When Riley was born, I knew I loved her but I didn't bond with her. I didn't feel connected to her in any way. I almost felt as if she wasn't mine. I think Leif bonded with her before I ever did. I would stare at her and wonder if this was really the baby that was in my belly for 9 months. Who was she? It wasn't until she was 3 or 4 months that I started to feel as if we were starting to bond. My love for her had continued to grow from the minute she was born, but I didn't feel as if we had a relationship until she was a bit older. It wasn't until she started really responding to me and interacting with me. When she would smile when she saw me. That's when we started to bond.
I thought the reason why we didn't bond was because I didn't breastfeed. Many times people tell me about what a great experience breastfeeding is, how they bonded with their child over it. Like I mentioned in a previous post I hoped that I would be able to breastfeed Beck. And I have been breastfeeding him. But, just like I felt with Riley, I feel the same way with Beck. I love him with all my heart but I don't feel like we've bonded at all. He's so foreign to me. Again, I feel as if Leif has bonded with him before me. I was worried about this happening. I feel as if I should have some control over this. Why does this little baby seem like such a stranger to me?
Last night I was reading What to Expect: The First Year. I kind of read it with Riley but mostly skimmed over it, just making sure she was reaching her milestones on time. I happened to be reading through the newborn chapter and it had a section on bonding. It turns out that its common for moms not to bond with their babies right away. I was relieved to read this because I want so badly to be close to my son. I know it'll happen in time, I just need to be patient and get to know him better, which I'm excited to do:)
We'll get there.