This post is part of our Grace for the Pregnant Mom Series. See all the posts here.
This round of pregnancy is different for me. The new has worn off and now I’m an old shoe at round two of pregnancy. The delight of the first feelings of movement aren’t new to me this time. The joy of feeling hiccups within that do not belong to me are like a forgotten memory drug up from the depths. I don’t research and read about pregnancy with every breath I take because I don’t need to the second time around. I’m not registering for new baby items; I have everything we need saved from our first child.
We longed for this baby for more than a year before we ever conceived. This baby is wanted, expected, and an overwhelming joy to us already!
But it’s different than the first time around. Bonding was so easy with my first child, but with this one, it’s easy to forget I’m pregnant altogether, especially with a toddler underfoot. For the longest time, I worried whether I was going to go through the entire pregnancy with these weird emotions that didn’t seem to compare to my first pregnancy.
Would I ever bond with my baby?
If you’re on a second pregnancy, and you’re struggling to bond with your unborn child, then can I encourage you? You aren’t alone! I’ve been there! When bonding with your unborn child is hard, below are seven tips to help you over the hump.
1. Pray for your baby. I was so faithful to pray for my son. It was as if the minute I knew he was coming, we had his name picked out and exactly what the Lord would have me pray for him every day of his life laid on my heart.
With this child, we struggled to find a name to fit, and I certainly had no idea what the Lord had for me as his or her mother to pray. So I wasn’t praying as faithfully. When I was struggling to really feel connected to my child, I began to pray with fervor for the Lord to work in my heart. I began to pray for the Lord to give us a name and for the characteristics He would have me pray of this child.
2. Set aside time each day to focus on the life within. This can work in tandem with praying for your baby. I started setting aside 5-10 minutes each day to sit down and relax with my baby. I’d pray and massage my belly. I’d talk to the baby just like I did with his or her older brother. With a toddler to care for, I must be intentional to set aside time for this child. Not to mention, it’s good to put your feet up every once in a while!
3. Read birth stories. I love reading birth stories. I started with my older son’s birth story (you can read it here and here), then I branched out to read others. I found that reading about other women’s experiences helped me to trust in the process of birth. As I would read their recounting of the events, I would hone in especially to the part when they held their baby for the first time. The love was contagious!
4. Buy one special item. Even though we had everything we needed this time, I still bought a new outfit for this little one. We don’t know if we’re having a boy or a girl, but buying one sweet boy outfit and an adorable girl outfit helped me to realize that this is a brand new baby. It is unique and special. I also purchased a journal for my letters and writings. I keep journals instead of baby books or scrapbooks. So now I have a journal for each of my children to take with them when they are older.
5. Ask others to pray with you. Don’t try to go it alone. Taking time to share with other women that you trust will greatly help you bear the burden of bonding with your unborn child. I talked to a couple of women who had a similar experience. It was such a blessing to know I wasn’t alone. I also shared my concerns with my husband who was faithful to pray for me as I sought to bond with my second child.
6. Don’t compare your pregnancies. The snare of compare is evil in so many ways. Each pregnancy is different. Each child is different. Don’t play the comparison game. Just allow this pregnancy to have it’s own little place in your heart instead of comparing it to the one before.
7. Ban the guilt. Accept grace. Just because our bodies are created to give life, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. Sometimes the guilt we carry around as mothers needs to be shed. If you’re struggling to bond with your baby, know you aren’t alone. Ban the guilt and accept grace! Go to the Lord in prayer and He will walk with you as you seek to grow in your role as a mother and bearer of children.
We are now in our 32 week of pregnancy. I’m excited to meet this little one. It’s still a different kind of excitement than my first, but it’s no less special. I’ve been told that the moment you meet your baby all of your worries of bonding will disappear. This is your child. Your child is loved.