So here’s a funny story that’s not actually funny.
When I started with this company, one of the first things I saw in the handbook was that they offered infertility coverage. Which is UNHEARD OF in Pennsylvania (where it’s not state mandated). I gleefully planned for the day when I would do my second embryo transfer and not have to spend a fortune on it. Key words: planned for. Turns out the universe had other plans.
I also noticed that the company has an impressive maternity leave (well, you know, impressive for the United States. Not that I want to start that whole argument, which feels like a very hot button topic right now). It’s not quite on the Netflix level… but 8 weeks at full pay is pretty dang nice, especially since my last job offered 6 weeks at 50% salary (I did get 8 weeks in the end because it was a c-section). Still better than nothing… but I ended up having to spend hours upon hours on the phone deferring all of my student loans to make up for the fact that I wouldn’t be earning my whole paychecks during that time. Yes, we need my whole salary to survive. Mostly because of the endlessly frustrating reality of student loans. That’s just my life.
Anywayyy… I was really looking forward to not having to do any of that here. 8 weeks, full salary. No problemo. Except.
You only receive these amazing maternity leave benefits after 1 year of service.
My one year anniversary with the company is November 24th.
My due date is November 21st.
I met with HR last week and they admitted that they’ve not yet encountered a situation quite like mine. I may be the only person at the end of a pregnancy who will be wishing my baby stays in late rather than comes out. Because that would be so much better.
And that’s not to say I get nothing if he comes on time or early. I still get paid 3 weeks at full salary and 4 weeks at 60% – better than I thought, and better than the last place I worked. But that’s a lot of money to lose over just a couple of days, and then I’m back to pleading with the student loan deities to grant me 2 months of reprieve (you’d be amazed the hoops you need to jump through to accomplish this). I also found it a little insulting when the HR person came out said, “Well, most women do take the 12 weeks.” I guess no one else who works here is living paycheck to paycheck and can just afford a month without pay? I mean, good for them. But that’s not happening for me.
This whole thing is so annoying, right?! And before you ask – I do have 1.5 days of vacation time left to use for the year, which I have to take before my anniversary because it doesn’t roll over. So theoretically I could schedule it for November 20th (Friday) and 23rd (Monday). But when I emailed HR they said that if I played it like that, the day I went out would count towards starting my leave, assuming I did have the baby during that time. In other words – I can’t cheat the system. Either this baby is late, or I’m not getting the “good” maternity leave. Period.
Molly was late – 4 days late, and would have been even later had I not been induced. But most women I’ve spoken to have said the second one usually comes earlier than the first. So that’s a bummer.
Of course, this is all out of my hands. He will come when he comes. Worrying about it now does absolutely nothing besides stress me out.
I will say that in November, I will be doing the opposite of what most 9-month-pregnant mamas do – no spicy food, no bouncing on balls, no long walks. I might be sitting legs crossed in a chair straight on through Thanksgiving.
You do what you gotta do.