Is this normal?

(62 Posts)
flippingebay Tue 05-Nov-13 18:48:54

After a week of introductions our 20 month old dd came home to stay..

Is it normal to feel utter UTTER panic? Burst into tears at a moments notic, panic I'll never bond with her??? I'm a mess and feel like I have the emotions of just given birth!

We have a 5 yr old birth dd and I even feel and cry over feeling guilty for her (even though she's been an absolute star)

Our new dd have really bonded with my DH and he's been brilliant ensuring he gives me time with dd and doesn't take over just because it's easier. But everything with me is either 'no' or tears and tantrums.,

Please be gentle with me hmm

Kewcumber Thu 07-Nov-13 10:37:06

Of course you wonder that. I did.

I very piously decided early on that if I couldn't ever love DS that I would at the very least commit to making his life better than it would have been without me. It did actually help me stop continually going over and over in my head my worries about bonding with him. Just try to park it to one side, accept that you will make DD2 a part of your family and give her a good life and pretend to everyone (including her) that you love her.

Then one day you find yourself crying at the thought that something might happen to her and Bob's your uncle!

I got to that point somewhere between 6 and 12 months but I have no idea when. The first 4/5 weeks were the worst, things improved when we got into a normal routine and I didn't feel quite so watched and wasn't asked quite so often about how lovely he was.

If it helps at all - DS is nearly 8 now and I have been known to forget I didn;t give birth to him! I was recently asked which hospital I gave birth in and I actually did try to remember for a couple of minutes before the realisation struck that i'd be thinking for a really really long time grin.

It was impossible for me to visualise loving him when I didn't and its hard now for me to remember a time when I didn't.

Glad the social worker visit went well, just try to live in the moment and not over analyse things (says the queen of over-thinking here!)

allthingswillpass Thu 07-Nov-13 16:46:13

Felt the same. Couldn't imagine how emotional it would be.
We're 18 weeks in and the strange child is now OUR little boy.
Ups and downs mostly ups now.
Lost 2 stone though grin

Maryz Thu 07-Nov-13 20:01:42

I didn't love dd as much as ds for a long time.

Not until we got a phone call from the social worker saying that there had been a mix-up with her paperwork, her father hadn't been informed she existed, and now that he knew he had appealed the adoption order and wanted her back.

Then I realised I loved her shock

To be fair to him, he was great. He was very young, we met him and he signed everything on the spot.

Devora Thu 07-Nov-13 21:38:09

Oh bless you, I know how hard this is. I decided I wasn't a very nice person, as I just resented dd2 for quite a while, and certainly didn't love her as much as I loved dd1 (my birth child).

Two things helped.

One was that I didn't fall in love with dd1 straightaway either. I remember looking at her when she was a few months old and thinking, "At what stage do I feel I would jump in front of a truck to save you?". I think I'm just a slow burn kind of mum - rest assured I love them both now, with great passion!

The second thing was knowing that I do find caring for toddlers very stressful. With dd1, I kind of mentally breathed out when she turned 4, and started enjoying her much more. dd2 has just turned 4, and I can feel the same relaxation, the same heightened enjoyment of her company.

Oh, one other thing helped!

dd1 and dd2 love each other. Really, really love each other. Strangely, I wasn't expecting that (was much more keyed up for sibling rivalry) and seeing that love emerge, even as I was finding it all a bit hard-going, was tremendously motivating.

Hang on in there - I promise you, it gets better smile

flippingebay Thu 07-Nov-13 21:53:20

Maryz that must have been horrendous!

I've been feeling a lot more 'stable' today and I keep reminding myself of certain bits if what you've all said. I keep re reading this too, to remind myself I'm not completely fucking everyone's lives up shock

DD1 has been a bit sensitive and tearful today so we've been trying to be extra kind to her too.. DD2 also woke with a terrible cold and is currently a snot monster (we do this because we enjoy it right wink )

Devora Thu 07-Nov-13 21:57:50

Oh yuck, snot is never going to help you love a child. I can handle pooh, blood, vomit, but I've never reconciled myself to kiddy snot (and the way it ends up being wiped over you, or dribbling into their mouths, or... I'll stop there).

Kewcumber Thu 07-Nov-13 22:36:26

I knew I'd bonded when I caught DS's vomit in my hand rather than let it mark the sofa. envy <= thats a "vom" emoticon

Devora Thu 07-Nov-13 23:01:03

I caught a poo once, just before it hit a friend's carpet...

* flippingebay* no guidance to add, you seem to be doing well so just sending a virtual hug <<<>>>

Thepoodoctor Thu 07-Nov-13 23:20:22

Our first was 20 months when he came home and I well remember the 'fuck what have I done' moments! And as for when he was 5 and DD came home ...

All normal, hugs and well done!

It is a slow burn. I remember thinking I liked DS when he came home (he was a seriously cute toddler) but it took me a while to love him.

However I was reading Philomena (book of the film about an Irish adoptee and his birth mother) last night, with my heart breaking for the little boy being taken from his birth mum for adoption in the States ... Except I was relating it to the idea of someone taking DS from me.

Noticed the paradox after a while smile

flippingebay Fri 08-Nov-13 20:51:00

Had a really crappy morning but a much better afternoon. Almost managed to enjoy it..

I think I struggle and really take it personally that she doesn't want me. I'm trying not to and also notice my DH takes no notice of the 'no's' from DD2.

Kewcumber Sat 09-Nov-13 00:15:48

DS didn't want me at first - and I had no DH as an alternative but frankly he'd have taken anyone over me. It does make bonding much harder.

I resorted to below the belt tactics - his baby biscuits (he wasn;t allowed normally) smuggled in and dangled in front of my eyes until he made eye contact then he got the biscuit as a reward.

Thats a shameful thing to admit isn;t it... I bribed my child to bond with me blush

Worked though grin

Maryz Sat 09-Nov-13 08:59:31

Oh, it's horrible.

ds's eyes used to follow dh, and when I picked him up they would slide away and he'd pull back - and he was only a baby sad

It's so hard, when you care so much and they seem not to give a shiney shite. But you just carry on, and it does ease a bit. It's very early days yet.

Kewcumber Sat 09-Nov-13 12:37:34

flippingebay - now you are in the know about why I roll my eyes when people have said to me "next time I'm doing it the easy way and adopting"! hmm

flippingebay Sat 09-Nov-13 12:52:25

You're absolutely right Kew!

She's asleep at the moment, she's sleeping really well and a lot which I'm putting down to stress at the moment, but making the most of a few minutes peace.

I've been on my own with DD1 and DD2 this morning so we've had a trip to the park. A few tears from DD2 but I've put that down to being cold and tired. Everyone's words of wisdom on here I've been remembering which has really helped my sanity.

DoubleLifeIsALifeOfSorts Sat 09-Nov-13 15:44:19

Bribing sounds like a genius idea!

Hang on in there, I haven't adopted but have so much respect for those that have, it's not an easy ride and I can't believe people still think it is (except I can believe, as people think all sorts of stupid things!).

The people on this board are very wise and compassionate, great people to listen too.

Maryz Sat 09-Nov-13 17:13:56

I used to bribe a bit too.

After the first few awful days I refused to let dh feed ds at all, working on the principle that if I was the only one who fed him he would eventually look at me.

Of course he didn't - he managed to look at the curtains, out the window, at the back of the chair, wherever he could hmm

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 10-Nov-13 14:37:59

Ah, OP, frankly if you weren't feeling a bit overwhelmed at being a new parent again I'd say you weren't doing it properly wink

DD bonded with me quickly, but took much longer to get going with DH - probably because (unusUally) she was closest to her foster father rather than mother, so I was less of an obvious replacement, IYSWIM. Lots of games like tickling and peekaboo helped no end to help that bond along.

flippingebay Sun 10-Nov-13 18:11:24

We've just had our first proper day out as a family and I'm almost feeling human. DD2 was great and not at all grisly or grumpy and DD1 even managed to say 'it's not fair' when DD2 had something different which felt 'normal' smile

Last night was a real struggle with DD2 not going down or sleeping but DH insisted I saw to her and wouldn't even stay in the same room. It was bloody awful at the time but I think it's made a difference today and she even held my hand for a few minutes.

I'm clinging onto those few moments in a day when I'm feeling better and trying to remember them when it's not so good.

Thank you all for all your help and kind words, they really have made a massive difference

Kewcumber Sun 10-Nov-13 18:25:26

Good for you. The first time I took DS out once we were home - he was about 14 months and (obviously) still in a pram. I cried because it was a rear facing pram and the bloody wheels wouldn't go where I wanted them to! It was a bloody disaster and I howled for the 30 minutes we were out! So you're well ahead of me.

Maryz Sun 10-Nov-13 18:32:03

Did I ever tell you about our first family holiday with dd?

We had to cancel the holiday we had booked with ds when dd was placed (we got two days' notice, believe it or not, because the foster family were going on holidays). We hadn't been abroad for years, so when the final adoption order came through we booked a week in Tunisia, very cheap.

It was a night flight, she cried from the moment we got to the airport until the minute we got to the hotel.

Four of us jammed into a tiny hotel room. ds and I got d&v. dd cried every night, all night. We had to give her bottles to pacify her, and ran out of formula so we then had to give her half strength bottles at night.

(not to mention the freezing cold pool and revolting food)

She cried all the way home.

I told dh at least a dozen times every day that I had never wanted to have children anyway. I really, really resented her blush.

God, I did so many things wrong.

Buster51 Sun 24-Nov-13 16:52:38

Reading through all of your comments has really helped me a lot. I am now 4 weeks into the adoption of our 4 yr old boy, & since my DH returned back to work our bond has got stronger (I think?!). That being said when he returns on weekends I/we take a step back (I feel this anyway). He has always been more comfortable with DH since day one, & when he returns he goes back to him constantly etc (I realise this is probably also an element of excited to see him). However, he is still yet to attatch to me in the same way. I have got as far as him being able to sit on my knee through a lot of play which is great progress.

My worry is I take it personally everytime, & I know I shouldn't. I just wondered how other mums have dealt with this as it does upset me sad advice is much appreciated smile

MyFeetAreCold Sun 24-Nov-13 22:23:48

Oh, thank god for you all and for this thread! Turns out I'm normal too! (And only a few weeks into placement.) You made me cry, you vipers.

Lilka Sun 24-Nov-13 22:31:40

Of course we did, we're very vicious vipers at that wink

You are 1000% guarunteed abolsutely normal, end of story

Lilka Sun 24-Nov-13 22:37:00

It took me a long time to feel love. Truly honestly, at first with my girls, there were days I disliked them. And not in the 'ever parent dislikes their child sometimes' way. There wasn't any love there, only bad feelings. First came protectiveness. Then came the slight change I can only describe as "I'm used to having you around now, I am struggling to remember the time before you moved in". Then came the time when I began to like having them around more often than I felt dislike and resentment. And so on and on. Till I didn't want them to leave. And then more time. And then I loved. And then more time. And I loved unconditionally.

I love the fact that this board is here, so you can say, and know there will be people reading who get it, how you are feeling. It's so normal to take a long while to bond.

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