Kristen Bell made headlines again this week for her admission that while she was pregnant with her 7-month-old daughter Lincoln, she worried that she didn’t feel a connection to her.
“I kept saying to Dax in all sincerity during my pregnancy, ‘I just don’t know how I’m going to like her as much as I like the dogs.’ I was being serious,” she says, “I love people the more I know them, and I didn’t know her.”
While Lola and Mr. Shakes — her first “children” — are lovable I’m sure, what she was trying to get, with her trademark dry humor, is an important point. The relationship between a mother and the baby that she is growing happens differently for everyone.
Some people insist they feel in sync with their baby immediately. I have some friends who insist they “felt” the moment happen.
But plenty of other moms say that, perhaps out of fear, they feel totally and completely disconnected to the life in their belly. It’s not that they don’t want to be a mom or they aren’t maternal, but they don’t get that zap that I think Beyoncé famously referred to when she talked about her connection with Blue.
It is an idyllic notion, this maternal-baby communing. But if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t mean that the person is destined to be a mean, heartless mom.
Sometimes people need a face, need a physical form to get the hormones going. I think that’s why some folks say they need to “see” their baby to pick the name.
It wasn’t that way for me. I felt entirely bonded to my girls before I technically met them. In fact, I think that inexplicable bond served us all well when they spent a month in the NICU after they were born early. But I also can understand exactly what Kristen is saying.
It is different for everyone and every pregnancy. And I think the fact that she laid out such honest feelings is a huge help to women who might be wondering if there is a “right” way to feel.
Image via Pacific Coast News