I was reflecting on when my daughter was a newborn and how I did not feel specifically attached to her but did not want to admit it to anyone.    I thought it was due to my lack of sleep or the fact that she cried so much.  I nursed my baby and I never had that feeling of utter happiness that you are supposed to have once you have nursing mastered and look down at your happy baby.   I remember I wanted to try formula right away,  because I felt like I needed to be myself again and I thought that it might make her cry less.  It was summer and I felt stuck in the house, it was nice outside and I couldn’t even figure out how to get to the grocery store,  let alone how to pack up a baby and go anywhere while nursing.
I remember very clearly that  I would sit and rock her while nursing her and I would think to myself that she was my sisters baby.  I would think things to myself like when your mom comes over tomorrow, referring to my sister, or I would say, I need to call your mom, before I picked up the phone to call my sister.   I don’t know if this was because she had a baby 6 months before me, so I was used to seeing her as the mom, or if I really did not think that this baby that I was so excited to have, felt like mine.

It could also have been the fact that I had a c-section and I was stuck at home for 6 weeks without driving myself anywhere, during the most beautiful, summertime weather.  I could not swim, I could not go for walks, I could not exercise.  I could not figure out who I was.  I did not have that new mom glow that I thought I would have.  I wanted to have a natural birth, I wanted to be able to push my baby around in my new stroller and feel good, I wanted to be able to enjoy my summer and be able to bring my baby with me everywhere like I envisioned.   When I was with her I could not figure out how to take a shower or type an e-mail without having her in the other arm.  It was a total shock to my system and did not help with my bonding.

I don’t think I was as good of a new mom as I could have been if I would have felt more comfortable around her.  She cried alot and I did not feel like I could comfort her effectively. The fog that I felt, lasted about 8 weeks.  Eight weeks was when I rushed back to work to help myself feel more like me.  I remember being asked by my gynecologist at the 6 week appointment if I have been sad and I answered that I did not feel sad.  She did not ask if I felt like I was bonding with my baby or if I felt happy being a mom which I think would have been more applicable questions in my situation.  I wonder would I have answered honestly?  I don’t know, I really liked my OB but I did not want anyone to think I was a bad mom or did not love my baby because what kind of person does not love their beautiful baby girl?

If  there are new moms who feel this type of fog or lack of attachment, or feel like they need to regain their life back right away,  there might have attachment issues.  It might be a case of the baby blues or postpartum depression.   Please speak honestly with your OB/GYN to see if they think this is something that you might need help getting through.

Today I adore my daughter and I can say that I know I did not know what I was really signing up for when I wanted to get pregnant.  I was happy to have my son and never felt that fog that I had with my daughter was a newborn, I also felt the sense of love that I think you should feel right away for my son and I knew he was mine.   It took me about 12 weeks before I felt that sense of love with my daughter.  I am grateful that I was able to get over it but it sure might have made both of our lives easier if I would have figured it out earlier.