I need to start this by saying that I love my son and I can’t imagine my life without him. He is the reason I push hard every day to provide a life he deserves. He and my other son are my world. I am writing this to let other mom’s know that it’s ok if you don’t feel a bond right away. It’s ok if you’re scared to mother this human being you just met. It’s ok to feel how you do as long as it is not harmful to you or your newborn. If you think you are suffering from Postpartum Depression, please contact your doctor right away. This is not PPD, this is my story.
I was a young mom and my pregnancy was unplanned. My children’s father and I had just rekindled our relationship after being broken up for about four years. I remember the day I found out I was pregnant. We both cried. Me, worried tears. Him, happy tears. My immediate thought was that my parents were going to be so disappointed. As time went on, my parents grew attached to the idea of being grandparents and fell in love with the little baby growing inside my belly. I, on the other-hand, was way too sick to even think about being excited. Morning sickness struck with a vengeance. I was miserable. I couldn’t hold anything down, I was in and out of the hospital thanks to dehydration, my legs would cramp, my face broke out, I passed out a few times. Everything you can imagine that could happen, did. I remember laying in bed crying to my boyfriend and praying to God to help me.
Finally around 7 months into my pregnancy, things took a turn for the better and I woke up one morning feeling great. The morning sickness was finally gone and I could focus my energy on the baby and preparing for him. I loved being able to feel him move around in my stomach and read to him and I found comfort in knowing he was safe, but also in my womb, where I could easily take care of him.
By the time month 9 came, I was over being pregnant. I wanted him out, I wanted my body back. I just wanted to feel normal. The night before my due date I woke up to horrible lower back pains. They were so bad I woke up my boyfriend and said we needed to go to the hospital because I couldn’t live with the pain. Turned out I was having back labor, which is very much a thing no one told me about.
Laying in the hospital with every contraction bringing me closer to my child, I started to quietly panic. I went into that hospital a girl only needing to worry about herself and about to leave that place a mom. A MOM! It didn’t matter if I was ready, 9 months didn’t prepare me and there was no going back.
With the final push, he was out. I heard him make his first little cry, looked over and there he was. Alive and out of my body. Don’t get me wrong. I was so happy he made it into this world safely and so far he was healthy and perfect, but I was scared. I remember the nurse asking me if I wanted to hold him and I said no, let my boyfriend. All my family held him and not once did I try. There are zero photos of me holding my son in that delivery room.
Thank goodness for my son’s father because he was a lifesaver in the hospital. He swaddled our son every time, changed his diaper, fed him whatever I pumped and held him. Those natural mom instincts you’re told you’re born with didn’t come to me and left me feeling like I was a horrible mom. This little boy deserved better. He deserved a mom who doesn’t want to put him down and who couldn’t imagine her life without him.
We were finally discharged and came home. The reality hit me like a slap in the face. I was going to be alone with my child. No help from the nurses, no help from my boyfriend. I was terrified. Could I do this? I had no choice. While it was scary, it really forced me to connect with my son. I had no one else to rely on but myself. I slowly learned how to become a mom and with that led me to fall more and more in love with my son every day. He was perfect in every way. Every little cry made me smile, every look up at me melted my heart. I promised him I would always protect him and be the best mom I could be for him. He is now about to be 11 years old and he is still my world. I’ve raised a very compassionate, caring, smart, insightful child and I am so thankful to be his mom.
I needed to write this article to let other mom’s-to-be know that they aren’t alone. What you’re feeling is more common than you think. The best and safest thing to do is talk about your feelings. Don’t lock them in and hide them. If I had been open more about my thoughts, I could have had someone to tell me it was ok. I could have had someone I could confide in and be there for me and maybe I would have held my son right after delivery. It is something that still bothers me to this day. I wish I had a picture with just him and me after giving birth. I definitely over compensate for that now, but it’s something I wish I could go back in time and redo.
If you’re concerned over the thoughts you may have, I encourage you to open up to your doctor.