Need reassurance – I feel so unprepared

posted 3 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 2
Member
1666 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

Melithehoneybee:  I’ll start by sharing with you what my mom told my cousin when she was expecting her first baby: every parent fails at something every single day. No parent is perfect at parenting, no matter how much they prepare. There will be times you get angry and yell at your kid when you swore you never would. There will be days when you let them watch TV longer than you ever thought you would because you were exhausted or had chores to do. And there will definitely be times when you just shrug your shoulders when you see your kid eat something off the floor or eat tons of sugar. No parent is perfect at parenting and there is no perfect formula for being a parent. All you can do is provide the baby with a safe, loving, and healthy environment to grow up in. If you remember that and keep that in mind it can help ease the anxiety a bit and take some pressure off your shoulders.

That said, there really is no way to fully prepare for a baby. You can read all the books there are, buy all the best equipment, and do everything that other parents and bloggers suggest – but nothing can prepare you for actually having a child, actually holding that tiny person for the first time and realizing they are completely reliant on you.

Remember that it is natural to feel scared and overwhelmed and it’s perfectly ok that you don’t have a really life-altering connection to your baby yet (a lot of women don’t get that connection during pregnancy).

My best advice? Focus on your health and soothing your anxiety – that means eating well, exercising, and doing things that relax you. Make a list of the absolute basics that baby needs (like diapers, food, some clothing, a basinette or crib to sleep in, etc) and then see about picking up some of those items. Your mom may be able to help you make that list and I’m sure other Bees would be happy to help out with that too.

I also suggest speaking with your OBGYN about your anxiety and how they suggest you try to prepare. They deal with pregnant ladies (and their concerns) all the time, so they should be able to help.

And remember that you have your FI as well. I’m willing to bet he is just as nervous and anxious about this as you are – speak with him about your fears and concerns and let him share his with you. It could help you both feel better to know that you aren’t the only one thinking these things and it could help remind you that you guys are a team.

Best of luck to you both! Congratulations on your (soon to be) little bundle of joy!

 

Post # 3
Member
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I don’t think any of us as FTM’s REALLY know what we are getting into. I mean, I have an idea but when this baby comes I’m sure I will be like SAY WHAT?! The only thing you can do for now is try to prepare, and know that you WILL make mistakes but you WILL also know what to do and figure things out.

A few things I would suggest. As far as choosing gear, read through lucieslist.com, and if you are into book “Baby Bargains” is very highly recommended. Know though that baby needs very little as far as material items go, in the beginning particularly. At a very basic level, they need food, diapers, a place to sleep and love. Oh and something to wear 😉

I read “Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn” and it was a very informative book that I would recommend, particularly regarding what to expect during childbirth and labor. Baby 411 is recommended as well for taking care of baby.

Also, take some classes in your area together! Wether through your hospital or an outside organization. Childbirth and newborn classes are a great way to meet other pregnant couples, and get a bit of an education about what you should expect as a couple. 

Congratulations!!

Post # 5
Member
83 posts
Worker bee

Melithehoneybee:  I can totally relate. I just entered my 4th month (14 weeks) with an unplanned pregnancy. We are just now getting married and I’ll be 6 months, it is not at all how I have planned my life! We live in a one bedroom apartment and my fiance is just finishing college and working part time jobs for close to no money. But I did look up a lot of info on having a baby in a small space and realized we’ll be fine, and so will you!!! You need to have faith in what you said and you WILL be a great mother because all that child needs is LOVE and a little bit of faith from both of you. Having two parents is already more than a lot of children have.

As far as products, don’t buy too much of anything yet. I read a lot of articles about having a baby in a small space and they have portable mini cribs and most newborns will sleep in a rock n sleeper next to your bed or in a pack n play for a while. They don’t need their own nursery. Here is an article on the minimalist guide to baby crap: http://benditlikebecker.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/the-minimalists-field-guide-to-baby-crap/. This article is on how to have less baby gear: http://www.thewisebaby.com/how-can-i-have-less-baby-gear/

You have several more months to go, there is time. I know, it feels like it goes super fast. I feel you!!

When you pick your OB and hospital go to a tour of the hospital and one baby care class to make yourself feel better…and message me if you need anything!

 

 You’re not in this alone, in more ways then one! 🙂

 

Post # 6
Member
889 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

First of all congratulations! I can imagine you’re stressed out. But then again – every first time parent will be confused an freaked out at some point about some thing. 

for is the pregnancy was not unplanned, but still sometimes I thought “do we even have an idea of what we got ourselves into” lol. It’s the biggest responsibility one could possibly have and worrying about whether you will do everything right just shows that you care for the baby and want the best for it. So that’s a good sign 🙂 

 

with  regards to the baby shower: it’s not a thing in Germany and the babies still get born healthy and happy 😉

and with regards to the space issue: we were supposed to move birdie DDD was born, but she’s 9 month old now and we still haven’t because the apartment is not getting ready. We’re living in a tiny place right now and with every new delay I got a new crisis thinking I could not possibly raise a child here. But guess what. We’re just fine. 

Alao you’re not even halfway through your pregnancy so don’t worry. You have enough time to catch up on any reading and buying stuff. 

Post # 7
Member
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Others have reassured you on many of the points that you brought up, but I wanted to speak to two of them: 

We have no space for a nursery/baby stuff. No judgment at all on those who do them–I love looking at them and would certainly do one if I had the space/money!– but babies do not need the glittering nursery/bedroom all to themselves, and please don’t feel bad that you can’t give him/her one. We live in a 975 sq ft 2 bedroom apartment. The second bedroom is stuffed to the gills as our shared office, and I wouldn’t want to put a baby in here anyway, as there are three windows and the temperature varies wildly (it can get really hot and/or really cold in here, depending on the day). So we decided to clear out the walk-in-closet in our bedroom and make that our nursery! We took the door off for air flow, put all our stuff that was in that closet into the second bedroom’s closet, painted and put in a crib and changing table, and are still working on decorating it further. It looks lovely, has just enough space for baby, and will be close to us without actually having us/baby staring at each other all day/night. I don’t know how much space you are working with, but maybe look into closet/mini nurseries! Here’s a link if you were interested: http://www.disneybaby.com/blog/put-baby-in-the-closet-20-small-space-nursery-ideas/

I won’t have a baby shower because I don’t have many friends where we live (I would only have a handful of people to invite). While, again, you don’t “need” a baby shower, you can totally still have one if you want, don’t let distance stop you! My husband and I live in Texas. We have NO family here, and the only friends we have are his fellow graduate students and their spouses. Everyone we know otherwise is back home in Ohio. My mom is thowing me the baby shower there and inviting everyone, and I am just flying back for it. Hopefully most of the guests know that I live far away and will give me money/gift cards/small things, but as far as getting the other stuff back to Texas, here is what we are doing: I am flying first class back, which comes with three free checked bags, so I am going to fit as much of the stuff I need immediately into those bags. My parents are going to drive the rest down to me when they come to visit in June, when the baby is due. We are also planning on having a little one for the few people we know here in May–not so much to get gifts, just to have a nice little get-together in honor of baby. 

I hope my stories help a bit, and you have TONS of time until that baby is born, please don’t worry about that. Just enjoy your pregnancy, stay healthy, and work through things one at a time. Congratulations!

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  geeky_bee.
  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  geeky_bee.
Post # 8
Member
7262 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

I have been in your shoes! We got pregnant with a honeymoon baby that was definitely not planned. We had wanted to wait a few years too. We both had difficulty accepting that we were about to be parents (DH more than me).

I never felt super connected to the pregnancy, and actually really hated being pregnant. I was very stressed throughout my entire pregnancy. We had just moved across the country from all of our family and friends, and were trying to figure out ways to get back to California.

Now that we have our 5 month old, I can’t imagine life without her! We love her so much, and it happened instantly. I had never even really held a baby before having DD, so I was surprised at how naturally being a mom came to me. I never thought I was very maternal, I never awed at other people’s babies, but it just feels right with my own baby.

Just some words of encouragement from someone who has been in your position!

Post # 9
Member
1666 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

Melithehoneybee:  I’ve heard that a lot of men have trouble connecting to the baby during the pregnancy. It makes sense that they would be less connected because they aren’t the ones physically carrying the little one. Has he been going to Doctor appointments with you? Has he been talking to your tummy or feeling for the baby at all? Maybe that could help a bit.

Heres a link to a WebMD article talking about ways to bond with your unborn baby. They have a few tips and stories about helping Dads bond too, so maybe that will help a bit.

And remember that a lot of parenting is just instinct. It’s scary thinking that this is something you can’t fully prepare for, but it’s exciting too – it’s a challenge, the best type of challenge that there is. I have no doubt you guys will be wonderful parents. 🙂

Post # 10
cherrypieBee
1059 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park

I would work on banishing the word “should” from your vocabulary — it does so much harm to our psyches to compare ourselves to others or to some nebulous concept about what we “should” feel or “should” be able to do. Value your experience for what it is, because that’s honest and true, and everything will fall into place. Being imperfect is fine. It’s great. It’s natural. Everyone has doubts and fears, and yours are FINE and TOTALLY NORMAL. Don’t worry too much about “should” outside of medical and basic necessities — just be who you are. 

Post # 11
Member
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Melithehoneybee:  you will be just fine! I had a surprise pregnancy as well and honestly have never had baby fever or felt maternal at all. Being a mother is the best thing to ever happen to me! Babies don’t need a whole lot you will be just fine! I did some research and read some things to try and prepare but honestly don’t really remember I use a darn thing I read! i follow my instinct and you figure it out as you go along. If there is one thing I would recommend it would be to watch the happiest baby on the block video of Harvey Karps. It can be found on YouTube i think. The 5 “S’s” are a god send for calming baby.

hang in there ad enjoy pregnancy. You’ll miss it when it’s over! You only get to be pregnant with your first baby once so tRy to make te most of it and nt worry too much. Everything will work itself out and be ok!

Post # 12
Member
1817 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Feel rest assured that no FTM feel prepared. I hadn’t even held a baby before my boys came along. I will say it comes so naturally! You can always take some parenting classes offered by your hospital. Also check out the book Baby Bargains. It is an amazing book to help you wade through the waters of baby stuff. It will help narrow down what you really need and don’t need.

You’ll do great! Good luck!

Post # 13
Member
863 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I had hypermesis during pregnancy, and I didn’t feel bonded to the baby at all – I was just trying to keep on trucking day after day. Once she arrived, I immediately felt bonded to her, and I still love her to bits! Most men, I think, don’t feel bonded with a baby when their wives are pregnant, so that’s not unusual. I think your feelings are totally normal, and there’s no long term effects of having them. 

Post # 15
Member
577 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Melithehoneybee:  Things will be okay. It will be even better than okay, because your child will be the best thing that has ever happened to you. 

We had a surprise honeymoon baby, and it happened at a very bad time for us. We had wanted kids in a couple years but I was in grad school and my husband was (and still is) at a job that requires him to travel out of town all week every week (so he’s only home on weekends), and we have no family and no friends nearby. I’m not going to lie, it was really, really hard. DD had colic as a newborn, and I ended up quitting grad school a few months after she was born to keep from going crazy. There went my life plan… yeah, that sucked. 

But things got easier as time went on, and our daughter brings us so much joy that it’s all worth it. She’s now over a year old and we couldn’t imagine our lives without her. She is so happy and she brings so much happiness to our lives.

I didn’t have a baby shower and we didn’t have anyone bringing us meals or helping us when the baby was born. But we got through it. I only read a couple of books when I was pregnant (because I was still in school at the time) and for the rest of the baby stuff, I just googled my fingers off every time something new came up. I learned just fine that way. No matter how much you read, you’ll still be unprepared when the baby comes because every baby is different and there’s just no way you can prepare for everything. I read a lot more about parenting now that I know my daughter and I know more specific issues to look for.

I don’t buy into all the “stuff” that our culture says babies need. Our nursery is a glorified walk-in closet that isn’t even big enough for a full-size crib and was never decorated. We bought most of our baby gear and clothing used, and it looks a little worn but it all functions just fine. I use a cheap canvas tote as a diaper bag and I’ve never felt the need to get a “real” one. I feel like a lot of parents these days spend too much time focusing on things anyway. 

Neither my husband nor I had ever held a baby or changed a diaper before we had DD. Seriously, the parenting instinct is real. Within days after she was born I knew just how to hold her, rock her, feed her, change her, and talk to her… I never knew how to talk to young kids before and I always felt awkward around them.

I joined a local moms’ group on Meetup and I take DD to playdates several times a week. You should look into local groups like that; it’s so great to get out of the house and meet new people, and we’ve made some good friends there. 

Make sure you spend some time focusing on your and your FI’s relationship, now and after the baby is born. The first year with a new baby is a really hard time for a relationship so you need to make it a priority and set aside couple time for the two of you. My husband and I went through some rough patches in DD’s first year because we were so tired and stressed, but we worked through them and it’s made us stronger than ever.

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