Wishing you courage

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow'."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My maternity leave

Co-worker, "CW", who I'm covering for, AGAIN, when she has her second son next month, is thrilled today because she just got a much coveted day care spot for the wee one, beginning in December.  The baby will be too young to go in December but this means that she can return to work whenever she wants to.  It turns out that she was crying last night at the thought of having to stay home alone with the baby because "they don't do anything".

I teased her by saying "Poor, poor, CW, having to stay home with the baby."

Of course it's annoying to hear someone talk about not wanting to be around their kids too much, and it's especially rude of her to say such inane things to me when she knows that my son died, but that is not upsetting me - it feels more like a fact of life to be dealt with.  I'm annoyed because no one wants to hear my plan for maternity leave, even though it makes sense that no one is concerned since I'm not pregnant.  But I will probably try to get pregnant within the next year and MAYBE I'll even get a baby that lives at the end of it and I will get maternity leave.  Although, next time that I get a dead baby I'm taking "maternity" leave / mourning leave / regular leave instead of doing it like last time where I returned to work as soon as my swollen, lactating breasts could be squeezed back into work clothes.  I tell you, everyone wants to see you get right back to normal after a pregnancy loss and they are so reassured when you go back to work.  Like getting out of bed to shower and change into clean pj's before getting right back into bed isn't enough. 

Even though my experience with live babies is incredibly limited, here is my plan for if I ever get a living baby:

1.  Take a full six weeks off of work and spend that time holding the baby.  Of course I'll have to put it down some times or let someone else have a turn but basically all I want to do is hold the baby for 6 weeks.

2.  Cut my hours a work to a point where I still get benefits and make enough money and return to work 3 days a week and work from home to complete the rest of my hours.  When I'm not working I'll be holding the baby.

3.  Do step 2 for two to three years then consider preschool.

In reality there are probably many flaws to this plan and I will deal with those as they come along.  But from my perspective of having such empty, aching arms for 3 years now and understanding how devastating it is when your child is gone, I see nothing that sounds more desirable than hugging and cuddling my child.


Whether or not it is actually something to prepare for right now, do you have an ideal plan for your maternity leave?


Quiet Dreams said...

I think you have a fantastic plan.

Jenn said...

You're a better woman than me, or maybe just further on down your grief road, as that lady complaining about having to stay home with her baby would have upset me.

My maternity leave was the 12 weeks FMLA covers and then it turned permanent. I just couldn't leave my daughter, so when my 12 weeks was up I let them know I wasn't going to be returning to work.

Your plan to just cuddle and hold your baby sounds perfect. A lucky baby to have a mama like you. :)

Lisette said...

I love your idea and it is possible. My maternity leave was also 12 weeks (FMLA) and I plan on doing the same for this pregnancy. Holding my live baby girl in my arms as much as I could is my main plan.

Reba said...

that is a great, great plan. :)

Curls O Fred said...

Yes, I agree with Jenn - You responded much better than I would have.
I love your plan. ((hugs))

brianna said...

Sounds like an ideal plan. I'm currently looking for a part time job (or at least one that will let me work part time later on down the road) so that we can start trying to have another baby. If and when I have a baby I want to take three months off and then go back to work two days a week.

Kristin said...

That sounds like a wonderful plan.

Kakunaa said...

I can only afford the 6 weeks off, but would love the 12. I want to be with my baby as much as possible! I would NOT have handled her well. Good for you.

Ya Chun said...

Let me just say, I am so excited thinking about you getting pregnant soon! I can't wait!!!!!

Your plan sounds excellent.

I stay at home with Bea and work freelance. The only 'reality check' (I am trying to avoid saying problem) is that SOME days I can get work done and SOME days I can't. So there has to be flexibility for production. Now that she is mobile, I find I get most of my work done in the evenings when dh is home to comfort her if she wakes up. But, today she is napping beyond excellently - and I hadn't expected it because it hasn't happened for sooo long, that I didn't bother to start working. And I could have gotten a bunch of work done - but I am reading blogs instead!

And I too hate it when people complain about their children. It's just not funny.

I don't think you can go wrong with holding the baby so much. Sometimes I even think I didn't hold her enough when she was less mobile - because now she sometimes just wants to go! The only 'problem' is that the same kind of people that complain about their kids will also tell you that you are spoiling your by holding him/her. o basically, people are still annoying!!

Oh, I can't wait until you get pregnant!!!!! (but I am not rushing you, lol)

jill said...

I do have a plan but I try not to think about it much anymore. It feels like a dream that will never come true at this point.

I think your "hold the baby" plan sounds heavenly :)

Catherine W said...

I think that is a fantastic plan. I definitely went with step one for the first six weeks of J's time at home. Having lost her sister and having been unable to touch J for so long, it gave me such peace. I hope it will do the same for you.

Ideally I would love to take my full year of maternity leave again but, realistically, I probably can't afford the last three months which would be unpaid. Then go back to the hours I have now, I work in the office 2 or 3 days a week.

Can't say I have a great deal of sympathy for CW.