Friday, November 12, 2010

Building a bond

Many mothers form an instant bond with their babies. One look, one snuggle, and that bond is formed. It took M and me a little longer. Don't get me wrong, I loved her before she was born...the solid mommy/daughter connection took a while longer.

I have a few guesses as to why it took us a while, based on attachment studies. We were separated for a couple of hours at birth, and it took M 3 1/2 weeks to latch. In addition, she was colicky (Dietary intolerances and reflux), and I had pretty significant PPD. The early weeks were rough. I told B that I wanted to give away the cats, the dog, and the baby. I frequently daydreamed about moving to Fiji. Looking back, I feel horrible. But, that's the truth, and I think the only way to move forward from that space is to recognize it and leave it in the past.

Over time, you can't help but bond with a child who nurses at your breast and snuggles much of the day against your skin. It happened slowly, but at about 4 months, it hit me. This is my sweet little girl. I would do absolutely anything for her. We had a special connection and rhythm. I could read her cues for hunger or boredom without so much as a fuss. I knew just when she was ready for a nap or the broccoli I ate was giving her gas. I'm sure all moms develop that skill, but it held so much meaning for me. I didn't feel like a failure anymore. We were going to be just fine. :)

Now, we're compadres. Caring for M has become a joy instead of a burden. We wake up smiling at each other. Even daddy has benefitted from this bond. She's more secure with him, too. And while she's waking, she reaches for his arm and looks for his smiles. Words cannot express the joy we experience with our little family.

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