Not sure what I'm asking...
I'm 11 weeks tomorrow. My BFF (who has a 1.5 yo) keeps kinda encouraging me to get an u/s so that DH can "bond" with the baby. Well, no, that's not accurate. I think that she maybe/basically understands that I am not really doing u/s or doppler (probably will do the 20-week scan, but that would be the sum total for anything non-urgent). But she just keeps mentioning (3x now, over several months) how awesome it apparently was for her DH to "bond" with baby by seeing the u/s, and how much that will surely "help" my DH, because "men just don't understand..." or "men need..." FWIW, I think the first u/s her DH saw was at 15-16 weeks, but it could have been the 20-week. Her implication is that her DH, while happy, I guess (baby was a million-percent planned), didn't "really get" the whole baby thing until halfway through her PG, when he saw the u/s.
I don't... get it?
I mean, I'm definitely not having an u/s so DH can "bond," and that's not even an issue-- 1) DH is 100% on board with my lack of desire for any/more than one u/s and really has no personal desire to see baby on u/s, and 2) DH seems SO SO SO bonded to this baby-to-be already. He's at least as excited as I am about stuff like tomorrow's first "real" prenatal with our MW (for which he will be in attendance), he asks about "buko*" all the time, even talks to "buko"-- and I'm not even showing yet-- not even when naked! Since we had a loss a few months ago (my first PG), he decided early on with this one that he is "already a father" and I am already a mother, no matter what happens. Can't wait to babywear all day long... All that stuff.
I'm trying to understand if I'm missing something. I'm sure both he and I will bond with baby more and more as the PG goes on... And I also understand that it's different for me, more "real" in some ways, as my body is directly experiencing m/s and all the other 1st tri lovelies... and soon I'll feel baby inside before he'll be able to feel from the outside. I mean-- I get all that stuff. (Although the way he tolerates/encourages my verbal download on the state of my insides every day, LOL... he knows as much as he can without being constipated and gassy himself!)
But I guess I'm trying to understand... is my DH's attitude unusual for dads/co-parents (or specifically FTDs)? Is he really already as "bonded" as he can be at this point? Or is the above not really what people mean by "bonded?" And if so, what does "bondedness" look like?
I've searched and found a few threads on this, but I'm still not sure I get it.
How about you? Did your DP "bond" with your baby early? Late? What did it look like? Different or similar to your friends and family members? All thoughts and musings, anecdotes, etc., are 110% welcome!
*My screen name, it means like... "young coconut," and is what we call our little bean.
WAHer & Wannabe, Wife to DH 1998, Mama to Buko, Born at Home March 2013
It sounds like your DH is definitely "bonding" and into the idea of the baby. Although I agree that the 20 week ultrasound does carry some strong emotions, as you see the profile and the little bean swimming around, I don't seen it as necessarily a bonding experience. My DH talked to our daughters in utero and was very into being a father, but still said the idea of the actual baby was sometimes unreal. After 2 daughters, I think the true bonding with baby for dad does not really happen until they see LO emerge and/or hold her/him. It is truly difficult to envision that moment before it happens, but it is a hard man that does not melt and shed some tears in the delivery room.
I don't think there is any great necessity to scheme for ways for your DH to bond more efficiently before the baby comes, just find all kinds of ways for him to be really involved in the delivery and the baby's early days. This will make him confident that he too can take care of LO's needs and provide comfort (even though he can't breast feed).
It sound like you both will be great parents. No offense intended to your friend, but maybe she was more concerned about her DP's connection to the babe. Congrats on your little Buko.
Me College Literature Professor (36) and DH (35) married 7/05, together since 1/99; Mom to two lovely and fierce little girls: DD1 2/06 and, after 18 months TTC (and a couple years NTNP), DD2 born 7/3/12! Dedicated AP parent who is for selective (most) vaccination.
I'll own my bias as a big fan of routine prenatal ultrasound (it saved my life), I'm just seriously unsold on the rationale your friend is presenting. An ultrasound can make you feel more emotionally attached to a baby, or it can make you feel like you're looking at an alien. Seriously - the monster designs for the Alien movies were based on ultrasound scans, so if you've seen those movies, you're at risk of thinking you're having a chestburster. You're not, but you can see how the experience might not be perfectly sunny.
I don't know what bondedness looks like. No one has ever been able to describe it or define it in absolute terms (which makes it a potentially infinite source of parental anxiety). I am sure that some people do feel closer to their babies after seeing ultrasounds. I am equally sure that others don't. I don't know which category your partner falls in. Or which category you fall in. Some people develop a strong bond during pregnancy, others need months after birth. None of this is wrong, provided you're taking good care of the kid. It's just that emotional reality is different for different people.
Your partner sounds supportive, pleased, excited, and really sweet. Which means he's doing GREAT. He and his emotional state do not need fixing.
My husband was amazed at our 9 week ultrasound and admitted that it made the whole thing feel more real to him. At the same time, I agree with the PP that it sounds like your friend is trying to justify something that perhaps went wrong in her experience. It sounds like your partner is amazing and on board. I also don't really know, as other posters have said, what such "bonding" looks like. My husband is extremely excited to meet our baby and will be a fantastic father, but I can't say he's "bonded" with the baby since I think for him, at least, it's sort of unreal until it's out. He has loved the ultrasounds we've gotten, but they aren't what will make him a great father and ultimately probably weren't necessary. If I were doing it over again, I'd probably just get the 20 week and call it a day (I was a little over-anxious and got the 13 week one too).
Long story short: it sounds like you guys have it completely under control and do not need "advice" from people who may be struggling with baggage of their own. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!
Beautiful baby girl born 8/13/2012. Little star baby lost at 10 weeks pregnant, 12/18/2013. Rainbow baby girl born 12/22/2014.
There are plenty of ways to form an attachment and it sounds like your DH is doing just fine. Feeling kicks later on will strengthen it too, and holding your little one when the time comes will totally do it more I'm sure.
DH was SO excited when I got pg with DD. He bought a moby wrap, and went shopping with me (dh hates shopping), he bought baby books and poured every spare moment of non working time into childbirth preparation and pregnancy books. It was so freaking adorable.
When he saw the 20 week ultrasound with DD and saw her moving around, he cried. I think he was really excited about being a dad before the us, but after the us he WAS a dad because he could see his baby.
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
Sorry it took me so long to reply-- for some reason, I wasn't getting emails on this post.
I think you all are right-- all is well here and DH is about as "bonded" as he (or I) can be at this point! In an odd way, I think the loss may have helped with that, though he seemed fairly "bonded" through that pregnancy as well. But it definitely brought US even closer together, so I think our increased closeness has helped this "bond." (Can I use any more "quotes?" )
I found this old thread, which made a lot of sense to me... It just hasn't been my experience, I guess.
As my grandma says, "different folks is different." I personally know a couple of awesome fathers that I was later told didn't really "bond" or do a whole lot with their kids until they were past the "fragile infant" stage. I know others who are just no help at all in labor, but are completely in love with and generally awesome supports for their wives. I do count myself lucky that (I think!) my DH meets my own personal needs and desires-- but they are not the same as every other woman's, and I'm sure my DH wouldn't meet all of theirs!
WAHer & Wannabe, Wife to DH 1998, Mama to Buko, Born at Home March 2013
For my DH (and me too, really), the ultrasounds were amazing, but not so much a "bonding" experience. I was happy to see my little guy bouncing around in there, looking healthy, but for me and DH, feeling the baby's movements from the outside was when he became the most REAL to us. Particularly when we could interact by pushing my belly and getting a kick in reply! The ultrasounds were reassuring for our sense of the baby's wellbeing, which was enough for me.
At home amongst the redwoods with my husband and my son, born 7/5/11, and #2 due in October 2015 Instant CNM, just add !