Renate had to go back to work immediately after the stillbirth: “No time to mourn” – Archyde

Renate and Ilyas from The Hague were lucky earlier this year: their first child together was on the way. They form a patchwork family: Renate has two sons (6 and 10) from a previous relationship, Ilyas has a 7-year-old son. “And now we wanted a child of ours together.”

“Elijah had nails on his fingers”

But Elijah was born after a pregnancy of 21 weeks. Unfortunately too early. His lungs weren’t developed enough. The loss is difficult: “Of course it is very sad. I just gave birth to a son in the hospital. A lot of people don’t understand that. They think it was a miscarriage. But it was a person with nails.” his fingers and hair on his head.”

Luckily it was nice to say goodbye. Professional photos were taken. Elijah wore a beautiful outfit made from wedding dresses and donated by a foundation. “Fortunately we were well guided.”

emotional storm

Renate, who works as a freelance copywriter and advises companies on communications, wanted to take a break. “My body has been through pregnancy and childbirth. I lost a liter of blood. You need to recover from that. Not to mention the emotional storm you’re going through.”

The ZEZ system would offer a solution, or so she thought. ZEZ stands for self-employed and pregnant and is roughly the self-employed variant of maternity leave. Since 2008, the self-employed have been entitled to this benefit, which cannot exceed the minimum wage.

smack in the face

But then she hit a wall on the UWV website: She was 21 weeks pregnant, so the application was not processed in advance. The legal minimum is 24 weeks.

“A huge slap in the face,” says Renate. “The last thing you want is to deal with money in this storm. Also, we have a feeling they think Elijah wasn’t there at all. As if he doesn’t count like a child of 24 weeks or older counts.”

Elijah was human, that feels good

Nowadays, children can be registered at the municipal registry office. They did. “One consolation. It proves Elijah was human. That feels good.”

Circumstances are now forcing Renate to return to work earlier than she would like. Because the family is largely dependent on their income. “The costs continue. We have to buy a house. three children I want to mourn. I want to recover physically and emotionally. But I don’t get the time for it that way. I have to work again .”

recognizable history

Renate shared her story on her LinkedIn page. Since then her mail has “exploded” and she has already received more than 20,000 private messages. “All sorts of people, including CEOs of large companies, have told me that they find my story recognizable. women who later suffered from it. Also many men who write that they went through the same thing, sometimes twenty years ago, and so they still think about it every day. That’s a heart below the belt.”

Femke Zeven didn’t miss the scream from the heart either. She is a lawyer and executive director at Bureau Clara Wichmann, an organization dedicated to improving the rights of women. “That was discussed this morning in our app group of lawyers,” she says. “We will continue to discuss how we can take care of this. We have already paid attention to this before.”

This example shows once again that the legal status of pregnant self-employed entrepreneurs leaves a lot to be desired, says Zeven. “We have also seen it with Corona programs like Tozo and NOW, which have helped self-employed people in times of Corona. If you were pregnant in the previous period and as a result did not work a certain number of hours, you were fishing behind the net. A punishment for pregnancy. That needs to change.

Outrageously expensive insurance

However, the “how” is difficult, explains Marlies Vegter, lecturer in employment law at the University of Amsterdam. “If you are employed, you can call in sick. Your income is protected. An entrepreneur must regulate this himself by taking out occupational disability insurance. The problem is that it’s outrageously expensive. Professionals have this insurance. I also found them too expensive.”

From a practical point of view, Vegter finds it understandable that the government has to draw a line somewhere. “You also don’t want a situation where an agency is looking at your child to determine which category you fall into.”

Practical solution

According to the lawyer, the solution lies in a good, generally applicable rule: “The most practicable solution is mandatory disability insurance for the self-employed, provided it is made affordable. That is not the case now. You could think of a graduation.” Graduated in the premium, which depends on your income.”

Renate herself has now understood through the mountains of reactions that her situation is more common than she thought. “I am happy that my story touches so many people. That’s good for us. It makes me feel like Elijah is being remembered. Someone even started a crowdfunding campaign for me: mourning for Renate. Very cute, isn’t it? If there is any benefit, we will definitely donate to the Floor de Lis Foundation, who made the package for Elijah.”

Positive attitude

“Unfortunately, she hasn’t seen the human face of government,” she says. “But even more so from the people in the Netherlands. I hope a discussion will start and help other families in this situation.”

And now? “I’m going back to work. I will do this with passion. The hope of raising a child of ours did not suddenly disappear. Ilyas and I are positive people, so who knows what the future will bring.”

The post Renate had to go back to work immediately after the stillbirth: “No time to mourn” appeared first on Nach Welt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.