Bonding with the baby - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-16-2010, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Old 04-17-2010, 02:13 AM
 
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This is a hard question. I'm probably too tired to answer it properly. I felt instant...wonder with both. "Love" can mean a lot of things, and I guess I got early crushes on both (like that hormonal, oh they are so cute bit), but actual deeper love later. With my DD I remember having crazy attachment dreams during the early weeks, like where I'd be in all kinds of extreme situations and people would be trying to take my baby away from me, and I'd have to do all these nutty things to keep her. I think the odd feeling of being finally physically detached from her but still a nursing/caring unit was odd and difficult to mentally adjust to. It also took me a long time to feel comfortable with the idea that she was mine. My own feelings toward her (which don't get me wrong, they were very warm and loving) often didn't feel like they met the expectations of some gushy other people who seemed to think I'd be swooning over her every second. And I had a period of adjustment getting used to the idea that the baby I'd been waiting on for years was actually *her.*
With this one it's been a bit different. It was easier to conceptualize the relationship we'd have (no longer completely one body, but still one inseperable pair), so I didn't have the crazy dreams or the difficulty adjusting to the attachment. I also feel like I'm a wee bit older and more experienced, and I now can realize how fast it goes, and how precious and fleeting it all is, and I feel more gushy-lovey toward him than I did with my DD, who I was still sort of figuring out at this stage. (Someone accused me of feeling this way because of the different gender, but I'm inclined not to think so.)
I also had trouble with the baby in my head prior to birth versus the actual child that showed up. With my DD I didn't know what to expect, so I had to sort of stare at her for a while before it sank in, but this one looked so much like my DD that he seemed like the right person quicker. Does that make sense?
I think it's complicated. I love both of them devotedly and overwhelmingly, but I'd say that bonding is a process, not an instantaneous event, especially for people who overthink things.

Homeschooling mama to DD 3/28/06 reading.gif,  DS 2/27/10 coolshine.gif, Belle the Orange Dog 03/11, and DD babygirl.gif 10/03/2013.
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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great answer, Happileigh
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Old 04-17-2010, 02:04 PM
 
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I think it is a good question. I did feel an instant attachment that this was MY baby and I felt very protective but I have felt like I have bonded more and more with him the better I have gotten to know him. So kind of both, I felt an instant, overwhelming love for this baby that I felt like I already knew pretty well from carrying him around for 38weeks and then I have formed an even deeper attachment with him now that I feel like I have gotten to know him on the outside. It is fun to be able to see and recognize your baby as opposed to just feeling him.

married to my love , in love with MJ born 1/18/10 and PJ born 4/6/12 waterbirth.jpg and now due with a surprise 11/14!
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Old 04-17-2010, 02:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HappiLeigh View Post
This is a hard question. I'm probably too tired to answer it properly. I felt instant...wonder with both. "Love" can mean a lot of things, and I guess I got early crushes on both (like that hormonal, oh they are so cute bit), but actual deeper love later. With my DD I remember having crazy attachment dreams during the early weeks, like where I'd be in all kinds of extreme situations and people would be trying to take my baby away from me, and I'd have to do all these nutty things to keep her. I think the odd feeling of being finally physically detached from her but still a nursing/caring unit was odd and difficult to mentally adjust to. It also took me a long time to feel comfortable with the idea that she was mine. My own feelings toward her (which don't get me wrong, they were very warm and loving) often didn't feel like they met the expectations of some gushy other people who seemed to think I'd be swooning over her every second. And I had a period of adjustment getting used to the idea that the baby I'd been waiting on for years was actually *her.*
With this one it's been a bit different. It was easier to conceptualize the relationship we'd have (no longer completely one body, but still one inseperable pair), so I didn't have the crazy dreams or the difficulty adjusting to the attachment. I also feel like I'm a wee bit older and more experienced, and I now can realize how fast it goes, and how precious and fleeting it all is, and I feel more gushy-lovey toward him than I did with my DD, who I was still sort of figuring out at this stage. (Someone accused me of feeling this way because of the different gender, but I'm inclined not to think so.)
I also had trouble with the baby in my head prior to birth versus the actual child that showed up. With my DD I didn't know what to expect, so I had to sort of stare at her for a while before it sank in, but this one looked so much like my DD that he seemed like the right person quicker. Does that make sense?
I think it's complicated. I love both of them devotedly and overwhelmingly, but I'd say that bonding is a process, not an instantaneous event, especially for people who overthink things.
This is quite similar to what I felt. Except I had a boy first, then a girl. And that bolded part is funny, but true for me too!

Mama to three

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Old 04-17-2010, 03:27 PM
 
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Bonding has been quicker with each subsequent baby. Juju & I bonded in utero, but it took weeks with my first and days with my second. Happileigh's post was great!

Tamara: Aspiring doula, partner to Brazilian musician, mom to THREE GIRLIES!
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:22 PM
 
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I agree with what both Happiliegh and Flavorfull said...I bonded with him right away in a very primal sense. I was amazed and at the same time not quite able to wrap my mind around the idea that this was *my* baby. Even though I was very much aware of his movement through the birth canal, it was still hard to believe this baby had come out of me.

But in the days and weeks since, I've felt more adoration and a deeper kind of bonding. I've also had dreams about him being in some kind of potential peril, and in those dreams I'll do anything to get to him and protect him.

I think also just getting to know his personality and his expressions has made me fall into a rhythm with him, and as mundane as that sounds, it makes every day feel like I have a more profound bond with and love for him. Hope that doesn't sound too sappy....
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:49 AM
 
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I don't know really. For me, and this will probably sound strange, but I always know for sure when that bonding is tested.

For example, when Jasmine was born, I know I loved her in that whole "mama bear" sort of sense. But when we first left the hospital I still sort of felt like I was "baby-sitting". And then she got sick - nothing overly serious in the grand scheme of things, just a bad case of jaundice that caused her to lose too much weight and she had to be readmitted to the hospital for the bililamps and an IV. The whole gut-wrenching, heart-leaping-out-of-your-chest feeling that you get when you hear your child scream THAT scream (not that fussy scream or that angry scream, the one that only occurs when something is really WRONG) and not being able to do anything about it - THAT feeling both shocked me and cemented that "she's really mine" feeling.

Nicole, Mommy to Jasmine (7/05) , Athena (2/07) , Shane (3/08) , Caleb (1/10), and 2 angels (4/06 & 4/09)
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:06 PM
 
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sometimes I think maybe I am having a little trouble boning with my baby
Maybe you are more bonded than you realize? Like I tried to explain, I don't feel particularly "bonded" to the baby until that bond is tested...

Nicole, Mommy to Jasmine (7/05) , Athena (2/07) , Shane (3/08) , Caleb (1/10), and 2 angels (4/06 & 4/09)
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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The first baby is so hard! You go from just being responsible for yourself to having another being completely reliant on you. I remember feeling like I didn't even have time to go to the bathroom - forget brushing my teeth or taking a shower. My first was a happy baby too - as long as he was in my arms....it is just a hard adjustment. Sure we love our babies - but also need time to take care of ourselves, therefore putting baby down at some point....

As aside, if any of you feel like you don't want to/can't take care of baby, or are resenting it, this could also be a sign of ppd and worth talking to a professional about. I think it is totally normal to to feel overwhelmed though!

: mama to 3 sweet boys, 10/21/03, 2/23/07 and 1/20/10
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:05 PM
 
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It took a lot longer to really bond with my first. I think like any relationship, it takes time to get to know each other....plus I found it really overwhelming to take care of her (I didn't even realize it at the time, it's only in retrospect after having my second that I realize how BIG of an adjustment it was). I also had a bad case of thrush with my first, that made me absolutely DREAD having to feed her....so that definitely made it hard to bond. And at the beginning, you're still recovering physically and the baby doesn't give you a whole lot of positive feedback. And then there's the worry about something happening to them....yeah with the first I was kind of a mess! I think I probably had some PPD, although at the time I didn't think so. I thought I was just "adjusting."

This time, bonding happened much, much quicker! I think knowing how fast it goes makes me appreciate the newborn/baby stage so much more, plus I am a lot calmer, know what I am doing more, this baby is much more chill and happy. With the first, I was always in a hurry to get to the next stage, whereas this time I am more present and enjoying the here and now.

Great question, Katie! Hang in there...it sounds like you've really been through the ringer, physically and emotionally. Between all the issues with your midwives, the C-section, seeing the pics of the donor....all of that may be affecting bonding with your little boy. At the same time, I think it is totally normal to not experience that instant bond.....I don't really know anyone IRL that has had that experience. Hugs!!!

Amy, proud Mama to my girls Natalie (12/7/06) and Miranda (2/9/10).
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:46 PM
 
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it does get easier with time too. i feel so much better about everything, life, the baby, my body, etc. now at 3 mo than i did at 4 and 6 weeks and i had a "normal" home birth. you've definitely been through a lot so go easy on yourself. i remember just sitting on the couch and wondering when i would finally be able to do more in a day other than nurse, eat, sleep and change diapers! it sounds like you are having some of the normal postpartum adjustment stuff and then having to reconcile reality with your dreams on top of that, which is hard and you didn't have unrealistic dreams/expectations. don't worry, you will get your blissful moments too. they might look different or just like you expected. it just gets more fun as they get older and your body heals and you just feel better too. were you able to meet some moms in real life too? it really helps to have someone you can see and talk to that has been there and really knows what you mean when you mention that Teo fed every1.5-2hrs last night etc. hugs to you and hang in there, give yourself time to process all of this. something as big as having a baby should take some time to process.

married to my love , in love with MJ born 1/18/10 and PJ born 4/6/12 waterbirth.jpg and now due with a surprise 11/14!
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:02 AM
 
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It is so hard to quantify this sort of thing for me, but there is so much expectation that as a mother you will instantly and forever bond with your baby that it is hard to accept all the other confusing thoughts that pass through. I love my DS for sure, and I feel fiercely protective of him even when he was in utero. But in the first week or so I remember going through ridiculous scenarios in my mind. for example what if I had to choose to save only one of my children like some mothers in the tsunami did~ and thinking I would choose my DD because I felt not as bonded to my newborn. Horrible I know... He is almost 7 weeks now, and things feel more stable. He is starting to engage with me more and I am finding out more and more who he is, and loving him for that.

It will happen~ I can't remember when it happened, but with my DD I remember one day realizing my heart was exploding with love for her. just beyond anything I could fathom. I felt very analytically in love with her when she was first born, and very protective, but it wasn't for a couple of weeks or months that I felt that crazy strong bond that you always hear about.

Kelcey... in love with DH, and DD born 10/13/07, and a little DS born 2/23/10!
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:52 AM
 
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this time, bonding happened much, much quicker! I think knowing how fast it goes makes me appreciate the newborn/baby stage so much more, plus i am a lot calmer, know what i am doing more, this baby is much more chill and happy. With the first, i was always in a hurry to get to the next stage, whereas this time i am more present and enjoying the here and now.
so so so true!!

: mama to 3 sweet boys, 10/21/03, 2/23/07 and 1/20/10
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Old 04-25-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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But in the first week or so I remember going through ridiculous scenarios in my mind. for example what if I had to choose to save only one of my children like some mothers in the tsunami did~ and thinking I would choose my DD because I felt not as bonded to my newborn.
Oh my gosh, I torture myself like this, too! Three children. House fire. Whom do I rescue first? Oldest or youngest? Or an airplane crash over water. That is my nightmare. Water. How to rescue everyone in the WATER?

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Old 04-25-2010, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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bonding is getting so much better! I thin kit just takes a while to figure this all out- both for the baby and the parents.
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:47 PM
 
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I think I bonded about the same with both of my boys but I feel more of an attachment to my newest one for some reason eventhough he's been a bit more passionate (trying to stay away from using phrases like "high maintenance ) than my first DS. Maybe it's because we're done having kids and he's my last one? Or the delivery was much quicker than the first? Or he looks a bit more like me than DS#1? Or he's someone that actually *needs* me for quite a while whereas DS#1 is becoming more and more independent as they days go on and looks to DH for more things lately? Who knows - but I can't seem to put him down eventhough DH tells me to on occassion when my arm aches or my shoulder hurts. I stare him and watch his expressions constantly. He just amazes me.

But yes, I love both of my boys equally and in an overwhelming sense. I'm so IN LOVE with them, too.

One happy mama to 1/06 , 3/10 , and married to my best friend
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