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Wife panics over pregnancy

(19 Posts)
TheWifesCopilot Mon 22-Oct-18 08:34:56

Hi,
I'm hoping somebody here can help guide me.
My wife and I have been talking about having a child for years, we both want it, but there has always been 'one more thing' to sort out. We now have everything, so we are both focussed on this next stage.

We have been talking about it for months, have books about pre, during and post pregnancy, and have everything plotted.

When we decided that "this is it" we were getting cosy, but then at the last second my wife suggested we 'played it safe this last time'. I was surprised but ok with it.

The next day she was talking to me about how she is having concerns about the pregnancy, the labour, and whether she would be a good mum. All things I thought every mum and dad would go through. I have the same worries about whether I would be a good dad or not!

Anyway, I suggested we did something nice to try and make sure she is as call and relaxed as possible, so booked us into a very romantic hotel. We got there, enjoyed a romantic evening in the bath with alcohol free fizz and posh chocolates.

We went to bed and things progressed. At the very last moment before "4th base"?? she has a panic attack, all rigid and shivery.

Obviously we stopped and instead cuddles it away, but now she also feels that she has disappointed me.

That was a couple of weeks ago, and we are still talking about it, but no solution in site.

I just have no idea what I can do in this situation. I've tried the relaxing, romantic approach, I've tried the patient 'when she's ready' approach, and I've tried the constant reassurances.

Does anybody have any experience in this? I just want to help my wife overcome this anxiety so that we can get on with doing what we both want and be awesome parents.

AromaticSpices Mon 22-Oct-18 08:58:32

Just wait. Let her open up. Do not pressure her; no more romantic gestures (unless it's normal for your relationship) as she will see this as pressure.

Give it a few days and if she doesn't say anything, talk to her one evening over dinner. Not in bed. Ask her what her worries are and see how you can work them out together.

UbercornsGoggles Mon 22-Oct-18 09:04:42

It sounds as though you have done everything right so far but she has some really deep rooted worries. Is she normally an anxious person?

As pp said you need to talk (not in bed), try and get into detail about what it is about pregnancy, birth, being a parent that is worrying her and reassure her. But if she is freezing during sex that sounds like a real psychological block and if your reassurances are not enough you may need some counselling to try and help overcome her fears.

It must be really hard for you to be experiencing this when you want to be a parent, I hope things work out for you.

TheWifesCopilot Mon 22-Oct-18 09:06:30

All good advice, and is exactly what I'm doing.

We know exactly what her worries are, and we talk about them. She knows that logically it doesn't make sense, she has been mothering me for 11 years.

She has a habit of just ignoring things that scare her, so if I didn't talk about it she would sweep it under the carpet.

We've started some mindfulness exercises with Headspace to see if that helps.

PurpleDaisies Mon 22-Oct-18 09:10:01

The next day she was talking to me about how she is having concerns about the pregnancy, the labour, and whether she would be a good mum. All things I thought every mum and dad would go through. I have the same worries about whether I would be a good dad or not!

Her worries aren’t just the normal ones related to becoming a parent. Whatever she’s said previously, she clearly isn’t ready and the solution isn’t more calm, romantic gestures, it’s talking with an expert outside the bedroom. If she’s reacting like this now, how do you think it might be if she found out she was pregnant?

PurpleDaisies Mon 22-Oct-18 09:12:29

She knows that logically it doesn't make sense, she has been mothering me for 11 years.

She hasn’t been mothering you. You’re an adult. She did not give birth to you after having to be pregnant for nine months. You were never completely dependent on her. It’s a totally incorrect comparison.

ItsLikeRainOnYourWeddingDay Mon 22-Oct-18 09:12:40

Her concerns seem a bit extreme and not the normal pre baby worries. I think there is more going on.

TheWifesCopilot Mon 22-Oct-18 09:13:18

@UbercornsGoggles

She is a worrier, but because of that she is incredibly organised. It's partly why we work so well together. I'm not very good at planning, but I'm very adaptable and always get things done, whereas she needs everything to be planned out so there are no surprises, and if something goes wrong she panics until I help her look at it logically . Usually our talks are not in bed, they are over dinner, or whilst cosy on the sofa together, or messages at work.

TheWifesCopilot Mon 22-Oct-18 09:15:48

@PurpleDaisies

The mother comment was tongue in cheek, rather than an attempt to belittle pregnancy, sorry. But the point still stands. Logically sheknows that she will be a great mum.

crunchtime Mon 22-Oct-18 09:15:54

If you think she's been mothering you for 11 years, do you think she might be worried that she will end up doing everything. ...effectively having two children in the house?

PurpleDaisies Mon 22-Oct-18 09:18:32

I'm very adaptable and always get things done, whereas she needs everything to be planned out so there are no surprises, and if something goes wrong she panics until I help her look at it logically

Given that children are inherently unpredictable, she is going to be on her own with the baby and things will go wrong, I can see why she would be having second thoughts about whether motherhood is right for her. confused

If she’s mothering you, why would anyone want to add another child to that?

TheWifesCopilot Mon 22-Oct-18 09:43:34

What makes you think she will be on her own with the baby? That is a deeply unfair assumption for you to come up with.

What part of my story makes you think that I would be a do nothing dad leaving everything to my wife? In fact, what part of my story has made you decide that everything I say is wrong and your best approach is to find fault and be very rude about it rather than come here to help?

For the record we both contribute equally to our relationship in different ways. If I was a do nothing I wouldn't be on here trying to get help to be the best husband I can be in a very stressful situation.

You are very welcome to your own opinion but please, if all you are going to do is nitpick at the content rather than the context either do it in private or don't do it at all. I'm here looking for help, not a lecture of "men bad, parenting is all about women".

PurpleDaisies Mon 22-Oct-18 09:47:55

What makes you think she will be on her own with the baby? That is a deeply unfair assumption for you to come up with.

You’ve misunderstood me here. Practically, you will not be with her every second of the day, especially if she takes maternity leave. It would be absolutely suffocating if you were with her every minute of the day. Even with super supportive partners, people will always be alone with a baby at times.

Babdoc Mon 22-Oct-18 09:57:09

She may need counselling. If she is either autistic or has control issues, then the leap in the dark of pregnancy might be anathema to her.
With pregnancy you have no choice or guarantees that the baby will be healthy, or a particular sex. You risk illness or in rare cases death, yourself. You face the pain of delivery and then years of mess and chaos with a child who will vomit, teethe, cry inconsolably, wake you at night, throw tantrums etc etc
That can be a horrific prospect to a well organised control freak!
I think your wife wants a family in theory, but can’t psych herself up to go through with everything that it entails, especially the loss of control. Encourage her to discuss it with a neutral and sympathetic third party, preferably a trained counsellor.

Nagsnovalballs Mon 22-Oct-18 10:13:26

This really resonates. I’m on the autistic spectrum and I have a great life - academic, job I mostly love if a really long commute, horses that I compete, skiing every winter. I love my partner hugely, but being a dad is so important to him. I never wanted kids as I had a difficult upbringing with a difficult mother. I have to decide: do I love my DP more than I hate the idea of dc? We are getting married next year after 13 years together. I still am not sure what to do. In part, I don’t want a dc to come between our special relationship, where we are the centre of each other’s worlds. I also don’t seem capable of loving more than one thing at a time, or at least not equally. I love my first horse more than my second; I love our second cat more than the first. My house feels too full with 2 cats, and yet we have a 3 bedroom house and almost never go on to the top floor. I don’t want to give up horses and skiing. Don’t want to give up my job. However, My DP has a great business and is becoming really quite wealthy after years of us struggling with nothing (building business from scratch, living off my PhD funding).

I know I’m fucked up and overly anxious about this. Even the thought of being pregnant brings me to near panic attack, even though having dc that I could teach to ride and ski, to have water fights with and reread old childhood favourites, is something I’d like to do. I’m also an over thinker. It’s my job; it’s why I’m an academic. But I could imagine my lovely, loving, brilliant DP posting this. And we are in our 30s so time isn’t on our side.

Sorry, not helpful, but this post really spoke to me.

TheWifesCopilot Mon 22-Oct-18 12:17:33

@Nagsnovalballs

Whilst I wouldn't like to use the word "glad" in this situation, it is reassuring to see others in a very similar situation. We are also in our 30s, I'm a few years older than my wife. Hopefully if there are more people with these issues there are people out there to help work through them!

My wife isn't autistic, she's just a worrier. We were doing some research into Tokophobia which tries to label this specific issue. Whilst it does resonate pretty well, I still think it is a more general anxiety problem with my wife. If there is anything that scares her, or makes her uncomfortable the approach is often to run away or ignore it. Even when nothing bad happens it doesn't really help overcome those worries. Good example is with flying. No matter how often we fly she will always be nervous on take off, and the slightest turbulence will set her off. But despite that she doesn't avoid it now, usually because it means we are on our way somewhere exotic.

I've been trying to use that approach in our talks. Trying to think beyond the pregnancy and the birth to all those moments you have. First steps, school days, amazing nativity plays, football in the park, Christmas mornings. And she loves all of these things and seems to be coming to terms with it, but then her anxiety kicks in and suddenly she is worrying about not being able to cope.

PurpleDaisies Mon 22-Oct-18 12:28:39

I've been trying to use that approach in our talks. Trying to think beyond the pregnancy and the birth to all those moments you have. First steps, school days, amazing nativity plays, football in the park, Christmas mornings. And she loves all of these things and seems to be coming to terms with it, but then her anxiety kicks in and suddenly she is worrying about not being able to cope.

The trouble is, she needs to address the cause of the anxiety rather than focussing on the good bits of being a parent. That’s much better done alone with a trained counsellor. She will need to cope with difficult circumstances as a parent and realising that she can do it is important.

PurpleDaisies Mon 22-Oct-18 12:29:53

You sound like you’ve got great intentions, but you’re too close to the situation and you’re not an expert. A qualified counsellor is what she needs to get past this.

BlingLoving Mon 22-Oct-18 12:33:27

Very simply, your wife wants a baby but is too scared? In which case, she needs help. She should seek counselling. All your reassurances are not going to help if she has an irrational fear of pregnancy and childbirth.

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