Not being cold, I have kids and I understand...But Kate's not looking for paid time off, just to not burn all of her sic/vac time, just for FMLA.
Now, what if she has to go on bedrest early? That shortens her time off after delivery.
I think she should be allowed to use a few weeks paid time off, (sic/vac) and then kick in 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA. Really, what's it to the department anyway? Who's going to grieve it? No one's done it before.
Depending on the size of the department, it really can have a huge impact. 12 weeks is a long time...imagine increasing that to 24 or 36 weeks...it cripples small departments! Women in other professions/vocations go back to work within 12 weeks (unless they can afford otherwise), I believe in doing everything we can for families, but we also have to keep troops on the road. Forced overtime gets really touchy to the troops after 12 or 14 weeks...