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Dear Wendy

Trying for baby – terrified

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  • #1031412 Reply

    My partner and I have discussed and agreed that we would like to try for a baby this year. We have been together a few years, have bought our own home and definitely want to get married in the future.

    I am excited to start a new chapter and honestly have always known I definitely wanted kids and my partner does too, but I’m also absolutely terrified.

    Now that it’s becoming a reality that this time next year I could potentially have a baby, I’m so scared.
    I don’t know how to get a baby to stop crying. I don’t know what milk babies have or how to make it.
    I don’t know when a baby should start eating baby food, or solid foods.
    I know people say it will come naturally, but what if it doesn’t? I’m terrified I’m going to be a s**t mother and it’ll be embarrassing how bad I am.

    #1031413 Reply

    No one knows what they are doing when they become a parent, not really. I had all the same worries you have. But there are a million resources out there! Literally, right now, google “how to get a baby to stop crying” and you will get dozens of baby care websites and baby care book titles. Do you have any friends who have had children? How’s your relationship with your own parents, or your partner’s? Talk to them! Ask what it’s like to take care of a baby. Also, presumably your baby will have a pediatrician. The pediatrician is there as a resource for your questions about care & feeding. You will have an OB/GYN, or a midwife, doula, birth center, hospital, etc and they can hook you up with a lactation consultant and possibly a new moms support group. Before we left the hospital we learned how to change diapers and bathe the baby. There are people to teach you these things, and google is your friend.

    You don’t say how old you are, but if you’re able to take some time to consider your employers’ leave policies and get your ducks in a row for BOTH of you to take leave time to get to know your new baby, that would be beneficial. You should also stop by your OB/GYN to make sure that everything checks out.

    …I’m kind of wondering why you’re buying a house and having a baby with someone you’re not legally married to? You do you, I guess, but if it were me, I’d want to have that legal commitment in place before bringing a baby into the picture.

    #1031414 Reply

    The things you’re talking about specifically that you’re afraid of are super tactical and easily solved for just by gathering info, you know? You’re not talking about anything existential or beyond your control, or like, what if I fuck up and leave him in a hot car or she falls in the pool. I think you’re good to go. Read books! Talk to nurses and family members.

    #1031415 Reply

    I had my first baby 20 years ago when I was 18. I read a few books and managed to keep him alive. The “What to expect….” series is a good starting point. Moms On Call is super popular. It’s very daunting, but you’ll see the pediatrician within 24hrs of leaving the hospital. Then you’ll see them again in a few weeks, and once a month for the first 6months. They’ll prepare you for the next developmental stage. Choose a good pediatrician that doesn’t have outrageous wait times. Go to your OB/gyn and get checked out. At the beginning of my pregnancy they screened to see if I was a carrier of several genetic diseases like, cystic fibrosis. Would have been nice to have that information before I got pregnant

    #1031419 Reply

    There are a million baby and childcare books out there. There are also newborn/babycare parenting classes at most hospitals for new parents.

    Do not get pregnant until you feel ready to. It’s your body.

    #1031421 Reply

    Honestly? What’s the rush?

    #1031422 Reply

    I think anyone contemplating having a child probably should feel a little bit of trepidation, and do some research into exactly what is entailed. Once the virus has subsided enough to make it possible, do lots and lots of babysitting for all your friends, (they’ll probably be delighted to get out and about as soon as it is safe) and stay over even after they have come home, to see what it’s all like.If you are having any anxiety I’d just take some time to consider, unless you are nearing the end of fertility there really is no rush.

    #1031423 Reply

    Honestly, it doesn’t sounds like you’re ready to have a baby. Before I had my 1st child I was scared too but not terrified. I read up on alot of baby books and articles to get idea of what I’ll need to do to prepare and how to raise a healthy baby. The things you’re worrying about are so easy to find out and if those are your biggest worry, then I don’t think you’re ready for a baby just yet.

    #1031424 Reply

    Look, you shouldn’t rush.

    At the same time, you’ll never get to a place where you totally feel ready. Even people who have had lots of siblings or experience with small children aren’t necessarily prepared to be parents. Being a big sister or a regular babysitter isn’t the same thing as a parent.

    If you are having existential panic about the thought of having kid, don’t do it yet. If you’re financially in a total mess, don’t do it yet. If you and your husband have really different opinions you need to reconcile when it comes to child rearing, don’t do it yet.

    But if the one thing that is holding you back is fear of the unknown and waiting for the moment you are 100% ready and have all your ducks in a row, well that day will never come. At some point, all parents stepped into the dark, hoping for the best.

    Also – as an FYI, deciding to start trying does not mean you will get pregnant immediately. I am only in my mid-thirties, as are my friends, but I have MULTIPLE friends that couldn’t conceive and needed IVF treatment, some successfully, some not.

    I myself got pregnant easily, but my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. You cannot control how these things play out. It’s not always a straight line.

    Maybe a good first step would just to get a check-up on your health, to learn if you might have any issues before you start trying? And/or maybe a chat with a financial advisor to get a sense of the financial implications? Maybe find and talk with some young mothers, about their experiences?

    #1031425 Reply

    Aside from getting info on the practicalities of a baby such as how to stop it from crying or when to feed it what it’s also a great time to really delve into child rearing with your partner. Ask all the tough questions about how you’ll raise it, what beliefs you’ll raise it with, discipline, education, how duties will be shared, all that nitty gritty. You don’t want to be surprised that your partner believes in spanking or thinks they don’t have to contribute to feedings or nappy changes.

    #1031439 Reply

    Also try to remember that for many, many issues and aspects of pregnancy, birth, and child rearing, there are many options available. For example, I highly recommend having a midwife to care for you while pregnant rather than an OB/GYN. Also, using a doula during labor and birth is a wonderful option; she will help support you and your partner, help you know all your options during labor and delivery, and can be your advocate with the medical staff. I hope you’ll also consider breastfeeding; no need to know how to “make milk.” Your body already knows and does it automatically. It’s so healthy for your baby and–after the early period of learning and maybe some challenges–feels so good! To you! I personally do not recommend the “What to Expect…” books. They are too mainstream and don’t discuss options that you might possibly prefer–and they’re kind of dogmatic and scary! I recommend “Expecting Better,” by Emily Oster. It’s a great start and is really honest and encouraging. Don’t worry–you have plenty of time to find out stuff and decide what feels best to you and your partner. Good luck!

    #1031448 Reply

    I actually don’t agree with the “no one is really ready” feedback. It’s true, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think that normal trepidation is what’s going on here.

    You sound too freaked to follow a rather common-sense approach to getting logistically prepared — youtube videos, books, blogs, etc. We’re in an information age. If it didn’t occur to you to look for that information, then I’m not sure you ARE ready.

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