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Is it normal that I'm pregnant and as maternal as an ironing board?

(69 Posts)
Scampynoodle Fri 03-Aug-07 14:34:44

There. That's it. I'm pregnant and have absolutely no maternal feelings whatsoever. Course, I look after myself, take the right supplements, go to appointments, think about whether the little 'un is doing OK. But when it somes to actually having, living with, a child it's like imagining myself swimming over the surface of Pluto.

In fact other people's children fill me with terror. I just walked through a park of screeching infants and nippers and that was enough to make my blood run cold.

So, as I said right at the top, is it normal to be pregnant and feel as maternal as an ironing board?

Cx

prettybird Fri 03-Aug-07 14:37:08

Yes - and it's also normal not necessirily to feel an immediate bond when the baby is born.

There's a whole range of different feelings that different people experiece - and they are all normal.

But you may well surpirse yourslef when the baby is born!

Was it planned?

beansprout Fri 03-Aug-07 14:38:16

Yes, it is. You don't have a child yet (how many weeks are you?), you are pregnant which is not the same thing. I was never more horrified by other children than the latter stages of my first pregnancy. Just didn't know how I would manage. I think it was a healthy response as I just was at least grasping the enormity of what I was doing!!

EscapeFrom Fri 03-Aug-07 14:40:05

yes

it is also normal to feel like you have been hit with an emotional halfbrick when your baby comes out, and to ACTUALLY PITY the other mothers because they have their baby, and only you have yours.

motherinferior Fri 03-Aug-07 14:40:14

I was really rather pissed off with DD1 when she was squirming around in my tummy, I have to say.

Naetha Fri 03-Aug-07 14:42:14

I'm exactly the same scampynoodle - I'm excited about having a baby, but don't feel at all maternal. In fact, I feel as maternal as a brick to be totally honest.

Other peoples children (in fact all children, but I suppose as I have none yet...well not born ones anyway by default all children I come into contact with are other peoples' children...I'll shut up now) scare the bejeesus out of me. Even my niece and nephew who are very agreeable in a child like way don't stir any maternal instinct. One of the things that terrifies me, is not the children themselves (were I left alone with them I'd probably get on with them fine, but then I'm just a big kid anyway) but the judgement of their parents. Someone brought in their 18 month old to work the other day and I was terrified, so much so that despite everyone practically begging me to come round and see her I point blank refused. I know that they would have all watched me, and judged me and I hate the thought of that. I'm very confident that as soon as my LO comes along (19 weeks at the moment) everything will fit into place, but I just can't get it to work with other kids.

Cats on the other hand, I'm great with

motherinferior Fri 03-Aug-07 14:43:22

And the thing is, as I've said before, is that babies are so frightfully full-on when they do arrive that it's a complete crash course. By the end of week one you've changed a million nappies.

It did take me quite a while with DD1 to get used the whole thing, even when I'd given birth to her.

legalalien Fri 03-Aug-07 14:44:10

No -because when it comes to anything child related THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS NORMAL. In relation to anything. Although it takes a long time to figure it out.

Gizmo Fri 03-Aug-07 14:45:07

Maternal, schmaternal - not all of us feel the urge to knit bootees, you know

The love thing will arrive in its own good time, probably when you've had a chance to actually get acquainted with your baby. All you need to get by to start with is a sense of curiosity and an ability to edit out some of the more alarming facts you'll be told over the next six months...

lailasmum Fri 03-Aug-07 14:45:58

I hated kids before I had my daughter. Not all of us are maternal marvels. But your own child is a very different experience to being around other peoples.

motherinferior Fri 03-Aug-07 14:48:16

I am really very partial to DD1 now . And indeed to DD2

You find yourself, a few years in (I realise this seems like about millennium to you at the moment) bossing other children around in a perfect simulacrum of competence. I have just fed three children - two of mine, one a friend - pizza in the kind of in-charge way I'd never have credited six years ago.

Uki Fri 03-Aug-07 14:52:26

My girlfriend described having a baby as "falling in love again" she is the natural maternal type, I'm not sure i am the natuaral maternal type, but it's pretty hard not to instantly love your own LO, that said..

Dh looked at ds the other day and said you know "I kinda forget where he came from, he's just part of our life and I love him to bits"

I was a bit but it's true... you will love being a parent

Scampynoodle Fri 03-Aug-07 15:11:47

Blimey! Thanks for being so quick to answer and for being so honest too. I know that this probably sounds odd but it's a relief to not have the pressure of falling instantly and maddly in love with the nipper. It may happen but if it doesn't then at least I know I'm not a loon.

Prettybird, oh my god no, the baby wasn't planned. I've been infertile (and cool with that) since I was a teenager so it's all a bit of a shock. And Beansprout I'm 16 weeks tomorrow (another excuse for cake!).

God, doesn't i pile on the pressure when so much of the baby-related stuff that you see/ read is all glowing mothers and gurgling babies? I think I'd feel more comforted if Mothercare contained pictures of haggard women with leaky titties. At least I'd feel as if I had something achievable to live up to!

Sx

MrsMar Fri 03-Aug-07 15:19:17

I like the idea of advertising showing haggard women with leaking tits scampy!!! But then when was th advertising industry anything other than fantasy... I'm thinking of penelope cruz and her fake eyelashes! don't let those idiots in greige armani suits make you feel you're not normal cos you're not glowing and rubbing your tum with a serene semi distant gaze. I'm on my first too and to be honest I'm pretty sick of being pregnant. It's rubbish, so I can't really get excited about having a baby, but I've never met anyone yet who isn't transformed by their kids, and once the initial shitty bit has passed absolutely besotted with them.

MeAndMyMonkey Fri 03-Aug-07 15:35:40

Ladies, you are completely normal. Some of us have babies and are still unmaternal!I obviously love my own dd to bits, but would never ever ever go gooey over someone else's baby if that makes any sense? (I was not like that - gooey - about my own)
I think I still prefer cats; on balance they are easier! .
But joking apart, I totally did not feel a rush of maternal love straightaway towards dd, in fact, I felt (and was) sick! But yes, I did kind of fall in love with her later on; the bonding does happen, just not always at first.
PS I like <some> children, just not overly enamoured with babies en masse.

Naetha Fri 03-Aug-07 15:51:14

Well, at the end of the day babies aren't that interesting in themselves. Most of them are ugly/hairy/bald/gurning/puce/wrinkled etc etc - they're not like kittens that are so amazingly cute!

I think kids become interesting once their personalities become apparent, from their first smiles to when they finish their PhD thesis in existential uncertainty. I'm already protective (hormones) and interested (blatant curiosity) in the thing squirming around inside me, but he (ooh I can call it that now!!) has become more interesting since I could feel the squirms and wonder why he decided that between 2 and 4 in the afternoon was such a great time for a dance around.

Sorry I'm waffling and completely lost my train of thought, but I think you know what I'm getting at!

prettybird Fri 03-Aug-07 15:57:59

Naetha - jsut wait until the wee one starts having hiccups. Not that is a strange feeling!

ElenorRigby Fri 03-Aug-07 15:58:11

Yep scampynoodle I feel very similar to you.

I am 39 weeks gone and still do not feel in the least bit maternal.

Its wierd despite the scans, AN appointments, all the kicks, being the size of a house, doing all the research and shopping it still feels unreal.

I still cant imagine me with a baby, I still cannot imagine that I am going to be a mother very very soon

Scampynoodle Fri 03-Aug-07 16:27:42

Oh laydeeeees! Thank you so much! I always thought that when you got pregnant you were somehow transformed into a beatific, angel-like creature with glowing skin and a permanent grin. It is so reassurng to know that I'm not the oddball for not being like that. Bastard Pampers adverts. It's them that I blame for this (waves her fist in the air).

And MrsMar I'm finding being pregnant a pinch overated too. Ok, it's early doors for me so when it starts wriggling and we know what flavour it's going to be I suspect I'll get more, er, aglow. But right now I just feel like a weather balloon with a bad hangover.

I admit I did buy a newborn hat the other day, one with little bear ears sticking out of the top of it because it made me snigger (I have wonderful ideas about dressing up my poor, unsuspecting child in all manner of hapless-looking outfits). It made me realise that there's a baby on the way (gulp) but when I look at said hat it's like looking at the component of an atom smasher or Harry Potter's pants. I have no idea what it's doing in my possession or what the bugger I should do with it when the time comes.

Sx

Naetha Fri 03-Aug-07 16:53:37

I have no experience with children, but I think the hat things go on the head-like bit...

May be a wild guess though!

MrsMar Fri 03-Aug-07 16:56:14

It's a male conspiracy to perpetuate images of serenity based on some fantasy of their own mothers... bah to the lot of them!

MrsMar Fri 03-Aug-07 16:57:26

oh and scampy, dh and I have been having much fun thinking of the funniest names we can so the poor blighter will spend the rest of his life telling the story of how his parents got drunk and decided Thor was a great name (kidding really but I'm soo tempted )

TheArmadillo Fri 03-Aug-07 17:05:43

MRsMar I went to school with someone whose parents did that.

HE was not impressed.

I am not maternal.

I also have none of those qualities mums are supposed to have (patience, organisation skills, common sense - that kinda thing). I'm still trying to convince several people (who don't know me very well) that a baby does not come with a personality transplant - I'm still the same person I was before.

Ds is 2.8 adn still in one piece.

I still don't like children en masse.

Individual ones are ok.

Mine is perfect.

Naetha Fri 03-Aug-07 17:10:13

Thor is an awesome name, but wouldn't really go with Thackray as a surname...what about Hrothgar though??

muppetgirl Fri 03-Aug-07 17:16:50

I wasn;t maternal at all. In fact the mw noticed this and did suggested that I 'go take a walk around baby shops and start getting involved in this pregnancy.' I love my ds madly now but bonding was a long process. I am pgt with ds2 and now know that a non-maternal mother does not = a bad mother. I don't want to hold others' babies and coo over them anymore than I ever did (not at all)

Don't worry, you're normal! Not everyone has the pink elephants and fluffy teddy bears experience of pregnancy/childbirth and motherhood but that does not mean you won't love your children

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