Bold Turquoise

Oct 14 2013

Oh wait, there’s a baby! OR The Importance of Loving on Your Baby in Utero (Day 14- Bellies, Birth and Babies)

I love the process of preparing for birth and postpartum but I encountered a very unexpected drawback with my 2nd son, who was my first to be born at home. I had focused so much on planning this awesome homebirth I was going to have and this great and natural recovery postpartum that I kind of forgot about the baby.

I know- it sounds bonkers.

It's not that I didn't have clothes for him or all of the things to take care of him, it's just that I had invested so much energy and time into learning about birth and recovery that I had sort of skipped over the emotionally connecting to baby in-utero part of pregnancy.

Now, granted, I think that the miscarriage I had between my first and second sons did probably contribute to this disconnect. Also, since I had always planned to have my kids closer together than 3 years, going from one who was very independent, sleeping well through the night and had been potty trained for a solid year, to then being plunged back into the world of babydom without having taken the time to think about what that would really mean, made the transition very difficult. Oh, I had also been sure that he was going to be a girl. He wasn't. (Don't get me wrong- I wouldn't want him to be anything other than what he is, but it just wasn't what I had been anticipating.)

Bonding with babies in uterine makes a difference postpartum

Regardless of what all played a part in it, having put all my effort into preparing for how to have my second son and recover from him but not taking the time to dream about him and love the idea of holding a baby in my arms again did make it much harder to connect with him after he was born.

How I Emotionally Connected with my Daughter in Utero

Last time I did things much differently. While I still gave lots of time and attention to the details of my birth and recovery process (because I do think that those are good and important things to plan and prepare for) I spent even more time loving on my belly. I prayed for her and dreamed about the things we would do together. I made her special hats and clippies while I talked to her and told her how much I loved her. I sang, knowing that she could hear me. I payed attention to how she behaved and noticed her patterns from the inside out.

Even when we found out that she had a two-vessel instead of three-vessel cord I committed to loving on her and investing in her because I decided that if we did lose her I would rather have spent as much time loving her as I could and be able to deal with the full weight of that loss than try to diminish my relationship with her as though it would make it hurt any less if she was gone. I knew that in the end, if she didn't make it, it would hurt worse knowing that I had shied away.

The importance of bonding in Utero

Though just two vessels, her cord did its job and she came into the world as perfect as can be. As I scooped her into my arms my love for her overflowed immediately. I knew her and connected with her in an inexplicable way. She was worth every moment of that dreaming and singing and my entire recovery was so much more emotionally stable that time around. I was confident in my mothering abilities and in my connection with my baby, which does wonders for a hormonal mama!

My Suggestions for You

For every minute you spend learning about birth, planning for delivery, registering for baby items and making meals for your recovery, spend at least the same amount of time dreaming about and connecting with your baby. Here are some ways you might want to do that:

  • Talk to your baby- he or she can hear you! Tell them about yourself, how much you love them, what your hopes and dreams are for them. Ask them questions and be silly! If we can't be silly with our kids, who can we be silly with?! If you are having an emotionally difficult time or things are hard, reassure them that it is something you are working through but that it isn't their fault. This little person is your traveling companion for nine months- treat them as such!
  • Sing to your baby or play music for them.
  • Read books to your baby or recite scripture.
  • Pray for your baby. Thank the Lord for every single kick!
  • Journal about your baby and your feelings on motherhood. Make notes about your pregnancy in a way that you would want to present them to your child many years from now.
  • Think about or even plan things that you want to do with your baby.

Just invest! Dive into this new relationship! It is one of the most important ones you will ever have.

What are some ways that you connect with your baby in utero? Did it help with the bonding process after they were born?

Join the Conversation!

Bellies, Birth and Babies Series

Are you keeping up with the entire 31 Days of Bellies, Birth and Babies from a Doula's Perspective series? Go tothis page for the full list of posts so far and be sure to subscribe so you don't miss any more! Also, please come join the “Ask the Doula” conversation on the FB page!

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You can also email me at boldturquoise at gmail dot com or go to this page if you would like more information about private classes and consultations (also available via FaceTime and Google+ Live Hangouts) or having me speak at one of your upcoming events!

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*I am not a medical professional- just a mom and doula sharing from my experiences and research.

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