After a couple of pretty good days, I hit another rough patch this morning. I guess the grief and anxiety comes in waves. When we first learned the news, my first thoughts were for the baby, and what he would go through, and what kind of life he would have. Then I worried about us, and what we would go through, and the toll it would take on our lives. This morning, the overwhelming emotion was guilt over what impact this will have on other people.
I'm still not exactly sure how much leave I'll be able to take when the baby is born. If nothing else, it is crucial that I maintain my insurance coverage, because my work provides health insurance for our whole family, and our son's medical care in his first year of life is, no exaggeration, probably going to cost at least $1 million. Anyway, I started to worry that I would have to ask my boss to pay me for time I wasn't working, or that I would have to go back to work while our baby was still recovering from surgery. I knew that although I could manage to be physically present at work under those circumstances, I would never be able to get anything done. My boss has been very understanding about my situation thus far, but honestly, I've never really "clicked" in this lab, and I know he hasn't been happy with my level of productivity even in good times. And now I was really going to be deadweight.
Even more than that, I felt guilty again about putting our families through this. This will be the first grandchild for my parents and for Iggy's mom, and everyone was so happy and excited about this baby. And now I felt like I am snatching that happiness away and replacing it with stress and fear. Which is, of course, ridiculous, because this isn't my or anyone else's fault. I feel totally confident that we did everything in our power to make this pregnancy a healthy one. But still, all these mental images flashed through my head of our families spending Christmas with us at the hospital, crying, on what was supposed to be such a happy occasion.
I felt like I was ruining their experience of being grandparents, and aunts and uncles, and ruining Christmas, to boot! Again, I know none of this was rational, but I couldn't stop feeling that way. You know, it's bad enough that we all have to go through this, but it almost seems like a divine cruel joke that I am having to face this as a hormonal pregnant woman!
Anyway, after crying for a while, I went online and did some more research on my work leave options, and it looks like theoretically, I can go on short term disability for 6 months, although I'm not totally sure how much of that can be used for maternity leave. I suppose under a worst-case scenario, I could have that knee surgery I need to have anyway and qualify for disability that way! Disability will only pay 60% of my salary, but I'll get to keep my insurance, and we can manage somehow. We'll all manage somehow.
3 weeks ago