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Updates on this and that and all and sundry. A lovely visit. In… - Then You Get Up And Have Breakfast [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Whole lotta labia.

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[Mar. 5th, 2007|12:24 pm]
Whole lotta labia.
[how ya feelin'? |crankycranky]

Updates on this and that and all and sundry.

A lovely visit. In and out in very little time. We talked about my stuffiness (I'm doing all the right things) and we talked about my protein intake (he's very pleased), my continued exercise (walking, yoga, pilates, and weight training.. the doctor is thrilled) and we talked about the fact that I haven't put on any weight in the last six weeks. The doctor is fine, I'm fine, everyone is fine. I worried for about two seconds about the weight thing and then did an informal poll and found that the majority of women I talked to had put on about what I have as of this point, some a couple of pounds more, some a couple of pounds less and that many of them didn't put on any weight at all during the first or early-second trimester. No comments from the moms, please, on their relative weight loss or gain at this point, I'm going forward with my mantra that every baby is different, every pregnancy is different. I'm feeling remarkably good about it and happily continuing on in Operation Get Some Time at Pennsic This Year.

In other news, we put a serious hurting on the sewing room/office this weekend. In reality it needed to be done, baby or not. I cleaned out the closet, put together bags for Goodwill of clothes that I wouldn't wear again even once I got back into them, packed all of the linen and fabric I'm planning on sewing any time soon into clear rubbermaid bins and put them in the closet. I cleaned out my sewing cabinet and got it into one small clear bin and threw the rest away. The cabinet will now go to Goodwill. It was like that.

We also organized the basement a bit better. Steve took an entire carload of stuff to Goodwill, we'll probably repeat that process about four more times before this is over. It's incredibly difficult for me not to have body autonomy anymore, I'm happily saved from frustration by a husband who is tickled pink to be able to move boxes for me. Splendid.

I need to get stationery and personal papers out of the old microwave cart/tv stand and then get it off to Goodwill. The bookshelf has been listed on craigslist. I think we've got our last group of houseguests for a while coming this weekend so we can do the dismantling of the futon as soon as the Christmas tree goes and makes room for the mattress.

Damn. I'm sorry. I've basically been doing this weird stream of consciousness to-do list and you all had to watch.

*wavy hands* You never saw that. We cleaned this weekend. Also, I ordered the dresser. Woot!

The US has no official maternity leave policy. (I'll bring up FMLA later, for now let's just talk official maternity leave) Neither does my state or my company. You get whatever leave you've saved up, whatever FMLA you want to burn without pay, and whatever short term disability benefits will cover you.. if you thought ahead. If you thought WAYYYY ahead.

Because my policy has a 30 day elimination period for Short Term Disability benefits. That's 6 weeks. I shortened it to 15 business days at the beginning of this year but it's got a 12 month pre-existing condition hold. Which means my elimination period won't actually drop to 15 days until February of 2008. Oh, and I got a raise in the middle of 2006. But the raise in my disability benefits? Again, February of 2008. The kick in the teeth? The standard disability period for complication-free vaginal delivery is? Six weeks. Which means I'd get? No benefits. If I end up with a c-section I'll get 2 weeks of benefits at roughly 45% of my salary.

Would that I had known about my plans to have children at the beginning of 2006. I'd be in the clear now. However, let us remember that at the beginning of 2006 I wasn't even planning on getting married. What I should have done? According to the insurance industry? Is to have gotten married and then made my changes and held off having kids until February of 2008, at least. And even then I'd only get 3 weeks of benefits (remember the 15 days?) at 70% of my salary. Even if I were made of money and could afford to say "Fuck the disability insurance" and just pay for all the unpaid, job-protected leave I'm entitled to? I'd get 12 weeks. That's what FMLA gives you, 12 weeks. And I'm damned grateful for it.

The US is one of two industrialized nations with no official government mandated maternity/paternity leave policy. The other is Australia, but even they get 14 months of job-protected leave. I get 12 weeks. And I only get that because I work for a larger company. Those women who work for a mom and pop shop? They're fucked. Contrast this with.. say.. the Canadians (12 months paid, job protected, 18 months paid, job of equal rank protected, as I understand it from a Canadian client) or the Swedes (16 months at 80% split however the parents would like) or, God help us, the Bulgarians (45 days 100% paid sick leave prior the due date, 2 years paid leave, and 1 additional year of unpaid leave. The employeer is obliged to restore the mother to the same position upon return to work.) I'll be working up until the day it's time to drive to the hospital, and I'll be back sooner than my body or my baby would like.

I reailze somewhere my more politically conservative friends are thinking "So.... we're supposed to support you going off and faffing about for a year with your baby? It's not our baby. We don't even have kids. Why should your decision affect us?" Which, I suppose, is the argument that ends me up in this situation in the first place. I'm just angry.

All of this prompted by the fact that I've decided to start saving up for another two weeks so that I can take 8 instead of just 6 and I'm irritated as BALLS that I have to do this. And let's not go into the paternity leave thing. The only reason I get Steve at all is that I'm due while he's on summer break.

What else? I had a lovely day with Cait yesterday, I love the lounging about idly talking and just being together thing.. we're very good at that. She's not up for company, I know, so I got out of there and let her sleep, but I'm glad to see her getting better (a bit). The sun is out but the wind is biting. Tonight is some yoga and some more cleaning and wrassling the laundry. It's a calm domestic evening.

Today is the lovely scieppan's birthday. Here's the thing about Julie, right? She's one of the most complete people I've met. She's got all these different things going on with writing and going places and plans for the future and whatnot. Plus? She's one of the very select few who ever said "I bet I can write a book worth getting published" and then went off and.. y'know.. DID IT! Her husband's photos are gorgeous, but not as much as her smile. And if I thought I could get away with it looking normal I'd sneak into her house, cut her hair off, and glue it on my head. But... really.. I couldn't pull it off, I lack her bone structure. :) Thank you, Julie, for always being the ear I need, the smile I hoped for, and the hug I couldn't do without.

How are you guys?

[User Picture]From: make_your_move
2007-03-05 06:03 pm (UTC)
The maternity healthcare/leave/benefits in this country suck. Just agree'n with you is all.

Love you :)
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[User Picture]From: robins1stwife
2007-03-05 06:28 pm (UTC)


Any ideas on how one goes about moving to Bulgaria...or in fact, where Bulgaria is exactly? :)
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From: berreh
2007-03-05 06:31 pm (UTC)
Reason numero uno why I won't be reproducing any time soon.
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[User Picture]From: ebullientjenn
2007-03-05 06:36 pm (UTC)
I was very lucky, I had 4 weeks paid 100% and two weeks unpaid. That's because I was new at the company. Now, I'd get 12 weeks paid. Of course we have one of the best out there. But still, compared with other countries, it's almost draconian.

And Screw that. People who don't give a crap about us not having a national maternity/paternity leave policy, should thank us for securing them to have taxes to pay for their medicare. Because truly, we're breeding the taxpayers of tomorrow. Clearly that's not the only reason we have children, but we're still raising the future of this country, and DAMMIT I'D LIKE A LITTLE SUPPORT!!!

The russians did better back when they were the USSR. Ok, guess this touched a nerve. I'll just sit here quietly for the rest of the day.
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[User Picture]From: wizardglick
2007-03-05 10:02 pm (UTC)
::I reailze somewhere my more politically conservative friends ::are thinking

The basic conservative politic position* on just about everything is:

"There are no solutions. Only trade-offs." ;-)

* Well, probably excepting some social morality issues, but I'm not a social conservative, so I don't think about those issue much.
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[User Picture]From: mellyflori
2007-03-05 10:10 pm (UTC)
And the thing is? I'd HAPPILY pay a "I'd like to have kids someday" tax that would have acted like a long-term savings account for this. I really would. I'm not averse to paying for this, I just resent it not being a universal constant that I could have prepared for.

And the societal trade-off here is that most of a generation of kids, and generations to come unless there's some change, are either being raised by daycare (lovely people though they maybe) or by single-income families worried about making ends meet. And even if we made that decision in my family it wouldn't mean getting to rest my body any more since I make more than Steve does so if one of us were going to quit and stay home it would be him.

I'm just... frustrated.
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[User Picture]From: slightlytricky
2007-03-06 02:53 am (UTC)
on the upside... peanut. :)

monkey just called. "Sooooo. Annie Chelle. Wot you do today?"
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