I have a confession to make.
I really didn’t enjoy the ‘newborn’ stage, at least not in the way it’s portrayed on television. A couple of pushes and you cry hysterically, overwhelmed with instant love for your tiny new born. Everybody’s labour story is different, two labours will never be the same. For me it was more a case of overwhelmed yes – instant love – not so much. Now anyone that knows me will know I adore Jasmine, she is my world, the love of my life and I tell her at least 25 times a day that we are best friends.
But I couldn’t stop looking at this tiny alien when she arrived and I didn’t feel the instant infatuation I assumed came. And newborns want a LOT and they give back nothing. Not even a smile, not a look of appreciation that I’ve got up for the 500th time that night, persisted through agonising breastfeeding and desperately tried not to drop them at any point. As time went on I soon realised how cool she was, I soon realised how much I did actually adore her, but the ‘bond’ didn’t happen instantly. Perhaps due to a traumatic labour and their genuine concern for my rapid blood loss once they had got her out, it was all a bit much.
I fear as a society we watch film and tv programmes and expect that hysterical rush of love. It’s ok if it doesn’t happen straight away. It’s ok if you think they look a bit pink and swishy, it’s ok if you have anxiety soar like wild and if the queue of gushing visitors is all a bit overwhelming. Its so important we keep talking about maternal mental health.
I looks at pictures of her as a newborn now and swoon over them with adoration. I know that everyone experiences a very different journey, can you relate to not quite having the Hollywood moment with your newborn after labour? Or did you have that instant moment of infatuation?