My Fear of Not Bonding with My Daughter
I always wanted a family, so when my wife discovered she was expecting I was radiating happiness.
She was way ahead of me though. She already knew what to do, to study, to plan. She soon started acting like a mother while I was trying to wrap my head around the thing.
And I couldn’t. Not that I didn’t want to. I just couldn’t.
Thirty-eight weeks passed and I was waiting for her to give birth to our daughter from outside the room in the hospital. Because of covid, I couldn’t hold her hand. It was early in the afternoon. A super quick, yet painful labour and AJ was born. By the evening I was holding her in my arms trying to figure out how I was feeling.
I always thought it would have been a huge game-changer. God, it is. She changed our life but I mean I thought that holding her for the first time would have been a whole new experience.
I hoped so.
I always wanted a family, but since I knew I was going to become a father I was struck with the fear of not being able to bond with my daughter.
What if I couldn’t love her? What if she couldn’t love me?
So I was there holding her and thinking of these fears.
Hoping to feel a striking feeling that would open a door to a new life.
Nothing like that. My wife began a mother a long time before giving birth. I was still not a father while holding my daughter.
But something was strangely clear. An odd feeling of calm, of safety radiating from who-knows-where. And I felt like that only when holding her.
Not striking love, but the feeling that holding her was the most normal and obvious and sure thing in the world.
The months passed and the fear was always there.
My daughter prefers my wife, her mother’s company to mine.
But she learned how to smile, then how to laugh. She smiles at me quite often.
She learned to kick a ball before learning how to say “dad”. Now she can do both quite good. And she comes looking for me, to play football with me.