December Pregnancy

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    I'm getting nervous about telling work.  I will likely wait until after the holidays, but I can't stop thinking about it.  I have a ton of questions about leave, insurance, accomodations to pump when I come back - so I will start with HR, but something about even putting it out there seems overwhelming to me.  Any advice?  I think people will be happy for me, so I'm not really worried about a negative reaction.  Just a little apprehensive I guess. 

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    In Response to Re: December Pregnancy:
    [QUOTE]I'm getting nervous about telling work.  I will likely wait until after the holidays, but I can't stop thinking about it.  I have a ton of questions about leave, insurance, accomodations to pump when I come back - so I will start with HR, but something about even putting it out there seems overwhelming to me.  Any advice?  I think people will be happy for me, so I'm not really worried about a negative reaction.  Just a little apprehensive I guess. 
    Posted by Novembride[/QUOTE]

    I was a wreck about this with my first pregnancy.  How do you feel about your HR department?  I don't trust mine at ALL, so I made sure to tell my boss first.  I just had this feeling that about 5 seconds after telling HR my boss would find out (even though it's supposed to be confidential). 

    So, I told him, then told a few key people that I knew would spread the word (didn't want to have to tell everyone myself, but also didn't want people to find out much later and feel badly that they didn't know), then - and this was VERY important, I realized later - I talked to 2 other women I am friendly with who had gone through the whole maternity process.  They shared all of their info, forms, schedules, etc. with me, which was INVALUABLE.  Only THEN did I make my appt with HR.  I was able to go down there armed with almost all of the information.

    So if you know anyone you are comfortable talking with who's done the whole maternity thing, talk to them before talking to HR.  Also, make sure you have everything in writing, both to and from them and your boss.  HR totally bungled a piece of my maternity leave plan, and didn't tell me about it until the day before my due date!  I was able to show them everything in writing that they had given me approving the thing they were then saying wasn't approved.

    Maybe your HR dept. is better than mine, though.  :)  Good luck!  It's so hard to wait, but also so scary to think of making the announcement!

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    Eeeek!  So I'm not crazy to be concerned.  There is another woman I work with that I am friendly with and have already told in confidence that has been through it, so maybe I'll go back to her first before HR.  I haven't really had to deal with them much, but they always seem to be on top of things and are good about answering questions.  Hopefully that's a good sign.  I fgure the earlier I put it out there, the more time there will be to make sure everything is in order and work out any kinks that might come up.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    In Response to Re: December Pregnancy:
    [QUOTE]I fgure the earlier I put it out there, the more time there will be to make sure everything is in order and work out any kinks that might come up.
    Posted by Novembride[/QUOTE]

    Sorry, don't mean to be monopolizing your post!  But I agree - do it as early as possible in case things come up.  But keep in mind that you don't HAVE to have your plan set in stone.  My letter to HR on which I cc'd my boss and other authority figures said something along the lines of "these maternity leave plans may change due to unforeseen circumstances surrounding my due date, delivery, and recovery", to allow for flexibility.

    I'm not looking forward to doing this all over again, ACK!  But it sounds like you have more confidence in your HR folks, which is great.  And I'm glad you have a trusted person you can talk to about her experience.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    I didn't know I needed a written plan... more questions onto the list.  I'm going to need a bigger piece of paper.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    You might not!  I don't know!  I did, but that might just be because of where I work!  don't worry, it will be fine.  I didn't mean to scare you!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    Arcain - Using a used pump is all about your own comfort level, in my opinion.  The hospital and the pump companies would say not to because microscopic amounts of BM could be in the pump, tubing, etc... But they obviously have an agenda in that they want you to buy a new one.  Personally, I'd use one if it was passed down, but I wouldn't buy one from a stranger.

    TC - What insurance do you have?  I have Harvard Pilgrim and they rarely cover a pump.  DD had latching issues, but they said they'd only cover it in extreme circumstances, like a cleft palate.

    Novembride - I'm sure it varies depending on the company you work for and your boss, but I most definitely did not need a written plan for maternity leave.  I had to fill out a couple of forms, one regarding FMLA.  I told HR and my boss that I would take the full FMLA, but had the impression that I could change it at any time.  I told my boss I was going to try to work up until my due date and gave him a rough idea of when I would be back, so they could assign work.  I ended up requesting an extra week unpaid at the end of leave, but all I had to do was tell HR what day I was coming back and they confirmed it with my boss.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from bostongrl. Show bostongrl's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    i'm going to jump into the maternity leave discussion...

    I work in a large company (many thousands of employees in MA) that has really well developed policies ... that is good and bad.  The good is that there is literally a handbook that spells it all out.  The bad is that there is very little flexibility.  Because the policies are so well established, all I really need to do is call my boss or HR the day I decide not to come to work.  The finer points of handing off my work and preparing for an absence from my team are all handled at the "local" level with my immediate supervisor and coworkers.  HR/corporate just state that you need to keep your boss informed of your plans.  I sent an email out to my boss, project managers, coworkers, etc around 4 months letting them know the approximate timelines, when travel restrictions would kick in, etc.  I have had a very positive experience and everyone has been super understanding / considerate. 

    It was really helpful to talk to coworkers that had been through the maternity leave process though... because handbook or not there is still a lot to juggle.  For instance, 2 years ago a female friend reminded me that I should bump my short term disability upto 100% from the 75% that is standard, because STD pays for the first 6 weeks of our leave, but you can't change it once you are already pg.  Another friend helped me figure out how insurance premiums, etc would be handled for the weeks that are either unpaid or paid through STD insurance, and I spent a while on the phone with our payroll dept to understand how my vacation time accumulation would be affected.  Weird things like... first week of STD is paid from your vacation, you don't accrue vacation while you are on leave, but you still accrue seniority, and the first paycheck when I come back will have all the insurance withholdings taken out for the 12 weeks that the company wasn't paying me.  Phew... so much to learn. 


    As for the pump... we have United Healthcare and the way the company has set up their policy pumps aren't covered except for extreme circumstances (like the cleft palate example).  This isn't a UHC policy, it has to do with how your company has set up their benefits policy.  In our case, my company decided to subsidize a pump purchase directly and therefore the medical insurance doesn't cover it at all.  I was able to purchase a ~$500 pump (PJs comfort) for $100 through their lacation assistance program.  It was an easy phone call and one form.  Don't forget you can also use FSA dollars to buy pumps and parts ... so if you can include that in your 2012 FSA estimates and then wait to buy until the new year, you'll be able to do it with pre-tax dollars.


    oh... and while I'm on my soap box about FSAs ... get an estimate of what your hospital copays will be for you and the baby now and add it to your FSA election before the end of the year.  We have deductibles AND a 10% coinsurance, so we'll have an out of pocket expense of $1200-$1700 depending on regular deliver vs. csec and # of days in hospital.  I put $2000 in our FSA for next year to help cover those costs with pre-tax dollars.  Maybe your insurance is nicer ... but definitely worth looking into... and that is an excellent question for HR while you are asking all your questions. 

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    Thank you everyone! I did look at the copays, etc for insurance/fsa open enrollment.  Luckily we knew about the baby before the window closed.    Those kinds of benefits questions are the things that keep me up at night bostongirl - my insurance and 401K contributions while on unpaid leave, etc...  And Fram, exactly - I wasn't sure if I had to pick dates now, or if there is some flexibilty for late/early delivery, etc.   Poppy - you're not scaring me.  This process is scaring me.  But, people do it all the time, right?  Its just soooo much to think about. 
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from cwagner13. Show cwagner13's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    It will vary from company to company - large companies tend to have more established policies. I work for a large company too although the HQ is in California so sometimes I would have to clarify that I am not in CA (CA laws are more generous than my home state).

    And it will also depend on how trustworthy your HR department is. We have so many pregnant women each year just at my site (6 that I know of among 300 in my building this year and it seems we average 4-8 a year) so it is not too big a deal for us but that is also because most of us feel comfortable that our HR will do the right thing by us. But if it were my old company, I would not have trusted them quite that much.  

    It will vary company to company - for instance, my current company - STD starts right away if you are hospitalized (i.e. labor starts and you get checked in, then STD starts right then - so for me, it kicked in the day I went in). At our company, it is 6 weeks STD for vaginal delivery and 8 weeks for C-section. By law, you (and your husband) are entitled to 12 weeks of FMLA but it does not have to be paid so you need to find out from your HR what is and is not paid.

    I was lucky, my HR rep at my site was confused himself so he redirected me to another HR rep who had gone through a maternity leave herself recently and she was able to clarify my company policies, the process and what was up to my manager's discretion (i.e. our handbook said you have to use up all vacation time accumulated before going unpaid, but it turned out it was up to me and my manager if I wanted to use up all my vacation time or if I could do some sections unpaid and then take an additional week of vacation).

    And usually it can be flexible with FMLA - they may be inflexible about letting you  use an extra week of vacation or not after  the 12 weeks, but by law you have those 12 weeks. (and one of the managers here told me they are forbidden to contact women while they are on maternity leave - if the women contact them, that is okay, but not vice versa due to concerns about lawsuits of harassment).

    Note, your spouse can take his FMLA in the first year of your LO's birth (usually unpaid though) - DH took a few months of his FMLA leave after I returned from my maternity leave to watch DS, and I know another co-worker is currently doing the same with her DH... just something to keep in mind as a thought. His was unpaid, but his company paid his deductions for all his insurance coverages etc while he was on leave (they could not figure out how to bill their employees on leave so they just paid it themselves for the leave).

    One thing you want to also think about - most companies will allow you to change your FSA amounts and insurance plans etc post birth for everything that happens post birth but you will need to remember to notify your HR or company in those first few weeks. Otherwise, you can check if it makes more sense for your husband to handle that with his work if his work has better benefits and the timeline he will need to have for this situation - it is a life-changing status, so I recall we could update either his or mine at the time.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from bostongrl. Show bostongrl's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    cwagner... that is an excellent point about the "change of status" window for benefits.  For our out-of-pocket expenses, my plan is to get an estimate from the hospital before we leave or right after so that I can adjust the $2000 I put aside depending on whether we are on the low or high end of the $1200-$1700 window they estimated.  Also, if you didnt already elect to put $$ in your dependent care account, you could do that at the same time you are adding your baby to your coverage.  The max for dependent care is $5000, and even with a rather inexpensive home daycare, we'll exceed $5k/year, so I just maxed that account now so that it will be one less thing to remember later. 

    Definitely know what your "window" is for changing benefits.  I think I need to call within 10 days to inform them of the birth and then have 30 to make any additional changes.  Make sure DH also knows about this ahead of time so that he can help handle coordinating any required paperwork, etc while you are caught up with taking care of a newborn. 

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from pugslove. Show pugslove's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    WOW!  So much to think about!  It's a little overwhelming!

    I had a check up this morning and they couldnt find the heart beat with the doppler so she sent me over to have an u/s.  The medical assistant said that because I am still early (9 weeks) this is normal.  Everything was fine and my little beans was at 170 bpm plus its about an inch long.  Its so cool too see and how much bigger it has gotten in such a short period of time.  As I was checking out I mentioned that I wished that I could have an u/s everytime and the receptionist said "you wont when you get the bill but hopefully its covered".  WHAT?!!!  So I called my insurance company (BCBS) and they told me that I have unlimited u/s coverage as long it is medically necassary.  Also I asked if I was eligible for the breast pump and the answer was if it is medically necassary.  For example if the baby has latching problems etc.  I am also eligible for birthing classes at no cost.  I think that coverage for various things depends on your specific health plan.  BCBS was very helpful and informative when I called.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    tc95- I had a successful version(ing), and DD was my first. Like I said, it works about 1/3 the time for first time moms, and there is a slight chance that the process can either put you into labor or cause distress that requires the baby to come out. I don't know the exact chance of that, but it was pretty low. They do an ultrasound and fetal monitoring before, during and after the procedure, so if there is any distress they can stop/intervene if needed. Between the time they told me I was breech and the version, I did try two sessions of acupuncture. It made the baby very wiggly, but she didn't turn. 

    As far as pain, it was uncomfortable with a few times of pain while they were doing the version, and I was sore for about two days after (like the achiness you get if you really overdo it at the gym, not sharp pain). Once they got her head down, the pressure on my pelvis increased, so I felt like I really started to waddle after that. But the discomfort was done after about 2 days, and I stayed pregnant for several more weeks (DD was born at 40.5 weeks). 

    Like I said, I was interested in a medication free delivery, so I had taken a hypnobirthing class, so I used some of the relaxation exercises during the version, which I think helped. I think you can take tylenol after if you are really uncomfortable, but I didn't.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    Pugs - From what I have heard on here and from my friends, BCBS will usually cover a pump.

    Novembride - It really helps if you have coworkers who have recently been on leave!  It's a joke around here that someone is always pregnant, so I learned a lot before I was pregnant.  I was also surprised at how helpful my HR dept was once I delivered.  The person assigned to me called me a couple days after we got home and then a week after that to check in.  She made it every clear to me that I should receive a bill for medical premiums once I was on unpaid leave and that I had to call and ask how much I owed if I didn't receive a bill.  (Luckily it came.)  I hope you feel better once you talk to HR and see what forms you need to fill out, etc.  It was nothing much for me - I think one for me and one for my doctor.  Good luck :o)
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from hughkona. Show hughkona's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    Novem- I havent read all the posts yet, but wanted to just throw out another option.
    You could always CALL hr or just show up (if your company is big enough) and ask general questions.  You do not need to give your name or the floor/dept you work in.  I make calls like that all the time about stuff that is really none of anyones business but I still need answers to. "Hi, I am a full time employee there and I just wanted to double check our coverage for xyz."
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from tc95. Show tc95's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    Thanks amy-lynn, that's really helpful. I'll talk more to my dr as well as she said she tried version with her first child (tried twice but it didn't work). It complicates things somewhat that I'm over 40 so considered high risk to begin with.

    I have BCBS and I've also heard they usually pay for pumps. As for childbirth class, it may vary by plan- for the plan my employer has, BCBS reimbursed $90 toward the cost. Definitely worth checking into.

    I agree with others who said it's good to talk to co-workers who have gone on maternity leave before as they have lots of great info. My HR dept is decent usually but they've had lots of turnover and some people there aren't as knowledgable as others so I want to have a pretty good understanding of how everything works before I talk to them.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from luckinlife. Show luckinlife's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    We are having another girl!!   My DD is going to have a sister!  I can't believe it!

    Tc - thanks for the kind words.  I am so happy that your little one is almost here!  Once your beautiful baby is with you it is amazing how quickly the pain of TTC becomes even more of a distant memory.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    Horray for girls! That is such great news LIL! So happy and excited for you! I wish my sisters were closer in age to me, they will have a buddy for life!
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    Yay for little girls, LIL!  As one of two sisters who are 2 years apart, it was wonderful growing up with that built in friend and playmate. 
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    Word to the wise, be careful with other employees' info about maternity leave and such.  Not only do people often misremember details they totally believe they remember perfectly, but HR policies are subject to change.  I think hugh has the best solution - you don't have to give your name, but beware caller-id.  When I wanted to make anonymous calls to HR (regarding leaving work, actually), I used conference room phones.  Privacy all the way around.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from LiveLoveLearnEnjoy. Show LiveLoveLearnEnjoy's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    I had BCBS with my first and he had latch issues.  They paid for rental of a hospital grade pump for 3-4 weeks and a portable pump after that.  Or I had the option of them paying for the hospital grade rental for 12 weeks.  I didn't really use the pump that much the first time around once DS did latch but this time I am going back to work a lot sooner so will be using it a lot more.

    Several people have recommended (especially if you borrow or get a hand me down pump) to go and have it checked for how powerful the suction is.  I am planning on replacing all the tubes and other parts just in case there are any tiny holes or anything from using it before, even though I didn't use it very often.  A lot of people highly recommend stocking up on the little white things on the medela pump because they often need to be replaced like every 3 or so months I believe.

    LIL - congrats on your little girl!!!

    Poppy - so glad that telling your DH went well!
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    LIL - congrats!!

    It's interesting how the maternity leave details can vary from company to company.  I'm glad some of you have trustworthy HR departments.  I practically went into labor right at my desk when the day before DD was due I got a LETTER (from DOWNSTAIRS) saying xyz wasn't approved for my maternity.  When I had a copy of a letter (also from downstairs) of approval for xyz, signed 4 months earlier by the same person who sent me the second letter!  Then, when I requested a meeting with them, no one from HR was available to meet with me for something ridiculous like a week.  So I let it go.  But I only worked about 2 more days after that (even though I didn't delivery for another 1+ weeks) - it sort of did me in.

    The other thing specific to my job is that I am the ONLY person in the company who does what I do, and it was going to have to be done while I was out.  So I had to create and entire binder of step-by-step instructions of what exactly would have to be done while I was out, and I had to conduct a training for 4 people who were going to do those things.  I was so grateful that these folks were willing to take on additional job responsibilities while I was out, but it was totally crazy how much written info I had to create.  It took me months to pull it all together.  Not only that, but I had to make a spreadsheet of my exact, day-to-day allotment of hours that I would be out - stating what kind of time I was using for each day - sick, vacation, unpaid, fmla... what have you. 

    Sounds like a lot of you did not have to go through all of that.  I'm glad - it was a HUGE pain.  This is why it was invaluable to talk to 2 coworkers who'd gone through it - they handed me their spreadsheets that I could then modify.  I didn't have to create it from scratch.

    OMG, I am going to have to do this all over again...
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    I had the total opposite experience with HR. I kept trying to get formal things in writing and nail down dates, etc. but they insisted we take a wait and see approach to see how my pregnancy progressed. And they were SO right, one day two weeks before my daughter was born my midwife put me on bedrest and I was totally done (not prepared or done at work, just done!) I'm glad I wasn't totally wed to a plan and my company had the flexibility.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    Kar, I thought you were the one who said we didn't need to write disclaimers on here ;o)
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from lizinboston. Show lizinboston's posts

    Re: December Pregnancy

    So, this is a question for everyone on the parenting forum.

    Lately, I would say this past week, I have felt really down, sad, crying a lot, etc. I know it is more than my hormones, because I am just not feeling myself. I am really apprehensive about my whole life changing, and as much as I am thrilled to be pregnant and to have a baby, I can't help but sort of feel sad. I feel like ever since I found out I've been more concerned about how my life is going to change than just being happy, and I feel so selfish for it. I have an appt. with my OB this afternoon and I know the practice has a therapist, which I am going to learn more about so I can have someone to talk to about this with an objective point of view.

    Has anyone else felt like this? I feel like I am the only one, but I know I am not.
     
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