Bonding. - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 9 Old 05-11-2009, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
xchuchurockerx's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Does anyone else have problems with bonding with their little one? My son has been in the NICU for three days, (born on may 8th) and I can't seem to bond with him. I had to have a c-section at 32 weeks because my heart was failing, and the placenta had stopped working. While he was in my tummy, I loved him, he was beautifull and amazing. And when I saw him for the first time, it was the same, he was a gift from god. But, all of the sudden, I realized I'm starting not to love him as much, I feel detached from him. I feel like he's just someone else's child, and I'm there visiting him. We're both going to be in the hospital for a while, and I've been trying to find someone to talk to about how I feel, but with no luck. I don't want anyone here to know how bad of a mother I'm being... I don't even want to touch him, or hold him. Most of that is because I'm scared I'd hurt him...he's so terribly small. But also, It just feels like holding my best friend's baby. Is there anyone out there who feels the same way? Anyone who could help me through this? I'm so jelous of my husband for being able to love our son.

I don't know if photobucket works...But here's Domi.

http://s732.photobucket.com/albums/w...kerx/?newest=1
xchuchurockerx is offline  
#2 of 9 Old 05-11-2009, 03:06 PM
 
sarlusan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 116
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh sweetheart, don't worry. YOU have been through a lot. Give yourself time. What you are feeling is totally normal. I just gave birth to my first full-termer after two preemies, and even with the full-term baby I felt like he looked really weird and alien to me for the first couple of days. It takes a while when they are in the NICU and hooked up to everything. It's okay to feel what you are feeling - it's partly because you are so exhausted, and you're grieving the loss of the rest of your pregnancy and the way you expected everything to happen, and you have all those post-partum hormones whirling around, and you're recovering from major surgery!

Just keep going to see him and give yourself TIME. Talk to him and sing to him if you can't hold him. Touch him on the foot if you can't talk or sing. Just sit there and look at him if you can't do anything else. Even being able to smell your presence is reassuring to him.

It's totally normal to feel like it's someone else's kid. Other people are taking care of him most of the time right now, after all.If you don't journal already, I recommend starting now. Or write a letter getting it all out and then rip it up and throw it away when you are done if you have to. Just to get all your feelings out.

Falling in love takes time... love at first sight is just as rare with children as it is with partners. You may not FEEL love, but you do love your son, and your love will grow.

Welcome to the long, strange, wonderful, scary, heart-wrenching journey called motherhood!! You are going to be a wonderful mom.
sarlusan is offline  
#3 of 9 Old 05-11-2009, 06:44 PM
 
Shenjall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Canada!
Posts: 3,852
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree with Sarah.

Be gentle on yourself! It's hard to get into the warm fuzzy lovey feelings when you're dealing with a traumatic event. And you're in survival mode - working on getting done what needs to be done to get him home. That first week is pretty hard. I felt exactly the same way with my ds when he was born at 29 weeks. And I'll even go as far to admit that even after we brought him home, I still felt some "wall" up, I think I was still in fight or flight mode. But it did all come together for us, and it will for you too. I promise.

Peace and love and healing to you mama, and your ds.
Shenjall is offline  
#4 of 9 Old 05-11-2009, 06:47 PM
 
musiclady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: SC
Posts: 1,490
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarlusan View Post
Oh sweetheart, don't worry. YOU have been through a lot. Give yourself time. What you are feeling is totally normal. I just gave birth to my first full-termer after two preemies, and even with the full-term baby I felt like he looked really weird and alien to me for the first couple of days. It takes a while when they are in the NICU and hooked up to everything. It's okay to feel what you are feeling - it's partly because you are so exhausted, and you're grieving the loss of the rest of your pregnancy and the way you expected everything to happen, and you have all those post-partum hormones whirling around, and you're recovering from major surgery!

Just keep going to see him and give yourself TIME. Talk to him and sing to him if you can't hold him. Touch him on the foot if you can't talk or sing. Just sit there and look at him if you can't do anything else. Even being able to smell your presence is reassuring to him.

It's totally normal to feel like it's someone else's kid. Other people are taking care of him most of the time right now, after all.If you don't journal already, I recommend starting now. Or write a letter getting it all out and then rip it up and throw it away when you are done if you have to. Just to get all your feelings out.

Falling in love takes time... love at first sight is just as rare with children as it is with partners. You may not FEEL love, but you do love your son, and your love will grow.

Welcome to the long, strange, wonderful, scary, heart-wrenching journey called motherhood!! You are going to be a wonderful mom.

couldn't have said it better.

You are not a b ad mother. It's been one month since Lilah was born and sometimes I still feel like a visitor. When I first got to see her, all I could do was think- oh, hmm, ok. I was seriously on some meds, and the emotional roller coaster of a complete surprise delivery, etc. Then my first visit to the NICU was emotionally devistating. Sooo tiny, should still be in my tummy growing, I was so tired- couldn't hold her, was afraid to touch her, many of the same things you are feeling.

I was discharged and hadn't even been able to hold the baby. A kind nurse let me kangaroo care with her. That helped. Still all I could do was cry. I think I was grieving the pregnancy- not sad she was there, per se, but just unable to process the reality of it all.

Now she's getting big, but sometimes I still feel a disconnect. Sometimes I feel like she's fiercely mine, and sometimes it feels like- I'll come back and visit tomorrow. Hard to explain.

What helped me- I learned how to change diapers. I visit every day (most often twice a day) for an extended period of time. I kangaroo care with her every day. The nurses taught me how to pick her up, how to get her out of the isolette. They explained what all the dings mean, and which ones to worry about, and which to ignore. They taught me how to swaddle, etc...

I'm saying, get involved as much as you can. Even if that means standing by the isolette crying. They really can smell their mamas! And it helped me to get through some of the emo turmoil.

There are days when I feel too exhausted and depressed to make the 30 minute drive... but I go anyway. The first visit to the NICU a mom there said to me, "Don't worry- it will get better." And she was right. It does get better. So I will pass that along to you. It really does get better.

But it truly is one day at a time. One step at a time. You've got lots of people who understand and support you.

I hope you have a speedy recovery and I'm glad that you were able to deliver before it caused damage to your body or the baby.

Take care!

Married to my best friend, expecting #1 6/09. Little angel came early- 4/10/09, 2lbs 5oz. Lilah Grace:
musiclady is offline  
#5 of 9 Old 05-12-2009, 11:22 AM
 
Lousli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,453
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My first was only 4 weeks early and was able to come home with me from the hospital. The second was born at 33 weeks and spent 3 weeks in the NICU. Even with my older daughter it took about 6 weeks for my hormones to settle down and for breastfeeding to become more natural and for me to just get used to being a new mother. It wasn't until she started smiling, or right around that time, that I really fell in love.

With Hazel, it took quite a while as well, since I had to deal with her in the hospital, taking care of my older one, and pumping every 2 hours around the clock. I was so sleep deprived that all I could do was sort of be a mommy robot. But eventually I fell in love with her too. You will, but it just might take some time, especially dealing with all that the NICU means.
Lousli is offline  
#6 of 9 Old 05-15-2009, 01:36 AM
 
sbrinton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Near Seattle
Posts: 1,168
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How are things going? It's been a few days and I hope you are recovering well from your birth.

I think it's normal to have a hard time feeling anything but numb at first in the NICU. The whole experience is overwhelming. Seeing a tiny baby hooked up to so many wires and monitors is scary. It's hard to know what you can do. You are not a bad mom. Your feelings are normal. Be gentle with yourself and your (very cute!) son.

I would suggest talking to the nurses about being involved in your son's care. Can you change his diaper, take his tempterature, dress him? Kangaroo care? Begin breastfeeding? What are the best ways to soothe him? Spend time sitting with him and figure out what he likes. Pay attention to all the little things about your son. Study his fingers and toes, eyelashes and lips. Watch him breathe.

I remember our youngest, Zephan, really liked to hold things by his face. If we weren't there, he would grab on to his feeding tube (and often pull it out). When I was there, even if he had to be in his isolette, I would put my hand on his cheek where he could hold it. Our middle son, Micah, loved having his feet rubbed when he was in the NICU.

I also found that it was helpful for me to make the NICU as normal as possible. We brought in a few blankets and our own preemie clothes for our sons. I brought in my own comfy robe, pjs and slippers for kangaroo care. I would use one small cuddle blanket to wrap up Zeph every time we did kangaroo care and then the nurses would keep it in his isolette when I couldn't be with him.
sbrinton is offline  
#7 of 9 Old 05-15-2009, 05:55 AM
 
Le Bec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 280
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I actually wrote a post about this on my blog. Bonding in the NICU is exceptionally difficult. Even if your baby isn't critical you still have no privacy to do what you would normally do with a newborn. It's a completely different ball game.
Le Bec is offline  
#8 of 9 Old 05-17-2009, 08:46 PM
 
AppleCrisp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,525
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just wanted to chime in. It is hard when everyone there seems to know more than you do about how to care for your little one. I felt uncomfortable talking to her or singing to her because there were so many people around. Also its weird to end a pregnancy like you did - I feel like the pregnancy never ended, it just went away - without the birth experience I felt it hard to assume my role as mom.

I would say too, do as much as you can - change diapers, do feedings, see if they'll let you give his meds, change cothes, give baths, etc. Don't laugh but I also smelled her a lot - they probably thought I was weird but it helped me bond with her Even when they wouldn't let her out of the box, I opened the holes and just breathed her baby smell.

Also do you have just plain old post-partum depression, unrelated to him being premature? I mean, if he were a full-termer maybe you might have the same issues? Just wondering...because I know a lot of people sometimes have that detached feeling even with a full term pregnancy.

It will get better.
AppleCrisp is offline  
#9 of 9 Old 05-19-2009, 01:53 PM
 
azgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I really had trouble bonding with my baby. Le Bec pointed out something really important: lack of privacy. I know that I really needed a lot of alone time to feel bonded to my baby. I have only had a preemie, so I don't know if some of what you are feeling is normal, I bet it is. The NICU really intensifies any post-birth weirdness. Give it a few days, but don't feel bad if it takes bringing your baby home to feel truly bonded. Go through the motions, though. Mother your baby the way you would if you felt bonded. Touch your baby a lot, sing talk and kangaroo as much as possible. Please keep us posted.
azgirl is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off