Where are all the rainbows, butterflies, and other shiny things?

8 Sep

Happy Rainbow

“When I first looked at my baby I felt a love for him like nothing I’ve experienced before” or “It was the happiest moment of my life.” How many times did I read something similar to this before giving birth?  From the sound of it the baby comes out and so does a magical fairy dust that causes instant, ultimate love and euphoria. 


Needless to say this didn’t happen for me.  I guess the fairy skipped my room because I was left feeling overwhelmed and guilty.  After coming upstairs from my surgery I looked at this beautiful boy in the bassinet and felt excitement.  He was so tiny and soft, and yes perfect (I had a c-section, no misshapen head for Willy Wonka).  If you read my previous blog you know I had a parade of visitors starting before I had the baby until 10:30 pm.  I never had time to process my emotions or sit alone with my baby.  So at 7 am , after a night of nonstop nursing, my husband left to fetch my mom.  That’s when the dark clouds came rolling into my room.  I looked over at my baby and started to cry. 


Sadly, I didn’t feel some euphoric love.  When I looked “the baby” I just kept telling myself “I don’t know this baby.”  My belly felt empty.  There were no more movements; kicks, hiccups, or pushes.  The baby inside was no longer and I felt empty.  I knew the baby inside of me, but I just couldn’t connect with the baby in the bassinet.  Why wasn’t I feeling the like the whole world was rainbows, butterflies, and other shiny things? 


When we got home things didn’t improve.  Between the constant nursing, sleepless nights, and dirty diapers I felt like I’d never be normal again.  Truthfully I still don’t feel “normal.”  I’d cry at least once a day.  I believed myself to be neglecting my animals, so I felt guilty. I didn’t instantly bond with my baby and still didn’t feel like he belonged to me, so I felt guilty.  I felt more bonded to my cat than my baby, so I felt guilty.  You see the pattern? Why didn’t anyone tell me it wasn’t rainbows, butterflies and other shiny things? 


Let me tell you now it doesn’t happen like they say on the “mommy blogs.” Yes maybe you’ll be lucky and get the special fairy dust, but for me it took weeks to bond with Willy Wonka. Did I love him? Yes.  Did I feel a connection to him like I’ve never felt with anyone before? No.  It wasn’t until I received an email from a dear friend who told me the first few weeks with her first were some of the crappiest (my words not hers) in her life that I let go of the guilt.  At eight weeks I’m still adjusting to life with Willy Wonka.  We’re bonded. I love and adore him I wouldn’t want to miss a morning with his silly faces that look like an old man.  It wouldn’t be a morning with Willy Wonka and mommy without me shouting “grandpa face!!!” as he wakes up.  


Maybe new moms feel too guilty or embarrassed to talk about that instead of feeling over the moon about their new arrival they feel sad, blue, depressed, guilty, overwhelmed and a crap ton of other non rainbowy words.  It’s true, it sucks at first and it gets better.  Soon hearing a huge fart will entice all those shiny feelings. 

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