The anticipation of becoming a mom is unlike any other. You prepare yourself for 9 whole months, but in reality, you could never prepare enough for this new adventure in your life. Everyone talks about the special bond you will have with your child, and you can't wait to experience it. In fact, you daydream about the intense connection you and your baby will have. Throughout your pregnancy, you wait to feel that special bond with your unborn child, but it never comes. Now your baby is here, and you still don't feel that connection. This is not what you expected. What now?
This happened to me. I felt very distant from my daughter from the beginning. Maybe it's because she was my first and I had no idea what I was doing, but it felt surreal. Like I knew there was a baby inside of me, but I almost didn't believe it. The thought that I could actually bring another person into the world was a scary feeling and once I did I went into full-on shock mode. I was waiting for that overwhelming feeling of love to calm my worries, but of course, I felt nothing.
Don't get me wrong, my daughter was born and I knew I loved her, but that warm fuzzy feeling never made its appearance. I was overwhelmed with the changes to my body, hourly feedings, no sleep, and crazy mood swings. I didn't stop to enjoy the small things because I was too busy criticizing the things I was doing wrong.
If I could give a new mom advice, it would be to learn from my mistakes and push through. Take care of yourself, then taking care of your baby will come so much easier. Also, don't rush that first year of newborn bliss. Enjoy the little coos, and first smiles. Play peekaboo till you two are laughing and can't breathe. Hold your baby while she cries and savor those little snuggles because they don't last.
That special "connection" you are waiting for is already there. Just take a breath and feel your little one kicking or look into their eyes. You created that little bundle of perfectness. You need that little one as much as they need you. All you can do is be your best self, and love them with all your heart. That motherly love has always been there, now it's time to channel it.