A Guest Post from my Partner, Kirsty:
I haven’t had any particular trouble when it comes to bonding with the two tiny people growing inside Amber’s uterus, but throughout this pregnancy so far, I’ve been very prone (as I suspect many are) to forgetting that they are there at all. Of course, it’s always a wonderful jolt back to reality, but not carrying the babies can definitely make me less aware of their presence at times. Here are the ten ways that I have strengthened my bond with my sons, and kept everything feeling wonderfully real:
1. Buying their books
I have, over the last year or so, slowly built up a collection of around 250 second hand books. It’s been wonderful fun and it’s affordable enough that I can do it quite frequently, so popping in to charity shops when I’m out and about and picking up a few books is always a nice way to remember that, not only are there babies on the way, but these babies will turn in to toddlers who will (hopefully) come to appreciate their Charlie & Lola and Elmer books.
2. Reading to the bump
I really love putting the book collection to good use already. It feels very gentle and peaceful to sit beside the bump and read a story to the boys, knowing that in good time I’ll be able to recreate the memories with them when they are here.
3. Feeling movements
My fondest bump memory so far is being woken up by one of the boys kicking my hand! Feeling the babies move around is lovely, and a fabulous way to be reminded that there are babies.
4. Going to the ultrasounds
For me, there has been nothing quite like actually SEEING the tiny boys on the screen. We’ve been spoilt with the number of ultrasounds so far, as we are having twins, and I have loved having a little peek in to their private space every single time.
5. Finding out the sex
This was really key for me. Finding out the sex changed things from possibilities to certainties and I’m so glad we went ahead and did so. It turned them from abstract babies in to real little people in my mind, and of course, it made shopping that much easier!
6. Choosing names
This has been a mixture of fun and stressful. On one hand, researching and picking out favourites and throwing around middle name combinations is exciting but on the other, these are real people we’re naming and I tend to lose interest in names pretty quickly! We have found two names that we both love, so hopefully this problem is solved for us now.
7. Clothes shopping
These real little people will actually WEAR all of these gorgeous, bright items of clothing in not that many weeks! Hard to believe, and such a scary thought!
8. Talking about them
To anyone who cares to listen, really, but mostly I’m referring to conversations with Amber. Talking about the babies, our plans and hopes and dreams for them, what we do and don’t agree with in terms of parenting, what we want them to experience; all of this is fantastic for really cementing the fact that we are becoming a family.
9. Knitting for them
This is probably the strongest factor for me, and I wished I had started making things for these babies long before they were even conceived, because now I’m running out of time! I absolutely love being able to make things for them. It’s really important to me, and I’m currently devoting so much time to it. In my head, it’s a beautiful way of providing; I might not be creating them myself, but I am at least creating FOR them. It may prove to be a little more difficult once they are here, but I hope to continue this for a long time, so that they’ll always have mama-made things in their wardrobes and toyboxes.
10. Preparing our living space
Whilst Amber is busy gestating, I find that I have more than enough motivation to put cots together, wash clothes, research cloth nappies and babywearing and spend probably too much money on things that we don’t need. It’s been great for adapting my mindset; even things as simple as having a cot put up serves as a constant reminder that soon there will be someone other than a ginger cat sleeping in it!
What were your favourite ways to bond to your baby before it was born?