Motherhood

Bonding: When it doesn’t happen straight away

Bonding is something I heard about over and over during pregnancy.

‘The baby must be put on your chest straight after delivery so mum and baby can bond’.

‘Skin to skin is best, that improves the bonding’.

‘When you have a baby it’s love at first sight’.

‘There’s a Hollywood moment and you instantly love them with all your heart’.

That’s not actually what happened with me. I had the baby and he was put on my chest and I saw him for the first time, he lifted his head and looked at me with his big blue eyes but instead of an I-love-you moment I had a who-the-hell-are-you moment?! He was all puffy and wrinkly and had blood on him and white stuff. I was exhausted and I felt like he was a complete stranger. There were complications so he was taken away from me, he wasn’t well and my husband went with him to the neonatal ward. I say that I’m lucky that I didn’t see all the tubes down his throat and oxygen mask on (my husband said it was horrible) but I’m not sure how I would have felt if I did see because I didn’t feel a connection at all.

I was left alone in the delivery room, I was stitched up, taken to my room and then they wheeled me down to meet him properly. He was all rugged up, given to me to cuddle and feed but I still felt nothing.

That night I went back to my room and he was kept under observation. My head was spinning too much from the drugs to sleep and I was really angry at my brother for announcing the delivery on facebook so I was frantically messaging people to advise them that bub had arrived while texting him to remove the post immediately. I did keep thinking periodically:

Shouldn’t I be worried?

Shouldn’t I want to be with him?

Am I bad a mother?

OMG I’m a mother now ... I didn’t feel like one.

Bonding

I thought I had bonded so strong with him during pregnancy, I was so happy to be pregnant. I spoke to him daily, I played him music and jumped with joy every time I felt him move but then he arrived and I felt nothing. I saw him one more time that night and was left alone with him and I kept thinking ‘you’re my baby’ over and over waiting for it to sink in.

The next morning he was put in my room and when he cried I jumped to his aide, the motherly instincts were there but it still felt surreal.

I went home and took care of him and I think I loved him but I still wasn’t sure how I felt about the whole situation. Four weeks later I was at home with my mum trying to cut his long nails. He flinched and I cut his skin, drawing blood. I burst into tears in a huge panic yelling at mum to get tissues because I had cut off his finger. I calmed him down saying sorry to him over and over while mum calmed me down telling me it’s ok, he’s not hurt, he’s just in shock. I sobbed and realised that I did love him, I loved him so so much and he’s my little baby and I want to do everything I can to protect him and make sure he’s ok. I never want him to hurt again. The bonding began.

Every day the bonding got stronger and stronger and then he made eye contact and smiled at me. He really smiled at me, not just a milk drunk smile. He looked at me and smiled because he wanted to. That sealed the deal.

Now I think back to that moment we first met and I have so much love pouring through me at the memory. The cute little thing looking at me with a big puffy face. God I love him, just took a little while that’s all. Now I will love him forever.

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15 Comments

  • Reply

    Lena Hedges

    July 12, 2016

    I love how honest and open you are! Stay strong!! Xx

    • Reply

      Emma

      July 24, 2016

      Thanks Lena, appreciate you taking the time to read and comment! x

  • Reply

    fancy

    July 23, 2016

    You have been so honest and it is great. I can relate to so much. It is monumentally hard adjusting to begin. Lovely post.

    • Reply

      Emma

      July 24, 2016

      Thank you for reading. It feels nice to be honest and know that other people have gone through a similar experience. x

  • Reply

    Angela Watling

    July 24, 2016

    This is a lovely post. I don’t think you’re alone in feeling like this. Immediately after labour I think many of us just felt exhaustion. The love you feel for your child is so different to the love you feel for someone you’ve met or grown-up knowing. It’s an instinctive love and that feels very different to how it’s often portrayed in antenatal classes and books. It’s wonderful you now feel that intense love for you son and in those early days you were there for him when he needed you which is love in another form! #forTheLoveOfBlog
    Angela Watling recently posted…My experience keeping a Gratitude JournalMy Profile

    • Reply

      Emma

      July 24, 2016

      Thanks Angela, you’re right until you have a baby you just cannot understand the mother child bond. It’s so intensely wonderful! x

  • Reply

    The Pramshed

    July 28, 2016

    Oh hun I felt exactly the same as you. My daughter was plonked on me, and I honestly had no idea what to do with her. I was so tired from the labour and c-section, and so out of it from all the drugs. I think a lot of people expect us to bond instantly with our babies, but very often this doesn’t happen. I think for the fear kicked in, that although I had been pregnant for 42 weeks and talking/stroking this baby, I had no idea what to do/behave now that she was here. But like you that love has grown, it was just a little weird at first. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

  • Reply

    Mummy and the Mexicans

    July 30, 2016

    I think bonding is somethings that grows gradually, it’s not always an instant thing. When you’re pregnant, it’s like your baby is a part of you, and then suddenly she’s a separate little person that you don’t really know yet, and need to take time to get to know. It all takes some getting used to! #FortheloveofBLOG

    • Reply

      Emma

      July 31, 2016

      Yes strange how separated you feel once their born but then as time goes on they are part of you again.

  • Reply

    Soppymum (Sara)

    September 11, 2016

    Ahhh I think so many people can relate to this. It’s all surreal and for me the first few weeks were a whirlwind of visitors and baby blues. Felt so strange calling myself a mum like I wasn’t ready or old enough! I also look back on those first moments with love even though I didn’t quite realise how much I loved him. #sharingthebloglove

    • Reply

      Emma

      September 13, 2016

      It’s lovely how the love just keeps growing and growing!

  • Reply

    Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons

    September 12, 2016

    I think it’s so important that people are honest about this, as from what I’ve heard it’s not uncommon at all! It’s completely understandable too – although I did feel that rush of love, the whole time in hospital was just surreal (a combination of the hormones and 72 hours without sleep) and I remember thinking how bizarre the whole situation was and feeling slightly disconnected from everything. I do think that you just can’t explain that intense love to anyone – it’s such an indescribable thing, isn’t it? Thanks so much for joining us again at #SharingtheBlogLove
    Katy – Hot Pink Wellingtons recently posted…Living Arrows 37/52My Profile

    • Reply

      Emma

      September 13, 2016

      Yes I wasn’t prepared for how intense the love is! Thanks for hosting.

  • Reply

    Laura - dear bear and beany

    September 12, 2016

    When my eldest daughter arrived I felt starstruck for a bit, like has this really happened, is she really here and is she really me. I remember when Andy went home and looking at her from my bed and I couldn’t get my head around the fact that she was mine, I was a mum. With Holly it was so different! Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x
    Laura – dear bear and beany recently posted…Living Arrows 37/52My Profile

    • Reply

      Emma

      September 13, 2016

      Yes I remember looking at him from the bed thinking wow this is real! Thanks for hosting #SharingTheBlogLove

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