Second born - not feeling the love(17 Posts)
God it sounds awful. Glad to have an anonymous forum to voice this and hear if others have dealt with similar feelings. I have a toddler son and a newborn daughter. In my head, though we didn't find out, I was convinced (hoping?) it was a boy. So shocked to have a girl. Everyone else was thrilled. Now a few weeks later I feel so guilty but I haven't "fallen in love" with her yet. Can this just happen slowly? I am not "into" babies the way some other people are - delighting in every squeak, fart or facial expression. That's not me. That's not to say I dislike her at all. She is a grand little thing, feeds well, sleeps as well as you can expect from a newborn and has features that I find cute - hair, chubby cheeks, cupids bow lips. But in general I do think babies are dull and they don't do it for me. I adore my toddler but even with him I can't wait till the next stage when he can communicate better and do more.
I feel awful for feeling this way. I am still doing everything the same regardless. I am giving being a Mammy of two my all. I cuddle and sing and chat to baby, I respond to every need. I have found a good balance between baby and toddler, sharing as much of myself with both as I can. But I just don't feel that immense love yet. My husband says it took me a while with our son too. That it wasn't love at first sight but something that grew over time. I don't remember.
I never wanted to have a favourite. I WILL NEVER treat them differently. They will both be treated fairly and held and kissed and cuddled and helped every step of the way. And I never want my children to know I ever felt like this.
What do you think? Did it take any of you a while to "feel the love"? Maybe I was just too attached to the boy idea that it is taking me a while to adjust. Or is it the comparison between healthy, happy, affectionate and somewhat self sufficient toddler and helpless, simple baby that I am stuck on? I want to love her. I like her. I will do my best by her. But I feel love flowing from me when my toddler cuddles into me but with my baby I don't feel it yet. Like I am going through the motions but that flow of love from seeing/feeling her little face/hand, I just haven't got it or it is just not as strong.
Part of me is wondering about PND. I really feel great though. I feel like I can handle this. I am getting the rest I need. I am succeeding at mothering two and feel good about every aspect, but am only concerned about the love thing. I thought it was a given. It just happens.
This sounds so awful and shameful. I pray my kids never see this.
I think this is really common. I did feel the love straight away for both mine but I get a lot more pleasure from parenting my three year old than I do the baby. I find the baby stage deathly boring.
You'll get plenty of people telling you that the bond can take a while as well. There's nothing that says you have to have the big rush of love.
Might be worth mentioning how you feel to your gp, I had an emotional wobble for a few weeks when dc2 was about three months old. Discussed it with gp who was very supportive and kept an eye on me. It passed (when I started getting more sleep) but I'm glad I had the conversation.
Congrats on the birth of your little girl!!
I never felt the rush of love people speak about with either of mine but I did grow to love them over time.
When I spoke to my midwife fearing PND she laughed and told me that love at first sight was a rare phenomenon, just because a person came from you does not automatically mean you should feel an all consuming, overwhelming love.
It'll come as you settle in and get to know her, you could be 'mourning' the images you had of your potential son too but it will go.
I don't understand how you can love someone you don't know. It takes awhile for a personality to start appearing and being something you can fall in love with. I think I was probably +10 weeks with my baby before I properly started thinking calmly about loving her, rather than just thinking anxiously about keeping her alive!
It took me and DH a while to get that overwhelming feeling of live with DD. We loved her obviously but it wasn't the gushing, amazing, all-consuming sentiment you read about in other people's FB posts or the like
Those feelings did come with time however and within a few months we absolutely adored her, and that has just grown and grown . I am currently expecting DC2 and, if I'm brutally honest, my slight preference would be for another girl. I have worried how I might feel initially if it is a boy (we're not finding out the sex), but I am sure he/she will end up being as loved as DD, even if, like last time, it takes a while to realise you have those feelings. Congratulations on the birth of your daughter
Congratulations on your dd.
My dc2 is 6 months old now. I did not feel that instant rush of love with either of my DCs.
I liked them well enough but felt a bit detached...like they weren't my babies.
With dc1 it crept up on me without my noticing and I am totally besotted.
With dc2 I was half prepared to feel detached and half expecting now that I had experienced the parental love, to have that instant bond. The guilt was horrible when it didn't happen. I really bet myself up.
Then one day dc2 was upset and Dh was doing everything he could to calm her. I came into her line of view and she stopped crying. I felt it then...A total wave of mad love. I haven't looked back. And when dc2 and dc1 make each other laugh it's the best in the world.
So many people have admitted to feeling exactly the same. I would say please go easy on yourself and don't worry too much about it. It will happen in its own time. You sound like a lovely mum.
I worried I wouldn't love my next one after my first but the love was instant each time , I can't imagine how it must feel not to love my child instantly
With my dc1 it was this instant chemical rush of amazingness/love etc etc
The next 3 it all grew over time and I actually am much more emotionally connected to them.
All 4 are very different and can say I don't have a favourite and I love them all equally (and they all irritate the hell out of me at times too )
Don't be hard on yourself you sound like a great Mum I'm sure in a couple of months when baby starts to smile and interact more the love will grow,atm as newborns they give nothing back. Speak to your hv & gp they will of heard this many times before & can help/support
Yes, took me a long while to 'feel the love' for DD (now 26 mo). I mean, I did love her when she was born, but I didn't 'fall in love' with her until later, until her personality developed - around 6 or 7 months, I think.
Give yourself a break - it will come
I felt exactly the same with dd2.
With dd1 I got that 'Rush' the night we brought her home at a day old.
With dd2 I felt as though I was in a whirlwind and that I didn't have time to bond because I was so busy with dd2. I had a home birth and think everything went back to 'normal' too quickly and I didn't actually register that I'd had a baby.
I looked after her, she was adorable etc but it felt like I was looking after someone else's baby. I felt horribly guilty and didn't tell anyone for ages.
I would say when she was five weeks old I got a pang of something and it's gradually grown since then and now we're best pals (she's 19 weeks) but it was so hard at first.
I had the same with my second. Hit rock bottom at 5m when I got (well finally admitted to) serious PND. I would openly say to my DH through tears that I had no feelings for DC2 and that I was just taking care of him because I had to. I also felt I was mourning the close relationship I had with DC1 as I had to dedicate so much time to DC2. Anyway, roll forward 3 years (it didn't take this long btw, just that's where I am now) and I have to say I am probably closer to DC2 than DC1 and could literally pick him up and hug him forever I love him so much. He has the ability to grab at my heart by just looking in my eyes. So don't beat yourself up (I totally get the not being a baby person thing, I hated the baby years with both of mine) and rest assured the bond of love can and does grow slowly with some children, but it will happen and one day you will be blown away by how much you love your little girl.
With DD1 I felt that immediate rush of love. With DD2 I was also convinced she was a boy so when she arrived I wouldn't say I was disappointed, but I was upset that the boy I'd imagined wasn't going to be. I did what you're doing and presumed
hoped the love would come in time. I clearly remember when it did, I was carrying her upstairs when she was 5 months, looked down at the top of her head and just thought 'fucking hell I love you' I was so happy and relieved
Thank you for the replies. It is very comforting to hear this is not unusual . It is such an awful thing to admit! I am so happy to hear that each of you who felt like this did indeed grow to love them. That's exactly what I needed to hear. X
I didn't feel the "rush" when ds was born. Quite the opposite I'm afraid. After the birth I think I was just in shock and it took a couple of weeks to wear off. I felt like I'd die to protect him but there was no "high". When the love did come it hit very hard and I went from crying because I didn't really love him enough to bawling my eyes out about how much I loved this freckle on his foot! He's 18 months now and I love him completely
despite him being a little sod this week!
I think the rush of love thing is a cruel myth that women don't talk enough about. Since having ds I've spoken to loads of women who, in very hushed tones, have talked of not feeling it. It's even worse because, not only are you not feeling it but every fucker is telling you how amazing you should be feeling so you get the guilt and isolation (plus the intense fear that it will never come)as well.
Mine was weird because i had a hypnobirth with DS1 so when he arrived I was so totally zoned out in my own little world and euphoric from all the hormones, but really disconnected from him. It was only when I got him home after 2 days that I was overwhelmed with love in that totally terrified way.
DS2 I had an epidural due to needing his heartrate constantly monitored and I'd felt pretty disconnected to him during my pregnancy. What I had loved about being pregnant the first time, I hated the second time. But when he arrived, with no pain and looked up at me, I was utterly consumed with love.
But I wasn't surprised that it took me a while with DS1, I wasn't expecting the rush of love at all.
I found out the gender of both my babies for this very reason. Took me two weeks to even talk about the fact that DC2 would be a girl. I was utterly stunned, so I understand where you're coming from.
I'm not remotely mumsy and didn't have that rush with either of my babies. I fell in love over time though, and I absolutely adore DD now. She's the cutest thing ever. Please do check any PND concerns ASAP but no, your feelings aren't unusual and they don't (I hope!) make you a bad mum. Because if they do, I'm a bad mum too...
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