Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bonding After a Not So Smooth Delivery

I had a really easy, laid back pregnancy.  We took a birthing class, so I knew a little about the process, but I just assumed delivery would be as easy as being pregnant.  I had heard from nurse friends that a birthing plan is a waste of time, because it never goes like you think it will, so I didn't have anything written up.  You can read more about my birthing story here and here, but basically after being induced, 18 hours of labor and 2.5 hours of pushing, I ended up needing a c-section.  At the same time they informed me I was going to have major surgery, they also told me that my baby was going to have to spend 48 hours in NICU to receive antibiotics.  I was more upset about the NICU part.

After my c-section, they wrapped her up, showed her to my for like one quick second, and whisked her away to NICU.  The Husband got to go with her, but I spent the next 3 hours in recovery, and the next 2 hours after that puking my guts out.  It wasn't until 14 hours after I had her that I was really able to go down to NICU to see her.  That whole scene I had in my mind where I give birth, snuggle my daughter and cry tears of joy never got to happen.

Visiting your baby in NICU is a weird experience.  Since we didn't have that post-birth bonding moment, it almost felt like I was visiting someone else's child.  I didn't know how to hold her, and it honestly felt awkward.  I felt like I was supposed to have these overwhelming feelings of joy, but really I felt kind of sad.  There was my baby, hooked up to IVs, bonding with a nurse instead of me.  I tried unsuccessfully to breast feed her while she was in NICU, but it didn't work, and I was wheeled back up to my room feeling like sort of a failure.  I honestly worried that I didn't love her enough, and I wasn't going to be a good Mom.  I mean, I have never been one of those people that just LOVES babies, but I always assumed I would love my own.  And I did love her, I just wasn't feeling that natural about the whole motherhood thing.

 H and I in the NICU.  We both had IVs and I had a sweet bag with my pee in it attached to the wheelchair.  Not exactly moment I had envisioned in my head

Lucky for me, those feelings didn't last, and as we both got comfortable with each other, I grew to love her with a fierce passion I didn't know existed.  I mean, when she was at the daycare center I hated for 2.5 days, I was ready to stab their eyes out with a spork for not taking good care of her.

This experience is not meant to scare anyone, but a non-traditional first 48 hours with my new baby is not what I was expecting so I thought it might help to share my story.  And if you missed it, the fabulous Laura of hollywood housewife shared her story about what nobody told her about motherhood yesterday, and you can click here to check it out.


Jennifer said...

Thank you for this. My husband and I are trying to concieve right now. I have these wonderful visions of how the birth should go. Its nice to have a dose of reality sprinkled into my though process. You know, just incase. This story helped to build my confidence that regardless of how the birthing process goes, everything will turn out just fine. :-)

ChelseaSalomone said...

Thank you for this post. I just had my son in December, and experienced many of the same emotions. He wasn't in the NICU but after an 18 hour labor I found myself exhausted and incapable of feeling much of anything. I actually just blogged about the experience in February (two months later) because really, I had a hard time even reliving the delivery. Glad to hear I'm not alone! And you looked FAB after having your daughter by the way!!!