I don't feel connected to my baby.

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I don't feel connected to my baby.

Postby New_Daddy » Sat Oct 06, 2007 8:53 am

Hello ladies. My apologies for the testosterone invasion but my wife uses these pages for advice so I thought I'd try as well. I'm a little concerned about my wife and how she sees her relationship with our Son. Before I go further let me say that my wife LOVES our son completely and there is nothing she wouldn't do for him. She just doesn't feel connected to him.

He was born by c-section and I was able to hold him within minutes of his birth. I held him while my wife's surgery was completed and through her recovery - he didn't leave my arms except for when his grandma held him. My wife did not get to hold him until he was here for a few hours already. Before she gave birth we had learned that the first couple of hours are crucial for bonding but we did not know how true that seems to be. When I walk into a room our son's face lights up, he waves his arms, laughs and reaches for me but she doesn't feel that he does the same for her. I see it. I see how he looks, laughs and reaches for her but she doesn't feel that "bond" that all her research said she should and she feels that I have what she wants with him. How can I reassure her that she IS bonded with our son and that he loves her and wants her as well? Can I?

I've tried to be supportive and explain that she has him almost exclusively monday through friday, morning to evening so I only really get to spend time with him weekday evenings and weekends which could explain his reaction when he sees me. Now, I'm not just a play-toy for our son. I do feed him, change him, bathe him and put him down for naps (not always a "fun" time when he doesn't want to sleep), and put him to bed. I do try to do my share of parenting - dad's are not baby-sitters, we're parents too. I want my wife to feel connected to our son and I'm not sure how I can assure her that she is. Does anyone else feel this way? What can I do to help her?
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Postby Mama27 » Sat Oct 06, 2007 9:47 am

First of all, congratulations!!! Next, how old is your baby?

I didn't have a c-section, so I can't imagine how hard it would be to go through major surgery and not be able to hold my baby for a few hours! However, I think many women have gone through phases where they didn't feel as connected to the baby as they thought they would. I remember feeling totally drained the first 6 weeks. I had this big lump of a baby and all kinds of hormones and sleep deprivation. I loved her the moment I saw her, and the connection I feel to her gets deeper every single day.

Lots of things I've read over the past few months only make me realize how different every baby and family are from each other. One mother is instantly bonded, while another bonds later. One baby is crawling at 5 months and another never crawls and just walks. One baby sttn at 6 weeks and another still isn't at 7 months (like mine!). My advice is to not let research interfere with instinct. Bella has a completely different reaction to my dh than she does to me. She gets much more animated and giggly around him because we interact with her differently and that is important and normal! I had to work harder for those giggles and smiles, but it evens out eventually. It doesn't mean her bond with the baby is any less than yours. I've realized that the relationship Bella has with my dh is already completely different than the one she has with me. I think it is normal, plus think about it...do you have the same relationship/bond with both of your parents?

Could she have post partum depression? Becoming a parent, as you know, is a really big deal and sometimes, even though it is obvious, it needs to be recognized. It is a huge life changing event and maybe just by communicating your feelings (and listening to hers) about it can make her feel better.

Also, another thing to think about is that this baby is a stranger. Yes, your wife carried him for 9 months and that does account for something, but it takes time to get to know him and to see his personality and temperament. So, while some parents feel instantly bonded, others may need time to get to know this "stranger" and get used to everything.

So, I guess what I'm saying is to give each other time. Your wife will feel more connected to the baby with time. Encourage her and give her lots of compliments. Point out to her when you see your son react to her the way he does with you. Point out how much your son needs her - as a source of food (if bfing) and comfort. Hang in there!
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Postby emoprincesa » Sun Oct 07, 2007 8:39 pm

I also had a c-section and my DH got to hold and feed our baby first. Then my friends and family came and I felt like I should let everyone hold him because they all traveled so far to see him.

It ended up 6 hours after he was born he was sent to the NICU for breathing issues and could not be stimulated. I was not allowed to touch him or talk to him for 3 days. I thought for sure that he would never know who I was.

Luckily, he is 3 months old now, and we are very close. However, he has a much different relationship with me than he does with his daddy. He wants me when he is sad or sleepy or hungry. I am a SAHM...so I provide for everyone of his needs. When daddy comes home, he plays with Brayden because he just wants to chill and not have to do the "work". So daddy is kinda the fun parent (he also feeds him, changes him, etc., but certainly not as much as I do).

Brayden laughs and smiles for daddy all the time and I am lucky if I get a giggle or a smirk. But I know Brayden still loves me and I feel totally bonded to him. I am the one that soothes him when he is needy and to me that's just as important as making him smile and be happy.

I also am wondering if your wife may be suffering from some baby bues or post partum depression. I would defnitely mention it to her (in a loving supportive way of course :wink: ).

You can assure her letting her know that there are many different types of bonds and that she is the mommy and no one can ever take her place...not even you.

Good luck!
Amber (27) Mommy to Brayden ( 07.07.07 ) and Ava ( 09.09.08 )
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Postby Butterdragons » Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:45 am

You should watch your wife for signs of PPD--because not feeling "bonded" is one clue that you are depressed...but I thought I would tell you that we watched Bill Cosby this weekend and he got it right when he was telling a story about raising a son.

He went on and on about how you could teach your son to tackle, throw, play football, be a great player, and then, when he won the superbowl or whatever, and the camera was on him, he would say "Hi Mom!"

Anyway...my point is that often times Mommy is not the "fun one" or the one they run to, screaming and laughing, when she gets home from being out--but Mommy is the one they want when they get hurt or the one they thank when they are twenty one and win the state championship.

My boys think their father walks on water. It used to bother me, that they would pick him over me to play with or sit on his lap. But I am the one they run to when they need their booboos kissed or when they've had a nightmare. :D

I also wanted to say that it is not abnormal to not immediately bond with a baby. They are a whole new, strange, person after all. Sometimes you need some time to get to know them. And they do have a personality right away--I felt like I had known my oldest for years when he was born. My second took a little longer for me to feel like we had a bond. And with my daughter, I feel like she and I maybe know eachother a little too well. LOL
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Postby Got_Blessing » Sat Oct 13, 2007 6:10 am

I had a c-section and I didn't hold my baby until hours later. I was really loopy on meds, and had the shakes so it wasn't a good idea for me to hold her. I also was a slight depressed afterwards because I wanted to have a vaginal birth. It sounds to me she is suffering from PPD, and you might want to suggest you and her going to a support group.
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Postby SlainteMhath » Sat Oct 13, 2007 10:57 pm

I just wanted to add that if you feel your wife may be suffering from PPD, feel free to PM me for information if you like. I had a very serious case of PPD after having our son and didn't feel connected to him until he was maybe 6 months old. I did not fully heal from my PPD until my son was almost a year old. I have beat the PPD however and am now pregnant with our second child.

I do recall feeling for a time that my son was more connected to his daddy. But babies go through phases and there came a time where my son only wanted me to hold him. That time has passed and now he is pretty equal with both of us. But he does get more excited when my husband walks into the room and I attribute this to the fact that, like you, my husband is only here on evenings and weekends. And like you, he does all of the same things that I do when he is around. I think my son is used to seeing me and seeing daddy is just a little more exciting. And I've come to be okay with that.

Anyway, I'm carrying on here. I just wanted to let you know that you can PM me if you need more information regarding PPD.
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Thank you for your advice.

Postby New_Daddy » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:04 pm

Thank you all for your advice. My apologies for the late reply but my computer gave up the ghost 2 weeks ago and I have not yet replaced it. I have just finished reading this thread to my wife (who is currently holding our sleeping 7 month-old son in her arms) and she thanks you too. We already pretty much knew most of this ourselves but it certainly helps to hear it from others and helps to put things in a better focus and perspective and to remind us of things forgotten in the sleepless days/nights. Gareth is certainly his own person and has his own needs, wants and personality and we are both having a wonderful time getting to know him. As for her PPD, we have been watching for signs of that from day 1 since she is already depressive and on Zoloft for it. She has better days and worse days (don't we all?) depending on how much sleep she gets so we just take things one day at a time.
Thanks again ladies for tolerating a male presence. 8-))
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Postby Done » Fri Oct 26, 2007 12:17 pm

I just wanted to add that the reason I knew I had PPD was because I didn't feel connected to my girls. I had a c-section as well.

Once I started on the zoloft that went away. I feel sooooo connected to them.

It's cool of you to come on here and look for help for your wife. :hb:
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