Having a wobble [sad]

(69 Posts)
Solasum Wed 17-Jul-13 15:40:06

I am four months pregnant, and for various reasons my relationship with the baby's father has disintegrated completely. When I found out I was pregnant he said I had ruined his life etc.

Until now I had felt confident that I could go it alone, but now a few people have said 'how brave' I am, and I have been looking for childfriendly places to live I guess it seems more real, somehow, and much more scary.

My parents know and have been surprisingly supportive, but I have not felt able to tell many friends yet, so I have been spending quite a lot of time on my own, when I am usually pretty sociable.

I guess what I am after really is some happy stories from people who have been where I am now, and have had a happy ending. Because at the moment I just want to curl up in a ball and hide sad

fluffyanimal Wed 17-Jul-13 15:44:18

I'm not in that position but I didn't want to read and run, so here's a hand to hold and much sympathy while I nip over to another thread where there's a really amazing lady who I'll see if I can come over to talk wise words to you.

Actually, I can also tell you the story of my amazing sister who was a single mum by choice - she had AI from sperm donor - and she has done a fantastic job of raising my beautiful niece who has just done her A Levels. It can be done. I am sure you will be fine.

Solasum Wed 17-Jul-13 16:02:07

Thank you Fluffy.

Another thing I am worried about at the moment is the birth itself. Most of my friends do not have children yet so no one obvious to ask, and my mum lives hours drive away from me. Does anyone not have a birth partner?

smokinaces Wed 17-Jul-13 16:12:00

Sola, you ARE brave, and that's a good thing. Write down the positives of doing this alone - all the love and affection are for you, no one to moan if you and newborn are up all night and sleep all day, you get to make all the parenting choices, you get all the firsts :-D

Lone parenting can be hard. Have you joined gingerbread? They have local groups which can help. As can post natal baby groups - I went to one with ds1 six years ago and made some wonderful friends, and built a support network. They helped me when I was I'll after a wisdom tooth, when I had depression and needed antidepressants, when one son needed an operation. My ex didn't leave till the boys were one and two, but those girls have been my lifelines.

Re. The birth - you can say you're happy for a student midwife. A lot of them then stay nearly all the time with you. Or look into doulas? They can be expensive, but not beccesarily. Ask your midwife. Post natal support can be offered too, which can be invaluable. Or ask your mum to come stay for a couple of weeks?

The boards here are great too. You can do this :-D

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 17-Jul-13 18:52:37

Hello Solasum

Am not a lone parent but being a mum to a DD (daughter) she could very well face the same one day.

I am so glad your parents have stepped up and given you support. I hope you are investigating where you stand financially. The only thing I will say about your ex, if he was going to bail, better you know where you stand right now and see him for the sort of character he is.

It is great if you can build a rapport with your midwife when you go along for ante-natal appointments. I hope your old friends will be steadfast but there will be chances to make new friends in time. Sometimes support can come unlooked for, sometimes an attitude or stance can surprise. If there is a tiny judgmental minority who may give their inaccurate opinions unasked, there will be many more who prove helpful and offer useful advice.

I hope you feel encouraged by those you 'meet' on MN. Have you seen the section called Becoming a Parent has a category called Pregnancy. Also, if you look at the local site section and enter your region, there may be some valuable information on what's on and a chance for meet-ups or where to socialise close by.

Hello Sola

I'm sorry you feel a bit down, but thought I'd share my story.

My husband had an affair and left me suddenly last August. A few days after he left I found out I was pregnant. My STBXH has had nothing to do with me, my pregnancy, or my gorgeous DS who was born in early April.

I went through pregnancy on my own, albeit with very good support from my family and friends. There were many times when I wondered what on earth I was doing, and even more times when I was in complete denial about it. It was only when I got to about 6/7 months and I got a proper big bump that I started to face the reality of it. Until then it all seemed a bit of a blur.

Anyway, fast forward, and here I am with my energetic little DS kicking on a chair next to me. His father appears to want nothing to do with him - he even requested to not receive any information about his birth etc. (He's with OW who also got pregnant and had his child, long story). He hasn't seen my DS and I suspect he won't for a very long time, if ever. This hurts, I'll be honest.

I won't lie, it's hard work. And overwhelming. I felt very lonely in hospital when I was in labour, as it was only my parents who visited me (really hard hearing couples on my ward). It's tiring and overwhelming, and I miss not having anyone to share my woes and anxieties to at the end of the day.

But. He's worth it. I contemplated termination and I can't believe that now. He's lively, vibrant, beautiful, and he's mine. And even though I'm on a massive learning curve doing this on my own, I can't think of a more exciting and worthwhile journey. When he smiles everything is worth it, and for me he's given me a purpose that I don't think my life had before.

As for coccooning yourself away, I think that might be a natural reaction. You have a lot to come to terms with mentally and physically, so perhaps it's your subconscious telling you to take some time out and prepare for the big change ahead of you. I hibernated somewhat over the winter (in denial half the time), but to be honest I think I really need the rest and time to digest what had happened and what was about to happen.

Also, MN was (is) a lifeline to me! grin

Callmedreckly Wed 17-Jul-13 19:55:44

I could have written a lot of your post Tricky

My 'D'P left in January, (together 9 years)
LO born in April, yes its been hard OP & I totally understand the hiding away.

I was lucky to have a work colleague with me in labour.

It does get better, I promise you it does.
LO is asleep on my shoulder right now, My absolute world

I have no family nearby at all, But you find this extreme strength from somewhere and you will realise how bloody amazing you are thanks.

Solasum Wed 17-Jul-13 21:51:40

It sounds really trite, but thank you all for giving me hope.

This is not a situation I ever thought I would be in. I have one girlfriend who is now 6 months pregnant, and she and her husband are like love's young dream. And I am so jealous that I can barely bear to see her, and have not managed to tell her about my baby yet.

Financially things will be tight, but not un manageable, though I will have to go back to work as soon as I can.

Solasum Wed 17-Jul-13 21:56:12

I am just frightened I will not be able to give my baby enough. I am rubbish when I am tired, and socially shy (though at work I manage a superconfident veneer), and at the moment I am not sure I can manage to be brazen and make lots of mummy friends who will go home to their partners every night. I thought about going to pregnancy yoga class, but then thought I would be the odd one out. I need to find my grip!

Callmedreckly Wed 17-Jul-13 22:16:01

You will feel like seeing your friend one day, because you will be so proud of your baby, you will want to show baby off.

You don't have to see them now if you don't want to. I know its hard, when they seem to have it all.

Don't worry about groups, I haven't been to one yet!

All baby needs from you is love, honestly your baby will feel so secure in your arms, they thrive on it, the kisses and cuddles are amazing.
I cried when my LO smiled & she has started gazing into my eyes when I feed her.
It makes you melt, you can do this, take it a day at a time for now.

betterthanever Wed 17-Jul-13 22:21:00

solasum I have been a lone parent since I first became pregnant. I am not going to kid you, it is really, really hard but one way or another you will get through it, taking once step at a time.
I went through hell, was very ill and almost lost everything I had worked hard for - I came through it and what I face now didn't even enter my head. My exp is back re writing history and wanting to have a `key' role in DS's establish life, miles away from my exp. DS has been very distressed and I will not go into any more BUT I wanted to say - KEEP all the correspondence you can from the FOB. You may need it years down the line - my DS is 8. It is going to be you and your DD/DS and you will form an amazing bond. You will grow stronger and have the wonderful support of your family. I did the whole thing on my own if you ever want to PM me please feel free.

sillymillyb Wed 17-Jul-13 22:28:00

Oh Sola hugs for you!

I could have written your post - my Ds is 15 months now, and I was alone from, well, the poas really!

I did what you are doing, and sort of hibernated for my full pregnancy. I think there is a basic need in pregnancy to hunker down and protect yourself. I also know how you feel about the jealousy, it hurt to think about couples so excited about their baby, so I stayed away. Thing was, when I bumped into other pregnant ladies or attended antenatal classes (I did 2 sessions right at the end) there was no mention of their partners - the focus was more on labour, worrying about coping with babies etc, and so they were a support because the issues we were facing were the same, if you see what I mean?

For labour my mum was with me, but I was prepared right up to the last minute for doing it alone. Have you considered a doula? You could maybe look at a trainee one so the costs are kept low? The hospital I was in after the birth was made up of only private rooms, so other couples weren't in my face, but like someone up thread said, I was conscious of them being there and of not having many visitors. I think other people were so wrapped up in their own babies though that they wouldn't have noticed if I'd had a brass band in my room so long as I didn't disturb them smile

As for worrying that you won't be able to give you baby enough - you have the advantage here over couples!! All your baby needs is YOU - they don't need any body else, and you don't need to share your attention between your baby and your partner, so you are ahead of the game here!

I won't lie, there are times when being on your own with your baby is the toughest, most overwhelming experience. Sometimes I crave someone to share the good bits with, to debate over the best tactic to manage behaviour, to just hand my ds to so I can nip to the shops without it being a military operation. BUT, my DS is wonderful: he is confident, he is happy, he has the most infectious charming giggle and he loves me, as I adore and love him. We are a team, and that, honestly, is worth every single hard moment a gazillion times over. You can do this, and do this well - and your baby will be a credit to you, because you already care enough that you are worrying you won't be enough.

Listen to what we are telling you, believe us, it is hard - but god it is worth it. If there is anything I can do to help, pm me or post on here -MN dragged me cheered me through my pregnancy, and there are others who have been in your shoes and can prove to you that it will be ok xx (ahh jeez, I never do kisses! Sorry!)

russetbella1000 Wed 17-Jul-13 23:29:31

Hey just wanted to wish you all the best! Really tired from too much sun :0) so can't write much but just wanted to add to the positive stories about being a single mum right from the get go! For me personally, I honestly would not have had it any other way...It was actually easier imo... I see couples who have children together and view these very positively but what I never do is think they are more fortunate than me or that their children are happier than my dd. I am happy and that's all I ever focus on...
Negative ideas (and that's all they ever are) about single parenthood are only real if you believe them...Just be your brilliant self, love your child, have fun & all will be well...

All the best with the rest :0)

russetbella1000 Wed 17-Jul-13 23:32:48

Oooo and do everything you want-I did yoga even NCT classes (dragged my sis to a couple of them) & everyone was fine. Again if you're confident about your situation (and why shouldn't you be?:0) everyone just moves on very quickly...

betterthanever Thu 18-Jul-13 11:09:29

silly is right the other mums face very similar worries even though they have a partner. I made a very consious descion for the sake of DS I would not do anything different. I got out there terrified as I was - many were there on thier own even if they had a partner, they were working or didn't want to go! The other new mums need company too and they would love your comapny. My NCT friends are still my friends after all these years. A friend of mine was very shy until she had her first DD, she is a different person now - your baby will be the making of you - look forward to it, it will hard but wonderful. Take all the help you can, read books, smile. The best bit for me was actually the night feeds!! just me and DS and peace and quiet - the worst bit - I faced some other challenges just after DS was born and I wore myself out doing too much but that will not happen to you. I think all new mums are nervous and it is hard sometimes to have to make all teh descions yourself but you will get used to that and enjoy it.

Solasum Thu 18-Jul-13 11:39:38

Thank you all! I am still wobbling, (and sure I will again, so will definitely be back) but nowhere near as much as I was. thanks

I'll try Yoga next week, and take it from there. Perhaps keeping busy is the way forward as when I am on my own I am prone to be miserable. After all, I guess I'll have lots of evenings at home come January.

I'm really not sure about NCT though. It seems like quite a lot of money that I could better spend on a cot or something.

juneau Thu 18-Jul-13 11:49:50

I don't have experience of this OP, but my lovely cousin has just had her second DD on her own. She got AI via a sperm donor and is raising her DDs alone, with support from her family, working, etc. She's doing an amazing job and with help from her parents and DB I honestly don't think her DDs are missing out on anything.

If you're worried about being alone in labour I can wholeheartedly recommend hiring a doula Doula UK. I had one for both my labours (my DH was hopeless with the first one and completely absent during my very quick second one). My doula and I met several times before the birth, talked about what I wanted to happen in an ideal world, etc and on the day was with me from early labour until after the birth. Having a calm, experienced, kind woman in the room with me all the way through was wonderful, reassuring and really helped me to have 'good' births (IMO). Trainee doulas cost less than fully qualified ones, if money is an issue. My doula even drove me to hospital the second time.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Thu 18-Jul-13 11:56:20

Solasum I just wanted to add something in response to your comment about 'not being enough' for your baby. I think all of us who are lone parents know that feeling well, and it can eat away at your confidence if you let it. I'm 5 years into being a lone parent and can say with absolute certainty I am enough for my DD. More than enough. Her dad is around and does flit in and out but his involvement is so little it's not something DD can really rely on or depend on for anything.

The reason I know I'm enough for DD is because she's loved and is always aware that she's loved. That's really important and I'm sure your baby will get that message loud and clear. I do my utmost to give my DD the most I can in terms of time and experiences so that her little mind never wanders onto worrying about not having her dad around more. I support her, listen to her, talk to her and she honestly never talks negatively about her situation i.e. dad not living with us. She is a bright, confident and quite popular girl, and being a child from a lone parent household has not hindered her in any way whatsoever.

Don't let the media myth fool you into thinking that being a lone parent = bad parent. Being mum and dad is hard but equally rewarding, and certainly not beyond anyone who loves their baby and wants to do the best for them. You will be enough and your little bundle will let you know in ways that just makes your heart swell. Don't doubt yourself and you'll be fine. You'll struggle just like every new parent does, but you will get through it. Just make sure you get support and ask for help when you need it.

Oh, and congratulations!

Just to reassure you sola I too have worried an awful lot about not fitting in with other Mums. My story is a bit complicated and I'm worried there might be a stigma being a single Mum. As a result I haven't been to any baby groups yet (DS is 15 weeks) and to be honest I'm not sure they're my thing.

My Mum was with me during the birth. This wasn't planned, but my labour wasn't ideal, and she ended being the one who was with me for the three days I was in hospital.

The first few weeks were overwhelming and I was permanently knackered. He had bad colic at about 8 weeks, which also put an awful lot of strain on me (oh to have someone to take him off my hands for a while when he was crying so much).

But I agree the night feeds have been my favourite part. There is something so peaceful and intimate about holding him at 3am and feeding him - just me and him against the world. They feel very special. smile

Solasum Thu 18-Jul-13 17:41:26

And have now had an unexpected run in with the father. He is dreadful, so angry, so cruel. How can I possibly manage anything resembling a normality for the baby if he cannot even manage to be civil?

betterthanever Thu 18-Jul-13 18:00:36

sol you are under no obligation to communicate with him face to face. I would suggest that you ask him to make all communications via email or take someone with you if you do decide to meet - I did neither. Try and keep to issues that about the baby now and the care of later. I would inform your HV of what is happening and how you are feeling - I didn't, I regret that now too. You can't stop him doing as he pleases just manage how to respond to him and how you look after yourself and the baby. You are not responsible for how he feels, he has to sort that out within himself. You are responsible for how you feel and have to do things to keep yourself happy and content. I wish I had done more when I was pregnant because after my DS was born, my exp also became violent on top of his usual verbal abuse and threats. With a newborn to look after and money to find to keep the roof over our head I was in a very tough position. I wish I had informed more official authorities earlier. There are a few aspects to this I think and it feels very familiar to how my exp was. They don't get better, you do at dealing with it.

ljny Thu 18-Jul-13 18:04:11

Sweetheart, you don't need him. Your baby doesn't need him - your baby will have you.

The reason I know I'm enough for DD is because she's loved and is always aware that she's loved. That's really important and I'm sure your baby will get that message loud and clear.
^What buncha said.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 18-Jul-13 18:15:41

Unless he is a colleague liable to meet through work, with any luck today's unpleasant encounter will be a rare sighting.

Think of him as a vocano - hot air, unpleasant vapours, the occasional vicious eruption. Let him rant and turn a deaf ear. Any aggression or intimidation, make a note of it and date it afterwards. Bullies often save hostility for when you're alone. Take along a 3rd party if you and he arrange a meeting and stay somewhere public.

Solasum Thu 18-Jul-13 20:09:35

Unfortunately Donkey he is someone who I will see through work.

He says he will see me in court.

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