Sunday, September 09, 2007

When did you start loving your baby?

Bird's Eye View has a lovely post about falling in love with her baby.

After my son was born, since I was woozy and passed out from the sedation, everyone else in the immediate family saw him before I did. And even when I saw him I didn’t feel what I expected – a gush of love so strong and powerful that nothing else would compare. My husband seemed to have bonded much faster than I did. Through the first couple of months of endless feeding and cleaning I guess my son and I took our first tentative steps (obviously metaphoric in his case) towards understanding each other and maybe liking.

My son is six months old now. And today as I watch him, I am touched by myriad emotions. At times his air of fragility and vulnerability annoy me, make me angry. Nobody should be so weak, so defenceless. How will I protect him, not just from the rest of the world but even from me and my moods?

Do read the entire piece.


small squirrel said...

it has been difficult for me. I had general anesthesia for my c-section because they could not place the spinal (I have a very bad curvature of the spine). so I woke up a full hour after the birth. honestly, that baby could have been anyones baby, but I had to trust that it was my own, even though she looked nothing like me. this disconnect was harder on me than I could have imagined. I missed the birth of my own child!

it is only now, 7 weeks later, now that she really does look more like a cross between my husband and me that it is sinking in. for weeks I felt like an overtired babysitter. now that she is laughing and her eyes look like mine, I can really understand that I am a mother. the other day she laughed and laughed and finally I felt that elusive kind of love that I had been waiting for.

but it was terrible those first few weeks... everyone asking me "aren't you just in love?" well, I cared for her, I loved her... but there was not this deep emotional bond. I already felt like a shitty mother because I could not breastfeed, and then I felt empty because I was not gushing about the baby. now it is much better. but I am glad other people are talking about this.

Sujatha Bagal said...

Jess, I'm both happy and sad that the story resonated with you. That is one of the main reasons I linked to BEV's post and I highlighted that particular portion of the story. If you remember, I'd expressed similar feelings in my post-partum blues post after Little n was born ( The storybook, romantic drivel we are fed about feeling such and such when a baby is born is just that - drivel. Real human emotions are so much more complex and eventually so much more satisfying because it is just to hard, this mothering process. And that is the first thing I tell friends who are ready to have babies - whether they are ready to listen to me or not. :)

I am very happy that you are starting to feel better, though. Hugs.

small squirrel said...

I think it is great people are talking about this. And yes, you did warn me, and I knew it was a possibility. So really, I felt badly about it, but I was not devastated because I knew it would pass. luckily I had good and honest friends like you and other women who told me "motherhood is not all kisses and butterflies, and that is ok!"

I wish that OBs would also tell that to the moms-to-be because not every woman has such smart friends, and many times those are the most isolated women... I feel for them.

anyway, thanks again for always being honest. we need more of that in this world! :)