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Dad to be feels nothing for our baby

(23 Posts)
Angechica Thu 04-Oct-07 00:37:54

I'm 6 mths pg and have had the worst day ever as my DH confessed he feels nothing about the impending baby. I had felt for a while he wasn't really engaged with my pregnancy and this has now been confirmed. It seems anything to do with the pregnancy, birth and being a dad he just can't accept or deal with.
The warning signs were that he has always been very awkward with friends' babies and children, and doesn't have a close relationship with his own family.
Despite this we have been together a few years married last year and this baby was "kind of" planned. He was positive to start with but it has all disintegrated - and I don't feel that I have been particularly over the top about things either.
I am alternating between feeling devastated and angry. He says he needs me to be strong but I feel that he should be the strong one and seek help. I feel he has totally spoilt any enjoyment of this pregnancy and I am so sad I can't share things with him.
I know a lot of people say men change their outlook as soon as the baby is born but I am terrified in case this doesn't happen. Please help I am desolate...

expatinscotland Thu 04-Oct-07 00:41:14

Is he depressed? He should probably see a GP to rule that out and talk about his feelings.

He sounds like he could use some counselling.

xXxamyxXx Thu 04-Oct-07 00:44:34

its a lot easier for mums to be to be excited and feel a lot about their pregnancy then dads as we are the ones who carry the baby and feel little kicks and sometimes its doesnt seem {real} to dads untill the lo arrivesb its then they fal in love.he probably has the oh my god lifes going to change so much panicky voice in his head distracting him too

saltire Thu 04-Oct-07 00:45:11

He could even be scared, I have heard of it happening. its such a big life change for everyone. Perhaps he doesn't like not knowing what it involves - if that makes sense. DH admitted to me a couple of years ago that he used to lie awake worrying what was in store when I was pregnant with DS1

ScottishMummy Thu 04-Oct-07 01:13:26

Angechica - oooo so hard for you and your boyfriend. Deep breath stay calm for your health (baby too)..maybe your boyfriend is scared/worried/overwhelmed/feels overwhelmed he may have outstanding financial/medical/social concerns - i imagine u need both need to have a deep chat

no easy answers, no quick fix it - pregnancy is scary for new mum and dad

you are a unit - a family - hpoefully u can work this out (give it time)

vole3 Thu 04-Oct-07 04:36:24

Is it worth showing him the Dads threads on here or getting some of the light-hearted 'You're About To Become A Dad' books from the library?

Does he accompany you to any of your appointments? Sometimes just hearing your childs heartbeat is enough to help him realise he has a connection to that bump.

What sort of a relationship does he have with his own father? If it is not so good, then remind him that he is himself, not his Dad, and will be great.

None of us are born good parents, it takes time and effort and we don't know all the answers. We just have to do the best we can, but that the rewards are immense.

sibble Thu 04-Oct-07 05:48:55

If it's any help my dh was the same with both pregnancies. I found it particularly upsetting with ds1 as I wanted him to be as excited as I was. We joined ante-natal classes together NCT so there were only 6 couples, he came to the first session and never came back. I had to go on my own and make excuses about him being tied up at work until it was obvious and I admitted that he just didn't want to come sad. Try doing some of the partner support positions with a chair - very Olga Korbett! hmm grin. He was however there at the birth, an emergency c/s and nearly 8 years and 1 ds more we are still together. He didn't bolt which was my biggest worry about his indifference. He said 'blokes can't get excited about things that aren't real'. You should have seen his face and heard his rather unsavoury comment when one of the dads to be put his head on his wife's stomach and talked about the 'miracle inside' etc. I didn't know if he was going to pee himself, throw up or walk out there and then with expletives - that's just the way he is. Our boys are now 3 and 7, he takes them fishing, bike riding, coaches the soccer team etc etc. He is a great dad. Just don't expect him to 'do pregnancy, change a nappy or get involved with under 2's'.

I'm not sure if this helps or not, but your dh is not that unusual. While it's upsetting for you (I know I was so disappoointed, hurt, upset, you name it) there was no changing him. I luckily had family and friends who were very excited for me/us so I indulged myself with them. Baby shopping, decorating the nursery, even choosing names - I came up with a short list, he told me to chose what I liked after I ruled Eric out hmm/ not negotiable that one. SO I did, both times I chose the names....

You are not alone.

ChocolateHobnob Thu 04-Oct-07 06:58:59


My DH has been the opposite - v v excited, as much so as me. BUT he is much less interested than me in reading about when the baby is born, birth, etc. He likes tangibles, as other people have said - he loved decorating the baby's room - have you tried getting him involved in that? I think that sometimes it takes time for that excitement to come, specially for someone who's not had a close family life as a child themselves, and the pull of a baby once it's born will override all that. Good luck though, and I agree with the others - make sure you have an alternative support network around to help you till he can get excited too!

PregnantGrrrl Thu 04-Oct-07 07:10:22

my DH was fairly 'meh' about DS while i was pregnant with him. i wouldn't say he didn't care at all, but he wasn't emotional about it, didn't really get excited etc.

he now spends half his time chasing him like a dog, grinning like an arse everytime he does something new, and he looked like he'd swoon with delight when DS kissed him the other day.

for alot of men a baby isn't 'real' until it's here. my DH didn't have close family relationships either, and didn't get on with his only sibling. i can safely say our family is very different!

also, i found keeping a pregnancy diary helped me- i wrote down how excited i was, what new things were happening etc. Got it out of my system without nagging or over whelming DH with emotional daftness.

mixedmama Thu 04-Oct-07 08:08:54

Oh Angechica sorry DH is feeling this way. I dont have any experience of this but it does take the men generally a lot longer to get intot he excited frame of mind, has only happened properly with Dh very recently.

I am sure it is as the other posters have said that he just needs the baby to be here and be "real". Dh has always helped out but only really started enjoyign DS1 since he has been able to walk, run around and kick a ball.

WheresMyWaistGone Thu 04-Oct-07 10:29:36

Hi all

I'm 38+5. 2 months ago I discovered that dh wasn't happy. He had slept with someone and had decided he's in love with someone else.

He doesn't know if he loves me anymore - that's the problem apparently. He doesn't want to leave me for either of these girls - if he left me, it would to be on his own. He's looking forward to the baby but is now in the pits of despair and says things like he's "made such a mess of everything and can't even love his wife and baby properly".

But he's just not sure. He's still living here and wants a bit more independence. I can't convince him to see anyone about it so he's just bottling it all up.

I'm desolate. But I have to keep going for the baby's health. I just hope that if he has some space and once the baby's born, we'll be able to sort it all out.

Try not to despair. This is all much more natural for us than the dear husbands.

Bessie123 Thu 04-Oct-07 10:51:37

Wheresmywaistgone - you sound very brave and strong about your situation. Hope you're ok, and hope everything sorts itself out. x

WheresMyWaistGone Thu 04-Oct-07 11:20:53

Thanks Bessie. Sometimes I'm a jibbering wreck, especially as I know that he's still in touch with both of them, though he assures me as friends only.

I've only told a couple of friends about it all and they have their own lives and worries so I feel a bit isolated with no one to talk to.

Just clinging to the hope that it's just him being all male and suddenly scared of the situation and that it will all be ok ... I love him.

Bessie123 Thu 04-Oct-07 11:57:16

It sounds like he's behaving appallingly. Please post on here if you need support, and let me know if there's anything I can do.

claireybee Thu 04-Oct-07 15:16:40

DH was totally uninterested through my pregnancy with dd. She wasn't planned and he was completely doom and gloomy about the whole thing, used to say things like "how can i get excited when its ruined my life" and would just roll is eyes if i mentioned anything to do with the baby or asked him if he wanted to feel kicks etc. I was really scared it wouldn't change after she was born, and also felt i couldn't talk about it to anyone cos all my other friends had partners who were excited about their babies, and also felt like I was being disloyal to dh if i told anyone how he was being.

DH actually delivered her, (under the supervision of the midwife) and was instantly overwhelmed by her,something i had never expected, thinking at best he would gradually grow to love her.

Although he felt love for her and could cuddle her and look at her for hours, he found it hard to deal with her as a tiny baby, he couldn't really talk to her, didn't do singing silly songs to get her to stop crying, could never tell if she was crying through hunger etc but as she has got older the bond has just grown and grown and at 16 months she is now his mini-me. The bulk of childcare is still my responsibility but he now plays with her, takes her to the park, talks to her etc and every day says he is amazed by her.

Baby no 2 is due in 2 months, and again he hasn't been interested in the pregnancy (although he is trying to be this time)-he now is worried that he won't be able to love this baby as much as he does dd. I'm not upset or worried this time though, as i know once the baby is here he WILL change, as i am confident your DH will too.

WheresMyWaistGone Thu 04-Oct-07 17:26:37

Bessie - thanks again! And Clairey too.

Angechica - how you doing? I also can't help feeling that he'll change as soon as he sees your baby - just like I hope that mine will realise that of course he loves me and the baby...

Oh hell - why do they do this to us? Ours was planned too so why the change of heart? He keeps saying that he now feels he might have done everything (buying house, marriage, baby) to make me happy without thinking about how he felt...ARG. What is wrong with them???!!!

I love him so much. How can he do this to me? I used to sit up till 2 and 3 am proof-reading and printing his PhD as the deadline loomed and all I have ever done is love and trust him. I guess I'll have to cope if he leaves me but I have no idea how. I'm just trying to give him the space he says he wants but then he gets uber-emotional and I have to comfort him. It's so hard to trust him, but I have to - don't I?

Bessie123 Thu 04-Oct-07 17:35:48

WMWG - he sounds v immature - like he needs a big kick up the bum. Hang in there if you think it's worth it, and I hope he sees sense soon. x

MeMySonAndI Thu 04-Oct-07 17:36:39

Angechica, as some other people have mentioned on this thread, it is more difficult for men to relate to a baby.

I know a couple of men whose girlfriends fell pregnant by accident. They were obviously shocked, one of them was terrified, another one really couldn't bear the idea of having a child. The first one wanted the girl to have an abortion (the relationship was not very serious and he felt under great pressure; the second one didn't want to hear anything else about the relationship, he was afraid that a baby at that time would change all his plans and future.

Anyways, as soon as both saw their babies they fell in love with them. First guy is a super dad now and has been married to this girl for the last 15 years. Second one is now divorced (girl never forgave him for having cold feet even when he married her soon after the birth) but I know, that although a bad person in general, he fought very hard against a divorce because he didn't want to loose day to day contact with his daughter.

So, in a nutshell, give him time. He will change and despite the expectatives he may end up being a perfect father.

turtle23 Thu 04-Oct-07 20:41:29

Glad to know my DH isn't the only one. We tried for this baby for over a year and as soon as I said "we're pregnant" he went into bastard mode. He got angry when I mentioned the baby. I had a 7 week scan as I was so worried it wasn't real and he refused to come. He started flirting outrageously with every girl around, and had a sort of phone/text affair with some girl. I got a few Dad books and he chucked them back at me. I was so confused as he said he wanted this baby and we tried so hard for so long. Once I got pregnant he told me he didn't think he'd made the right choice doing this, was questioning whether we should have married...etc.
Amazingly, the second my bump popped out, he seems to have changed a bit. He volunteers names now, shows people scan photos, and makes me breakfast! He says it was fear but that's not easy for the pregnant one to cope with!
Big hugs to all with rotten other halves. smile

BetsyBoop Thu 04-Oct-07 20:42:58

with our first child DH wasn't really interested in the baby (although he was very caring about me & how I felt) - it upset me at the time but looking back I don't think it's that unusual. He is now a fabulous Dad to our DD & absolutely loves her to bits.

I just think it's easier for women, as soon as we're pregnant the hormones take over & we become all maternal (I've never been the maternal type & was worried I wouldn't be, but almost as soon as I found out I was pregnant I became all earth mother grin) I just don't think it's "real" for some men until the baby actually materialises. As I say I was worried about DH first time round, but one look at his face as he held our DD so tenderly in the theatre when I was getting stitched up after my c/s & I knew it would be okay smile

try not to worry too much, things have a way of working themselves out in the end {hugs]

Angechica Fri 05-Oct-07 17:44:35

Dear everyone - thanks for this advice - it has been very, very reassuring. Have been for a chat with doctor, worried about effect on baby of depression, but doc was great & talked a lot of sense. Made me realise that husband is probably just keeping his own head above water with very demanding job and is prob feeling he won't be able to cope with impending fatherhood as well. I do feel more confident he will either have a revelation at the birth or grow to love his child gradually.
Signed me off for a week so I can rest and play housewife which has been great, DH and I even went on a "date" last night. I will prob have to accept he may not be as hands on as I would hope when LO is small but we will find a workable way of managing I hope.

WheresMyWaistGone Fri 05-Oct-07 19:05:26

Hey - that's the spirit! I think we have to be positive for the sake of our health and that of our LO's, no matter how much we would like to curl up and cry all day.

Stay positive.

SpacePuppy Fri 05-Oct-07 19:09:16

It sounds like my dh in fact down to the not being comfortable with other children including family, now ds is 22 months and if you didn't know any better you would've thought they were joined at the hip with Velcro.

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