My children were born a month ago, and I’ve been chasing paper since. In between heating bottles and pumping and pleading with Henry to eat without choking, I’ve had to gather evidence of his identity. Which is especially difficult when he’s too young to have much of it.
He was given the wrong name in the hospital. Not by me. I filled out Eleanor and Henry’s birth records at the same time and gave them over to the same person, so when I requested their birth certificates, I was surprised that there was one for Eleanor, but nothing for Henry. The person filing his records put down my last name for him instead of the name he shares with his sister and dad.
The hospital fixed their mistake when I called, but it was too late to stop the cascade of other paperwork that began rolling in with the wrong name. His social security, birth certificate, and the insurance cards for our entire family were thrown into question, because someone in our family had inconsistent records. I left the twins with Erik while chasing these inconsistencies and stamping them out with the flimsy records I had.
Today I received the last piece of paperwork confirming Henry as an official Hosa. I also received a notice that his insurance claim was rejected and we’d be on the hook for the entire cost of his delivery.
Which is a little curious, as he was the second twin out and Eleanor was covered. Did they bill me for half a c-section? At that point pulling out twin 2 has got to be only 10% of the work.
The call to the insurance company was a gloriously short one. The notice that the claim was denied was sent out while there were still records for a non existent Henry Beals, and had since been corrected.
I hope. I Hope. I HOPE this is the last we’ll see of the name that isn’t. Hold music and phone anxiety has taken too much of my time in this last month, when the true business I’d like to get to is singing to my kids and bathing them and sometimes just holding them while they aren’t hungry, because I love them and I want it to not be so much work.
Or rather, I want to choose the work that benefits them directly. Henry and Eleanor don’t know their names yet, and it will be years before they’ll understand this story. But I can collect song lyrics today and tack them up in their room so I can sing to them even when I’m so tired I forget my words. And I can practice the signs for ‘hungry’ and ‘finished’ and ‘more’ so they can talk to me a little before they learn to speak.
It’s been a weird month, but the best parts have been when I get to be a parent. I am glad for that work to continue.