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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In Which I Love James my Baby

I had written before about my fears about SIDS . . . I used the phrase "guarding my heart" in that entry.

This feeling of disbelief and not being able to feel confident that the baby is going to stick around for the long term seems to be a common one in the "Parenting-After-Infertility" community, and perhaps others feel it too.

A pregnant friend asked in a recent blog post when it will start to seem real, and I replied to her of my fears and that it was still unreal with James.

This affects me like I used to stare at him and know I loved him but not feel it in my heart. Just feel nothing. Or when people talk about him and how amazing he is, I smile and say thanks but I look at him and don't know what I think or feel. So I'm guarding my heart and I know I love him but I usually don't feel it, really--especially in the earlier months . . .

And then the other day I was changing his clothes and he was laying on (the pad on) the dresser in his diaper while I looked for clothes for him. And I just stood over him and looked into his eyes and he looked back. And then I smiled and he laughed and crunched up his hands, shoulders, and little body in excitement--just because of ME, because he loved me so much that his little body couldn't contain it, and my heart leapt and dropped all in one and I felt for a second how I loved him just as jubilantly, loved him so--and I wept and held him and realized really how hard I had closed my heart in the fear of losing him . . .

And since then it's happened again, and at other times in little bits I feel that splinters are forming in the wall I built. Now I can't deny that he is my everything and I would die without him, that my heart is secured to him and drawn to him as surely as a rock sinks through water.

I'm still protecting myself but it's changing, just now, it started changing. I can't wait until I can feel secure enough to really be in love with my baby.

4 comments:

Devin said...

I have never had infertility issues, but I did have many of these same feelings with my first child. I contributed it to "Baby Blues" and maybe a smidge of PPD. I used to wake up and look over at her to see her wide awake staring at me ... and just being surprised that she was still here. I remember early on knowing that I loved her but wondering when I'd love her like I loved my cat or husband -- more than just knowing I loved her and knowing I'd give up anything and everything for her ... but actually feeling it too. I was also so terrified about SIDs that I was constantly waking up in between feedings throughout the first few months to check her breathing. I don't remember when she got more "real" to me but I know it happened. It just took time.

Amy said...

After 2 miscarriages and having another one when Jensen was just 4 months old, it did take quite some time. I too woke up surprised he was still there. People would give me weird looks when I would say "I can't believe he is mine and I get to keep him, that he is here to stay"

They'd look at me like I was crazy. I could always tell the moms who'd had a loss because they would tell me "I feel/felt the same way"

It's a hard community to be a part of, but we know that we appreciate our children all the more for the miracles the truly are. I still worry if Jensen is too quiet in his crib, but he is starting to feel more permanent to me. And I know I would fight for him with every fiber of my being.

EricaG said...

This is beautiful, Adrienne. You brought tears to my eyes. I can't say I had the same feelings. Love poured over me the second my first was born and never left, but a week or so ago, our oldest had some trouble at school--an on-going issue. I was feeling so angry and down on myself and disapppointed in him. I felt this ugly coldness in my heart toward him, and I felt terrible for feeling that way. Later in the evening, I watched him playing with his little brother, struggling to get Legos to stay together, and later working so hard to put his jammies on himself (and proudly accomplishing the task), and that love came rushing in. I remembered that he is small, he is learning, and he is mine. Parenting challenges us to think about love in new ways. Thanks so much for sharing.

KellyAnne said...

Sadly, I know that feeling you are talking about. After Aisling's medical drama I had a very difficult time connecting with her. I blamed myself for what she went through and I had a gripping fear that someone would take her from me. I pushed myself to do everything "perfectly" in fear that if I didn't CPS would knock down the door and take her away to a "real" mommy. I knew it was irrational but I couldn't stop thinking about it. Other days it was SIDS or a serial killer that would take her away. I remember right around the five month mark, it started to let up a little and I was able to enjoy her. Today (nine months) we spent all day giggling at each other. I think love is something that takes time to build, even if it's with your own little one.

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