Saturday, November 7, 2009

Overwhelming Mother Love

I'm sitting here trying to breast feed my 9 week old daughter as my 2 1/2 year old son climbs on my legs. He leans forward and does his 2-year-old jabbering/talking thing in my daughters face, and she doesn't like it. Neither do I. I'm having a hard enough time nursing her without my son making things worse.

Everyone says that when your newborn baby is put into your arms, you'll fall in love more than you ever though possible. That didn't happen with me. It was probably during his third month that I really started bonding with my son. He had been fussy and had a difficult time learning how to latch on to nurse.

It seems to be a repeat with my daughter. Of course, we're a little behind in our "bonding time" to begin with. You see, she was born eight weeks early and was in the NICU for three weeks, during which I saw her once a day for her 9:00 p.m. feeding. I felt very detached from her in her isolette - but the story of her birth is another story entirely (see the tab at top of blog).

I know that I love my daughter, but right now, I don't feel much attachment to her. She annoys me. She is very impatient; sound asleep one minute and the next demanding to be fed. She works herself up into such a frenzy that she can't eat. I've practically given up breast feeding. I nurse her, and then I supplement her with formula, and then I have to pump, a process that takes about 90 minutes. I don't have the time or energy to feel love for her while I take care of her.

So, where is that overwhelming love that everyone says I would get when she was born? I hold her because she needs to be held, not because I need to hold her. My love for her is all wrapped up in meeting her needs, not in cuddles and kisses, like I give to my son. I love her unconditionally - I would die for my daughter, but I just don't feel that overwhelming mother love.

Two days old.
It will come, I know it will. Some early morning, while I'm wiping sleep from my eyes, I will look at her and she will make eye contact with me (after she has been fed), and I will finally feel that overwhelming love.

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