Overwhelming anxiety about becoming a mum(12 Posts)
Hi all, I'm new to Mumsnet but in need of some support.
I'm now overdue by 8 days and have had a very easy and enjoyable pregnancy. However, I all of a sudden feel overwhelmed with anxiety and doubt about becoming a first time mum.
I'm terrified I won't cope, that I regret the choice to have children and I feel terrible. I just want to cry from the minute I wake up.
I have a supportive partner and family but just don't want to tell them how bad I really feel.
Will this last forever? Is having a baby that bad?
Trust me, it is completely normal to feel like this right before you give birth. my midwife asked me a week before I gave birth if I was feeling anxious yet, I said no I feel fine. A few days later it hit me and I couldn't stop worrying.
As this is your first baby, there is no way of knowing what it will be like. I remember really worrying that I wouldn't know what to do, and smart ass comments from friends/family didn't help. Things like "oh you better sleep now as you'll never sleep again" etc. Not very helpful! It really and truly isn't that bad. My DD is 7 months now and the best thing that ever happened me. I also didn't get that overwhelming love that most people talk about when she was born. That took a couple of days to kick in, I think I was in shock that id just had a baby. But the love kicked in and being a mum is literally the most amazing thing in the world, I can't even describe it.
So please don't worry, your feelings are more normal than you think. It is a very overwhelming time and the fact you are 8 days over isn't helping! From someone who was in your shoes a few months ago - you will be fine and before you know it your baby will be all grown up!
It is perfectly normal... it is a massive change in your life and no anxiety would mean you had underestimated the gravity of the situation! This feeling of terror is a sign that you apppreciate the hugeness of things. There WILL be times you feel like you cant cope but you will. Try and tell those around you- chances are they are bricking it too and you can hold hands and face the
absolutely mindblowing next few days, weeks, years. Good luck.
I was a bit anxious before the birth.
I love having my newborn far more than I thought I would. It's a love that's grown over the last 10weeks though, I didn't want to hold him for a while after the birth and didn't feel an overwhelming rush of love for him immediately, but I now think he's wonderful.
I've been lucky he's been an easy baby. Everyone made all the comments about sleepless nights, no social life etc. I do get up in the night with him and I am a little tired, but it's not awful and I've never had more friends and family come to visit!
The really important thing is to put very little pressure on yourself to do things a certain way or to be a particular sort of parent. I was never going to be a co-sleeping, baby wearing kind of Mum. Oh yes I am!
Any problems once baby is here, make sure you tell your midwife. Mine was fantastic.
Please chat to your midwife. These feelings are not rational but are anxiety issues. You do need to be honest with those around you. You need help now but also someone to keep an eye that this doesn't become PND.
And no. Being a parent is absolutely not bad. Or I wouldn't have done it twice! It will be tiring and at times stressful but it will also be joyful and rewarding. You will cope but always ask for help if you need it. (Friend visited me once when DD was tiny and got baby thrust at her so I could wee in peace! DS was a fussy baby so DH made my lunch before going off to work in the early weeks. Little things help.!)
Thanks for your lovely replies they have gone some way to make me feel better.
I'm not sure why everything you read about pregnancy is all glowing and positive and then everything about the next stage seems all doom and gloom!
I've convinced myself that I will end up with a colicky baby or one who screams all the time and I feel utterly unprepared with how to deal with that. But hey, I guess you learn! It's also hard not knowing what life will look like once baby is here and how it will fit in with our relationship etc. I guess it's a fear of the unknown!
This really annoyed me during pregnancy- everyone is very keen to tell you about the negatives and comments like 'sleep now because you won't for the next ten years' are not only mean, but inaccurate! For me the reality of having a baby was significantly better than what I had been warned about (same with labour!) - so I would ignore the doom and gloomers and focus on the excitement of meeting your baby.
I'd be more surprised if you didn't feel like this - it's a major life change, you have no idea what it's going to be like, even if this baby has been endlessly planned for and wanted, so of course you're anxious. Be kind to yourself, and tell a supportive friend or your partner/DH how you feel. The reason everyone weighs in with unhelpfully gloomy 'advice' is more to do with how overwhelmed they may have felt when they themselves had a child - ignore it all, you'll figure it out yourself. No one else will have had your baby, and within a little while, you and your baby's father will be the experts on your particular child.
What I would say is go very easy on yourself at the beginning, and don't panic if your primary emotion is panic and regret, rather than the much-heralded 'rush of love', which can take weeks, even months, to kick in for some people. Feel confident that the love will eventually come, even it's not immediate, and treat the often difficult early weeks the way you would training for a completely new skill set that you know may be difficult. Do seek help if you feel you have PND. Of course you may find it all terribly easy and be loved-up from the word go - some people do! - but don't panic if you're not. It'll come. Best wishes,
With the lack of overwhelming love with the newborn, I think this is so much more common than you think. I certainly wasn't the only Mum in my NCT group to feel like this and I did not find pregnancy a magical or special time at all. If you think about it as you and your baby need to create a relationship and life together, exactly like you and your partner did, and that it requires work, that's what helped me. You didn't love your partner as soon as you met him, but you do now and that's all that matters.
Honestly, getting big smiles in the middle of the night and hearing them sleep laugh (though that can also be creepy) and having them grab onto you for the first time - all worth it. I'd do it again!
Thanks all I do feel somewhat calmer now! It has suddenly come from nowhere and has taken me by surprise. I'm making an effort to get outside as much as possible and think positively. I must remember that I will still be a person with a life and being a mum will just become a new part of this. I'm so very lucky that I have so much support but feelings and anxiety is nt always rational is it xx
Getting outside is good. Have you got many friends who are expecting? I've found having Mum friends with babies the same age helpful. If not, I suggest looking on baby maze for a bumps and babes coffee morning or similar.
Your life doesn't end at all! For a few weeks after the birth you need to recover (I felt fully recovered 4-5 weeks after when my bleeding stopped and stitches were ok). This is the time to rest and eat as much as you can! Don't push yourself or let family push you to do anything you don't feel up to (my mum frogmarched me out for a walk at 2 weeks when I had painful loose stitches).
However, once you've physically recovered it's awesome. When they're little and you only have one they're pretty portable. Mine comes to choir with me one night a week (in sling, car seat or pram) and mostly sleeps through. I go on lots of long walks with him either in baby carrier or pram depending on terrain. I have had lots of lunches out (not dinner yet though as that's his awake time). Lots of friends and family come and visit, we've had an overnight stay at a friends. My closer friends come round a watch films and we eat pizza, which is nice to have someone else hold the baby for an hour! I tried the baby classes, but other than swimming they're not for me, which is fine as I don't feel I'm lacking in social stuff.
My life is slightly different, but I'm happy with it. Babies do refocus what you want. I really wish you all the best. Enjoy your newborn.
I felt like this before my first. I worried so much that by the time I gave birth, I was terrified - having a newborn was so much better than I anticipated! I actually really enjoyed the newborn stage because I kept thinking "I thought this would be awful". I've friends who bought into the whole "babies are wonderful, it's all unicorns and fairies" thing, and actually found it quite a shock to have a newborn, so i think a bit of anxiety isn't a bad thing (though it's horrible at the time).
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.