Really struggling to bond with DS(11 Posts)
Am a single parent to IVF twins and because they are IVF I feel doubly guilty about this. So please, don't flame me
They were born at 34 +2 and spent the first couple of weeks in the neonatal unit. I don't know if this has anything to do with it but I had a massive postpartum haemorrhage after 38 hours of contractions and an EMCS, so I didn't see my son or daughter until 5 am the next morning - only a scrap of paper saying "twin 1" "twin 2" and their weights. But when I was wheeled up there in the morning I was handed my daughter from her incubator first. I managed to cuddle her and speak to her for half an hour before I asked the nurse to hand me my son (I still couldn't move and was attached to a drip) but I was only able to talk to him for 5 minutes because then they came up from the postnatal ward to take me down there.
When I came back I was able to do skin to skin with my daughter and breastfeed her but my son couldn't latch on at all. In fact even with formula up until about a week ago he has been quite a poor feeder, colicky and constantly screaming.
I feel so terrible saying this, but people stop me in the street and tell me I must be so proud and lucky to have twins, but I just feel really guilty and embarrassed by all the attention, because I am not feeling that way. Although I knew it was a risk, with severe PCOS and a low sperm count I was not expecting the IVF to work at all, and as I used family money to pay for it and only had 2 viable embryos out of 13 I thought it was the best decision to maximise chances. It wasn't because I thought twins were cute or designer or anything, I always knew it would be hard work and I was so worried through my pregnancy with all the extra monitoring and increased chances of miscarriage and prematurity. And I know I should feel lucky to have two healthy babies at once, I sound so spoilt and miserable, and I hate myself for not being a better, happier mother.
When I look at my daughter I feel happy, she has what to me is an adorable face and I love kissing her little nose. But with my son, I just feel stressed and guilty. It's not that I dislike him or anything as strong as that - but I can't say that I love him, I don't feel that "rush of love" they talk about. I almost feel like he's someone else's child I need to look after. But of course he's not - in fact he looks just like my father and his family, who I haven't seen for 18 years since he died. There are a lot of painful memories and issues with my father's family and to be honest I am really surprised he looks so similar (don't know why) just that his father is blonde with green eyes and my mum is also fair and yet my son has exactly the same Mediterranean looking eyes and sallow complexion. And of course it's not the poor boy's fault, I feel so guilty saying this, in fact everyone said my dad was charming and handsome so it's probably a good thing for my son as I'm average looking myself.
I always loved children and would cry when I saw poorly children on TV, I always adored looking after other people's, I don't understand why I've been blessed with two babies and I feel so lonely and detached, I'm just about getting used to being single and accepted I don't have much support apart from my mum I feel guilty asking, especially as my best friends are abroad and I don't have many as I'm very shy - I hope someone can reassure me that this feeling can get better because I just feel so awful about myself.
It will absolutely get better. The 'Rush of Love' thing is cobblers for lots and lots of women. But one day (and it can be a long time later) suddenly you find yourself utterly in love with them. It just takes time.
What's your health visitor like? It would be worth you talking to her, or your GP about how you're feeling.
Hang in there. It will get better but don't be afraid to ask for help from anyone.
I had untraumatic conception, pregnancy and birth and yet didn't get the rush of love. I remember when I took dd home I felt braced for a knock on the door for someone to come and say there's been a mistake and we weren't allowed to keep her, not because I felt so lucky to have her, but because it didn't feel real or right even.
It's understandable when you've struggled with feeding etc to not feel as close, they give v little back in the early days and when you're tired and hormonal it can be v hard. Your ds will develop a little personality.
I've gone from feeling like I'm home alone looking after dd to home with dd, spending the day together if that makes sense. She's become a proper person.
HV is OK - a bit "aww bless" but can have a decent conversation with her. I've discussed the feeding/skin to skin issues and they sent a woman round to do a baby massage course once a fortnight. I don't want antidepressants which the GP will hand out - I'm still not convinced it's PND in a way wish I was because then I could say it's not me!
I'd also like to say it's the tiredness but I've been a lifelong insomniac and am normally OK when I actually get up (although the 2/3 am routine is still going on and is exhausting during the small hours).
I don't know who could help me, really.
I don't want to wish the time away but I also am looking forward to when they have personalities and can interact a bit more, at the moment I can't even hold his head up properly.
That must be very hard for you to have it with one baby and not the other. I didn't get the rush of love thing with DS straight away it took time to build our relationship but now he's 2.9 and is my best friend I love him to death he is like my little shadow and is crazy about me wants to sit on my knee and kiss me all the time. We are so close DP calls DS my stalker he follows me around everywhere
Once he starts smiling at you and laughing it will start to grow until you have your own little man sitting on hour lap saying mummy I love you best and you will love him best right back. Try to get some special time with him if you can it will come and if you still feel the same in a few months maybe go speak to GP about it again.
What about counselling? I think if you could work through the trauma and the guilt your feeling, everything else would fall into place.
Also its not your fault. You must remember that. You haven't done anything wrong and it will all be fine in the future.
I haven't had twins and have no idea how hard that must be, but I have 3 children and didn't get a rush of love with any of them. With DD1 I found the whole thing surreal - up in the night bf, changing her nappy etc, I used to think 'why am i doing this?' she didn't feel like mine. I went through the motions because I knew I had to, it was my responsibility, she was planned and wanted. I don't know when it was I realised that I adored her more than life itself... probably around 8 weeks or so. It crept up on me without me even realising. With DD2, I knew, I just KNEW I could never love another baby as much as DD1, and initially I was right. She seemed weird and detached, not real, but again, I did what you were supposed to and got on with it, and again, somewhere along the line a couple of months in it was like she really was MINE. Again, I don't now remember when that happened. With DS I was more relaxed. That time I knew that everything would be alright, that i would love him, so in a bizarre way I kind of enjoyed those first few detached weeks when he seemed like someone else's little alien, objectively I enjoyed looking at his perfect little body and admiring his lovely little toes and in its own time the bond and overwhelming love developed. I had pretty bad PND that time too. So I'd say, try not to beat yourself up or over analyse your feelings just keep on doing what you are doing, get through the tough early weeks , talk to as many people as you can (Mum , HV) and I am SURE that the love will come.
Very normal to look forward to them being bigger and having own personality etc. Every month with my ds (4 months now) has got better and better. He was very colicky and hard work. From watching friends with baby dd them generally seem a bit more relaxed than ds' but that's obviously a huge generalisation! Hope you find some more support as I think that's what you could really do with x
How old are they now? When our twins were born I bonded with DD much quicker than I did with DS3. I didn't see DS3 until the day after he was born (although they brought DD to me for a quick peek), he just went straight to SCBU. He was also significantly smaller than she was. However, we are only talking about a difference of a few weeks in how I bonded with them. By the time they were three months old, I loved them both equally, and have done ever since.
Having your babies in special care and not with you once they are born is very unnatural. It is more stressful and upsetting than women realise at the time. Try not be so hard on yourself.
Having two babies is also difficult to get your head around. Studies on twins have shown that mothers often subconsciously think of the babies as one baby initially as this a coping strategy. This is why some women dress them alike in the begining.
My twins were in the nicu for two weeks and I constantly felt guilty if I was feeding, cuddling or changing one and not the other. The first time I held them together (on day 6) I sobbed! It was the only time I didn't feel guilty.
Be kind to yourself and give yourself time. It took me a year to stop feeling guilty about them being born early, being in special care etc. You will bond with both your babies, I promise you
Mothering Multiples by Gromada
Raising Emotionally Healthy Twins by Friedman
Both good books that have good advice on this subject and more.
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