Check out My Surprise Pregnancy Journey if you missed the first part of this series!
At 20 weeks, we headed to the doctor for an ultrasound that would reveal the gender of our gift. As amazed as I was by seeing the hands, fingers, nose, etc, I was still having a hard time wrapping my mind around the thought that we were going to be parents! How could this be? (Yes, I know how it could be, but how could it be?)
Even though I didn’t have a gender preference, of course Trent was hoping for a boy (what father wouldn’t hope for a son?). To be completely honest, at the beginning of my pregnancy I didn’t think it mattered what gender I wanted because I didn’t think God would give it to me even if I asked. After all, I hadn’t had a desire to have kids and here I was pregnant. Thankfully my mindset had shifted from the beginning of the pregnancy and I no longer felt the same way. I was confident that God would give us the gender that we needed and that He wanted us to have. (After all, this was all His idea anyway!) The only thing that mattered to me was that our gift would be healthy and that the delivery would go smoothly!
What’s That Strange Fluttering
By now I could feel our gift moving. I wish I could say I enjoyed the feeling, but it was the most foreign feeling in the world. (Yes, I understand that it is a miracle to have a little one and that many women love feeling their baby move inside their tummies.) But all I can say is, it’s one thing to know a child is growing inside your body, but another thing to feel it move.
I knew if I was going to survive the next step in this part of my journey that I was going to have to, once again, change my mindset. It would be a long, hard road if I cringed every time I felt our gift move. Like I had done so many times before, I asked the Lord to change my heart and mind. It took some time, but He did and I stopped cringing. My new mindset was that movement was better than no movement and it showed that our gift was healthy.
All throughout this journey the Lord placed people in my path to encourage me, and many times they likely had no idea that their words lifted my spirits.
I had lots of people tell me that I would fall in love with our gift when I saw him, that we would instantly bond. I knew it was possible and that it might be the case, but in the back of my mind I was being realistic that the special bond might take time.
I’ll never forget when a dear friend shared that her daughter didn’t have an instant bond with her child right after she had delivered. My friend encouraged me not to put pressure on myself, that the bond would come in time. Oh how this gave me hope because I’ve seen her daughter with her now grown girls and there’s no doubt the love they have for each other!
I was also encouraged by this excerpt from the book What To Expect When You’re Expecting:
“Love at first sight is a concept that flourishes in romantic books and movies but rarely materializes in real life. The kind of love that lasts a lifetimes usually requires time, nurturing, and plenty of patience to develop and deepen. And that’s as true for the love between a newborn and its parents as it is between a man and a woman.
Physical closeness between mother and child immediately after birth does not guarantee instant emotional closeness. Those first few postpartum seconds aren’t automatically bathed in the glow of maternal love. In fact, the first sensation a woman experiences after birth is far more likely to be relief than love – relief that the baby is normal and, especially if her labor was difficult, that the ordeal is over. It’s not at all unusual to see that squalling and unsociable infant as a stranger – with very little connection to the cozy, idealized little fetus you carried for nine months – and to feel little more than neutral toward him or her. One study found that it took an average of over two weeks (and often as long as nine weeks) for mothers to begin having positive feelings toward their newborns.
Just how a woman reacts to her newborn at their first meeting may depend on a variety of factors…Your reaction is normal for you! Some of the best relationships get off to the slowest starts. Give yourself and your baby a chance to get to know and appreciate each other, and let the love grow naturally and unhurriedly.”
Your reaction is normal for you! I’m learning along this journey that pregnancy and all that it entails is different for everyone. What I’m experiencing may not be normal to others, but it’s normal to me and that’s okay!
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