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Scary vbac question

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
This is something I wonder about & since 2 other mamas had the courage to tell about their feelings I'm finally going to ask.

I love my son. Very much. But I never had that huge in love with my baby emotion. I think (I hope) because of c section & feeling like I did not give birth. And I wonder. .. if I were to have a second child, & a VBAC, would I love my second child more? Maybe this should be in the vbac forum but I'm really not ready to go there yet.

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post #2 of 12

For me, bonding with my VBAC babies really wasn't very different then bonding with my Cesarean baby, other then they are different personalities and I was a more experienced mother with each one.


Not everyone falls head over heels with their newborn right away and that's okay. Some of us just take a little while.

post #3 of 12

I have had two children, one via vaginal and one via c-section.  I do not feel that the newborn phase was different for me with either of them.  For me, I think the ability to breastfeed them both pretty soon after birth was the more important aspect of my bonding (as opposed to the method of birth).  I also know some wonderful moms who couldn't nurse after birth because the baby was in a NICU...they pumped their milk or simply stayed with their child as much as allowed, and that was the best bonding they could offer.  And "best" is enough...we can only do what we can do!


I also think that "equal" love between two children is a myth (well, it is for me, anyhow).  I love both my children differently.


I think it is very normal, however, to wonder how your bonding and experience would have been different if you had a vaginal birth.  We all wonder about things we haven't done, especially those we wanted to do, right?


Some people have magic baby mojo right off and some people take a long, long time to warm up.  You are not lacking in maternal goodness if you didn't want to lick your baby on that first day, you know? 


I have questioned my love/like of my older child (vaginal birth) since he hit his teens.  I also struggle with liking him when his dad (my exH) is so apparent in his mannerisms and character (and please, nobody flame me on that one--I work on those feelings every day).  I am not saying that to highjack, but to let you know that parenting love, just like adult/significant other love, has highs and lows and ebbs and flows.  It feels rotten and disappointing sometimes, but I think it's totally normal.

post #4 of 12

I had five vaginal births followed by a c section and my emotions towards the first five and number six were no different. No vbacs here but I wouldn't anticipate it being any different.

post #5 of 12

I had a VBAC, and for me the answer is no, I did not feel that rush of "in love with my baby" right away either time.  I loved them at once, of course, but it wasn't head over heels wonderful until we had settled in at home.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks mamas. This was very good to read.

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post #7 of 12

I had a c-section with my son, and was madly in love with him, crying with joy, the moment I heard him cry. I couldn't take my eyes off him for weeks. The c-section did not affect my ability to bond with him at all.

post #8 of 12

n/m.  i can't do maths.

post #9 of 12

((hugs)) to you.  IMO, bonding is not about the birth, but what happens afterward.  I wrote this essay last year for a writing contest.  My daughter was a drug-free hospital birth and my first son was a homebirth (#3 wasn't even in the picture at all yet). I didn't feel "immediately in love and bonded" with my daughter, and wondered if it was because she was born in a hospital.  I was so sure that a homebirth would be different, but it wasn't, bonding-wise.  Here are a couple of excerpts from that essay:



My second pregnancy, also, was uneventful. Five days after my due date, my son was born, at home, after a labor that wasn't quite as textbook as my daughter's was, but it was no harder. After all, I'd done the drug-free thing before, and I easily did it again.

But then the same thing happened afterward. I didn't feel that instant, euphoric bonding that I'd heard about and read about and wanted. What happened? What was wrong with me? I began to worry that maybe I didn't love my children or that something subconscious from my past was preventing me from having a real bond. I developed a moderately severe case of the baby blues.


A euphoric post-birth high is great, if it happens. But it's not the be-all end-all of love and bonding. Love and bonding, I've come to find out, happens in the little things. It doesn't make me any less of a mother because I didn't experience the post-birth high.


My third birth was an emergency C-section under general anesthesia, and I don't even know who that baby is yet.  I didn't get to peek at him until about five hours after the surgery, and even then, it was just his little chin because of the angle of my stretcher and the position of his incubator (he was just 25w5d).  The nicu nurses did make me a little photo book, though, that I looked at in recovery.  It was also a few days before I could touch him, until his skin matured enough so that touching didn't cause him pain.  I am still wearing his hospital bracelet, and will probably keep it on until he comes home.  It's the one little piece of him that I can have with me.  I am pumping and going up there at least daily to drop off my milk (and the pump is working out VERY well for me), but it's a hard journey. 


I don't feel bonded to this tiny baby yet, but like I wrote in my essay, I know that bonding will come.  Day by day, he'll get stronger.  Before I know it, I'll be able to hold him, and to give him a bottle, and when he's strong enough, I'll be able to nurse him.  He'll come home and his brother and sister will start loving on him, further cementing our family bond.  I just have to take it one day at a time until then and have faith that that day will come. 


But right now, immediatly post-birth, I don't feel any "less bonded and in love" with my C-section baby than I did at the same time post-birth as my other two kids.

post #10 of 12

Andrea, thank you for sharing your story. I'm so impressed with your courage and patience with your newest LO!


OP, I think there's a wide range of experiences that moms have around bonding with their babies, all of which can be considered "normal." Some women have the ecstatic "in love" hormonal cocktail, but not everyone does. That's OK. Bonding doesn't have to be blissful and euphoric in order to be effective.


One thing that drives me a little crazy about the more "flowery" branch of NCB lore is that I feel that sometimes the "ecstatic" experiences are presented as "normal" and any deviation is presented as "not optimal" or "not normal." So, birth should be blissful, peaceful, full of harmony and love between mama and baby, and if it's not, well something must have gone wrong.


Personally, I don't think so. I think a lot of experiences fall into the range of natural and normal, and we do a disservice to mothers by suggesting that taking the natural route means that everything will be easy and feel good. It might, or it might not. And interventions don't necessarily kill all the "goodies" that come with birth. There's a huge range of responses that moms have.


I'm a mom who had a c-section, and I didn't have any trouble bonding with my DD. In fact, I felt a fierce attachment to her immediately. I'm not sure I would describe it as an "in love" feeling...it didn't feel like a blissful hormonal cocktail kind of experience. But it felt primal and clear and real. I was sort of amazed, actually, how clear and strong it felt given what a trainwreck my labor & delivery were. I'm grateful that I got to have that experience.

post #11 of 12

Thanks CI Mama!  I really like the phrase "fierce attachment."  I never felt what I would describe as euphoric love, but I definitely felt the attachment after all three of mine were born by c/s.  I have nothing to compare it to, not having had a vaginal birth, but it was very real.  In fact, my first DS was taken to the nursery against my will (or medical need) after my c/s.  I remember not responding to anyone who came into my room with anything but, "Where's my baby" until he showed back up in my room.  At one point, I even sent DH away and told him not to come back until he had our son with him.  It was definitely not the "rush of love" you hear about, but if I was going to do anything in my power to be reunited with him.  Luckily, my DS#2 was with me in recovery (and I don't remember the surgery due to a anesthesia reaction) and DD was never separated from us.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Just popping in with another thank you. Surprisingly (or maybe not ) this thread has given me another tiny step in my healing journey.

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