Does love pop-up as a surprise… or is it something that develops slowly over a period of time. Did you fall in love with your child the minute you saw them?
Almost 2 years back I had written a post, where I had mentioned how I did not fall in love with my baby instantly. The connection happened but only 12 hours after she was born. Multiple factors like me being under the effect of anaesthesia and she being in the nursery could be considered. But yes, I still remember that special eye contact. That was it! that was the moment where we bonded. When I looked into her beautiful big eyes, I had many questions about whether I would be a perfect mother to her, why did she choose me and will we be able to hit it off as we did after the first look. Also, I complimented her for being so beautiful and being my companion for the nine months where she was snuggled safely.
A bond between a parent and their child is considered to be one of the strongest bonds which also defies the law of nature. You may fall in love, fall out of love, but one relation where you will always be in love is with your child. Even though your child is a grown-up you will always have a soft corner for them despite the scenes and role reversals. I have seen how worried my grandmother is when my father does not reach home on time or skips a meal or she does not get a call from him when he is travelling. See, you are always worried about your child!
But does this love happen so easily or are we as parents programmed to fall in love instantly. Well, let me tell you as per a research, parents are hard-wired to love their children regardless of how nervous, happy or unaccepting one has been about parenthood.
What happens when love happens before you see your baby
Many mothers and fathers find themselves loving their child even before they have met them. Mothers literally daydream about their angels, think about them and plan for them. By doing all this they are paving a path for a strong emotional bond. As their due dates come closer their brain pumps more and more oxytocin – a hormone which helps to bring out the mother in them. This hormone is actually a switch which turns on the motherly instincts and makes them a supermom 🙂 On the contrary, a research was done where a doting sheep abandoned her baby as oxytocin was depleted artificially.
When you and your baby connect instantly
When it’s time to have your baby, the brain causes the oxytocin to overflow in the bloodstream. This also leads to contractions and helps with the milk flow for you and your baby. Thus despite all the fatigue and weariness, the minute you see your baby you get high … a feeling out of this world … euphoria which converts into love. New daddies are also not spared. They also feel an instant connection with their baby as their testosterone levels fall drastically and instead produce an extra dose of estrogen, thus giving a sign of fatherhood.
Apart from oxytocin, another hormone dopamine also plays a role in connecting you and your baby when you rock, hold and nurse them. Dopamine gives a high to both the mother and baby. Ironically it is the same compound that gives a high to the cocaine users.
When delayed bonding happens
According to an estimate, about 30% of women do not fall in love instantly with their babies. This is due to the fact that the birth or the baby was not what they had thought. This disappointment usually engulfs the hormones responsible for love. But worry not this is temporary and mothers eventually form a bond with their baby which is there to stay forever.
Why love exists beyond birth
While you are falling in love with your baby, your baby is also falling in love with you in his own ways. When your child is in the first few hours of consciousness, he will look into your eyes and remember your face even if it means a blurry version. By 7-8 months your baby forms a strong attachment to not only you but also people who take care of him. When your baby cries, he will look who holds him, feeds him and he, in turn, will start caring for them. He will cry on not seeing you in the room and in his small world. I don’t know whether we adults define this as love but trust me this is one of the strongest emotion your baby knows and expresses it.
Now that you know how you fall in love with your child and vice-versa, the fact that this love will always stay is also connected with the hormones. So you don’t have to worry that your child will stop loving you or you will stop loving them.
As your child grows and transforms into an individual, the bond can never be broken because the two of you have a connection that dates back to the time even before your child was born. And then that connection became visible through memories, emotions and not to forget hormones. As for you, even when you watch your 8-year-old or 10-year-old or a 60-year old doing their thing, you will definitely get a rush of oxytocin which is enough to remind you of the first few hours the two of you had. Thus you fall in love with your child all over again…
Day 3 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost