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I was pregnant for 40 weeks and six days. I knew pretty early on that I was pregnant and had my first scan at 3 weeks. When I saw my little baby on the screen, no bigger or different from my coat button, that became its name, “Button”. I didn’t know the sex, but from that moment, I loved my Button.

Or I thought I did.
It was a tough pregnancy. I suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum and I suffered from PSD. There were a few days where I was pretty certain I was going to lose my baby. I left a work conference early at three weeks because I was bleeding. Hence the early scan. I bled till almost 20 weeks. I cried every time I went to the bathroom. I loved Button so much already.

I gave birth 48 hours and 40 minutes after my first contraction woke me. It wasn’t an easy labour but it was a gentle home water birth. I lifted my baby out of the water and raised it to my chest. This little creature looked in my eyes and in that moment a poem formed in my head. A few minutes later I realised I still didn’t know what sex Button was.

She was a girl and she had beautiful blue eyes and was perfect in every way. We lay in the pool as she nursed and I was in love with her. I loved her.

At least I thought I did.

She stayed nameless for almost a week, and eventually we decided on Ameli. Beautiful Ameli, dainty and delicate and fine, like a porcelain doll. (Her name means lady-like in Greek). Someone asked me what I would do if she died and I replied that I would mourn and then life would go on.

Because I thought I loved her – but I had no idea.

I had no idea how that love would grow. I had no idea how much a part of my life she would become, how she would become my life, my reason. I had no idea how amazing being a mother was going to be or how awestruck I would be at those little toes, hands, sighs, groans.

I didn’t know how much such a catastrophe would affect me, because I didn’t know how much I would love her. I didn’t even know that as much as I did love her was going to be so little in comparison to how much I would love her.

In becoming a mother, I feel like I have truly become a woman – that I have found a part of myself I never knew existed, and certainly never knew I was missing.

I know this isn’t something that every woman experiences, and I know that not everyone is cut out for the ‘stay at home’ thing. I know that women sometimes feel pain, fear or shock at not feeling ‘in love’ with their young ones from the start, but I don’ think they should. Sometimes we feel it immediately and sometimes we don’t.

I suspect I felt so much love from the beginning because of the fear of loss – but even so, the ‘love’ I felt in those first moments was only a starting point, as it is for each of us, with the birth of each new baby. It’s a start, a beginning point.

All we can do is to take it from there and let the love, and the bond, grow.

What do you think?

5 Comments

The Mother and Baby Bond

  1. This is a beautiful and inspiring reflection. I remember lying in bed while I was pregnant trying to imagine the life and love I would have for my daughter, but in truth I never really had any idea until she was born and the days progressed. That bond is such an amazing, wonderful thing. If she ever died before me, I am not sure i would be able to go on.

  2. This is lovely.It reminds me of a survey done not too long back where researchers found that on asking long term married couples (30 yrs and more ) what the difference between the love they felt when they had ‘fallen in love ‘ enough to marry was as compared to 30 or so years down the track. They were surprised that the couples now consider in retrospect that the love they had was only 5% of what it is now when they are no longer considered to be ‘in love’. yes its the ‘bond’….. lovely write. Thanks. Nana

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