Having a baby is weird. I mean think about it. You and your partner get a little busy one night and then a few weeks later BOOM there’s a person in there. It’s a lot to wrap your head around, especially if you’re like me and swore off having children.
Growing up I had two younger brothers. I was there when they were born, I changed their diapers, fed them, bathed them, took care of them while our parents were at work, everything. By the time we all became adults, I was over it. I didn’t see any reason to have kids.
I also always kind of thought that kids were creepy. On more than one occasion, seeing a pregnant person gave me a strong memory of the movie “Alien”. You know the one, where the thing pops out of her belly? Yep, that. Pregnancy always made me think of aliens and parasites. Not really the most maternal thoughts.
Babies were weird and I wanted nothing to do with them. And then my husband came along.
We had the talks in the beginning about not having children. He already had a daughter and I told him on a couple of occasions that he needed to be okay with her being his only child. He wanted kids, but he wouldn’t push me.
Fast forward 3 years, 2 moves, and 1 wedding and now we’re talking about a baby. I don’t know what happened. I went from never wanting kids to actually discussing the possibility. I blame it on the hormones.
I also began to feel more comfortable with the idea because of my husband. I felt comfortable enough in our relationship, as well as comfortable enough with him and his ability to be a father/help me out, that I began entertaining the thoughts.
So we started trying. Well, really more like stopped trying to prevent it. I have endometriosis, so having sex is hard (aka painful). It can also cause some infertility issues. I was off of birth control for nearly two years before we got pregnant. Even though we weren’t trying to stop a pregnancy, it was still a bit of a shock to the system when I found out that we were having a baby.
I don’t think it fully hit home until I found out that he was a boy. At that moment he went from being a thing to being my son. It was an amazing experience. It really was something that I never expected.
People used to tell me all the time that having a baby would change the way that I thought about babies. That really was something hard to believe. Here I was trying to unravel nearly 30 years of thinking. It was a lot to process.
I was also having some difficulty even believing that I could be a good mother since I spent the majority of my life not even liking kids. I thought that this would automatically make me a bad mother.
It took a lot of convincing on my husband’s part. And I still didn’t really believe it until J was born. Even now I’m still wondering if I’m doing this whole mom thing right. The only thing I really have to go on is baby J. He is happy and healthy and right now that’s all that really matters.
So for those of you like me out there, know that there is hope. Even if you don’t feel bonded to your baby right now while you’re pregnant, there is still time. Some women don’t bond with the baby even immediately after it is born, and that’s fine too. The one thing I heard time and time and time again is that every mom, every baby, and every pregnancy is completely different. Though I hated that statement, it is completely true.
How you feel about your baby and when it happens it unique to you. So don’t worry if you spend your whole pregnancy feeling like you have an alien growing inside you. I did. And don’t worry if you’ve had your baby and you still don’t feel this overwhelming love and devotion to it. It happens. This baby has turned your life upside down. It is okay to feel a little off about the whole thing.
Now if the off feelings continue, or if you feel like you might hurt the baby, then that is something else and you should talk to your doctor. Even then it is nothing to be ashamed about.
As moms we tend to spend too much time beating ourselves up for not being the perfect mom. Guess what? None of us are perfect and we probably never will be. We all have our struggles to go through and we are trying to figure it out the best way we know how.
So don’t feel guilty, and don’t beat yourself up if things aren’t going exactly how you planned. Nothing ever will. The sooner you can come to terms with that, the happier you will be.
Until then just remember to breathe. Relaxation is something we moms never really do. So try. Whether it is for an hour, 5 minutes, or just 30 seconds, go take some time for yourself. Wash your face, take a shower, do your nails, just do something for you that will make you happy. The laundry can wait. Other than the baby, the only other person you need to take care of is YOU.