How do I bond with a lemon?
When I first found out I was pregnant, the immediate reaction I had was not one of unbridled excitement. Quite the opposite, it was one of anticipatory anxiety that stayed with me well into the first trimester and only now, at 13 weeks, has dissipated. All tests tracked, everything looked great, my pre-existing nutrition knowledge gave me an above-average understanding of nutritional benefits for mom and babe during pregnancy. So there I was eating all the protein, all the choline, and yet still, unavoidable baseless anxiety.
From the second I started sharing that I was pregnant, the advice from friends and strangers (both welcome and unsolicited) poured in. From must-have products to moms sharing their own nausea experiences (file under “unsolicited”), everyone wants to offer a piece of advice, and it all comes from a good place. And listen, I know I’m lucky to have people who want to share with me. But with all the input, all the personal stories of nausea, and rough pregnancies, and not being able to feed, I just wanted to yell “stop! I will be fine.” And sometimes I still want to yell that (and do in my head).
None of it has really affected me as much as bugged me but the thing I just can’t kick is this anxiety around bonding with my babe. Apps, lactation consultants, my duala friend, quasi acquaintances I only sorta know have all encouraged me to spend 10-15 minutes ‘bonding with my baby’ every day. Well, I don’t know what that means because my baby is a 3-inch fetus the size of a lemon. But I do know I’m not bonding with him. Does this mean we won’t be bonded? And what does bonding really even mean when you’re talking about a newborn. I really do know I’ll know it when I feel it—and I can’t wait for that. But until then it’s one of those things I wish I could be left to figure out when the time comes and not something I’m told to do or think about (or worry about!) now.