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Instinct?

(13 Posts)
HeffalumpTheFlump Tue 16-Apr-13 15:22:53

Hey yummy mummies. I'm 14 weeks pregnant with my first baby and have a question for ladies who have done this before. I'm worried that the mothering instincts won't kick in and I won't know what to do when the baby arrives. I have never really been around babies and it seems like a whole other world to me! Did any of you feel like this first time round and how did u feel/cope once your little one arrived? Did it come naturally or was it a struggle? I have an image in my head of being handed my baby and feeling completely incapable of looking after it!! I would really appreciate hearing your stories. Thanks a lot ladies smile x

Ilovestackingcups Tue 16-Apr-13 15:29:06

Ah, you'll be fine grin

First few weeks is just firefighting (feed, change, cuddle, nap, feed...) and once you emerge from that you can do all and every task in your sleep (you WILL have done them all in your sleep by then).

Neither I nor DH had ever changed a nappy before, and had only held one under strict guidance from it's owner. Once. That I didn't drop it is a miracle.

The thing I remember worrying about was how I would be able to relate to this bundle of needs, but once your baby is a few weeks old, one day they will break out of the usual routine, make direct eye contact with you and give you an enormous grin. That, for me, was when I knew I was doing okay.

HeffalumpTheFlump Tue 16-Apr-13 15:53:51

I like what you said about relating to the bundle of needs, I feel a bit like that! Everyone keeps telling me the baby will be a bit of a personality free blob for a while and that doesn't sound great! Thanks for your reply ilovestackingcups. Any other stories out there?

IcingOnTheNappyCake Tue 16-Apr-13 16:43:10

I don't have any experience either! I was so scared but somebody told me - and this is a really odd way of putting it but it calmed me! - it's like when you learn to drive, and you never quite get the knack in someone else's car, and when you get your own car you suddenly find your really good at it?! As I say, strange way to put it, but it reassured me! Haha maybe I'm just going crazy in this pregnancy! Haha

rrreow Tue 16-Apr-13 16:53:56

To be honest, I never really thought it was about instinct (I had never had much to do with kids before, never changed a nappy, never really liked kids actually!). It's much more about practicalities. First time you put a nappy on your baby you might get it wrong, but you figure it out as you go along. I mean as long as you don't drop the baby the rest is just about trial and error when the situation arises and often a process of elimination (baby is crying: hungry? wet/dirty nappy? tired? just needs a cuddle?).

Florin Tue 16-Apr-13 16:56:00

Honestly newborns are so so simple. They like being held most of the time. If they cry check their nappy, if nappy ok feed them, if not interested in food put them over your shoulder and see if they burp. That really is it. Changing them is a doddle as they don't blooming move (I have a 9 month old who I now have to pin down with one of my legs as otherwise he is off crawling around the room still covered in poo).
Babies are built to start you off gently so you get used to them then they add in extra things eventually like being bored etc but by that point you will be a pro. At the beginning you spend every minute with them so you get to know them very fast. Within days you will know what they want most of the time. Give me someone else's baby though and I have no idea what to do!

PunkyPod Tue 16-Apr-13 17:06:29

Florin's got it spot on. Within days I went from being so awkward and tbh a bit scared of the little mite, to super confident in at least knowing what to try to sort DD out. It's the biggest learning curve everrrrrrr but seriously you will be doing all of the above on autopilot within a few days.

HeffalumpTheFlump Tue 16-Apr-13 17:38:17

Thank u so much for ur replies ladies. I had hoped it would be an 'ease you in' sort of arrangement, but all the horror stories about the first few months make it sound almost like an impossible task! IcingOnTheNappyCake that made me LOL, nice to know I'm not alone in worrying about this. I thought pregnancy would come naturally to me but it turns out I'm not the glowing beautiful pregnant type... I'm the 'pukey, fainting, getting stuck trying to get off the toilet because of pelvic girdle pain' pregnant type. So I'm worried I won't take to motherhood naturally either!!

wispa31 Tue 16-Apr-13 18:35:03

heffa - i am in same boat, pg with first and not used to being around babies, cant remember last time i changed a nappy and dp has never changed one!!
once babys here and handed to me its gona be like 'now what?' lol.

florin - i love your take on it and will remember that lol!

IcingOnTheNappyCake Tue 16-Apr-13 18:41:04

I know what you mean! Ive been limping around with sciatica since week 12 blush makes me wonder, but then i see some people and think 'if she can do it so can i' and it helps, youll be fine!

HeffalumpTheFlump Tue 16-Apr-13 20:45:47

Wispa - thats just how i feel, luckily my DH has far more experience than me so I'm hoping he will help me keep our child alive til I get the hang of things lol!

Icingonthenappycake Aw sciatica is not fun, I feel ur pain! Hope it eases up for u! I keep looking at the women near the end of their pregnancy and wondering how they are going round tescos with 3 kids and not even breaking a sweat! I think I may be a bit of a wuss at that stage!

atrcts Tue 16-Apr-13 20:49:09

I assumed that everything would be instinctive so didn't read any books or worry about asking too many questions, other than labour questions!

When baby arrived I had no idea why he was crying. I would feed for hours on end and find that every time I tried to put him down (he appeared to be asleep) he would wake screaming until picked up again. By the 3rd day I had held him non-stop for 12 hours. This even included holding him as I sat on the loo, as I couldn't bear his piercing scream!

This was NOT what I have expected. I thought I'd know the different cries, but all his cries seemed the same - loud and piercingly urgent. I would feed, burp, cuddle and nothing seemed to really work consistently, and I was completely out of my depth.

And then I discovered he had severe silent reflux so would have been in a lot of pain 24/7. Even once the diagnosis was made, I had very little support or direction with how to manage him (other than being given a prescription). I'd say that it took me a good few months to start getting the idea of how to manage him, and it was mostly experiential learning. Definitely not instinctive.

However, I am pregnant again with my second now, and am optimistic that it will be different this second time round. It would be incredibly unlucky to have two severely reflux-affected babies and so from just that one point alone I anticipate it being easier. I also stumbled across Dunstan Baby Language (you can find it on youtube) and could identify the different sounds with different cries. I found a little video clip I'd made of the baby crying while I tried to settle him, to demonstrate how he could only settle with a dummy (which, by the way, was instantly), and was amazed to now be able to recognise in hindsight the distinctive cry for tiredness that he had been making, which at the time I'd missed. I remember at the time knowing he must be tired because he'd had a busy morning followed by a feed, nappy change, and burping, and had not slept for some time, but it wasn't led by some instinct over his cry. Rather a practical working out of what the most likely explanation was, sort of 'process of elimination', if you like.

Some people report instinctively knowing what cries are and what to do, I just was not one of those lucky parents, even though I had expected to be! So I suppose the take-home message is, if you find it's harder than you thought don't beat yourself up about it, you probably just have to learn it experientially like I did. Good luck though, hope you're an instinct-led parent and that you find it natural and easy! smile

HeffalumpTheFlump Tue 16-Apr-13 22:16:42

I'm so sorry to hear about your little ones reflux, it sounds like it must have been a really difficult time for you sad thank you for your advice I will try not to be too hard on myself when the time comes.

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