? about preemie

Are you part of the NICU club? Do you have a child who is still struggling with the effects of being born too soon from preeclampsia? Share your concerns and stories here among parents who have been there.

? about preemie

Postby l412angel » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:00 am

Since I had my daughter at 30 weeks...I know my possibilities of having my next child early. My question is...when a child is in the nicu how do you go back to work or do you not? Also when your child comes home do you have to spend a year at home with them? The only reason I ask is because I have insurance through my job and I just want to be prepared. If you could just share your experiences that would be great !Thanks :)
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Re : ? about preemie

Postby lola1971 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 04:30 pm

Since I had a c-section with my last preemie, I had 8 weeks materinty leave right after she was born. Unfortunately, I spent it at the nicu vs. being at home with my baby. I took a total of 4 months off after she was born and since my husband was laid off, he has taken over as mr. mom. The plan is for him to go back to work around her 1st birthday and she will go into day care at that time. We've been able to do this with me working full time with benefits and him collecting unemployment. We didn't "have" to spend a year at home with her (vs. day care). It kind of worked out that way. Her drs preferred that she stayed out of day care until the flu/cold season was over (April in CA).
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Re : ? about preemie

Postby ozierja » Mon Jun 07, 2010 04:49 pm

I went back to work while my daughter was in the NICU then when she was released I went back "out" on maternity leave. It really depends on what you employer is willing to do to help and what your FMLA benefits afford. In Tennessee we get extra time over what FMLA provides.
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Re : ? about preemie

Postby bernadic » Mon Jun 07, 2010 06:25 pm

I am a teacher so my leave is a bit different. I was on hospital bedrest in December for a few weeks and that counted as part of my leave. I delivered and then 4 weeks after my C-section, I went back to work because I needed the money. It was very, very hectic as I would pump at least 2 times a day at work, change clothes at the end of the day-due to RSV season, go to NICU, eat dinner at hospital, stay until late, sleep and repeat. I would call NICU when I got the chance during the day. If Luke was having a bad day or night, I would call in sick on those days. Then, when he came home, I stayed out for 10 more weeks. I went back the last 2 weeks of school. I had the summer to stay home. My husband was only working part time and my dad and grandparents helped me out because the dr. didn't want day care due to RSV and germs. Knowing that I could have a repeat if I ever got PG again and I only have 10 weeks of paid leave, we have saved at least one months pay in the bank in case I am out of work again. Good luck.
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Re : ? about preemie

Postby l412angel » Mon Jun 07, 2010 06:31 pm

What is FMLA? I have health insurance through my employer but pay in full for it. Its juat a group plan. I guess I am just worried that it will run out if I have to be on best rest or NICU time? I just want to be prepared for anything.
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Re : ? about preemie

Postby jennieexpo » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:20 pm

When I had Maz I ended up not going back to work at all, I was originally gonna go down to part time but after 6 weeks in the nicu I couldn't do it. I wanted to be with him. Some of the moms I became friends with in the nicu used their maternity leave right away while in the nicu but I think it may just depend on what you prefer. I know if you can do kangaroo care as much as possible it really does do wonders and can help in the process of them coming home sooner. Basically it really helps both medically and emotionally to be there as much as you can. As far as taking off a whole year of work , thats a big step, however if you have adequate care for her/him while your at work, like someone you trust( definately not daycare..way too risky!) then that should be good. Its good your weighing your options now ahead of time though, and its all basically your own preference, I know with me I didn't make a definate choice til like a week after he was born and I never wanted to leave his side. You never know how you'll feel emotionally when and if it comes to that. And you may not have a preemie, you just never know. I hope this next pregnancy goes better for you and healthy:) We'll probably be pregnant together if all goes well, so we can be a extra support for each other:) Good Luck!
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Re : ? about preemie

Postby blznbec » Tue Jun 08, 2010 05:54 pm

Everyone's maternity leave benefits are based through what their employer offer. Some women don't have any benefits (crazily, surprisingly true). It would be wise to check through your employer to see what benefits are offered.

A lot of women have the standard 6 weeks after a vaginal delivery and 8 weeks after a c-section and 12 weeks total through FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), but not all get paid while on maternity leave. At my current job, I have 12 weeks total whether I was on bed rest or not and have to use my sick and personal time to make up my full pay through the 12 weeks. If I chose to be off longer than 12 weeks, I would not get paid and lose my health benefits.

For my first pregnancy, I spent the first five weeks in the hospital myself and with my son caring for him at least 12 hours a day. I then was able to stay home with him for the next seven weeks barricaded alone in our house with him since it was winter and the risk of him contracting RSV was very high due to prematurity. Not how I imagined spending my leave with my baby. With my second pregnancy, I did not require any bed rest and my daughter did not require a NICU stay, so I had the full 12 weeks paid at home with her. A much better and semi-normal experience of maternity leave. I was very lucky not to have to use my time beginning with bed rest.

These links might be helpful, but again check your benefits through your employer to be sure.

http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/index.htm

http://www.employer-employee.com/fmla.html
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Re : ? about preemie

Postby kara » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:36 pm

Laura, I went back to work (part-time job) as soon as I was given the ok by my doc, which was 2 weeks after she was born. I wanted to go back to work to keep my hands busy, really. Dd needed to sleep and be quiet, and me sitting there was not healthy for me. I made two visits a day, as soon as I got off work around 1, go home for dinner and then back up to the hospital at 8pm for evening cares. I didn't have to worry about healthcare as we were both covered under my husbands policy. Depending on how many people your employer employees will determine whether you are eligible for FMLA. If you are an independant contractor, you may not be covered for the 12 weeks. It's best to discuss it with your employer...and get it in writing if at all possible.
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Re : ? about preemie

Postby anonpreemiemom » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:55 pm

Hi Laura: As you know my son was a 28 weeker and was on the vent for a month so he came home with lung damage or what is known as BPD (or CLD- chronic lung disease). I quit work and stayed home with him the first winter and pretty much the whole year. Then I got into consulting and started working from home. 2nd winter I got a nanny to come part time. 3rd winter we felt he'd recoved enough and he was in preschool (age 2.5 and beyond) He caught a ton of colds starting preschool but handled them much much better being older and stronger.

I strongly feel the time not in daycare the first two years helped give his lungs time to heal. I know many preemies who were in daycare the first winter and were hospitalized numerous times or who ended up with asthma as a result from cold after cold after cold. It really depends on the gestation (ie a 24 weeker micropreemie is going to have a harder time than a 34 weeker)

Fortunately now my son's lungs as as good as any full-termers and he fights colds fantastically. If you have to I would recommend anyone seek a smaller home daycare with fewer kids than a big center, or a nanny or au pair.

That being said I have alot of confidence you are going to go really far and all this will be moot!!
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Re : ? about preemie

Postby l412angel » Wed Jun 09, 2010 08:44 pm

Thank you all for your comments. I just want to get all my ducks in a row before next time around!
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