When Hailey arrived I expected there to be an immediate bond between us. After all, she had been a part of me for 9 months. But we didn’t have an immediate connection. I was surprised and judged myself for it. Wasn’t my motherly instinct supposed to kick in? Was I a bad mother already?
My feelings toward her were relatively neutral for the first day. My husband on the other hand, connected with her immediately. She came out and he was like “this is my baby, I want to hold her always.” And I was ok with that. It impressed me how quickly they bonded. They spent most of that first day snoozing together with her snuggled against his chest. I barely held her that first day.
What I remember about my first day with her was being so incredibly exhausted from 30+ hours of labour. I hadn’t had much sleep in two days but was way too wound up to get any sleep. I held her immediately after she was born and I know she laid on my chest for the first hour or so. But there was so much going on…delivering the placenta, stitches, getting me cleaned up, etc. that it is all a blur and I don’t really remember. I remember her being held by my husband more than I remember holding her. I know I held her later that day too because my husband had to tidy up our living room (where we actually had the birth) before our visitors arrived to meet our new baby. But I don’t really remember holding her and I do remember being relieved that my husband wanted to hold her so much.
It wasn’t until the middle of the night on our first night together that I felt a connection. We were sleeping in the living room that night. I wasn’t supposed to do a lot of stairs for the first couple of days because of the stitches. Hailey was a bit restless. I brought her over to the couch and we laid side by side and I just stared at her. I was in awe. I felt moved and a powerful feeling of love. This beautiful baby was ours. That was the first moment I felt like a mother.
That bond grew stronger and stronger from that moment. I’ve been at home with her for about 8 months now. We spend almost every waking moment together. We have an extremely strong connection.
I know now that the fact that I didn’t feel that connection immediately wasn’t a big deal. I don’t feel like it has impacted us in any way. I just wish someone had told me this before I had her because I felt like something was wrong with me that first day.