I read somewhere that women in Canada are given a year’s maternity leave, three months of which are paid. After a year, they can expect to have a job waiting for them. Wow!
It isn’t so bad here. Mothers get roughly two months off for normal deliveries or a little more than that after C-sections. The female body doesn’t take long to get up and running after childbirth. What’s really difficult is the separation. I remember crying when I had to leave my first baby to get back to work at which point my father-in-law took me to task and reminded me that I had to pull myself together and work for milk, diapers and seventeen years of tuition fees.
Two years after I gave birth to my eldest child, I decided to go freelance, a term I prefer to use for picking odd tasks in a constant state of panic to make ends meet. So by the time I gave birth to my second child, the situation was a bit different. I had another C-section but I couldn’t take time off from my laptop. I was hooked back to my virtual dextrose only after a few days in the hospital. I swear I could feel my intestines jiggling to the tune of Jingle Bells as I typed away.
Within a few days, my stitches popped and I nearly fainted. The doctor assured me that an ingrown nail with a sprinkling of nail fungi on the side was a far worse condition than my dislodged stitches but I just couldn’t help myself. One part of my wound was pouting like a pale lip. At night I dreamt of my gut and the possibility of finally getting intimately acquainted with them through Emperor Palpatine’s cavity infested grin on my belly.
But I survived and that belly grin is settling into a smiley smudge, a reminder that I have a lot to be thankful for even if I don’t live in Canada. I’m a live mother to two live, happy, healthy babies who still love me even if they can talk to me sensibly only on weekends after I’ve come off of my internet dependence.