From the day Ella was born and had to stay in the NICU, I worried about our bonding. Her delivery experience was all new to me. With Brayden I was able to have him in my room immediately and we started breastfeeding hours after he was born. I felt an immediate connection to him and was so in love. After Ella was born, I got to see her for only a few minutes and then it was off to my room for recovery. The next morning I was running a fever so I couldn’t see her that entire day. I went 36 hours before seeing my baby again. It was terrible.
I knew that breastfeeding her to help bond was out of the question. That made me sad but there was nothing that could be done about it.
Seeing my daughter for only an hour or two at a time while she was in the hospital was rough. She was always sleeping so I would just lay her on me and I did feel close to her but it was just different. She was so tiny and fragile I was always a little scared when touching/holding her. The worry about bonding grew the longer she stayed at the hospital.
After her 3 week stay I was so excited to get her home. We were going to try nursing and I thought that would help us bond, unfortunately after many failed attempts, that never happened. I beat myself up a little over that and kept thinking I would never bond with her like I did with her brother. For the next couple of months I felt like a machine that’s only purpose was to provide milk and Ella spent most of her time sleeping. Like I said before, it was just different. I loved her so much instantly but that bond of her knowing I was Mama wasn’t there (or at least I wasn’t feeling it)
After a couple more months, it started happening, she would smile at me, stare into my eyes as I rocked her - I felt like she was starting to know me. I would hold her and tears would start to fall because I knew it was finally happening – we were bonding. Since then it has only gotten better. I feel an intense bond with her now. I can feel her love for me and I think she can feel my love for her. I absolutely love going home every day from work and seeing her – she lights up my day. She is really starting to engage and interact with me, and every day just gets better.
I feel silly for ever thinking I wouldn’t feel a bond with her, but in the beginning everything that was happening was all so new to me and my emotions were everywhere. I am just happy I was wrong.