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To ask.... love, does it all click with firstborn?

(69 Posts)
Backt0Black Thu 26-Jan-17 22:22:45

Sorry - this has probably been done?

Heavily pregnant and worried I wont love the baby as a 'proper' mother should? Don't get me wrong, the baby IS wanted, I'm just worried I'm too awkward and really don't know how to be a parent?

My DM was frost itself, never ever said she loved me, was disengaged, disinterested and if I'm honest looking back oddly jealous? ... I used to think it was just me but before she died (not old so can't blame senility) said in all seriousness 'I hate that child' re a grandkid.

DF - very complex, again pretty uninterested and full of compliments such as 'thickit, moron, nummock etc' .... yet very jovial at times, but very angry and a bit violent at others. Also very manipulative and great at emotional blackmail and will happily call anyone a liar that challenges him on bad behaviour. '

I suppose I'm worried I will be a shit Mam, and mess up my kid. I've felt a bit disconnected all pregnancy. Does it all just fall in to place? Is there such a thing as a mothering instinct?

foxyloxy78 Thu 26-Jan-17 22:49:48

Don't worry. You'll be just fine. When you hold your newborn baby in your arms for the first time, you will never know love so deep. It is a truly magnificent experience. And that love grows each day. Enjoy! flowers

IDontWantThisOnFacebook Thu 26-Jan-17 22:53:29

Wow, your parents sound...well...unusual. I'll be honest, with my first I didn't get that "rush" of love people talk about. I was like a scared rabbit in the headlights. But every day the love just grew and grew and grew smile He's six now and it's true it never stops.

Best of luck with the birth, and I'm sure you'll be just fine (believe in yourself and stay positive).flowers

downwardfacingdog Thu 26-Jan-17 22:53:32

Yes there is an instinct, but don't worry if you don't feel it (or the love) straight away. In my experience it definitely didn't click into place straight away, but took time. It's perfectly natural to feel like you're just muddling through and doing it wrong with a firstborn. Sorry if my post isn't reassuring, but I think there is a stigma to not feeling an immediate bond with your baby so you can end up feeling you're the only one if it happens to you. I'm not sure your family upbringing will necessarily affect things though. I was brought up in a very loving home. One thing I would say is I had immediate skin-to-skin contact with my subsequent babies and bonded with them straight away. Could be a coincidence of course but I had it underlined in my birth plans!

Rainydayspending Thu 26-Jan-17 22:53:36

You have survived that flowers and I take it you have a loving relationship and can express yourself (you have here for example). I would say you'll be great.
Your concern shows a bond is already forming and you want the best for your child. Best wishes.

Mrsj70 Thu 26-Jan-17 22:56:07

Don't panic if you don't feel it the minute baby is in your arms. With DS1 I has an horrific labour, both nearly died (sorry if thats scary, almost certainly won't happen to you!). The first time I held him the most overwhelming feeling was wow I'm glad he's ok. The next morning as I breastfed him the tears were dropping on his head as I realised how much I loved him, but it wasn't instant. I think you'll learn from the way your parents were, and be totally different.

UterusUterusGhali Thu 26-Jan-17 22:57:05

I had a cold mother, but I feel totally different towards my own children.

That being said, please don't worry if you don't get that "rush of love" at first. Not all women do, but it's not often admitted. It sometimes takes time. smile Getting anxious about not getting it can take you to a miserable place, so don't panic if it does seem a bit overwhelming at first.

Women like our mothers often had children not because they wanted them, but because they felt they ought to.

You're already feeling protective of the little bean. smile You'll be fine.

MrsDustyBusty Thu 26-Jan-17 22:57:55

Ypung will love your baby. At first you may be too overwhelmed to feel anything more than numb but it will pass quickly and you won't believe how precious the baby will be.

Just be aware, some women do get post natal depression and aren't treated. Just know that it can happen and try to be open to help if you need it.

MyCatLikesToSitInBoxes Thu 26-Jan-17 22:57:58

I had a horrible pregnancy and to be honest I was dreading the baby arriving. I just felt so negative about the whole thing. But when she was born it was like I knew her already, and it just blossomed from there. Best of luck - I think it's different for everyone but I think the fact that you're worrying about it shows that you've got what it takes to be a great mum to your little one. flowers

UterusUterusGhali Thu 26-Jan-17 22:58:04

X-post with everyone. grin

Macaroni22 Thu 26-Jan-17 23:00:11

The fact you're already worried about being a bad mum is already a sign you care and won't be!
Most importantly try not to put too much pressure on yourself. Everyone harps on about 'love at first sight' and the instantaneous bonding between mother and baby. For me personally it was not instantaneous- I was very awkward and not at all maternal. So although I cared for my newborn the true motherly love took a while to build. This too is perfectly normal!!

Try not too be too hard on yourself and take one step at a time.

TheTantrumCometh Thu 26-Jan-17 23:01:09

Don't worry. I had that instant rush of love with my first but it's common and normal to not feel that immediately. It doesn't mean that you will become your mother. I think just the fact you're worried about it shows that you can't be like her.

You'd think it would improve with the second but then you just worry if you'll love them as much as you love DC1. There is no winning grin

Lalunya85 Thu 26-Jan-17 23:02:42

You will love your baby beyond anything you could imagine. It could happen instantly or creep up on your over months. Don't worry about that, though I'm sure it's natural that you do.

If anything, the fact that you are worried already shows that you are different t from your own mum. You already care about your relationship with your child in a way that she clearly struggled to do.

I must admit that my biggest relief or surprise when becoming a mum was that I am not my mother. I'm very very different. My mum wasn't horrible, she has lots of good sides, but she also was very reserved and calculated with her love. I'm not like that at all. You'll be fine. smile

username1317 Thu 26-Jan-17 23:03:22

I want to offer a different view.

I heard all about the 'holding your new born in your arms' thing. For various hideous medical reasons (to do with me not him) i don't remember holding my son for the first time. I couldn't change him, dress him, live a normal life with him for months. I'm not suggesting for a second that this will happen to you. But it did give me a different experience of becoming a mother and I think it's an experience that's not often talked about.

Of course I loved my son. But not in the way other people described. I loved him in my own way, and that love grew and changed slowly over time. It took some work and I had to overcome the crushing sense of failure I felt because I didn't feel the way I thought I was supposed to when he was born.

I guess what I'm saying is, no one can tell you how you will feel. But whatever you feel, it won't be 'wrong'. It's your relationship with a new person. You're both individuals and so it will be a unique relationship that the world has never seen before. I have no doubt that you'll do the best for your baby. Don't ever beat yourself up for not feeling how you 'should'. T

Those teeny tiny baby days are all encompassing when you're in the middle of them but you have a life time of being a parent to inform your relationship with your child. Take it as it comes, trust yourself, let it be and know that you're the best mummy your baby could ever have. Because you and only you are their mummy.

Good luck!

username1317 Thu 26-Jan-17 23:04:58

Also x post with everyone smile My view isn't so different after all.

Helloitsme87 Thu 26-Jan-17 23:05:43

I had prenatal depression with my first. Worst time of my life that pregnancy. All clicked the moment she arrived. Second born much happier pregnancy. Loved him from the start but that rush of extreme love took a couple of weeks. You'll be fine OP

Rkd808 Thu 26-Jan-17 23:06:44

I dnt think I had a rush of love, but I remember thinking when ds was around 4 months old how much I loved him and how I just wanted to keep him safe, and I feel the same way about dd (again not straight away). Don't worry if it doesn't happen straight away, it will happen it just sometimes takes a bit of time.

Sweets101 Thu 26-Jan-17 23:07:01

Did with DC1, not with DC2 at all, DC was fairly positive, DC4 was love at first sight despite all the odds stacked against it.
Long term, none of those initial feelings have had an impact on my relationship with any of them.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Thu 26-Jan-17 23:11:33

Yes! I was 21 when I fell pregnant with DS1.

At that point I had never even held a baby. I am the youngest sibling, youngest cousin etc. None of my friends had babies.

My pregnancy was hard & I ended up being hospitalised at 32 weeks for pre-eclampsia. I was induced late on a Saturday night when my blood test results showed I was on the cusp of full blown eclampsia.

I admit I didn't bond with DS1 at first. TBH I didn't even know what had happened (but there was a baby in an incubator next to my bed).

It took me until DS1 was at home, 8 days later, to truly bond. I still vividly remember sitting on my sofa holding him as he cried & feeling an overwhelming wave of love. To that point, I'd been like a rabbit caught in headlights.

DS1 is 20 now & we are incredibly close.

The moral of the story - yes, you will bond no matter how hard it is.

EddieHitler Thu 26-Jan-17 23:11:38

Maternal instincts don't always kick in immediately, it took a day or two with my first but was virtually instant with my second. I've heard people say they took time to fall in love with their baby, as in weeks, not days. It's all normal. It's more about feeling the need to take care of your baby, rather than having/feeling an instant bond, none of us know what to do straight away, we all learn as we go.

I'm sorry, it sounds like you didn't have the best start in life, but you won't make their mistakes because you aren't them. You know their actions weren't the best, so you'll look at it as a lesson in what not to do. We all make mistakes though, no parent is perfect, so don't try to be, we can only do our best.

Heirhelp Thu 26-Jan-17 23:13:28

I did not feel a rush of love. I know lots of other people who didn't either. Now I would do absolutely anything for DD and I love her unconditionally and I always will (she is 8 1/2 months).

The newborn stage is fucking hard work and I remember thinking that maybe I had done the wrong thing having my much wanted baby and I would not be the mother that I needed to be. I sought help for psychology birth trauma. It got easier at 6 weeks when she smiled.

I love her with all my heart and she has a very secure attachment.

Northernlassie1974 Thu 26-Jan-17 23:25:03

I agree wholeheartedly with heirhelp.
I didn't, I have two loving parents who always showed me love and affection. When she was born I suddenly felt crushing responsibility that terrified me. I had been so excited to feel the rush of love but found being responsible for the life of this little helpless thing so overwhelming. I was not prepared to feel like that, hit me like a tonne of bricks.
I struggled with breast feeding, something else I wasn't prepared for. When she'd wake to he fed I'd cry too as I couldn't face the struggle. In those first few weeks I can remember thinking I'd made a terrible mistake and wasn't ready for motherhood.

Over the weeeks it gradually improved and I felt more and more love toward her. It was always there but clouded with fear I think. I didn't enjoy her as a newborn, in all honesty probably didn't until she was 6 months.
Second I was so much more relaxed and actually enjoyed her as a newborn immensly. DD1 wasn't a hard baby, she was lovely, I think I thought I was prepared ( read every book, went to every class etc) but in reality I didn't know the reality of life with a newborn!

I've just re-read it and realised it might sound terrifying, but I'm trying to say, it's normal, being a new mum is scary. You are not your mother, you may not feel 'the instant rush of love' but it will be there, somewhere under all of your worries.
The best, (but I know easier said than done) advice I can give us to try to push your fears and expectations away and treat each day as a new day and run with it.

You'll be fine and a wonderful mum x

Backt0Black Thu 26-Jan-17 23:25:06

Hey All - I'm in bed knackered and nodding off,but wanted to say I'd had a quick check of the thread before going to sleep.

I just wanted to THANK YOU EVERYONE SO MUCH for commenting, sharing their story and offering reassurance... I was fearful of a wave of 'you don't sound like you're ready comments, or 'you should seek help'.

I've been so worried I'd be a glacial parent because I don't have that fuzzy warm, excited glow or connection yet, and thought I just must not have it in me like my DM didn't seem to. But - from the comments it seems it will work out, at the birth, or later on, but that it will.

Thanks All smile

Backt0Black Thu 26-Jan-17 23:28:21

....and most of all thank you for the honesty. Its really nice of you all to come forward with really honest accounts of how you were feeling and how it maybe wasn't as easy as expected, or maybe the bond was instantaneous as generally to be believed. I was scared to ask, but this has been a huge relief x

SeenYourArse Thu 26-Jan-17 23:32:23

There's an old saying with babies, "you love them because you kiss them" rather than kissing them because you love them! As a new ish mum myself my advice is just watch them,both when awake and asleep and think how you grew them from an egg,yourself inside your body! and snuggle them and kiss their little heads and smell them. It all helps to form that bond and just when it's all such hard work,nonstop and your exhausted and feel a bit like your beyond caring they hiccup or sniffle or breath funny and your heart stops for a beat in panic then it hits you.. you'd give your life for them and the thought of anything bad happening to them makes you feel like you'd just die yourself and you know that there no way you could possibly love them more,especially when they are asleep!

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