the beginning of my mom guilt

Our little guy was born on March 26th. Ten fingers, ten toes and 6 pounds 14 ounces of pure perfection. I had so much anticipation for meeting him. I had patiently prayed and waited for him. One of my heart’s biggest longings was to be a mom. I was eager to meet him and to experience that overwhelming love of meeting your child for the first time. You know, the mom bliss, where you feel like you’ve known this little person your whole life and you would die for him, right there and then, if it was necessary. That love that you can’t even describe that makes you feel like your heart is about to burst. That love that every new mom posts about on social media as they introduce their little one. And then I had Eli and I didn’t feel any of it. I was overwhelmed that this little person had been living inside of me and I thought he was completely adorable. I loved holding him in my arms and admiring his little face, but I didn’t feel the mom bliss and I didn’t feel like I knew him at all. And that made me feel horrible. I often saw new moms posting about how they felt complete with their newborn and I just felt guilty. Why didn’t I feel complete? I thought I would be feeling like this whole new person, but instead I just felt like a really exhausted version of myself. For days and even weeks, I started to wonder if maybe I had postpartum depression. Maybe that would help me make sense of my lack of mommy bliss and overwhelming love. But the more I researched it, the more I realized I didn’t really have any of the symptoms. I didn’t feel disconnected to my baby.  I loved spending time with him and getting to know him. I didn’t feel sad. I was really content with my life in general. I quietly struggled with this for weeks, because, you know, the guilt. Finally, after a few weeks, as a form of confession, I told one of my friends about it. She is such an example of a loving mom. She also waited for her first child for a long time and to my surprise she told me she also didn’t experience love at first sight when her baby was born. And just like that I felt a little normal. Maybe I wasn’t going to be the worst mom and maybe it was ok that it wasn’t love at first sight. Maybe different people experience motherhood in a different way. Over the past 12 weeks I have gotten to know Eli and as time has gone by, I have fallen completely love with him. It has taken time for us to get to know each other, and that’s ok. It wasn’t a love that came out of nowhere, but rather a slow, steady build. Today, my heart bursts with joy and affection for this tiny human I get to raise. I just wish I had had the courage to talk to someone about it earlier so I didn’t have to carry so much guilt for so long.
meeting baby for the first time

Photo by Lauren Guilford



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