but i only started feeling this level of elation and extreme adoration in the past few weeks. i think around 6 or 7 weeks the scale tipped and i started feeling somewhat less burdened by the responsibility of caring for him and more overjoyed at getting to spend every day with him.
some people talk about the instant connection and intense love they felt for their baby when they gave birth. i was moved, that is for sure. and i loved him, but it was more like i felt a need to protect him and to worry over him and a panicked need to not break him. now that he is older and i know him a little bit better, i not only love him, but i also like him. a lot.
the more of his personality that comes through, the more enamored i am. and, let’s face it, we humans are fat heads. now that he looks at me and smiles and coos and carries on when i engage him, i like him even more. it’s just the way it is. and he’s sturdier and seems less inclined to shatter, so i think i’m less anxious about him and more relaxed.
EXCEPT that now that i’m more attached and i feel like my heart will explode with happiness i am more dependent on his well being. like my old fears of bad things happening creep in. i thought maybe i had chased away my ghosts when i gave birth to a healthy baby, as if all my fears were wrapped up in pregnancy and i hadn’t prepared any for the actual live baby. but, unfortunately, i’m getting anxious again.
and, granted, this might be normal even for moms who haven’t suffered losses, but lately i’m having horrible visions of things happening to him. (this is not a post partum psychosis thing- i am not envisioning hurting him. more like i can’t protect him from hurt). like when i’m walking with him down the stairs i see us falling and him hitting his head. or if i’m taking the tea kettle off the stove and he’s in my arms i see him somehow getting burnt. it’s awful and makes my stomach tighten with fear. i just so badly don’t want him to experience any pain or anything negative ever. i guess i understand a little why my mom seemed to always want to keep my sisters and me in a padded room. 🙂 for now, it just causes me to be more cautious with him and that’s not a bad thing. i’m not wallowing or anything. it’s just notable that i’m having these scary visions about my tiny precious. i do wonder if other parents have had them…anyone?
but anyway, all this thinking on bonding and attachment makes me think about adoptive versus biological children. i’ve only had the one experience, but we have close friends who have adopted and i’ve watched them to see if it’s any different from our experience in getting to know the wee one and attaching and such.
i’ve had people tell me that pregnancy was the time when i was bonding with him, when i was the most intimately getting to know him. and while it’s true that he was sharing my veggie burgers with me then, i did not know him. i didn’t even know he was a him. or what he looked like. or acted like. i only knew my symptoms of him. it was still all about me and not him.
so from what i’ve observed and experienced, i don’t see much of a difference in adopting a newborn and in hatching one your ownself as far as learning them and loving them goes. it took me several months to really feel like i knew him and to get the hang of him. i should think that would be similar for everyone? perhaps i’m unique in my experience and you can comment if you had a different experience with your own newborn.
(i do want to add quickly while on the subject of adoption that i have enhanced admiration for those birth parents who decide to give their child up for adoption. pregnancy is no picnic. neither is labor/delivery and they then don’t get to reap any of the fun baby benefits. it’s a very noble, loving thing to do for that child. very very. and adoptive parents are, of course, gifts from God for their children. talk about matches made in heaven…)
anyway….so what else is new? well, i went to visit family and go to the beach this week and it was a great time! henry traveled mostly well and it was good to get out of the house for a while. but i forgot my breast pump. and i’ve been pumping at least 1-2 times/day even with nursing, so my boobalas got really full and leaky and i sort of bullied henry into nursing a few times he wasn’t that hungry just to relieve the pressure. it was like boob blue balls.
not fun. don’t recommend.
anyway. i’m off to feed my baby monster. he’s ‘sitting’ next to me right now propped up on a pillow, probably reading over my shoulder about what a horrible person i am in that i wasn’t moony over him from the first moment. ah well. life is pain, baby.