I want to start off by saying that I love my baby girl, and I always have.
But, it took me a long time to bond with her.
I had a rough pregnancy this time, in and out of the hospital for bleeding, followed by several ultrasounds to check on her. I stressed a lot about whether or not she was okay, and why I was bleeding (they never did figure it out). I thought all of this would make the bonding all that more easy, as I bonded instantly with my son. I honestly have no idea what went wrong in the beginning, but it started as soon as I saw a picture of her.
I had to have a repeat c-section so I didn't get to see her right away, as they were cleaning her up and doing apgar scores my husband was by her side taking pictures. When he brought me the camera I was shocked at how she looked. Not that I thought she was ugly, just different than what I had expected. I guess I expected her to look like Mason, and she looked nothing like he did as a newborn.
It took longer this time to put me back together, as I had a lot of scar tissue they were trying to deal with, and then I went into a recovery room, something I didn't do when I had Mason. While in the recovery room, I was asking if she was okay, and what her stats were. None of the nurses knew, I was beyond frustrated and wanted to get up to my room then to see my baby.
Finally, after almost an hour, the maternity nurses came to get me, they told me her stats: 8lbs 9oz and 22 inches. But they also explained that she was on oxygen and would need to stay on it for about 4 hours before she would be allowed to come to my room. I was allowed to be wheeled into the nursery to see her and hold her if she could tolerate it.
My first time holding Kaylee.
I did hold her and she did well, but something just didn't feel right, I don't know what my problem was and I still look back and think what an awful person I am. I loved her, please never think I didn't, it just wasn't that instant bond I had expected to feel. Maybe it was because I was very worried about her and every time a nurse/doctor stepped into our room it seemed like they never had good news for us.
First it was the oxygen, then one night the nurse came to check on her and said her nostrils were flaring..I guess not a good sign in infants, then she was loosing so much weight, then it was her jaundice levels were going up and up and then they found the murmurs. She was taking to breast feeding really well, but that all went out the window when she was dropping so much weight and with her jaundice levels rising, she had to take a bottle one night, after that I never could get her latched again.
They almost didn't let her go home with me because of the weight and jaundice. She was born at 8lbs 9oz and released at 7lbs 10oz, she had dropped nearly a pound.
Even though I hadn't particulary bonded with her, she was very attached to me. I was the only one who could soothe her or get her to sleep. I had a hard time in the beginning dealing with 2 kids, knowing how to split my time between the two. This all came to a head one night, Kaylee was close to two weeks old and I was still staying at my Moms (for help after my surgery, as my husband didn't have any time off), Mason had been acting weird and ended up throwing up that night, after that he was wheezing very badly, I wasn't sure if it was an allergic reaction or a full blown asthma attack (at that time he hadn't been diagnosed but it was obvious to both my husband and I that he had it). I had to rush to the ER with Mason, leaving Kaylee home with my Mom (it was the height of H1N1 and I didn't want Kaylee in an ER waiting room), by the time we go to the hospital Mason seemed fine (I had given him benedryl before leaving for the ER) but my Mom was texting me and saying Kaylee was inconsolable. I was so torn, leave the ER and risk something happening with Mason or stay and have Kaylee scream all night until we got home. We did end up leaving, but a triage nurse had evaluated Mason and said she heard no wheezing, then politely told us the wait could be another 2 hours, just to get a room, not be seen. We left and stopped home for his nebulizer, just in case and made an appointment with his ped the next morning. When we got back to my Mom's Kaylee was beside herself. That night I made the right choice, but would I know what to do if something like that happened again?? I still don't know.
After we got home it seemed like things just got worse for Kaylee and I. She threw up A LOT and had reflux. I'm not sure if that is what caused all the crying or what it was honestly. She ate every 3 hours but slept good at night, once I could actually get her to sleep. I was beyond exhausted by the time I got Mason to bed (we co-sleep) and it seemed every night was Kaylee's worst time. She would cry for hours before she would fall asleep, this wasn't colic, as at times she was consolable, certain ways I held her would work, but always different every night, if I gave her a bottle that always worked, even if she had eaten 10 minutes before that.
Many nights I just had to leave her in the room and walk away, usually into another room. We live in a two bedroom apartment, don't worry, she was always close at hand in her bassinet. I would just get so frustrated because nothing I did would soothe her and I was beyond the point of exhaustion and I just wanted sleep! It took her a good 3 months to grow out of this.
But I did slowly begin to bond with my beautiful girl, and every day I live with the guilt that it took me so long. That I had such a wonderful blessing in my arms everyday and I just didn't understand all the times I was missing. I put all the bad before any good. I will never have those days back, those hours and minutes I spent, wishing she would go to sleep so I could get a break.
Maybe that is why I try to over compensate now? Maybe that's why I won't move her to her crib, why I pull her in close and breath her in every night.
This is the first time I've ever let these thoughts out of my head, I've never even told my husband how I felt in those dark early days. I couldn't stand the thought of him thinking of me as a bad mother, that I didn't love her, for anyone to think that. My kids are my world, and I kick myself every day for not being able to recognize that from day 1.