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Bonding after a traumatic birth

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#1 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 11 June 2015 - 08:43 PM

I wont have seen my son for 4 days when I get to the NICU in the city, and wont get a cuddle for his first week.
He is expected to spend a month or so in hospital.

I'm terrified that I won't bond with him, missing his firat few wriggles and tears.

anyone else been through this?

#2 SpringFlower2999

Posted 11 June 2015 - 08:51 PM

People adopt children and love them fiercely, I personally know who has. So I think the absence will just make heart grow fonder in your situation. Hopefully your little one gets better soon.

#3 ineedmorecoffee

Posted 11 June 2015 - 08:54 PM

Hi op, congratulations on your little ds.

My heart goes out to you, I didn't get to hold dd till 5 days after she was born as she was rushed to the NICU and I had complications which made me so ill that I could not move.

Dh had to take pics of her to show me. I don't think I'll ever get over it but it has not affected our bond or the love I have for dd. It just made bf difficult.

Take it one day at a time and remember he is your baby and nothing can take that away from you.
All the best.

#4 SMforshort

Posted 11 June 2015 - 08:59 PM

I had a traumatic experience with the birth of my first child, although I was fortunate not to have the separation that you are currently experiencing.

I hope things improve rapidly for you both.

I didn't bond immediately with my first son, and in fact it was a few weeks before I bonded with him.  I distinctly remember the night, when he was about a month old, where I fell in love with him.

It was like the first few weeks were about healing and accepting and when I had dealt with that I was then free to fall in love.

My experiences with my other children were fortunately easier but many years down the track I honestly don't believe that delay has damaged our relationship and I don't feel any differently about him than I do my other children.

Give yourself permission to get through one day at a time at the moment.  You will bond with your child and them with you.

#5 Riotproof

Posted 11 June 2015 - 08:59 PM

Oh you poor thing.

I haven't been through that. I was lucky enough to be in the same hospital as my kids, and asked to be taken to their bed from recovery.

My advice is to speak to the nicu nurses when it happens. They will probably be happy to email you photos/video.

Best of luck to you.

#6 Yippee-Ki-Yay

Posted 11 June 2015 - 09:04 PM

I will be blunt and say it did affect my initial bonding with my first baby. I think sometimes being aware of the potential for feelings that arent what you hoped or expected can be half the battle.

When DS was born early due to PE I had a PPH and DS was in special care for complications related to gestational diabetes. It was three days before I got to see him for the first time and four before I could hold him.

At the time I wasnt really aware of any bonding issues, but as the months went on I felt something was missing. Now to be fair I was also diagnosed with post natal depression which could easily affect my bonding but women who have had traumatic birth experiences are more likely to experience that too so I guess its all one big ball of probabilities.

We cant change these things though. We can just do our best.

Congrats on your special little bundle and heres hoping for a nice easy transition to normalcy for you all. :)

#7 MrsLexiK

Posted 11 June 2015 - 09:09 PM

Mine wasn't as long as you but I did have a traumatic birth which had me not holding or seeing my son for a little while and then he was sent to nursery (and a few days later admitted) for monitoring. I was so out of it I didn't even care that he wasn't next to me at that point (I look back and feel mothers guilt for that). I definitely struggled and spoke to DH about it a few people. My DH told me when DS was 5ish days old that even if I didn't feel the bond that he could see it happening. I wasn't very hands on (trying to express around the clock to being my milk in for 2 weeks) and I was so scared when DH went back to work. I can't tell you when the love and bonding happened but it wasn't an instant love. 2 years on my god that boy most defiantly has stolen my heart.

#8 Mmmcheese

Posted 11 June 2015 - 09:11 PM

Congratulations on your new bundle and I'm sorry it was a traumatic start. I don't have experience, but it did take me 3 months to get that bonding with my little one after a standard c-section. Not the same at all, but I guess bonding can happen at different times and it's ok. Take care xx.

#9 Amica

Posted 11 June 2015 - 09:24 PM

My second baby was put on a plane and transferred to a hospital 700km away at a few hours old. All I had was a picture of him for the first 4 days. I got my first hold at 6 days then not again for a few weeks as he was back on the ventilator. I bonded with him though as soon as I lay eyes on him.

My third baby and I were in the same hospital but different floors for the first 3 days. He was in NICU and I was in ICU. I held him the first time at about 5 days old and was able to hold him pretty much when  ever I wanted after that. When I finally met him, I cared for him deeply but I didn't immediately bond and to be honest, he was such a high strung and demanding baby that screamed constantly, it took me about 2 years to bond. Before that, well I had a difficult relationship with my baby.

Both said children were emergency cs birth with several days before we met. They were both one month plus hospital stays. I can't really tell you why I felt different. Just the human condition I suppose.

All the best op.

Edited by B.feral3, 11 June 2015 - 09:27 PM.

#10 Yippee-Ki-Yay

Posted 12 June 2015 - 08:00 AM

View PostB.feral3, on 11 June 2015 - 09:24 PM, said:

Both said children were emergency cs birth with several days before we met. They were both one month plus hospital stays. I can't really tell you why I felt different. Just the human condition I suppose.

Wow. I find that interesting. Like you I had two babies born traumatically, leaving both myself and the babies very sick.

With my second baby though, despite it being in my mind "worse" than the first, I did get a tiny bit of timecouple of hours with him in my room before they realised he was so sick and had to be recussed and taken away for over a week before I could see him again. I bonded with him so much easier though despite not being able to hold him for longer and both of us being much sicker for much longer. I always put it down to those couple of hours I had with DS#2 that I didnt with DS#1

#11 Handsfull

Posted 12 June 2015 - 09:07 AM

My girls were born very early and I didn't get to hold DD1 for 10 days (couldn't touch her for 5 days) and DD2 for more than 2 weeks due her being transferred to hospital in another part of the country.  

I bonded with DD1 and because DH went with DD2 he was the first to bond with her.  I often say she is more like him than me but that's not true as she gets older!  Just like me!  

I think I would spend my time holding their little hand and patting them on the back as much as you are able to.  Congrats on your little DS and enjoy!

Edited by handsfull, 12 June 2015 - 09:08 AM.

#12 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 12 June 2015 - 04:34 PM

Ive had loads of videos and photos, and its looking like Ill get a cuddle this weekend, and might be able to try and feed.

We will have lots of skin to skin and just take it easy. Trying so hard not to stress.

#13 Yippee-Ki-Yay

Posted 12 June 2015 - 04:37 PM

Best wishes. All you can do is your best and be kind to yourself. xo Enjoy your cuddles. :)

#14 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 14 June 2015 - 11:30 AM

we finally met again last night and I got my first cuddle and booby.

He is coming along in leaps and bounds and is looking loke being transferred closer to home late this week

#15 .Jerry.

Posted 14 June 2015 - 12:39 PM

I didn't hold my baby for 2 weeks, though I did get to see her briefly the same day and the next day.
I had not issue bonding with her.  However I had nothing to compare the experience to as it was my first.

Enjoy your little one. :)

#16 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 14 June 2015 - 12:59 PM

My sister with her first didn't see him for over a week.

Baby was born via full GA emerg CS. Baby taken off to NICU at another hospital while my sister went to ICU. Baby stayed in hospital for anther 3 weeks after she finally was able to hold her baby. Baby did not attempt breast feeding for 2 weeks either.

They have a lovely relationship and breastfed until 9m (when due to medication needs it had to stop).

No difference to her second baby who was born via CS as a planned (but early prem) CS who stayed at the same hospital and she could cuddle in SCN.

#17 Soontobegran

Posted 14 June 2015 - 01:19 PM

I am glad you've had a hold and things are looking up.
It is never easy and the way you react to this is never something you can predict.

Women bond with their babies at very different times, you'll hear people say they bonded when in utero or it was an instant bond at birth however it takes a brave person sometimes to admit this wasn't the case......even when the pregnancy and birth have been relatively problem free.

I barely looked at my first baby, I remember thinking " is this all I get after the horrific time I just had? "  The staff made me touch her, I went through the motions but as for falling head over heels for her it wasn't for about 4 days.
When at 3 weeks she became critically ill and we were told she would probably not live I realised that the bond was there and I would have died for my baby.

Please try not to worry, seek help from the NICU staff who will have people to talk to you about your feelings and never be afraid to be honest.

I hope your little one continues to get stronger every day.

#18 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 07 July 2015 - 10:23 PM

We are home, and he is a little fighter, but I just cant stop thinking that it isnt meant to be, and something will happen and we will lose him.

#19 *-*

Posted 07 July 2015 - 10:41 PM

Oh, IShallWearMidnight - I know that feeling well.  Though I never lost that child, it was a feeling I couldn't shake.

I would strongly suggest going to see your GP - Much of what you are feeling really needs to be discussed, as the feelings can get worse.

Bonding may take time, and you know what?  That's perfectly ok, and normal.  I didn't bond with my first, until she was around 18 months old.  But sometimes it pays to talk these things through, and have a support network in place xx

#20 Riotproof

Posted 08 July 2015 - 12:39 AM

View PostIShallWearMidnight, on 07 July 2015 - 10:23 PM, said:

We are home, and he is a little fighter, but I just cant stop thinking that it isnt meant to be, and something will happen and we will lose him.

I think it's natural to worry, but there's probably a line where worry crosses over to anxiety.
Do you have a GP you trust? I like mine because she has a history of working with premature babies, she seems to understand how dd and I interact, and it makes a big difference.

#21 Yippee-Ki-Yay

Posted 08 July 2015 - 07:41 AM

View PostIShallWearMidnight, on 07 July 2015 - 10:23 PM, said:

We are home, and he is a little fighter, but I just cant stop thinking that it isnt meant to be, and something will happen and we will lose him.

I had that feeling too with my second child. I dont know why. It stayed for years, but can say I havent felt that way for a long time now. I dont think mine was anxiety related, just a gut feeling something wasnt right and that here wasnt going to be with us for long.

I hope that as time passes these feelings will ease for you, but be sure to talk to someone if you are feeling overwhelmed. x

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