My name is Sarah and, to be honest, maternity leave wasn't something I thought too much about until it was directly affecting me. I am about to have my first child, a little girl, who is due any minute now. I don't know exactly when she'll decide to make an appearance, but I know that I want to spend as much time with her as I can. I want to take every possible moment to treasure her presence in my life.
Technically, I am allowed up to 12 weeks away from my job to spend with her thanks to the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), but there is no requirement for any of that time to be paid. I am very lucky to work for a company that declares having a baby as a “short term disability” and therefore will pay for 5 weeks (I saved my vacation time to stretch it to 6). But 6 weeks is nothing. Six weeks is the blink of an eye and I can't imagine going back to work after that short of a time. But I can't afford not to. I want to see how she grows, develops, and changes over those other 6 weeks, but financially, I just can't make it work.
I feel selfish, asking for help when I'm already so blessed. I'm lucky that my husband and I have jobs and a roof over our heads. I'm lucky that I am given 6 weeks. I know of many who aren't so fortunate. While 6 weeks is better than none, I need more time with her.
We've been trying to save up for this, but there's only so much we can do with mortgage payments, car payments, medical bills, and everything else that makes life complicated. I desperately want to stay with her for all 12 weeks (and really, I'd love to go longer, but I know that's never going to happen), but now it's looking like I won't get that chance.
Please help me take this opportunity to get to know and bond with my soon-to-be-born baby. Absolutely every dollar will make a difference to us. Please donate, or share this story so that others might see it. And thank you. Thank you so much just for taking the time to read my story, even if you can't help, I appreciate you spending the time.
Update: So our little Isabelle came on October 13th at 3:13pm after a crazily fast and intense labor. She is absolutely amazing and we love her to pieces. We're still having issues making ends meet, especially since some surprise medical bills came through (turns out that our insurance did pay as much as the hospital thought they would). I'm really hoping to wait to go back to work until the 4th, but I'm not sure we'll be able to afford to wait that long. Any and all donations are appreciated, really and trully. Thank you for reading this.
~Love and hugs~