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MN Bumpfest: Share your experiences of bonding with your baby straight after birth with other MNers – £50 voucher prize draw NOW CLOSED

(156 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 07-Aug-14 09:39:35

In the run up to BumpFest (which will tell you absolutely everything you need to know about being a parent - promise) we’re looking to get a better understanding of the experiences Mumsnetters have had around different issues surrounding childbirth.

If there’s one thing that you can be sure about parenting, it’s that nothing is ever quite how you imagine it would be. We know from past threads, and some of the comments here here that Mumsnetters experience of bonding with their baby in the early days were sometimes less straightforward than they’d anticipated.

If you’re willing to share your stories, we’d love to hear more about your experiences. We’ll be using them to inform our research for BumpFest on the different myths and expectations there are surrounding childbirth and early bonding - thanks so much to those of you who post, we’ll be entering everyone into a draw to win a £50 John Lewis voucher.

Thanks thanks

MNHQ

JellyStrawberries Thu 07-Aug-14 12:38:06

My first baby was an amazingly good water birth in a lovely birth centre. I was on such a high after he was born that I couldn't really focus on him. I was so overwhemed. Then establishing breastfeeding was so hard that I felt quite rejected by him. It took a couple of weeks to get bfing sorted and to settle into parenthood and that's when I really fell in love with him - it was a gradual process.

Second baby - much more stressful birth, he came a bit early and I was very shocked by his arrival. I'd needed gas and air but had a bad reaction to it so when he was born I felt very sick. He was screaming and screaming at the top of his little lungs, I was exhausted and startled and nauseous and I remember wishing someone would just take him away! Within an hour, I'd vomited and so felt better, had a restorative cup of tea and he was breastfeeding like a pro. The surge of love I'd been waiting for the first time just hit with immense force.

GetKnitted Thu 07-Aug-14 12:44:37

I invited the rest of my family over the day after my first baby was born. with hindsight, I should have limited that to 30-60 mins, even though they had no where else to go where we live. I didn't spend enough of those precious hours getting to know my son.

That said, I don't think I was mentally ready to be a mum until I was a mum of 2. So the extra time might not have helped!

MumOfTheMoos Thu 07-Aug-14 13:33:28

I had an emergency c-section and was a bit poorly after, needed a blood transfusion and did not get to hold my son for the first 4 hours of his life. There are times when I still feel sad that I did not get to hold him and be a familiar smell etc for him but it gave my DH a good time to introduce himself! Now two and a half years later it has made not a jot of difference.

I was tired and poorly when he was first born but I think the whole of south London heard the thunderclap when I fell in love with him on the morning of day 4!

missorinoco Thu 07-Aug-14 13:54:25

I post wrt DC1 - when it came to DC2 I was prepared for the tumultuous world that was to follow.

I expected a waterbirth in hospital and to recognize DC with whom I would bond as he/she fed. I expected crying, which is a good job, as I got it with interest!
DC came along after over a day of labour and an emergency section. I didn't recognize him, which surpassed me, and had no idea what to do with him. BF wasn't easy, and he screamed lots whether he BF or not, so the first days/weeks were hard. I felt like a failure.

Subsequent DC - easier births, and was prepared for chaos so was pleasantly surprised.

Bubbles85 Thu 07-Aug-14 15:25:58

It just happened gradually for me. As the hours past by after her birth, I just felt more and more attached and although it was weird taking her home in the car it because more normal over time. She's 8 months now and I haven't been in a car on my own since! I didn't really find that bonding was a problem, but my feeling for her intensified over the first few weeks.

CheeseEMouse Thu 07-Aug-14 18:09:18

I was so overwhelmed (in a good way) that I spent much of the first night after she was born gazing at her. In hindsight a terrible idea as I should have been sleeping but I just couldn't believe how lucky I was to have a lovely baby. I also had a lovely unhurried first cuddle and feed after birth and wasn't rushed in anyway by the midwives.

Keepcalmanddrinkwine Thu 07-Aug-14 18:27:36

I bonded with DD1 straight away. It was an instant thing. That beautiful, precious baby was mine and I just felt an absolute surge of love and protectiveness for her. It had been a fairly easy pregnancy and straightforward labour.

Bonding with DD took longer. I didn't get that instant rush at all when I held her. I was sure I loved her but it felt different. It took about a fortnight and I had been worrying the bond wasn't as strong as with DD1, then I went to pick her up and it sort of clicked, I knew we were ok.

Part of it was that I had a name for DD1 straight away, but it took over a week to name DD2, I just didn't know what name to give her.

MadMonkeys Thu 07-Aug-14 19:57:16

I had two vaginal births with little intervention except for episiotomies. I bonded with both babies instantly. I had the chance to breastfeed both of them very soon after the birth and plenty of cuddles etc.

This mucky, screaming thing was dropped onto my chest, and labour was forgotten. I couldn't cope with being separated from him - the plastic crib was too far away, and I couldn't sleep with my hand in his, so he came into the hospital bed with me pretty quickly. I got given the safe co-sleeping leaflets. 5 yrs later, he is still glued to my side (his choice now).

DS2 was an (unplanned) homebirth, and was lovely. He just slotted straight into family life. We were given time, and a lovely comfy bed (mine) to get used to each other, but the bond isn't as strong (imo)

CMOTDibbler Thu 07-Aug-14 21:23:19

To be very honest, I didn't get that big thunderclap of love. Ds was ill when he was born so I didn't get to hold him for a couple of days, let alone just be with him.
But I think it just developed, and we have a fabulous bond - so don't stress if you don't feel like other people say they feel

BigfootFiles Thu 07-Aug-14 21:24:03

I started bleeding before early contractions started with DC1, and I went into a strange kind of shock/denial place in my head. I was admitted to hospital and induced, labour was rough and I had a haemorrhage which meant as soon as DC1 was delivered she was whisked away while I was hooked up to drips. We didn't get to do the skin-to-skin and she didn't latch properly to feed. She was so perfect, yet I didn't get this "rush of love" that I'd been told to expect. I felt like I was getting things wrong right from the start. I couldn't get breast-feeding established, therefore I couldn't look after her properly therefore I was a terrible mother. The fact I hadn't bonded was more proof of that.

The first few months were awful, it felt like I was babysitting for someone else for a long time - like the real mother would come home and take her off my hands soon. It took me 9 months I would say - coincidentally when she started sleeping through? - before I felt properly "bonded". I found Mumsnet when searching desperately for help getting breastfeeding going and I remember starting a thread soon after asking if there was something wrong with me that I hadn't bonded. Lots of people said that it was normal and it would come with time, but I didn't honestly believe it until it happened.

I didn't get the "rush of love" the second time either. But with DC2 the labour was easier, he took to breastfeeding like a duck to water, and I wasn't expecting to fall in love straight away. It took less time to bond, a couple of weeks maybe, but I knew what I was doing and the second child is not such a cultural shock or lifestyle adjustment compared with going from none to one.

sharond101 Thu 07-Aug-14 21:37:08

I had two glorious hours of skin to skin after delivery and it got us off to a tremendous start. DS struggled to suckle and was unsettled for many evenings. I held him all the time to keep him comforted, this was great too although tiring. I spent lots of time and still do with him. Time, attention, love - it's all they need, not money and material things.

FieldRose Thu 07-Aug-14 22:02:32

We had a very difficult birth. DS was rushed off in one direction to be resuscitated and then to intensive care and I was rushed off in another to theatre to be stitched up for several hours.

We had maybe 10 seconds of skin to skin before they realised he wasn't breathing and whipped him away... I didn't see him again for five hours and then we were in different wards for the first 4 days...

Despite our tricky start, when the nurse wheeled me down to see him for the first time since he'd been born, I felt so overwhelmed with emotion, so much love for this scrawny little thing. He was just so unbelievably gorgeous. Still is!

KatyEdward Fri 08-Aug-14 00:02:05

My birth was fairly straightforward but my pregnancy was very tough, I had hyperemesis Gravidarum for the entire duration requiring hospital admissions which had caused me to worry before he was even born I might not bond with him.

When he was born I remember just feeling utterly exhausted. I'd desperately wanted to breastfeed and he was born with low blood sugars and they were talking about taking him off to special care unless I agreed to him having a bottle. This was done by a MW while I was being stitched up and I remember being hugely upset by it. I asked for help with getting him to latch on and expressing but never got it. We went home two days after his birth and for at least a week I remember frequently crying and only being able to refer to him as "the baby" as I hadn't named him during pregnancy and I was finding it hard to accept he was actually here.

I think I cared for him as soon as he was born but I only truly bonded with him after a wonderful woman at my baby massage class made me feel like I was actually doing a okay and it didn't matter that I wasn't breastfeeding him.

Pinter Fri 08-Aug-14 02:37:08

Skin to skin

bshree08 Fri 08-Aug-14 11:14:12

I had a ELCS, after my surgery I was taken to my room straight away, my little girl was with my partner and my mum, but i was in so much pain and agony and of course with joy, But the whole procedure made me feel tiring and sleepy. I was not able to feed her straight away, she has trouble with latching on to me, and with the help of my mum and nurse, she was able to latch on properly thank god, but the first day was really tiring and I found it a bid hard to bond with her but the second day I was very much attached to her straight away, lifting and holding her and feeding straight away.
She is now 5yrs grin
Time flies

Keepcalmanddrinkwine Fri 08-Aug-14 11:48:08

Skin to skin absolutely. If DH/DP can do it too it's lovely.
smile

LauraChant Fri 08-Aug-14 17:15:01

I think it would be helpful to know that not every bonding experience is going to be the same. I did not experience the rush of love that people talked about or seemed to expect I should have, with DS1. I did not want to spend hours gazing at him or have "newborn baby cuddles". I loved him entirely but with a sort of dutiful anxiety. I would have said that was OK and enough and perhaps everyone was exaggerating a bit what they felt, but when he was about six months the real "rush of love" kicked in and grew and grew, then I recognised what it was that other people felt instantly.

With DS2, the same thing happened, instead of feeling a rush of love for the baby I felt it for DS1, and worried I wouldn't love DS2 as much, then again some months later it kicked in strongly!

Fizzyplonk Fri 08-Aug-14 18:48:06

I felt in shock immediately after both births and didn't get a immediate rush of love. That feeling came after a couple of hours. I think I've loved my babies more and more the older they've got. So don't worry if you don't get that magic moment initially!
Love skin to skin. With DS I lounged in bed a lot and it was wonderful, I remember getting a tiny footprint mark on my tummy!

Fizzyplonk Fri 08-Aug-14 18:50:11

Oh and I've also felt extremely territorial in the 1st year or so. Like I imagine a wild animal would if separated from its young. The strength of this feeling surprised me.

Fizzyplonk Fri 08-Aug-14 18:50:24

Oh and I've also felt extremely territorial in the 1st year or so. Like I imagine a wild animal would if separated from its young. The strength of this feeling surprised me.

Lindy2 Fri 08-Aug-14 21:41:33

It took a while to bond with my first born. I think I was just so exhausted from a traumatic birth and baby was very demanding (still is now at 6 years old!) I was just going through the motions for a while. It was when she had an allergic reaction at 6 weeks old and we ended up in a&e that I realised how much I loved her and what a huge part of my world she had become.

museumum Fri 08-Aug-14 21:54:02

I don't know if I "bonded" straight away or not. I had a very easy birth and didn't have any negative feelings but in the early days ds was more of a challenge to be met or a problem to solve. He was squishy and cute, but I was learning every day and that took all my energy.
I can honestly say my love for him has grown every day as I've got to know him. He's nearly 1 now.

I was lucky to have straightforward water births for both of mine so we were both naked together for the first few hours of life. I struggled to breastfeed pain free for a few weeks but once that was sorted, I found feeding to be a very powerful, calm bonding experience and I still think fondly of those days as I look at them racing round the sofa today

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