Sunday, December 11, 2011


I love this little man you see here with all my heart. But it wasn't the instant intense love you might imagine it to be. That may surprise many of you and like a blog post that I wrote a few months ago regarding what I considered to be the myth of breastfeeding coming 'naturally' (which for some very lucky women it does, but for most of us it takes a lot of hard work and learning on both sides and in some cases like mine, you get to a point where it just ain't happening and you choose to go down another path) the whole love at first sight when your baby is handed to you isn't always the case. Don't get me wrong, I loved him but it took me a good 6 weeks to look at him and really feel my heart swell with love. And for some it takes even longer than that. I think it is especially hard after infertility to admit that that love takes time to build up because there is so much pressure to be the perfect mother to this little baby that you have battled for so long to hold. I felt so guilty at times that I was finding this motherhood gig harder than I felt I should be. You don't want to admit that after 3 years of trying and countless medical procedures and IVF cycles to get this precious wee baby, that you aren't always enjoying the experience of first time motherhood. That it's actually hard work. That the sleep deprivation is killing you. But by the time he was 6 weeks old, I finally had that moment. He was snuggled against my chest sleeping while I watched TV and I just felt this wash of love come over me and I knew then what it feels like to truly be in love and awe of your child. 

The reason I am writing this is because after I spoke to other women about this, I found that many IVF mums (or mums who had battled infertility regardless of how you managed to conceive in the end) were going through postnatal depression because they felt they couldn't admit that they found motherhood to be harder than they thought because they felt people would look down on them. They also put alot of pressure on themselves to be the perfect mother and then things don't go according to plan and they feel like a failure. Or they have their baby and then feel like they're a bad mother for not falling instantly head over heels in love with this baby that they have only just met. And no one wants to talk about it. So I decided I wanted to write a blog post just to say that sometimes it takes time to get to know this little person who you just welcomed into the world. You're not always going to be the perfect mother. And just because you battled so hard to get pregnant, does not mean that you can't confess to how hard you are finding it and ask for help. And eventually you will look at your child and feel the way you always felt you would feel when they were born. 

It isn't always love at first sight and that's ok.


  1. Great blog post!Love reading about that moment at 6 weeks with you and Cohen-bit teary reading that actually!
    I have also read and talked to people about PND-especially in relation to IVF, so I'm trying very hard not to place too much pressure on myself and have too many expectations. It is really difficult though as it's hard not to get paranoid about everything!And I think the long journey to get there naturally plays a part in our first experiences of motherhood.
    So helpful to read other people's experiences too...awesome post :) <3

  2. Oh such a beautiful post...I will remember your words...I will remember and we are not perfect...your words speak so truthfully ..I agree with Ants it is hard not to be paranoid...
    Every little I have purchased so far I look and evaluate safety aspect to ensure my little bubs will be in the best of hands...but those first few weeks when baby arrives... I will remember your words...Thanx for sharing xx

  3. Great post Haidee. It's so true, even after all we've been through, parenting doesn't get any easier for us and it is so challenging it's sometimes hard for us to look at our babies with anything but anger or frustration etc. After a particularly bad day this week I was ready to give Emi away to the highest bidder - or take off to Thailand and leave her with her father! I'm glad though that I'd been told by a few people that the love often isn't instant (by my own mother even) and I'm comfortable in myself knowing my feelings are normal ( well most of them anyway :-). I'm also comfortable being very honest and whenever anyone asks me how motherhood is I reply "well it takes a lot of adjustment". At this stage I can honestly say I don't love motherhood. But I do believe that I will become accustomed to it all and enjoy my new and different life :-) love Tan

  4. I think this is a really important post... the guilt/questioning can start in pregnancy I think... I sometimes feel guilty for complaining about my bad back and difficulty sleeping. I am still overwhelmed with joy about being pregnant after IF and feel I should never say anything negative. I imagine that the pressure once the much-awaiting baby is born is even more intense xx

  5. Thank you SO very much for your honesty! I'm 28 weeks pregnant as a result of an IVF cycle and I won't know how my response will be when my daughter arrives until she's here. I'm over the moon but think the wait and anticipation just to get to a positive pregnancy result makes the "theory" that I'll love her instantly something "huge" and it's important to remember that life isn't perfect; I'm not perfect and things take time. Thanks again!

  6. Wonderfully truthful and reflective post Haidee.

    We do put a lot of expectations on montherhood and what it "should" be like. I think going through IF, makes those dreams of the future and how amazing it will be even more intense and prolonged.

    Realitly on the other hand is a totally diferent thing and until you get to that point of having this new baby in your arms, you really have no idea how you are going to feel.

  7. A very raw but important post. I'd like to add an observation from blogging and forums, I have seen a lot of criticism of mothers and those that are fertile about how they raise their kids. It's always easier from the outside looking in. Being a mum is hard work. Even harder when you add working to the mix. Maybe commenting on how others should bring their kids up is only setting yourself up to meet unrealistic expectations of motherhood? Does that make sense? I guess it's like being a backseat driver, then it's your time behind the wheel and it's not as easy and natural as you thought.

    When I had my son, I have to admit that I never had any connection issues. I did love him from the first time I saw him. But I had no pressure, no expectations, no struggle or infertility issues. If I do get to have another baby, I do feel a bit nervous about the emotional pressure I may have set for myself. Years of crying and pain, and wanting this so bad. It's a lot of pressure before this baby is even conceived..

  8. Brilliant post Haidee. I am going to link it. The other side of this is the fact when you finally get pregnant you are not allowed to complain. You have to be the perfect infertile. And sometimes it isn't as fucking glamorous as you think it is going to be. But if you say something you get the look, like you wanted this so shut up and be happy. Apparently only fertile people have the right to complain too! Actually in saying that it is mainly those that don't have children yet that crack it when you complain those that have had children, they understand.

    In regards to Tee's comment I agree wholeheartedly. Sure there are times when I see parenting techniques that I don't necessarily agree with but until I am a mum I keep my mouth shut. I do not have the right to criticise (yet!!)

    Again, great powerful and honest post.

  9. ~ Puts hand up ~
    Reading this was like reading my thoughts.

    I was too overwhelmed and still in la la land and fear to actually believe that the little person the nurse presented to me was my son. The instant love didn't happen to me either. It wasn't until he was about 6 weeks old. Sleeping in his bassinet next to my bed and at 3am there was a malfunction with the baby heart monitor. The alarm went off and I completely lost it. After a few seconds of realising that everything was ok, I held him so tight in my arms and rocked back and forth and just cried and cried. So happy that he was ok. I knew then how much I loved him. How I would die for him.

    I found some aspects of motherhood quite hard but after speaking with many other mothers and getting them to be truthful to me and confess their inner secrets - we are all in this mother thing together, although individual in every sense - we get it. Thank you for being so truthful.

    Post natal depression can come in many forms. I take St John's Wort on difficult days as my diagnosis of PND is only moderate. It helps, but speaking about it also helps too.

  10. Beautiful post haidee. So true!! I only felt that undying love around the 3rd month. Its a feeling of peace and love love love.

    coming off of the ttc wagon is hard to let go.. I found I was still addicted to ttc. I almost didnt know what to do with myself because TTC changed my life, i lost and gained friends. everything revolved around ttc, what i ate, what activities i did ect ect.
    Once I was pregnant and after I had my baby I didnt know what to do. I didnt have PND but I did see a councellor to help me move on from TTC rollercoast and learn how to be bloody normal again!! I can say! I had to block BCentre for sanity reasons, but did save your blog to check on you and few others ttc's :)
    Life is full of journeys. Two of the best things to come from TTC is.. Your baby and the way you look at motherhood. Neither we take for granted.

    Thankyou for your raw post.. another topic people dont like to talk about