It’s Official: I’m Making a (One) Baby

The silent drumroll of my 5w4d ultrasound this morning might have revealed more than one yolk sack, but the grande reveal was one sack and one beautiful progesterone-producing cyst. In other news, so far I have a very healthy pregnancy with one darling little blob starting to develop into a human being.

I know pregnancy is a normal thing… but it’s still crazy to think there’s a person growing INSIDE of me. I’m sure it will be equally crazy yet more conceivable when it gets really big and starts to kick. I’m absolutely terrified of childbirth but, I guess I’m on the rollercoaster and there’s no turning back now! Baby is going to grow and come out of me, whether I like it or not.

Today, I started to really freak out about maternity leave. I talked to HR and got very little information… nothing to calm my fears.  Given I’ll be 9 months into the job when my little one is born, I won’t be eligible for FLMA. We did not go into this in my meeting because I didn’t actually tell them I’m pregnant… I just said I’m researching for future family planning. But without FLMA, I have to rely on the kindness of my boss to not fire me for having to take leave 9 months into my job.

I still don’t understand how short term disability works. I think I get 4 weeks paid fully via work, then I go on STD. I’m unclear if I can take STD and SDI (state) at the same time, and if the concept is that this is supposed to add up to my full paycheck (or close to it) for 6-8 weeks? But without FLMA, does it even matter if I lose my job? And, even if I keep my job, what are my financial responsibilities for health insurance when I’m on leave — do I have to pay the entire amount? I know (now) that I can’t take any PTO (since I don’t get PTO) as part of maternity leave, but it’s purposefully vague regarding if I can take it the second I get back from maternity leave or not… so, can I? Should I “save up” my “unlimited” PTO so I can take a few extra weeks off to bond with my baby — or should I go on vacation now because no matter what, I won’t be eligible to use it once I’ve been out on maternity leave? Who knows.

I just wish I could get some straight answers at this point. Is my job at risk? What % of my salary will I receive and for how long? I know with 4 weeks paid I’m way better off than most people in this country. I can’t imagine not having any paid leave, especially without savings. It’s all sorts of ridiculous that this country that claims to be so “family first” and “anti abortion” and such doesn’t give a shit about what happens once the baby is born.

I’m just hopeful I can keep my job. My goal is to stay in this job for 4 years… and I can’t lose it 9 months in!

 

 

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7 comments

  1. Duckling says:

    My friend is a portfolio manager in the bay area and after her mat leave she was fired. Corporate life is definitely counter to reproduction. It’s such a disadvantage for women. She was already 36 when she had her baby. Thankfully her husband is an engineer at Apple to keep up with the mortgage $1mom mortgage. That’s why it’s so hard for me to ever consider even dating a student. You’re a really good wife to support your husband to go back to school amidst the bills and upcoming costs.

    1. Joy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      That’s horrible. I can’t believe they fired her AFTER maternity leave. So awful. This country is backwards. I’m not sure I’m a great wife as I don’t fully support my husband going back to school… but the other option is him trying to start a job in corporate America with ridiculous hours to build up his career… at least as a teacher he’ll have stable hours, be home in the summer, some form of reliable benefits… there is value to it as well, even though I’m scared.

  2. A says:

    Congratulations!!!

    Based on my experience, here is how short term disability (STD) works – you typically have a two week elimination period, which is 2 work weeks before STD kicks in. Sick pay may be paid during this time. Then STD will pay you for 4 weeks if you have a vaginal birth and 6 weeks if you have a C section. The only way STD will pay any longer is if you have unusual complications and your doctor submits documentation on your behalf that you can’t go back to work. When your STD ends, that’s when your employer would expect you back, so that is when you would need to be prepared to take unpaid leave, work remotely, whatever.

    Honestly, going back to work at that point is going to be tough, even remotely. Hopefully you are getting a few hours of consecutive sleep a couple times a night by that point and hopefully feeding is going well, but caring for a 6-8 week old newborn is a full time job and I can’t imagine trying to work remotely while doing that care.

    1. Joy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      I’m still super confused. Thanks for the info. My work pays for 4 weeks at 100% which is great but then does that mean I can’t use short term disability at all if there is a 2 week waiting period and it only covers 6 weeks post birth? I’m currently planning on going back full time at 8 weeks.

    2. A says:

      Oh, and based on my experience, you will be responsible for the full portion of your insurance premiums while you are on leave. You also are not eligible to contribute to your HSA while you are on leave.

  3. Labangel says:

    Congratulations again! I would not feel comfortable taking so much leave without being covered by FMLA, especially with you being the primary earner.

    How much parental leave and PTO does Mr. HECC get from his job? Is he covered under FMLA, STD, or SDI? Seems much less risky for him to take leave until you’re safe from being fired and then it’s your turn to take leave.

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