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 Post subject: When did you go on leave?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 1:03 pm 
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Saggy Butt
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At what point did you start maternity leave? Do you wish you'd worked longer or started leave earlier?

I am supposed to meet with HR tomorrow and pick a day to stop working (with the understanding that it could absolutely change depending on when I go into labor).

I am planning to take my 12 weeks of FMLA leave, and have to use up my sick time as part of that but otherwise don't get any paid leave or short term disability. So part of me feels like I should keep working up until I go into labor because 12 weeks doesn't seem like very long!

But also, I am already tired. I have a job where I'm on my feet most of the time (luckily my supervisors are already tapering off having me do certain types of tasks...no more climbing ladders, but I still walk a lot and bend down, etc.) and riding the bus to work more with inclement weather instead of biking every day means commuting takes me an hour or more each way, and depending on how the timing lines up of the buses I take, I sometimes end up walking almost a mile and a half one way of that commute. My abdomen already gets tired doing that walk plus my walking during the day.

Up until about a week ago, working as long as possible was my default thought. Suddenly in the past week I am concerned about what I can actually DO at work, and feel like having 11 hour days of work+commuting just seems like SO. MUCH. So now I'm concerned that I'll be miserable if I make myself go to work at 40 weeks? I don't want to stop working at 38 weeks and then go two weeks late though...

It's also possible that I'm feeling the pregnancy version of senioritis, though, since the next several weeks I have stretches of long weekends with holidays and using up my floating holidays before the end of the year, and I just don't want to come back to full weeks of work after New Years.


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 Post subject: Re: When did you go on leave?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:39 pm 
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Trapped On A Desert Island With A Cow
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I stopped at 36 weeks and had so much more energy it was great. I recommend it as you need to be well rested and in a positive headspace for labour. I also used leave from about 32 weeks to have every Wednesday off. I was exhausted. In the end I was induced at 38 weeks so was glad to have stopped work 2 weeks before. But I had 15 weeks paid and the rest up to six months at about £500 a month.


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 Post subject: Re: When did you go on leave?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:52 pm 
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Should Spend More Time Helping the Animals
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I had planned on going on leave right at my due date but I had to use up 10 days of vacation BEFORE my leave started so I ended up finishing work 2 weeks early. I had most of the baby stuff done by then and used it to go on long walks and watch Netflix. It was actually really great and I'm glad it worked out that way.

I totally hear you on the senioritis though. I handed off my projects and there wasn't anything of interest to do at work and I was mentally checked out.

ETA if I had to do it over again and I didn't have that vacation time to use before my leave I probably would have worked to 40 weeks.

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 Post subject: Re: When did you go on leave?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:10 pm 
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Kitchens Planning Manchester
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I only had 12 weeks too and I worked up until the day I went into labor (didn't go in that day). I wanted as much time as possible at home with the baby and I figured it was best for me mentally to keep busy. It was probably better physically too, getting more steps in and not sitting at home all day. That said, every pregnancy is different and you have to listen to your body.


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 Post subject: Re: When did you go on leave?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:10 pm 
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Bathes in Braggs

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I was one who went 2 weeks late so I sat at home and burned up leave for 2 weeks. I did feel a little cheated when I went back to work when baby was only 10 weeks old, but I ended up doing the same thing with baby #2. I just did NOT have any desire to work after about week 36. So as soon as I could get off I did.
Funny labor story i heard recently. My pediatrician worked up until she went into labor, and then continued to work while she was in labor because she didn't want to cancel her patient's appointments and thought she had hours and hours...and then she said she knew that things had taken a turn for the serious with her labor but she just wanted to see one last person...and she ended up having her baby in the ER lobby. It must be nice having a job you care about so much. Also she is one tough lady!


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 Post subject: Re: When did you go on leave?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:53 pm 
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***LIES!!!***
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I kept going till I went into labor. But the second time I was definitely getting lazy at work for the last few weeks. I was in a ton of pain all the time and totally exhausted.


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 Post subject: Re: When did you go on leave?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:08 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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I didn't get leave, so I quit my job, but I went up to about 2 weeks before due date. I had felt great the entire pregnancy despite carrying 60+ additional pounds of babies and fluids. But those last two weeks were rough- not sure if I was in worse shape or I just had nothing to distract myself with.

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 Post subject: Re: When did you go on leave?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:56 am 
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With E I'd been a grad student; my term ended in June and he was born at the end of September, way past his due date. I was going nutso.

M I went on leave a week and a half (I think? two weeks?) before his due date. He was a couple days overdue. It was enough time for me to hang out and play video games a little and also get bored of being home. I had 16 weeks of partially paid short term disability because California, though, so I could afford to be a little frivolous in my time spending.

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 Post subject: Re: When did you go on leave?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:52 am 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos
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I have a great boss and flexible work arrangements that allow me to work from home, so I've been working until I go into labor to maximize my leave. Being that I'm nearly a week overdue, though, and have a transition plan in place, I am very eager to get this party started!


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 Post subject: Re: When did you go on leave?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:48 pm 
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im probably several hours late on this since it seems like you were meeting with HR today but i would say unless you just can deal anymore i would try working til the end.
since there really is no maternity leave in the US it seems such a common thing for people to not be ready to go back to work when their leave is up (though maybe this is common feeling regardless of how much time you get off)

i had planned on working until i think a week before my due date then having a week (or more) off to just chill but for me it didnt matter time wise because i was leaving my job completely (ie quitting).

my plan also didnt work out because i got shipped off to the hospital 2 weeks early so i was basically like emailing my supervisor from the hospital like "yup im not ever coming back ok bye!"

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 Post subject: Re: When did you go on leave?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:37 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I went on leave about a week before my due date, and my kiddo ended up being almost two weeks late. I was going a bit nuts during the waiting period, but in retrospect, I was really glad to have had that time off. My husband and I ended up going on lots of walks, watching movies, basically doing anything to keep our minds off of when the baby was finally going to decide to be born. But I was in Canada and also had an incredible, super, super flexible manager, so I didn't have as much pressure to time my mat leave to maximize the time I got to spend at home. I ended up being on paid leave for almost 16 months.

But I totally agree with rebecca--you should be in a good headspace to prepare your body mentally and physically to give birth.

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 Post subject: Re: When did you go on leave?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:38 pm 
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Bathes in Braggs
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It sucks to have to guess at something that's so variable. It's going to be up to how you're feeling at the time, so maybe you can tell them you assume you'll work until the end, but in reality take leave if you're starting to feel unable to work towards the end. Don't feel locked in to whatever you tell them and take the rest you need if something comes up.


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 Post subject: Re: When did you go on leave?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:48 am 
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I agree that it stinks you are being asked to predict this now. My initial thought when I announced my pregnancy was that I would work until very close to my due date. In reality, I found that I could barely walk in the last month of pregnancy and wound up going out about 3 weeks before my due date.

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