Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Mother's Bond

When I was pregnant with Lynden there was so much that I enjoyed and looked forward to.  I loved feeling him move and squirm inside my ever expanding belly (he wasn't much of a kicker) and my heart melted every appointment I got to hear his rapid heartbeat.  Labour wasn't something I was dreading, not that I was looking forward to it but I wasn't worried about it, and the epidural really helped cemented my not worrying about it.  I had this idea of what was going to happen right after he was born - I was going to hold him skin to skin and allow him to lead what was going to happen, be it snuggles or breastfeeding, whatever his instincts told him to do and fall so madly in love with him.  It did not go that way, not at all.

Lynden was born after 4.5 hrs of active labour (my water had broken 36 hours before but nothing was happening so they had to kick start the contractions) and 15 minutes of pushing.  He came out as this beautiful, clean, purple baby... yes, purple!  The cord had been wrapped around his neck, so the doctor cut the cord, plopped him on me and when he didn't cry right away they swooshed him off to the warming table to get him to cry, which they did in no time.  There went my wonderful idea of holding him and bonding with him.  Oh well, I'll look at him from a distance and fall in love with him from the delivery bed... it did not go that way either. 

My wonderful boyfriend (now husband), who had been spectacular from the moment I said "my water broke", fell so madly in love with our beautiful son that he (kinda totally) forgot I was in the room and just started at Lynden...awwww... directly in front of me.  Every few seconds I'd say "I can't see him" or "move" or push him to the side so I could see, only to have him step out of the way so I could catch a glimpse of him and then step back into my line of sight.

The doctor then told me she was going to deliver the after birth so I decided to stop trying to get Danny to move and focus on the new task at hand.  By then Lynden had been weighed, measured, cleaned up, swaddled and handed to Danny.  I then got to hold my son - about 25 minutes after he was born. 

Very few people know this, but it affected me, not being to hold Lynden for so long when I had this "idea" of what was going to happen (and I know there are woman out there that go longer not being able to hold their child and I cannot imagine what that is like).  I finally confessed to Danny at Thanksgiving, about 2 weeks after Lynden's birth, that I felt I was missing "that" bond with him.  I loved Lynden, I didn't doubt that, but "that" bond for me wasn't there, although looking back it was there I was just so disappointed that things didn't go as planned. 

I did realize that bond was there one night while feeding Lynden about a week later.  Lynden stopped breathing, completely stopped while he was eating, for about 10 seconds and then just started breathing again.  I died!  Those 10 seconds felt like a year and when he took that initial gasp to kick start those little lungs of his I walked calmly into the bedroom, woke Danny, handed him Lynden, walked into the bathroom, shut the door and sobbed.  It was then I had found that "mommy bond" I felt I was missing.

Because I knew how I had felt with Lynden I had decided to not have expectations about what would happen when Alyssa was born.  Thankfully she came out breathing and cried shortly after they placed her on me - although it wasn't skin to skin because I was still shivering from coming out of the shower moments before I started to push.  I got to hold her for a bit until they took her to the warming table.  Danny says he made a conscience effort to make sure he stayed out of my line of sight and once she had been weighed, measured and cleaned up he instantly gave her back to me so that I could have that bond with her right away. 

I love my kids, more than anything and everything in this world, and have a fantastic bond with both of them.  So, in the end it didn't ever really matter how it happened because when I look at them my heart swells with love.

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