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Is it normal to dread the first few months of your first born's life?(20 Posts)
I feel so ashamed. I am 35 weeks pregnant and absolutely dreading the birth of my child and the first few months of its life. I was utterly delighted to get my bfp and have sailed through my pregnancy without any problems. But now, with just weeks to go, I think it is all a huge mistake. How can this be when I've wanted a baby since I was 15, and now, at 35, so many of my friends are experiencing the abject misery of infertility?
I am obsessed with the idea that I will have a colicky baby who will never settle, that the sleep deprivation will lead me into severe PND, that I will be 2 stone or more overweight; that I will struggle with breastfeeding and contract mastitious. I foresee a life of loneliness ahead, with DH pursuing his old interests and career opportunities and me being stuck on my own with a demanding child and no life and giving up my all my career ambitions. DH and I have not had sex during my entire pregnancy. I don't even fancy him anymore, even though I am fond of him and respect him as a person. I know he fancies other women and the fact is, it doesn't even bother me. I am fantasising about leaving him and living alone - even it's only around the corner. However, I know that that will mean i will find the first few months even more terrible, without any time to cook for myself or even bathe, just attend to this screaming baby.
Why am i feeling all this now, when just a few weeks ago I was hosting a baby shower and cooing over babygros and planning a christening? Is it hormones? Has anybody else experienced this?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Ah, poor bella. Hormones. I did the same. But wait, get this, I felt this while I was waiting to go into theatre for my section! I cried with DH: this is a mistake, maybe I shoudn't, I'll be miserable forever bla bla bla. And I got my healthy baby and fell instantly in love. Instantly. Can't deny the hard work bit, it is, (I have 2, and wouldn't like a 3rd) but wait til it happens, you'll be soo delighted. You'll be fine. Hormones.
Anxiety in late pregnancy is pretty par for the course, really. You are not a freak!
You know, looking at it it philosphically, I sailed into the birth of my first child with rose tinted specs on... and then had all the problems you mentioned and more. I had hideous PND, actually, and it was all very grim for a bit.
But then it got better. Lots better. And me and DH were more in love than ever. And my DS was (eventually) the best thing I ever did. And I loved it all so much I got pregnant again. Oh, and then absolutely shat myself. Spent much of the pregnancy feeling how you feel. Was just terrified, really. And do you know what? It has been the best. Honestly. I am absolutely, crazily in love with my 5 month old and would do it all again tomorrow if DH would agree . I think because I went in with such low expectations this time, I was pleasantly surprised.
You may have some difficulties - or not. Who knows? But I assure you that what you are feeling now is a) normal and b) good. It is your brain working properly - processing all the information you've absorbed and responding to all the feelings and hormones and crazy shit going on in your head. This is a big event in your life. Of course you are considering it all very seriously.
Do not add to the crazy stresses by beating yourself up for feeling weirded out by it all. And repeat this mantra to yourself: once your baby is born, do not think about anything - ANYTHING - other than resting when possible and bonding with your baby for several months. Weight, career, social life, sex - it can all wait. Honestly.
It's normal to feel this way - after all you're about to go through tge biggest change of your adult life! I had similar feelings when we were ttc and even wrote dh a letter with many of the same fears that you have listed. None of my worries came true and it has surprised me how much I love being a mum (and I still feel like me) and how it has brought us even closer together. Very best of luck, I'm sure you'll be fine
And the sex life does come back eventually - dd is proof of that! (Takes quite a while tho, esp if you're bfing, ime)
Bella - I suspect you have articulated a feeling that most women have at some point during pg., and others have said, if you sail through with nary a doubt, you end up in far worse messes really.
ALL the things you say can happen, and I think did happen to me.. and yet, I'm still having antoher (although I'm still not sure that really was a good idea). But everything passed. I suppose it took me a long time to get past some of it, but it still, bizarrely, has been worth it. If it helps, look at the bigger picture. It's ONLY a few months out of your life, and seriously, with every month that passes you feel "oh my goodness it's SO much easier at 3 months.. 4 months... 6 months.. 9 months..." I STILL say this and DS is 3.5!
I would definitely tell your GP/MW how you are feeling, and see if you can get to talk to someone. If anything the fact that you're in late pg. should speed up any referral process. It doesn't need to be a big deal, just very helpful. and even if it's "just" hormones, it's still very real, and very unnerving.
Oh, and talk to you husband!
and keep posting here of course
Do you think that you are feeling this way because you have had a bit of an easy time of it, and your friends are struggling? Maybe a bit of guilt? Perhaps you are thinking it can't be this easy, so I'll get my comeuppance type stuff?
People's sex lives go all over the place during pregnancy - some get very horny, some lose all desire, I think that really is a hormonal thing. Do talk to your husband about it, as they can find it very upsetting, and feel unloved (especially as although there are lots of support groups around for new mums there are very few for new dads). Sometimes hormones can give you strange dreams, so I would suspect that some of the wilder fantasies (if they are not normal for you) might be to do with that.
As for your other worries, of course you might have such problems, or you might sail through early motherhood as you have through pregnancy. I recommend finding other mums to hang out with - alway reassuring to find other people having the same thoughts as you, and there is always someone having a tougher time in one or more departments, which s strangely good to know.
Finally at the end of the day if you really don't enjoy full time motherhood, you don't have to choose it forever. I went back to work at 6mths for ds and 3mths for dd, and my career was just were I'd left it (in fact I've just had a nine month gap, and I'm still OK careerwise) so don't assume the worst, and even if it happens, it doesn't have to be a disaster!
Yep all completely normal!!
Do remember that worrying about it is genuinely far worse than going through it all if you end up having to! Your imagination is your worst enemy
Bella - you sound like a very sensible person, because unlike many new mums, you've realised its going to be very tough as well as very amazing. I kind of glossed over the toughness before the birth (although my mum and sis desperately tried to warn me) but even then the really tough bit (and DS was a prem newborn with reflux) passed very quickly.
I too was worried about PND (thought myself at high risk because I'd moved house a week before baby born, had only been with DP 8 months when got pregnant unplanned) but didn't get it. Also regained sex drive 3 weeks after birth after thinking I would never want to again. What I'm saying is, your feelings are normal, and very sensible, and it sounds to me like you will know to get help PND wise if you need it.
thank you for your kindness and wisdom, posters. I guess I hadn't really thought that I was being sensible in my worst case scenario thinking. I actually saw a counsellor yesterday, as i was convinced I was plummeting into a depression. He pointed out that there is actually a comfort in the worst case scenario, the trick is to manage living in the mess between our great expectations and worst fears.
Not convinced I'll be shagging DH three weeks later, Owl, but I'll let you know if I am! (and well done you for getting through prem reflux)
You've all made me feel less freakish! Thank you!
Im on my second pregnancy im only 8 weeks gone and im feeling all that NOW
My 1st pregnancy was textbook so was the labour, I kept saying to dh "ohh everything has gone so well, our baby is going to turn out to be a nightmare" that wasnt the case, he slept well, fed well, etc. Now what are the chances I'll get that again. Im thinking slim to none.
I want to say your fears are irational, but they arnt. They will simply take a backseat once your baby is here.
Good luck and I wish you all the best.
I agree with what others have said, I think you are being realistic, and perfectly normal! I had very pessimistic expectations - I thought, for example, that my baby would NEVER sleep, so I was pleasantly bemused when he did! And even a colicky baby doesn't scream ALL the time. It is normal to lose your sex drive too, and you may well find that the experience of bringing a baby into the work together, plus all the besotted hormones that the baby will triiger, will bring you closer together.
Bellaball FYI I was totally off sex after DS1, probably the hormones. A month or so after the birth I went to the pictures and watched Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. It sorted me right out!
As for the baby. The first 6 weeks are the worst, then it all gets better and better. You don't have to give up your career ambitions at all! Nurseries take kids from around 6 months if you want to go back to work.
You're only 35. The kid will be at school within 5 or so years and you should be able to keep the career going if you want.
You're stepping into the unknown, afew doubts are fine. Everything will work out. Best of luck to you.
A girl I know confided that, before she had her daughter, she actually thought they came out sleeping 12 hours a night . Not to belittle your feelings, but it is probably a good thing to have some idea of the possible pitfalls. I've known some people who thought it would all be a piece of cake, and got a pretty nasty shock when the baby didn't quite fit into their plans. The first weeks can be horrific, but after that, it's onwards and upwards
Hi everyone, I feel like a vile human. I’m 15 weeks pregnant with twins. Me and my partner are both 24 we are very happy in life and have the things we wish for but the thought of two babies at once when we are only 24 scares me. My pregnancy has been hell since week 6 and I hate and I mean HATE pregnancy it isn’t what I’d imagine. I’ve been in and out of hospital because of sickness and I’m constantly in an uncomfortable pain. I try focusing on the fact I’m nearly half way through it all but the thought of the babies arriving doesn’t excite me . It actually stresses me like how am I meant to care for two?! I feel like I’m not going to love them. I’m not interested in the scans or baby shopping. I want to make sure they are healthy and happy but I generally don’t think I’m going to love them. Is this hormonal and has anyone else been through this?
My love for my husband ebbs and flows all the time, even without pregnancy! That’s what a long term relationship is. It’s often linked to my mood - if I feel really down I sometimes feel like I really don’t love him, but then when I feel happy I do again.
I think it’s sort of a defence mechanism our brain does - constantly preparing for the worst case scenario.
What I’ve found works best is to just not fret and know that these are normal feelings and will pass.
Omg @bellaball I could have wrote this!! I have been going over and over my feelings in my head and just found it so hard to put into words but I feel exactly the same. Not so much the not fancying part. But his faults, as small as they may be are becoming a huge problem that I’m fixating on. We planned this pregnancy. It’s not been a bad pregnancy, just the usual but I now hate being pregnant because I feel like everyone else has a life and is enjoying their selves and I’m being left behind and no one cares. And as much as I don’t want to be pregnant anymore I don’t want the baby to come yet either. I know how hard babies are and I’m terrified that my partner will be as useless as I now expect he will be, I’ll be left to do it all myself. I’ll get so tired and run down my mental health will suffer and the thought of my body after makes me feel sick. These feelings have literally come on in the last 2 weeks and I’m getting more and more miserable. I’m praying this is just hormones and I’ll feel better sometime soon. Please don’t rush into leaving your partner or anything like that. It’s a good chance it is the pregnancy hormones making you feel this way. I wish I had some good advise but I honestly don’t know. Just know you’re not alone feeling this way xxd