Sitting in the doctors surgery waiting to be seen for a routine checkup I opened up my copy of Maternity & Infant magazine which I had been sent to have a browse through. Being delighted at the fact that I finally had some quiet time to enjoy my magazine I flicked through the pages, read the lovely articles which exuded motherly love, I even became a bit teary eyed at the newborn photography ads in the back pages - don't ask me why! I then read the article on attachment parenting and a sadness came over me, I realised that as a mother I had done everything wrong. When I was pregnant I had so many plans for my boy, I was adamant about breastfeeding, it was something I had planned to do and was sticking to it no matter what, I wanted him close to me at all times as I had read that newborns gain comfort from the sound of their mothers heartbeat, I was also adamant about taking him on a long walk everyday so that he would get lots of fresh air... I sadly failed on all these plans.
The are apparently 'Seven B's' of attachment parenting and if I'm lucky I've achieved two of them, I felt like such a failure at that moment, reading these things and realising I had failed on so many. Breastfeeding didn't work out because after a blood transfusion and refusing the second one they offered me I'm ashamed to admit that I just didn't have the energy and it hurt me so much, my milk didn't seem to be appearing either so I sent my other half to the shop in a fit of tears to pick up some milk for our boy, it's something I wish I hadn't done as we never had that special feeding bonding then and my son weaned himself off his bottle at eight months. Another thing I failed on and something which makes me cry is birth-bonding, getting that skin to skin contact with your child as soon as they're born. My son was placed on my chest for literally five seconds after his birth as they wanted to whisk him off to check his lungs for fluid. He was then put in a baby grow and hat by a nurse and given to me, I then fainted and my partner had to take him. Looking over at my two boys, my partner smiling with joy at our beautiful, just born son filled me with happiness but also sadness, I never had that instant bonding session and it still haunts me to this day. I've mentioned it in a previous post about how I felt that it took about six weeks for my son to warm to me and I blame it on the lack of skin to skin contact. It makes me so sad that my beautiful baby boy never gained comfort from my cuddles or my heartbeat, it just wasn't how it was meant to be.
We never got the chance to bed close to baby either, my son is far too independent for his own good and won't sleep anywhere but his cot. From six weeks when he was moved into his own room into his cot he slept throughout the night. It just showed me how independent he is, how much he likes his own space. Even now at 16 months he'll come into my bed for a quick cuddle but won't settle, he always wants his own space. When I read of other people's co-sleeping experiences I feel so jealous, why won't my boy settle by me? I failed so much on the closeness and comforting factor with him and if I'm honest it makes me feel awful.
I know to many that this post may seem as thought I'm being very hard on myself as a mother, after all I have quite a happy, beautiful little boy who is super healthy and who has a fabulous personality but I honestly do feel like I did everything wrong. When you make all these plans in your head and none of them come to fruition you just feel so useless and as if you've failed. So my attachment parenting plans didn't work out and it makes me feel like a failure. I try everyday to get that closeness from my boy, to give him as many cuddles as I can and to tell him I love him no end. I try to get him to sit on my lap, come into my bed for cuddles, be there for every cry and need he has and just generally try to be the best, most supportive mother to him I can be. I need to learn not to be so hard on myself and I would urge any pregnant ladies out there not to have too many expectations when it comes to what you want your mothering journey to be like. Children have personalities, things go wrong, some things don't work out, you're constantly learning new skills, fads, wants and needs and things change along the way on the great adventure that is motherhood. No matter what course of parenting you wish to take upon the most important thing for any parent to know is that if all else fails, as long as you love your child unconditionally and would do absolutely anything you possibly could for them then you're succeeding, winning in this fantastic, life-changing, mind-altering experience that is parenting. I know deep in my heart that I did everything wrong but I'm trying my best and hopeful that my achievements as a mother, my unconditional love and being the best parent I can possibly be for my son will triumph over any failings I will ever have.