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#1 of 13 Old 08-28-2014, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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baby bonding

Just got an email from babycenter about bonding before & after birth. It starts out "The feeling of adoration hit as soon as she saw him." I never had that with my son. Of course I love him. But I don't have that overwhelming emotional component. Maybe because I had a CS under general anesthesia?

I'm really worried that I won't have it with my daughter either. What if I'm just not capable of that level of emotion?

At the same time, I'm worried that I WILL have it & my son will suffer for it. I'm going for a VBAC. What if it all works out and I love her more than him?

Loving mama to Aden (8/5/2010) and DSD (15).
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#2 of 13 Old 08-28-2014, 06:06 PM
 
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It will be okay. Not everyone has those overwhelming emotions, regardless of how the baby is born.
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#3 of 13 Old 08-28-2014, 07:32 PM
 
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Here's what bugs me about bonding: No one ever defines it. Since no one says what it is, you can never know if it's happened, or happened correctly, and it can be a source of infinite anxiety. My temptation, therefore, is to tell you not to worry about bonding.

I'm being all about me here, in the hope of providing supportive and useful examples.

I didn't have an overwhelming rush of emotion after the birth of either of my children. In fact, the first thought through my head, both times, was "what was I thinking?" I generally attribute this to blood loss. I was not in good shape. On top of that, I have never fallen in love with anyone at first sight. I have to prowl around and get to know people before my emotions get really involved, which meant that I did spend a while when both kids were small going through the motions of just caring for infants as well as I knew how while not really grooving on it. One day when my son was about three weeks old, I spent a while playing stupid baby games with him - doing sit ups while he leaned on my knees, and pretending to find him every time I came up - and after that I felt like we were buds. DD was a tougher case - she was in the NICU for over a month, and I had PPD, and there was sleep deprivation - but after I'd had a few nights of good sleep, I looked at her one day and realized what an immensely charming baby she was, and then we were all good. There will be a moment when you begin to feel connected to your baby. It's okay if that moment is not at birth.

It's been my experience that overwhelming emotions are transient. It takes a lot of energy to sustain them. In order to be deep and abiding, an emotion has to be felt on a level that I have the energy to both feel and express every day. Now and then, I get hit by waves of overwhelming feelings about my children, but those waves are brief - half an hour at most. The feelings that get us through our days are quieter, they leave room to multi-task. I have to be able to love the baby AND wash the dishes. Or: I have to be able to love the grade-schooler AND keep the pre-schooler from repainting the bathroom with toothpaste.

I have frequently felt that I like one child more than the other. It breaks down this way: My favorite child is the child who is currently asleep. If they are both either asleep or awake, I favor the child who is causing the least trouble. When all other things are equal, however (both children asleep after a peaceful day), it would kill me to have to choose between them.

You love the children you have, and you will love the new baby, too. Don't worry about having exactly the right feelings, and especially don't worry about having exactly the right feelings on deadline.
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#4 of 13 Old 08-28-2014, 08:03 PM
 
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I was like you with my first, but I had a med free vaginal birth. I had this overwhelming feeling of awe but I was not head over heels instantly in love. It took weeks for me to really connect with my son. I think it's like meeting any new person. Some you have an instant connection with and others take a while to get to know and like. It doesn't mean one way is more right then the other, just that two personalities come together in different ways. Maybe it's just one more way for the world to make moms feel guilty for not fitting into the "mold."
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#5 of 13 Old 08-29-2014, 03:23 PM
 
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I had an easier bonding experience with my first. I think because her pregnancy was uncomplicated and I was sort of naïve? With baby #2, it's been harder. My pregnancy was stressful, he slept a lot in the beginning and I developed PPD/PPA almost right away. Now, he's just over 3 months and I'm so in love. He is the sweetest and such a smiley baby. Family support helped me relax and be able to just spend time with him. I also wear him a lot (& did in the early days) and I feel like this was helpful too. We sleep skin to skin, and I felt that this was helpful especially after he was just born and I wasn't in a good place mentally- I figured that my body would eventually help my brain make that connection--& it did! as far as loving one more than the other- no way. You will find that you love them the same, but for different reasons. I love it when the 2 year old can tell me what she wants instead of crying the way the baby does....on the other hand, there is nothing better than a smile from baby boy when the 2 year old is melting down because its bath time. Best of luck to you!
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#6 of 13 Old 08-30-2014, 11:01 AM
 
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I just wanted to add. I had a csection with my first and had lots of love for him right away. Successful VBAC with my second and it wasn't until she was around 9 months old that I liked her as much as my first

Sarah- sahm to a little boy and girl with a third blessing due in Feb.
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#7 of 13 Old 08-30-2014, 12:25 PM
 
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My first thought was "he looks familiar." I don't remember specifically feeling love right off the bat.

This Mommy and Military Daddy are loving their son.
DS born Dec 2010 Pregnant with #2, having another !
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#8 of 13 Old 08-30-2014, 02:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WifeofAnt View Post
My first thought was "he looks familiar." I don't remember specifically feeling love right off the bat.
I had the same feeling.....like, "I've seen this baby before"
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#9 of 13 Old 09-04-2014, 10:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sierramtngirl View Post
I had the same feeling.....like, "I've seen this baby before"
I had the opposite thought, "I've never seen that baby before. How can he be mine?"

Now mom to a boy born January 2010. 
Cautiously expecting Dec 2014!

 12/08 (6 weeks),  1/13 (11 weeks), &  12/13 (9.5 weeks)
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#10 of 13 Old 09-04-2014, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Many thanks to all who replied. Your words truly touched me & made me feel less alone. I was diagnosed with depression about a year ago & my doc believes I've been so since soon after becoming pregnant with my first. So, perinatal depression, PPD, and now major depression. Guess my hormones just went haywire. Part of me knows that this really plays into everything a lot. And part of me wonders if I'm just not capable. Even though I know that's silly, I can't get the feeling to go away.

Maybe part of the problem was that my pregnancy itself was physically perfect (with the exception of gaining too much, and likely depression). Never had any trouble with it. Not going into labor was a huge, depressing, shock. I couldn't quite believe it & cried when we signed in at the hospital. Meepycat's "what was i thinking" is the best way to express how I felt afterwards, and for awhile honestly.

Again, thank you for sharing

edit to fix prenatal to perinatal, which I think is the correct word?

Loving mama to Aden (8/5/2010) and DSD (15).
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#11 of 13 Old 09-04-2014, 06:35 PM
 
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MeepyCat- "my favorite child is the one who s currently asleep." I LOVE IT!! I'm expecting DD2 now, and that is probably the most reassuring, honest, and funny answer I could imagine to the classic question of "how could I love my second as much as the child I already have."

PPD is a big deal, something you need to be on the ball about, have supports in place, work actively with your health care team to keep it stable. "Bonding" on the other hand will just happen, in it's own time, in it's own way, as a natural consequence of spending time with a being who is sure to be interesting and amazing (because all babies are).
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#12 of 13 Old 09-19-2014, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just read this in a BabyCenter article. I find that a lot of their stuff is ... too mainstream? But I'm REALLY glad to read this in a mainstream site. Not because I don't value hearing other people's experiences/opinions first hand - I obviously do. But to see it there shows it's not uncommon, which feels good too
http://www.babycenter.com/0_5-things...ns_10357995.bc

Quote:
Bonding follows its own timetable
For some moms – including 34 percent of our survey respondents – the biggest shock of new parenthood was the instant love they felt the first time they saw or held their baby. "It hit me like a ton of bricks," says one mom.
Others find the exact opposite: Their biggest surprise was that they didn't fall in love instantly (11 percent of our survey participants fell into this category). For these parents, bonding developed more gradually. "My daughter is 3 1/2 weeks old and I love her to death," one mom says. "But it wasn't this overwhelming magical moment. It took time."
Like pregnancy, labor, and birth itself, the experience of bonding varies from parent to parent. If you're feeling stressed because you're not as bonded with your newborn as you thought you'd be, give it time and remember that there's no "right way" for bonding to happen.
In addition, make sure you get some breaks. Ironically, a little time away from your baby can help the bonding process along.
"It's really important to get a breather," says O'Keeffe. "Don't feel guilty about leaving your baby with your partner or a friend while you go for a walk or get your nails done. When moms feel less overwhelmed, bonding becomes easier."
If, after a few weeks, you're still having trouble feeling connected to your baby, talk with your doctor. Sometimes postpartum depression – which is both common and treatable – can get in the way of the bonding process.

Loving mama to Aden (8/5/2010) and DSD (15).
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#13 of 13 Old 09-19-2014, 01:49 PM
 
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Yeah, I loathe babycenter's weekly emails!
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