to think I should TTC when I am already THIS neurotic?(11 Posts)
I've put off the decision to try for a baby for YEARS because either I wasn't sure, or it wasn't the right time (just another version of me not being sure ) but now I think I've reached the point where I'm ready. I do want a child, I know I do, and I think about it all the time at the moment, in happy and positive ways, which is better than abject panic!
But I keep lying awake at night worrying about the reality of being preg (if I'm lucky and can conceive, that is). I'm obsessively anxious about my health at the best of times (it would be funny if it weren't a real PITA) and a control freak to end all control freakery about things changing and going 'wrong' with my body. I've had eating disorders in the past (better now) and though I'm not so shallow as to say anything silly about not wanting to get fat, the reality is that i struggle with losing control over my body, which I know pregnancy would bring.
I honestly think I'd be a good mum (I'd certainly try) I'm not that neurotic about other stuff and I've tried so hard to get to a place in my life where a baby is just really wanted and would be very loved. But now I'm approaching the time to start trying, I'm really freaking out about the reality of pregnancy (and don't even get me started on childbirth). I'm 35 so can't keep putting this off forever, and anyway I do want this. But is it realistic when I can't even manage a tummyache without assuming it's fatal (I'm only slightly exaggerating) and when I have successfully got to grips with an eating disorder only by taking back control over my body and not letting the way my body feels control me?
Anyone who's had similar experiences or would just like to give me a kick in the bum, please please give me your advice!
I am very anxious most of the time and yet found in my first pregnancy I was very relaxed. Must've been the hormones but i was a different person, v chilled out.
I'd go for it - to be blunt the older you get the harder it is, greater the risks, so the longer you leave it the more you'll have to worry about.
MsGee - that's great advice actually thank you - though now of course you've got me worrying about the whole issue of health problems as a (slightly) older mum! That's how ridiculous I am! But you're right, I'm sure. I have heard that hormones kick in and make things very calm, so with any luck that would happen I guess.
I was really worried about putting on weight when I got pregnant, because rightly or wrongly, my DH is very image focussed and I didn't want him to go off me because my figure changed. What happened was that at 6 weeks pregnant I had constant nausea and actually lost 1 and a half kilos because I went off food. I didn't put on weight very quickly as I stayed very active, walking a couple of miles a day and swimming once a week. In total I gained 12 kilos. Towards the end of pregnancy I didn't eat very much either because I felt full so quickly and had heartburn.
Straight after the birth I had lost 5 kilos and the other 7 dropped off over 6 months. I was wearing my pre-preg jeans after 3 weeks! I was astounded at the quick recovery.
Now (20 months later) I feel my body is a bit different (bigger boobs and a bigger tummy, but thinner waist) but still nice and I feel just as much in control as before I got pregnant.
I just wanted to share this to say, I was surprised how much control I retained over my body during pregnancy and was pleasantly surprised to find my figure wasn't really changed much at all. I think if you have an exercise program try to keep this up as much as you can and just eat as healthily as you can manage.
If having a baby is something you know you want, just get on and do it, there's never a right time.
If you really are this neurotic about your own health then you will be even more so about your childs health, plus you will pass the neurosis on to your child. If you are really bothered about your figure then I will warn you know - do not look at yourself in a mirror naked for at least 6 months after the birth. The post-birth jelly-belly is quite the most hideous thing.
Can I also warn you that your general health will take a hit by having a baby. I was your age when I had DD. I was very fit and I've always been very healthy, never got colds, headaches, viruses etc. The year after having DD I was more ill than I have ever been in my life. I got cold after cold and had three separate sinus infections (never had a sinus infection before this). I lurched from one illness to another whilst looking after DD full time and working (from home). It wasn't much fun but I just got on with it, assuming it would all get better eventually, which it did. I don't know if I'd have coped if I'd been a hypochondriac.
So, I don't know whether you should have a baby, but if you do be prepared that even a normal, healthy pregnancy followed by and easy birth can knock you for six.
I was like that, till I got pregnant. Slowly during my pregnancy I have become a lot more chilled and less of a hypochondriac.
You learn so much more about how resilient the body is during pregnancy that you do learn to take things related to health more in your stride. Plus, you learn to be less anxious because you are pushed into a 9 month period of not being able to control whats going on with your body and life as much as you would have before. You then learn to just go with things as opposed to trying to get things perfect all the time.
At least thats how it has been for me.
You'll be fine. And if you're not, you'll deal with it then. The experiences you have change you anyway, so you can't assume that because you're in this state now, you'll be worse if/when you're pregnant. It certainly puts a lot of other worries into perspective. And yes, the hormones can really help.
ahhh, opposing views, that's why I love MN!!
Thanks everyone for opinions and advice - I guess you never know until you're in that situation whether you'll suddenly become Zen and serene or whether every little twinge will send your blood pressure rocketing! I'd like to think the former but who knows? As for the body stuff, it's a hard thing to discuss because it sounds so shallow compared to the fact of having a whole new life to take care of, but I just know for my own mental health, I need to feel that I'm comfortable in my skin (I don't mean skinny, just comfortable with myself).
Putting it all down here in black and white I realise that I sound a bit of a basket case, I'm honestly sane about most stuff but having had a nutty, depressed, unhappy mother myself I know how important - actually, vital - it is to have a mum who's OK about this stuff. I do recognise that there's a danger I would pass my health fears onto my children but honestly, isn't it better at least to be totally aware that you have this problem and do everything you can to avoid passing it on? I know plenty of people who are passing on all kinds of issues to their kids without even being aware of them.
Everyone has hangups about something or other. You sound like you're fairly self aware and can slightly stand back from some of your neuroses. So you're less likely to push them onto a child than someone more absorbed in them. If you really think they are a problem get yourself some CBT to learn more constructive ways of dealing with potential anxieties.
My friend who is a GP told me about a woman who was on her 10th pregnancy, and she always got gestational diabetes, and couldn't manage it by herself, and had to be hospitalised through her pregnancies. This meant all her other children had to go into care.
IMVHO, she sounds like someone who shouldn't be getting pregnant.
You on the other hand, sound just fine and I'm sure you'll make a very loving mother.
Thank you Easyfriedrice - that was a lovely post and made me feel a lot better about my own shortcomings! I do think that being self aware is a huge help, it can just be quite painful and make the smallest decision a form of torture!
I guess you could ask yourself, would your mother, who you described as "nutty, depressed, & unhappy" have come on a forum and asked about whether she was doing the right thing by her child? Or was she so absorbed in being unhappy she didn't really think about it?
I think someone, like you, who really cares about doing the right thing by a potential child, is already on track to deal with their issues and get it right.
I do feel for you though. A friend of mine is expecting a baby any day and has a very difficult, abusive, narcissistic mother and she's really scared of how she will mother her own child, not wanting to repeat the negative patterns.
Just stay aware and ask for lots of support from all the good people around you, and be as open as you can with them about your fears, it will help to keep you grounded.
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