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First moments with your newborn - what do you remember?

(56 Posts)
JeNeRegretteRien Mon 18-Jul-16 17:14:37

My little girl was born 5 weeks ago and am finding myself troubled by the fact that the first moments after the birth are already very hazy memories. I was looking forward to first meeting her so much - I even found myself welling up in the ante-natal classes when they described what would happen, and everybody talks about this sense of overwhelming love that you feel straightaway. But while the memories I do have are good, they're definitely a bit blurry and I have a sense that it was all a bit less overpowering than I expected it to be.

It was quite a traumatic birth - I nearly had an emergency C-section, they used three different types of instrument to get her out, and apparently I lost a lot of blood because even the medical staff were impressed by the state of the floor afterwards! I do have clear memories of the pushing part, as well as of the surgeon stitching me up afterwards and of throwing up everywhere when they tried to move me from the birthing room to my bed, so it's not as if everything has been wiped from my mind.

I have good memories of later on and love having my daughter, but I do feel as if I've missed out on something and am wondering if there's an explanation. Is this common after a difficult birth? I also had an epidural, which I've heard means that you release fewer bonding hormones, but it's not really the bonding I'm worried about, more the fact that I just don't remember very much.

What are other people's experiences? Do you have strong memories of those first moments, and what were they like? Do you think your memories or the strength of your feelings could be related to what happened during the birth?

frikadela01 Mon 18-Jul-16 17:28:23

Baby is 3 week old, normal delivery with only gas and air.
I just remember feeling shattered, Incredibly thirsty and thankful that I was no longer in huge amounts of pain.
I only held baby for about 5 minutes at first becasue his wriggling was making me feel really sick so I passed him to dp whilst I was stitched up.
My strongest memories are from the first day when I felt knackered but couldn't sleep becasue I couldn't stop looking at him.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Mon 18-Jul-16 17:33:47

15 month ds

I had an awful labour and ended up having an emergency c section. I remember the dr holding him above the screen and thinking thank god I can sleep now. I don't really remember much else until about 24 hours later and that's mostly practical stuff.

I'll be 100% honest I loved DS from the moment I conceived him but that rush of love didn't hit me till he was about 8 months when I looked at him and cried with love, I didn't have pnd or anything so please don't worry anythings wrong in not feeling it.

jollyjester Tue 19-Jul-16 04:48:57

With dd1 i delivered normally and was able to have her straight onto my chest. I can remember those first few minutes, DH got to cut the cord then cuddle while i was stiched up.

DD2 is 3 days old. I was induced so spent all day having mild contractions. I was then examined and told i wouldn't deliver for hours yet. Went to the toilet and got the urge to push and 8 minutes later she arrived.

DH didn't get to cut the cord as she had pooped inside me so she was whisked away to be checked out. I could see her on a resus trolly and DH didnt know where to go. She was absolutely fine and i was able to feed and hold her shortly after.

Both my labours were similar in length but very different initial moments after

icklekid Tue 19-Jul-16 05:00:20

2 years ago but despite no real complications (was still traumatic for me!) I don't have any real memories of those first few hours. There is a picture of me skin to skin with baby but I don't remember delivering placenta or much really. I know I was stitched up and they kept getting different people to look to see if I needed to go to surgery for it but only because dh told me! I presume he had a cuddle at some point! Not sure how much of this is related to it being the middle of the night/a very long labour/epidural drugs etc. I only realised how little I remember when thinking about giving birth again soon (34 weeks pregnant!)

NotCitrus Tue 19-Jul-16 05:04:03

The vomit. Record amounts of vomit, both times. At least the second time MrNC was armed with a dozen cardboard bowls, but after they all got used it was almost as bad as the first time, me and half a dozen staff all sprayed while someone kept the baby out the way.

I was convinced that ds had just been pulled out of a drawer under the table and said "oh, I get this one, do I?" and thought he had Down's until a nurse said no, he's just got eye folds just like yours.

Then the bit when he stopped breathing and the terror hours when he was in ICU, until being returned with "they do that sometimes". So my first real memory of him specifically is from the next night when we ended up watching Bollywood movies as I got the hang of breastfeeding.

DangerQuakeRhinoSnake Tue 19-Jul-16 05:18:33

Traumatic first birth for me too. I remember them showing me he was a boy then he was whipped off to be suctioned and otherwise checked over before I got to spend time with him (which is very hazy for me - I was properly out of it after a knackering 22 hour labour).

I remember so much more about dd's birth which was a much calmer, more relaxed experience. Please don't feel bad, I'm sure it's very common.

I have to say, I bonded with both babies equally. I don't think first memories really have much to do with that tbh.

Enjoy your beautiful new baby. These first weeks pass so quickly, make the most of them flowers

pickledgirkin Tue 19-Jul-16 05:45:26

I would try not to worry - I think that is normal - it was for me anyway. I remember just being happy she was out and ok... I handed her over to others! I was exhausted. Then next 5 days in hospital I think I was still exhausted and suffering from the drugs so I was a bit vacant, I only changed about 1 nappy in hospital! I didn't feel 'love' until about 3 months in (we had some difficulties) but from the beginning I knew I had to do anything and everything for her. hope it helps xxx

imwithspud Tue 19-Jul-16 06:32:37

I can't remember much from when dd1 was born. I was super tired and drugged up to my eyeballs after a long labour. I used to feel bad, but now I've kind of accepted it as there's nothing I can do about it. She's here, she's healthy - that's the main thing.

I think the feelings you are told you are supposed to get after baby comes out are very overstated.

Thequilltosurvive Tue 19-Jul-16 06:38:23

Mostly relief that labour was over. I held him for a little while then DH took him and sat round the corner out of sight while I was stitched. I couldn't even see him and don't remember being remotely bothered because I was still in shock. I'd come round a bit by the time I had my first shower and then spent a lot of time staring at him in wonder. My overwhelming initial feeling was 'WTF just happened?' though!

Thequilltosurvive Tue 19-Jul-16 06:39:25

Oh and my birth was completely drug free so I can't even put it down to that though I did nail a shitload of G&A whilst being stitched up.

orangebird69 Tue 19-Jul-16 06:41:37

I think it's normal. I had a relatively ok labour. Had to be dripped up on syntocin as my contractions weren't long enough but ds came out 45 mins later. He was plonked straight on my chest, midwife shoved my boob in his mouth and we were away. I had no pain relief during labour shock - not my choice, went from 2-10cm in 90 mins... I remember being stitched up... gas and air made me sound like a cross between darth vader and RuPaul. My best memory was the tea and toast the midwife made us afterwards. Best tea and toast I ever had.

JanTheJam Tue 19-Jul-16 06:45:10

DD1: explosive shits from the suppository. Her being away from me for checks. I didn't love that birth. No rush of love but small waves of love over the next 8 months until it was like a tsunami.

DS2: the total love the second I saw him. He bf straight away the second he was on my chest.

Ds3: she opened her eyes for the first time looking straight at me. It was magical.

chocolatecakemakesmefat Tue 19-Jul-16 06:46:34

First DC being surrounded by lots of doctors/staff in theatre and him needing oxygen (elcs he was born with medical conditions)

2nd DC not much (another elcs) took a bad reaction to the drugs so was pumped full of more drugs pretty hazy but do remember speaking to the surgeon as my DC was going to have the same name as her first time that had happened with said surgeon so she was fair chuffed grin

Dachshund Tue 19-Jul-16 06:52:32

Much of my labour is a hazy memory but DD's actual arrival I can remember. I was in theatre prepped to go for an emergency section as she'd passed meconium and her head was turned so she wasn't progressing. I was pushing for a whole day!

Consultant said 'right Dachshund this is the last push. Give it everything' and then boom DD was born (with ventouse) and I remember immediately bursting into tears of relief. She was whisked off to a table in the theatre but behind me where I couldn't see so I got quite angry shouting to DP to go over and 'keep her company' because he sat next to me like a plonker (he felt he would be in the way plus I was being stitched up etc) but all I could think about was her on her own getting rubbed down and checked by the nurse!

Then they brought her over and I'd pulled my gown off so we did skin to skin while I was stitched and I think I fed her for the first time in the recovery room. Certainly I remember we were wheeled past where my parents had been waiting bless them so the first time they saw her she was latched on... My family are pretty prudy and I remember thinking 'oh my god Dad's seen my boobs' shock

Maybebabybee Tue 19-Jul-16 06:58:08

EMCS here after a five day tbh my lasting memory is of thinking oh thank fuck for that. Remember hearing DS cry and him being brought to me for a kiss. But my memories of that night are very very hazy. I was so drugged up I'm not that surprised.

I certainly didn't feel that overwhelming rush. He's 4 months now and I love him to bits.

OhTheRoses Tue 19-Jul-16 07:05:58

Soo, there you go another cheery thread. I'm not adding any more except to say that childbirth (and breastfeeding are very small parts of being a mother).

You and your baby will have lovely memories and ones that matter deeply. First day at school, running into mum's arms after an upset with a friend, first goal, first party, yelling from the touchline as a try is scored, school plays and visits to father Christmas, the look of wonderment as he or she takes their first float free swimming strikes, and just being - of curling up with freshly washed hair and a favourite story.

JeNeRegretteRien Tue 19-Jul-16 07:21:53

Thank you for the replies. It's reassuring to know that not everyone has that magical moment even when it all goes well (but that it can happen even if there are complications). Yet another thing you never hear the whole truth about, I guess!

We are starting to see her first smiles this week. That definitely is magical smile

Maybebabybee Tue 19-Jul-16 07:23:56

ohtheroses I don't see why you had to be shitty about it confused

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Tue 19-Jul-16 07:29:14

I don't remember first meeting dd and ds1 at all, due to the fact I was hemorraging and slipping in and out of consciousness after dd came out by emergency section and terrified the same would happen after ds1 was born by elective section. I remember the first moments with DC3 perfectly and the rush was mainly of relief but also of love I guess grin

For me it all kicked in when I was first alone with each baby I think - a few hours after the birth with dc1 and 2 but several days after with DC1.

OhTheRoses Tue 19-Jul-16 07:47:03

I do apologise maybebaby but I read the op as being from a new mummy was upset and grieving for the birth experience she had hoped to have and who was looking for some support.

TitaniasTits Tue 19-Jul-16 07:50:05

My first was delivered by EMCS after 25 hours in labour getting precisely nowhere. Like the OP, I just have hazy recollections of her actual birth - I knew I loved her, but it was an intellectual feeling rather than an instinctual one. That came a few days later once we got breastfeeding established - she was asleep on my chest, and I woke up to find her wriggling down my body and latching on herself - somehow, she had realised my milk had finally come in and decided to help herself! She fell asleep afterwards, head pillowed on the boob she'd just drained, and I felt myself melt with love and pride.

It was a rough few days till then.

DS was a VBAC and was delivered onto my chest after about 8 hours in labour and 20 minutes pushing; and with him I did get that immediate rush of love. I had been so worried that I couldn't possibly love another baby as much as I did DD, but the moment I saw him it was as if he filled a space in my heart I hadn't even known was there. smile

I had epidurals with both of them, but DS's was a mobile epidural and and DD's wasn't. I don't know if that made a difference.

Maybebabybee Tue 19-Jul-16 07:58:58

Yes, ohtheroses and people were giving her support. She was asking if it mattered she couldn't remember those first few moments. And most replies said similar and that no it didn't matter!!!

29redshoes Tue 19-Jul-16 08:04:45

I think its very common to feel like this! I was bleeding very heavily due to retained placenta so I only had a minute or so with DD after she was born before she was taken off me and I was rushed to theatre. I don't remember it that clearly as I suppose I was dazed from the whole giving birth experience (and faint from the blood loss!)

I still well up with happy tears when I see a woman giving birth on TV or in a film and they have that lovely moment where they meet their child for the first time. It doesn't bear much resemblance to my own experience though grin

One of my friends said she cried after giving birth but it was 20% love for her new DS and 80% relief that it was over!

Don't beat yourself up and congrats on your DD flowers

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 19-Jul-16 08:09:31

No magical moments here, and have really had to make an effort to feel that 'wave of love' thing people talk about (even then it's rare). My DC are 4 and 5yo and seem quite happy, so I guess it doesn't matter.

Congratulations on your little one op flowers

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