“As a mom to 3 year old, I was truly surprised during my pregnancy at the lack of support for new moms and families in our normally progressive state. Even as a middle class, two income family, with jobs at fabulous employers we still had to decide on leaving our child in daycare at just weeks old or going unpaid.” Read the rest of Sarah’s story here.

“I am currently on (unpaid) maternity leave after the birth of my second child. I have had to limit the enrollment of my oldest in preschool to save money and I’m only able to afford to send her at all because I’m fortunate enough to have savings to dip into. If I did return to work now…” Read the rest of Naomi’s story here.

“I just had my beautiful baby girl Emilia N. Sanchez on June 01st, 2018. She came into this world via c-section and I am already back at work July 2, 2018 and attempting to breast feed. I am emotionally torn. At work people are constantly asking me why are you back so early?” Read the rest of Bianca’s story here.

“When my second child was born, I did not have paid leave. I was working for a school system, which allowed me to use FMLA despite the fact that I hadn’t been at my job for a year when my daughter was born ( I had been working there for nearly ten months at the time of her birth). If I had been working…” Read the rest of Kristen’s story here.

“I am a professor at a CT State University. My first son was born in the summer 9 weeks before my very first day of work. As a new employee, I had no access to additional leave time. So at 9 weeks old, my son started daycare, and we were very fortunate to have found an excellent, relatively affordable…” Read the rest of Jenna’s story here.

“I am self-employed and do not have access to paid family or medical leave. When I was pregnant with my first child, I had complications at 28 weeks and was forced to spend the remainder of my pregnancy on bed-rest, unable to work. When I went into labor, the umbilical cord was wrapped around my son’s neck…” Read the rest of Sally’s story here.

“As a millennial, I am considering starting a family in the near future. I would like to raise a family in CT, but cannot afford to not have paid leave.” Stephanie, New Britain CT

“When my daughter was born 2 months premature I used up all my vacation time before her mom was able to take 5 months combining disability and maternity leave.” Merrill, New Britain CT

“As a pediatrician, I feel that paid family leave is important for the health and well being of the family.” Gerald, Enfield CT

“I believe in families being together during times of hardship. I believe that a mother and father need to be with their child(ren) during those early days/ weeks. We can be better employees if we eliminate the stress of working during hard times or when adjusting to a new baby.” Carla, Fairfield CT

“Suffering a miscarriage and having my husband return to work the day after. Him needing to return to work a week after having a baby, even through Postpartum depression.” Caitlin, Fairfield CT

“It is important to me because I want to have children in the future and want to make sure I am able to do so with adequate time off and support. I also have an older mother and anticipate having to care for her in the future as well. This isn’t just for me – it’s for me neighbors, friends, family, and future partner.” Constance, Bridgeport CT

“I want to have a family one day. Work-life balance is something I hope to have by the time I want to have babies. I am willing to work and do what I can with the time I have to get family leave passed”. Dayna, Bridgeport CT

“I am a college professor working at a CT State University. My employer allows for 6 weeks of unpaid leave following the birth of a child, and I was fortunate enough to be able to bank enough sick time beforehand so that I was able to collect a paycheck during that leave.” Read the rest of Kelly’s story here.

“My professional support arises from my understanding of the importance of breastfeeding to the health of mothers and babies, the decrease in illnesses of both mothers and babies in our community and workforce, and our ability to decrease exploitation of mothers…” Read the rest of Christy’s story here.

“My wife and I are in the process of a domestic adoption as a means to create our family. Infertility has left us no other option. As an educator, my wife is a member of a union and in most cases is the beneficiary of family-oriented policies. While her school system does offer paid maternity leave for mothers…” Read the rest of Marc’s story here.

“I took maternity leave in 2014. As I had been at my job for less than a year, I could not use FMLA and did not have access to my workplace’s parental leave (3 weeks paid). I was forced to use all of my sick and vacation time, which meant that I had to save up and not use any of these days before going out on leave.” Read the rest of Katie’s story here.

“When I had both of my children, now 4 yr and 2 yr old, I took 4 months off from work. I was paid short term disability during that time. I also used vacation time. My employer then allowed each child to come to work with me.” Read the rest of Brynn’s story here.

“When I had my 2nd child, I had to take the last 4 weeks after my c-section as unpaid leave. In addition, my husband had to take unpaid days every time he was ill or when he needed to stay home with a sick child when he used to work retail. As you can surmise, that had a huge impact on finances when he was being paid a small hourly salary.” – Karla, Cromwell, CT

“My husband and I adopted a baby from China. We were in Chins for two weeks to get her. That was my vacation time. When we got back in took one week unpaid. And returned to work the following week. My husband is self employed. So absolutely no family leave. It was hard but we lived through it.” – Janet, West Hartford, CT

“When I was pregnant in 2011, neither my husband nor I had any paid leave from work. In fact, neither of us were covered by FMLA: his company had less than 50 employees, I worked several part-time jobs. He was only able to take 2 weeks of vacation after our daughter was born before returning to work, and I stayed home for almost 12 weeks without pay.” Read the rest of Liz’s story here.

“When I was pregnant with my son – I thought finding great care for him would be a breeze. It was not! I thought I would be given 12 weeks of paid leave before having to go back to work, nope that wasn’t given either. I only took 7 weeks leave (6 weeks were paid at 60% of my income and 1 week was paid using vacation time and sick leave).” Read Cynthia’s full story here

“I am currently 12 weeks pregnant with our first child. I work for an (amazing) nonprofit here in CT, which is focused on promoting healthy moms and healthy babies by preventing prematurity and birth defects. I don’t just love my job, but I need it also. My partner and I live in Fairfield County…” Read the rest of Keely’s story here.

“I am very lucky that I have a wonderful husband who is employed full time and I could take maternity leave.  However, 8 of the 14 weeks were unpaid time. Only 2 weeks were paid at my full salary; I luckily had banked 2 weeks of PTO.  The next 4 weeks were paid at 60% of my salary by the short term disability…” Read the rest of Sarah A’s story here.

“I work as a teacher in an affluent district here in central Connecticut.  The way my school district handles maternity leave is the female employee must use all of her sick time during maternity leave.  If she runs out of sick time before the allowed 6 or 8 weeks is up (depending on vaginal vs. cesarean delivery)…” Read the rest of Jessica’s story here.