Terrified to be first-time mum
HPS34 · 16/09/2020 11:46
Brand new to this forum, feeling incredibly fragile at the moment and could really use some insight and to not feel so alone right now. I'm shocked and horrified about how low I've been since finding out I was pregnant 3 weeks ago. My husband and I have been married for 7 years already and agreed we were ready to start trying. But due to a diagnosis of PCOS, I genuinely didn't think I'd be pregnant after only a few months.
This only compounds how absolutely depressed I am because I feel ungrateful given the fact it can be such a challenge to get pregnant. But every morning, I wake up in a cold sweat at 5 am full of panic and adrenaline and as terrible as this sounds, I just feel "doom" when reality kicks in and I remember I'm pregnant. I'm disgusted by the way my body is already changing and I've cried every day for 3 weeks to the point that my stomach hurts. Seeing kids on the street or any mention of them on TV sends me in to a blind panic. I'm finding the few people who do know have been very invasive and one person has even bought me tons of baby stuff (at 7 weeks) which was meant to be nice but actually made things so much worse. I'm scared to tell anyone because people's opinions and judgements have been pretty insensitive so far and just send me into a spiral of depression. I feel cut off and like I don't know where to turn. My husband has been great but it's a lot to put on his shoulders.
I don't understand what's wrong with me. Kids were always eventually part of the plan. But all I feel is like my life is over, my career I've worked so hard on and the time I've carved out for my own mental health will be consumed. I'm no longer me but the mother of someone else and I hate that thought. I hate that my "time in the sun" is over and someone else gets to take all the time and focus and energy. I'm finding nothing exciting about this process and I'm just dreading every day that passes by.
I'm not sure if I'm severely depressed and need help or if my brain is telling me at some level this isn't right and I don't want this. I hate to admit it but I've hoped for a miscarriage although I know that doesn't resolve my absolute terror about becoming a mum because I'd still need to decide whether to try again.
It's like a train hurtling down the track at me and all I want to do is jump but everyone around me is telling me this should be the best experience of my life. I genuinely have never felt so low in my life and could really use some support. I'm seeing a midwife tomorrow but I'm so scared they'll tell me "a lot of mothers feel like this" and "try to go for more walks" when it doesn't erase the reality that's coming for me.
allfurcoatnoknickers · 16/09/2020 11:56
I don't want to read and run, but I had very similar feelings during a desperately wanted pregnancy, and I was diagnosed with antenatal depression and anxiety and ended up having a weekly meeting with a psychologist.
It really helped and while I hated every second of being pregnant, I got through it and didn't end up suffering from postnatal depression.
I can write more later.
HPS34 · 16/09/2020 12:01
Thank you so much for responding, I can't express how helpful it is right now to have people take the time to recognise what I'm experiencing and tell me I'm not alone or crazy.
That's my other fear, that I'll continue to be depressed on the other side of this if I have the baby.
I would love to hear how you feel about everything now. It's really hard to see how there will any be a time where I don't regret this although even writing that makes me feel guilty.
JemimaTiggywinkle · 16/09/2020 12:06
Sorry to hear you’re feeling like this. Most places now have NHS perinatal mental health services, which are specifically there to support you with your mental health when you’re pregnant and after your baby is born.
Your midwife might refer you, but if not, you could find them online contact them yourself.
JemimaTiggywinkle · 16/09/2020 12:10
p.s. some of what you describe sounds like tokophobia (fear of being pregnant, and childbirth).
The perinatal mental health services I mentioned should be able to support you with this, and you might be able to find some self help resources online too.
All the best x
Itwasaquarterpast11 · 16/09/2020 12:11
Short version of long story:
Also have PCOS. Tried for years, finally got pregnant unexpectedly. Spent pregnancy thinking "WTF have I done?" Felt guilty I felt like that, couldn't tell anyone. I love dd immeasurably but the pregnancy and the first few months after were incredibly hard and I felt very lost. I should have sought help straight away, I now know I didnt have to feel like that.
Speak to your midwife, they can help and you shouldn't have to suffer like this. Me and my now teenager have a wonderful relationship and I wouldnt be without her, but I wish I had got help when pregnant.
HPS34 · 16/09/2020 13:07
JemimaTiggywinkle, Itwasaquarterpast11 and allfurcoatnoknickers
I can't thank you enough for all of your comments. Just having a few people recognise what I'm saying and not think I'm a bad person for feeling it is an indescribable comfort right now.
I'm going to be asked to referred to perinatal mental health services and am going to do some research on tokophobia - I didn't even know that it existed but it does seem to fit a lot of my general feelings.
I have to keep reminding myself that for most women, this is a happy time. It feels so alian to think women have baby showers to celebrate and I'm finding it upsetting to hear 'congratulations' from the few people I've mentioned this to. I want this to be a joyous time in my life, I really do. It just feels so incredibly out of grasp.
allfurcoatnoknickers · 16/09/2020 14:52
Ok, back again!
I didn't have tokophobia - I wasn't remotely concerned about being pregnant or giving birth until I actually was pregnant and it was horrible. I had really bad nausea and threw up a lot and generally felt and looked terrible. I also HATED that people seemed to think I had nothing better to do with my time than "be pregnant". I'm still baffled about how anyone can enjoy it . oh and I was so scared of giving birth that I used to have panic attacks in the street and vomit in fear.
I also hated the weird assumption that you have a personality transplant when you're pregnant/become and mum and suddenly all you want to do is mope around singing nursery rhymes and going to baby sensory. Well, I say BOLLOCKS TO THAT. I still have no interest in doing baby stuff, I'm a 33 year old woman with a career and a masters degree, why would I want to sit around singing the wheels on the bus?
Anyway, DS is now 15 months old and he's fab. I've always really enjoyed him and he's a great little sidekick. I love going on adventures with him - pre-Covid we used to go to parks and museums and to brunch and exploring all over town. Even now, he loves to go out and go to new places. He's silly, and funny and a great little travel buddy. I've made new friends through him, because he's a sociable little creature and now I don't know what I'd do without them.
I'm still scarred by pregnancy (had a c-section, so the birth was super easy and painless) but I love being a mum. It's fine to do it on your terms, you don't have to give up your life, or your interests, or your personality.
BaaHumbugg · 17/09/2020 13:53
OP I could have written your post, I have been pregnant 3 times and felt exactly the same each time. I just loathe being pregnant, I am of a super tiny frame and as soon as my body starts changing it freaks me out, I think I took one photo last time I was pregnant as I was so repulsed by it all.
I also chose not to tell anyone 'til I was half way through the pregnancy as I didn't want all the talk of babies and stuff, I love my Daughter of course but I'm not a baby person and never feel "broody" - even that word makes me feel sick.
What I will say is that as soon as I had my daughter I felt exactly the same as I did pre pregnancy, it didn't change anything really and I was still the same person, I didn't get PND either with her, I was just so happy to have my body and autonomy (if that's the right word) back. I chose not to breastfeed too for that reason, I just wanted my body back and didn't want to give anything else up, screw what everyone else thought.
So in my opinion it's totally normal, I think we are force fed these images of blooming expecant mothers and not many people admit to hating it. It's so consuming and such a massive thing to get your head around.
If you want to lay in bed for the next few months until you get your head round things then just do it I say. That's what I'm doing at the moment.
Just remember it's totally normal and you're entitled to feel however you want, I hope you're okay as I know how tough it feels when you are in the grips of it. Sorry I have rambled so much
HPS34 · 18/09/2020 08:45
BaaHumbugg thank you so much for this - it's so reassuring to know I'm not the only one who feels that that image of the "broody, glowing" mother is just not them. If it's a personal choice made between a couple who want to enrich their life, that's great, but there seems to be this whole consumer identity that comes with it I just can't connect with.
You're right, so so much of this is about personal autonomy right now, physical and in terms of identity. I'm not sure if I'm projecting here but I've gotten really upset at how the world seems to see you as a pregnant woman as something to be coddled and protected. Honestly, I feel like the way some people have been treating me is very much a feminist issue - like they feel comfortable with the role of a pregnant woman because it fulfills some expectations of what women are expected to want and be "designed for."
Everything you say resonates so much and really, really helps. It's just nice to meet people on this thread who seem to have a very similar worldview and are frankly, just cool, interesting women who count being a mum as part of their identity but not their defining feature. It gives me hope that there is an alternate way of approaching this. But in the meantime, it does make me feel very much like I don't want to let anyone know or let the outside world in for fear of their expectations.
Thank you for taking the time to reply. It means so much right now.
BlenheimOrange · 18/09/2020 09:12
Hi. I felt a lot like this in my first pregnancy. Now pregnant with DC2 four years later as I wanted enough of a gap to spend a good chunk of time enjoying being ‘me’ again first. This time it’s not currently so bad, I think partly because I know I do get to go back to being wholly myself, and partly because people seem to subject you to a lot less of the unwanted advice, ‘magical time’ comments, telling you how you ought to feel as a mother and other bullshit with a 2nd so I don’t feel so unnatural and inadequate.
BaaHumbugg · 18/09/2020 22:20
Definitely, I'm no feminist really but it seems like you do become invisible and people just see you as the incubator Not everyone but a lot of people want to wrap you up in cotton wool.
There is no correct way to approach it just do whatever makes you feel better, and recognising how you feel about it is a great first step!
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