Bonding During Pregnancy: Expectations vs. Reality

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I’m well into my third trimester of pregnancy with Emmett and I find myself getting super excited about her being here. I’m pretty sure that sometimes my heart could burst, which is kind of a relief because I didn’t always feel that way. *yes, reread that – I have not always been bursting with excitement during my pregnancy!* Of course, I have always wanted to start a family and got overly excited at the thought of mommin’, but I went into pregnancy thinking that this overwhelming burst of love between me and that little bean in me would be instantaneous and magical. Umm, it wasn’t. You see, what I was too naive to realize is that bonding takes time just like any relationship.

In the beginning of pregnancy, what I found myself concentrating on were things that caused worry in that moment, not Emmett and I’s bond. Curing my first trimester constipation (came back again in the third in case you were wondering), finding clothes that fit and researching items for my registry were some of the top to-do items. You see, the way I prioritized was that I had nine months to get to know Emmett and these issues were things that I needed to deal with NOW. I don’t think that there is necessarily anything wrong with this kind of thinking, but I have learned that focusing on simply surviving the day-to-day blah and not soaking up moments can take some of the fun out of pregnancy! Note to self – BE PRESENT.

I also have had such a hard time imagining what she will look like, which kind of made me feel like a failure of a soon-to-be mom for a while. I mean what kind of crap pregnant woman can’t slap a picture of her future kid together?! Me, that’s who. This might sound like something that shouldn’t bother me, but until you’re asked “what do you think she will look like?!” 78 times with no earthly idea as an answer, please don’t judge. For me, before I could even imagine her right pinky nail, I needed to feel her. Kinda’ strange, right?! The movements and baby kicks didn’t become regular until the end of my second trimester, so feeling her took a LONG TIME. Now all of those sweet baby kicks and somersaults are in full swing and actually have a little routine – she wakes up early to bee-bop around, I eat, she moves around in the afternoon, I eat, she drains my energy by the evening, I eat and she spends the middle of the night kicking my bladder. I still can’t fully imagine her little face (maybe it’s because Bry and I look so different?!), but I do find myself feeling more connected and imaginative now that we have become acquainted through our dual-occupancy of my body.

Another piece of the puzzle that has helped me grow this bond is getting everything ready for her arrival! It’s pretty easy to think “oh, sh*t – there is about to be a real, live baby as my third roommate” when you’re folding wash clothes that could be small enough for a mouse and organizing diapers by size. There has just been something special about creating the space that Bry and I will welcome Emmettt into and I’m loving it.

With all of that said, if you’re like me and struggling between the expectations of where you think your bond should be and where your bond actually is, I want you to take a deep breathe and know that everything will be okay. WE WILL BE OKAY! I also don’t think that I am the only mama to struggle with this battle between expectations and reality nor do I think that this will be the last of this battle. I do however find comfort in the thought of other moms out there dealing with the same thing. Jump in the conversation and share your bonding moments and tips below!

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