My hope is our blog about this horrific experience will reach someone else going through the exact same thing some day and help that family realize you can make it through such trauma successfully. In keeping with this mantra, one of the things very important to me while sharing our story is to make damn sure I stay "real". It would be easy to act positive and strong with every blog entry, like a 500 year-old oak tree able to sway perfectly with the wind but the reality is there are days I feel like a rubber band and want to curl up in a fetal position on our living room floor and cry and cry and cry! Yesterday was one of those days!
I pride myself on being a career-minded and incredibly ambitious woman! I get this trait honestly from my Dad. To this day he still works himself half-to-death at the age of 65. He owns his own business and with the help of my step-mom, built his small town car dealership to a very successful company. They taught me and my two gorgeous and talented sisters the importance of working hard, being honest and following through with what you say you're going to do. This is how I have chosen to live my entire life so imagine my surprise when I found out on Friday I would have to go on disability due to my current medical condition.
All I could think about this weekend is the financial implications this "short-term disability" business was going to have on our family, not to mention how embarrassing it would be to tell people I couldn't work because my stupid vajey jey is out of commission. In addition, assuming the baby will not make it full-term (which I feel is a realistic expectation at this point) I can't wrap my brain around the fact that by the time we actually get back to Austin with Baby P in tow I will be out of vacation days, sick time, my full maternity leave will have expired and if we have to stay in New York, we will also have nearly, if not definitely, exhausted all of our savings. If I do choose to take additional time off (remember the baby will be essentially a newborn though he/she will be a few months old) I will then go on medical leave without pay. My goodness, even typing this makes my stomach churn. I was able to pretend my fears weren't real on Saturday (I even put on make-up and did my hair so I could have a brunch date with Mr. Gorgeous at Market Diner across the street) but Sunday was a different story. I called my aunt to discuss my concerns and fears and the second I started talking about the situation facing me it was as thought the flood gates of the Hoover dam opened! When I tell you I had a meltdown, it was a flu-fledged snotty mess! And, I could not gain my composure which sent my sweet husband into a tail-spit and ultimately right out the front door to get fresh air. God bless him!
As the day progressed, so did my obsession about the situation. I reached out for guidance from a good family friend and ultimately decided to write a note to my HR department an in effort to use my effective negotiating skills and persuade them to let me continue to work. Perhaps just writing my feelings on paper to someone that would actually listen was cathartic enough because I did feel better having the chance to defend my point-of-view.
I should go back to my "Effective Negotiating" class because the letter didn't work and as of today, I'm on short-term disability until further notice. Ultimately, what I learned through this exercise is perhaps I didn't understand the laws in place to protect employees in situations like mine. After talking with our SVP of HR and the top dog in our Chicagoland office, I don't feel so slighted anymore and understand they truly are trying to help me. The conversation was much appreciated to say the least. Unfortunately, it doesn't alleviate my fears or lessen the emotional toll this experience has had on Gayland and me. Maybe, just maybe, this is God giving me a chance to take a breather for a few months from my crazy/busy life and work on learning to let go and "Let God" be in control for once. After all, he hasn't led us astray yet!
*By the way, this is not my plea for money but rather just a chance to let you all know, I'm not as strong as I may seem!