Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Not feeling the connection

When baby A was born I only had twenty minutes with her before I was whisked off to surgery for two hours. I had planned on using the first few hours for skin to skin contact to bond with her, which didn't happen. 

The result was that I loved her more than anything, but she felt like a stranger to me, I never got the thunderbolt of emotions and immediate bond with her. I had to stay in bed due to having a catheter for the first 24 hours after my surgery, my mum stayed overnight with me to give my other half a break as he'd been in hospital with me for two days before her birth. My mum had to do everything but feed her which I was thankful for. But when my other half took my mum home and I was left there on my own with her I sat there staring at this little angel in terror. 

The doctor came to do her checks and asked me to strip her off, I fumbled around and had no clue what I was doing. It turned out she did a huge poo, so I had to change her nappy (First nappy I ever changed). Putting her clothes back on was the scariest thing in the world; She was tiny and fragile and I didn't want to make her cry. I tried to connect with her, I held her as much as I could to try and feel it but It didn't happen.  It's horrible to think but I felt that every day I stayed in hospital, I knew her less and less. 

When we got home and settled I slowly started to bond with her. I was alone with her when she smiled properly for the first time and I cried, I cried because she smiled at ME, nobody else ...ME. It proved she loved me and it really helped me self esteem that she didn't prefer everyone else. 

There were many things that didn't help me connect with her in the early weeks, some things were my fault but others were out of my hands. Instead of explaining them all I'll summarize them in a list. 

Things that didn't help with my bonding: 

-No skin to skin contact after her birth longer that 20 minutes, 
- Not being able to look after her properly for 24 hours after she was born, 
- Constant flow of visitors playing pass the parcel with her, 
- Constantly having people wanting to come over and see her when we got home. 
- Whenever people came over they'd feed her, change her ...Leaving me sat there watching them. 

My advice for anyone expecting a baby is easy...

Do NOT let anyone hold your baby other than you and your partner for at least a week after she's born if you're not feeling 100% happy. I always knew I'd be jealous of people holding my baby when she was only a few hours old but instead of saying no I said yes to keep THEM happy. Looking back I wouldn't let anyone see her for a week (As selfish as that sounds) I needed that time to be just our family of three. If I were to have another baby that's exactly what I would do...Even if it did ruffle some feathers. You need to do what's best for you and your baby...sod what everyone else wants. 

Ten weeks on and I've started standing up for myself and saying no when I want to and not let other people guilt me into things I don't want to say yes to. I have ruffled a few feathers and there's been a few hissy fits and awkward silences but at the end of the day I'M her mother and nobody else. 

*My OH is completely supportive of me and agrees with me even if he thinks I'm being over the top* 

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