I came across this in my Facebook feed this morning and promptly felt like poopoo:
If there had been a camera in my (first) birthing room, it would not have recorded me getting all gooey eyed like these lucky ladies. It would have caught me staring blankly at Little Man and it may have even picked up a single, barely audible word:
Yup, that was my first reaction to my son.
Oh don’t get me wrong, he was a very wanted baby and everything. We had both spent hours on the couch feeling (and trying to film) his kicks through my belly. And I secretly didn’t hate the 13 ultrasounds our OBs put us through because I loved to watch him on the screen when we went. I loved this kid. But in the very first second after they put him on my chest and I looked at him it hit me: I actually had no clue who he was. He was a stranger.
You see, when you’re bonding with your baby in utero, what you’re bonding with is a collection of limbs that poke out at you from within your own body. You’re aware that they belong to someone else, but they’re still inside your body. They’re yours in a way. Then you push this little person into the world and suddenly he is exactly that – a whole other person. You’ve never seen his face, or the shape of his toes. You don’t know what colour his eyes really are or whether he’s got his dad’s chin. He’s a totally new entity. How do you love someone you don’t know?
And all of this is not to say that I didn’t bond with Little Man. There was definitely bonding. If not instantaneously, then at least by the time we put him to the breast. That part was a no-brainer… literally. It’s some sort of hybrid between a chemical reaction and an unconditioned reflex. But it wasn’t love, per se, and it didn’t make me all sloppy. That came later, slowly. As I got to know him, memorized his voice and breathed him in, I fell totally in love… finally.
So was it just me? Am I the only one who didn’t have that “Wow” feeling at the first moment?