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Old Aug 5th, 2017, 04:29 AM   1
Trixter
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I worry my baby hasn't bonded with me, or sees me as "Mum"...Please help.


Just to explain my situation.

I've had a very difficult time... I fell very ill when pregnant.
Anyway, I'd been rushed into my local hospital and for my baby's sake, and mine, I had to have an emergency c-section that evening.

I was scared and terrified about it all. I was only 27 weeks + 4 days pregnant

C section went well, but my beautiful baby had to be transferred to a specialist hospital to take care of him, whilst I had to remain behind at my local hospital as too ill to travel. I was in intensive care for several days, and my baby was in neonatal intensive care. Because of how ill I was, I didn't get to even lay eyes on him until he was 3 days old.

Now, he was kept in hospital for over three months, and after I became well again, I was able to be transferred to stay with him.

But I am just plagued with all these doubts and horrible feeling. I love my baby to bits, absolutely adore. But there's this nagging voice in the back of my mind, saying, because I never got skin to skin for many days after birth, he won't know me as his mum. I worry that he just sees me as "one of many" in his life. Am I distinguishable to him from any other women, when he didn't meet me for ages and because of being ill, didn't get to breastfeed?

What makes me feel more insecure is that often, he seems to cry a lot, but when my partner or relatives hold him, he often settles, whereas it can take me ages to settle and soothe him at times.
Also, partner works long hours in a restaurant, I'm with baby more than anyone, but I still feel he can come in and soothe and make baby smile more than I ever do. I feel sad worrying baby doesn't feel connected to me as his mum because of lack of contact. I hear mums complain that they were annoyed at not seeing their baby until a couple hours later....for me it was several days

Does he know me? Does he still recognise me as Mum? He didn't get held by me for ages and wasn't breastfeeding, even though I had always wanted to breastfeed.

I worry he will prefer other people or not see me as any different from anyone else. It's upsetting me.



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Old Aug 5th, 2017, 09:07 AM   2
_Meep_
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Sorry you went through all that. It's a horrific situation for any parent, and blessedly not one that I am personally familiar with, but as an outsider reading your story, my opinion is that it shouldn't, doesn't and won't make a difference whatsoever to how he feels about you. No difference at all. You ARE his mother, and his birth is a tiny portion of his life - a tiny portion that he will not even remember or be aware of.

You can't change what happened - but you can change what happens now. Babies know when we are anxious or unhappy, and I think your feelings about what happened are (understandably) eating away at you, and he will be able to sense that, which might explain his uneasiness at times. But it doesn't mean he doesn't love you!

As an example - I have been lucky thus far to be able to breastfeed both my children, but I had a terrible experience with my first who went on nursing strike several times and wouldn't feed at all for days at a time, with no warning or explanation. We got through it - but I've been so nervous about the same thing happening with my new baby that when we've had even the slightest problem or hiccup along our breastfeeding journey so far, I've become very anxious. A few times, it has gotten so bad that I've literally stopped being able to have a let down of milk for her, and I've had to really try to pull myself out of the anxiety and relax, in order to stop my fears becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, because she absolutely knows I am stressed and panicking, and that makes her stressed, too.

It will be hard, but I think maybe if you can relax around your son and try not to look for signs that he doesn't like you or see you as his mother (which I promise won't be the case), things might improve. It sounds like you maybe blame yourself for what happened, so forgiving yourself for something that was totally out of your control would be a good place to start on the path to healing.

Just remember that you have the whole rest of your life to have GOOD times with him - and even if the beginning sucked, it doesn't matter now. You are both here and alive, and that is something to be celebrated.

Good luck.



 
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Old Aug 6th, 2017, 22:59 PM   3
nicoleandbump
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Hi Trixter... I agree with everything Meep said above, but just want to add that I really feel for you and your tender mama heart. You should be able to enjoy your precious baby after everything that you all have been through, and a big part of that is feeling bonded to your baby. Please know that it's coming! You are his only mom for life.

Stay positive!



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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 05:55 AM   4
Teri7489
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youve been through such a hard time, something that will stay with you for a long time. I didn't get skin to skin for hours and that meant a lot to me so days must have been very difficult. But your baby knows you are mumma. That have instincts, it's just nature. Other family members being able to soothe baby is likely down to confidence, being worried and those sorta of feelings. Babies feed off emotions and react to them. If you are relaxed and comfortable then they are, if you are worried then they will become unsettled. I hope I've come across the right way there. I was in an out of hospital after my dd was born and used to get worried my daughter didn't know me. I hated I couldn't bf and used to get worked up that she would settled with my husband and not me. when my mum explained it was because I was getting stressed ithat made a lot of sense. I relaxed more, and she was comforted by me. You baby was in your tummy, was made by you. You will heal and things will get easier in time. Just take it a bit at a time x



 
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 12:04 PM   5
Weebles
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I didn't get immediate skin to skin with either of my children and DD ended up being in the nicu for a week. I know how unbareable my own experience was and I cannot even imagine having to experience that for even a moment longer. I am so sorry that you had to go through that.

I was sad for myself and sad for DD as well. I was worried that she thought her whole entire life was going to be the NICU. I'm heartbroken for the little babies in the NICU, it must be so hard for them because even though it is a wonderful life saving place it has got to be tough for little babies that don't understand. I made up a little song for her about how hard it can be to be a baby and I still sing it to her when she cries.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that having a baby in the NICU can be traumatic. It's never what anyone envisions when they are looking forward to the birth of their child. And I know that looking at it as the necessary and life saving event that it was doesn't truly help to heal your heart.

Your baby loves you. Your body did this amazing thing and made a baby, your baby, and he knows that you're his momma. His heart knows yours.



 
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Old Aug 9th, 2017, 09:44 AM   6
LaughOutLoud
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
Just to explain my situation.

I've had a very difficult time... I fell very ill when pregnant.
Anyway, I'd been rushed into my local hospital and for my baby's sake, and mine, I had to have an emergency c-section that evening.

I was scared and terrified about it all. I was only 27 weeks + 4 days pregnant

C section went well, but my beautiful baby had to be transferred to a specialist hospital to take care of him, whilst I had to remain behind at my local hospital as too ill to travel. I was in intensive care for several days, and my baby was in neonatal intensive care. Because of how ill I was, I didn't get to even lay eyes on him until he was 3 days old.

Now, he was kept in hospital for over three months, and after I became well again, I was able to be transferred to stay with him.

But I am just plagued with all these doubts and horrible feeling. I love my baby to bits, absolutely adore. But there's this nagging voice in the back of my mind, saying, because I never got skin to skin for many days after birth, he won't know me as his mum. I worry that he just sees me as "one of many" in his life. Am I distinguishable to him from any other women, when he didn't meet me for ages and because of being ill, didn't get to breastfeed?

What makes me feel more insecure is that often, he seems to cry a lot, but when my partner or relatives hold him, he often settles, whereas it can take me ages to settle and soothe him at times.
Also, partner works long hours in a restaurant, I'm with baby more than anyone, but I still feel he can come in and soothe and make baby smile more than I ever do. I feel sad worrying baby doesn't feel connected to me as his mum because of lack of contact. I hear mums complain that they were annoyed at not seeing their baby until a couple hours later....for me it was several days

Does he know me? Does he still recognise me as Mum? He didn't get held by me for ages and wasn't breastfeeding, even though I had always wanted to breastfeed.

I worry he will prefer other people or not see me as any different from anyone else. It's upsetting me.


Hi. I can relate. I KNOW WHERE YOURE COMING FROM!! If I tell you my reason it might help you understand.

I had DD2 3yrs ago with a emergency section because she was in trouble. She was born with a undetected heart defect which no one was prepared for and when she came out into the world, immediately her oxygen levels started dipping and we were losing her. She was transferred to a cardiac hospital away from me. I couldn't go because of the cesearean. I didn't hold her nor was able to see her face because when they did let me see she already had a little mask on her face. She had surgery that same day with her dad and uncle at the hospital. This was to keep her going until her big, main surgery at 3 days old. Before she left to go to this hospital, I got given a photo. It was all a blur, didn't feel real, like I was watching from the outside. I felt numb and cold but you wouldn't know it, I kept on going. I asked to be discharged because I wanted to be with her for surgery, it was open heart surgery and the hospital finally discharged me.

I couldn't walk much so DH pushed me in a wheelchair and took me to our baby. When I did see her, every single part of her body and face was covered with pipes, tubes, needles and surrounded with machinery. Only the top of her head was free for me to place my hand. I couldn't hold her. After surgery, she was still too delicate and for many weeks after we were told to hold her in a certain position - so no proper contact/hugs, because she had gone through major surgery and was healing/sore, delicate. At 3 weeks old, a nurse gave her to me in my arms for the first time BUT she was placed on a pillow as she was attached to pipes and equipment. We tried skin to skin but all I could feel were her scars from where the surgery and all these pipes coming between us. She also refused to breastfeed.

My plan before she was born was to exclusive BF. However I had to express using the hospital industrial pump because she was never mine at that point and I felt like I couldn't do anything for her. The people who were looking after her were the doctors, nurses and surgeons that were keeping her alive. I pumped for 5/6 months because when we did bring her home she absolutely refused to nurse. From the hospital we had a choice of either a NG feeding tube or a bottle and as she wasn't taking the breast we choose to give her bottles and I expressed.

At home, I was petrified with her. I also felt like you that my DH was working long hours but he just knew what to do with her, whereas I would be clueless as to what she wanted/needed. I also felt that she didn't love me like she did her dad. It was obvious to others also that she preferred her dad to me but I was with her at home, all day.

I think part of how I was feeling is because everything that happen simply traumatised me. I had nothing in my control at all. I didn't know if she preferred her dad or preferred not to BF because of what happen to her or because it's just what she preferred. She also didn't like cuddles, she's ok now but was never into it much and I don't know if it's because she's just headstrong and she's so very independent. I never felt like I had had a baby.

What changed was I had another baby when DD was 22 months. Suddenly I felt this bond with both my babies. She was very excited about her baby brother and she really took to him and was so affectionate. I felt like I had 2 babies and it was the best feeling in the world, God bless. I think it made me realise I had some issues and it was never anything to do with DD and her behaviour. She is still headstrong by I can see she is so affectionate, but I couldn't see it before. An somehow, somewhere, I KNOW she will come to me for comfort, she knows I'm her mum and I know that she loves me tons.

I'm not saying have another baby but what I am saying is you need to address this to may be a doctor/counsellor. I remember once holding her and telling the health visitor that DD doesn't love me, despite the fact that she was leaning into me (I was holding her). So something inside me changed and I could finally see her.

One other thing. I still can't remember anything of what we did together prior to my baby son coming along. I can't recall how I weaned her, when she cut her teeth (suddenly I noticed she has a full set of teeth!), when she crawled, rolled. I've just gone blank! I can remember things we have done since my baby boy, I know what we do all day, how I get her dressed etc. Sorry this has turned into a lengthy reply. You'll be ok, you're baby does love you, you just need time to let things sink in an get some help.



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Old Aug 9th, 2017, 12:43 PM   7
MissDoc
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I'm sorry you're going through such a tough time. New motherhood is hard enough without these extra insecurities plaguing you. So look, your little boy grew and developed inside of you. He knows the sound of your heart beat from the inside. He knows the sound of your voice more than anyone else's in the world. No one is his momma but you. Those many months of forming a bond from the inside do not disappear so easily. Rest assured momma, he will know you as his mom.



 
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Old Aug 14th, 2017, 04:05 AM   8
Trixter
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Thanks so much to each and every one of you for your replies. I can't say how much it means to just read those words of reassurance and kindness. It's an emotional time and I am trying my best but just occasionally, I find myself plagued with these insecurities.

Hearing your own experiences has helped me. Thank you for your honesty about your own difficult times.

I love my baby more than life itself, I just wanted that peace of mind to know I am seen as Mummy. Not just a face amongst many in the house. I think this will come with time. Maybe I should speak to someone, I'm open minded to counseling.



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Old Aug 21st, 2017, 04:17 AM   9
noon_child
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You have been through trauma and it has coloured how you see things. It may help to see things from the opposite perspective of a woman who isn't a biological mother (like an adoptive mother) but because of consistent care, responsiveness, and love becomes a child's whole world and very real mum. Motherhood is about being there everyday, again and again, over the years - it is more than just biology. Also you mention that other people seem to have a better bond with LO - but how do you feel that this developed? It doesn't sound like he was well enough to get skin to skin from anybody, but from your own observations he has managed to create bonds with others...so why can't this be the case for you?
A lot of what you feel is very common new mother stuff (I'd have a screaming child for hours on end and she'd literally go silent as she heard my hubby's keys in the door and be all smiles for him and I'd wonder why she hated me) but the trauma of birth has magnified this.
Do the hospital offer any kind of debrief/counselling about what happened?



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