How does it feel to have a child?(54 Posts)
My husband recently asked me when I want to start trying for a baby. I had my mind set on going to uni next year.
But I am also turning 37, overweight (BMI 27.2), and with hypertension.
If I would have a baby, I should be trying now right?
I am seriously scared about giving birth. I have witnessed a lot of women go on labour and give birth (in my past career).
I am one of those very rare females with no maternal/nurturing instinct to speak of.
But I always hear about how having a baby is worth all the pain and sacrifices (in my case, no more or delayed uni).
So tell me, how does it feel to have a child?
To have a child, or to give birth to one?
To have a child - for me, the single greatest source of joy in my life, the tiniest things are the most wonderful all of a sudden.
To give birth - for me (I had pre-eclampsia so induction and then epidural) it was intense period pain in my back. I think I could mostly have coped as I was but epidural helped even out blood pressure.
The good bits are better than everyone says and the bad bits are not nearly as bad.
Do you mean how does it feel to actually give birth? Or how it feels to be a mother? Or both?
Giving birth? well I could think of better things to do. Having a child? Utterly amazing.
Birth - fucking painful. But it is one day. And after that, you heal, and fingers crossed, are a mother. Which feels beyond wonderful like nothing else on earth.
The birth bit is 24-48 hours. I can't remember what I was doing 48 hours ago. I can't even remember how much DS2 weighed. I don't know what time of day DS1 was born.
However the parenting bit.. It has highs, fantastic highs and soul destroying lows.
It doesn't sound like you've thought about it much.. But your husband has been thinking about it obviously. Happy relationships usually, but not always, happen with both sides having similar views on being parents. Do you think exposure to children and babies would help you ? Any family you could offer to babysit for a weekend with your husband ? Not only would be giving someone a break (which is a wonderful thing) but it might help the two of you have matched expectations.
Being a mother is truly wonderful. The love I have for my little boy is not something I can describe easily. He has 'grown' on me though. The first few months of motherhood were such a slog I rarely had time to reflect. I was going through the motions. Of course I loved him dearly but I was recovering from birth and adapting to our new lives. Now that we have all settled down, and he is begining to show more of his little personality, I really do fully appreciate and adore him.
It is bloody hard work, not always fun and requires a lot of sacrifices along the way, like it or not, things won't stay the same. But the good moments are worth every second.
There are days I wish I wasn't a mother. It's consuming, it's extremely frustrating at times, it's terrifying to have such a large responsibility, it's hard to know what's right, I doubt myself often and my capacity and my fitness for parenting. It's very very very tiring.
Overall I'm glad I'm a mother (and I love DD, she is fabulous even though she can't talk yet and is a toddler tyrant of moods and destruction) but I'm not sure I would do it again.
To be a mother is the greatest experience possible. It is like falling in love with the same person afresh every day and finding that the love is cumulative. It makes you vulnerable, as any pain your child suffers hurts you too.
I only gave birth once. It was a straightforward delivery - 4hrs 10 minutes - marred by pethidine (which gave me hallucinations that went on for three weeks). In labour, I thought I would die just from the pain. But she was born at 8:40 and at 10:30 I was looking at my gp and thinking "get into bed, I'll give you a go!" so its true what they say, you soon forget!
If you'd never thought about having a baby before your mid-late 30s, then yes I would say you're unusual, though not unique.
But it sounds as if your past experiences have caused you to decide never to have children, as if you once did think about it?
How long have you been with your husband? Has this come up before?
The only previous experience I could compare it to was having a new puppy x 100.
The feeling that this little person is yours for life, and that what you do from now on is going to have consequences, is quite terrifying.
You are no longer husband and wife, sounding each other out. You need to depend on each other and pull together to make it work. Sacrifices and compromises await.
But... the joy and fulfilment in having another person to love unconditionally make it all worthwhile!
Did you discuss having children/timings when you got married?
IMO, being a parent is wonderful.
Stressful - at times.
Yet it is the best thing I've ever done. Such a long journey, but (apologies if this sounds a bit twee) a truely, truely rewarding, emotional, wonderful one.
Personally, I didn't enjoy the baby bits really - I don't cope well without enough sleep (and in our case combined with no money and both working all the hours you could imagine), but one they became little people, things really looked up, and now they are teens / young adults, you see the fruits of all that hard work, and really enjoy the company of confident, mature people that you've had so much input into raising. It's very, very, rewarding.
OP, honestly, having a child is maybe the single, ordinary element of life that is least possible to describe to someone who isn't a parent. I had my son at 40, and nothing I'd been told, read, or experienced (and I had been around a lot of babies and children, and candid friends who were parents) bore any resemblance to what it was like for me.
You don't say in your OP whether you actually want a child -do you? It's not compulsory, and it's perfectly possible to lead a differently fulfilling life without a child, especially if what you really want would rule out a child. And lots of women aren't 'natural nurturers' - I'm certainly not, and I've never felt remotely broody.
And I think that any generalised stereotypes about children always by definition being worth all possible sacrifices is total nonsense. If going to university is if the utmost importance to you, either do it, or figure out how to combine it with ttc and a baby. One thing I can definitely tell you is that giving up something you really want in order to have a baby, and expecting the baby to make your sacrifice worth it, isn't fair on anyone.
I decided to go to university rather than have a second child. (There were other reasons too - things are never that simple). I think that it was just about the right decision for me, possibly for us as a family, definitely not for ds.
Being a mother was something I felt very deeply that I wanted to try to do. It is very hard. I have never failed so often and so comprehensively at anything. Most nights I feel very low about how poorly I parent ds, resolve to do better, which I then don't. It would be quite nice not to have these feelings.
But there is the other stuff. I was a good mother of a toddler, the bit that is supposed to be hard. Toddlers are pure joy. Or they would be, if you weren't so
There's also looking at ds. I drink him in. He is beautiful. Once I was religious and prayed, now I look at ds. It is the same feeling.
I was never maternal but at 35 I was reluctant to dismiss it. I went through pregnancy looking a bit at anyone who was all "I love my baybeeeeeee" because I thought I didn't know mine and I might not like it.
So the baby arrived and it was the great big whoosh of emotion. Totally game changing. Literally went from being someone's daughter to understanding what the hell was going on in my mum's head. In the space of a minute I went from "Nice baby" to "Hurt my baby AND I WILL KILL YOU".
Oh, and there are lots of lengthy threads on MN about whether or not to have a child - including some very candid negative views of motherhood by people who find it difficult and in some cases would choose to remain childfree if they had their time over. Have a read. But this is really about what you want. No one can tell you what it will be like for you.
We were together for nine years (with a break of more than a year) and we have been married for 2.5 years.
I guess I just kind of ignored the topic (I am not maternal, he doesn't have paternal instincts too) until hey, I'm turning 37. Suddenly I need to decide now.
The exact experience varies from person to person, but the general consensus is that it cant be that bad or people would stop having them (that's the same for motherhood and childbirth)
Yeah that sudden run up against now or never when you thought probably never is a bit of a shocker. If you have doubts and don't mind giving up the great holidays, cars, meals out etc then try living with the "no never" thought for a bit.
I was like that op. Never really maternal and then it got to that stage. Now or never. I was older than you too. And I never really got people cooing over the pregnancy bit either. But having the baby, well it was and is, amazing. I don't think you're that unusual in thinking this way. Well if you are, then I was too. But it doesn't matter.
You don't have to have a baby OP. You don't sound like you really want one.
Birth is what it is, and can be so different from one woman to another. My births were not great, but to.hold new life in your arms and know instantly that you love this little thing more than anything in the world? Wow I'd go.through birth 10 times for that moment again. For me being a mother completes me. Yes its sometimes tiring and sometimes mundane, but children bring so much innocent joy to life.
Heiressesgiltnor has nailed it on the head for me. Was the hardest thing I've ever been through the first few months, I honestly thought my life was ruined, but now I wouldn't change him for any life I had or could've had! He is completely amazing & I love him more than life itself!!!!
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