Today, for the first time, I woke up at 5:30 am and NOT because the baby was hungry and starting to cry her little face off. Nope, I woke up, out of the blue and I could NOT go back to sleep. And, of course, I wrote a blog post in my head. And it was a really good one. And then I got up and fixed breakfast, ate, had some coffee, got the baby fed…and then the blog post was gone. GONE. (This is not unusual. I do my best, most articulate writing when I am half asleep and unable to reach my computer. Usually right before I fall asleep or when I wake up at an ungodly hour of the morning and am desperately fighting being awake. Go figure.)
But I was thinking about how much my feelings about being a mom have changed. And how they have changed me. And I was remembering the time when I was pregnant and how I thought I might never feel a real bond with my kid and how sad that would be,
While I was pregnant, the whole thing seemed surreal. Like I would never get to that point where pregnant women get all full of joy or whatever. And I guess I eventually got there. Somewhat. I mean, I HATED being pregnant. I hated every little thing about how I felt. But I do remember every once in awhile, feeling Baby L kick and being totally excited, if only for that moment. But then terrified again.
The terror didn’t really go away for a little while after she was born either. I mean, you hear all these women talk about how they instantly felt this bond with this little meatloaf that they just pushed out of their bodies, and you expect to feel that right away. But the reality is, some women need a minute. Or a couple. I was one of those women. And I think there are more of us than will admit it, because I know I felt a bit of shame in this department.
I instantly loved Baby L. Duh. I mean, I carried her around for so long that she was PART of me. But I didn’t feel this instant bond. And I felt awful about it. I felt like I was a bad mother right away. I felt scared to leave her and instantly protective, which I suppose is that motherly instinct thing that I was hearing so much about. But I didn’t feel…IN LOVE at first. I felt bizarre. Like on those old TV shows where they teach kids about having kids by giving them an EGG to care for, for like a week (pretty sure this happened on “Saved by the Bell“.). And they can’t break it or lose it or whatever. (I never understood how an EGG compares to a BABY. I could DEFINITELY take care of an EGG for a week, people. I have twelve of them, perfectly safe, in the fridge right NOW.) But even though I loved this little egg, I wasn’t sure where the hell I was supposed to go from there.
But I was reading, shortly after leaving the hospital, a book called “Secrets from the Baby Whisperer” and the author made the point that your baby is a person. And it might take a little while to get to know him/her. Just like anyone else. Because, lets face it people, you don’t instantly LOVE people when you meet them. (I mean, maybe you HAVE, but how rare is that?!) Then I didn’t feel so bad about having to really work at this whole bonding thing. I had to get to KNOW Baby L. And she had to get to know me.
And that’s okay.
And now, nearly five months have passed, And Baby L is my whole life. She is beautiful and smart and hilarious. And she sings to her toys. And her little smiles melt my heart. And we’re totally BFFs.
* The title of this post was going to be “Bondage” but I was really worried about the kind madness that might attract. I don’t have much to say about that. This is a mommy blog, you guys.