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I guess I'm mainly looking for BTDT type of stories....I am pretty sure this isn't PPD, because I am already taking an antidepressant and it seems to be working for me. I just don't feel as strongly attached to dd as I did/do with ds.<br><br>
Don't get me wrong, I do love her, and I did, briefly, get that initial "euphoria" that you feel right after birth. But it was NOTHING like the way I felt with ds. With ds I wanted to be with him every second. I missed him when I had to put him down to go pee lol. I didn't leave him anywhere, cried buckets when I had to go back to work, and on top of it I was a single parent, so there was no handing him off to daddy, and I truly enjoyed it. I coslept, nursed on demand, all the AP stuff. It just felt right in my gut to do those things. I couldn't bear to hear him cry even for a second. Even now I have a very, very strong bond with my son.<br><br>
I am just not feeling it with dd. She is undeniably cute, I enjoy dressing her up when we go out, and she is a decent sleeper so far for which I am grateful. It also knocks sleep deprivation off the list of possible reasons I feel this way. I take good care of her and from all outward appearances it would seem she is getting what her brother had and more. The difference is that I'm not doing it because I enjoy it or feel a connection. I don't feel anything when I nurse her, except milk leaking out the other boob. I like cuddling with her for few minutes and then I'd be fine if she slept 8 hours straight in a crib somewhere. (FWIW, we pretty much exclusively cosleep, and we do not even own a crib. So don't worry that I am actually doing this to her.) I left her with my mom at a week old to go grocery shopping....never would have happened with ds. I was only mildly worried about her. I'm not as responsive to her as I was with ds....with him I rushed to him when he cried, with her I don't really feel that whole heartwrenching feeling, so I'm slower to respond. I do not EVER leave her to cry, but it's because I know intellectually that it's bad for her, not because it "feels wrong." I feel affection for her, and I'm a lot more patient and even-keeled (probably due to the meds), but I kind of feel like I'm babysitting, and it makes me sad. I love both of my children dearly, and I worry that she will be emotionally harmed because the intensity of the love I have for ds just isn't there with her. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I told SO today hat I don't think she even likes me. ds and I were atached at the hip and he used to look at me adoringly....she just cries all the time. she's only quiet when she's asleep or on her dad's chest. Even with exclusive breastfeeding she doesn't care much for me. Any advice or words of wisdom? I'm afraid to admit this to anyone IRL because they will think I don't love her or I might hurt her, and it's not like that at all. I don't feel out of control, just...detached.
 

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i'd be interested to hear what other second time parents say but my question would be, "do you think it could be the meds?" i also take an anti-depressant but for anxiety and i gotta say, it definately numbs me quite a bit. for me it gets to the point of almost making me feel the symptoms of clinical depression but i imagine that same dull feeling could manifest itself in many ways. maybe for you it could be helping with the depression itself but also dulling other feelings.<br>
just a thought.<br>
your kids sound like they have a very caring mother for you to even be asking the question, yk?
 

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It MAY be the meds. I NEEDED meds for PPD after my son was born and took them for 8 months. I could take it or leave it until I got off meds. I did go to at least 20 therapy sessions with a CBT therapist and that really helped my anxiety and depression so I could go off the meds. I hope some other BTDT moms chime in...good luck and don't be hard on yourself. Sometimes feelings follow actions...and actions are what matter.
 

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If you feel great affection for her, it might be that you are just more relaxed being a 2nd-time mother. Plenty of perfectly bonded parents put their babies to sleep in cribs and/ or leave them with trusted caregivers sometimes.<br><br>
Also as far as the meds go-- if you have left a baby with someone you trust, even at a week old, there's really no reason to feel anxious. It's not wrong if you do, but if you don't, that doesn't show lack of bonding; it shows trust in the caregiver, which is a good thing. Likewise if you don't have heartwrenching panic right away when the baby cries, that's not a bad thing; it means you can tell the difference between an "I'm in danger" cry and an "I want something but I'll survive for a few minutes while you pee" cry. So it's possible that some of the feelings you had with your son were not so much "bonded" as "anxious" and if you are taking the type of antidepressant that helps anxiety, you aren't having the same level of anxiety as you did with #1.<br><br>
And finally, if I remember correctly, you were in a more-dangerous situation with #1 than you are now. He needed more protection from you at the time than either of your children need now. So it would make perfect sense for you to feel much less anxious in general now, in all areas of your life.<br><br>
Conversely, if you think the affection you feel for your daughter is less than it should be, that can actually be from too much anxiety. But if all you're saying is "I think I could parent my child in a totally mainstream-but-gentle way if I were so inclined," that doesn't sound to me like a problem.
 

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Am I missing something? Your daughter is 3 weeks old. Give it time! My daughter is 7.5 months and I get gushier by the minute. But during the newbie days? Heck no. And she's my second.<br><br>
Part of this is also because you've BTDT.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lolar2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15388075"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If you feel great affection for her, it might be that you are just more relaxed being a 2nd-time mother. Plenty of perfectly bonded parents put their babies to sleep in cribs and/ or leave them with trusted caregivers sometimes.<br><br>
Also as far as the meds go-- if you have left a baby with someone you trust, even at a week old, there's really no reason to feel anxious. It's not wrong if you do, but if you don't, that doesn't show lack of bonding; it shows trust in the caregiver, which is a good thing. Likewise if you don't have heartwrenching panic right away when the baby cries, that's not a bad thing; it means you can tell the difference between an "I'm in danger" cry and an "I want something but I'll survive for a few minutes while you pee" cry. So it's possible that some of the feelings you had with your son were not so much "bonded" as "anxious" and if you are taking the type of antidepressant that helps anxiety, you aren't having the same level of anxiety as you did with #1.<br><br>
And finally, if I remember correctly, you were in a more-dangerous situation with #1 than you are now. He needed more protection from you at the time than either of your children need now. So it would make perfect sense for you to feel much less anxious in general now, in all areas of your life.<br><br>
Conversely, if you think the affection you feel for your daughter is less than it should be, that can actually be from too much anxiety. But if all you're saying is "I think I could parent my child in a totally mainstream-but-gentle way if I were so inclined," that doesn't sound to me like a problem.</div>
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Your whole post makes a lot of sense, actually. One thing I've been working on is allowing ds to be separate from me a bit (on his own terms of course) because it came to my attention (very gently) that our relationship was a bit codependent. For a long time he was all I had and I was all he had. Now, suddenly, we are a family of four. Learning to "share" him has been as hard for me as it was for him to learnto share me. I'm totally rambling here, but, anyway, thank you, you make some very good points.
 

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I'm in a similar situation as you... my second (ds) is 4.5 months old and my dd is 5 yrs old. Dd and I were CRAZY bonded and a lot of it (in hindsight) was due to my anxiety (I was dealing with PTSD after her birth) and secondly, the fact that she was my first and everything is so intense with your first. I, too, am on an SSRI now with my second and wondered if the difference is the meds... Now, 4.5 months later, I'm beginning to think it has less to do with the meds and more to do with my experience and different circumstances this time around.<br><br>
However, I will say that I am definitely bonding with ds, it just isn't as *intense*, kwim? Which is ok with me. I've had to do a lot of letting go of the intensity with dd over these last few months and I think overall it's healthier for all of us.<br><br>
Also, I don't know if this is true for you, but my second is a different gender than my first which took a little time to wrap my head around.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> It will get better.
 

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I would be willing to bet it's the meds. I was on anti-depressants for a short while and never felt sad, but didn't really feel true happiness either. They can make you feel numb. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Also, she's a newby! When she's older and interacts more, then expect the gushy mom feelings start flowing. Go easy on yourself. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I had a hard time bonding with my first, but not my second. I never felt any wave of euphoria or anything, but after about a year I realized that I finally felt really bonded. It was hard during that time, and it was for me related to PPD. I think things improved when my menstrual cycles started again. That's when the PPD went away and when I felt more bonded. Anyway, hormonal for me I think.
 

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I'm not on meds and I don't have PPD. My husband works long/weird hours so I'm home on my own a lot with both kids, so I often don't get achance to hand off the baby.<br><br>
With DD leaving her was agonizing, and I didn't do it at all for months. She was with me everywhere, we coslept, I got into a panic if she slept for too long, I responded instantly when she cried, etc.<br><br>
#2... I'm desperate to leave the house sometimes, sans baby. I've left him many times with my husband or MIL while I pop out to the store for 20 min or so. He sleeps in his bassinet for the first part of the night until he wakes up, and I briefly contemplated putting him in his own room already but decided it felt wrong. He often fusses for a bit while I pee or throw something together for dinner super fast while DH is out at work.<br><br>
At first I thought, "I just don't lvoe him as much, I'm an awful parent" but I love him, I do. I never had that instant bonding with either of my babies, but I'm definitely attached.<br><br>
With two kids, I CAN'T be as instantly responsive as I was with only one child so I can either beat myself up about it or let it be as it is.<br><br>
Also, your baby is so new. When DS was new I often felt like I was babysitting. He nursed constantly and if he wasn't nursing he was screaming and would only fall asleep for DH. It got better with time, and I started to feel more and more like his mom. Now he's 3 months old and we're in our groove. I love him a bit more every day (especially now that he's smiling! Holy moley what a difference that makes!)<br><br>
I remember even when DD was first born having that "what's wrong with me?" feeling. Other people would talk about looking at their babies and crying with love and joy and a feeling of completion, whatever, and here I am looking at her being like, "what the heck am I supposed to do with you?" Feeling VERY unattached.<br><br>
And with Orrin, I would look at him and think (when he was first born), "why can't you be more like your SISTER! Why can't i put you down for 5 minutes!" and I felt awful about it, but it's hard re-learning how to parent a newborn when you're used to an older child.<br><br>
And you've done this before. You've breastfed, you've cuddled sleeping babies and while it's sweet it doesn't have that same "this has never happened to me before, it's so amazing" quality about it. I am personally sick to death of breastfeeding, so I'm not getting any of those gushy feelings while Orrin nurses (more of a, "how can I distract myself" feeling).<br><br>
This is getting rambly, and I've had too much coffee so I'm more scatter brained than normal, but hopefully you find this helpful and not confusing!
 
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