Me As A Mom: Bonding

During my pregnancy, I wondered how the bonding process with my baby would be. While he was inside me, I felt like Cooper and I had a great relationship. Some days, when I hadn't felt him move in awhile, I would say something like "please move for mommy" then he would kick within a minute! In fact, I think the only request he ever flat-out denied was to get out of my ribs - but seeing how big he is, I can kind of understand that now. 

Anyhow, I wondered how I would feel when the baby arrived. Sure, we got on great while he was inside me, but that was easy. All I had to do was eat semi-healthy, sleep and refrain from a few semi-dangerous activities to keep him healthy. 

I don't know if I ever mentioned it here, but I was actually kind of scared of babies. I mean, they are so small and tiny and can't express their wants to you. Honestly, I've never really been around a baby before, either. I was 5 when my younger sister was born and pretty young when my cousins were born as well. My 2.5 year old niece lives six hours away. One of my good friends has a 3 year old, but I didn't do a lot with him until he was about 5 months, since she lived with her parents for awhile after he was born. 

After our childbirth/infant care class, I *really* freaked out. They went through nothing in terms of taking care of a newborn - and I didn't even know how to swaddle! I've changed diapers, but never on someone so tiny. Heck, I was even afraid to burp such a tiny baby. 

So basically, I was scared of this sweet little angel. Despite what my husband, family and friends said, I just didn't know if I could take care of my baby. 

Couple that with the exhaustion/pain of labor, I was pretty out of it by the time Cooper was here and OK to be held. I remember after he was suctioned, checked, etc. the nurses let me hold him for a bit - and I made them place him in my arms. At this point, I was just in a daze and think I was more concerned with ordering lunch than holding my beautiful son. 

Soon after, Coop went to the nursery to be cleaned up and I finally got lunch. That turkey sandwich was amazing, let me tell you. Anyhow, my parents actually arrived before Coop got back from the nursery. Once he was wheeled in, they were pretty shocked when I insisted they go ahead and hold him, I'd already done so. They seemed concerned they were overstepping their bounds, but I assured them it was OK. 

The rest of the day, I think the only time I held my son was during feedings. Then, I made hubby place him in my arms and move him as needed. Any diaper changes or anything like that were also done by hubby, who was just in awe of Mr. Cooper. At night, he even had to help me get Coop situated during feedings. 

Thursday (one day pp) started out the same. At some point that afternoon, I was lying in bed and hubby handed Coop to me, and I nestled him in my arms and we took a short nap. I think that was when I actually "bonded" with my little angel. For once, I felt comfortable with him, although I still wasn't at the experienced mom stage. I started asking hubby to share with me and doing more with Coop. 

One day old - 11.24.11

Looking back now, it kind of breaks my heart that I did so little with Cooper during his first day. Heck, now I'm walking around the house at night in pitch dark holding him with just one arm. I'm lifting him above my head and all sorts of things I never thought I'd feel comfortable doing - and he's not even two weeks old yet. 

I've learned there is no "normal" when it comes to being a mom, so I'm OK with how things were handled - like I said, it does make me sad that I was sort of indifferent, but that's just my experience. By the time Coop and I had our first day alone together last Monday, I felt confident it was something I could do. 


Looking back, I'd say that while my fears were a big factor in our delayed bonding, that's not the only contributor. For one, due to his somewhat traumatic birth, Coop wasn't placed on my breast immediately after birth - he had to be moved to the corner of the room for his suctioning, assessment, etc. After reading all the benefits of skin-to-skin immediately after birth, I think that may have had something to do with it. 

Like most new moms, I was exhausted after giving birth. So I really just wanted to relax and let all of Cooper's visitors enjoy him while they were there. Plus, I have a super-awesome husband who has always been so in love with the idea of being a daddy, I don't think I felt that Coop was being neglected at any point. 

Finally, while being surprised by the gender was amazing and something we'll likely do again if/when there is a Baby No. 2, I think it took a bit to get used to the idea of having a son. Hubby and I had a deal that if it were a boy, he got to make final choice on a name and I did for a girl, and he waffled until Thursday night - so it took awhile for Cooper to have a true identity to me as well. 

That first day, I'm not sure I felt like "a baby" was worth all the exhaustion and pain I was in. By the time we left the hospital, I totally changed my mind. I would go through it all - kidney stones - and MORE again to have my sweet little Cooper. It just took a little time. 


I've already brainstormed a few other things I want to record my feelings on "as a mom" so this will become a bit of a series, I think. I not only want to remember this, since the blog is my journal, but I also have some pregnant readers who I think would benefit from my ramblings as well :)


  1. you are a perfect mom!
    keep up the great work :)
    since i have no experience on newborn/infant care, i can't comment on that, but you are doing a fab job and it obviously comes natural to you!

  2. Thank you for being so honest in writing this! I'm sure one day I'll look back on this and feel better, since I too, have never really been around babies. :)
    Hope you are doing great Momma!! :)

  3. You're definitely a natural! What they say must be true that it all comes to you.

    I love your honesty about it all though because those of us who are pregnant and read it's nice to know feelings that we get are normal and that other women have them as well and it all fades and the "mommy" in us takes over.

    And what you said really hit me because I am terrified of labor/birth. And I didn't know if I could do it again after the 1st. So it's comforting to see that you would. Most women say that but most don't tell you that at first.. they thought it may not be. I really appreciate the honesty.

    Cooper is perfect and you're already an amazing mom. :)

  4. You're doing an awesome job! Keep following your instincts!

  5. I wrote this whole thing out the other day and then it wouldn't post so. . . here's some thoughts:) LOL

    1. I LOVED taking naps with Kanin and Gracie while in the hospital. It was definitely a bonding time. It really bothered me that I didn't get to do that with Caleb since he was in ICU.

    2. I think your feelings are totally normal. It is a lot to go from single, to married, to mom all in a short few months.

    3. About the spoiling thing (last post), I've always heard that you can't spoil a baby until at least a year old. Like you guys, I was so worried about spoiling Kanin. I cannot tell you how I regret that not holding him at every possible moment as an infant. With Gracie and Caleb, I held them all of the time until about 6-9 months. Now, of course, I would lay them down for their naps, etc but I would also just hold them while watching TV, napping, etc and I loved it. Little Cooper is used to your smell, voice, and heartbeat and he loves to be close to you!

    4. If you don't have a sling, I strongly suggest one. They didn't have them when I had Kanin and I didn't wear Grace in one until she was older (about a year) and only at outings like Cardinal games. I wore Caleb in a sling since birth and I wouldn't trade that time for anything. #1 When out in public, no stroller or car seat and strangers wanting to see the baby (bonus) #2 I had both hands available to do dishes, laundry, vaccuum, etc. #3 It was so comforting for him and me, too. LOVED MY SLING. There are several types but I just had one that was one shouldered and made out of breathable cotton (etsy). I also had an ergo baby from when Gracie was about a year old. I "wore" Caleb until at least 14 months when we went out in public.

  6. Your doing a great job, just take your time, things end up coming natural!

  7. I love your honesty so so much. I think people always say they immediately loved the baby more than they ever thought they could, they were instantly perfect moms, etc. And, while that may be true, I think your approach is so much more real and honest. I'm not a momma, yet, but I know that I will look back to this when I am!


Thanks so much for stopping by! I love comments :)