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Compartment 14B

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Nesting phase? Officially entered.

2008-05-01 - 11:19 a.m.

Okay, I have a month and two days at the most before the Biscuit makes his appearance and I am in full-on organizing mode. I think of it as nesting by proxy - like nesting, but without the physical exertion of actually cleaning and gathering stuff myself. Kind of like how a general would nest.

I have made lists of: things to pack for the hospital for me, J and Biscuit; things to pack for Grommet to take to her grandparents and to take to daycare to make sure she’s stocked up, and; things to be done at home and to have on hand for when we’re all back again. I have checked things off. I have included things already done on the lists, just for the satisfaction of being able to check them off immediately. I have written “Care and feeding of Grommet” instructions for her grandparents. I have sent an email to the childcare agency so that the people who have volunteered to care for Grommet can actually drop her off and pick her up. This also required a separate letter for the childcare provider; also done, natch.

I have followed up with my work HR – notoriously slow on these matters – and signed all the papers I can right now, and have their list of items I must provide them with a) immediately, and b) after the Biscuit is born. I have pre-addressed two envelopes for this purpose. It’s a good thing I followed up too: there’s a waiting period of 3 months to bump up your hospital coverage and I’d applied last November… but apparently they have never actioned it and lost the form I submitted. At least they have an electronic record of receiving the form though (something I’d checked in February, when I thought it would suffice to ask if they’d received it), so it’s clearly their fault and they won’t make me wait another 3 months. I just had to send them a new copy of the form, back-dated to last November and, in theory, it will be in place before I have to go into the hospital. (For those that are wondering, even with Canada’s Universal Health Care there’s a fee for actual overnight stay in the hospital if you want a semi-private or private room. It’s not a lot, but my work’s supplementary health benefits cover a chunk of it anyway.)

I still have to apply for the federal government portion of my parental benefits*, but apparently I can’t do that before my last official day of work, which, since I’m taking other types of leave for two weeks prior to my official maternity leave start day, means I can’t fill it out before May 30th. *gulp* Let’s hope Biscuit isn’t too early; who wants to be filling out forms in the early days following a c-section?

Now to actually marshal the troops (i.e., J and myself… and maybe Uncle Bob if he feels like pitching in. Hi Uncle Bob!) to actually procure, pack and do the stuff that needs doing in the next few weeks. Almost all the newborn-to-6-month clothes (aw) are washed and in the drawer of the change table, and I got leeeetle tiny diapers last night (aw again), so I’ve made some progress. I figure, the closer my due-date comes, the more cumbersome the Belly will get, so I might as well get a jump on the preparations now.

*For those non-Canucks reading this, the way it works in Canada is that almost everyone is entitled to 50% of their salary, up to a certain maximum, from the federal government for the entirety of the 52 weeks of maternity/parental leave we’re entitled to by law. The ones that lose out on this are people who don’t qualify for federal employment insurance, i.e. the unemployed and the self-employed (who can’t fire themselves and thus can’t get E.I.). While I think it would be better to allow self-employed people to elect to pay into EI in order to allow them to get the maternity benefits, it’s still a way better system than many countries – I’m looking at YOU America – have. And in my case, my employer tops me up to an almost-unheard-of 93% of my salary for the entire year. Woot for me!

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