I have to talk about my birth experience and the fact that I didn’t fall in love with my baby at first sight like I was expecting to.
So contractions started and my partner rushed me to the delivery room. We decided to go the natural and midwife route. We arrived at the place and in no time I was fully dilated and it was time to push. I’m not going to talk about the actual birth but what happened immediately afterwards.
Firstly, we didn’t realise how big the baby was so it took a tad bit longer to push. I finally succeeded and when she popped out she wasn’t crying and was barely breathing. They had to immediately take her away and resuscitate. When she came out and I didn’t hear any cry, I held my breath, kept my eyes closed and tried to numb myself from what was happening. I didn’t want to think, imagine or feel anything. And then suddenly, her little piercing scream permeated from the next room. I didn’t feel a sense of relief because I had shut down. They handed her over to me after her dad held her and I remember not feeling the connection I was anticipating. I was meeting my baby for the first time after nine months in my womb and I didn’t feel the love I expected. Sure I loved her from the day I found out I was pregnant and I grew to love her even more throughout the pregnancy. And I thought that the feeling I would get when I finally met her would knock me out of my senses.
I took my baby home a few hours later and thought surely by the end of the day the feeling would’ve come. A week went by and I started to get worried. I didn’t share this with anyone because I was afraid people would conclude that I had postpartum depression. The fact that it was a possibility really shook me.
I just continued doing what I had to do. I continued fulfilling my motherly duties everyday and the connection just grew over time. By the end of week three with her the feeling I was yearning for had started igniting sparks. And now, seven months later I can tell you it was nothing to worry about. Women are different and our birth experiences are different. I think my fear of losing her after her birth is what caused my delayed connection. And it happens differently with everyone.
This is just one of the things I wish I had known. I wouldn’t have had feelings of guilt and inadequacy as a mother.