The Creation Story
I had always had "Sonrisa" hanging up in my dorm room in college or doodled on pieces of paper tucked in my textbooks. I never veered too far from the dream of one day owning my own company and becoming a healer, trainer, and author.
I was working hard at building a robust policy strategy career, when everything changed...
I was working as a political strategist for the lobbysit team at a large Fortune 500 healthcare company when I had a near death experience and stopped breathing for 30 seconds. When I came to, I was at my husband's friend's house, squad called, the whole nine. "Eat more bananas," the nurse said, and sent me on my way.
When your spirit leaves your body and comes back, it doesn't come back in the same way it leaves. There's an adjustment period. Mine was 26 weeks on medical leave. I had to relearn how to walk -- and ultimately how to be in my body again.
While I was out on medical leave, I became pregnant. Naturally, while I was fighting to take care of myself, why not add growing another human to the mix? Happy to say, I gave birth to my son, who is happy, healthy, safe, and cozy. He's seven now, so the story continues well.
I fell through the cracks.
As I was working through the logistics about my medical leave, I did not know this at the time, but you have to exhaust your FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) before you roll into your short-term medical leave. This all happened fluidly and without issue. I worked with my benefits team who were wonderful and completely supportive. My medical team helped create a space for healing and adjustment.
When I became pregnant, I was expecting that I would be able to take my FMLA for maternity leave...but I had already used it for my own leave. I didn't have any time left. I remember the conversation still:
HR Representative: "You're just out of time. We will always hire you back, but there's nothing we can do for you at this time." [Click]