay. I may have a few extra days off (PTO) to use before my mat leave, which I will lose if I don't use, so I will probably slow down even more at the end and take a few extra days off here and there.
Working all the way, but only for the reasons the other women from the states said.
Do not feel guilty or risk your own health or the baby's over some sort of pride war you are having w/ yourself. No worries, take what is being offered & what your ob thinks is best.
~~ DESTINED FOR ESTROGEN ~~
DD Phoenix, 5 DD Violet, 3 DD Boots, 12/2011