14 Apr 2008

Mommy feeling

I don't know if this is common with moms whose babies land up spending a lot of time in hospital just after they are born or if it is just me, but the "mommy" feeling hasn't really hit yet. Intellectually I know I am a mom but I still feel that the girls aren't mine. Understand I am not saying I don't love the girls because I do, I just don't feel that they are all mine.

It maybe because we didn't get to bond immediately after they were born. I had a general anaesthetic for the CS as the spinal didn't work and only got to see them the next day. Even if I had been awake they had to really fight to save Enya so I wouldn't have seen her in the theatre, Ciara did cry when she was born but was also then intubated (and then extubated by that evening when Z went in to see the girls).

We were really lucky as by the 3rd day after the girls were born we were allowed to start kangaroo care with Ciara (Enya had an IVH and so we were only allowed to start kangarooing the week after with her). When I read other micropreemie blogs I realised we were very lucky in that our unit was very pro kangaroo care and we could almost always kangaroo. Even when they reintubated Enya and they had to bag her during the transfer to the parental body, they encouraged us to kangaroo with her. They said the benefits from the time spent on us far outweighed the stress of the transfer, as she was always more stable when we cuddled her.

However we were not involved in the actual care of the girls until they were nearly 2 months old. We missed their first baths, their first attempts at bottle feeding, we didn't get to put their first clothes on, we didn't get to hold them first, we didn't even get to accompany them for their first car journey, we even had to ask before we touched them. Although I spent most of the day in the hospital with them, the nurses spent more time with them and knew more about them than I did. When they finally were allowed into the warm beds I still had to ask before picking them up, changing their nappys or bathing/feeding them. I felt that they belonged to the nurses and I was just a very frequent visitor. This feeling was not helped by the saga with the breast milk (They made me feel my milk was poison for Ciara). I felt there was nothing I could offer the girls because anyone could cuddle/bath/feed them, the nurses could even do the feeding/bathing much better than I could.

Now even though Ciara has been home longer than she was in hospital (as of the weekend:-)), the feeling still persists that they are not all mine although it is subsiding veeerrry slowly. However I still don't have the classical mommy feeling and feel I should be asking permission before I change anything in their care. I guess it will take longer to make up the time we lost and to bond with them.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

We only spent 2 weeks in the hospital. A drop in the bucket, compared to you.

But I feel the same. My milk was anywhere from "not good enough" to "bad" for Daniel. Having to ask to change their diapers. To hold them. To do anything. It takes a lot away.

We just spent 2 extra months on formula that I knew was hurting him because the doctors told us it was fine, and I was scared to go to the pediatrician and tell her we had switched.

Every week I have people invade my house to "check in on the boys". Forced on me by the pediatrician. As if I'm somehow not a good enough mom, as if I need supervision.

It's hard to shake the post-partum blues when you still feel like they're not entirely yours. You put in all the effort, all the time, all the sleepless nights ... and yet you feel like it could all be taken away.

I'm there with you. I really am. And it sucks.