Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hi Ho, Hi Ho...'s off to work I go. A week earlier than I anticipated.

For those of you unfamiliar with the way maternity leave benefits work, here's the breakdown:

--Disability pay (EDD): 6 weeks pay before baby's birth and 6 weeks pay after...with a 7 day waiting period of no pay.

--Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): 6 weeks after disability pay runs out.

So, you can theoretically have up to 18 weeks of pay (not full wages, in my case anyway). But, because I went into labor literally the FIRST DAY I took maternity leave (my first day off was Thursday, June 21 and my water broke at 9:30 that night), we calculated that I would be paid through Sept. 24th (12 weeks from Henry's birth)...but we would just go without a week's pay and I would just go back October 1st to make things easy and give me an extra week off.

This morning it occurred to Andy that Disability had only paid me for 5 weeks instead of the 6 weeks. So I called this morning to get it fixed. Well, it turns out that they don't necesarily PAY YOU for 6 weeks...they pay you through 6 weeks after the birth of the baby. Small change in the language, but BIG difference in our case.

I took off from work 3 weeks before my due date. I figured that Henry would be at least a week late, which meant I would be home sans baby for about a month. The 7 day waiting period would fall in that timeline. BUT, because I essentially "waited" (unknowingly) until his birth to begin benefits, the 7 day waiting period fell into my 6 weeks after the birth, and I lost a week's benefits and essentially penalized for having my baby early. And combined with the fact that we haven't received a benefit check in over a MONTH (love the government organization!), we can't afford to go 2 weeks without pay. And actually, if we wanted to not lose any pay, I should be going back to work on MONDAY. Yes, in a few days. Luckily, we're going to absorb the loss of a week.

So, I am devastated. I was already starting to panic that my leave was ending, and to find out that I only have 1.5 more weeks was a big blow. I think I was pretty much in denial that I was going to have to go back at all and now I'm kind of side swiped by the whole thing. Luckily, I found daycare on Monday...yea, a couple days ago. Nice lady, clean house, no pit bulls, and only about a 1/4 mile from my house. Praise the Lord!

All that to say that today's been hard on me and I'm totally upset. But, I'm doing my best to submit to God's Will in all this and just enjoy the last few days I have to be home with Henry. I guess I need to start that pumping...


Kristen Borland said...

keep leaning on God. i can't imagine leaving my babies. i'll pray for you!

Chamnap said...

Is Henry familiar with the bottle?

Jeannett Gibson said...

Yes. I've pumped a couple of times when I had to go to a meeting for work and knew his feeding time would fall into that time span. And luckily, he took it without blinking. Maybe because he takes a Paci so happily, he didn't mind a silicone nipple? Don't know, but I'm glad I don't have to worry about him not eating for three days (like a co-worker of mine had to deal with!). In case you were wondering, it's the Avent bottles he likes.

Chamnap said...

Yikes! Not eating for three days? That's scary! I'm glad to hear that Henry won't have to starve like that.

Ronin gets the bottle once a day for his night time feeding from his daddy. We use the Playtex Drop-Ins.

It's a bummer you have to go back to work so soon though. I must admit, I do miss working. But it's hard for me to even do any freelancing with a baby who doesn't like to nap more than 15 minutes in the afternoon at a time....ugh, he's awake right now!

Peggy said...

Oh Jeannett I am so sorry that you have to go back early. I honestly think it is harder on the moms than the babies. I know that when I went back, I spent the first couple of days wondering if Graeme was OK, was he being held, fed, changed as needed. It only took me a few days to realize that he was fine and that God had put him with a wonderful lady just down the street from mom. You too will soon be ok--I will keep you in my prayers--as always :)


Aren't you missing me??? Nelle says it's time for another visit--I told her I don't think you have started to miss me yet! ;)