Baby blues – the name doesn’t do it any justice. To want for children so badly and then to feel no immediate bond, as they tell you you will, is crushing. Having always loved children as soon as I was married I knew I wanted a little one of my own and to start our new family. My pregnancy was easy on me health wise and I enjoyed growing that new life, I was excited to meet him or her and never once felt scared or nervous about the labour itself. The expectation and reality was somewhat different when I held that new life for the first time. Labour was hard but quick and no great dramas, so why when the midwife presented me with my new little boy was I not overwhelmed with joy and love but more relieved that it was all done?
Don’t mistake me I loved him, enjoying cuddling, feeding him, watching him sleep and looking into his beautiful blue eyes but I just didn’t feel that bond, that spark that I expected to feel.
‘I don’t feel like I love him enough’ I said to my mum during the first week, I cried randomly and uncontrollably over everything and nothing and felt no way to explain my feelings or emotions – and still don’t completely.
I would long for people to leave us be in the first couple of weeks and felt only truly comfortable with my family and husband. Luckily for me I was never physically alone although sometimes I did feel that way emotionally, my family were with me every day or night that my husband couldn’t be due to work.
When I did feel able to express what feelings I could or just needed a shoulder I had that support too.
I am forever grateful for the understanding, lack of judgement and unfailing support from them all. It’s a shame that society and the ‘mummy world’ can be so competitive and judgemental in that we feel unable to talk to one another when we are all in the same boat, some of us fighting the same battles. I’ve now met some lovely new mums and now new friends, some who have struggled more than me, some less, some not at all but to talk it through with those people is moving through it and moving forward. Support and understanding are invaluable and needed by all of us at some point in life.
My bond with my son has grown with my love for him everyday and I look back and wonder why I was worried. I realise now the expectation of society, friends, family and more importantly myself was always more of a perception of the norm.
This has been one of the greatest learning curves in my life thus far to relieve some of the pressure I put on myself and to enjoy the moment.
And to not be afraid of ‘failing’ to achieve what we perceive is normal or right!