Matters of the heart

Chris called me out last night. We were driving in the car, and he’s talking to me. “You’re fucked up right now, and I can’t fix you. I don’t blame you for being fucked up. You’re not in your house and you don’t have a car to escape. You just had a baby who, whether or not you want to admit it, you’re not bonding with. You miss what you have with Caitlin and you wish you could spend more time with her.”

Ouch.

He had asked me to just let him talk, so I did. I didn’t know how to respond at that point anyway. Every way I imagined bringing it up made it seem like I was relieved that he realized this (which I am) or made it seem like that wasn’t the truth at all (which it is). I could not, for the life of me, think of a delicate way to bring it up, so I didn’t at that time.

“What made you say that I wasn’t bonding with him?” I asked him, trying to ease into the subject without seeming hurt or defensive. Surprisingly hard.
“Because you’re not. And that’s normal.” I made sure not to make eye contact. “Are you?”
“I’m trying.” Kinley was laying in my arms and I stroked his cheeks with my thumbs.
And that’s normal.

I remember when Caitlin was first born, he was all over her like white on rice. He immediately had that love for her that I didn’t, that I struggled with. It took me a long time to come out and tell him that I wasn’t connecting with her. I would try to hint that something was wrong, asking him if he loved her from the moment he saw her. He always said “yes, from the second I saw her.” It’s hard not to feel like something’s wrong when your husband loves your child and you don’t. It wasn’t until that text with my sister that saved me from feeling like a monster. I may not love her, but I would, in time. And I do. I adore her.

I spent months struggling to love her. And then months struggling to feel excited for Kinley to come. And now, he’s here, and I’m struggling once again. It seems like every time I accept one, another thing comes.

But, it’s weird, I feel different this time. I don’t feel rushed to love him. I don’t feel like I have to fake that he is my world. All I have to do is take care of him and myself, and the love will come in time. I don’t know him, we only met six weeks ago. I can be honest with myself, and those around me, that this isn’t something that happens over night. It’s just a matter of time before he is as big a piece of my heart as Caitlin. It feels freeing knowing that it’s okay, and that Chris is there for me, not rushing, not judging, just waiting.

It will come in time. I’m just not there yet.

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8 Responses

  1. Pua, do I ever know what you’re feeling right now. I too had a really difficult time bonding with my son. I often had to ask my husband to validate that he loved him because I just didn’t. Part of it stems from the postpartum depression…but what I have found through this and from my doctor is that this reaction is actually normal. Not all Moms (it happens to Dad’s too) get that heart explosion and fart rainbows every time they see their child. It’s a relationship. Relationships take time to grow, to love. It will come and you will feel head over heals when you do. Do NOT feel guilty about it. This doesn’t make you a bad mom. You are a fantastic mom who is learning about this new stranger. It’ll take time and when it does, be ready to be blown out your socks :)

  2. You DO love him, it’s just not that overwhelming, all consuming love that we are made to believe we should have and it’s entirely different from romantic love which can make you feel like you are on fire and is all crazy and clearly recognizable. No, the love for a child is instant but may not feel as exciting as romantic love which is why it takes longer to recognize but it’s there and if anyone or anything ever tried to hurt your Kinley you would feel it all of a sudden consuming you.

    Wait for that first smile that melts your heart. Then in a matter of time he will make you his world and you will realize that he is yours. Believe me there is nothing quite like being the center of a little boy’s world, having someone who tells you that you are the most beautiful woman in the world, who asks if he can marry you, who insists on snuggling up close all the time. In no time he will be melting your heart a million times a day. Just wait for it and until then trust me that it will happen.

  3. Oh and when it does happen it WILL feel like romantic love. :) You won’t just love him you will be IN love with him. It may sound creepy but it’s the truth.

  4. You sound like you’ve got a really great husband and quite the awesome little family. Hang in there. 6 weeks is the worst.

  5. you already love him sweet bella, the bonding will come, it’s all such an adjustment – I’m thanking God for your supportive husband and your beautiful family. By the way, this book changed my life with my two litle ones (i have a 2 year old daughter and a 6 month old son) – it’s called “good night sleep tight” by kim west – a.k.a. “the sleep lady” (www.sleeplady.com) – she is a guru on how to get your kids to sleep through the night, and because of her insight, wisdom, and incredibly easy tips, i got both my kids sleeping through the night at 10 weeks old – i have recommended this book to many of my friends who have become new moms or moms for the 2nd time, and each one has come back to thank me for the recommendation because it worked, even for my friend with twins!!!! My son was even a bit colic-y and it totally worked, not only to get him to sleep, but to help his stomach get on track!!! praying for you, have a glorious day sweet bella

  6. oh. p.s. was stopping by from SITS :)

  7. I think of Love as a decision. The feelings aren’t always so reliable.

    Your husband is a wise one!

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