How I Learned To Love My Baby

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mani della famigliaI was excited to get pregnant. We had been in the “trying for a child” phase of our relationship, and we were really excited when the test came back positive.

Pregnancy definitely did not suit me well. I gained over fifty pounds of weight; I claim I was never informed I would be perpetually hungry for nine months. I also got every single symptom that you can possibly get while you are pregnant. I would go to the doctor and say I have this cramp/rash/thing and they would say “yes, that is common with pregnancies.” This would be fine if you had just one or two of the symptoms, but not all of them. Not to mention, I never got that beautiful pregnancy “glow” that everyone says you have. My husband and I even joke that the only “glow” I had was the amount of white headed acne I had on my face. However, I endured it all; I did soberly, strongly like most women for nine months (with even a week of bed rest). All because I knew I would have a beautiful baby that I would love.

That was the problem — WOULD LOVE. I did not love the baby inside of me. I simply felt I did not know it. I liked it a lot, and cared for it, as you would a young being. Perhaps it was because we kept the sex of the baby a secret, or perhaps it was because having a baby scared me a lot due to the fact that my own mother had passed away a few years earlier. However, wanting to have a child, I endured, like all women do. I just knew I would see my baby and I would fall in love.

Three days after my due date, and fourteen hours of labor later, we had a beautiful eight pound baby boy. The birth was a flash of an earthquake in my stomach in the living room, a crazy car ride to the hospital, nice epidural man, waking up to pressure, Nick waking up to baby coming, pushing, pushing, pushing, sick of pushing, my husband screaming “It’s a boy. Renee it’s a boy!” and Xavier was placed on my chest and I looked into his eyes. I even said “Hi buddy,” but I was not in love. I quite frankly was exhausted and I was worried that Xavier was tired as well, and that we really should be wrapped in a blanket, or something, and what would be happening next to us.

A lot happened in the hospital as I ended up having some complications after the birth. I attributed us not really bonding all that well at first to just not being home together as a family. When we finally got home it was wonderful at first being greeted by our family and friends. A couple days after they left I had a hard time home with Xavier. I was extremely exhausted due to the blood loss. I also got my milk in extremely late and he had problems latching. I finally decided to start pumping, as well as try to get him to feed off of me to get my milk really coming in. I was so sure breastfeeding would bond us, but no matter how many different ways I tried it never worked. So I pumped and would try to feed him myself. I had an even harder time bonding with him, I felt like all I did was tend and care for him and I never got one smile, one blink, one nod, nothing. He mostly would cry around me.

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