Not feeling bonded - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 09-04-2008, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I hesitate posting this but I don't feel completely bonded with DD like I did with DS at this point when he was an infant. Some of the things about both births were the same - induction for pre-e and seperated shortly after birth but alot of things were different. With DS I had 10 weeks off from work to be with him and he came home from the hospital with me. He wasn't a preemie. DD stayed in the hospital for a week and half and I was unable to hold her until the last 2 days and I only had 3 weeks home with her before I had to return to work (she was a surprise and I had not saved my paid time off). She's 8 weeks old now and I just don't feel that intense warm fuzzy feeling yet when I hold her and think about her. Don't get me wrong, I am over joyed to have a daughter and think she is the cutest, sweetest thing ever. I bust my butt pumping for her and I did EBF her (albeit with a shield) during my time off with her those 3 weeks. I just don't feel the way I expected to feel about her. Are there any other mamas out there that went through this too? I need some reassurance that those feelings will come with time. Hopefully it won't be much longer?? What can I do, if anything??
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#2 of 6 Old 09-04-2008, 08:49 PM
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I had a similar experience with my DD, now 5-1/2, who spent 2-1/2 weeks in the NICU. I had less time off from work after her birth, which I think played some role. But for me, I think the major factor was that I was afraid to get too attached to her because she was in the NICU. Even though my rational mind knew she was almost certain to come home with us and be fine (she was only in for feed and grow, never took oxygen or had As or Bs), I was holding back, keeping myself from getting too invested. That dissipated after she had been home for a few months and stopped being so unbelievably tiny and fragile looking.

DS (8-1/2), DD (5-1/2), #3 expected 1/5/09
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#3 of 6 Old 09-05-2008, 12:13 AM
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I can relate and my advice is do NOT stress over bonding. It WILL come! My 3rd child was a micro. I was stressed about bonding w/a baby who had spent the first 3 mos of her life in someone else's (the nurse's) arms, I was stressed over my other 2 kids, I was stressed over being stressed

Fast forward almost 3 yrs. My youngest is more strongly attached to me than my other 2 ever were! Whether your dd is a preemie or not I believe that after the initial coming-home period, bonding has more to do w/the "chemistry" between you and your child than anything else. The early stuff slips away and you find yourself very very closely bonded to your always were! Hang in there!

mum to 3, 8 yo dd: 6yo ds and 4yo dd
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#4 of 6 Old 09-05-2008, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks mamas! I'm trying hard not to stress over this. I know from my first baby that it can take a few weeks. I just didn't expect for it to take this long. Thank you both so much for posting.
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#5 of 6 Old 09-06-2008, 06:39 PM
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I had the same experience with my youngest. Things were really touch and go with him for a long time and I think now I was scared to let myself bond. We are fast approaching his second birthday now and everything is great, but it took a long time. When he did finally come home I was so bloody scared that something would gets better. I'm in tears here reading your post. It will get better.
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#6 of 6 Old 09-07-2008, 02:37 PM
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Fear...I think that is a huge issue. With my first son, I had a mostly uncomplicated pregnancy. I went on bed rest at 32 weeks for preterm labor, but otherwise things were straightforward. With the second, we had a more complicated pregnancy. And now with my third, I've had a very high-risk pregnancy. Even while pregnant, I'm dealing with a lot more fear and anxiety and it makes it harder to bond with the baby.

Right now, I feel torn between staying very still for the health of my baby and doing more to care for my older boys, whom I miss terribly! If DS3 ends up spending time in the NICU, I know I'll be torn between him and my two boys at home. I'm afriad about doing the wrong thing and feel sort of stuck. I can't do the right thing for everyone...
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