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Just 38 days until baby is due.. 
Abby

I'm not at all emotionally or mentally prepared for this. I am in no rush for this little darling to come into this world and I'm pretty overwhelmed tonight. I have my in laws staying with me from now until June 30th and I already can't breathe. As I was finishing my shower I realized I left a bowl in MY kitchen sink and all I can think of is I must get dressed so I can go down there to put it away so My MIL doesn't clean it. I have visions of her thinking I left it there for her to clean. NO thats just how I live but I temporarily forgot my house rules have changed into her house rules. Ahh. my hubby is out of town for another two weeks.

How do I prepare for this baby? I know nothing of babies and have never been around them before. I already love this little darling like I've never loved before but I have no idea how to care for it.

Any tips, links to good reads or just "you are not alone" would be great.

Thanks ladies!

Comments 
15th-May-2012 04:02 am (UTC)
37 days to go here ;)
I like this book http://www.amazon.com/Caring-Your-Young-Child-Edition/dp/0553386301/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337054400&sr=8-1 , of course, I don't actually know how useful it's going to be but it seems to help calm me down a little bit everytime I think 'what about .....'
You have my sympathy for having your in-laws staying with you for that long though, my MIL is the same, I cleancleanclean before she comes and she STILL manages to find something to clean while saying, 'oh, it's no trouble, you know me, I have to do something'. Gah!
15th-May-2012 04:27 am (UTC)
I felt the same way before my little girl arrived. I'd never been a baby person and had no idea how to change a diaper, bath a baby etc. You'll learn quick, it's not rocket science, so don't worry :) Just enjoy the weeks leading up if you can with the in-laws around.
15th-May-2012 04:31 am (UTC)
You can do this!! I felt the same way, never had babysat, wasn't really a baby person. :)

You are definitely not alone!
15th-May-2012 04:39 am (UTC)
Relax! You can do this.

NO thats just how I live but I temporarily forgot my house rules have changed into her house rules.

This, though, is a no-no! Its YOUR home, and if you don't lay that out from day one with your MIL, especially with a little one on the way, it will (likely) not end well. My ex's mother, and my fiance's mother, both had to be taught that - no, this is MY house and you WILL NOT intimidate me or make me feel uncomfortable in MY HOUSE - because they both tried to make it "their" space while they were there.

With a baby coming, you're already on edge. You don't need to feel uncomfortable because you left a bowl out! LEAVE A BOWL OUT! Its ok. :)
15th-May-2012 05:10 am (UTC)
I agree. If she says anything about "how you live" then I'd just let her know that you are doing your best right now. Have plenty on your plate and don't need to be criticized for A BOWL or A DISH or whatever else she might decide you dont do like her.

If it gets really stressful I would not be afraid to say something like "If it's not tolerable to live in my house the way I live as GUEST then I assure you there are plenty of hotels in the area that may be a more suitable choice." I'd say it to my mom or my in-laws if they started to harp on me and stress me out too much. Just try and relax and not let it stress you out, but also dont let them bully you into living a way thats not comfortable for you.
15th-May-2012 05:07 am (UTC)
My mother-in-law gave me the best piece of advice ever and I remember it every time I start to panic. I'm still early on in my pregnancy, but I feel the same way. I was around my nieces and nephews a little bit when they were little, but i was little too (age gaps with my siblings) so I never have cared for a baby and Im having twins so I have two to care for.

Her advice:

Just remember, you've never been a parent and they've never been a baby.

She said her first time being a mom was really her first time being around babies like at all and she remembered that and it really helped her to realize that like it's okay if you dont have it all down because the baby doesn't know how being a baby is either. You'll be okay.

The only book I really bought was the "what to expect when you're expecting" book. There are probably better books for when the baby is actually here, but one thing I would suggest is maybe some type of class that helps you feel more confident. A parenting class of some sort?

We're going to end up taking a parenting class for parents of multiples cause I've never had one, let alone two and that freaks me out. One was already a big deal.

Hope you start to feel less stressed/better.
15th-May-2012 05:25 am (UTC)
Deeeeeep breaths!

Dunno how your MIL is... my mom is the type who feels that she NEEDS to clean. I used to hate it. After a while, after telling her how belittled it made me feel and hearing her talk about why she does it, I realized that that's her way of helping. I let go of it, and if she wants to clean stuff, hey, that's on her. Talk to her about it. Tell her that you aren't leaving things out on purpose, but that if she wants to or feels the need to clean up after you, that's fine. Ask her if she wants you to give her chores to do-- my mom actually likes that!

As for the stress, yeah, it's harsh. Depression and anxiety are common. Don't feel bad if you feel like you can't handle it all at first. It's okay! It is OKAY to ask for help. It is OKAY to feel like you can't do it all... because you can't. Your job will be to care for this little bundle and figure it out. And you will figure it out. But please don't feel like you "should" be able to cope somehow. If it gets bad, talk to a doctor about anxiety and depression.

And think *now* about what people might be able to do for you. Friends and family may ask what they can do to help... If they're serious, put them to work! Washing laundry, folding laundry, doing dishes, tidying up, cleaning the kitchen, making dinner, picking up some groceries; these are all things that you might want to have people do for you that you might not think of when you're running on 3 non-contiguous hours of sleep in a 48-hour period. :)
15th-May-2012 05:41 am (UTC)
You're going to do great! Seriously. The first baby I held was my own. I knew nothing and didn't have time to take a parenting class or anything and was practically peeing myself with fear. The nurses in the hospital showed us how to change a diaper, dress him, bathe him, nurse him, you name it. And you can Google or watch a YouTube video that will show you how to do just about anything. After a week or two, I felt like an old pro.

Also: Your house, your rules, man.
15th-May-2012 06:56 am (UTC)
Oh you're not alone - all sane people think this!!

But really? Newborn babies eat and sleep. Breastfeeding can take awhile to get used to, and the first time I had to change a nappy I was completely overwhelmed by the meconium, but generally babies are easy to care for and the only way to learn how to look after them is to just jump in there and do it - there's not much you can really prepare for! Although talking to people who've had babies can help sometimes - as long as they're giving you useful advice, not just scaring you with sleep-deprivation stories ;)

Just remember in those first few days that your baby is used to being all warm and cramped inside you so they want lots of love and cuddles. They do seem to cry for no reason, but everything they do in those first few days is completely new to them - they've never breathed air, or nursed, or pooed before! The third night can be especially tough because they feed a lot to encourage your milk to come in - if at all possible try and tag-team with someone so they can hold the baby and you can sleep in between feeds!

But you can totally do this :) A few weeks after your baby is here you won't know what you were worried about!
15th-May-2012 08:14 am (UTC)
When baby arrived (vaginally, birthing center), and the midwife said to take him home, my husband and I felt like we were stealing a baby from somewhere and putting him in our car! I was thinking - hey, we're getting a free baby out of nowhere! It felt so weird to have an unknown new person at home at the first day! But it all works out. Listen to your instincts once baby has arrived, and just do what feels right. Your midwife will probably show you the basics like how to diaper and hold baby, and everything else you'll figure out eventually. Be bold. ;-) There's mostly only hunger, full diaper, need for snuggling and pain, so when baby screams for you, try these solutions after each other, and you'll find the right one quickly, Eventually you'll probably get much better in guessing which scream means what, so it'll all work out. And remember, there's no "too much" of pampering in the first two years. :-) If you already love your baby, you'll do fine!

Pro-Tip: ideally, when hubby's there, share the diaper task or do it together as often as possible, so it doesn't develop into something only one (=you) can do. "Funny" related anecdota: my husband never brushed my son's teeth, and it took me ages to convince him that he wouldn't do any harm. He kept saying that only I had been doing that, so it was my task. Uh, no. I also went through trial and error, and learned to get to where I am now. I had to coax him into doing it, but now he's not hesitant anymore. Remember that you're both new parents, so everything is new to the both of you!

Edited at 2012-05-15 08:17 am (UTC)
15th-May-2012 10:08 am (UTC)
You are definitely not alone. I've been having these fears lately. I'm 34 weeks with #2 and a daughter who will be just under 2 years when #2 arrives. I also work full-time, I just got engaged AND we're going through a HUGE transition with my SO's brother moving back in after being laid off. The thought of going through the newborn stage AGAIN has me up most nights tossing and turning.

The only thing that has made it easier is remembering how I felt exactly the same way before my first daughter arrived. I didn't think I'd be able to do it. I cried some nights wondering what the hell I got myself into. But, you adjust. You make it work. You may walk around with dirty hair and spit up all over the back of your shirt unknowingly, but eventually, it works. Then you're an old pro.

15th-May-2012 12:16 pm (UTC)
Who's idea was it to invite your in laws to live with you for the next six weeks? Sounds like additional stress you don't need...
15th-May-2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
that's what I was thinking. You poor woman.

Oh and "NO thats just how I live but I temporarily forgot my house rules have changed into her house rules." NOPE, your home, your rules. Period.
15th-May-2012 01:19 pm (UTC)
You'll be great! I too had never been around babies really and didn't know what I was doing at all. Most of it is instinct though. I remember the first few weeks, a few times I was like, "wow...I can do this!". In my experience anyway, I just sort of knew what to do. I mean, there was the weird practical stuff that I had to look up (like, I don't know, what to do about the umbilical cord when bathing, all the weird little infant reflexes, etc) but I really just did what felt right. You feed them when they're hungry (which, in the beginning, is basically anytime they're not sleeping!), change them every couple of hours, let them sleep lots, snuggle and hold them as much as you can, somehow in the midst of that also try to eat enough yourself and have glorious baths, and when they hit 3 or 4 weeks and if they start that 'witching hour' thing, you just hold them and comfort them and get through it somehow. Then they outgrow it and one day you're like, oh...I guess witching hour is over now? Huh.

This post - http://offbeatmama.com/2010/06/post-partum-adjustments - helped me prepare myself.

15th-May-2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
Everyone here has said great things! You can do it!! I do want to add, don't dismiss your motherly instincts! I had never diapered, held, fed, bathed, or anything with a baby until we had our first. My mommy instincts kicked in and I magically just felt comfortable doing all of it. It took my anxieties away and replaced it with confidence. Just take it moment by moment and you'll be surprised at how you'll just fall into motherhood. Babies (toddlers, & kids) are very forgiving. Everyone is constantly learning and it will all be ok. ;)</p>

Man, you deserve an award for dealing with your in-laws for that long! After a couple of hours around mine I want to pull my hair out. My MiL will not be staying a week after this baby is born like she has in the past. It's a nightmare with her there.

15th-May-2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
I had no idea about babies when I had one.... it is generally intuitive though. I mean, you'll figure it out! I was surprised to find how intuitive it was, and how kids are not necessarily like kids in books anyway (in terms of things like their eating and sleeping habits at various ages).
15th-May-2012 04:52 pm (UTC)
You need to make it clear that your house, your baby, your rules. If you let her dictate your behavior now, she will think she has the authority to make decisions regarding your child! Everything that you would do naturally will be criticized because she knows best and has done it before.

MAYBE I've just been reading DWIL too much?
15th-May-2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
I want to thank you for posting this.
I'm due in three weeks after being told I was infertile by two separate gynaecologists. (endo blocking my tubes apparently).

I'm 43, have had severe ME/CFIDS since i was hit by mono when i was 17. I'm terrified about how i'll cope with a baby. I still look at my body in astonishment and wonder what the hell happened to it! I was really OK with the notion of never having a child, I'd got over it and moved on.

Now, well I'm signed up for some parenting classes on Saturday. How to change a diaper, bathe and feed your child without breaking her, is what i hope they will cover.

You're not alone in the terror stakes!
15th-May-2012 11:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you all so very much. You really have helped put my mind at ease. I was being a little emotional last night and I let it get to me. Your kind words mean so much right now :) </p>

I think I made my MIL sounds worse than she is. Yes she takes over my kitchen but she means very well. She has already been here 2 weeks and yes the idea of having her here was not mine. She offered and how could I say no? She is a lovely woman. She does tend to take over a little but I let it go because it's just easier. When it comes to my child I won't be such a pushover!!

I'm glad I'm not alone in my fears!

16th-May-2012 12:58 am (UTC)
Your inlaws are there to help you, right? If not, they need to leave. My MIL likes to take over my house rules all the time but after a few years of placating her I had to put my foot down. Right now, if you're a "slob" - blame it on the pregnancy. If you're feeling stressed, LAY DOWN. And so on. You don't owe your inlaws entertainment and/or explanations. The best thing for you right now is to rest up and not be stressed out.
16th-May-2012 06:37 am (UTC)
ITA about letting MIL know whose house it is. Depending on your relationship and her personality it can be easy or hard. Bottom line: it needs to be done.

I was in your shoes. My baby was the first baby I'd been around in years. I read as much as I could from a variety of sources and viewpoints. Your memory when the time comes will kick and tell you 'I remember reading about that'. If you try it and it doesn't work, on to the next.

Your instincts will kick in, too. I've found that in some ways being a parent is easier that I thought.

Good luck!
20th-May-2012 12:43 am (UTC)
there is no fucking way my inlaws would be staying with me for that long. a week is taxing.

but i looked on youtube for how to change a diaper (i really wasn't sure). and i bought this book "I'm a mom, now what". that helped a bit. the rest i just figured out. thank god for the internet because i swear i would have gone nuts trying to figure this stuff out.
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