Skip to main content

I had no paid leave and a baby in the NICU

Like most Americans, I do not have paid family leave. I went into labor with my son when I was at work, almost two months before his due date. My son was born at 33 weeks, by emergency C-section, and spent a month in the NICU. I used all of my vacation and sick time to be with him daily. When that was used up, I used unpaid disability to continue to stay home with my baby who was on a heart and breathing monitor. When that ended, I quit my job so that I could see my child through the difficult first year of his life. My family was lucky enough to have great health insurance during this time, but we were crippled by having to live on one income. Paid family leave for both me and my husband would have made a huge difference for my family. 

Jonna Ashley, Denver