Attachment

I have a confession to make. I do not feel super attached to our baby.

I feel like I should be feeling the overwhelming attachment and I just… Don’t. I see women talk about being so excited to hold their baby or reading it stories every night in utero. About them talking to their fetus and fetus responding. That’s not how things work over here.

We talk to Steakums on occasion and when they are going nuts I normally lay my hand (or Lesley’s hand) over my belly in an attempt to soothe. We planned on playing it music every day but that lasted about a week.

I don’t know why this is. Is it because we don’t know the sex so can’t call them by their picked out name? Is it because we’ve had only two ultrasounds so don’t feel like we know them as intimately as other people feel they know their uterine guest? It’s odd because we tried to get pregnant for months. We planned to get pregnant for years. I thought by the time we got here I’d feel something different.

We have 7 weeks to go. My brother reminded me last night that his first daughter came four weeks early. I need more than three weeks to prepare. I feel like pregnancy I understand but it still blows my mind that we’ll soon have a baby. We’re not ready. Can we really do this? I’m trapped between two worlds- one where we watch my belly dance and wash and fold baby clothes and one where I lay next to my sweet love and try to freeze time.

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Posted on August 9, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. I don’t know your full situation, and I’ve never been pregnant. My partner, Erin, and I are adopting in February. I have moments of excitement, and then moments of terror, and then moments of not getting my hopes up because what if…

    Maybe you’re not feeling an “attachment” yet because having a baby isn’t “real” yet? And the fact that you’re asking if you can really do this tells me you have mom-nerves. I think everyone goes through a point, whether pregnant or adopting, where they doubt themselves…

    But you know what? Y’all were made for this. Like you said, you’ve been planning for kids for years and trying for months. Whether you feel it right now or not from nerves, I think you’re very attached your baby, and when that baby gets here, he or she is going to be very lucky to have two parents who have wanted them for years. 🙂

    • Thank you. 🙂 I think it just still doesn’t feel real which is silly but I’ve spent so much of my pregnancy nervous something will go wrong that it never occurred to me that everything might be just fine.

  2. Bonding is a process. It’s not uncommon for moms to need some time to bond with their baby even after birth. If it bothers you a lot, talk to your doctor about it next time you see them?
    Are you someone who has difficulty with life-changes in general? I can be that way myself, I like driving the same route to work every day, and honestly feel nervous at the idea of becoming pregnant even though it’s something I very much want to do.

    • I also drive the same route to work everyday due to my hatred/fear of change. 🙂 I think not know what to expect plays a part in this. I feel a bit paralyzed by the unknown so am not doing an awesome job of admitting this is about to happen. Having babies is rough for control freaks.

  3. It is totally surreal. I felt totally attached when he was in utero, but when my babe was born I was so exhausted and a little sore that I didn’t feel the way I expected to feel. I feel awful saying it, but even though I love him more than anything, it took a little bit to adjust and have everything sink in. The first couple weeks are hard, there is no way around that.

    • I think my fear of those first couple of weeks is very real. Maybe all my worry now will translate to smooth sailing then? I can dream, right?

      • It’s hard, but it’s doable and you will survive. Just go into knowing there will be anxieties, insecurities, tears, frustration, and exhaustion. Accept and do not judge those emotions and you will move through and beyond them. Seek support from other new moms; that has surprisingly been a life saver for me. When you’re at your whits end it’s nice to know everything you feel and your baby is doing is so normal.

      • The first few weeks are all about survival and adjusting to your new family. There will probably be days (nights?) when it feels impossible, but it gets better, it really does. I remember moments of exhaustion that felt like despair, moments when I did not want to nurse for another second, I just wanted to sleep like I’d never wanted before. But it got better, and then it got awesome. I love what Becca said about seeking support. A definite lifesaver.

        I felt that “instant love” pretty quickly, I think in part because my baby was taken away from me which was not part of my plan, and then her life was in danger (again, not part of the plan) and damn, there is nothing like the fear of the greatest loss to show you the great love, and of course to bring out the Mama Protector. Voila, instant bonding. Although I don’t recommend it. I much preferred the less stressful, more gradual growing of love & bonding that I experienced with W.

  4. Its totally normal – I think – especially when you are so close to your due date. With the overwhelming sense of “Oh crap, my life is really about to change” and the whole thing feels surreal. To be perfectly honest, that feeling doesn’t go away, We’ve got a 2 1/2 year old and I still can’t believe we are parents most days. Its anxiety and nervousness and all that comes with so much – such a big thing – changing in your life. However, if you feel like it may be more than just normal jitters, check out with your doc or midwife for PPD symptoms, but I have a feeling this is more the regular stuff, I know I felt it, and I think a lot of new parents, especially the carrying mamas do too. Hang in there. That feeling of unpreparedness doesn’t go away, but it does get better!

    • I also don’t think it’s out of the realm of normal- I’m not angry or sad but everything feels very surreal. Lesley and I often talk about how sometimes we are surprised the cats are living things that continue to live because we take care of them. I’d imagine having a kid feel like that times a million.

  5. I’m almost certain that this feeling ur having will pass. It could very well be the anxiety if you WHOLE LIFE changing! Lately Callie has been wanting to have “just us” days, but it’s hard with a 6 year old foster daughter who is super attached to us (and the babies). We have a fetal Doppler that helps with the connection. Knowing they’re there and hearing them has been really comforting (and real!). Hopefully, all of this will fade as u get closer to them making their big debut.

  6. twomamasonebaby

    My guess is that you’ll feel differently once Steakums is here. I honestly only feel a sense of attachment occasionally – it’s still doesn’t feel very real sometimes despite his very real presence inside my body. Having him actually HERE and relying on me for everything is going to be a whole new ballgame that I still feel woefully unprepared for at times. And for what it’s worth, I planned on playing music for him and reading to him every day, but have yet to follow through with that plan. I think all the feelings you are feeling are totally normal.

    When do you stop working? We need to go walk the mall soon. 😉

  7. I expected that “instant love” that people claim to feel as soon as they give birth. I was shocked and embarrassed that I did not feel that, at all. I didn’t have ppd or anything, and I didn’t wish her harm, but I was most certainly not in love with her right away. She was just a little lump that didn’t do anything. And I thought she was cute and I gladly took care of her (except for one sleepless night when I was convinced that the best option would be to drop her off at a fire station and just leave her there.) However I found that for me the love developed over time and was no instant. I don’t feel like I hear women talk about this scenario, and I felt embarrassed and ashamed that I was somehow a defective mother for not loving her and being bonded to her right away. It really seemed to help when she started smiling and being more responsive and I felt like we were interacting.

    • I feel lucky that I have heard women talk about this so can logically understand it is okay (even though if it happens I am sure I will feel terrible). I think there are many different ways to be pregnant and to have a child and grow to love a child and they are mostly okay. It’s just strange watching other people say they can’t wait for baby to come while I feel like I am okay to keep waiting (except yesterday when steakums moved ALL. DAY. LONG.) and the idea of baby coming makes me feel sheer panic. I feel like I am failing at motherhood before I even have a baby. But then again, I bought some cat shaped rattles at ikea this weekend and shook them and cried so maybe I am more worried/anxious and less of a psychopath.

  8. My first pregnancy I was still in disbelief and felt no connection to the growing babe. I was terrified I would hate him when he came out or at the very least, not like him. The second he was born I felt so much overwhelming love for him and so much attachment.
    It has been almost the exact opposite with my daughter. It isn’t that I don’t love her it’s just a gradual process instead of all consuming. I think inside the belly and outside the belly can be two totally different things and there is no reason to stress.

  9. As the non-biological parent, I worried myself sick about this very thing. Would I feel anything? Would I feel it the right way? Would I feel nothing at all?

    That was almost always followed by: what did I just do? What were we thinking? We can’t have a baby, this is crazy!

    I have a three year old son, a 20m old daughter, and two new babies on the way and I can tell you that this feeling literally never goes away. Some days, I wake up and I cannot wait to see my babies and other days, I could probably be okay just staying in bed and reading inappropriate fan fiction all day long. Some days, I was so excited about the pregnancy and other days, I honestly forgot it was happening.

    When my son was born, it took a moment to warm to him and a lot of that was my fear of warming WRONG and the other part was, hello tiny human, I do not know you and you do not know me. And humans, we’re weird. We take a minute sometimes, and that says NOTHING of the love for your child you will definitely have, but sometimes, you just don’t know how to attach to someone who can’t even keep their eyes open. With my daughter, we connected immediately, though sometimes, I do not like her very much and that’s because she’s feisty and basically TWO and it’s actually terrible but she’s the love of my life, you know? It’s all completely normal.

    We never found out the sex of any of our babies and it does keep a certain distance. I don’t regret that – the reveal after delivery was some of the best moments of my life. But I feel like I probably could have “attached” more to the baby had I actually made it seem more human instead of a concept because really, until they come out, that’s kind of all my mind could muster for them.

    Yikes. Sorry I got so wordy. I just feel pretty strongly that first-time parents especially be gentle with themselves and the whole process because it is messy and weird and amazing and absurd and beautiful and all of those things are fine and oh so normal.

  10. I felt similar when I was pregnant, and didn’t really have the strong love feelings for a month or so after she was born. I did have this animalistic sort of protective feeling, and didn’t really like other people holding her or caring for her. I think it’s all pretty normal, we just aren’t as vocal as all those instant love people 😉

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