It wasn’t love at first sight…

I have to get something off my chest, real quick. It’s not a big deal, but someone has to say it : I didn’t fall in love with my children at first sight.

A lot of thoughts crossed my mind after I gave birth to my first child – the two clearest thoughts were “OMG! cishe ngafa” and “I want another one”.

When I first held my son, it was like meeting this small, shrieking stranger and I didn’t know where to place my heart. Holding him in my arms felt very different to holding him inside of me. Here he was, with his own body, breathing his own air, outside of me. It was a lot to get used to. I had feelings of relief, awe, and even confusion… Plus newborns are ugly, so there was also that.

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I was really pleased to meet him, and I knew I would kill or die for him, but I didn’t feel gushing rivers of sentimental love at all.

It was the same for my daughter. The feeling of my heart pumping custard came later. Probably around the time my milk came in. And it came all at once, like the milk…

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Both times, it took me a while to understand my feelings about having a child, and find love in there.

I asked older womyn about this, and I found this to be a common, albeit unspoken experience. I’d carried some guilt and weirdness about it, and I wished someone had told me it would happen.

When you give birth to a baby, you are also born anew, as a mother. This is probably the most terrific and terrifying thing. We really don’t talk about it openly or honestly enough.

Thinking about it now, it makes perfect sense that I felt that way. My babies and I were new to each other, after the birth and we are getting to know ourselves and each other in this relationship which will continue to grow and change for the rest of our lives. No long ting.

7 thoughts on “It wasn’t love at first sight…

  1. Felicie says:

    I know this feeling too well. Even 18months later I remember his cry/screams on the first night. It drew me out of a deep sleep recovering from a c-section. I knew it was him crying because I was the only one who had given birth that day in the hospital. But I couldn’t move my legs at all and I was dogg tired and sleepy, I decided to cover my head and go back to sleep knowing that he was safe with the nurses in the baby room. Plus my milk hadn’t come anyway, lol

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  2. Naledi says:

    Ya Felicie

    I remember waking up and seeing the baby and thinking ‘OMG someone left their baby in my bed!’
    A few moments later I was like ‘Oh shit this is my baby’

    Lol!! Its funny now but was disconcerting at the time when I realised what I’d just thought.

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  3. Nthabiseng says:

    I keep saying this to people, other mommies only agree with me in private cos society feels mommies should go googoogaaa over their kids the minute they are born. It wasn’t the case for me it actually took me a good month or two to finally fall in love with my son.
    For me it was more like being hit by a train the first few days…like this tiny human is mine and is not going away. I remember my mum asking how i feel and i said i don’t know… I honestly grew to love my son and i don’t think it makes me less of a mother.

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    • homiematrimony says:

      Nothing can make you less of a mother. You have given your blood and soul. It’s so hard for mums to admit because we don’t want to be seen as bad people. But this thing is hard, hawu. It can’t be all roses

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  4. MakaNandi says:

    I can relate to this and whenever I mention it- people look at me weirdly. Fortunately a week before I gave birth a friend who went through the same experience told me about it. She said- the love takes a bit of time, you’ll be so confused and overwhelmed- don’t feel bad, it won’t be “the best day of your life” as everyone says it is.

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  5. palesathepurveyor says:

    I was overwhelmed by her poyoyo, because she had engaged but took fooooorever to come and her heart rate slowed drastically, so they cut her out of me. I remember think I am hungry and shaking and can 1 day sleep on my tummy again. Then when they brought her back with a hat on I was like: TARISAI (Bonang in Shona, disclaimer didn’t really think in Shona but it sounds great nje) there goes my stunner Motheo wa Pelo yaka

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