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Desperate. Terrible sense of loss and despair at being pregnant.

(47 Posts)
Carolyn76 Wed 12-Feb-14 21:15:30

I am hoping there is someone out there who could help or reassure me - I'm wracked with misery.

I have never seen myself having a baby - I actively feel quite negative about them - and about small children - yet I know that I want a family - an older family of teenage children of my own, and there's only one way to get that.

My mother has put a lot of pressure on me, telling me that I'd regret it terribly if I didn't, that its different when they're your own etcetc. and is in complete denial that there is anything negative whatsoever about having children.

I don't know why, but I've never had any illusions about the total and complete change of life-as-you-know-it that having a baby brings, and at the forefront of my mind all my life has been the demands a child places on you; the lack of freedom and independence, lost opportunities, not to mention financial strain, social complexities of bringing up a child etc. I've always been relieved not to be in that position. I run my own business single-handedly and I work in quite a male-dominated world. I like that I have little exposure to the child-things I shudder at.

I now find myself inadvertently 5 weeks pregnant. I say inadvertently because at our age (37 & 41), we really didn't believe for a second that we'd conceive in 2 months and weren't actively trying - just not actively preventing. We're both reeling from the shock and I've fallen into a deep depression - in effect, a sense of grief and mourning for my life as I know it. I've never envied my friends' families or newborns, its always been a relief to return from visits to the calm, quiet order of my own home, free from all the plastic paraphernalia I detest so much. And the dawning realisation that that world of grotesquely distended bellies, baggy bodies and then the awfulness of being in a "child world" of ghastly kiddy TV shows and baby clothes, and poo and vomit for years on end will soon become my reality.

I strongly disapprove of abortion, and I know I definitely couldn't handle it emotionally, so am praying for a miscarriage - just to buy me some time to think about what I really do want as I'm so confused. But I really do want to want this baby. I want to feel excited about it, or just be reassured that I won't be completely ambivalent or resentful of it when its born. The only thing keeping me going is that I love my partner dearly and imagining his features in its face is the only comfort I find - perhaps because loving him is familiar to me and thinking of the baby as his baby does help a little. After that fleeing moment of relief, though, my mind then moves back to the loss of my independent life, the exhaustion and my perception of the relentless boredom and domestic drudgery of childrearing that I truly abhor.

Is there anyone out there who felt like this? I'm desperately seeking someone who did and emerged as a parent without regretting the decision to stick with it, and who is truly in love with their child. Can anyone tell me that they've felt the same beforehand and yet are so glad they saw their pregnancy through?

I feel like the most horrible, unnatural person in the world, and this is such a taboo subject that I can't tell anyone (not even in full to my partner) for fear of judgement. I'm too scared to tell anyone I'm pregnant because I won't be able to react how you're expected to (i.e. be happy).

I beg you not to judge me - I am so aware of how lucky we are, but I can't help how I am instinctively feeling. I'm just engulfed with misery, fear, regret and despair.

Please can someone help me?

AmIatwat Wed 12-Feb-14 22:17:30

Listen to me. When baby arrives you will fall in love with him or her. You don't need to be the sling wearing yummy mummy stereotype; you'll just wonder why you never thought life could be so perfect without them.

RubyrooUK Wed 12-Feb-14 22:37:19

The best advice I can give you is that having a baby does not prevent you from living your life. And nor is it drudgery. Like most things, it has its difficulties but then it has its much greater rewards.

I have two children and a very challenging career. I can't say I love vomit but it's a minute part of the overall picture. Also, my body is pretty much alright. I prefer my boobs which I think are a better shape than pre-children and I don't get stretchmarks. I have always eaten normally after having the babies and returned to my normal size eight. I'm telling you this because the "baggy body" is not a permanent thing for everyone.

When I had DS2, I went through a period of depression when first pregnant. I wanted the baby but then mourned the timing, lack of future sleep, the freedom and so on...even though I had one child I adored, I couldn't see how our lives could handle another one.

I was wrong. DS2 is amazing. After a day at work, I come home and he and his brother make me laugh and melt. They are a beautiful addition to my life; they don't subtract from it. The extra stuff - baby clothes and so on - well, it's just clothes. I don't think about them much except that the children need to have something to wear. If you're not the kind of person to go doolally over babygros, that's fine!

If these feelings continue, please do see a doctor about it. Antenatal depression is a real thing. But if this is just anxiety over the unknown, I hope my words have helped a little.

Slothlorien Wed 12-Feb-14 22:45:41

I have a friend who expressed these feelings. But she is a loving, devoted, normal, imperfect but balanced and wonderful mum.
It's easy to be so aware of all the negatives. But as yet u can't imagine the amazing positives! smile

Carolyn76 Thu 13-Feb-14 11:27:26

Ladies, thank you so much for the support and non-judgement.

I know its impossible to guarantee what any other human being might feel in the future but hearing other people's similar views is definitely of some comfort. I don't do change or the unknown well at all, and this is the biggest change ever, because it is set in stone and we can't go back if we don't like it.

I just went to the doctor - a new one - who turned out to be very supportive and understanding. She has given me an urgent referral to the psychology wing of the maternity unit and I am looking forward to being helped to a more positive space.

Anyone else out there who's had similar experiences and emerged triumphant, please do share!

Many thanks again..... x

gamerchick Thu 13-Feb-14 11:34:38

With my last baby I was DEVASTATED I sulked at the first scan when I saw it was real. Wouldn't speak to anybody. A right brat I acted like.

I had no interest in preparing.. ignored the having to get stuff in (7ish year gap between babies) I couldn't even walk down the baby section in a supermarket.

I did all the right things on my baby board but I hated every minute and all the issues with that pregnancy.

I admit I was worried about bonding.. I just did not want that baby all the way through my pregnancy.

Then I had him and I was never so besotted with a baby like I was with him.. It really surprised me.

Keep talking.. don't bottle it up and take each day as it comes.

Good luck.

Freckletoes Thu 13-Feb-14 11:52:44

I think your problem-and this is said in a matter of fact way not a critical way-is that up until now you have led a very selfish life. You have been completely in control of what you do and when, and have had no dependants messing that up. I think you have quite an intelligent view of the future-the amount of people who swear blind having a baby will not change them or their lifestyle and then when the time comes they get an almighty shock! But you don't have to change who you are fundamentally-just tweak your lifestyle around being a mum. I also think you will be totally surprised how you feel about the new arrival-the surge of maternal love for that pathetic little scrap of a person is impossible to describe in words! You will find your niche in "mums' world"-you don't have to have the plastic crap and the hideous TV shows, the baggy belly will go with work. Poo, vomit and noise you're going to have to deal with though!! You will meet some kindred spirits and they may become lifelong friends-people who at the moment you wouldn't dream of associating with. Please don't wish for a miscarriage-if the worst does happen you will mourn for that loss and make yourself feel far worse for wanting it. Look upon this as a challenge for both of you-start planning and organising your life to come as parents! And believe me-teenagers are NOT something to look forward to-they are horrid!! smile

Carolyn76 Thu 13-Feb-14 11:55:31

Gamerchick - you're a star. That is precisely and exactly how I am feeling and its also just what I wanted to hear as an outcome.

I do keep talking - mainly to myself in a diary format, as I will seriously worry my other half and I don't want to jeopardise our relationship. Hopefully the psychologist can help and I went to a hypno-NLP lady last year for other issues and I'm hoping she can get me to visualise things in a more positive light.

Thanks so much!

Cringechilli Thu 13-Feb-14 12:00:30

I have a friend who didn't really want kids but agreed to try because her husband really did want them. She adores them and is a great mum.

It is pretty shocking for most people, even those who wanted a baby in the first place to think that (at some stage of their pregnancy with the first) that an actual physical baby is going to appear! Try to keep calm, you will be ok.

HandragsNGladbags Thu 13-Feb-14 12:08:14

Firstly, I would say it is perfectly normal to think "oh shit" when you catch for a baby quickly. You think you will have time to come round to it, and then this huge decision appears to have been foisted upon you. It takes time to come round to what this means.

I remember with DD1 being irritated that everyone else was still going out at the weekend, going to gigs, looking nice and I had to carry this baby around. I did everything I was supposed to with DD1 and did want her, but I never felt attached really. I was 31 as well so old enough to know what I wanted.

I also thought I could never love anyone as much as I loved DH. Well DD1 blew that out of the water within about 30 seconds of being born grin It worked both ways, the dc are the apple of his eye as well.

I am on DC 3 now (28weeks) so I must have got used to them wink and I wouldn't say I am a "baby" person at all. And I have a high flying job, and decent lifestyle etc. I can honestly say now that the DC only add to that.

Good luck!

HandragsNGladbags Thu 13-Feb-14 12:09:41

Sorry I mean when I was pregnant with DD1 I felt I was missing out and wasn't attached.

Kelliem Thu 13-Feb-14 12:22:03

I could have written your post when I was pregnant. In all honestly I really struggled with it all and spent lots of my time crying as I felt I had made the worst decision of my life and hated myself for putting myself in that position. I too was refereed for counselling but it had a long waiting list so I went privately. It was the best thing I did, it helped me understand myself and deal with the day to day. My daughter is now nearly 3, I couldn't love her more. Pregnancy isn't great for some people, be kind to yourself and look for support. My DH was amazing, please take time to explain to him how you feel.

Carolyn76 Thu 13-Feb-14 12:26:58

Gosh you ladies are boosting me more than I thought possible in the depths of despair. It is SO refreshing to hear that I'm not alone and the support is truly so touching and helpful.

I feel perfectly well physically, but at times, like I have some kind of mental illness. I know a lot of this can be attributed to hormones, but also having had any interest in babies or the world of kids, I'm scared I've allowed myself to be talked into this by my own mother who can't guarantee my emotions about the matter!

Feeling a little bit calmer - thank you so much!

MorrisZapp Thu 13-Feb-14 12:38:32

Please don't stake all your hopes on the rush of love that people tell you to expect when your baby arrives. Not everybody gets that, I certainly didn't.

It took me a year to bond with my DS. I felt nothing for him in the beginning, but it has now grown into something wonderful.

You sound a lot like me, a bit older, ambivalent, very independent etc. I'm that person again now, but I did lose myself for a bit when DS was born.

Please just keep expectations realistic. Being a parent is so enriching and rewarding, but the earliest days are the hardest for women like us who don't take to giving their freedom up easily. Keep talking, try to be honest, and good luck with gp/ counselling.

Carolyn76 Thu 13-Feb-14 12:50:06

Thank you MorrisZapp - it does sound like we're very much alike there.

I am aware that there are people around who don't bond immediately and I'm sorry to hear you went through that. But it is so encouraging to know that you got there in the end and I imagine there are precious few people out there who never do. But if you're one of them, please don't write in and prove me wrong - I don't need to hear that right now!!

Thanks so much for taking the trouble to write.

MorrisZapp Thu 13-Feb-14 13:30:54

Oh I definitely got there in the end! Thought I didn't know 'what to do' with a boy. Well obviously, you squish his bum and nuzzle his neck until he goes MUUUUUM! And the what to do part gets easier every day, mostly as they tell you themselves smile

MrsHappyBee Thu 13-Feb-14 13:44:00

I never had any urge to have children. Felt devastated when I became pregnant but DH was over the moon. Didn't feel any excitement during the pregnancy and didn't bond for a while after the birth. I'm just not a kiddie person and don't cluck over babies and children.Now DC is grown up I burst with love and what's really struck me is that they're only children for a few years but you have the rest of your lives as adults to enjoy their company and this can be more satisfying than the chilshood years.

Kelliem Thu 13-Feb-14 14:06:35

I felt a massive pressure to be excited, which I was a long way from! I also was scared about the birth/bonding and kinda came to the conclusion that I needed to give myself the opportunity to see how I felt about it, which meant for me not telling anyone when I went into labour etc just to give myself some space. I'd also made a pact with DH that I would 'give her a go' as if wanted to put her up for adoption... Looking back on it now it was a miserable time and I had no understanding of making things easy for myself!

Carolyn76 Thu 13-Feb-14 14:27:22

Mrs HappyBee - I'm with you on not being a kiddie person - and that is really where I'm at. I know that I really want the relationship with older, teenaged and adult children - its the demanding small ones that I'm convinced are going to suck my life blood and leave me suicidal that I'm fearful of!

Gracious, Kelliem - that sounds awful. How do you feel now?

Kelliem Thu 13-Feb-14 14:41:50

Hey! Completely fine! For me as soon as she was 'out' I felt OK. I didn't breast feed as just wanted the hormones and crazy thoughts to stop. Pregnancy certainly wasn't great for me but love having DD now

themummyonthebus Thu 13-Feb-14 15:22:36

I could have written MorrisZ's posts. Bonding with #1 took me a long time. It took a good year before I started to feel like me again and probably half as long again to really get into the swing of being Mum.

BUT. One of the reasons for having #2 was that #1 is so much fun now we're out of the pure baby phase. And I now can't imagine how much poorer my life would have been without my two beautiful children.

I'm still in the baby phase with #2 (it was love at first sight this time round) and I feel so guilty about the way I dealt with #1 as a baby. I just didn't get it at all and I'm so sorry, with hindsight, to have let my selfishness/stress get in the way.

I wish I'd got help like you have. Yes, it's a huge change but you don't have to let mummy stuff take over your life either. Give yourself the space to find your own balance.

Good luck.

MrsHappyBee Thu 13-Feb-14 15:27:30

OP don't worry your own aren't as annoying as other people's! I just wasn't interested in all the 'being a mummy' stuff. Went back to work ASAP. DC has suffered no ill effects with my ambivalence in the early years and we're very close now. Maybe because DH was very involved which made up for my lack of interest.

fishybits Thu 13-Feb-14 16:34:16

I never wanted children, my DH did.

I cried when I had my coil out, I refused to let DH near me more than once a month, my heart broke when I became pregnant so much so that DH suggested I had an abortion, I threw up at the sight of DD, I could've left her behind without a second thought but 2 years on I think she's great.

I won't tell you you'll fall in love as soon as you see your baby as lots of people don't. I won't tell you that you'll never imagine life without him/her because that's bs for some people. I will tell you that for the vast majority of us that don't have the fairytale instant bond with our child, your instincts will kick in and you will meet your baby's needs and that the love will come.

Tranquilitybaby Sat 15-Feb-14 09:23:52

Keep talking to people, lots of feeling swirl around when you're pregnant, the enormity of it, the responsibility that's upon you.

Many people aren't keen on other peoples children, think that can be quite common, but you're own is a whole different thing.


Reluctant2ndtimer Sat 15-Feb-14 10:32:39

I totally get how you feel. I never in a million years wanted children and couldn't understand why people would choose to have them on purpose Still can't really
I was distraught to find myself pregnant at 35. I used to stand at the top of the stairs and plan how to 'accidently' fall down them to lose the baby. I was so depressed each time we went for a scan while Dh was so excited. I was lucky that my best friend has always felt the same about kids as me so I could talk to her - although I felt a bit guilty as we'd always said we'd run away to France as old ladies and I'd let her down getting pregnant. I didn't feel anything much Ds when he was born but made myself look at him as though I loved him as I felt that would be important for him. I think I loved him by six months. Now I have a Dd too and I worship the pair of them. I breast fed (still feeding Dd and she is bloody 3 years old hmm I'd love to go back and be pregnant with Ds again and enjoy it. Sometime I look at them and wonder where the fuck they came from, and if I had my time again I still might not have had children but they are honestly amazing and I'm in awe of them every day. Incidentally my best friend accidentally got pregnant a couple of years ago and was devastated too. She miscarried though and now at 40 I think she's really sad that she probably won't have a baby. Finances and circumstances make it impractical for her.
So after all that rambling on what I'm trying to say is that you'll be ok. It won't always be easy but it will be worth it. Good luck.

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