When I got married at 32 years old, I had had many years of dreaming about children and thinking about what kind of mom I hoped I would be. I had heard stories of the bonds that mothers had with their children and had long wished for those same bonds for myself with my own children. I had nannied for about 3 years to help teach myself how to be a good parent and as well as to get my child-fix to make sure I never married for children and not love. That worked, by the way. My baby-hungry feelings were calmed and I enjoyed every moment I spent with every amazing child that I had the opportunity to nanny and spend time with.
When the time came for me to actually get married and start a family of my own, let's just say I was more than a little ecstatic! Clayton and I started our family very quickly, getting pregnant within the first couple months of marriage. I endured a very sick pregnancy with my son with no small of amount of puking and poor food choices. I still gained 50 pounds and completely disliked being pregnant.
Not everyone talks about it, but I think one of the things that new moms do constantly when they are pregnant is imagine the first time they see their baby. What will it be like? How will it feel to see my own child for the first time? We have all heard the amazing stories of the "instant connection" and "overwhelming love" that most new moms seem to speak about. I was SO excited for this experience! I dreamed and daydreamed about it. I imagined what he would look like and who he might be like. I tried to imagine, but had a hard time guessing what this "new mom love" and "instant connection" might feel like.
The day came to deliver. My water broke that morning and we got the hospital about 1 hour later. I was having regular contractions and was ready to check in!
Soon after I saw him...my son! I saw him...and he was some baby that I had pushed out of me. I had never met him before. Clayton and my mom both cried. But I didn't feel anything new but sore and tired. Where was the connection that people had talked about?? I thought to myself that I just must have not gotten a good enough look at him, because they took him so quickly to measure/check over him. I waited until I got to hold him again. Well....time passed and I still didn't feel a connection. Jayton - my new son - was not great at nursing. In fact, nursing hurt worse than my natural childbirth a lot of the time. The only time I spent with my new child was either painful nursing or rocking him to sleep. There wasn't really a lot of interaction. Lots of family and friends came over or saw me at church/etc. I CONSTANTLY got the "How does it feel to be a mom?" question those first 3 weeks after he was born. I always answered very honestly - "I don't know. Ask me in a couple of months when I feel like one."
I didn't have an instant connection. I didn't feel like a mom to him. If anything, I felt like a cow who had to fulfill needs from a baby that she didn't even know. I had a breakdown to my sweet husband about it one night and he dealt with it amazingly. We had gone to a birthing class together and had both been warned about baby blues, so he was aware. I had a breakdown about how hard everything was and how I didn't even know if I loved my son. I felt like a horrible mother. Yet...I didn't even feel like a mother.
After some time passed, and I had gotten medication for an infection from breastfeeding, things changed. When Jayton was about 3 weeks old, I looked at him, and the feeling overwhelmed me. I was a mother, and he was my son! I looked at my baby and he finally felt like mine. It was an amazing feeling and one that I had waited for for so long. What an amazing feeling it was...to have a baby that was mine and that I felt such a strong love for.
The second time around with my daughter, it wasn't much different. Although she was an amazing breast feeder, I still just didn't feel that automatic love or connection. I thought that I definitely would because I understood what being a mother was this time around...but I just didn't.
But the difference with this time around is that I knew that feeling would come. It took longer with Kaylee than Jayton...about a month. But guess what? That's ok. I knew Jayton better than Kaylee and attributed it to that. For me...motherhood grows on me slowly. It's not automatic but it's a beautiful and surreal connection.
What an amazing gift motherhood is! It's never as we expect it to be, but isn't it a wonderful and crazy ride?! I'm so glad I get to experience it.
So much love to all of you,
Hi! I'm a Latter-Day-Saint (Mormon)...but I'm definitely not typical...
- Idaho, United States
- Hi! My life is all about encouraging others to be happy and find joy in their lives. I am a public speaker, singer and motivator by heart. Let me help you! Tell me your struggles...tell me your trials...we will work on them together! Love always, Jamee
Thursday, September 1
I have been waiting to share this intimate story until I felt the time was right. Well, the time may be right now, because I have been feeling the prompting that it is time to share.
Flash forward to 8 months later. We have a very happy baby boy who keeps us on our toes and is probably the most handsome little man I have ever seen. We are constantly getting compliments on his blue eyes and how very cute he is by strangers everywhere we go. We are so blessed.
I had been going through some kind of weird things at the time… - 1) I had been getting phantom kicks and 2) I had a dream that I was pregnant. It was all just very weird to me, especially because I never got the phantom kicks before that, not even right after having my son. I actually enjoyed having my body to myself, again. So, getting phantom kicks at 8 months post baby was SUPER odd…I found myself taking pregnancy tests to make sure that I wasn’t pregnant, it was so freaky.
Anyway, it was a quiet Saturday in our house. Jayton was taking a nap, Clayton was preparing a talk for church and I was doing the dishes. It was one of those peaceful moments that rarely happen in a household that has children.
Then…I can’t explain the feeling that I had come over me. I felt the spirit of a little girl. A girl who needed to be here now…who couldn’t wait anymore and whose brother needs her in this life to protect and nurture him. So, from that point, I knew she existed. I knew I needed to get pregnant again, and quickly. These two would need each other, but what I felt the most is that my son needs her. He needs a protector…and I don’t know why. I can’t see the future, but I can feel it. Jayton is sensitive, easily overwhelmed and loves to be around other children. He has a hard time without a playmate…so all of this made some sense to me.
And then, I cried. I cried because I miss my body. I cried because I still had 30 pounds to lose from my previous pregnancy. This wasn’t something that I wanted. I miss being in such good shape that I can do 25 push-ups at any time with no problem, or go on a 30 mile bike ride, easily. I had a plan…and it was being crushed.
But then, I also knew that if I didn’t follow this prompting that my babies would both suffer. This was one of those rare moments where I couldn’t deny the spirit and the obvious impressions I was receiving. Heavenly Father was testing me and shaping me into the mother I need to be. Seeing if I would follow a prompting.
We were pregnant within a month.
We found out it was a girl 20 weeks later. I wasn’t surprised. J
I can’t explain to you the connection I already have with this daughter of God. Every time she moves…which is all day, lately…I am reminded of the strong spirit that she has and the strong woman that she is. I pray that I will be a good mother to her. But, most of all, I already know her. She is me. She is so similar to me and how I was growing up with my brothers - the protector, the nurturer, wanting everyone to be ok. But more than that, she will be MY daughter and she will be here soon. This pregnancy has been magical…and I know it’s so that I can already bond with her, before she even arrives. I can’t wait to meet this little angel who spoke to me from the other side...almost saying… “Mommy…I need to get here! Please bring me to your family, now! My little brother needs me. You need me. Don’t forget about me.” My sweet baby…I answered your call…and you will be here soon. We can’t wait to hold you, and love you with all of our hearts. Love, Mommy.