I wanted to create a thread where we could honestly share about how our birth experience affected postpartum bonding with our LOs.
For me, it vastly affected how I related to my kiddo in the first few months. I'll tell my truth, and it's a truth that sometimes I feel makes me unqualified to even post on MDC. But the truth is that during the first few months, I could not stand my son.
I had been in pain for so long with the labor. You know how birthing is, time stops and you lose all sense of how much has gone by. I felt like I couldn't remember what it was like to not be wracked with pain. Then the c-section recovery came. I was so sleep deprived and just not thinking clearly. I hadn't slept in three days. I was in terrible pain after the surgery, but I wasn't taking my pain meds. This was partly because the nurses at the hospital gave them to us with a chart, and said we should administer them ourselves. Well, DH and I were so tired/crazed/overwhelmed that honestly, we would forget and didn't really stay on top of it.
But also, whenever I thought 'oh, I should take something, this hurts,' a part of me said, 'No. This is your penance for not bringing your son into the world in a gentle, warm, pool of water at home. This is your punishment for ruining his introduction to the world.'
Crazy, I know. But that's how I felt.
Breastfeeding was painful and difficult for many months. That whole attitude that it shouldn't hurt if you're doing it right is bunk, IMO. We were doing it "right" and it still hurt like crazy for months.
I think I grew to see DS as this living symbol/source of all my chronic physical pain that didn't really end until he was around 4 or 5 months old. I also couldn't look at him without thinking that I had failed him utterly, and that his birth had already somehow wounded him emotionally. The whole experience made bonding with him so difficult. I couldn't really even hold him without having him hurt my surgery scar, and babywearing was a real challenge given my surgery.
We finally did bond, but it took a long time. I don't feel like we really connected until he was nearly six months.