At Easter dinner yesterday my cousin, my mom, and I were talking about breastfeeding. My mom said she believed that Mother Nature invented breastfeeding to help mama and baby bond. My cousin was saying that she used to worry those days when her little one (now 18 - where does the time go?) would seem to be latched on to her 24-7. Probably a growth spurt. She agreed with my mom and said "yeah some pretty wonderful bonding came out of those 24-7 days."
I've always been sad that I didn't get to see (or touch or talk to) to little C when she was born. A got to see her in the moments after she was born when her apgar was 2 and they were "bagging" her - the midwife brought her in to the OR in case C didn't make it (I was knocked out and A was in the waiting room during the surgery). Then C was whisked away, quickly. A saw her again an hour or so later when she was hooked to machines and monitors and in an isolette. But couldn't touch her. I got to see her the next morning - some 12 hours after she was born.
"They" say that first little while after birth is so important in terms of bonding. I still wonder what we all missed out on - the three of us. I've also worried that we aren't "properly bonded." Whatever that means. I look for clues to prove that we aren't bonded - I did that a lot in the first few months. Clues, like: I can't seem to console her right now. This spirals into: she finds no comfort in my presence, therefore we are not bonded, and I suck. Seriously I've taken it to this level - and I'm a fairly confident woman with a relatively good self-esteem (but suddenly I suck).
When does bonding happen? I mean, I agree with my cousin and my mom. Those 24-7 days are bonding. Working together, mama and baby, to figure out how to breastfeed is pretty bonding. Being up in the 3am silence feeding her is bonding. But what about those first few moments after birth - what did I miss?