I have a terrible confession to make: I haven’t been very excited about this pregnancy. I know. Terrible, isn’t it? My husband was pushing for another baby, and I thought it may be good idea for our daughter to have a sibling. But me? All I could see was months of sickness, followed by extra laundry and a house which (if possible) is even more untidy, even less sleep, and more months or years before I ever have a date night again. Despite trying for another baby, upon finding out I was pregnant, my tears weren’t pure joy as they were with my daughter. It’s taken me many weeks to feel joy, happiness, excitement, and more importantly, love for this baby.
I do think that the fact that I struggled to keep my pregnancy with my daughter, and that I had a number of early scans may have helped her feel ‘real’, while I’ve had no scans so far (I’m 18 weeks at time of writing) and have only felt a bit of movement this time round. As a result, I’ve had to find other ways of bonding with my unborn child.
1) Writing letters – Just as I did with my daughter, I have been writing letters to my unborn child. This has helped me, without doubt, to feel a connection with this little life growing inside me. The letters are sometimes very emotional, other times very matter of fact, and at times honest and raw.
2) Quiet conversation –take quiet moments to hold your belly and talk to your baby. It may seem silly, but again, it helps the baby feel real.
3) Choose a special CD or piece of music to listen to when you lie in bed. It is believed that babies remember the music after birth and that it helps to soothe them. Having ‘your song’ will help the prenatal bonding.
4) Later on, when you’re feeling kicking, poke back, playing a game. Your baby can apparently hear your voice from around 18 weeks and from 20 they can distinguish their parent’s touch from a stranger’s, so respond to kicks, giggle, laugh, and rub your belly in response.
5) Lie in a pool or in the bath with your ears submerged listening to the sound of your heart beat. Close your eyes and take long, deep breaths. It gives you the opportunity to feel what your baby is feeling and hear what your baby is hearing.
6) Give it time. If your baby feels what you feel during pregnancy, being riddled with guilt about lack of excitement isn’t going to help. Sometimes you just have to accept what you feel and allow yourself the freedom to work through it. The truth of the matter is that you can’t hide what you’re feeling from your unborn child, but you can work on it, and in most cases, given time, your love will grow.
Today, when my little one kicked, I felt a momentary happiness. The laundry will still be there, the lack of sleep still stack up, and this sickness is still refusing to pass, but there is a little life joining our family soon, and it’s impossible not to be excited about that.