I have just shy of 7 weeks until my second baby is due. This is enormously exciting and a bit scary. I’m not going to talk about labour in this post as it is something I will write about nearer the time but this one is more about those first few moments up to few weeks, after the gremlin was born. I’m going to tell you how I didn’t immediately bond with my baby.
And I hated it.
I’d read all the stories and heard all the tales of that moment your baby is born. So many ladies expressing that awesome completely overwhelming sense of love for that little thing they had just delivered. It was instantaneous. That complete devotion and need to protect their child. The pain was forgotten and this was the reason they were put on this earth: to Mother a child.
Luckily I wasn’t under too many illusions about what to expect when the gremlin was born and I was very glad of this.
I Didn’t Bond With My Baby
I did not feel any of the above.
I remember sitting in the birth pool and hubby handing me the gremlin I had just pushed out, after a 36 hour labour from the initial twinges and show, to her delivery. She cried immediately, as her little purple skin hit the cool air from the warm water. I gazed down at her and what did I feel?
- Holy shit – this is mine.
- She looks NOTHING like me; she has a touch of an oriental look about her and so much dark hair. I’m pale and ginger.
- She is kind of purple.
- I don’t know what to feel. I feel kind of nothing, even numb.
Of course aside I felt elated and even proud to have delivered her pretty naturally. I had a first degree tear that needed no stitches and she had a small breast feed that satisfied the midwife. I held her after delivering the placenta but still, I didn’t know what to feel. I looked down at her and kind of felt a bit disconnected.
We weren’t in hospital long and I remember taking her home and hubby plonking her down on the lounge floor in her car seat. He said he wasn’t fazed at all about the new addition to our family. I looked at her, sat in the car seat and just felt scared. Two were now three. What the heck did we do now? We actually tidied up the house after the rush and mess getting out during labour, and sat down to leftover tuna pasta bake.
This niggling feeling just wouldn’t pass. I went through all the motions. I managed to establish breast feeding. She had a couple of awful nights with sleep as my milk came in and she settled a little more as the time passed. People came and visited us. I held her as she slept but this horrible feeling kept coming back to me; people seem to love her more than I did. Why? What was wrong with me?
It wasn’t a nice feeling. I was coping, she was feeding and sleeping but I just knew the bond wasn’t fully formed. A 5 days old when she had the heel prick test that howl when the midwife clipped her foot, hardly touched me. 8 weeks later when she went for her first vaccinations I sobbed like a baby.
Two weeks of paternity leave passed and my Mum came to stay for a few days to help which was amazing but that odd feeling was still there. I knew I hadn’t fully settled to being a Mum and I wasn’t even sure I liked it!
I needed to be left alone with the gremlin, which to some, may sound even worse. Hubby was back at work and so was Mum. I slowly got into a routine. We went out a lot, saw friends and life became normal again. I knew in those days and weeks that I loved her. Something snapped. I needed some form of routine and time with her alone. I’m not sure if it was mild baby blues or just a completely normal response to having a baby. I was lucky that physically my recovery was fine but mentally it took some getting used it. Life was nothing as I knew it. This thing was dependent on me. I was a slave to a baby; a milk machine and that took some adapting. Of course I managed in the end.
I’m so hoping second time things will be different. I want to bond with my baby. I want more cuddle times, if possible, when Piglet is born. I want more skin on skin time. I’m going to be ready for these odd feelings but I hope they are less if I am a bit more relaxed second time around. I’m not going to stress about putting Piglet down all the time; I think I was too worried about being not disciplined enough with the gremlin. This time I want to bond earlier and have those cuddles.
I hope for any new Mums, who may have felt like me, this helps. It’s normal. The fairy tales do exist for some but not for us all. I didn’t “know” my gremlin and she didn’t me; not really. You need to get to know your baby and bond. If it’s not in an instant, it doesn’t matter.
Second time around I’m a bit more prepared for this and hoping it will a little different.
enjoyed reading that, good luck with your second birth, hopefully it will be quicker x #fartglitter
I can totally relate to this. I expected that ‘rush of love’ that comes straight after birth but didn’t experience it. This post will help other mums who had similar feelings. Although I know I had PND, separate from that I do think it’s normal to feel a bit detached post birth. Your body has been through so much and the only way I can describe it (for me anyway), is like your mind is catching up with your body. Loving your pregnancy update posts #bigpinklink
It is a huge shock to the system when you first bring a new life into the world and it can be hugely challenging, but we all have our ways of getting through it. I find the support of my mother to be invaluable and have so much to thank her for. The second time around I was better prepared and more confident. You will be too. Good luck. #bigpinklink
My wife had similar feelings. I really think a lot of came from her surprise when little A popped out looking like my little clone and nothing like her #pooprainbows
It took me about 4 months to feel like I loved LJ, seems so silly looking back on it as I adore her now. But it is normal and speaking out like this will help others. Doesn’t mean you will feel the same this time but defo good to be prepared for it so you don’t feel any guilt. Can’t believe it is so close now! xxx
I think this post will really help some new mums. Your honesty is so refreshing and I’m sure that a lot of people will relate to it. Alison x #fartglitter
I can really relate to this with my first child. Trouble was I wasn’t prepared…I was completely oblivious to the fact that you could feel anything other than great joy and overwhelming love upon being handed your baby. The numbness really shocked me. It’s only since then I’ve realised it is completely normal (particularly in particular birth circumstances), it’s just not the side that’s portrayed in much that I was exposed to before birth! Very best wishes for the birth of your second child #bigpinklink
I completely relate to this post. When my son was born I felt shocked, numb and scared. I was waiting for the rush but it didn’t come. Everyone told me the pain would vanish as soon as baby was born but obviously it didn’t, I was surprised by this too..why could I only think about how much everything hurt when I should just be full of joy and love? It took a couple of weeks for me to feel like a proper bond was forming between my son and I. When baby boy comes in October I will be more prepared, like you, and not feel like there’s something wrong with me if I don’t feel in love with my child immediately. Can’t believe you e only got 7 weeks to go!xx #Fartglitter
Absolutely YES!!!!! So much about your post was true for me, too. It was such a fog, such a huge expectation, and I felt so damned sore and exhausted. But it is different going in the second time. I still didn’t have that ping of ‘movie moment’ love; but I wasn’t so afraid. She just slotted in and life rolled on. And that life is pretty fabulous with two healthy kids that I love with intensity. #fartglitter
Oh my goodness, I could’ve written this!! I felt exactly the same when my first baby was born!! Even down to the ‘he looks nothing like me,’ and he also had masses of dark hair, and a very oriental look (I did quickly think ‘gosh he’s ugly,’ then felt so bad I tried to forget I’d ever thought it!!) I was terrified of being left alone with him, and felt absolutely nothing for him. I thought I was a freak, because all I’d heard about was the ‘rush of love,’ so I just assumed there was something wrong with me-we definitely need to be more honest about this not being the case for a lot of new mums. It took about 6 weeks before I really felt something. But, with the second, I did have the instant thing. I don’t know whether it was because the labour was easier, but I can remember adoring him instantly-which started a whole new round of guilt over why I didn’t feel like that the first time…! Even now, the little one is much closer to me, and I wonder whether it would’ve always worked out that way, or whether it’s because of those early moments… We will never know!! Good luck, I can’t wait to hear about the new arrival! Xx
Gorgeous and honest post, lovely. For sure there aren’t many situations in real life that reflect the fairy tales we are fed. I guess it should be no surprise that one which involved pain, accidental pooping and something bloodily ripping its way out of your vagina shouldn’t be any great surprise. I hope soon to be mums read this and know they are not alone xxx
This is exactly how I felt with Alfie, it was so weird not feeling the rush of love that everyone talks about it, it was so different with Elarna the moment I held her I felt elated, ecstatic almost (possibly the drugs lol) but I bonded with Elarna so differently with Alfie, I found I didn’t put myself under pressure to conform or do things as per the guidelines as I did first time round. I did what was right for her and me 🙂 Lovely post and I think it will be different with piglet. XXX
It’s much easier to say you felt the rush of love instantly but giving birth is pretty full on. I think I was in denial too with my first Bubba. With my 2nd it was easier all round, especially as it was a home birth. Good luck with the both hoe it all goes well #bigpinklink
Such a lovely honest post. Best of luck with your second baby! Xx #bigpinklink
I must admit I felt similar when Pops was born. When they said she might go to special care or cone back to me I hoped it was to special care as I was so tired and when she did come home although I loved her I did find it hard to adjust and even told Mr J I hadn’t wanted a baby. Super birch. Anyway enough about me, you know the signs to look for and going from 3 to 4 us definitely less daunting and so I’m sure you’ll be just fine. Thanks for hosting #bestandworst
Such an honest post. Thanks for sharing with us. I’m sure you’re not alone in feeling the way you did. Look at all that hair she had as a baby! #BestandWorst
Such a wonderful and honest post. So many people tell you about this awesome rush of love that happens straight after birth, that if that doesn’t happen you question yourself. However, I think for the majority, with first births it probably takes a bit of time. We go into shock a little! Grealt post that will be so helpful to lots of people #bestandworst
Those early moments are so magic! I love your reaction to her arrival! Indeed she doesn’t look like you but you are both very beautiful! I remember my first weeks with Baba and the weird feeling that this baby is yours. You made it! LOL #bestandworst
I can completely relate. Piglet was in the neonatal unit and I couldnt even hold him – it was so hard to think that was the little guy who had been kicking about inside. He came home at 8 days old but was still unwell so I wasn’t left alone with him much, health visitor was round and then we were readmitted. It was only after he got a clean bill of health that we established our routine and I could breathe a little that the feeling everyone else talks about hit me. Great post to share #bestandworst
Loved this post and such gorgeous photos. Harry and Megan were in neonatal for two weeks straight from birth and I really struggled to form that bond. Megan was such a difficult baby and in all honesty, it took me the longest to bond with her out of all of them and I really regret that, although I can’t ever change it. I think we all imagine that we will form this immediate bond and life will be amazing but those first few days post birth I was still reeling from the shock of it all, hormones everywhere, tired and dazed and for me it did take a little longer. #bestandworst
Best of luck, not long to go now and knowing how you may feel must help to prepare you so much better. I hope all goes smoothly and you are soon a bigger happy family unit. #BestandWorst
I am so with you on this. I remember feeling pissed off that the placenta hurt as much as giving birth. Truly pissed off that I had given birth naturally with only gas and air then needed a spinal block to have my tear stitched. Then I was just coping, ish, coping and crying. We were in hospital 7 days that didn’t help, but it wasn’t until husb went back to work and everyone left me alone that we really started to get to know each other and create the amazing bond we have now. I think this time it will be different for you, because you know, and it will be amazing, but just maybe not on day 1. #bestandworst
A lovely, honest post. I didn’t feel the instant rush of love I was expecting. I was completely exhausted from a long labour and then in shock at having a c-section. I breastfed in recovery, and then was left alone to cope with this tiny human and I just wanted to cry from the events of the previous few days. I think the long nights feeding really helped me develop a bond, as well as babywearing. As you say, one day it just hit me that this little boy was all mine and depended so much on me. I don’t feel guilty for not feeling like that right at the start though, my mind and body had been through a lot all at once. It’s good to talk about it though #bestandworst
I completely relate. I felt a similar way first time around, I think its just so overwhelming but not in that “rush of love” way you expect and are told about it. I think its just SO much that its hard for our minds to really take in whats just happened and it leaves us feeling a bit…underwhelmed maybe?!?! But that feelings comes after a few days or weeks, and you dont notice it…its more a drip of love than a rush in my experience. increasing more and more everyday, until suddenly you’re drowning in it!
Great post xxx
Sarah that’s a really honest post and very refreshing to read. I felt strange straight afterwards too. My first thoughts were ‘omg his nose is massive’! Then ‘I’m going to be sick’! I then had trouble delivered the placenta so had to go to theatre. It was a while before I got to hold him again properly. I think it was in the night when I was on my own in the hospital and I thought ‘aw you’re mine’. Everyone is completely different and every birth is different. Lots of luck huni!! xx #bestandworst
Popping over again from #bestandworst thanks for hosting xx
Ah those pictures, such wonderful memories!
I can relate to this too, I had a strange detached feeling for the first couple of weeks with my first. I even remember the moment he was handed to me and my initial thought was, this isn’t my baby. The guilt that came with that feeling was the worst, everyone talking about this instant rush of love and I just didn’t get it. I was ready for it second time round though so that pressure to bond instantly wasn’t there and I was much more relaxed which helped a lot. It still took time to form a bond though and I was fine with that because I knew it would come.
I really liked reading this post. It was so honest and it could really help new mums suffering with the guilt of having these “feelings”
Well done on highlighting a touchy subject. xx
I think it’s really clear judging by your comments, that a lot of us felt like this – I know I did. I think I was just a bit in shock and despite all the preparation in the world I just wasn’t ready for this little person that I didn’t really recognise. Like you say – it takes time, but the pressure of feeling that “rush of love” that we all hear about can be really intense. Throw in a few hormones and there’s no wonder a lot of us end up feeling like wrecks at first! Thanks for sharing your story – I’m sure it well help no end of other mums out there to set their expectations a little more realistically. Lots of love to you for baby number 2 and a whole new bonding adventure xx
I found this a really interesting read, as I’m due in November with my first and I’m not worried about labour or anything, but I am worried that I might not bond with my baby. I don’t know why I feel that, or if I’m being completely irrational, I’ve just never been massively maternal or broody and while I’m over the moon to be pregnant and starting a family and I’m so excited, I also have a niggling worry that once the baby arrives, I won’t get that ‘feeling’. So it’s good to read stories like yours which show that it does happen but that doesn’t mean it will stay that way for a long time, so thanks for sharing x #bestandworst
That was exactly how I felt. I was relieved she was ok but just numb and it definitely took me a while to feel the overwhelming love. I still remember the first time she smiled as I picked her up as one of my all time favourite life moments. Aaah best of luck with everything, thinking of that special time is almost making me want to do it all again (keyword is almost!!!) #bestandworst
I found the whole experience of having a baby the most overwhelming thing in the world. I just couldn’t get my head around it and it took months for me to get used to it and adjust to the totally new way of life. I always say that personally I didn’t enjoy those newborn weeks all that much, especially with people visiting and the lack of sleep it makes it so hard to get your life back to some sort of normality. Hoping you’ll feel better second time around x #bestandworst
Just as every pregnancy is different and labour. I do believe you will also bond with your baby differently. Of course I don’t know how and you wont know till it happens. I wonder what your response to this post will be in months to come. Wishing you happiness and good health. #bestandworst
Honestly Sarah I think its normal… I felt this way with them all, the mix of “what the heck” freaking out and just a kind of numbness. I never usually like to even hold them straight away & the 1st few days, maybe even weeks is just going through the motions with the odd adoring them until your heart suddenly feels so full and that connection is there. Only with Alice did I feel Joy straight away but I know it was relief and the result of a previous loss. Cant believe how close ir is now – eeeeekkk x #bestandworst
Such a brave and honest post. I was one of the lucky ones and I’m grateful for that everyday. The emotions that come post pregnancy are so overwhelming it can be hard to work out what you’re thinking or feeling all whilst being totally responsible for this delicate bundle that feels like it could break any minute. I’m glad things got better for you and hope you have a more positive experience this time around. Not long now! #bestandworst
Back from #bestandworst lovely!