This is not the post I wanted to write today.
Today took a turn that has left me in a very foul mood... this post is a bit more spit and fire than most of mine, and rest assured, this is the censored version, I'm using all the actual 4 lettered words in my head.
My company offers NO maternity benefits (just like it offers NO infertility coverage). My ONLY option for time off is FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act). For those that are unfamiliar with FMLA, it allows you to take up to 12 weeks UNPAID vacation in a 12 month period for certain reasons (like birth or adoption of a child) and guarantees your same level of position when you return. It only applies to employers of a certain size. It may not be perfect, it may even still suck, but at least we have it, God Bless Bill Clinton (G.H.W. Bush can go to hell, he vetoed it twice).
But before I can use FMLA I have to use ALL of my saved up sick leave and vacation. I haven't taken a vacation in more than 2 freakin years because I thought I would have more flexibility in how it was used in case I ever actually got pregnant. If I would have known that, I would have take a little freakin time a while ago, because I NEED A FREAKIN VACATION.
But it get's better... I was thinking with my approximately 8 weeks of accrued sick leave and vacation, I could potentially take FMLA for up to 12 weeks on top of that for up to a total of 20 weeks (in case I ended up on bed rest or something). WRONG. Those accrued 8 weeks apparently count as part of the 12 according to my HR. Apparently they can force you to use accrued time off concurrently with FMLA.
Why the hell did I toil without a single day off (unless you count my gallbladder surgery) for the last couple years if it's not going to help me one bit?
So why the freak don't I just take a vacation now? Might as well use some of that vacation to enjoy and relax right? I'm still maxed at 12 weeks either way, whether I go into it with 6 weeks accrued time or 8 weeks... might as well enjoy a couple of them.
pisses me off. I just thought that my relatively small company had more compassion and flexibility than that. pissed.
Oh, yeah, and that vacation, I totally would, except we're living on a tight budget cause babies are expensive and we don't have the money to spend on personal enjoyment right now. And I'm kinda freaked about flying due to fear or getting sick. I wish their was somewhere close and reasonable and fun to go around here.
I was only planning on taking off 2 months, but now I know I'm screwed if things don't go off as smoothly as I planned.
And just to make the other REALLY sucky part of this clear, I'm due in early February and will have to use up all of my alloted time off. I will have zero days left for the entire rest of the year to take my kid to the doctor, or take a trip to DH's family for Christmas next year. Zero Days. I have no freakin clue what I'll do. It's not like I was able to choose what time of year I would give birth. I'm lucky to be pregnant at all, and I'm sure my company has no idea that this goes so far beyond their stupid policy.
When I found all this out today, I just closed my door and cried. I'm happy to be pregnant, and don't care what time of year I give birth, I just wish my stupid employer had a little compassion on the matter.