I Didn't "Love" My BabyMay 11, 2022
A postpartum story by Blair Gyamfi. She is currently the co-host of @momsactually (Originally published: 2020)
There was no overwhelming rush of love and joy.
It feels like every single mother - in real life, the media, online - shares that wonderful initial feeling immediately upon giving birth and meeting their baby.
I didn’t have it. I felt nothing.
There was a baby in my stomach and then there wasn’t.
It’s crazy how you have to go to school your entire life to work; take a written and driving test to get a drivers license; but a baby there’s no required prerequisites.
They just hand the baby over, give you some pamphlets and leave you to figure it out.
And after pushing a 7lb 2oz child out of me, I don’t even get to sleep?
I’m now responsible to be at its beck and call every 2 hours forever. When is there time for a gush of love, when I basically went from pregnancy to survival mode.
Yeah. There was some resentment.
Previous to having my daughter, I believed I was probably the least selfish person in the world. I love to be of service to people - to make them better (I’m an enneagram 9).
But when she was born, giving and serving was no longer a choice. It was a requirement.
And I don’t like being told what to do - what a dilemma. It was exhausting and tedious and boring.
After a completely amazing, Disney-esque pregnancy there was no huge rush of love to push me through and make it all feel worth it. I felt trapped.
I learned about Postpartum Anxiety (I had no idea that existed as I had only heard about PPD). I didn’t want to hold the baby, but I felt like if I put her down she would fuss and cry - and that was SO annoying to me.
Honestly I would find excuses to drive 1.5 hours to and from in order to retrieve someone’s lost pen if it would give me a break from being a mom.
I would get so anxious as evening would lead into night, knowing she was going to cry every 1-2 hours throughout the nigh. And I had to pump every 2-3 hours because she would only take bottles.
It felt like a high school baby simulator project on repeat.
Previous to my daughter, I never heard anyone talk about feeling “nothing” for their baby; much less how tedious or boring or frustrating etc. it is to raise a baby. Or if they touch that subject it is narrated with beautiful language, a cute letter board and a shiny picture.
There are a whole lot of moms making even the hard days look cute. It’s not. Not for me. It was survival.
I don’t know what I would have done without my husband and our family. I always joke that I was more the stereotypical dad and he the mom when we reflect on those first few months.
But no matter how much work he put in, the onus always felt like it was on me.
I thought all of those feelings would just automatically go away after the fourth trimester did. It didn’t. It got better. But it was still tedious and boring and tiring. All work and little reward.
There’s no magical resolution to all of this. No ah ha moment. I’m just telling you that if you haven’t had that gush of love. You aren’t alone.
Honestly, the overwhelming gush of love really just came and she’s 2.5.
The trickle of love probably started around 9 months (when she finally started sleeping through the night!).
If you aren’t enjoying being a mom, it doesn’t mean you hate your child.
It doesn’t make you a bad parent. You just have a different journey (heck, probably a similar story it’s just seemingly taboo).
But I can say the entire time I was honest about my experience because I didn’t want anyone to feel like me. I didn’t want anyone to think they were the only one just not feeling this amazing sense of love for our baby we are told about our entire lives.
Sometimes I would get a crazy eye, and I would just say “but I love my baby” to end the awkward silence. But more often than not, I’ve met a lot of women who were able to exhale and share similar stories.
It’s such a relief to share a different narrative about being a mom. That, for me, being a mom wasn’t the greatest thing in the world. Thankfully, I got there with my daughter. Not quite there with my son yet 😊🤷🏽♀️
ADVICE FOR MOMS:
Be honest!!! We are all going through so much, but for some reason think we have to share a singular narrative about motherhood. We don’t have a singular narrative. Your truth can free someone else.
Written by Blair Gyamfi @blairangela
What you should do next:
#1) Subscribe to my newsletter below for weekly tips, inspiration, tools, and truthful information to help you feel more confident and ready for your journey into and throughout motherhood.
#2) Click here to receive a FREE copy of my #1 most downloaded book: Birth Goddess. This book offers my top 10 tips to have an empowered and peaceful labor & childbirth.
#3) Start your course today! Join other birthing goddesses just like you who are stepping into their power and experiencing incredibly peaceful, trauma-free childbirth. After working with over 3,000 moms, I can honestly say there is something here for every one ;)
#4) Visit the Freakuency Fit Library. Want more information but not sure where to start? Browse the collection of books & audio books covering pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. Find what you need to have the experience you deserve.
#5) Click here to grab a copy of "Wild Mama": 10 steps to self grace and love when you feel like you've lost your identity. A very powerful quick read for anyone hoping to add more grace, patience, joy, and forgiveness of self during your postpartum healing.
With love & light, Danielle Jai Watson (your Cosmic Doula) xo
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