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AIBU to ask you how long it took to really bond with your first child?

(120 Posts)
PetiteRaleuse Wed 05-Oct-11 08:34:13

I was watching a documentary on French TV last night - something like One Born Every Minute but French version. And a group of MW were going on about one mother who didn't seem excited about her baby. An I remembered that I wasn't when she arrived. It took me a couple of weeks to really bond with her.

I suspect that I am not alone. Even without PND I think bonding is not automatic and doesn't happen the second the baby arrives. So, my questions:

How long did it take to feel you bonded with your first child?

If you didn't bond immediately, did you admit it to anyone? (I admitted it to my mum and she was shocked!)

With any subsequent children was the bonding process any faster? (A French shrink said that bonding often was easier with second and third kids).

pyjamasinbananas Wed 05-Oct-11 08:35:28

4 months blush it was a very slow process not helped by severe reflux and barely feeding. And DP left which didn't help. I had PND though with both although I bonded with DD quicker than DS

pyjamasinbananas Wed 05-Oct-11 08:37:02

I didn't admit it to anyone until the day it all got to much and I sent DP an email detailing how I was going to have to put DS in care as I was crap and didn't get parenting. I feel guilty now but at the time it seemed logical!

PetiteRaleuse Wed 05-Oct-11 08:37:12

Was DD your second?

rogersmellyonthetelly Wed 05-Oct-11 08:37:13

I felt the heart crushing love as soon as he was born, but it took me about 6 months before I felt close to him if that makes sense, I had a horrific delivery and pnd. With dd I had a textbook delivery and felt bonded with her immediately.

StickThemWithThePointyEnd Wed 05-Oct-11 08:37:50

It took me about three weeks to bond with DS1. he just didn't feel like he was mine before that. very cute, but he could have been a stranger's baby. I did admit this to some of my friends and talked to my dh about it, and they all said similar things about their first babies.
With DC2 it took me a lot longer, and I am still having some bonding issues 5 months later, but I have PND.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 05-Oct-11 08:38:27

rogers that does make sense - I never doubted my love for DD but didn't feel the bond everyone goes on about

hester Wed 05-Oct-11 08:39:35

It took a good few months - six? I was sleep-deprived, shocked by the realities of motherhood, and recovering from a birth that I found traumatic.

My second child is adopted, and it also took around six months to feel bonded.

pyjamasinbananas Wed 05-Oct-11 08:39:59

DD was my second. I didn't feel anything except numb after having them both, I didn't cry with happiness or feel a rush of love. It's been a slow process tbh and I think I made my PND worse by trying to be perfect and worrying that they don't always behave like the kids on the tv. Except possibly bart Simpson grin

borderslass Wed 05-Oct-11 08:40:11

Months with DD1 I had post natal depression same with DS because he had really bad feeding issues and never slept however when I had DD2 it was instant.

Ginger4justice Wed 05-Oct-11 08:41:54

I'm not sure how long it took to bond, it was a slow and gradual process I guess once she started smiling. My first thoughts were 'crickey you're a baby'. It took a while to get over that, not sure why I was so surprised blush.

hester Wed 05-Oct-11 08:42:18

As often gets said on the adoption threads: "Fake the love and it will come".

And if it doesn't, seek help.

NacMacFeegle Wed 05-Oct-11 08:44:55

Years with DC1, instant with the other two. Very sad. Think it was traumatic birth/ PND plus very early return to work (6weeks). we're fine now, and she never knew or will know.

dreamingbohemian Wed 05-Oct-11 08:45:07

Petite, was it Baby Boom? I saw some of that last week! smile

I'm not sure what bonding really means? I felt very close to and protective of DS from the beginning, but then I remember at around 6 or 8 weeks the sort of huge, visceral love feelings really kicked in. Before that, I think I was still sort of in shock and adapting (I had never changed a nappy before having DS, and it was quite a surprise that I even managed to have a baby).

So for me, I think I would say about 8 weeks. I think I had to relax a bit first, and get past the point where my first thought was always 'dear god, don't let me drop him!'

babyheavingmassofmaggots Wed 05-Oct-11 08:48:12

DS = months. He was whisked away from me within hours of being born and spent the first two weeks in the NICU. I just lost it a bit and that stress, combined with lack of sleep and then PND made it very hard to bond.

DD = almost immediate. I was just so bloody relieved that she was OK!!

PetiteRaleuse Wed 05-Oct-11 08:48:28

dreaming no it was something on Direct 8 - quartier général I think.

This is really interesting to read. I don't think anyone ever said to ma in pregnancy that it wasn't necessarily automatic.

Megastar Wed 05-Oct-11 08:50:10

It took me a year with my first DS and it was literally like a light clicking on one day and I remember thinking this was how I was supposed to feel.
I did keep trying to tell people i didn't think I was coping well but everyone just kept telling me I was so I stopped saying it.
My DD is 6months now and I love her but I think I spending alot of time just going through the motions. Too much other stuff going on to worry but I am alot more open about my feelings this time. I think it takes alot for families to take you seriously.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 05-Oct-11 08:51:59

So I guess that the shrink's idea that the second child bonding thing was easier is not necessarily true according to these first few responses.

madmomma Wed 05-Oct-11 08:53:26

instantly with no 1, about 2 months with no 2: breastfeeding disaster, traumatic birth, stress...

HettyAmaretti Wed 05-Oct-11 08:53:28

Honestly? About a year.

HettyAmaretti Wed 05-Oct-11 08:56:13

Posted to soon. No, I never admited it to anyone IRL, still haven't. He's almost 4. Had a lot to do with difficult birth, him being away from me for the first few days and PND.

DD, second child. Bonded immiately but it all went wrong with PND and much family stress too. Was sorted again by the time he was 18 months or so.

Snowboarder Wed 05-Oct-11 08:59:07

My DS was born 3 months prematurely after an EMC and was rushed away into SCBU so I didn't get chance to hold him and get my 'instant rush.' the first time I saw him was when a nurse gave my DH a picture of him to show me a couple of hours later but I couldn't see him properly because of the ventilator and wires so he didn't seem real in a way. That night I was wheeled up and clearly remember watching his tiny body as he kept 'forgetting' to breathe. It hit me then that he was mine to love and care for. I made the very experienced NICU nurse looking after him promise me that she wouldn't leave him even to 'go to the loo.' blush

He spent 2 months in SCBU but although he did not feel like mine until I brought him home, I loved him that first day. I often fantisise what it could have been like had I had him full term, and I confess that I am planning to have another baby one day with that hope in mind.

Ps typing this with my gorgeous 6 month old DS snuggled asleep on me in bed, so it all turned out ok in the end smile

happystory Wed 05-Oct-11 08:59:47

Both my dcs are adopted, as babies. So that might colour the issue somewhat.
But ds, our first, honestly, I would say 5 months. DD it was instant, like a love story

AlpinePony Wed 05-Oct-11 09:02:06

Immediately - and I had a premature, emcs, scbu, the works horrible birth.

It never occurred to me how I could "not" - he was the precious thing I'd been waiting so long for and desperately wanted.

Bonsoir Wed 05-Oct-11 09:02:39

I bonded absolutely instantly with my DD - I had a natural birth with no intervention, darkened room, just a MW present etc.

French women have a hard time bonding with their new borns because of the appalling medicalised public labours that are standard here IMO.

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