Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., speaks with Dante and Wendy DuCasse and their 17-month-old son, Bryce, at the third annual Strolling Thunder at the Capitol on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Colleen breaks into a smile that almost touches her ears when she thinks about the moment she discovered she would become a mom. After almost a decade of trying to conceive with her husband, Randy, giving birth to her daughter felt like a “miracle.”
But following Macy’s birth, what was ostensibly the happiest time in their lives soon became one of financial and mental strain as Colleen battled postpartum depression. To make matters more difficult, her employer only provided partial paid family medical leave for 12 weeks, the amount required under New Jersey state law. The couple was forced to dip into their savings and return to work, even though Colleen was still dealing with postpartum issues and recovering from her cesarean section.