I wouldn't die for my child...(108 Posts)
Hello, I'm really nervous about writing this. My son was born September 2015. I've always wanted children - I had names, pushchairs, etc. picked out (when I was a teenager!)
I have the perfect partner, so there's no issues there. He absolutely loves him; I love him too, but not as much as I thought... I know it sounds sad, but my expectations were so high. I wouldn't die for him. I don't feel like he's the baby boy that I waited patiently for. It's horrible... This tiny little human, a beautiful one at that, needs a mother that would die for him - why wouldn't I? Why doesn't he feel like he's mine?
I want to love him loads, but I just love him. He's 10 months now; nothing has improved. Why? I'm really not depressed, I'm actually really happy. I just feel like he's my friend's baby, not mine...
I think if you feel like he is your friends baby not yours it suggests you have disassociated yourself for some reason.
I think you should speak to your HV or GP.
give it time op
babies change into little people and you get to know them better as time goes on
give yourself and your baby time, I'm sure it'll all fall into place as time goes on
but if you are concerned, it might be worth mentioning it to your health visitor, maybe you just need a bit of reassurance
also, it sounds like you had a fantasy going on in your head all these years about how your perfect life would be...and now you are realizing life is never perfect!
you say you love your baby, to me thats enough, the rest will come
Thank you, I would speak to someone, but I feel like they'll just jump to me being depressed.
I was the same as you, waited to have a baby for such a long time and when she came, I thought lovely, but I didn't have that over whelming rush of love. The first 6 months was all about routines, sleep, eating and think I survived on my nerves and I was very anxious all the time. After 6 months it started to get better. Now she is 7 I love her like crazy but there are times I could see her far enough. I love being with her but I'm also happy to get a break.
I don't think the way you are feeling is too unusual but rather like you say you had such high expectations.
I think postnatal depression can take many forms. Not feeling totally connected to your child, like you describe bring one. You don't have to be really sad, 'traditionally' depressed as far as I know. I would visit the gp to discuss. Can't do any harm. Also, just wondering if your expectation of how you 'should' feel were too high? I sort of forgot about my baby until the following morning, such was the adrenaline rush, but then felt the rush of love the next day when I had a second to think. It wasn't instant at all, despite what I'd heard. However, I must admit I would give my life for him, without a doubt.
I can't imagine how you feel because I genuinely would die for my DD, but I do think you need to talk to someone. Not all forms of depression involve you feeling sad all the time. You need professional help to get passed this, please don't feel like you have to do this alone.
I know I'll get pelters for this but I feel sometimes the normal feelings of having a baby are automatically seen as depression, when I think a lot of it is a normal reaction to adjusting to a massive change in your life and realizing you are responsible for a new life
I'd suggest joining a local baby and toddler group, in amongst the perfect mums you might meet a like minded soul to chat to and open up a bit, you might feel better knowing someone else feels the same as you do
Sounds like you have built it up so much in your head the reality was never going to meet your expectations.
Love for kids isn't mind blowing and all consuming every time. It can be a slow burn. Especially at the start when they are so dependent on you. Its a one sided relationship for the first few years.
It could be that you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself to feel what you imagined you should feel for so long, that you are failing to see how much you do love him because its a different feeling than you were expecting.
I do think you should speak to your HV or GP, because they will be able to support you and help you work through this. But not feeling like you would die for your child doesn't mean you don't love him.
I think you should speak to someone op as previous posters have said. You absolutely do deserve your little boy.
I didn't have that rush of love with dd and wondered if I loved her enough. I found though if she became ill or I thought there was a threat to her safety that protective instinct kicked in.
I agree that your fantasy has got in the way of reality. I had PND and I functioned daily ok and took care of DS but it was like I was in a fog or mental treacle which meant I found simple tasks harder than I should and often didn't feel as "loving" as I thought I was meant to. I got treatment and things got a lot, lot better. I always knew I loved him and yes, absolutely would take a bullet for him, but didn't have the boundless joy other mothers seemed to have (maybe they were all on the gin!). It's really important to not beat yourself up about this but I would suggest asking to be referred for talking therapy from your GP and exploring your feelings. Best of luck. It's incredibly hard.
He is a great baby! Which is why I feel so awful. I think you're right, I imagined my love to be ridiculous, like all the other mums if I spoke to someone, would it affect why job?
It does seem to be those who yearn for children for a long time that seem to find it hardest. I know a few women who've done the years of TTCing, IVF etc, and nearly all of them have struggled with PND at one point or another.
I think it's the same with any aspect of your life. You have a dream job in mind, then you get it and feel depressed, or you save up for a dream holiday for months, then you get there and just feel a bit meh about it.
Please reach out to your GP or someone you trust and get help.
I think it's ok to not feel it all at once.
I don't love the Baby but at all, but from the early toddler stage onwards, as their little personalities emerge, my love for them grows and grows.
In the meantime, nice things for bonding: baths together, swimming together, cosleeping, going to a group where you do an activity together, going on random adventures together (on buses, to the zoo etc) and reading stories together, or introducing them to a passion of yours ...
And yes, don't feel afraid to talk to GP, even if it's just a case of "I don't think I am depressed but some people have said it sounds a bit like that". They would rather see you at that stage.
Getting time out for you eg some exercising /to see a friend can also help. I bonded more after I returned to work part time and got a bit of a break
I think you're judging yourself too critically and have an ideal in your head of a 'perfect' mum which of course isn't attainable.
If your baby was in danger I don't doubt you'd do everything in your power to save him so don't underestimate how much you love him.
As already mentioned, sometimes it helps to vocalise your thoughts and realise other mums feel the same as you.
And remember, however much you love your baby, they can be bloody hard work, annoying and nice to have a break from occasionally.
This will sound very weird. I expected to have a strong primal overwhelming sense of love for my son when he was born. Sort of like a mother lion or bear. But I didn't. It was disappointing because I had expected fierceness but what I felt was gentle and quiet. He was instantly my best little buddy and we formed a sort of partnership. I liked his obvious personality so much right away and I was so happy to be his mum. But I was confused about why I hadn't felt that overwhelming feeling and wondered if it was due to him being born by EMCS.
I thought about it a lot and concluded that instead of being like some fierce warrior animal my love felt more like a tree, quiet and unassuming but strong and solid and old, like something that had always been and would always be. And maybe part of that reason was that I has always loved him, had always planned for his arrival, had always been a mum on some level. The love I felt for him was never going to surprise me as I was always feeling it. So when he was born I just channeled something that was always there instead of feeling something new.
And nothing underlined my specific love for him more than when I visited friends with a baby the same age and we held each other's baby's. I sat and cooed over their little girl, chatted to her and told her she was lovely. And all the while I was internally counting down the seconds until when this stupid exchange would be over and I could have by son back! As for whether or not I'd die for him, of course I would. But I don't go about thinking it. It's just like breathing, you just do it. If it was something that if we were ever faced with happening, I'd just naturally get in front of the danger he was in. And I don't doubt that you would too.
I agree with LizKleen, that the reality could never the match the fantasy that you had created re motherhood.
With my first DC, I pictured myself with both a baby girl and a baby boy, imagined what they would look like, all that we would do together.
When DD was born, I loved her but felt genuinely grief stricken for the little boy that wasn't there.
Talk to people OP, get out and meet other mums and their babies and you will soon start to feel that you have the best baby in the world.
Pnd doesn't always come with typical depression. That disconnected and inadequate feeling is very common with it. Plus the fact you've been thinking about if you would die or not for your DS implies you've been thinking about death a bit more than normal.
I just want to say pnd or not, your feelings are so normal they're not weird or wrong at all. There's no none type of mother that's right, you are the right mother for your son even if you don't feel that way. I've felt how you're feeling and it's such a lonely disappointing feeling. But in time I have recovered and feel the things I couldn't feel at the start. You will get there too, I promise. You are good enough!
Thank you so much.
I just think that if there was a gun pointing to my head, I wouldn't be able to say shoot me I don't even know why I'm thinking about it.
He's adorable, lovely and I look forward to the things we'll do, but that incredible love isn't there.
When DS1 was born I immediately fell in love with him. It was a magical feeling the day he was born - like Christmas morning when I was a child.
With DS2 I felt quite detached for the first few months -not sure why as he wasn't a difficult baby it anything. I took very good care of him and would not have wanted anything bad to happen to him but I felt I was just going through the motions: changing nappies, feeding etc. As time went by he grew on me more and more, expecially as he developed his own personality. He's 4 now and very funny and mischievous and I feel very close to him. I feel equally as close to him as I do to DS1 so the lack of the initial bond made no difference.
So provided you're not actually depressed and are taking care of your baby then won't worry about not feeling an amazing bond now - it's likely it will greasy ally develope. Just focus now on keeping him fed and clean - and keeping yourself happy.
My best friend has a daughter. She admitted to me it wasn't until her daughter was nearly two that suddenly she just 'clicked' and really connected with her - until that point, she'd been taking very good care of her, but, like the OP, felt almost like she was someone else's child.
I think such feelings are probably more common than people realise, but obviously there's a bit of a taboo about talking about it.
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