Friday, February 12, 2010

The unspoken truth

Not every mother automatically feels that overwhelming bond with their child.  I know I didn't.  ::phew::  I said it.  I cannot describe the guilt you feel when you are holding this brand spanking new baby in your arms and you are waiting and waiting for this overwhelming bond btw you and your newborn child.  Then you finally realize that its just not going to happen.   You cannot help but think to yourself what the heck is wrong with you?  You are supposed to have this feeling of a lioness watching over her baby cub.  You are supposed to have this magical bond the moment they drop that precious miracle into your arms.  If not then, then the first time you breast feed your child.  You are told how it's sooo beautiful and such a bonding experience.   At least that is what every one told me was supposed to happen.  Bullshit.  

It does not happen to all mothers and to those that share my experience most keep quite about it.  This goes against every thing you hear about bearing a child.  Sure I felt love for this human that I brought into this world, but she was like an alien to me.  The experience was alien to me. I was there but really, I was not.
I felt like WWIII took place in my vagina, I had a little person who was tearing my nipples off every three hours, and do not even get me started on the lack of sleep.  Oh, the lack of sleep!  You think you are prepared for this but there is no way you ever really truly are.  The things your hormones do to you after you birth a child is crazy.  The best way for me to describe it was like you are going through menopause.  This includes crying for no reason, shivering with cold after finding yourself in a pool of sweat,  sleeping only a total of 2 hours in a 24 hour period.  The best way to describe the first two weeks was that I was in survival mode.  

I resented my daughter every time she cried. How horrible is that!?!  It meant that I had to wake up from the precious couple hours of sleep I was enjoying to feed her.  Feeding her meant I had to pull down my nursing bra (pads too!) with painfully engorged leaking boobs the size of cantaloupes with cracked raw and bleeding nipples to feed her.  I resented her for the fact that my husband had to sleep on the couch while I was in our bed just so he could get 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep so he could function at work the next day.

In confidence, I only told a few people of these feelings.  I did not want to be a freak of nature.  I did not want people to think that I did not love my child because I did! I swear!  They all told me this was okay.  This was normal.  I could not help but keep thinking , if this was okay and normal why have I never heard of anyone else going through this? 

This resentment and lack of a bond lasted for a solid month and a half.  Then one day.... it got better. Just like that.  Like someone hit a light switch.  Maybe it was her first smile, maybe it was that things clicked with breast feeding, or maybe it was that my hormones balanced themselves out.  Heck, it could have been all of the above combined.  I did not care what it was.  I was grateful.  Each day that passed I fell more and more in love with my little girl.  A little seed within me grew and I felt with each passing day that she was more a part of me or I a part of her.  

I now know what all those other mothers were talking about.  That gut wrenching I will do anything for this child nobody better lay a finger on her if she hurts I hurt feeling.  I get it now.  And one day my little girl may become a mommy and if that day comes I will tell her the truth. My truth.  I will let her know that if she ever feels the way I felt it's okay.  She is not alone.  Mommy understands and Mommy promises it will get better.  Much much better.    

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