Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fairytale Bonding

The girls are watching old home videos of when Mariah (our firstborn) was a baby, and it joyously reminds me of the days leading up to her birth, her birth, and the months following her birth.

After over a year of trying to get pregnant and many months of tears, we were MORE than excited to find out that we were expecting our first child. This was something I had only dreamed about and now it was a reality!

The pregnancy was pretty uneventful, the delivery was ok, but what I want to focus on is the bond between me and Mariah.

On March 18, 2004 at 2:14pm, Mariah Grace entered the world and we were pleasantly surprised that she was a girl because I really had no feeling of which gender the baby might be (we chose to not find out). I was so excited to have a baby girl, and the reality of actually having a baby was here, and now, and no turning back. Dream come true, and love at first sight, right?

Well, love yes. I loved Mariah like crazy. I was so glad that she was here. Feeling connected and bonded...well, to be brutally honest.....no.

That's right, I said it. We did not have an instant bond.

I looked at her, she looked at me. I was a stranger to her and she was a stranger to me. Now that the baby is here, what do I do with her? A weird feeling, kind of surreal.

The first few months, I pretty much just felt like Mariah's caretaker. I fed her, changed her, held her, but was still feeling indifferent about this new addition. I might have had a little postpartum depression, but I just didn't feel this instant connection that I had so longed for, that I had heard and read about. I felt (and feel) guilty.

Mariah was born on a Thursday and that following Sunday we went to church. Mariah cried. What does this mean? This means that I have leave the service, that I can't do what I want to do, this means my needs and wants don't come first. Weird. For the first time in my life, I couldn't just think about myself. So, what did I do, I put her in the nursery. (Don't tell me about it, yes I feel horrible about it now). If I put her in the nursery, that means I can think about my desires and do what I want, which in this moment is sit in church. Argh! (Selfish, selfish).

So months went by. Yes, months. Finally, when Mariah was THREE MONTHS OLD, we had a once in a lifetime experience, a bonding experience that I will never forget. It was a sunny June day, and Mariah and I were out on the back deck, doing...nothing. For some odd reason, this day, it all clicked. Now, I felt that feeling that I thought I was 'supposed' to feel the day she was born. I felt like a mom. I felt like Mariah's mother and it was an incredible emotion! It was surreal, it was real, it was true, and I LOVED IT!

I am not exactly sure what happened that day, but it changed my relationship with Mariah forever. Am I weird that I wasn't like other moms that have this fairytale bond with their newborn instantly? Maybe yes, maybe no. What I do know is that I will always have a special and unique connection with Mariah and I LOVE being a mom!

(Stay tuned for blog posts about special bonds that I have with Ambria and Ashlyn).

Here is a picture that I hold near and dear to my heart.
This is THE DAY I felt that special connection with my first child.
I love you, Mariah Grace!

1 comment:

jenna said...

You are far from being alone in your feelings after birth. Important for people to read. Thanks for your honesty. I love the way you write. It's like I get to sit down with you for a conversation. I miss that.