I Didn't Instantly Fall in Love with My Baby

My youngest child just turned two.

As I reflected on his birth and him coming into our lives, I thought also about how my older two came. I thought about how my experiences with bonding and "falling in love" with my kids were all different.

I remember my first child, and how I was just swept away with love. I was overcome. I remember realizing "I'm in love with this little girl". I remember being distraught when I was away from her and elated when I got to be with her. I remember it was intense and loud and full of fireworks.

My other daughter I remember it being a slower process. It wasn't fireworks and instantly falling in love. I liken falling in love with her more like the current of a river. A current is steady and it moves you, before you know it you are downstream. Falling in love with my second child felt more like that. I remember one day just looking at her and thinking she was the most beautiful girl on earth.

Then came my baby, my first child to carry and birth. I remember wondering if it would be different. If I would feel something new. I knew my love would be the same but would the feelings be different?

I remember giving birth to my son after a grueling two hours of pushing in the hospital's tub. I remember looking down at him as he was lying on my chest, his eyes seemingly black and skin bluish. Seeing him for the first time face-to-face was surreal and though I was sobbing with relief and exhaustion, the feeling of love I had was more like an anchor. I loved him and I knew I would always be there for him, that I would take care of him. It was just a sure, steady thing. 

No fireworks, no overwhelming feeling. I had two other children, I knew what this parently love felt like, and this was it. It was familiar. 

I sometimes wonder why we put this idea into so many heads that everyone feels the same when they have a baby. That everyone is just instantly overcome with love. I think often that happens and I think it's wonderful! But sometimes a mom has postpartum depression, or struggles with chronic illness or pain. Sometimes your children come to you in different way and with different struggles, so the bonding process is different. It can look different, I know for me it has been but the love of a mother is powerful, unconditional, and beautiful no matter what that first connection felt like.

Much love,


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