Love At First Sight? 4 Women Who Didn’t Cry After Giving Birth Share Their Stories

Photographed by Eylul Aslan
If the movies, soaps and sitcoms were to be believed, every woman should expect giving birth to be an overwhelmingly emotional experience which reaches its peak the moment she first lays eyes on her newborn, at which point she should burst into tears of joy. It’s true that many women are overcome with emotion in the moments immediately after giving birth, but for others, that’s not the case, and for a multitude of reasons.
We spoke to four women who didn’t cry after giving birth, to hear their stories.
1 of 4

Simone – Water Birth

Simone

"My labour was pretty textbook and was as relaxed as I suppose labour can be. Also, my midwife was fantastic and I had a great experience with the staff. I had a really unintrusive birth so there was nobody telling me to push, my midwife literally didn’t intervene at all and let my body guide the process.

Once my son was born I remember feeling euphoric. My emotions didn’t have any sort of link to him, but I felt like I could lift a bus or move a car and achieve anything. I didn’t feel a surge of love, I felt a sense of survival.

I didn’t have any complications and within a few hours I was being signed off and sent home. I gave birth at 12pm and by 6pm I was in my house. Looking back on the first few days, I think I mainly felt anxiety – it was an overwhelming feeling, along with sleep deprivation, so I didn’t have room to feel anything else. I spent so much time overthinking what I was doing that I didn’t spend much time enjoying my baby for probably quite a while.

Though I felt very responsible for him and attached to him then, the fierceness of the love I have for him now, at 20 months old, didn’t exist when he was first born. But I wasn’t worried about that because I’d spoken to friends who’d experienced the same thing."
2 of 4

Charley – Planned Caesarean

Charley

"I remember lying there, not nervous because I work in gynae so I knew what they were doing on the other side of the curtain, therefore I was trying to picture it in my head. I was actually really shocked when I first heard my son because he came out crying. I knew really early that I was having a C-section so I’d sort of pictured it in my head, but I didn’t imagine him crying and he came out screaming blue murder.

I didn’t cry and I wasn’t upset – I was more lying there, focusing on me. I know that sounds really weird but I couldn’t move or feel anything as I had quite a high spinal anaesthetic so I couldn’t move my arms. The longer I was lying on the table, the more I was struggling to breathe because it affects your lungs as well.

When they tried to give him to me I couldn’t actually hold him so I told them to take him to my in-laws, who were waiting outside. I was expecting to be really emotional because he’s my first and I’ve worked with kids all my life. Also, I was really excited throughout the whole pregnancy and I cried when I found out I was pregnant, so I expected to cry when I had him.

But for some reason – and I don’t know if it’s the situation I was in, not being able to touch him – but it was just a bit like, 'Oh there he is, now take him away,' because I physically couldn’t do anything and I was struggling."
3 of 4

Lauren – Four Weeks Premature

Lauren

"I went into labour at 36 weeks so it was very unexpected. It started in true movie style with my waters breaking and gushing everywhere. Things then progressed very quickly and within an hour my contractions were three minutes apart. I still hadn't even packed my hospital bag!

Once I got to the hospital I was taken straight to the delivery suite. I used gas and air for the next four hours but hated it and decided to opt for an epidural, which was the best decision I could have made. Luckily the epidural didn’t slow down my labour and I didn’t need any help delivering my son.

I really believed that I’d cry when he was born and that I’d feel that instant surge of love that people go on about, but I honestly felt nothing of the sort. Certainly no instant love. I remember thinking when they put him on me, 'What the hell am I supposed to do with him now?'

As to why I didn't cry, I think it was a mixture of things. Maybe it was because of the epidural making me numb, so by having no pain pushing him out, there wasn't that instant relief of it being over. Also, him coming early was a shock and I really didn't believe that it was happening to start with. I thought the hospital would turn me away, saying I’d made a mistake! But I'm very good at keeping my emotions in check, which may have also held me back."
4 of 4

Francesca – Emergency Caesarean

Francesca

"I was in labour for about 17 hours in total. Once I’d gotten to about eight or nine centimetres dilated, which was about six hours after my waters broke, my labour pretty much stopped. The midwives couldn’t tell what the issue was or why I wasn’t progressing so they decided to do a Caesarean, which is when they found a fibroid the size of a grapefruit that was blocking my cervix.

I remember feeling quite pissed off. Everything was delayed, I was uncomfortable because I had a heart monitor on so I could only sit a certain way, then once I had the epidural I could only move one side of my body. Plus I was thirsty and it was July so it was boiling!

I didn’t hold my daughter until after I was wheeled out of theatre because I chose not to. I was very conscious of the fact that I was lying on a table with my stomach wide open and I’d felt a lot more than I thought I would with a C-section. When I did finally hold her, I didn’t cry, I just gave her my full attention so I could have a proper look at her – amazed that she was finally here.

I didn’t think I’d be emotional when I had her because I’m not that way inclined. I’m quite matter of fact and I knew that was okay. I’m very confident in the way I am so I don’t hold myself hostage to the fact that I didn’t cry or feel emotional about it."
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