Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bonding

I'm on maternity leave, meaning I do not get a paycheck. In an effort to be prepared for this time, I purchased a short-term disability policy from AFLAC last year. I filed my paperwork to start collecting my benefits the day before I went on maternity leave. Here we are, 7 weeks later, and I have yet to received a single penny.

Why? Because AFLAC can't seem to communicate with my doctor to prove that I gave birth and how. They want to confirm whether it as a c-section because they pay more for c-section deliveries. Since it was NOT a c-section, I'm here waiting so they can confirm that I get less of a benefit. This is ridiculous. Meanwhile, the state of California, for all the budget problems and furloughs has been batting 1000 in getting me my paid family leave money on time, every time. In fact, when I forgot to check a box on a form, I got a phone call from the state within 2 days to check the information.

In this instance: Private For Profit Company: SUCKS. State-run Department: Rocking it.

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In Lennox's birth story, I alluded to how difficult I found bonding with Warren after the horrible delivery. A friend asked how I found bonding this time around.

Within 2 seconds of being born, Lennox was snuggled to my chest, and didn't leave my sight until he was taken for his circumcision the next day. To this day, I've only been away from this baby a total of about 10 hours. I always wake up 2 minutes before he needs to eat in the middle of the night, no matter what. When he does cry, as soon as he hears my voice or feels my touch, he stops. I don't know how, but I always seem to know exactly what he needs.

Part of this is due to having gone through this before. But there is no doubt in my mind that the immediate bonding has a huge impact. I don't feel "trapped" by the constant togetherness, like I sometimes felt at first with Warren. Warren openly preferred Xtian for the first year and half of his life. In stressful situations, Warren needed Xtian, not me. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that Xtian was there with him throughout the first hours of Warren's life, and got to hold him almost immediately. On the other hand, I didn't get to touch him until hours after his birth while I was shaking uncontrollably in the recovery room.

I documented the difficulty I had with nursing Warren for the first few months. I didn't get to initiate breastfeeding until we were back in the maternity ward. And I was so tired, I couldn't keep my eyes open while the nurse tried to tell me her name. So, nursing did not start off easily with Warren.

With Lennox, we started nursing within moments of his birth and haven't had a single problem yet.

Of course, this is not to say that I feel any differently toward either kid. It just took a lot longer to get to this point with Warren. We got there, it was just much bumpier. And I think my complete adoration of Warren is fairly obvious. I mean, come on. The kid is completely gorgeous, charming, fun and funny.

And for the last year, Warren has been glued to me any chance he gets. So, clearly the slow bonding has not done anything to harm our mother-child relationship on the long term. And I wonder if Lennox's eventual, inevitable distancing from me will be harder because our bond was so immediate and so intense.

I guess we'll find out when the time comes.

1 comment:

Aflac said...
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