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Separation Anxiety

I’m having it. With T minus two months before I have to return to work I am starting to panic a little.

PrincessIce and I have been bonded since her days in the womb. A very different experience to what I had with Babyice. I was so jaded by our loss of Jamie I distanced myself from Babyice for the longest time, fearing I would lose him too. My bond with Babyice grew over time. He is still very much daddy’s boy. I love him to the ends of the earth, but it took time for me to move the fear from my heart and mould our relationship into what it is now. Even after he was born I feared things like cot death would rob us of him. Maybe irrational, but my reality. Still now I fear that he will be seriously injured or kidnapped, but I think it has normalized now into the kind of fears most parents have.

With PrincessIce it has been completely different. While I was carrying her I still feared some things, but felt free to bond with her. To talk to her and to prepare for her arrival. From the moment she was born I was on a high. That after-birth-high lasted a week. We’ve practically never been apart. For almost 12 weeks we were virtually physically inseparable as she breastfed frequently and we struggled through those initial bumps and hurdles.

She is a very good baby. She only cries when she wants/needs something. If she is crying she stops as soon as you pick her up. Babyice used to keep screaming. She is always at my side. She sleeps next to me, day and night. She goes to other people and is happy to, but before long she will look for her mommy again. We often hear what a relaxed and content baby she is. Her first night at home was a breeze compared to Babyice’s homecoming. I remember he cried and cried and we didn’t know what to do to make him stop. PrincessIce came home, slept in her cot, fed and barely cried. Almost like she didn’t notice she had just been hurled into a new environment. Perhaps the difference there was that we were no longer brand spanking new parents. We more or less had an idea what we were doing and were more relaxed in general. Maybe that made all the difference. Maybe she is just a chilled baby and we should consider ourselves lucky.

I am immensely enjoying my time with her at home. We cuddle, snuggle, feed and play all day. Again a striking difference. Babyice used to have naps in his cot and at night he used to sleep in his cot too. I didn’t want to have baby in bed with us. I had heard mothers at work complain they couldn’t get their toddlers out of their beds. PrincessIce has been sleeping in our bed since the second night she was home. With the breastfeeding it is just so much easier to have her close to her food source. Everyone just gets more sleep that way. No getting up, making a bottle, feeding it to her, burping and rocking back to sleep. Just pop the boob in and carry on sleeping. What could be easier?

I think the breastfeeding has a lot to do with the bonding. That and having had a lot more time to recover from the loss of Jamie. The difference in gender may also play a role. I wanted a girl when we had Elijah, but enjoyed being a boy mommy. When we got pregnant again I really felt no biased towards any gender. We weren’t “trying for a girl”. I would have been happy to have another boy. I have found though that I am thoroughly enjoying being a girly mommy. Playing dress up and so on. Regrettably I have turned into one of those mothers who smothers their little girl in pink everything and I don’t care. I love it.

Back to my panic. What is going to happen when she has to be away from me for an entire day every day? No more cuddles and snuggles at mommy’s breast. I mentioned this to the day mother and she said ‘You must stop spoiling her. I can’t have her in the arms all day. She’ll have to get used to being in the cot.’ Practically, unless someone was caring for her one on one, this would be the case anywhere. I known our day mother won’t leave her screaming in the cot, but she also has other children to care for and cannot carry her around all day. Arguably she’ll get more attention at the day mother than she would at say, a creche that has other babies the same age. She’ll be the only small baby at the day mother and she’ll get special treatment…but it won’t be the same. I also don’t think I am spoiling her by loving her, cuddling her and attending to her every need. She is still so tiny. She needs and deserves to be loved and cuddled.

I don’t know. Kids are resilient. Perhaps I fear more for my own broken heart having to leave her there. It is going to be so much harder this time. I can’t say why. It just is. She’ll be going from the beginning of June so that she can get settled there before I go back to work. She’ll also need to get used to drinking from bottles and I’ll need to get used to pumping milk for her. So many huge adjustments that will need to be made. I wish I could just stay at home, but that is financially impossible. Will have to close my eyes and just do it.