I went on maternity leave a couple of weeks ago (three!) to rest up before Lentil arrives. My blood pressure has dropped significantly and my feet are far less swollen than they were. I also have less money.
If you teach, there is a good possibility that you do not have any maternity pay, let alone disability. I didn't realize the disability issue until after we'd become pregnant and two other teachers said they'd faced the same issue. How dumb am I? California teachers do not pay into social security, we pay into CalSTRS so our retirement funds are held differently than for most people. (Police do not pay into SS, either.)
What about sick leave? Because I left work before my due date, I churned through what little sick leave I had (I used it last year on the whole getting pregnant thing). Once sick leave is used up, the district moves to extended leave.
I called the district office to double check our policies after a friend in another district said her district pays $0 for maternity leave. My HR person was shocked. I am paid based on extended leave which means I get paid, but my long-term sub (the person covering for me) gets paid out of my salary, about 2/3 of what I would take home. Less than I expected but better than nothing, eh? If I were to add the baby to my insurance policy, it would cost an additional $1,000 because I asked for the PPO coverage. To add the baby to Mister's PPO, which is the same insurance company though a different group and rate, costs about $300.
Those of you who think being a teacher is cake and we should shut up about basic insurance needs and so on, here's the deal:
My take home is about $3,000 a month. I teach, in the classroom, from 7:15am to 2:45pm every day. Of the six periods I am on campus, on is my prep and half of a period is lunch. My monthly insurance is just under $1,000. I do not have disability unless I buy it and I do not receive disability from social security.
Whoo. I know I'm forgetting something.
In any case, being home these last weeks has been better for my health, therefore the baby's health, as my blood pressure has dropped considerably and my feet no longer look like over-grown casabas.