Thursday, 19 January 2012

He Restores My Life (and my maternal bond)

As I threw ingredients in a bowl to make a batch of pancakes for Courageous Boy Warrior's birthday breakfast, my mind wandered to the day he was born. Having laboured for 30 hours only to end up having a Caesarean Section with his older brother only 21 months beforehand, I opted for a scheduled Caesarean Section for his birth. It was a strange feeling knowing exactly when I meet my new baby, unlike my first birth when I played the waiting game.

As I remembered the birth and the first time I laid eyes on Courageous Boy Warrior, tears filled my eyes of a painful memory. Unlike the instant maternal bond I felt with my first child, when Courageous Boy Warrior was born I felt nothing. No attachment. No joy in my heart. I was just going through the motions. 

The first night in the hospital  after my husband Mighty Prince Warrior had gone home, and I was left alone in the hospital room with my baby, I took this photo. When I look at this photo below, I remember feeling totally disconnected from my newborn son. I had felt him grow within my own body for months now, but now that he had finally arrived, I felt nothing. I didn't feel like picking him up and holding him close. I did pick him up, but only because I knew that's what mothers are supposed to do. The nothingness I felt was overwhelming.

When I took my baby home I still felt disconnected. I cared for my child, fed him, changed his nappy and even cuddled him, but the nothingness prevailed. I just couldn't bond with my baby. I now know  one of the the reasons for the lack of bonding was due to depression which I would be diagnosed with, within the first year of Courageous Boy Warrior's life. The second reason was because my child looked so much like me. I was confronted with myself and because I despised myself, I despised the child that was a mirror image of myself, and that was scary thing. 
school photo of me

As I reflected on my amazing son and over the last seven years since he had entered my life, I also remembered the guilt I felt as a mother not feeling anything for her child. "What kind of mother doesn't feel anything for her son?", I would ask myself. I also remembered crying out to Him to take away the nothingness and let me feel love for my son. When Courageous Boy Warrior was 2 years old I still hadn't bonded with him. I gave birth to Fearless Boy Warrior and I bonded with my new son instantly.

And then I remembered the joy of one day when Courageous Boy Warrior was 4 years old when my heart just clicked and all that nothingness vanished. My heart was filled with maternal love for my son and I was overwhelmed. Since that day I have never felt disconnected from my son. In some ways I feel more connected to Courageous Boy Warrior than I do to my other sons.

4 years of age

Courageous Boy Warrior, 4 years old.
Courageous Boy Warrior was born during my darkest days of experiencing depression, and he represents God's restoring power. Only He could could break the depression in my heart. Only He could heal my heart so I could learn to love myself. Only He could connect me to my son. Only He can make all things new. Only He can restore what has been taken away.

My amazing creative, quirky, strong willed, intelligent introvert son turned 7 today. I am so blessed that God picked me to be his mother. There is no one like him in the whole world. And as I think back over the first seven years of his life, I marvel at him, and my heart feels like it will burst with maternal love for him. 

Happy Birthday Courageous Boy Warrior. I am so blessed to call you son. 

He refreshes and restores my life...{Psalm 23:3}

Still taking lessons from the King,


  1. Happy seventh birthday Courageous Boy Warrior. May you grow in His likeness and may you be blessed with the courage of Joshua, the strength and commitment of Caleb and the love of Jesus daily.

    Blessings to you to Jo. Thank you for sharing your story. It's so refreshing to read an honest account of your journey.

    1. Thank you for Courageous Boy Warrior's birthday blessing! Chareen you have been such a breath of fresh air in my life. A little ray of sunshine. I appreciate all your encouragement and kind words. I really do xo

  2. Ahhh Mister 7...he is a true delight! xo

  3. I have three kids and I felt like this during the pregnancy with my middle child. Not after the birth but only during the pregnancy . I knew why I felt this way (he was kind of an accident) but it scared me too. Glad you came through it and I hope he has a great birthday!

    1. He had a great birthday. His words were, "This is the best birthday ever!" He made me laugh in the morning as he told me, "I've been waiting years to turn 7." Love that kid.

      So glad you felt connected after the birth. Fear does strange things to us doesn't it?

  4. Happy Birthday Courageous Boy Warrior! These pictures are absolutely beautiful. Love the cake!

    Your honesty truly made me think back to the beginning of my kiddos life. I can so relate to the words you wrote. I was too disconnected, but didn't understand why, but with God's amazing grace truly have the unbreakable maternal bond with my beautiful daughter now. I am so thankful to God and his amazing wisdom that although I didn't want to be a mother through my entire pregancy and the first year of her life, that God knew he would too heal my heart and I would have a precious daughter in my life to watch grow and mature into the beautiful young teen she is now.

    Thank you for sharing your beginning journey with us.

    Big Hugs

    1. Thank you! It was my first attempt at a gluten free cake from scratch. I was pleased with it as I don't really like to bake.

      I am finding that many women feel disconnected from their baby at birth. SO glad we feel connected now. So much so that we choose to spend everyday homeschooling them. Ha ha.

  5. I love that action shot of the grand bowl lick!
    Happy Birthday Mr 7.... he is such a blessing!

  6. I love you my sis! And I love that he restores. I actually needed to be reminded of that today.

  7. Thank you for being so brave and honest in your blog. I'm praying that anybody who needs to read this post will miraculously find it, because I know a lot of women struggle with bonding with their newborns / PND xxx

    1. Thank you Janet. I pray sharing my story will help others. xo


Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my lessons!

I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

Jo Princess Warrior xo