The comments on my "What is bonding?" post have helped shift something in me. A switch has been flipped. I am no longer looking at ways in which C and I have not bonded. Because it isn't about that. We have bonded. We continue to bond.
I have fallen in love at first sight with people. And (for me) it felt like addiction. [Not saying that "love at first sight" is not real or valid - it is real and it is valid - I had to have those experiences and I may again]. With my partner I fell in love slowly, bit by bit, over time. Some parts of falling in love were instant and some took time and evolution. Our relationship is so balanced. There is something very true about our love. There is something very true about the way we love each other. It's been a process.
I kind of see bonding between mama and baby as a process. Some of it is instant. Instantly I wanted to protect her and nourish her. Some of it is bit by bit and over time. As she changes and grows and develops, we see new sides of each other. Or we see the same stuff but in different ways. Bonding evolves.
It no longer works for me to look at what we didn't get when she was born. I am looking at what we have now. I am not even looking for it - it is just there.