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Daniel Apolinario, 
34, consultant
How he took his leave: he has his own business. So he managed to negotiate with his main clients a 32-day leave. He has been avoiding travels and works from home until this day.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Apolinario


I told my wife that I was having an empathetic pregnancy. I was very hungry all the time, was anxious, gassy, dizzy. The birth was also very intense. It took 17 hours and I saw everything. I wanted to help, but I saw that it was all with her. The nurse asked me to leave her alone in this moment. If I could give birth instead of her, I would.


I would be in a huge moral dilemma if I hadn't been able to get on leave. Perhaps to the point of quitting my job, living on savings. I think it's cruel to have to go to work a few days after your daughter was born. To see her for very few hours a day. I can't even imagine, I think this would be a nightmare.


The post-partum was very complicated because there wasn't much room for me to demonstrate my weaknesses. It was also difficult for me, and I wanted to be heard, and not only hear. The father usually is kept out of this story, but we are also going through a big transformation. It's natural that people want to know more about the mother, but it wasn't an easy time for me either.


The truth is that getting your sexual activity back takes much longer than the 40 days the doctor prescribed. We don't have time and emotional disposition for sex. The focus is all on the baby, we are still trying to understand and adapt ourselves to this new life.


"I realized my daughter was growing by the size of my toenails. Because I don't have time to clip them anymore."
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