Baby Blahs?

Warning – this post is super introspective, quite long, and possibly depressing.  Read at your own risk.

I’ve got essentially 9 and a half weeks until the baby arrives and I find myself kind of well, unenthused about it.  Quite frankly, it worries me.

I’m dealing pretty well with the day-to-day accoutrements that come along with being pregnant – daily aches & pains, thinking about how to maneuver out of furniture, what I’ll need when baby gets here, superbaby kung fu kicks, and so on and so forth.  I can’t seem to think beyond being pregnant.  When it comes to the whole baby journey, I’m doing fan-freakin’-tastic… it’s the destination that’s a blank.

  • Going into labor?  I’m aware of the ‘symptoms’ in an abstract manner, but can’t picture it happening to me.  
  • Delivery?  I know it’s gonna happen eventually, but can’t even imagine how it will go. 
  • Bringing baby home?  The future there is pretty fuzzy.  I can’t even picture holding this baby in my arms for the first time.
  • Life after baby?  Ben mentioned yesterday that we’d have to hold the baby for the first few months to feed her, and I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that this baby is going to be so entirely dependent on us for so long.

Is this normal to feel this way?  Don’t get me wrong… it’s not that I don’t want this baby, not at ALL.  It’s just that I can’t envision anything past 9 (well, ok 10) months.  Other people are really excited about this baby entering the world (yes, that would be my mom) but I’ve found myself looking forward to vacations more than I am the arrival of this baby. 

I can’t even bring myself to call her by the name we’ve picked (Mallory Jayne); I still call her ‘the baby.’  Not certain if this is typical mother-to-be-behavior or if it’s something I should talk to my OB/Gyn about. 

I had hoped this ambivalence would have lifted by now – I can understand how it’s difficult to think this far ahead when you’re only 3 or 4 months pregnant, but figured that I would have this well in hand by the time I was close to 80% done.  Ben and I put the crib together last Sunday hoping that would help – and it did for the short term – but I’m back to feeling blah.

The baby’s nursery is about 60% done with the majority of the work having been in getting it cleared out, cleaned, and painted.  We plan to do touch up painting, closet organizer installation, and getting the crib bedding washed and put on this weekend.  Maybe getting that room done will help some more, I don’t know.      

Our childbirth class is tonight and tomorrow morning – 6 hours of learning about labor & delivery, relaxation techniques, and who knows what else.    We tour the actual hospital L&D floor later in March.  Maybe these are all baby steps (no pun intended) that will help me.

So, what’s the verdict?  Am I crazy?  Normal?  Depressed?

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. darcZombie
    Feb 20, 2009 @ 11:26:04

    Not crazy. Like I’ve said before this is a long journey and it might help if you think of the big moments in all three of our lives in the future. Like the first zoo trip, the first Xmas, Birthdays, playing outside, working in the garden with Mallory sitting in the shade….

    I try to think about all that stuff, believe me I do, but all I can see is me and you and an ambiguous stroller or pack & play. I see the *stuff* surrounding the baby, but not the actual baby itself. I know I’m not materialistic, but my brain can’t ‘see’ beyond being pregnant.

    Those are things I look at and what gets me excited. We have a lot of wonderful times together coming up. Will it be tough and different? Oh yes it will. The ladies in my office continually remind me of that. BUT they are careful to remind me of all the wonderful things too!

    Oh I’m sure we’re going to have lots of fun and trying moments. Remember Thanksgiving dinner when I started crying because all I could think of was that the baby would be old enough to be throwing food at the next Thanksgiving dinner???

    Reply

  2. Sherri Cornelius
    Feb 20, 2009 @ 11:44:27

    Not crazy, totally normal, and maybe still a little depressed. In my first pregnancy, I was the same way. It didn’t seem real to me until my daughter was at least a month old. I was in a fog from the last month or so of my pregnancy onward. When I held her for the first time, she seemed like someone else’s baby, and not really a person. It was hard to call her by name. I mourned her leaving my body. Well, with all three of them that happened. That was probably hormones.

    I’m worried about that happening to me, too. I’ve been feeling her move around for the last 3 months and she’s become an integral (literally!) part of me. Whenever I imagine the stuff that Ben mentioned above it never seems like it’s *my* baby and that I’m pretending.

    My point is that there is going to be some numbing, maybe even sadness, along with the joy. Your body is going through a huge trial. I mean, your energy and vitality decline through the 3rd trimester, right? Even if you’re a healthy energetic person, it takes a toll. So basically you’re under the weather for several months.

    I can tell that my energy is definitely declining as the weeks go on. In fact, I call the baby ‘my little energy vampire’ since she seems to suck it right out of me. I never really thought about the fact that I’d be under the weather for close to three months… I definitely feel more crappy and depressed when I’m not feeling up to par.

    And the reason you can’t imagine yourself after the baby comes is because it’s the most enormous thing you’ve ever been through. Who could imagine that? That’s what I think.

    Another good point… it’s totally unimaginable.

    And after I’ve said all that, I would still say you might want to talk to your doc about it on your next visit. I had terrible post-partum depression and didn’t ask for help, to the detriment of my children and myself.

    I think I’ll talk to her. I was on Zoloft before the baby was born and have been doing pretty well ever since. It might be that things have changed hormonally to the point where I need to revisit the topic with her.

    Thanks for the kind words and advice! *hug*

    Reply

  3. Allison
    Feb 20, 2009 @ 12:31:56

    Kristy, I could have written that exact post when I was pregnant with Griffin. Seriously, word for word…and I had tons of experience caring for other people’s infants and really knew what to expect and what to do (mostly) and I *still* felt the exact same way. I am a fairly intelligent person but I just could not grasp that there was a HUMAN inside of me. I was in such shock when I first saw him and was like THAT was in ME?! I could not call him by his name before he was born and even for awhile after he was born. Just because this baby is inside your body does not mean you know her or should expect to feel some instant bond. If anything, I actually felt some resentment during the pregnancy for making me feel so miserable!

    So, yes, very typical and very normal. Asking for help now and after the baby is ok and yes you will feel nuts with all the hormones but definitely share any concerns with your doctor. You have a lot of support and I know I am happy to drive up and give you company or just fold your laundry (just don’t tell Brad…he still thinks I don’t know how to fold laundry and I wanna keep it that way!).

    I absolutely am in love with her name, btw. Talk to you soon!

    Reply

  4. DarcKnyt
    Feb 20, 2009 @ 14:41:36

    You know what you sound like to me?

    You sound like a first-time mother. You sound just like one.

    You sound like someone who’s experiencing something big, monumental in fact, and is doing what she can to cope. Your body’s in one place, your brain’s in another that happens. Are you normal? Yes. Are you depressed? Sounds like it, and going off the Zoloft probably had something to do with that, combined with the hormonal shift the baby brings. And are you crazy? Duh, that goes without saying and has nothing to do with the baby. (J/k. 😉 )

    I know someone who might be good to talk to about this, who would understand, could sympathize, if you’re interested. And talking to your OB/GYN isn’t going to hurt. Take as many precautions as you can. Why not? Make her earn her buck, y’know?

    I felt a lot of the same things you’re talking about when my daughter was born, believe it or not. I know, I wasn’t the one carrying the child, but nothing seemed real to me until she finally arrived, and I did a lousy job of interacting with her before that. Everything changed after that, but that’s from a male perspective, one who’s not involved directly in the process of pregnancy and carrying the child.

    Talk to everyone you think can help you and will listen and get as much sympathy as you can.

    We, of course, love you and will keep you in close and fervent prayer. All three of you.

    Reply

  5. claire
    Feb 20, 2009 @ 16:26:33

    Just remember, you can drink again after baby is born!!! LOL. 🙂 Even when you’re nursing! Look out vino, here she comes! 🙂

    I think that motherhood is unique to every woman. In your birth classes you will learn a lot — but those things may or may not happen to you. If you are willing to embrace the situation, however it turns out, you will be fine. So, as for the birth itself, just trust your body and you and baby will be great. I wanted nothing to do with an epidural until I had back labor, than all I wanted was an epidural and it was a beautiful thing!

    As for calling Mallory “Baby” — we still call Emily “baby” sometimes…it’s just what you do! Like I still call my dog “puppy sometimes.” Roll with it, woman! 🙂 You don’t need a shrink for that! 🙂

    And, as for the after-baby-is-born-she’s-totally-dependent-on-me phase… yeah. That’s true. Some women LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Some women HATE it. You don’t know what kind of woman you are until you actually have this small baby in your arms relying on you (and your milk! mooo!). 🙂 I was amazed and happy until I got so sleep-deprived that I was a crying mess (probably also related to the hormones)… I thought I wanted to be a mom, but then Emily got colic. Then I thought I needed to be committed somewhere. It didn’t help J was deployed to Kuwait when she was one week old…

    Bottomline, the BEST words anyone ever told me about motherhood (and I have heard A LOT of words…) are simple to remember. I find myself repeating them every day: “TRUST YOURSELF.”

    Do you know what that means? It means LOVE yourself, ALLOW yourself to experience feelings, FEEL FREE to ask for help if you need it! ENJOY it.

    A neighbor recently had a 2nd baby (her oldest is 7) and I shared with her how I’m afraid to have another baby b/c I hated the infant stage and had PPD (and had to take zoloft). She said she was nervous about that, too. But, now that she looks baby number 2 in the eyes, and consoles him while he cries, she smiles and thinks “I should treasure this now…it will go by so fast.”

    And I never thought I would agree with that. There are times when you think it will NEVER end. Like baby is going to cry for the rest of your life. But honestly, last weekend when I was cleaning bins of baby clothes, I did start to cry when I found a baby onesie that was size newborn. Emily was only 6 lbs 10.3 oz when she was born — now she is 24 pounds of sloppy love. My baby, my own flesh and blood, will be turning two in May. Where did the time go? What do I have to show for it? I have a beautiful, healthy little girl who smiles and knows my love and shows it right back to me like a mirror. And for now, that is enough to make me say that it was all worth it. Every midnight feeding, every 3 a.m. teething call, every wrestling match to cut her finger nails…it was all out of love, and you cannot put a price tag on that. Even in terms of sleepless nights.

    You and Ben will be wonderful parents. And even though I don’t know you real well yet, you know I will be your cheerleader. I will be your friend on your best mommy days and your worst mommy days. And I will tell you to TRUST YOURSELF. And you will, and it will be a beautiful thing.

    Much love,
    C

    Reply

  6. claire
    Feb 20, 2009 @ 16:26:54

    oh gawd, did I really use that many 🙂 ‘s?

    Reply

  7. DarcsFalcon
    Feb 20, 2009 @ 17:07:36

    Up for a phone call tonight?

    Reply

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