Have you ever seen a show where a mother gives birth and starts to cry tears of joy as the doctor hands her baby to her?
She holds her new tiny human in her arms and stares down at him/her with the widest smile.
She is already so in love with her little creation, everything seems perfect.
This is what I expected to feel when I met my daughter for the first time.
However, I didn’t feel much of anything at first.
When the doctor cut her from my belly and excitedly announced “We have a baby!”, I did cry.
I didn’t cry tears of joy for my daughter.
I cried because I was terrified of dying during the c-section and was happy to know I had made it through the procedure.
I watched as the nurses took my daughter over to the side to clean her up. I listened to her scream and cry. But yet I felt nothing.
The nurses handed my daughter to my boyfriend and he brought her over to me. I looked at her as if she were a stranger. I looked at her as if she didn’t just come out of me.
My boyfriend, on the other hand was so in love. He had the typical reaction you would expect one to have after just being handed a sweet little bundle of joy.
What was wrong with me?
When we got to the recovery room I did hold my daughter briefly. Even breastfed her. But I felt like those were things I was supposed to do. Not really out of love or admiration.
I felt exhausted, mentally drained, and confused.
I believe that I was still trying to process what all had just happened to me.
And then I started to feel guilt and sadness because I didn’t feel that connection to my child that I thought would be there.
I started to question on whether or not I was cut out to be her mother.
These thoughts consumed me to the point I didn’t even want to hold her.
I felt like I was forcing myself to like her.
I didn’t want to talk to my boyfriend of doctor about this for fear they would think I was insane.
Thankfully this feeling only lasted the very first day. By day 2 I still felt like she was a stranger but I didn’t feel so disconnected from her. I began to enjoy staring at her during her feedings. Hearing her cry made me want to soothe her, whereas before I could ignore it like it was someone else’s child crying.
Things gradually got better as the days went on.
Today I can proudly say that I love my amazing princess and she has definitely changed my life for the better. I couldn’t have imagined life without her.
To any mama’s that are currently going through this I am here to tell you that it gets better.
And if you find that it’s not getting better and think you may have postpartum depression, seek help. There are ways to help you feeling back to your normal self again.
Don’t suffer in silence.
There is nothing wrong with you. You are human and experience a range of emotions like anyone else.