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Why does no-one understand how absolutely terrified I am?!

(31 Posts)
Jennyrosity Sat 08-Oct-11 17:47:50

I am 25 weeks pregnant tomorrow with my first baby - a baby DH and I desperately want and spent over a year trying for - and I'm completely terrified. I'm so happy to be pregnant, but the thought that in about three months time I'm going to be responsible for a tiny, vulnerable little person induces instant panic.

DH is being uncharacteristically calm about the prospect - a good thing, I know, but it means he really doesn't understand and thinks I'm being neurotic (and I probably am - I couldn't even say what I'm scared of, I'm just generally scared of everything). My mum just laughs at me and tells me I'm going to be fine. I'm the first of my friends to get pregnant, so they're no help.

I'm a 33 year old professional, btw, in an ideal position in every way to start a family - there's no logical reason for feeling this way. I'm just scared I'm not up to the job. I can't even read up and do research on what to expect, because the more I learn, the more I panic. The whole thing just seems so overwhelming.

I want to stress again that I desperately want this baby. I suppose I'm just scared I'm not going to be good enough for her.

Does anyone else understand where I'm coming from?!

fuckityfuckfuckfuck Sat 08-Oct-11 17:52:07

I think the reason everyone is playing down your fear and telling you you will be fine is because you will be. I always thing people who go through pregnancy without a worry are a bit odd, it's a life changing thing and it does change you. But you will cope. In a way, it's good for you to do the worrying now. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised, it's never going to be as bad as you imagine smile

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Sat 08-Oct-11 17:52:43

Yes!!! 100%. And it is totally normal.

Fears range from will the baby be ok, what will labour be like, will I be a good mum. So many fears and unknowns, the anxiety was crippling for me so I know exactly how you feel. It's so easy for everyone else to tell you things will be ok.

But, you will be having a baby in about 4months time and it will be the best thing ever smile

edwinbear Sat 08-Oct-11 17:57:40

I was exactly the same when I was expecting DS, a very much planned and wanted baby but at the same time, I knew nothing about babies, had always been a career girl and wasn't even particularly maternal. I just couldn't picture myself with a baby, I'd barely even held one. I remember bursting into tears before he arrived because I couldn't work out how the breast pump and steriliser worked and figured if I couldn't work that out, what sort of a mother was I going to be. I'd walk into our newly decorated nursery and it looked and felt completely alien to me. I'm a bit of a control freak by nature and felt like I was studying for an exam or something. Needless to say, it all worked out fine, as I'm sure it will with you.

spritzercat Sat 08-Oct-11 18:00:40

I'm 26 weeks and do fully understand where you are coming from. There seems to be a lot of pressure out there to 'get it right'. I'm yet to understand what right will look like. I have tried to avoid reading too much though (MN aside) and have found that talking to recent parents is really valuable to setting realistic expectations. I especially like the stuff they leave out of the books blush shock

The feelings of anxiety aren't related to bump but to my ability as a first time mother. I do think it's partly hormonal and tiredness that has resulted in this.

Sorry, I've waffled on, I hope my ramblings have given small reassurance that your worries are felt and understood. x

eaglewings Sat 08-Oct-11 18:00:50

PND is well known, but did you know there is also a common depression in expectant mums too?
Please talk this through with your MW who will be understanding

Bumpsadaisie Sat 08-Oct-11 18:25:13

Hey hey OP, it's all going to be all right! Don't worry. Deep breaths.

You cant imagine being a mother yet as you're not yet doing it. But in a few months time your DD will be here and you WILL be doing it, without much time to notice that you are doing it. By the time she is 3 months old or so the "newborn fog" will lift, and suddenly you will realise you ARE a mother, you have become one without really having much time to notice it happening.

When she is a year old you will look back at your present life and realise how very different things now are. You and your DH will probably agree that there is no way you would change things and at the same time wish you had just a fraction of the freedom that you used to have! But it all just happens by itself, you don't need to stress about it.

And it's not THAT overwhelming really. People make a huge hoo-haa about it but try and remember, babies' needs are very simple at first. They need someone to love them, to respond to them, to keep them warm, clean and fed and cuddled. They are resilient if you drop them and won't be damaged for life if you have to leave them crying for a minute or two while you collect yourself. They are programmed with a strong instinct to life and growth - you just need to play a supporting role to facilitate. You're not as responsible as you might think - your little DD is already a separate little being with a ferocious drive to grow and thrive as long as someone can provide a half way decent environment for her.

Oeisha Sat 08-Oct-11 18:26:39

jenny come and join us on the Jan antenatal thread * We're a lovely bunch with varying backgrounds/complaints/anxieties. And we share a lot - from the moments we feel batshit-mental to sobbing out boots off, to those embarrasing complaints, to those hmm sex dreams!

I can totally undestand where you're coming from, also 25wks too. I go between being delighted and enjoying every second to feeling so unsure I worry about my depression returning and the possibility of PND. I worry that I'm going to be a terrible mum beset with the mentalness I've inherited, to thinking I just won't notice something's wrong, to being convinced something IS wrong.

*if we go a bit quiet/stopped posting, it's probably because we've reached the limit on thread4 and will be on thread 5...wewill be linking to thread5 from 4 and back.

feekerry Sat 08-Oct-11 18:41:19

i'm 17 weeks with first. i'm probably one of the most laid back people you'll ever meet. and on top of that i'm probably one of the most non maternal people you will ever meet! i've never held a baby (and i mean EVER) in fact i've barely ever touched a baby.however, even i feel a bit confused sometimes about the whole thing. i think that its so hard to comtemplate how different our lives will be in 4/5 months time, i'm findinf it hard to get my head round that. but in the end, no matter how much we prepare/read/expect until it happens we'll never know how different life will be! i too reccomend your due date relavant AN thread. everyone feels the same!!

hairylights Sat 08-Oct-11 18:48:53

I am 25 weeks and u completely underatand. This morning I got all worried about what bedding you use for a newborn ... What fabric, how many blankets and what clothing. And how are you supposed to know?!

I asked my sis.

But this is one of many worries. I think it's natural and it's driving me to read up as much as possible.

Flisspaps Sat 08-Oct-11 18:49:55

Perfectly normal.

Your entire life will now be plagued with worry about one thing and another, welcome to parenthood.

MrsDobalina Sat 08-Oct-11 19:07:52

I could have written your post word for word with my first pregnancy so I completely sympathise! But I've managed to keep him alive so far and I honestly was(am) completely overwhelmed and clueless for the most part. The bit no-one told me is that this tiny baby will absolutely adore you unconditionally even if you drop then on the floor/forget to change their nappy/can't work out wtf they are crying about, again. The unpredictability and the uncharted territory are pretty terrifying, apparently especially for professional women. My hv tells me we are the most anxious and difficult to reassure as mothers and they have special courses about how to deal with us grin. You sound lovely and whatever you do will be fab. But if it really does become unbearably overwhelming the advice to chat to your mw or GP is a good one. Congrats and good luck! X

BedHog Sat 08-Oct-11 19:18:35

You'll probably enjoy being a mother more because you are so terrified now. You sound like I was before DS was born - assuming that newborns cry virtually all the time, don't sleep, and grow up to be the sort of delinquent toddlers that you see on Supernanny!! But I promise you when you see that familiar little face staring up at you, and you factor in the enormous amount of love you feel for them, and realise they don't cry all the time and there are loads of lovely moments you will have with your baby, then your worries about being a good mum will just fade away. smile

stuffthenonsense Sat 08-Oct-11 19:32:37

Our local childrens centre runs a 'bumps to babes' group. It is for all pregnant mums and babies up to crawling. Find out if you have something nearby then you can see babies 'in action' as it were and chat to new mums about the reality of babies.
The most important thing to do is to try to relax and enjoy it, your baby will ADORE you even if you end up putting nappies on back to front.

Bumpsadaisie Sat 08-Oct-11 19:48:04

@ Hairylights

"This morning I got all worried about what bedding you use for a newborn ... What fabric, how many blankets and what clothing. And how are you supposed to know?!"

The thing is, there isnt AN answer to this sort of question. Nor to how often you should feed, what the baby might want at a particular moment, why they are grumpy at night etc etc ad infinitum.

It's all just trial and error - try one thing and see what results! If it doesn't look right, change tack! With bedding people use blankets/sheets/grobags/warm sleepsuits/co sleeping and all sorts of variations. There isnt one answer. The only thing you can do is check your child and see if they feel too hot or too cold!

Likewise if your newborn is crying. You try feeding. You try changing. You try winding. You try cuddling. You try a change of scene. You try a sling. You try rocking in the buggy etc etc. Eventually something clicks!

Babies are all individuals - what worked for your mates probably won't work for yours. They do things in their own time. I remember wondering what on earth the magic formula was for getting DD to sleep through the night. Experience showed that this is the kind of thing you dont have a huge amount of control over and they do it when they are ready and not before!

Having said all that my DS is due in 10 days and am apprehensive about what it will be like to have a tiny one all over again! And a boy too this time! But I am sure it will all just unfold without me much noticing it.

NinkyNonker Sat 08-Oct-11 19:52:43

I'm pregnant with my second and I still feel the same! You are so normal. And you will be fine, I'm sure. The whole world has babies. At the end of the day, if they cry...cuddle, feed, change, love.

Oeisha Sat 08-Oct-11 20:31:11

spritzer, hairylights you come along too if you fancy it!

notlettingthefearshow Sat 08-Oct-11 21:16:38

OP, don't worry - I'm sure you'll be fine! As others say, best to get the worrying done now because you've probably thought of everything that can go wrong, but is unlikely to. It is terrifying if you think about it too much. I am 28 weeks with my first and have moments of feeling similar, especially when I am lying in bed feeling baby moving inside me - every day I feel amazed there's a real live baby in there!

I have read lots and talked to people but I know it will still be a big shock for DH and I - I'm 35 and always had so much freedom and independence, moved around and travelled in my 20s and DH was my first long term partner at the age of 30. However much preparation you do, it's bound to be a massive shock and change to your life.

I reckon you would be feeling a lot less nervous if you had some friends who were parents - being the first is tough! I now have a few friends with babies and toddlers and it's invaluable to see how they have managed it. The best thing is, they are all so different, and their babies are different, and yet I do think they are all great parents who have their problems but overall are extremely happy. This is so reasuring to me! And spending time with babies makes me feel more confident about having one myself.

If I were you, I would reassure yourself that it's normal to feel nervous, but do allow yourself to get excited too! Have you found any antenatal groups near you? I have been going to yoga and will do NCT very soon, which seems to be a good way of making friends. If your friends don't have kids, it will be important to make some new ones (in addition to your current ones) so that you have someone to talk about baby stuff.

Hope you feel reassured!

TheLittlestNarwhal Sat 08-Oct-11 21:27:37

Try not to worry too much. It is very scarey first time ( and second tbh ) because it is such a big unknown, but just take things one step at a time. I remember bringing ds1 home from the hospital and dh and I just sat side by side on the sofa watching him sleep in the car seat and felt just totally out of our depth - it was the most terrifying time of my life!!! BUT - he woke up, I fed him and we went on from there learning as we went. That was thirteen years ago and we are still learning smile

There is lots of support and advice available, health visitors will answer all silly questions ( I asked which way round the nappy went on !). Have you looked into your local NCT group? I found them really helpful, we had ante-natal classes and then we were encouraged to keep in touch after we had all given birth. I also had a great book called 'what to expect in the first year' which I found very useful.

Deep breaths, best wishes and you'll be fine.

milkyways Sat 08-Oct-11 21:38:23

When I was pregnant with DD, I remained totally unoblivious to the fact I was going to be responsible for another human being until we bought the pushchair and cot and set the nursery, then shock set it and I had no idea what I was going to do with a baby! Even up until after the birth, DH went home at about 5am and left me alone with DD in the ward, and I had absolutely no clue and was so scared! I couldn't believe I had a baby with me. One thing that having a baby is, is definitely a learning curve.

Really there is nothing to worry about, you gradually learn what your baby likes/dislikes and their routine. You may make mistakes (I remember unlatching DD from breast when she hadn't stopped and her crying continuously for the next 3-4 hours!), but it's okay to make them, and learn and move on.

This time I am absolutely terrified about having a boy and I have no idea why! I'm also terrified I've forgotten how to lookafter and bathe a baby, and then I'm terrified about how DD will react to her little brother. I think what you're feeling is completely normal, good luck with everything!

Haggyoldclothbatspus Sat 08-Oct-11 22:05:20

OP, you will be fine. Everyone who has ever had a baby understands how you are feeling, its quite normal. There does seem to be this general rule regarding pregnancy and childbirth, that no one talks to anyone expecting about anything 'scary' 'frightening' or 'embarassing'.
You are about to go through one of the biggest changes to your adult life that you will ever go through. You have every right to be worried and scared. What makes it worse is that you have 9 months to stew on it.
But you need to understand that this is completely normal! If you are able to worry yourself sick about your baby before its even born, then you will be more than able to look after it when its here.
Id personally be more worried if you went through this without having any doubts!

Armi Sun 09-Oct-11 00:28:07

Oh blimey - it's terrifying. I was exactly the same and I found adapting to having a baby quite tricky...but adapt I did as there isn't really any other option! My daughter is now 3 months old and I feel much more capable and am starting to enjoy looking after her but I was completely at sea to start with. A watershed moment for me came when DH went away for the night with work and I was alone with the baby. I realised that really there were only 3 things that could really go wrong - 1. The kid wouldn't stop crying even after feed/change/cuddles 2. The kid would have one of those massive shits that are so awful and squirt everywhere leaving you unsure how to even begin cleaning them up (my baby was prone to these until recently) and 3. The kid would fall ill. I decided that if 1. happened I'd shove her in her car seat and drive around with the radio on 2. I'd take a deep breath and get on with it and 3. I'd take her straight to A & E. (Only the giant crap happened in the end - we both ended up in the bath at 3 a.m.). Basically I decided I could cope. It's a baby - it's not going to stage a coup, criticise your parenting skills, object to the colour of its sleep suit or leave home because it doesn't like you (well, not for a few years anyway!). Feed it, change it, cuddle it, look after yourself - you might have days when it feels like the end of the world but it will pass.

I also remember being awake all night one night when pregnant trying to work out what babies wear on their legs -no-one had told me all those little vests you see everywhere are worn underneath sleep suits which have legs and feet!

kiki22 Sun 09-Oct-11 00:32:22

I understand where your coming from i have no worries about the actual baby helped in raising my niece and lived with her the first 3 years of her life so the new baby thing is no problem but am seriously worried that once my baby gets here i'll love him so much i forget about DP (and everyone else)!! sounds mad i know but everyone keeps telling me that once babys here i'll have no time for DP and the thought of that really upsets me! I'm now terrified that i'll be so loved up i'll forget about DP and he'll run off with someone who pays him attention and even in my more calm realistic moments the thought of drifting apart scares me.

No one seems to get it and keep saying it'll be fine but i'm terrified of how life will change. Every time someone says ur being silly it'll be fine i just want to scream 'how the hell do you know' at them. no matter how many times i hear it'll be fine i just can't bring myself to completely believe it when i know i should.

Armi Sun 09-Oct-11 00:42:12

Kiki22 - I've found that my relationship has changed, in that instead of being focused on each other, DH and I are focused on the baby (mostly we're united in our love for her but sometimes it's more like we're a team facing a common enemy!). But you will still have time for each other - we make an effort when the baby is asleep to have a proper meal together, for example. It is a huge change, though, and we've certainly had more squabbles than we've had before because we're tired and in the early days were stressed because we were both clueless and scared.

kiki22 Sun 09-Oct-11 01:25:28

thanks Armi

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