Guilt over Loneliness and Grieving for 'old self'?!(17 Posts)
This is a great thread.
I am on Mumsnet tonight to find a place to talk about my 'post-baby body.'
I can't find anywhere!
This may be the place!
I too had my first baby at 26 (a bit younger than you) and was previously a successful continental career party type. Also found myself in a very foreign situation having recently moved. Also finding myself now a single parent. Oh it's all ok. My children are beautiful and I'm positive about my future and into self-development BUT! when I look in the mirror I see a really horrible tummy and saggy breasts (with my clothes on I probably look quite good to most people.) Im fit and healthy and happy and I really can't complain but I have a mental block in my mind. I feel like I'll never be comfortable with my body and this annoys me. I want to appreciate my imperfections. This body gave life!!! This body is strong!!! I don't want to go on any longer with these hidden insecurities. I want to banish them and love my body. Anybody managed to do this?
I'm a mother of four and like you ladies felt exactly the same at the time of my first pregnancy. I was not only pregnant - I moved during the early months to what was a third world country away from friends and family to live with my foreign husbands family. On top of being pregnant I had culture shock to deal with as well but didn't realise what it was at the time. However, I did go on to enjoy the best years of my life, until, my husband walked out on me and left me to raise four teenagers on my own. Now that I'm an empty nester living alone with no job with no family close by. I'm grieving for my past self and the life I had.
Life is all about transitions and every thing your feeling is totally normal during your transition. Try not to look for answers for the way your feeling use your own judgement and don't compare.
One of the biggest mistakes I made by reading all these clever baby books - was not to spoil your baby you need to get them into a routine, with shame I listened to this advice and would sometimes leave my eldest baby to cry herself to sleep. With my other children I learnt from the locals and carried them in a sling everywhere. My other 3 children personalities are so different from my eldest child, she grew up very sensitive and insecure which I believe it was a result of listening to the clever books to get her into a routine but which had life long effects.
After childbirth the local women would stay in bed for 6 weeks - the extended family help and she was fed a special diet in iron rich foods. After these 6 weeks they would send out a cake with eggs to friends and relatives. It is only then do people visit with their gifts for the baby. I never heard of postnatal depression until I returned to England. Of course for us to do the same hereafter childbirth - well it's unheard of - out of hospital the next day, up and about cleaning, doing housework, looking after baby - back at work and there is more and more cases of postnatal depression. Try to be kind to yourselves.
Yes thanks for the replys. About the looking at photos... Omg I have so been doing that. I used to be a bit of a 'party girl' and my idea of a night out was getting a new outfit, doing makeup and dancing with no cares in the world (and a bottle of wine or two!) ... I look at old pictures and get scared and if I'm honest even a bit jealous/resentful of this person in the pics as I don't think it's me!!! That's prob a bit weird I know!! I was a proper fitness/ weight/ freak too so that prob doesn't help! The comments from u guys have been so lovely thanks for not judging xxxxx
Thanks for the replies it really helps to hear from people who have been through it and didn't feel that great during pregnancy but have come out the other side. I definitely don't feel as much of a freak now knowing that others feel the same!
When I had my baby I used to look at photos that were 'pre baby' and mourn for that time. It was literally like my life had split before being a mum and after. I really missed my old life.
She is now 7 months and somewhere along the line without me even noticing everything changed. Now I cant imagine life without her and whats more I wouldnt want to. She is my world now and I love her more than I can say.
So feeling like you are is normal and if you feel like it after the birth thats okay too.
Not everyone is a 'natural' some of us need time to adjust.
I promise in a years time you will look at your baby and know that having them is the best decision you ever made.
Oh there was one book I enjoyed reading: Anne Enright's Stumbling Into Motherhood. Not a manual, but a series of essays. Funny and very honest. Would recommend.
You could try posting in Chat or the Books section maybe, see if anyone could recommend something a bit better and more on your level to read. I only read the generic stuff which was all very cookie-cutter/'bundle of joy' type stuff which I found hard to stomach. Please don't feel you are alone in feeling the way you feel - or even out of the ordinary.
I agree, scared, I think that if I'd left it til 38 and I'd have felt just as unprepared, young and selfish as I felt at 28. With hindsight though, I think 28's not a bad age at all to have your first. Your body's young, but you've still had a bit of a chance to make a go of things at work, etc.
Hope you are both feeling OK tonight.
Yeh 28 isn't that young I suppose but I still feel it sometimes! Thanks for your comment paddy I agree about the media there not being enough 'frank' and realistic information out There fore pregnant women, by frank I mean not just books telling u what an amazing special time being pregnant.
Scared- I am 35 weeks on Sunday xx
Thanks Faddy it's good to hear from someone who has come out the other side! You sound normal and together so that's really reassuring haha! You're right about it being a mindfuck.
When did 28 start to feel so young? I can't imagine it being any easier at 38 I think I'd feel even more selfish and scared by then!
Hello OP and scared27. I saw your posts yesterday and wanted to respond but didn't have time!
Thought you might be interested to hear from someone who has come out the other side . Really I just wanted to assure you that the trepidation and lack of excitement you feel are totally TOTALLY normal and, if you think about it, a perfectly logical and intelligent response to the news that your body is in the process of growing a new human being and will shortly give birth to said human being and then be tasked with rearing it!
I mean... it's a total mindfuck, whichever way you consider it. I hated when people asked me if I was 'really excited about becoming a mummy' . I just wasn't excited. And like you both, I had just turned 28 when I discovered I was pregnant and, while it's hardly young, none of my friends had yet started having babies. I had a buzzy social life and was starting to feel 'together' as a woman. And yes, I did find it really hard at times when my baby was very young. She is currently (17months old) torturing a potted plant while dancing to Daft Punk. It might not sound it, but it's a looooot easier now.
I'm not sure where I'm going with all this, but I just wanted to say again that what you are feeling is totally normal. Also it would help a little if the media/society didn't constantly peddle images of blissed-out serene pregnant women/new mothers. It's like that for some people, but certainly not all. And you've both found MN, which is great! People are normal and honest here. You'll loves the bones of your baby in a way that's hard to describe, but there'll also be times you're bored and pissed off. It's OK and healthy to acknowledge that, it really is. You don't have to stop being you.
Same here! How far along are you? I think you're being too hard on yourself as am I haha! Funny thing is if it were my bf that was pregnant I think I could handle it better, I just don't want my body to change, don't want to feel like this and I want to feel like my old happy self :0(
also can't help feeling a bit down on myself when I hear other women talking about going back to work after the baby when I just was not coping and that was before the baby is even born!
ahh thanks scared.. love to you too and ditto...just admitting that things are not right takes a lot of courage so well done. Yeh my mum and me are not very close but she does often make out that 'everything is easy' (she worked a lot when me and my sister were younger whilst running the house and managing the finances etc) so I guess I do have quite a big 'role model' to look up to just wish she had told me sometimes things are crap and thats ok...but then again maybe things were always ok for her and she enjoyed that life.. Just from my limited experience of trying to juggle a fast paced job/career whilst being pregnant has been enough to put me off/left me feeling just a little overwhelmed so guess I am feeling a little inadequate when I think of how she did the same for years and years even when my Dad was out of work!
Your midwife doesn't sound very nice! It's hard not to feel guilty when you're surrounded by images of blossoming mothers and automatically think that's how it should be for everyone. Even my own Mum said she loved pregnancy so I now think she is deluded or lying.
Right now I'm questionning my whole existence, wondering what I've done with my life and wishing that this never happened.
You sound a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for, at least you want to love youe baby which is a step in the right direction! Sending lots of positive thoughts your way! X
Im 28 (was just 28 when found out I was pregnant). I don't think your sad or me me me at all about what you have said. Please don't feel bad for feeling the way you do. I think feeling like this can stop u asking questions/asking for the support that you need. I certainly had an idea of how I would feel being pregnant and I just feel like a failure not being over the moon. To be honest I am just a bit blah/such is life about the whole pregnancy and don't understand the hype. I find it even more frustrating as I don't feel I can share negative feelings and have no where to put them. I told my midwife that I had a history of depression when I booked but starting to wish I hadn't as its not something I would normally feel comfortable talking about (my choice) and it didn't help when she said that if I had pyschosis they could take my baby away... Wow talk about stigma!!!! I have never had pyschosis only anxiety/depression linked to very real life events I find it really belittling to be spoken to like that but anyway that's another issue!
For some people perhaps u cease to exist when u become pregnant, hence y u feel guilty for being all me me me... I know I feel guilty for not feeling perfect or more just for not really feeling well anything maternal!!! I want this baby but for me i feel such pressure to immediately love it even though unborn and love everything about pregnancy, bear the pain, mood swings but never complain!!
I feel like there is a fed up screaming person inside me sometimes that is really repressed and can't come out for fear of being judged as not a 'suitable' parent despite me being an intelligent, educated thoughtful person (I think!).
I really do feel your pain but please do not feel bad for how u r feeling/thinking, I just wish there was more realism with pregnancy not a one size fits all.
I am feeling the same way, it's been three weeks since I found out and I can honestly say I've never felt this low in my life. I'm considering a termination but the only thing stopping me is my bf as I know it will kill him.
I hope it gets better! At the minute all I can do is think about how happy I was before and right now I'm wondering if I'll ever be happy again. I don't even want to get up in the mornings.
As you can see from what I've written it's all me, me me! I'm not maternal and I'm also very career minded, I'm the kind of person who has a day off of work and doesn't know what to do with myself (sad I know)
I think it's perfectly normal to be grieving for your old life, I think that's what I'm doing to be honest.
How old are you? None of my friends have babies either so this makes it harder and I feel too young to be a Mum at 27!
I also live in London and find it one of the loneliest places in the world sometimes!
Has anyone else felt like they are sometimes in mourning for themselves? I don't know how to explain this but sometimes I feel like I am grieving and a part of me (the pregnant part) is dying and it scares me! I feel selfish for feeling like this and then just end up feeling guilty as I feel like these feelings are unacceptable!
I also feel guilty for feeling lonely. I live in London so know I have no excuse for feeling lonely sometimes though I actually don't mind feeling like this and want to just be left alone. I am getting fed up with all the 'advice' and literature on how to be a good mum/how to enjoy pregnancy but feel that thinking this must make me a bad mum/parent to be. I feel so torn with all the different advice and finding it difficult to trust my own judgement (which is that most of this stuff is rubbish/what will be will be) as I then feel that by not reading all I can on pregnancy and birthing/motherhood I am somehow going to let my child down.
I am feeling incredibly insecure and vulnerable and it's killing me!! I think I am quite a pragmatic/realistic person but very emotional at the moment. Feel so guilty but I am pretty fed up with being pregnancy and feeling so 'insecure'.
I think I am also scared of this overwhelming responsibility I feel and just worry that I am not up to the job. I don't know many people my age who are having babies, my friends (as once I 'ish') are very career driven and I am really struggling to accept the typical 'mum' image presented to me in books and in the media. I have never been particularly maternal. Don't get me wrong though, I have nothing against children and always knew I wanted kids but I just feel a bit annoyed how I feel that if I am not acting 100% like I am over the moon about having a baby I feel judged (often by myself as well) that that means I am ungrateful.
Anyone else struggle with these type of feelings during pregnancy? Does it get better once you have given birth?!
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