There were so many joyous moments surrounding my pregnancy. We were excited to make the decision to start trying to have a baby. Finding out we finally conceived, announcing to our friends and family, hearing baby’s heartbeat for the first time, feeling baby’s first kick, seeing the first sonogram that our kiddo looked more human and less alien are just to name a few experiences that were just wonderful!
With all these mile markers of happy face and heart emojis, where is there space to be not-so-happy? I remember during my pregnancy with my son, I was asked a gillion times “don’t you love your baby already?” “do you talk to your baby?” My response was usually off putting; “uh, no I don’t talk to him directly”, or “I will learn to love him, but I’m not feeling the connection right now”.
I knew that I would love this child to death when he came out, however when I was pregnant I didn’t experience the mushy gooshy feelings WITH him. Granted, I downloaded the What To Expect App, checked my weekly updates to see how he was developing. I enjoyed almost every appointment that I heard and saw him.
I loved preparing for his arrival, but I never felt compelled to talk or sing to him. I figured, I talked plenty--I am a therapist! He hears music all the time as I cannot survive a day without a variety of music in the background.
The question that lingered in my mind, and maybe yours too… Does that make me a bad mom?
The answer to that question came after my son was born… nope! Although I was in awe of my son when he was born and continue to fall in love with him, it was not my feelings that made me a good or bad mom. We had a difficult time breastfeeding and didn’t get into a groove until my son was 2 months old. Check out my post on my firstborn’s breastfeeding experience for more info. So I did not get to experience the full effect of the oxytocin vibes due to primarily pumping. I also shared feeding times with grandparents and my husband, which also seemed to take an emotional toll.
Regardless of my feelings I made sure he was always fed, changed his diaper as needed, and made sure he was safe. Granted I was more apt to feeling mushy and more physically affectionate as I got more sleep and the more quality time I spent with my son. But the reality is, we may not always feel like good moms or feel emotionally connected as we endure the fourth trimester due to our zombie like existence, and that is ok!
When pregnant I ate foods that provided the best nutrients, I exercised as best I could to promote physical, mental and emotional health. I know I am not alone. Many of us moms begin making sacrifices for the betterment of our child before they are even conceived. I think it is our dedication to our child that is most important. The feelings will come with time.
To any mom’s out there who like me, may be questioning your ability to emotionally connect... remember the ways you are making efforts to connect with your baby spiritually, mentally, and physically.
Here are some truths I had to tell myself and hear from others that helped me push through the emotional disconnect:
I am showing my baby I love him by making sure he is fed, clothed, safe and secure.
I am loving my baby holding him and spending time with him even when he is not crying
I love my baby when I look into his eyes and give him my undivided attention
I love my baby when I sing to him
I am loving my baby when I am giving him a health mommy.
I am loving my baby when I sacrifice food and drinks I know will upset his stomach
I am loving my baby when I pray for him
I love my baby when I help him develop his motor skills
I am loving my baby when I make him laugh
I hope this helps!
Keep mommying mamas.
Peace and love.