For 52 weeks, 40 gestational and 12 actual, I have held and comforted my son. We have been inseparable. Literally, since I wear him in a Sleepy Wrap or an Ergo almost all day. He has only known me for food. He has only known me for comfort. He has only known me for deep sleep. And now, with the deposit of one final disability check, his reality is ripped apart. We no longer get to spend 24/7 together. He is forced to take his milk from a foreign contraption and root on the shoulder of a loving grandmother who can do nothing in that department to soothe his basic instinct of comfort. This is a lot to take in right now.
I tried to leave him for an hour here or there to help build his confidence that I would be back but in the end, I didn’t want to leave him until I absolutely had to. I’m not sure if I made the transition worse for him or if it would have been bad no matter what. All I know is, leaving him in the care of someone else, even if it is my mom, sucks. I want to go home and get him right now.
In California, pregnant women get 6 weeks for a vaginal delivery and 8 weeks for a c-section. That is not enough time at all. I was fortunate enough that I got 12 weeks. I technically get an additional 12 weeks of unpaid leave but when you factor in that I don’t get paid nor do I get disability and would have to pay 100% of my medical premiums during that 12 weeks, well, financially, that is not an option. I know I have better options than most but why America is not more sorted out on child rearing and it’s importance is still a mystery to me. It makes me want to run out and demand more rights on the steps in Sacramento but that would take away precious moments I get with my son and I’m not willing to give that up yet.