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What did it feel like becoming a parent for the first time?

29 replies

december2020 · 28/07/2020 17:30

I'm currently 20 weeks pregnant with my first.
He is very much wanted and loved with lots of excitement from friends and family as well.

However, becoming a mother still just feels like a 'concept' to me. I know if all goes well he'll be here in December and I can't wait to meet him, yet it doesn't feel real yet.

What did it feel like become a parent for the first time for you? I'd love to hear other experiences.

OP posts:
thistimelastweek · 28/07/2020 17:35

I kept wondering when the grown-ups would step in.
Two eejits and a baby. Anyway, we figured it out.

barbrahunter · 28/07/2020 17:36

Congratulations OP! The world became a magical place after I gave birth to my firstborn, it was the best time of my life.

Iwalkinmyclothing · 28/07/2020 17:37

Overwhelming, terrifying, exhilarating, oddly normal, exhausting, challenging, a privilege. I genuinely did have that rush of love the first time I saw his face; I did not find it easy to get used to being responsible for this tiny little thing who needed me. I did feel like a mum immediately though. Not a proper, grown up, all knowing, sensible mum or anything Grin but I knew I was his mum. I was a bit scared by how much I loved him, or rather the fierceness with which I loved him, the thought that he mattered more than anything else in the universe ever could. I was very scared by how shit I was at everything from changing his clothes to giving him a bath and thought it was mad someone as incompetent as me could be trusted to keep a baby alive! Although I found mat leave hard and lonely and struggled quite a bit with low mood and worry, I was really lucky in that I felt a strong bond with him throughout all that and was always glad we had him.

And now he is 14 and the most challenging person in my life and has to be bribed and threatened to wash and thinks I am the most embarrassing sad old woman to walk the earth and has turned my world upside down over and over for years... I still am glad to have him and I don't think I will ever stop looking at him and seeing that tiny little squished up newborn face.

Footlooseandfancy · 28/07/2020 17:37

Overwhelmed mostly. I think regardless of how well prepared you are, it's never prepared enough but you figure it out.

FelicityPike · 28/07/2020 17:46

I didn’t feel like my DD’s mother until she was 8 weeks old.
She was born by an GA EMC at 31 weeks and was in the NICU for 6 weeks.
Then when we came home we had daily visits from midwives, neonatal nurses, our (amazing hv) for another 2 weeks.
The first day we had that we were completely on our own was terrifying....brilliantly amazing but terrifying.
I think the best tip I can give any mum to be is DON’T read any baby books and just trust your judgement. You know & understand your baby more than you know.
Also, sometimes the love isn’t instantaneous and that’s absolutely fine & normal!
Good luck.

Carabu1 · 28/07/2020 18:02

Such an interesting question! I due in December too, and honestly despite seeing baby on scans it still doesn't feel like its actually happening...glad this is normal!

FourForYouGlenCoco · 28/07/2020 18:09

The minute DD was born, it felt like everything in my life had been leading up to that moment. I suddenly felt like everything made sense - it had all been worth it, the good and the bad, to bring me to this point, meeting my baby for the very first time. Never known love like it; it blew me away. It was so so special. The first few weeks were absolutely magical.
Then eventually the tiredness kicked in and the shine wore off a bit and I was tired and she screamed for days and it was hard and boring...there were still lots of pretty magical bits though tbh. What really ruined it was having the next couple of kids Grin (kidding...ish. I adore the bones of all 3 of mine, but there’s nothing quite like doing it all for the first time). You’ve got it all to come OP! And fwiw I was excited to meet all 3 of mine, but it was all very surreal and I didn’t feel particularly bonded to any of them until they were born.

GetTheSprinkles · 28/07/2020 18:13

Overwhelming feeling of responsibility.
Unconditional love took a few weeks longer but grew steadily.

ShrimpingViolet · 28/07/2020 18:17

I had spent 48 hours in hospital by that point so I was shattered but deliriously happy for about 12 hours. Then she was screaming in the middle of the night, I had no idea what the fuck I was doing and had been cut open and could barely move.

It's totally overwhelming. The first few weeks are to be honest. I don't think I could say I loved her in the way we understand love to be at first. I was keeping her alive and worrying about doing so! I think from about a month or so I started to feel proper love.

She is nearly 15 months now and I love her more than life itself - would lay down my life for her without hesitation.

I suppose what I'm trying to get across is it's the biggest shift in your life as you know it that you'll probably ever have. So it's okay to feel however you feel from one day (hour) to the next. It'll turn your world upside down. But it's also the best thing ever.

Congrats on your baby Smile

TinySleepThief · 28/07/2020 18:17

I felt like I had imposter syndrome, even now 7 months on I still often feel like someone will realise I'm not grown up enough to raise a child.

It's terrifying, amazing, exciting, exhausting and mind-boggling all in equal measure. Grin

december2020 · 28/07/2020 20:18

Thank you everyone for the congrats but more importantly for sharing your experiences!

I'm really looking forward to it (highs and lows). It just all still feels a little surreal at the moment. Like it hasn't really hit me yet that I'm actually going to become a parent.

OP posts:
MichelleOR84 · 28/07/2020 20:27

I felt sooooooo much love and like I had noooo clue what I was doing .

Rossaloony · 28/07/2020 20:31

My daughter is 15 months, and I'm only really now starting to feel like a 'mum'. I remember looking at her when she was a few weeks old and wondering when I would actually feel that way. I felt like I'd stolen someone else's baby and definitely had imposter syndrome like a PP said. I think things started to click more into place for me when she was about 6 months old.

Dyra · 28/07/2020 20:34


I kept wondering when the grown-ups would step in.
Two eejits and a baby. Anyway, we figured it out.

100% this. I'm 34 and wondering when I'm going to feel like I'm not faking being an adult.
pookypup · 28/07/2020 20:41

Being a mum for the first time was the most wonderful time of my life, as others upthread have said. Lovely just to focus on the one baby, and enjoy your time with them as they are tiny.

Having said that I distinctly remember bringing DS1 home from the hospital and not quite believing that anyone would trust me to look after this tiny human being! Imposter syndrome is a really good way of describing it. We muddled through those first days ok though Grin

Very jealous of you ladies about to do this for the first time - I hope it all goes well for you.

kateybeth79 · 28/07/2020 20:45

I can't remember, I was too tired! 😂 I had an overwhelming feeling off love for her though! Never felt anything like it before!

Lilice · 28/07/2020 23:37

It'd a rollercoaster of emotions 😉🙃

Grandmi · 28/07/2020 23:45

I can honestly say that I didn’t comprehend that I was going to be a mummy until I held my baby in my arms ..then instant protective love 💓...enjoy . My granddaughter was born December last year and she is an absolute joy X

Aria2015 · 28/07/2020 23:57

I remember thinking it was totally mad that I was allowed to walk out of the hospital with a tiny human and be trusted to look after him when I had zero experience of having children! It felt exciting and scary!

december2020 · 29/07/2020 07:34

I'm loving reading these thank you!

These are definitely echoing my feelings, firstly that's it just doesn't feel real right now and once he is here surely the hospital won't let me out with a newborn and no manual or supervision.

It's odd knowing this little one will absolutely change our world and we can't wait to meet him, yet at the moment he doesn't feel real that he's actually going to be here in a few months.

OP posts:
happygolucky6 · 29/07/2020 08:07

I gave birth two weeks ago. My whole world shifted. When they gave me my little girl my heart was so full. I was tired, in pain, but suddenly it didn't matter anymore because this small beautiful human was mine.

I also fell more in love with my partner which I didn't think possible. Going through labour together is a magical yet terrifying experience. Watching him take control and make sure me and baby was okay was amazing. It's something that brings you so much closer together. A real bond.

Now, I can sit and stare and my daughter all day. I can't believe me, the person who can't even grow a house plant, can grow and birth the most perfect baby.

It's overwhelming. It's emotional (random crying... hormones!!) it's shocking at times (postpartum body) but worth it so much.


marvellousmaplesyrup · 29/07/2020 08:20

I read all the books, podcasts, websites, went to NCT class AND the hospitals own antenatal class, consulted several midwife friends and was literally the most organised person ahead of my DS being born.

It hit me like a freight train. Totally overwhelmed. I kept thinking what had we done to our lovely life before, so uncomplicated and care free! After a few days we got into a routine with our "new normal" and it gave me a chance to bond with him.

He's now 7 months and my whole world revolves around him. He's ace.

userabcname · 29/07/2020 08:47

It was lovely. It still is! I was so overwhelmed with love when he arrived. Those postnatal hormones are so powerful! DS1 was hard work as a baby but I wouldn't have had it any other way. I genuinely love being a mum and adjusted to it quite easily. I agree with a pp too - I am more in love with DH now than ever. Having DC really cemented our (already good) marriage. Don't get me wrong, there are days when I could cheerfully crack open the wine at 8am or want to scream when my toddler flushes my favourite lipstick down the toilet but most of the time we are very happy!

SquigglyOne · 29/07/2020 09:17

I didn’t feel the immediate rush of love everyone talks about - in fact for the first month or so all DS caused me was stress and pain - horrible to say but true! I wish someone had told me you could feel like this - I thought there must be something wrong with me!
But over time our bond grew and now at 6 months DS is my entire world - a love like no other 💕💕

crosser62 · 29/07/2020 09:24

It was described to me as that scene in the wizard of Oz when Dorothy steps out of the black & white into the bright colours...
whatever has gone on before will fade into black & white compared to what will become when your son arrives.

There’s a lot of shite & vomit though.
The lack of sleep takes some shine of it all too.
Apart from that, yeah, it’s lovely.

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