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Is Cold Feet Normal?

posted 8 years 4 months ago
I am currently at thirty-two weeks. This is my first child. My partner and I have been together for two years now. Our relationship was rocky for a long time, but we were committed to making it work, and it seems like things are improving now. We both had difficult childhoods and parents who are toxic to the point where neither one of us has contact with our "families" any more. Neither one of us wanted kids for a while because of our troubled younger years, but after a while we started talking about maybe having a child in five years or so. Then I found out I was pregnant. At first, we were going to have an abortion. We were homeless and did not feel like we as individuals or as a couple were ready for a child. We both feel in love with our baby though and decided we were going to find a way to make it work. Then, I was sure we could do it.

Now that my due date is approaching, I spend half of my time excited to meet our child, and the other half terrified. I feel so underprepared for this child. We are in a transitional housing program now so we have shelter, but money is extremely tight. Our main source of income is government benefits, and we never have any money left over at the end of the month after paying rent/bills/necessities. This month was even worse because someone stole our car battery, and we had to buy another. We have not been able to buy most of the baby things that we need. Like I said, our relationship is better now but not completely healed from past hurts. I have my own personal issues that make me doubt if I can adequately raise a child, such as severe ADHD that makes it difficult to function at times. It horrifies me to think of what can happen if I cannot focus on my surrounding while driving with my baby in the back seat. I also suffer from constant anxiety that can manifest in frustration and lashing out at the people I love. That has already created problems between my partner and I, and I never want to treat my child the way I treated them in the past. Also, babies are a ton of work, and I worry that I am not strong enough to deal with it. For these reasons, at times I am gripped with fear about raising this baby. I worry that I made a mistake by going through with this pregnancy, and I am ruining my parnter's, my unborn child's, and my life. In the worst moments, I have this irrational urge to run away from my life. This is probably all a great set-up for postpartum depression, which makes me feel even less confident. I try to tell my midwife about these feelings at each visit, but I lose my nerve. I know I possibly need therapy, but I have social anxiety, and, as silly as it sounds, I am afraid of people. It would take a long time for me to be able to open up to a therapist if I ever could. I want to be a good dad to our baby, but I am worried about what all this fear means. Is it common for parents to become scared this late in pregnancy? I feel like there is something wrong with me.

posted 8 years 4 months ago
I think you would make a wonderful parent and you should stop thinking about things so much. Focus on the good you can offer your partner and your baby; paint a picture in your mind with your new family in a house of your own, think positive constantly.

Look forward to the day your child would come into the world, your baby's first step, first words, first day at school, graduation, first car, first job. Think big, think well. Don't let your past or finances cloud your present, believe in yourself and you will do great.

posted 8 years 4 months ago
Having a baby is scary for anyone. As for not having much money, infants really don't care. A laundry basket or sturdy box is a great place for baby to sleep and easily portable. That's what they use in many countries. Other than that they just need plenty of breast milk and love. You only need a couple of clothes, just enough to get you through until you wash the dirty ones.
I think you should talk to someone like the midwife. It might be hard but you need to make the effort for your baby.

posted 8 years 4 months ago
It is normal to feel these feelings of inadequacies for being a parent especially as it is your first. However, the severity of these feelings may be an indication that you need help. I strongly encourage you to talk to your midwife because she will be able to help you or at least point you in the right direction. I suffered from postpartum depression and it is not easy to admit it to anyone because there is a strong stigma surrounding it. But it does not mean that you cannot care for your baby, it just means you need help. Do not let your fear cause you to not seek help. It is a good thing that you recognize these feelings that you are having and it is good that you have reached out here on this forum as a starting point. Since experiencing postpartum depression first hand, I vocalize my experiences to people so that people are more aware of the signs and that you do not have to be ashamed of it. You can get through it with the right help and you will feel better for doing it. I wish you luck and just believe that you can raise your child with all the love it needs.

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