Sunday, October 23, 2011

Help Change Two Pieces of Legislation

I was shocked when I read this on Mikayla's Grace's page...

"I was appalled to find out that FMLA did not cover leave for the death of a child. I literally was told that the FMLA leave for the birth of a child is "to bond with the child" and "since I didn't have a child to bond with, I did not qualify for this leave." These parents need and deserve time to grieve before being required to go back to work. Please sign this petition and send letters to your representatives to support the addition of "for the death of a son or daughter" to the FMLA bill."

I didn't realize how fortunate I was to have an employer who was so compassionate and willing to give me the time I needed. I went to my 4-month doctor's appointment on July 19th. That is where I learned that my son Nathan had passed. I called my work and arranged for PTO time (personal time off) for the rest of the week. I went into the hospital to be induced the next day. Nathan was born at 2:32am on Thursday, July 21, 2011. I got in touch with our benefits coordinator at work and arranged to take FMLA and use my short term disability insurance during my leave. I was informed later, that she had gone to our new HR manager to request that I be allowed paid bereavement pay. I'm so grateful for that. It allowed me to reclaim several PTO days to have for the rest of the year. My OBGYN wrote me out for the full six weeks of maternity leave. Because it began to feel like the walls were caving in, it was my decision to return to work after four weeks. I returned to work the day after Nathan's one month angelversary on August 22nd. I'm so thankful for that time. Those first 2 weeks were a nightmare. I can't imagine if I'd had to return to work during that time.

I encourage you to take a moment to sign the petition below. No parent should be forced to return to work before they've had a chance to grieve and say goodbye to their child. For more about this petition, click here.

I wanted to take a moment to share, yet another piece of legislation, I knew nothing about. According to North Carolina law, a baby born before 20 weeks is considered a miscarriage. Nathan was 16 weeks; therefore, I was prepared to receive no acknowledgement of his birth. However, I was appalled to learn that stillborn babies aren't recognized either. The following is a message I wanted to share from a friend of mine.

I went through 40 weeks and 2 days of pregnancy with my beautiful little Zion. However, he was born sleeping on March 29, 2011. I went through labor just as if he were breathing that day. I delivered a baby, a life that mattered, but yet that is not what our legislation says. I was not entitled to a birth or death certificate according to North Carolina state laws. What??? I just gave birth to 7lb 9oz, 20 in. long baby with his daddy's chin and long fingers and his sister's pouty lips. He was perfect and definitely a life, a human being. He was a part of me. How can God's creation not matter? I had to give birth to him, give him a proper memorial service. I got a whopping hospital bill and doctor bills but for what? The hospital was not required to give me a birth or death certificate that would acknowledge what we just went through. We have nothing but a box full of trinkets from the hospital, a lock of his precious black hair and a few pictures for when our memories fade. Please help us as we try to change the legislation of this state. Zion's life did matter to so many of us. Please be one to help change the laws, so that North Carolina moms that have to give birth to their sleeping babies, can have some acknowledgment that their baby's life matters. Thanks to our family and friends. We love you and thank you so much for your support throughout the darkest time of our life.
- Jeremy & Crystal S.

Please take a moment to sign the petition below.


I am Woman, I am Mom, I am Tired! said...

I signed and submitted to my Illinois reps

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