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To feel completely conflicted about having a baby? Potential to lose my husband....

151 replies

MinorDelays · 24/07/2017 17:24

Probably the wrong place to post - but am driving myself insane and thought this the best place to get some honest answers & a bit of traffic.
My husband and I have been discussing having children since we got married 2 years ago (and I've always known he is desperate for children) - I've always thought I wanted children too - but it always seemed a distant, far off prospect I guess. We're both early 30's. A year ago I found myself pregnant through utter stupid, carelessness and the thought that if it happened I would warm to the idea. I panicked - I was driven mad with fear (fear of change, fear of financial pressures, fear of not loving my child, of losing my identity, losing my life etc etc.) I was honestly a total mess & wanted to die - but couldn't tell anyone how I felt. The few people who did know I was pregnant kept saying 'You can never prepare yourself for what's about to happen', 'Sleep now while you can' 'Life's about to change beyond anything you can imagine' etc etc - I know all this is true, but it just added to my own sense of doom, and I've never felt more alone or totally desperate. I ended up losing the baby at 9 weeks - which actually was awful - but I felt a relief to know that baby wouldn't have me as a mother :(
My husband is desperate for a baby & I want a family and to give him that - but my entire mindset is completely negative - everything I read and that people tell me seems to affirm that having a baby will make life so much harder. I feel like having a baby really marks the end of my youth, however sad that sounds.
I could face this if I could imagine loving a baby - but to me, my own child is so abstract that I can't picture it. I can't imagine loving a stranger. I know that sounds mad! I have nephews and nieces whom I love dearly. We are relatively financially secure - I have been determined to save £20k before having a baby & we're well on our way to that, we have our own home (albeit with a considerable mortgage) and we love each other hugely. I know I can wait to have a baby - but I am terrified this feeling will never change. Has anyone else felt like this? I'm desperate for people's positive feelings towards motherhood, or if anyone ever felt like I do and went on to be a happy mother, as all I can imagine is the hardship it will bring. Thank you for your thoughts x

OP posts:

random79 · 24/07/2017 17:36

I'm a man, but - I generally found babies pretty boring before I had one. One of my colleagues said he hadn't really bonded with his until 18 months and I was expecting similar.

I was absolutely smitten as soon as she was born and it wasn't until she was over a year old that I missed a bedtime (on a stag do). She is absolutely amazing and shows off new things everyday.

I think your own baby that you spend tons of time with is always going to be more amazing than other peoples babies (although obviously mine is better than everybody elses)

If your husband isn't rubbish and is willing to actually properly muck in and do a good chunk of the work, then you can still go out, but you'll need to do a bit more scheduling. This works better for my wife than me as she is more organised, but she's managed to go out a fair few times - we just arrange a phone call at bedtime for the other one to say goodnight.

You can wait a bit before you have them, although obviously there are risks to fertility, but that might well help you as you become settled.


MinorDelays · 24/07/2017 17:47

Thank you so much for coming back to me, and it's great to have a man's perspective too. The funny thing is I'm not really one for going out as such - a baby would probably quite naturally fit into our lives, although we have no family support close by. I have no doubt my husband would be fantastic and very hands on. I'm very much hoping that I get the rush of love if we have a baby - and that it's not all doom, gloom and hardship, as that seems to be all I can imagine at the moment.

OP posts:

formerbabe · 24/07/2017 17:52

I could face this if I could imagine loving a baby - but to me, my own child is so abstract that I can't picture it. I can't imagine loving a stranger

Just think, your husband was a stranger to you once.


JennyBlueWren · 24/07/2017 17:53

A lot of loving your baby comes through biology and hormones and doesn't (always) come immediately. As for changing your life obviously having a dependent will mean changes but you don't have to change everything you do. You can still keep up hobbies and travel (with or without baby). During my planned pregnancy I did have doubts but it was definitely worth it. (Although lots of people are also quite happy to not have children).


WhatWouldGenghisDo · 24/07/2017 17:57

I didn't much want one in early 30s but by the time I was mid-30s this had completely changed and I was really keen. I'm glad I waited until I was sure though, the demands on you are so great that I think it's really important that you do it because you want to.


Angelicinnocent · 24/07/2017 18:01

I think once you get to the bit where you can see an actual baby on the scan and hear a heart beat, it stops being a stranger. You can find out it's sex and pick a name, then when you talk about Anne or Fred they start to get a personality to you before they are born.

If you are financially secure, it doesn't have to be the end of anything, it's a new era in your life is all. Best thing for me has always been introducing my DC to new things, we've taken them all over the world, taken them diving and flying, horse riding and go kart racing and so much more besides.


Xeneth88 · 24/07/2017 18:01

What your feeling is perfectly normal. I think a lot of women and men to feel that way, the prospect is so daunting.

I felt the same when I was pregnant with DS, i knew i wanted him at some point, but when it happened (unplanned) I was terrified. I even went to an abortion consultation as I'd worked myself up into a right state and there were circumstances in my relationship etc. So many things went through my head and I thought I'd never be able to do it. Never thought Id love a baby etc.

I gave birth and the love wasn't instant like some have but the joy and protection was. It wasn't the easiest thing in the world but 8 years later and I adore him. Im not a natural mum but I've muddled through and I wouldn't change a second, He is the best thing in my life. Your baby is so different to other peoples, they're a part of you and times are tough but you look back and realise that its worth it. Im sure you will be a wonderful mother.


Laiste · 24/07/2017 18:01

Obviously we can all only give our own perspectives and experiences here - we can't tell you what to do and we haven't got a crystal ball ...

but with that out of the way:

I felt exactly as you do now OP. Exactly. Right down to the 'stranger' thing and without any warm feelings for any young kids belonging to friends or family at all. (was good at hiding that). Married very young but no interest in children. Building great career ect. I fell pg by accident in my early 20s and went through with it. After the shock of the first 2 months or so i bloomed into motherhood and loved it. Really loved it - and have had 3 more Grin You do it your own way. They're your babies. They start tiny and you grow with them.


mylaptopismylapdog · 24/07/2017 18:02

My kids are adults now but I remember this feeling. Life does change and you have to let some things go and, yes, it can be hard, but for me being around children and young adults has been really enjoyable as they challenge your own view of life and as for losing your life, they can be a very good excuse to do silly things and watch disney films! As they get older they'll give you an insight into how their youth culture differs. Mumsnet is witness to the fact that whatever you are going through someone else will have been there/or near there, so you can use this to help you through the lumps and bumps. I wish it had been around when mine were small it would have helped enormously.


IdentifiesAsYoda · 24/07/2017 18:02

It's absolutely true that having children is hard. And so it should be - it's the most important thing that those of us who choose to have children will do (IMO). It's rational to be scared at the thought. It's a big life change and I'm not sure how much you can prepare.

It's also true that the rush of love doesn't come for everyone (most?).

I never wanted children as much as I wanted my DHs child. I didn't have much contact with children but I thought we'd make a good team.

He was surer and more confident at first but I grew into it and I can honestly say that we've loved it. It's a lot of fun. A lot of sleep deprivation and worry, but that is all totally eclipsed by creating people together who then go off and develop into themselves.


waitforitfdear · 24/07/2017 18:03

Hi op I always wanted kids and we had our 4 young but I honestly think if you don't feel ready then don't yet.

It's still your body that changes not your dhs and however hands on he may be he ain't the one being pregnant and giving birth.

It's bollovks for other people to tell you how you will feel when the baby comes as people can only tell you how they felt.

Wait until you feel ready and not pressured.


Sunshinegirls · 24/07/2017 18:03

There is no doubt that having children changes your life and can be hard sometimes, but on the whole, the experience is extremely rewarding and most of it is pretty easy really!
Kids are really amazing and funny and the love you feel for your own is something that can't be described. Before I had mine I didn't really think I "liked" children, I didn't "not like" them but I avoided them if possible. I certainly couldn't imagine being responsible for one.
You can't really prepare for it but honestly I don't think anyone ever regrets having their children, but plenty regret not having any.


MinorDelays · 24/07/2017 18:05

Thank you for your responses - they make perfect sense. I guess I see many of my friends who are pregnant - caressing their bumps, telling me they can't imagine loving their bump any more than they do etc etc. and I just know I won't feel like that. I'm hoping my maternal instincts will kick in sooner rather than later and that my mind can stop focusing on the negatives, and I can stop fearing change so much

OP posts:

SpitefulMidLifeAnimal · 24/07/2017 18:06

Do YOU want a child?


swingofthings · 24/07/2017 18:08

everything I read and that people tell me seems to affirm that having a baby will make life so much harder
Is life hard currently? Are you tired physically/mentally and this is what is clouding your judgement.

You've got to ask yourself: all those people who tell you how hard it is etc..., do they look unhappy? Do they look like they would have it any other way?

We are all different, so no one can tell you how it would be for you, but I can say that I too was petrified at the life changing that a baby would come. The idea that I wouldn't suddenly be able to get out of the house in 10 seconds just because I felt like it, or go for a nap oblivious of my surroundings was very scary, and I had many unpleasant dreams when I was pregnant.

Then baby came, with that my ability to think rationally through exhaustion and the positive part of it was that being too knackered to think also meant to tired to think about what I was missing! That added to the fact that I totally fell in love with my baby, with a fierce sense of protectiveness towards her I never thought I would experience (I had a sudden urge to punch the pediatrician when she checked my newborn hip and made her cry in the process) made it all ok!


Loopytiles · 24/07/2017 18:09

Wanting to give your H a child/keep your H are not strong reasons to have a DC.

From your post is sounds like you may have mental health issues? I do. A DC is very unlikely to help with that IME.

It's also very unlikely that a DC will just "fit into your lives": babies and small DC can limit time, energy, sleep, money etc. Eg I loved reading before DC - something cheap and easy to do anywhere - and have only just got back to it, many years on!

Do YOU want a child?

All that said, fertility could be a factor given your age, so if you do want to have one, putting off might not be sensible.


Writerwannabe83 · 24/07/2017 18:09

Having a baby is hard, nobody will say any different, and yes your life does change and there are times we've all reminisced on our child-free days, but having a baby can also be really, really wonderful.

I found the first 12 months the hardest but even during that time my son bought so much joy and happiness to my life. You really won't believe how much you can love something until you have a child.

My son is now 3 and he is the absolute love of my life. I love him so much I can't even put it into words and when I see him and my husband together I know I'm so, so lucky to have them both.

I'm currently pregnant with Baby number 2 and I honestly don't know how my heart will be able to find the capacity to love two children instead of just one Grin

Having a baby is a scary prospect but it can be so rewarding too.


Loopytiles · 24/07/2017 18:10

Will your H share the parenting and domestic work? Will you both WoH?


MinorDelays · 24/07/2017 18:10

Laiste - it's also comforting to hear that someone else felt this way, that I'm not entirely crazy. Xeneth88 - I can really sympathise with your situation x

OP posts:

Spl0ink · 24/07/2017 18:10

I was never a maternal person and was fairly sure for most of my life that I probably wouldn't have kids. Getting married and being with someone who wanted kids and would clearly be amazing with them triggered a bit of a shift in me... and then i did want a baby of my own. I had pretty huge misgivings, about whether I was cut out for it, whether I wasn't too selfish to devote myself to it entirely. And I have to say the beginning was hard for me, harder than I had hoped, and for a good while I felt like I had made a massive mistake and that all my misgivings had been proved shockingly true.

BUT a little way down the road again and life is really lovely. My son is now a hilarious, charming, fun little companion. And the fact is that there is no perfect mum person - you love them (and you will, I promise you that much, even if it takes a while to truly bed in. You'll love them like you didn't know you could) and you do your best and that's brilliant and that's enough.


MatildaTheCat · 24/07/2017 18:10

Is having a baby the only thing you feel negative about at the moment? Your post makes me wonder if you could be suffering from anxiety or depression. Of course you could have had a change of heart or have the jitters but there is something particularly intense about the way you describe your feelings. Possibly have a chat with your GP?


fernetbronco · 24/07/2017 18:12

If you want a happy story - unlike you, I did know I wanted a baby, and had one, but you're completely right - the baby was a complete stranger. I had no idea who they were. I don't know what on earth I felt for my baby in the first few weeks and months, but I do know it wasn't what we're commonly told that mothers must feel towards their newborns. I tried not to let it bother me. And then gradually I did get to know my baby, and I grew to love them more than I could ever have imagined, probably mostly because they were my baby, but also because they are a pretty ace person... but that didn't happen for at least a year, I'd say.

I'm not saying you should have a baby if you don't want one (in fact, don't!), but your fears are completely rational and normal. You do lose your former identity when you have a child. You do lose your freedom, etc. And you do have to take responsibility for (and sometimes even fake affection towards) a complete stranger. But as far as identity/freedom etc goes, it gets replaced by something else. Children don't make you more or less anything (in terms of who you are), but they do make everything different. They do bring hardship. They also bring many things you could never experience without them. Not necessarily better things, just different.

I'd say the things you're panicking about now are the things I panicked about after my baby was born - I walked into things a bit more blindly than you, and I think it was useful for me that I couldn't turn back when the doubts kicked in. I just had to sit tight and keep telling myself it would all be fine, and as my love for my child happily seems to grow stronger every day now, so far it is...

Don't know if that helps at all, I guess I'm just saying I can identify with what you've said. The decision has to be yours in the end!


Loopytiles · 24/07/2017 18:13

You sound really hard on yourself, eg "felt a relief to know that baby wouldn't have me as a mother" Sad

You can suss out if your H is likely to be truly "hands on", ie sharing the work of parenting and running a home, by talking about practicalities. Eg my DH does not travel for work because I need to WoH too. On MN there are many H's who think their wives will work PT, SAH and be the default parent while they will "help" when they can.


Cakescakescakes · 24/07/2017 18:13

I had zero bond with my babies when I was pregnant and tbh it took a good few weeks/months after they were born to have that real rush of love. (I was never a naturally maternal person and am still it really interested in any kids part from my own...). But now I would absolutely throw myself under a bus in a heartbeat for them. Yes it's frequently hard and stressful and boring and oh so very tedious - but the joyous bits really are beyond incredible.


Namesarehard · 24/07/2017 18:15

Slightly different but I know how you feel. We had two children. Small gap between them and never wanted more. I love them more than life itself.
We passed pitty training, school starts, all firsts and we were very happy. I asked my doctor several times to be sterilised. I know I'd finished at 2. Doctor refused due to my age. I was so scared of having a 3rd child that it effected our sex life for years.
Then it happened. When our children were 10 & 11 I found out we were expecting our 3rd child.
I'm not going to lie I was completely devastated. I never wanted a 3rd child. I didn't want to start all over again as we'd got to a point that life was easy. I even booked in for a termination.
Ultimately I couldn't go through with it but still felt down all throughout my pregnancy. Not depressed just sad and scared for what it would mean for our life. We now have our little two year old son.
I can't put into words how much we love him. He's fitted in perfectly. From the moment he was born i knew I made the right decision.
What I'm saying is choosing to have a baby can be very scary. I had 2 but another so far down the line was still the unknown. It's a very normal worry to have.
I'm so happy he came. I wouldn't change anything for the world. If you told me 5 years ago where we'd be now I'd have laughed in your face.
Try not to think of all the negative things. For every negative these 10 positives. X

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