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first draft of letter to employer re: next pregnancy

PostPosted: Jul 08, 2005 5:42 pm
by JennyK
Okay, here's my first crack at the letter I am going to give my boss. Background is he vaguely knows my plans and that I'll be out sick. He said they'd help me out. I have been with this firm for almost a year. I didn't want to go on FOREVER about how awful HG is (although I could have!) but did I do it justice? I'm looking for any suggestions or input.

DISCLAIMER: I do not endorse telling your boss you're going to have another HG pregnancy, but my situation is a little different than many and the cat is already out of the bag with my boss. Just ask Aimee about rampant employment discrimination!
Dear [Managing Partner]:

Under normal circumstances my family planning would be at the bottom of my list of topics to discuss with my employer, but my situation is unique and in fairness to [law firm] I think it's best to lay my cards on the table. As we have discussed before, when I was pregnant with Annie I had a serious complication called hyperemesis gravidarum. Statistically speaking it is very likely to happen again with a subsequent pregnancy. Despite this fact I hope to have another child.

So you know a little bit about where I'm coming from, hyperemesis is a debilitating condition characterized by extreme, unrelenting and prolonged nausea and vomiting resulting in the loss of 5% or more of body weight. It is not "morning sickness." Hyperemesis is akin to food poisoning that lasts for months. Without proper treatment it can cause severe dehydration, malnutrition, organ failure, and death. Ten percent of women with hyperemesis suffer post traumatic stress disorder as a result of the ordeal. Somehow, in all but the most extreme cases, babies thankfully manage to thrive and are at no greater risk for problems than babies with healthy mothers. During my pregnancy with Annie I was admitted to the hospital over ten times, on myriad drugs including medications designed for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy (Zofran), and fed and hydrated through a catheter to my heart under the supervision of home health care (TPN through a PICC line). At the worst of it, simply watching the motion of someone walking across my hospital room or having the radio on caused me to vomit. Unfortunately I have the distinction of having had the worst case of hyperemesis my obstetrician has ever seen.

In preparation to relive this nightmare, I would like to work out with [law firm] a plan regarding my anticipated absences from work. If my next pregnancy follows the same pattern as the last one, as I have been told to expect, I will be completely debilitated and unable to work for approximately two months at the beginning of the pregnancy. For the remainder of the pregnancy I will probably be well enough to work half to three-quarters time. As you know, I have been researching and will soon be applying for short-term disability insurance and hospitalization insurance.

In lieu of taking paid sick leave, I would like to ask [law firm] to hold my position for me and continue to pay my health insurance premiums. For periods of time during which I am able to work part-time, I would ask for my salary to be reduced commensurate to the number of hours I am able to work (for example, half of my salary for working half time). I will work as much as possible during my pregnancy, but not at the expense of my health.

In addition, regarding maternity leave, the short-term disability policy I am purchasing covers 6 weeks postpartum. I would ask [law firm] to pay my regular salary for another 6 weeks during which I would be available to work part time from home and occasionally in the office as needed.

I realize this is a substantial request coming from a relatively new employee and I feel badly for asking. But having a family is the most important thing I'll ever do and I have to figure out a way to make it work. After you and the other partners have a chance to consider my proposal, please let me know what you think.

PostPosted: Oct 24, 2005 8:12 pm
by Babynapps
Wow, your letter is very interesting. In reading it, I've became more confident with explaining my upcomming situation to my employer. I must admit that you did not leave any information out which makes for better decision making on your employers part...

Your letter is great and one could not help but understand and care about your situation.