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I don't feel excited about my pregnancy. I am happy that we're having a baby, but I just can't get excited about it. I don't have any urges to post a million pictures of my belly or show people ultrasound pictures. I don't want to dream up a million names and go baby shopping. I don't even really want to talk about it with people. Before, I thought it was because I couldn't let myself get happy because I had a miscarriage six months ago, but I am past the risky time now, and I'm still not very excited. When I think about it, I just think how much work it's going to be and how annoying the crying is going to be and wonder if I'll be able to handle the stress of kids and working. I don't understand what's wrong with me. This was planned and totally intentional. I was so happy when I found out I was pregnant, and I was so excited the first time. What's my problem? Did anyone else feel this way?
I have yet to have a miscarriage so in that aspect, I can't relate to you. I'm experiencing my first pregnancy, just entering the second trimester and I am not at all as thrilled as every other new mom I bump in to seems to be.
It's a planned pregnancy, much to my co-workers surprise who have been recently lecturing me on practicing safer sex in the future so this won't happen again. However, I can't help how I feel. I'm not one of those overly emotional women that fall in love with a pee stick as soon as I get a plus sign. I've seen the blob on the ultrasound, I've heard it's annoying little heartbeat over the doppler, and I have no desire to really see or hear it again until it's out.
All of the parenting books for fathers I've been reading say it's perfectly fine to not like the thing until it's out and you've spent time with it, but when it comes to mothers, if you don't love it instantly you have postpartum depression.
I see no reason to worry. Just because you don't want to slap everyone in the face with your ultrasound pictures or tell everyone exactly how many weeks and days along you are when they even hint at not knowing, doesn't mean squat. You'll be excited when you want to be excited. For now, I think you're just being realistic and honest, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
You are probably being more realistic than most mothers-to-be in thinking of all the hard work the new baby will involve, and possibly (if it's your first child) not so aware of how the incredible joy of motherhood will make the difficulties feel worth their while when the time comes...
But I think it is quite common to feel rather low during pregnancy (I did), and I know that there is such a thing as 'pre-partum depression'... although this is not necessarily what you have, of course. But you may want to discuss it with your doctor or midwife, if only for a bit of emotional support. Your midwife will definitely know what you are talking about.
The other thing that you could do when you feel overwhelmed about how hard work it will be and when you worry about the crying, is plan ahead and take positive action, i.e. prepare a support network for yourself (friends, family, childminder etc. with whom you can start discussing how involved they will want to be, who would be able to have the baby a couple of hours once a week so you can have a nap or go out, etc.), plus discuss with your partner how you can organise the night shifts etc. In other words, plan your life now so that you know that there will still be something left for you, and that your old life and self won't vanish overnight. Because maybe that's what you are scared of right now...
I don't have any urges to post a million pictures of my belly or show people ultrasound pictures. I don't want to dream up a million names and go baby shopping. I don't even really want to talk about it with people.
One more thought. Bear in mind that for a significant number of parents, their child is a symptom of their own narcissism.
i know what!
maybe, if you went to some special maternety exercise class, and met other mothers,
got a henna tattoo on your belly
you'd be more excited :]
its ok if your not overly excited though. blame it on the hormones :p
We had secondary infertility and I thought I'd be so thrilled. I was more worried about the money and balancing my life than excited for parts of my pregnancy. It is amazing that new life can grow inside of us, but sometimes the other realities of life take that amazement away. Now that my baby's here, I'm much more excited, but it can take time to fall in love with these little people.
I agree with talking to your midwife or doctor because they've probably heard this many times and could give you support that is unique to your other support available.
Finally, keeping perspective helped me. This is probably our last pregnancy, so I have been trying to enjoy or at least reflect on the small details. I don't want to miss anything due to my occasional lack of excitement.
Original Post by nat1968:
In other words, plan your life now so that you know that there will still be something left for you, and that your old life and self won't vanish overnight. Because maybe that's what you are scared of right now..
Wow, you just gave me a light-bulb moment. That IS what I'm really afraid of. How could I not realize that? I don't want to turn into someone who has no life and no personality and nothing to talk about but their kids. I see that so much and it's really sad. It's wonderful to be devoted, but what happens when your kids grow up and move out? And you wonder what you did with the last 20 years of your life, and you feel empty and depressed and don't know what the hell you're supposed to do now? Yeah, that is very scary to me. I don't want to give up my dreams.
I agree with you also that babies are often a symptom people's narcissism. I think that is why I don't want to talk about it, probably because most people will not shut up about it and I think that's self-centered and very unattractive.
cellulitedelight, I am sort of that way too--not an overly-emotional woman. Overly sappy, cheesy stuff turns my stomach. When my mom saw the ultrasound, she put her hand on my leg and said something about "God's miracles" or something and I wanted to barf.
Original Post by huggitbear:
I don't want to turn into someone who has no life and no personality and nothing to talk about but their kids. I see that so much and it's really sad. It's wonderful to be devoted, but what happens when your kids grow up and move out? And you wonder what you did with the last 20 years of your life, and you feel empty and depressed and don't know what the hell you're supposed to do now? Yeah, that is very scary to me. I don't want to give up my dreams.
Well, you don't have to turn into someone like that. You can have children and still have a life of your own. This will be healthy for both yourself and your child. Children whose parents focus all their attention and dreams on them have a very heavy weight to carry. They have little breathing space, little space to develop in their own time, their own way...
A mother who also has a social and/or professional life can be a fantastically positive role model for their child. I wouldn't go as far as to say that I am a fantastically positive role model for my children (far from it!), but I certainly believe that they like to see me as a fulfilled individual with a life of my own. They like to know what I do and they are proud of it. And I also think that it is important for my boys, but especially for my little girl, to see that women do not have to be more tied to the home than the rest of the family.
Of course, it is difficult to combine mothering and having a life outside, but I think it is equally as difficult to be a 'stay at home' mother. Having a life besides your child gives you a breather. Being fully and solely immersed in your child's life can be emotionally exhausting.
I think you also have a point about the dangers of investing all of your being into your children's lives. When they leave home, there is a huge gap to fill and this can be very daunting indeed. It's not so much that you wonder what you did in the last 20 years, because that's quite clear, but you have to find new ways of having a fulfilling life. Many mothers do. Some don't...
So it's all your choice really, and what is exciting is that you can start thinking about what kind of mother you are going to be, and how you will be able to enjoy the pleasure of nurturing your beautiful child while still being you. It is likely that your emphasis and perspective will shift slightly once your little one is born, but you don't have to lose yourself in your child.
I think there are a lot of emotions that come along with a pregnancy. Some women are very very happy; and some women approach it with trepidation, and some women are super-duper petrified of having a new baby in their life.
When I found out I was pregnant I was ecstatic. Wasn't planned, but I was married and 30 so I was like...OK! But I had moments of pure unadulterated FEAR of- What am I going to do w/ a baby?! What if it cries all the time? How am I going to shower??? Bad vivid dreams- it was scary!!! But I will admit to hugging my "bumb" all the time and putting her sonogram pic in a frame on my desk- although I didn't fly it in front of anyone's face.
There is NO wrong way to feel when you find out your pregnant. For some women it is an long emotional journey just to GET pregnant. Others tend to be nervous becuase of past pregnancies that led to miscarriages and are fearful of having that happen again. Just so long as you do everything to keep you and growing baby healthy; you'll be fine. It's human nature to question, ponder, daydream and think.
Your growing baby is attached to you and no one else. not wanting to show off pics, growing bellies is completely normal. It's like you have a little secret being all to yourself until they make their arrival.
There are all kinds of ways that you can to enjoy your pregnancy- calmly, loudly, dramatically- this is YOUR time before the baby arrives- and your life is going to drastically change. But in the next few months; you'll most likely develop a tiny voice in your mind that talks to your little one- and now is the time to really pamper and take care of you- becuase once your little wee one is here; they will be your focus, your life, your one person that LOVES YOU UNCONDITIONALLY- no matter what.
Good Luck Ladies! I'm thinking of you. :)
Do NOT feel bad. I went through the exact same thing. In fact, after my son was born, AFTER the postpartum hormonal crap cleared up, I seriously started thinking there was something terribly wrong with me. I just felt like I was going through the motions of being a mom. I didn't want anything to happen to my son, but I felt like a terrible person because I didn't love my son the way I thought a mom ought to. It took a long time and the support of other moms to help me realize that just because it wasn't love-at-first-sight with me and the munchkin, that didn't make me some sort of monster.
My son will be turning two in July. As he gets more like a PERSON and is learning to comunicate, talk, reciprocate affection, etc. my feelings towards him are shifting also. This may sound kind of glib, but he's getting "easier" to love the older he gets.
However you're feeling about the baby/pregnancy/life in general is FINE. Do NOT beat yourself up for not being giddy. Frankly, I think that means your a bit more sensible about the whole thing then many women. (Though there's obviously nothing wrong with them for being happy, either.) You'll have all sorts of support from the nurses, etc. at the hospital and hopefully from your mate when you get home. There are people to talk to, if you need to. You're fine, sweetie. Just hang in there. It WILL get better. I promise.
You probably aren't so bubbly because you are a lot more realistic than many pregnant women.
Don't get me wrong, I love my girls...but sometimes, when I see dreamy, glowing pregnant women telling me all their wonderful plans and showing me pictures of their perfect nurseries, I worry about them a bit. Because they don't have a handle on the nature of what is about to happen to them. As my mother has always said, 'there is no person more naive than a woman who is pregnant for the first time.'
You seem less naive, which means that the baby's arrival won't hit you so hard.
Good news! You'll find that many of those glowy, pregnant women come right back down to earth after the baby is born. I recommend finding post-partum mother's groups so you have other moms of newborns to talk to...for the first two or three months, I didn't want to talk to anyone who DIDN'T have a newborn, because I was a bit miserable and got quickly tired of people expecting me to be over the moon.
There are plenty of things to feel guilty about furing motherhood :) . Fight that tendency now. Don't feel bad because of how you feel. You are just fine, and you will love your little one (and be driven crazy by him or her) as much as more naive women.
I listened to co-workers rave about how wonderful it was to be pregnant and thought I had missed something. Second time around was just as tiring and even worrisome when I thought about finances.
My personality did a "180" after my first child as I thought a parent should be serious and responsible, etc. It took 5 years to find the old me and I'm glad I did. As per the previous post, you can still be a wonderful mom who is a role model with a dynamic personality and outgoing social life and successful career and still be a mom.
Just because you aren't jumping for joy at the moment, doesn't mean you are not normal. :) And yes, you will love them more each day. I also know that you need to enjoy them while you can as they grow up quickly. It seems like a year or two ago, but my kids are now in their teens.
THANK YOU! You're all wonderful! I think you're all right. I'm just worried that people will think I don't want the baby with the way I'm acting. Hopefully they will just assume I'm a private person
I wonder if having unrealistic expectations for baby during pregnancy is a contributing factor to postpartum depression. I don't think I'm going to have that problem, probably because I am expecting that, at least for a while, it will be a pretty unpleasant time.