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.