I'm new around here, and this is my first post.
I'm currently in my third trimester, and I'm starting to feel very anxious about giving birth and becoming a parent.
Before we got pregnant, I understood that pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood is no picnic, but I looked forward to the challenge of bringing a child into the world and expected that despite its difficulties, it would be a time full of joy, happiness, fulfillment, etc.
I have been doing a fair amount of reading, researching, and talking to a lot of other new moms and dads throughout my pregnancy. The more I learn, the more overwhelmed I'm feeling. Like there's this big secret that I'm just fully understanding, now—that having a child and the resulting transition into parenthood is actually an incredibly negative experience. I don't doubt that the physical pain of labor and delivery is life-altering, but there are so many things that I didn't realize I could have to deal with. Severe (4th degree!?) tearing, a traumatic birth, an intense physical recovery period, being emotionally unstable for months/PPD. I also didn't know that breastfeeding is so mindblowingly painful, grueling, and wrought with issues.
I'm not sure I fully understood that I will actually no longer sleep...that I'll be awake at least every 2 hours on a round-the-clock basis for a very extended period of time.
It also seems that relationships suffer terribly after having a first child, and the thought of losing the solidarity of what my husband and I have built is giving me a lot of anxiety as well. We are such a good team and we both go above and beyond for one another, but it feels inevitable that in six months to a year, we will each be at our limit of stress and want nothing to do with each other.
Basically, I'm feeling a little distressed at how negatively my life will change. And maybe it doesn't seem so bad once the love for your child is factored into the mix, but right now I'm feeling all "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?" and it's only 9 weeks 'til D-Day!
Have any of you found that your life was more positive after giving birth? Does it get better, and if so, how long did it take? Were you prepared for most of the challenges you faced and if not, did it make it harder that you were not prepared? Is it not really that bad and I just happen to hear about all the negatives?
Thanks for reading!
kiwi / 698 posts
Life changes in so many ways. Some negative, but also some so positive you don't understand them until you experience them. Honestly, it sounds crazy, but hearing your baby laugh for the first time, watching them discover the world around them, seeing their face light up when you walk in the room... It's these things that get me through the challenging times. I'm 5.5 months postpartum and the first few months (like the first 4 I would say) had a lot of low moments where I just felt so overwhelmed, but that's pretty normal. Even still, there are days when I think "Oh my God. Life used to be so easy!" but despite that, I really would not change things for the world. My daughter is the light of my life and I can't wait to see who she becomes.
cantaloupe / 6869 posts
Some or many of those things can happen when you have a baby but for every negative you listed, there is someone who has experienced the opposite. Some babies sleep through the night early. Some women have an easy time breastfeeding. Not all relationships suffer. Some of the difficult parts of child rearing are hard to hear but here's the bright side, it will be one of the most amazing things you've ever done and you'll be so proud of yourself for figuring it out and doing what works for you. Every day gets better and better and I don't regret having a child for a minute. Most pregnant ladies go through this "what did I get myself into" moment but you'll get past it.
pear / 1622 posts
@MrsGeePerez: welcome! My LO just turned one and this has been the best year of my life and for DH too. I think we all worry if we are or are not going to be the best parents for our kids. It's amazing to see how life with child shapes us. My DH was amazing from the very beginning with LO and helping me with postpartum recovery. We had no idea what we were doing - we took a few classes but we had never babysat or spent much time with babies. Figuring it out together is fun.
I only needed to get up every 2 hours for a few weeks and then it stretched to four and by the time I went back to work at 8 weeks I only got up once a night for LO. Shortly after that he slept through the night. Sure there are bad hours or days but seeing LO grow and develop and knowing how that is because of your love is amazing.
nectarine / 2521 posts
My advice is to not take to heart anything anyone says the first 6 months. If you had spoken to me the first 3 months, it was not good at all. And then I LOVED 4-12 months of babyhood and it was a lot of fun. You'll have nights you will cry and wonder why you had a kid, and then you'll have many nights you stare at them in their crib asleep and feel your heart will explode.
To be fair, not everyone has a bad experience, but the lack of sleep and figuring out babies is tough. It does get better. And then tough. And then different and better, then back to tough. There are so many stages. The best advice I can offer is to give yourself a lot of grace (which I didn't) and give yourself permission to rely on others.
And you will change. Having a baby has brought me to extreme highs and lows, and I've emerged different. It's changed relationships with friends and family, and made my DH and I be more honest and open with each other. Wishing you lots of luck in your soon to be new life with LO!
grapefruit / 4731 posts
This was a very well written post.
"Like there's this big secret that I'm just fully understanding, now—that having a child and the resulting transition into parenthood is actually an incredibly negative experience." <- *THIS* I think it's a good start that you understand this.
I think I was one of the rare lucky ones that my marriage got better with kids.
Before kids it felt like I was doing everything (cooking, cleaning and working full time on top of that – I didn’t really mind, I tend to like things a certain way) and when we had our first… it was hard!! Very hard!! I couldn’t do it *all* anymore. To my amazement my husband stepped it up and did things without me asking. We became an even more united front to take care of this tiny human that needed us. My love for him grew even more!
For us we agreed on almost everything when it came to raising our kid. Sure we have some disagreements on some things. Overall though having kids for us was a very positive experience.
I guess I want to say don’t worry!
nectarine / 2208 posts
I remember in the weeks leading up to my dd's arrival when people asking me if I was ready telling then I wanted her to wait as long as possible because I knew how to take care of her there! But 8 months in, it really hasn't been as hard and life changing as I expected. Yes, I'm more tired and have less time to myself, but I'm still me, and having dd around doesn't hurt either!!
honeydew / 7283 posts
Becoming a parent is absolutely life-changing and so wonderful and challenging at the same time. I think that there is a big focus on the difficulties in many online forums because it is so helpful for new parents (myself included!) to know that other people are experiencing challenges as well. When I had my first child it sometimes felt like the whole world expected me to feel amazingly happy all the time, and it was such a relief to hear that I wasn't the only one who didn't always feel that way.
I did have a difficult transition to motherhood, but I absolutely would not change anything for a second. I even chose to go through it again and have my son!
As far as relationships go - I miss the time that I used to have alone with my husband, but I absolutely have never loved him more. I knew that he was a great husband - but he is an absolutely wonderful father and that has deepened my love for him so much. We can't always focus on each other as much as we would like, but we are on the same team raising our two children.
As far as labor and delivery go - meh. I actually had very good experiences with minimal pain (yay epidural!) and relatively easy healing. I think that people are less likely to talk about experiences like this out of respect people who have had difficult deliveries and who are looking for support. This probably applies to a lot of issues - there isn't as much discussion about good experiences because where you really need the camaraderie is when you are having a tough time.
Basically - you're going to have great moments and you're going to have challenging moments. You're already on the right path by joining this community! Join the thread for your due date month if you haven't already. It makes all the difference to be talking to people who are going through the same thing that you are!
nectarine / 2765 posts
I'm on my phone so please excuse my rambling sentences... What you're feeling is completely normal! It is a huge life change but it's also exciting and a ton of fun along the way. Yes, it's extremely exhausting and there were nights (ok, months, I had twins that didn't want to sleep) that seemed like I was going to lose my mind from lack of sleep, however, nothing is permanent and it got better. As for the delivery, mine was easy and uncomplicated as was the recovery. I will be honest, I have a very distinct memory of looking at my twins and thinking "Oh my god, what have we done?! Our lives are over. Have we made a terrible mistake?" I'm not saying this to stress you out further, just to say that it's totally normal to have those feelings and it will pass. Having said that, my girls are 21 months and absolutely a joy to have. An exhausting joy, but I can't imagine loving two little ones more. For me, it doesn't get much than hearing them giggle & their big belly laughs, watching them learn and discover new things and hearing them talk for the first time...it definitely isn't all negative, the positive definitely outweighs it and makes it all worth it Parenthood can seem daunting but just take it day (or minute) by day and you'll do great.
nectarine / 2054 posts
Welcome! It's great that you're reading a lot to prepare, but you've found the major downside of too much reading - you hear all the horror stories! You may find this thread helpful: http://boards.hellobee.com/topic/anyone-love-the-newborn-phase#post-2195661
There are many of us who enjoyed the newborn phase (and all the other phases), and had relatively easy babies - sleeping through the night after a couple months, generally happy and easygoing - and whose marriages are just as great after kids than before (with an added dimension even). Not to say it's fun 100% of the time, but for every negative story there's probably a positive story too. And it's great that you found this community, where you can share the good and the bad/frustrating/annoying!
persimmon / 1188 posts
I think you are right to be nervous about parenthood. It is an overwhelming responsibility but truly does bring overwhelming joy. I have never second guessed my decision to become a mother- and would not be ashamed to admit if I did. I just am his mom and it's completely changed my life and my perspective on so much. My relationship with my husband hasn't really changed. We're tired and sometimes crankier but we've continued to bond through our dedication to our family.
I feel like the lack of sleep is something you can't even really imagine until you're in it. It's painful but you'll survive it.
coconut / 8079 posts
Hi and welcome! I think it's very normal to feel a little overwhelmed by all the changes that are coming. Do you have family or friends close who will be able to help you at all?
Our LO is 16 months and I wasn't sure what to expect, but despite some major health issues, he has been such an easy baby. DH and I are still doing great. We went out for our 5th anniversary in June and I asked him to tell me five favorite memories of our five years of marriage. Immediately he said the day we brought LO home from the hospital. I knew it was special for both of us, but it took me by surprise that he mentioned that first. I love watching him with our son. There are days we don't get enough sleep or don't get to do things we used to, but it's so worth it!
blogger / pineapple / 12381 posts
My transition to motherhood was wholly positive. Were there some hard days? Oh yes.
But I endured it all gladly for the greater cause. Unspeakable magic happened when we brought our first daughter into the world. My life expanded in new and beautiful ways.
The first six weeks of breastfeeding was horrendous. Just awful, and yet I'd do it all again in a heartbeat!
GOLD / wonderful pea / 17697 posts
Having a child *is* life-altering. My pregnancy and labor and delivery were far from ideal, but I'm actually looking to doing it again. A lot of women have super easy births (my SIL is about to have her 6th baby, in part because her birth experiences have always been a breeze). I had zero trouble breastfeeding...he latched on correctly right away, we never had any latch or supply issues, and the only pain I ever felt was when I was overly engorged.
I was up a lot at night at first, but he slept in our room for the first 6 months, so I barely had to wake up to feed/change him. I actually got more sleep after he was born because when I slept I actually *slept*, I didn't just toss uncomfortably from side to side before getting up for the billionth time to pee.
I was overwhelmed, but mostly in a positive way. I definitely had times when I had to put him in his crib screaming while I walked outside to take a breather, but those times were rare.
My marriage did get strained, but there were other underlying factors, like my husband not being fully on board with me being a SAHM...he felt a lot of pressure being the only breadwinner, and I felt resentful that he "got a break" at work. But even when at the worst of it we still felt more strongly bonded as a team than we ever had. Our marriage is far more solid after having a kid than it was before. In our particular situation, I'm much happier being a WOHM than I was a SAHM.
I did feel like I was in the trenches the first few months, but I look back on it positively. Maybe it's just the benefit of time...
I think it's good to prepare yourself for a not-ideal experience, but try not to stress about it. You may just as easily have an easy birth, get an infant who STTN early with no problems breastfeeding, and you'll fall even more in love with your SO as a dad.
I found it important that my husband be aware of the symptoms of PPD. I made sure I took a shower every evening after D got home...I don't understand moms who say they can't shower for days. D took him for a half hour (or however long I needed) while I took a long bath with a book or a hot shower. If the baby was crying he could take care of it, it's his kid too, and I needed time to feel like me.
Try not to make yourself a mommy martyr. If you're getting bitter and resentful about getting up with the baby, have dad change the baby and bring him to you to nurse in bed. A child can definitely be marriage-straining, but try to make a conscious effort to be a team, because you need to be.
Accept help whenever it's offered. I never had any hesitation letting my MIL take E for an hour or two so I could take a nap, or go get coffee and a pedicure, or whatever other me time I needed.
It is an overwhelming experience, but it isn't automatically a negative one, and it shouldn't be. My kid is great. I know all moms say that, but I really love the hell out of my kid. He just turned three, and brings *so* much joy to my life. My marriage is solid, and I'm very legitimately *happy*. (We'll see what happens with DD gets here at Christmas, though )
grapefruit / 4988 posts
You are already one step ahead of most by thinking about some of these things. I will be honest and say that the first year of parenting was definitely one of the hardest periods of my life, however I also feel like my life is better now. It is just different. I don't get as much sleep, I can't relax on weekends or go out with DH to dinner on a whim, but I have this amazing little person in my life who gives me moments of pure joy every single day. One thing that helped alot I think was that before LO was born, DH and I really sat down and talked about how we were a team and we were going to split the parenting equally. Whenever things get tough, we repeat to each other "we're a team" and it really makes it easier. I feel like our marriage is stronger than ever and I love seeing him as a father.
I think one of the most important lessons I have learned in the past couple years is knowing that all the early stuff is just a phase, and it really does go by quickly. I had a cranky newborn, and these early days were tough. There was a point when we thought we would never sleep again. But of course we did, and now we are "looking forward" to sleepless nights again with #2. If parenthood was really that bad, we wouldn't be doing it again!
nectarine / 2047 posts
Great post and very timely. I'm due in November with our first and have had these thoughts many times. I have really enjoyed reading the responses, so thank you! I think the biggest takeaway for me is two-fold: being on the same "team" as your partner is crucial and time - for better or worse - is fleeting.
If you are due in November, please come join us!! http://boards.hellobee.com/topic/november-2015-moms/page/26#post-2280251
cherry / 237 posts
Transitioning to parenthood has been, by far, the most difficult thing I've ever done. But! I'm a far stronger, more awesome, better person for having gone through it, and I'm so glad I'm THIS person now and not just an older version of who I was before. Yes, it's hard. Yes, it's uncomfortable at times, even painful -- emotionally and otherwise. Yes, my marriage has had to adapt as well. But for us, all of those changes and adaptations and difficult times have strengthened our commitment to each other, to being the kind of people and parents we want to be, to living a life we feel amazing about & in. So yeah, some phases can be negative or just plain hard to get through; but, like tempered steel, all of that plunging through fire makes everything so much stronger, more flexible, more resilient. Which is totally worth it, to me.
pomelo / 5093 posts
Ugh, I hate to hear this. I feel like this is the result of our current parenting oversharing culture - people get terrified that it is all terrible, all negative, all just the worst choice anyone ever made. Well, it usually isn't. I had all of the usual struggles, but I'd still say that my transition to motherhood was easy and pretty pain free. Maybe it will be for you, too.
I was infertile - so I got medical help to overcome it. Then I had a long crummy induction and missed out on the natural birth I wanted - which was really disappointing, for sure, but then I grieved it and moved on. Then my baby was in the nicu and wouldn't nurse - so I got help and we figured it out eventually.
I had some tearing and it sucked, and then it healed. I got stretch marks, and that sucked, and then I got over it. I gained some weight and then lost it. The sleep was not good, no, but it didn't kill me. My husband and I, yeah, we had a lot of work to do to redefine our roles and to make sure that we were sharing the load and all of that. And it was hard, for sure, but once we did that work we had a marriage that was ten times stronger and better.
All of this to say that yeah, it will be hard, but it is not usually terrible. None of those experiences are universal, and this absolutely terrible, awful experience of parenting is not the norm by any mean. If you have good support (spousal, family, social circle), if you have the ability to figure out what is working and what is not, and if you have the ability to cede control and to accept help - you will be fine.
Also, giving birth hurts like hell, but then it's over.
persimmon / 1367 posts
I have totally been where you are right now. I read a million articles, books, blogs and memes that all basically added up to "motherhood sucks, breastfeeding is awful but you have to do it, and this will make your marriage fall apart." I was so freaked out that I started telling my husband all the things I was reading to prepare him for how awful the first year of LO's life would be...and he laughed at me! Well, we fought back and forth about it for a couple of months, and I even made him ask his friends with kids what it was like. I was sure they'd all say "my wife is crazy and this sucks," and have a million stories about how awful this time of their life was and that he should prepare himself. Again the joke was on me, they all had one or two negative things to say about how hard it all was, but mostly they talked about how great and magical it was. I chalked it up to the fact that their wives must have done all the work and they were not remembering the facts.
And then LO showed up. It was HARD...but I could handle it. And my husband stepped up to help. And she was magical.
A few months in, my husband reminded me of all the conversations before LO was born, and I started to understand that not every mom/dad/family has all the challenges. Most of us just get one or two. Lo is amazingly happy, but slept like crap. My mood was great, even when sleep deprived, but I couldn't exercise at all. I realized that reading about every possible challenge made me think I would have them all, instead of just being prepared for the 2 or 3 I would encounter.
So...hugs to you! You won't have every challenge, but will be ready for what comes to you. And read the threads about the fun stuff, cause there's a lot.of that too!
grape / 95 posts
Thank you all so much for your thoughtful responses! What a nice welcome to the boards!
I really appreciate all of your kind and straightforward advice, and I'll try to remember it for when things get tough/scary/desperate. It's relieving to know that many of your marriages have strengthened even more and that seeing your husbands as fathers adds a whole new dimension to the love you have.
I also have family support and know my parents will be around to help as much as they can. My in-laws are wonderful, but they live halfway around the world so they won't be here physically.
A few years ago, I went though a really sad experience with the "loss" of a sibling to a tragic accident (he is still alive; but he can't speak, eat, move, and is 100% dependent on caregivers). It was an extremely difficult time in my life and a huge upset to everything I thought I knew about life and about myself. I was in the hospital almost every single day for over a year, and as much as it sounds like an entirely negative experience, I came out on the other side so incredibly grateful for what I had learned. The painful transition I went through to accept what happened and to embrace a new way of life made me a much stronger person and I have all these positives to show for a period that seemed, at the time, overwhelmingly dark and negative.
Many of your posts reminded me that the hardest changes are the most meaningful. I'm hoping that if it does end up being too much to handle at times, I can draw on my past experiences and remind myself that nothing is permanent.
Thanks again and I am looking forward to posting here!
persimmon / 1367 posts
@sarac: this, 100%
grape / 95 posts
@sarac: that article that came out recently, the one that stated that "parenthood is worse than divorce, unemployment, even death..." was really disturbing to see posted all over social media as a pregnant first-timer! I tried to shrug it off but that stuff sticks in your mind if you are getting ready to go through it yourself.
@Rocker2014: It's definitely reading/hearing about all the negative experiences and trying to prepare myself by accepting that they will probably happen to me. My poor husband has heard every one of them from me, too, but he does a pretty good job of letting them slide off.
I'm over here preparing for battle.
grapefruit / 4355 posts
Life changes in so many ways but I don't consider any changes since the birth of our first LO 3 months ago to be negative! DH and my relationship is stronger than ever! It is amazing working together to take care of this tiny child.
And I also think there is a lot of fear that people try to instill in new parents that just unfounded for many people. Nothing about my birth went according to plan but I'm none the worse for it. I ended up with a c-section after a failed induction and felt fine with 24-36 hours and was playing tennis a month later.
DD slept in 3+ hour stretches from day 1 (and that has increased steadily since to where at 3 months, 7-8 hours at night isn't uncommon). And if breast feeding doesn't work for you for whatever reason, you can formula feed! After trying to both breast feed and exclusively pump, DD is now formula fed and thriving!
So basically, don't let all the horror stories make you anxious and stressed! Life with a new baby can be wonderful!
pomelo / 5093 posts
@MrsGeePerez: Yeah, I read that, and honestly - it offended me. Worse than unemployment, and worrying if you're going to lose your home? Worse than divorce, and losing your spouse? No, not for a second. My father died three years ago, and that emotional strain was an entirely different universe than parenting.
Some people will certainly feel this way. Some babies have colic, some women have bad PPD, or painful recoveries. Some babies sleep terribly for months. But to suggest that this is the average? No. Not at all. Every baby and every transition to motherhood is difficult, but not every one is devastating. Not even most. Everything in my life is better after becoming a parent. No, it didn't happen overnight, but it did happen.
cantaloupe / 6669 posts
I love this TED talk about parenting. They explain that parenting is an experience with the highest of highs and lowest of lows. I'd rather have the roller coaster than a boring life without my amazing kid.
Just an hour ago I told my husband: "Her love is like crack. I just feel invincible when she says, I love you mommy." The newborn stage was very hard but it was so worth it to get to be a mom.
GOLD / wonderful pomegranate / 28905 posts
@MrsGeePerez: "I'm over here preparing for battle". good analogy.
So, here's the thing. People like to complain. It's in our nature. We complain that our child is a terror, our baby woke up 6-7x last night, our baby won't eat solids, our toddler screams all the time and won't listen, etc. but very rarely do you hear parents talk anoint the good stuff. I think it's almost like we're afraid to or we don't want to "gloat".
Parenting IS hard. My first born was super high needs, colicky, cried constantly for the first 4m and didn't STTN till over one. I was waking up every 1-2 hours for a good 8 months. But in between all that there was so much joy that comes only from parenthood. Whe your baby gives you that gummy grin there is just nothing else in the world that compares. That unconditional love and dependence on you for everything is just about an elixir of life.
It is hard on your marriage. God bless those with easy kids. But if you're like most of us that don't have it, then that first year will be one of the hardest of your marriage. But in so many ways it will make your marriage stronger. You will love your husband in many more ways that you never thought possible.
It's a crazy ride, but it's the best there is!
GOLD / wonderful pomegranate / 28905 posts
@sarac: agree. I've been laid off twice. Once when my baby was 4m and we just bought a new house and once when I was pregnant with #2. So, uh, no.
hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25556 posts
@MrsGeePerez: Sounds like you're pretty well researched. your fears are totally valid.
Have you read up much on how wonderful parenting is? There are so many times that make everything worth it.
-when your baby snuggles against your while they are feeding (breast or bottle)
-when your baby falls asleep on your chest and your hand is 3" away from your phone but you'd rather sit there bored out of your mind than move that sweet smelling baby.
-when your baby says mommy or mama or mummy for the first time.
-what you hold this infant and realize you made him/her.
-when your child hurts him/herself and the only person who can comfort them is you.
-when they smile and laugh at and with you.
-when they start doing things that make you stand back and say, wow. I'm so proud of you.
Motherhood is wonderful. Sure, there's a lot of stuff to get through but it is so worth it.
pomegranate / 3230 posts
Honestly, for me parenting an infant was really hard. There is a ton of drudgery involved. I was pretty happy to go back to work because I found it tedious in addition to exhausting. The effort-to-reward ratio was way too high, and I really wondered if we had made a mistake.
Things started to get better at around 7.5 months when my son started to crawl. That was the minimum level of interaction that I needed to feel like he was kind of fun to hang out with. It was still hard, but I could sort of see why people like parenting. But there was still way too much tedium.
My son is now 18mo and walks and talks learns new things every day and can tell us what he wants. And he has a sense of humor. I still find the chores boring and am happy that I can go to my office and let other people do the bulk of the grunt work like feeding and changing him. But now I think he's adorable and hilarious and fun to play with. I definitely think it was the right decision to have a baby now that he is a toddler!
The other thing that has been tough is that I just never felt like I could find time to clear my head. Babies are so demanding, and so is nursing, and I also have a demanding job. It felt impossible to find any time for myself, or even time to sit and think and organize my life in any way. I did things like forget to pay the credit card bills because I simply forgot, which is really unusual for me. I walked around with this vague feeling of desperation because I could not see any path out of this perpetual holding pattern of barely getting through each day.
A major side effect of this problem was that I really struggled to find time for exercise despite the fact that my body was really out of whack from pregnancy and labor/delivery. I have all these muscle imbalances and weaknesses that are causing me hip, back and knee pain. I have some weight gain too, but that is mostly cosmetic and secondary to the fact that my quality of life was suffering.
I finally weaned my son two months ago, and then last month I joined a gym. So after almost 18 months, I have now made time and space to tackle the issues outlined in the last couple of paragraphs. I was so excited to get this working. I finally feel like I can see how I will get my life back on track and feel less out of control. I feel so relieved because for a long time I did not know if that would ever happen.
I will probably still have a second child despite my concerns about repeating that overwhelmed feeling. But now I have learned that, while it may take awhile, I know that eventually I will fall in love with my child and carve out pockets of time for myself. I did not have that confidence or perspective the first time around, and that made it a really difficult experience. It is much easier to get through a challenge if you know that it is temporary.
I don't know if this is helpful, and it may not be what you were hoping to hear!
wonderful kiwi / 23653 posts
It will be okay! Big hugs to you
I think it's totally normal to be terrified b/c life does completely change! And I think often times we talk about the hardships so that we feet are set firmly on reality and that we can mentally prepare/brace ourselves.
DD is 9 months, and honestly, while the tough is tough, and your life is completely different, it is so true when people say the cliche "it's worth it". DD doesn't STTN. Am I tired? Heck yes. Do I miss me time? Heck yes. Can our marriage be better? Heck yes.
But I think you have to keep in mind the big picture; the toughest times is really not that long when you zoom out. And seeing your baby, holding your baby, knowing that they depend on you, watching them grow.. It really is worth every tear/every sleepless night.
clementine / 828 posts
I felt that way, and it has been so much easier than expected. I think part of the problem is over-researching, and especially reading about individual experiences online, because people are much more likely to post when things go badly than when they go well.
Job and money related stress has been much more stressful than having a child, although having a child does compound money worries.
I had a straightforward delivery with an epidural. I can't say it was extremely fun, but it was not the worst pain of my life by any stretch.
My recovery was extremely easy. 24 hours after birth I felt much better than I had during most of my pregnancy. I realize this is not typical, but it can happen. I was also very happy, and had absolutely no PPD. I think I was probably mildly depressed during my first pregnancy. I spent a lot of time thinking I had made a big mistake. My son, and are family of three, is the best thing that has happened to me. I am really excited to do it all again in January.
Breastfeeding was painful and time consuming, but did not present any real problems.
My son has slept at least a four hour stretch every night after I stopped waking him, which was at five days old, and he started doing some 8 hour nights at 7 weeks. By 4 months he consistently STTN. I think some of it was adrenaline, and some the not working, but I felt much better rested with a newborn than while pregnant. I also slept very soundly when I did sleep.
apricot / 288 posts
I love this post so much. I recently had these exact thoughts, and I still am in the early stages. I went from total confidence and excitement about pregnancy (and twins) to "holy hell what if I can't do this, etc etc." I'm trying to read less.... Much less. The majority of moms reiterate that it's hard but you figure out what works best for you. I'm still more scared of preparation and delivery complications than actually having no sleep/being a feeding machine/crying all the time (me and babies). I just want to give you a big hug and thank you for your honesty.
honeydew / 7622 posts
@MrsGeePerez: I did not read all the answers but I will give you some feedback. Overall it's been awesome. Sure I had GD and had an emergency induction for pre e that lasted 43 hours- that sucked. T had problems breastfeeding and ended up dehydrated at 5 days and in the PICU- that was difficult- it took 8 weeks and weekly appointments with a LC, but she's 6 months and our nursing relationship is going strong. Seeing M be a Dad and so silly and fun with our girl is the best. She laughs and grabs my face. So sweet. Sure some nights I'm up 2x with her, but sometimes she sleeps 11 hours. Our 9 year marriage is better than ever and now that we have a daughter I really feel like a family. Some days are a challenge, but most days are perfect and fun and amazing. Honestly I've never been happier. Chin up, you will find your groove.
Don't be scared to seek therapy if you are having a hard time, I regularly have seen one for the last year and it's really been good for me.
ETA I think you are hearing worst care scenarios about several important areas birth, work/life balance, breastfeeding, sleep etc. Realistically you will have problems in some of these areas- not ALL of them.
pea / 7 posts
The opposite of you, I feel like I was underprepared because no one really gave me negativity and I didn't read about it(just blocked it all out lalala) and everyone was actually really positive, so I felt like something was wrong with me when things were hard. I think you are smart to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I think I was naive in retrospect and that was a disservice to my sanity when things went downhill. It's okay for it to be hard and you will have a unique experience that no one else can exactly talk you though anyway. So, I think you have a good handle on it and it won't be as bad as you are anxiously accounting for since you are ready for everything that could go wrong and most of it probably won't. I remember feeling like everyone else knew something I didn't and that's not true, it's just that everyone has their own struggles and joys. We're all different and we have our own paths to walk. We should support each other instead of threateningly saying, "You'll see" because everyone is different and will react to the same scenario in different ways. Be kind to yourself! The hardest thing is accepting that some things are out of my control, as a mom and as a human being, but we have to try to surrender and find peace somehow. It does help to talk to people, but most of all, listen to yourself.
grapefruit / 4455 posts
@MrsGeePerez: I think the best thing is you have support. I didn't REALLY realize how hard these things were til I had my daughter, and had to do a lot of things on my own because my family lives far away, dh has a small family and most of them weren't there, and we hadn't lived here long so I didn't really have circle to lean on. I did have PPD/PPA which compounded everything. Even after all of that I'm about a month from having baby #2. Even if it gets hard, it gets better, and then awesome. I realized that I am just not so much a "baby person" (which I kind of already knew) but I loooooove the toddler stage, and am really enjoying dd at just about 3. And just because some of these things happen doesn't mean that all the negative parts will happen to you. Some might, some might not, some will be harder than others for you. And you do get to sleep again. Heck, some babies aren't up every 2 hours even in the beginning. You're smart for being aware of all this now, but also know that there are moments that I don't even think I can put into words. It's awesome!