My Baby and the Love Thereof:
I wasn’t expecting to get pregnant, at the sweet age of 16 I was told by a consultant (after months of tests and the last hour of intimate prodding and poking) that I was “going to struggle” to have children and that I would definitely be applicable for the [then] three free rounds of IVF. Fast forward 14 years, the implant wasn’t for me and so I had it took out. After a conversation or two about whether or not we should try for a child, my Husband and I decided that the new implant shouldn’t be put in. My Husband understanding that we were going to be trying for our first baby: me? I was fully expecting to be told that I wasn’t able to have children, perhaps we’d try the [now] one free try of IVF, it would fail ‘shame, shame’ we weren’t going to have a child. Shame, shame I could carry on with my wonderful free and easy life, following my career, lolling around on the sofa like a melancholic middle class Victorian lady.
Fast forward 4 months, my wedding day, my period was due, it never came – a week later, confirmation: I was pregnant, we were having a baby. After a pretty awful pregnancy where I felt ill because inherently I didn’t trust my body could produce a medically ‘ok’ human. I never talked to my bump (actually berating it), the vast majority of baby conversations I twisted into a comical manner; not a chance of being serious about it, my first scan I cried and cried because the baby was in fit and fighting order, that reassurance was short. Then labour, a lovely labour, the most calm, peaceful, powerful hours of my entire life thus far, the end product of those 12 hours? A baby… a WTF baby!! Instinctively I knew exactly what to do to keep this little human alive, emotionally however, was a whole different story.
We went home the next day and then it all started, my lovely Husband was brilliant and had almost a month off with us – “why on earth was I there? I wasn’t needed because my Husband and baby were such a team, I was on the peripherals”, I would hand the baby to anyone who walked through the door, joking about how I thought it was good for her (in hindsight I do think that this was good, she loves people and wants to hang out with you all!!) and then at about 4 months old we were visited by family who had an 18 month old and he said “there is nothing like the punch in the stomach of love that you feel for them is there” and I mumbled something incomprehensible an kinda laughed. I had no idea what he was on about! My baby was a chore, a job that I get let off, of as soon as my Husband came home, I would actively let other people hold her and leave her with them as long as possible, whilst I mourned my life BC (before Constance) all the spontaneity, the time spent lolling around.
At about 6 months I started to talk about it, and how it took me about 6 months to start to really fall in love, but this still wasn’t true, I still found the sleeplessness destroying and the fact that I no longer could do exactly what I wanted, which was mostly absolutely nothing. I just didn’t feel like I was cut out to be a Mother, let alone someone’s Mummy. In total it took about a year for me to fall in love and now, 2 years 4 months on I can (truly) honestly say that, that girl has my heart, my whole mind, body and soul in love. I can say I would do anything for her and every night I tell my Husband that she is a little legend with beaming pride and every night I give her a little kiss and a little smell as my child has a scent that is intoxicating for me as her Mummy. I love her until I could explode through the brilliant and the difficult.
I feel like I have read so much information about ‘loving your baby’ and I feel that none of those blogs or posts really showed that it would take longer than a few months, but it can, it may take years, (it may never come and I would probably seek some help if this is the case) but however long it takes, be gentle on yourself as beating yourself up, feeling a dreaded guilt isn’t going to help and most of all, trust yourself – you’re good enough.