Pregnancy is Weird, isn't it?
November 16, 2007 10:34 AM   Subscribe

Being pregnant is easily the weirdest experience of my life. How did you cope?

Wow. This pregnancy thing is strange. Back story: I'm 39, first pregnancy and it was unplanned (failed birth control). I'm 9 weeks pregnant and incredibly overwhelmed. My partner and I are similarly ambivalent about being parents when we discuss it now but know that we'll be great parents and are both anxious and excited about it. In the mean time, my body is no longer my own. I have strange aches and pains, every single system in my body seems out of whack and, jesus christ, I'm going to be a parent and do indeed feel like my life will no longer be mine. Are these common reactions? I guess in the past I had always thought I'd be thrilled and happy and looked forward to this time. But now in the moment the enormity of it all is hitting. Hard. Daycare! Car seats! Diapers! Names! College Funds! To immunize or not! Circumcise or not! (I'm NOT asking for opinions on these topics, don't worry).

I've had my first checkup and am scheduled for genetic testing soon so I think the medical portion is well underway. But staying calm and being okay with everything that's changing and about to change seems to be more of a problem. Perhaps it's just that I'm an older first-timer so I'm more aware of my established life or maybe everyone goes through this. Did you? What helped to make it better?
posted by otherwordlyglow to Health & Fitness (30 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I am not a mother, I am not your mother.... :)

I have been around babies my entire life, lots of them. I also just had two sets of friends in the 37-41 range have first born babies.

My biggest piece of advice for all new mothers and mothers to be is that there is a very wide range of normal in every aspect of this weirdness.

Weight gained, morning sickness, ambivelant feelings, everyone has some of this so some degree. When your baby comes, eating, sleeping, burping, everything, your baby will be very different from everyone else's so don't worry yourself to death over every single odd thing they do or any too soon or to late development.

My second piece of advice is to trust your gut. Don't over analyze, but if your gut says something is wrong, go to the doctor. If you gut says eat more, then eat more. Women have been doing this for a long time and your body will talk to you more than it ever has. If you feel like getting out and mowing the grass or taking the dog for a walk, do it! If you feel like laying down all day, do it. DO NOT LET OTHER PEOPLE GUILT YOU into whatever mommytrendynewthing they are into.

That being said, you still want to inform yourself, read as much as you are comfortable with, but don't let it overwhelm you or stress you out. Find some kind of baby board (metababy?) for your area and find a good doctor, the kind who will give you the kind of birthing experience(whatever that may be) you want.

Lastly, have fun, it is tremendously weird, but it is also kind of amazing, so go forth and god bless and let us know how things go.
posted by stormygrey at 11:00 AM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

I can't help directly - not pregnant and never have been - but there are excellent resources/discussions/knowledgeable people at altdotlife's forums. You do have to register to read/comment in many of the fora, but it's a cool place. And what I've learned from pregnant friends and colleagues is that what's "normal" encompasses a huge range of things.

(What stormygrey said)

Congratulations and good luck!

oh - and, eponysterical!
posted by rtha at 11:07 AM on November 16, 2007

My wife hated every second of her pregnancy. She’s loved every second of motherhood, however. She had our son when she was 42.
posted by bondcliff at 11:10 AM on November 16, 2007

First of all, congratulations!

It is totally normal to feel everything you're feeling. Remember one thing: you don't have to decide anything now, including daycare, car seats, diapers, names, and everything else. Remember also that your body is doing something it's never done before, which is really neat and amazing, but because it's so new, of course you're feeling all sorts of strange stuff.

I'm also an older first time mom. There's a lot of good stuff about doing this later in life. Don't start doing the math and figuring out how old you'll be when the baby finishes high school or whatever. You'll eventually be that old anyway, and how great is it that you'll get to be a mom along the way!!!

Get one good baby book and read along week by week. We used The Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy or something like that (I've since passed it along to a pregnant friend). It tells you what the baby is working on and growing each week, and how big it is. It helped us feel really connected to the baby from the very beginning.

You have lots of time to figure out all the other stuff. If you have questions about anything, including all the various tests that older moms get, please email me. This whole experience has been so fun for me that I'd love to help spread some of the joy to you.

Know this: You'll still be 100% you, only better.
posted by Kangaroo at 11:12 AM on November 16, 2007 [2 favorites]

First of all, congratulations! I had similar feelings to yours, even though my pregnancy was planned. I work full time in a food plant with mostly men. Most of my girlfriends who were mommies were either stay-at-home moms or had "softer" jobs, like teaching (not taking away from teaching at all - just not as physical as my job and not as male-oriented). So, I was working 12 hour days, one weekend a month and I felt like my life wasn't my own either. I was not in awe of the "beauty of pregnancy" and felt guilty because everyone I was surronded by thought it was "the greatest times of their lives" and crap.

I tried to enjoy it as much as I could. As stormygrey wisely mentions, don't let ANYONE make you feel bad about anything you are doing. Do whatever works for you - before and after the baby.

Don't let anyone guilt you into any kind of birthing experience either. Just sigh and congratulate yourself on being more open minded. I was always surprised about how my pregnant belly opened almost strangers into telling me about their opinions on epidurals, episiotomies, breast feeding and day care. I tried like hell just to smile at them and nod. I was able to do so because my back hurt, I was uncomfortable and was probably falling asleep standing up.

Also, no matter what Tom Cruise thinks, post partum depression happens to a lot of people and it doesn't make you a bad mom. If you feel sad, be sure to talk to your doctor about it. I didn't get it with baby 1 but did with baby 2. Didn't do meds, but I completly understand that it happens.

Good luck! I am sure you will be a great parent!
posted by beachhead2 at 11:19 AM on November 16, 2007

Okay, I'm a man, so HUGE grain of salt but the best responses I can give from this side of things:

It's all normal. Huge upheaval. But the sense of it being impossibly complicated and bound to overwhelm is just a mental state. You only have to deal with the stuff you have to deal with now. Don't try to wrap your head around circumcision if you don't know for sure you're having a boy. You don't need to figure out toddler meal plans when you have a newborn.

You'll have time to figure everything out.

One thing I guess I am more qualified to say than Metafilter's better half: take advantage of your partner. It's all his fault, plus he's not growing a new person inside his body, so basically he has to do whatever you tell him too. Go nuts (kidding, but only a little).
posted by nanojath at 11:24 AM on November 16, 2007

Been there. Was 39, relatively ambivalent, and then got hit with prenatal depression to boot. (Most of us have heard of postpartum, but did you know a LOT of women get severe depression and anxiety in the first trimester due to all of the hormonal changes, etc.? Me neither. It was quite a shock.)

I didn't get married until I was 35 and was very independent and LIKED being independent. So, whoa. A kid? What was that going to do to my life? OMG.

To cope, I tried to pamper myself and take care of myself as best as I could. I quit participating in anything that was an obligation that I didn't enjoy, I tried to find ways to reduce stress, I temporarily hired a cleaning person, I treated myself to the healthiest and tastiest foods--even if it mean take out from nice restaurants--that I could find, I got massages. Prenatal yoga was incredibly comforting to me, and I had not taken yoga before then. Some days I would just hang on until I got to yoga class. I really slowed down on work. I slept...a lot.

It helped to talk to other women experiencing the same thing that I was in not the stereotypically, "Oh yay! Baby!" way. A great online resource for me to find these women was in Table Talk on There is a members-only "Melancholy Mama" discussion where I could talk about my ambivalence (and guilt about ambivalence) and anxiety and such without feeling terrible. They were very supportive.

Now I am 41. I have a 22 month old and, I have to say, I really, really think my kid is cool. When she was first born, I liked her well enough but, having a touch of postpartum as well, I kept waiting for her real mom to show up and take her home. And then the postpartum got better (with meds and great help from my doctor), she developed her unique personality, we interacted more, and I had this thought, "Huh. This is a lot of work but it is also pretty fun and I'm sort of in love with you little kid. If I had only known it was YOU in there when I was pregnant, I wouldn't have been so freaked out."

I wish for you the same experience. Take care. Emails in the profile if you need to know more.
posted by jeanmari at 11:25 AM on November 16, 2007 [2 favorites]

Oh, yes!
posted by dancinglamb at 11:26 AM on November 16, 2007

What you're going through is entirely normal. I was very young when I had my first child, but I don't know anyone who didn't feel overwhelmed by it at some point. How could you not? Becoming a parent is a huge life change, and it's amazing and thrilling and heartbreaking and scary and difficult. Your life won't be the same. Neither will you.

Parenting is a process of letting go. Humor, patience and the ability to roll with the punches are what will make it better. This process of strange things happening to your body is the first test of your ability to be Zen about all the things that you won't be able to control. Breathe and be gentle with yourself. I can't promise that you'll always be calm, but confidence will come with time and experience.

Oh, and learn to take parenting advice with a mountain of salt. The vast majority of it is designed to make you feel bad about yourself and/or sell you stuff. Take what works for you and forget about the rest.
posted by streetdreams at 11:29 AM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

it sounds completely normal to me (never been pregnant myself, though). i know a lot of people who hated being pregnant, but love their kids. other people find they like being pregnant. i hear the second trimester is a lot better--it has to do with the hormones.

hang in there, reach out to your partner, and get therapy if you really can't cope.

also, there might be a meetup of first-time moms your age in your area. if not, why not start one?

good luck, and congratulations! i'm told this sort of thing usually pays off in the end. :)
posted by thinkingwoman at 11:36 AM on November 16, 2007

To elaborate, I had my first kiddo when I was 32 and my second when I was 34. They will be 5yo and 3yo in December.

To be certain, the thing that shocked me most without exception was that nobody told me how much pregnancy would suck. Everything hurt, your body goes through some most unpleasant changes. What you think you are finally used to switches around into a totally different direction and then you have to get used to it all over again. It really makes sense when they say that a fetus is technically a parasite.

Echoing the other posters, absolutely, positively follow your gut. If you haven't found one already. get an OB/GYN that you really like. One that you don't have a problem questioning. One that won't give you shit if you don't tow the "What to Expect When You're Expecting" Line (awful, fear-mongering book, btw).

And, yes, your life will forever change. But I think it's enormously cool that I get to have conversations with my almost 5yo now about what what sort of animal is actually singing the Who's Baba O'Reily (a purple cat, btw), and that my 3yo has her own version of the word Mommy for me and NOBODY in the world except me is called "Ah-Ahhhhhh", especially in the middle of the night, when all she wants to do is give me a hug before she goes to sleep.
posted by dancinglamb at 11:40 AM on November 16, 2007

Faileld contraception here at 22. I have letters to my partner at the time that I'm not game to reread because I think I was pretty hysterical. And then the baby quickened and 17 years later I remember that first time distinctly and feeling like my body was inhabited by an alien.

Talking with other mums was sometimes relieving and sometimes an unrelieved bitch session about how miserable and difficult their labour and pregancies were. People who had children tended to think I was cute, aw, she's worried about changing diapers, awwww.

I never did learn how in advance, but the hospital showed me the day after he was born (thankfully they handled the interim ones) and I got better at it with practice.

The thing to remember is, even if you do the very minimum (feed, clothe, love), the kid will probably survive and thrive, and you sound like the kind of person who could not stand the minimum. Take names. I gave my son a double barrelled name - FathersName1 FathersName2 Mothers-maiden-name FathersGrandfathersOriginal Surname FathersSurname III. Hey, I was young and silly! I call him FathersName2, out in the world he goes by Fathersname1 and the rest has been dropped. But he turned out good, he finished high school yesterday and has aspirations of being an historian.

Each aspect and era of parenting has it's own challenges but you'll meet them when you get there. How hard can it be? Billions of people have done it. Okay, yeah, sometimes it's really really hard, but again, billions of people have done it. You can too.

Now as an oldtimer, I figure you've got more sense than I had at the time. You are settled, you know what you want, right from wrong. Do allow yourself bunches of leeway because the hormone changes might affect your behaviour. Don't rely on your memory so much as you did before and please, please don't leave the t-towels on the stove. (It's okay, we were able to put the fire out). Don't try to be superwoman. It's really hard to keep doing everything you ever did when you're vomiting on your shoes everyday, and when that's over, it's very difficult to do what you used to do when you're appoximately the shape of a bowling ball.

It'll be good. You'll love it (most of the time). Take it easy. Be good to yourself.
posted by b33j at 11:41 AM on November 16, 2007

First-time mother of a one-year-old here, and nthing the responses that everything you are feeling is normal and good. It's natural to be worried and stressed about things and it shows you care. However, like others have said, there isn't anything wrong with feeling that pregnancy sucks. I know there are people out there who loved every moment of pregnancy, and I don't doubt that their experiences were wonderful, but I didn't and mine wasn't. It's fun when the baby moves, it's fun seeing ultrasounds, and eventually you'll find yourself chatting away to him/her and getting weird looks from people. However, I personally found all of the physical aspects of pregnancy to be quite unpleasant and the emotional burden to be overwhelming at times. There isn't anything wrong with not loving the condition of pregnancy.

That said, the best thing you can probably do is to take care of yourself (which, obviously you are) and try to ride out the physical discomforts like you would the flu or a broken bone. Try as best you can to cut your daily "to-do" list in half. Rest, enjoy the things you like to do that will be harder when you have a kid (whatever they may be), and keep in mind you have the ultimate excuse for not accomplishing everything. Prioritize your worries chronologically, if possible -- yes, you will need a car seat before you can leave the hospital; yes, you will want to know whether you are open to anesthesia during birth and whether to circumsize a son and which pediatrician you want the hospital to call once the little one makes his/her appearance. Some of the decisions, like names, will become fun later and you have nine months (or more, if you don't mind not naming the baby immediately) to mess around with that. Daycare, college funds, and most immunizations can wait. You have plenty of time, and even for the more pressing things, those nine months will seem to stretch longer than you can currently imagine.

Lastly, remember that whatever *you* decide or whatever *you* naturally experience is okay. Deciding not to breastfeed (or to do so) is okay. Having the blues after the baby comes (or before, like jeanmari mentioned) is okay. Taking things one day at a time is okay. Not having an answer to every question a nosy person asks is okay. A little person is going to come out of you, who needs sustenance, shelter, and love, and not a whole lot more. He or she doesn't care that you haven't made all the big decisions or planned out every aspect of your parenting strategy. And you're the only mom that he/she knows. I think you'll be great. As a parent, you do what you have to do, and you can handle more than you think.

Best of luck to you, and congratulations.
posted by justonegirl at 11:57 AM on November 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Well this is all an enormous help. Thank you for everyone's thoughtful comments. I do know that I'm not the only one who has ever felt this way but it's helpful to hear it. And yeah I think a lot of it is just that it's all so new and it's just me and my partner who know about it so I don't have anyone to talk to about all of this. I'm sure the Thanksgiving dinner that I'm hosting for 12 people is contributing to my stress level as well! I will check out some of the discussion boards noted. Fortunately, I have access to probably the best health care available and my partner is incredibly supportive and helpful and wonderful. I have lots going for me. I'll be really glad when (if?) I get into my second trimester and can unload all my worries and anxieties on my friends with children and my mom. It's all just a bit isolating right now. And dancinglamb, thanks for the link to your previous comment. It is quite apt.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 12:36 PM on November 16, 2007

Mother of 2 here, just wanted to say congrats and nthing to enjoy the experience. Every second of it!! May not seem like it now but you'll be shopping for colleges in just the blink of an eye! My children are the most wonderful and enriching part of my life and I'm glad that you are on the same road. Happy and healthy vibes your way!!
posted by pearlybob at 12:46 PM on November 16, 2007

congratulations, possum.
it's a bumpy ride.
not everyone glows and crows from the very beginning.
some women even heartily resent the parasite inside.

over time this changes.
wait till you see an ultrasound with a kicking little baby.
the tiny blob you would already have seen is too surreal to get emotional about for lots of people. especially if they feel like shite.
make sure you take your partner to any further ultrasounds.
it helps them with the bonding too.

if it helps.... i've never met a mother who said she wishes her child had never been born.

eventually, it all comes together. and although the pregnancy seems completely unnatural to many.... it's not alien the whole time. odd, yes. alien, not always.

make sure you keep up all medical appointments.
buy a fun antenatal book. kaz cooke's "up the duff" is lots of fun and informative too. oooh... if you're in americaland it's "a bun in the oven"great book for pregnant women who aren't into sailor collars, big bows and clucky hen's parties.

those that are parents know you're going to be fine.
exactly because you're echoing some of the deeply held fears and resentments that most of us have had, especially in the early days.

so long as you have some clothes and nappies (and a few bottles and formula in case of emergency breast issues) you can wing everything else. don't get caught up in to the paraphernalia hysteria. there's plenty of time to gradually gather what you need. and babies don't need that much.

when you're feeling better about all of this, come back for question 2 about low impact baby preparation.
we'd all be happy to help.

i had enormous difficulty accepting my pregnancy with my now 1 year old daughter. (won't bore the folks here with the details) but it all came good in the end and now i keep telling her that she's so lovely, i'm going to keep her, not throw her back in the ocean with the fishies.

hugs for you. and mr glow. come back for more advicehere at any time. or feel free to email/message me or the others.
posted by taff at 12:49 PM on November 16, 2007

Speaking as an old parent, don't worry,your great. There's good things y'know.

Speaking! Walking! Self (this is a big one)! Lots of great times after self, I won't spoil the experience.
posted by Mblue at 1:25 PM on November 16, 2007

You mentioned not telling anyone but your husband, but many women do tell a couple close friends or family members to get that moral support during the first trimester. What you are feeling is definately normal, I found my first pregnancy when I was young and sure of myself easier than when I grew older and was a little wiser about the impact of my decisions. For one of my pregnancies there was a famous story about a woman in Mozambique that gave birth in a tree during a flood. It made me realise how natural pregnancy and birth is. I also credit my wonderful midwives for making my pregnancies and births positive experience. Choose your health professional wisely, looking for the bedside manner that suits you.
posted by saucysault at 2:10 PM on November 16, 2007

First, congratulations! Parenthood is by far the most wonderful thing in my life.

I am a Father, not a Mother, but I saw my wife go through much of the same stress. With our first daughter, she got the chicken pox at 5 months and had to endure cold showers to reduce her fever from 103 while covered in spots with a baby inside. She made it through that and our daughter was fine. I quietly ate strange flavored foods she desired and always answered "Yes, dear, that's a good idea." to any question she posed (as should Mr. Glow).

You will do great, all your concerns & feelings are normal. My daughters are 11 & 9 and we still feel unprepared for all the issues (phones, dances, bras, boys, deordorant, sleepovers, dating, college, etc.).

My two suggestions:

1) See as many movies and go out to dinner as much as possible before Baby Glow arrives. Trust me on this one.

2) Don't listen to everyone's advice. Everyone says what worked for them, but it may not work for you. You are hard wired with great instinct on what is best for your child. Trust in yourself and Mr. Glow to do what *you* think best, not what's in a book or on a web site.
posted by Argyle at 2:32 PM on November 16, 2007

I'm your age (or rather, I will be next week!) and six and a half months along, so welcome to the club! In my case, the overwhelm didn't stop after the first trimester, but it is a VERY crazy time, both mentally and physically. Once the changes of the first three months happen and you start to feel better, you will be able to be more calm about the whole thing. Right now, just take care of yourself, sleep when you want, eat for survival and do what the doctor recommends. Everything will take care of itself in time, you will see. And feel free to message another old pregnant lady if you wish :-)
posted by pinky at 3:48 PM on November 16, 2007

First off, congrats! I'm finishing up my first pregnancy, and though I'm younger than you at 28, there's no doubt that this has been a weird, yet great, experience. If I had to sum up my main words of wisdom from the past year's wild ride:

- For me, the worst part of pregnancy was weeks 6-12, and then slowly getting better from weeks 12-14. But prepare for morning sickness to be awful. There were times I was sitting at my desk at work when I was unsure whether to puke into the garbage can at my feet or fall asleep face-planted into my keyboard right there, or perhaps both. It's not just nausea, it's nausea+fatigue in equally strong, numbing waves that would set in (for me) around 3:15 PM, give or take 15 minutes, almost every day for those six weeks.

- The second trimester RAWKED. I felt amazingly good, full of energy. However, this is also when I felt the most weird pulls and cramps and twinges radiating from the center of my stomach towards my hips and lady-bits.

- Speaking of which, be prepared for the day when your favorite sexyparts, previously thought of as recreational and decorative zones, suddenly get turned into, ahem, load-bearing walls. It's not always comfortable. On a related note, your sex drive will oscillate wildly throughout the nine months, thanks to the hormone surges. Sometimes you'll lose your libido entirely, sometimes it will get wildly strong but frustratingly you won't be able to orgasm as easily or often as you used to. And then when that finally stabilizes, your giant belly starts getting in the way, physically, and that's kind of a drag. This is especially annoying, because a lot of the great parts of pregnancy are indulging your desires for comfort -- comfort foods (ice cream!), sleeping a lot, vegging out, comfy clothes, bad TV shows -- and sex would normally be a part of that comfort.

- I worked fulltime, 60+ hours a week, until week 39. Don't push yourself too hard if you're feeling crappy, but honestly, if you feel fine, don't let people try to guilt trip you into not working, either. If I hadn't been working, I would have been bored to tears staying at home, and having the normalcy and stability of hard work to deal with, day in and day out, actually made the weirdness of pregnancy more bearable sometimes.

- Take heart that all your female ancestors have done this pregnancy thing, so you can too! One of my great hobbies is genealogy, and whenever I started feeling overwhelmed by the "OMG, what is happening to me, this is too weird", I would staunchly remind myself that I had great-great-grandmothers who did this eight times, twelve times, maybe more pregnancies that I don't know about because they didn't work out. If they could do that (and in rural shtetl Ukraine and Poland, at that), then I could certainly buck up and do it once in my cushy life in modern Los Angeles! I think going through pregnancy has made me think about these ancestors' lives much more intently.

- Best online pregnancy community, although it's super-crunchy: Fabulous message boards with lots of good medical information and support. Best book about birth: Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth, although she too is super-crunchy.

Oh, and I should mention that I am writing this comment from my hospital bed as I am being induced. Luckily, UCLA Santa Monica has wifi, and reading MeFi is a great way to pass the time while waiting around for your cervix to open for business.
posted by Asparagirl at 4:05 PM on November 16, 2007 [8 favorites]

My wife loved being pregnant, and I'm willing to bet a lot of it came from the fact that she ate very well, got plenty of sleep, and drank lots of water. Stuff we should all do.
posted by 4ster at 4:36 PM on November 16, 2007


I had all the same thoughts & feelings, even though the kiddo was planned. One of the hardest adjustments for me was accepting that I was not one of those glowy, earth-mother pregnant women I had always thought I'd be. I was sick & sore & exhausted & the feel of the baby moving made my skin crawl. I hated nearly every second of pregnancy (except the last 2 weeks, when I felt pretty darn good) & birth, but the 5-month-old smiling & blowing raspberries at me as I type this makes it all bearable. I'd even do it again. :)

Things that helped:
· sleeping whenever I could (including on the floor under my desk during lunch)
· eating whatever would stay down (which meant a month living on nothing but coke, frozen waffles, and cottage cheese)
· massages
· the discussion boards at altdotlife & (linked above)
· avoiding all of the scary pregnancy books (What to Expect When You're Expecting and Your Pregnancy Week-by-week should be burned)
· remembering that women throughout history have done the exact same thing
· working until the very end (a week after my due date) so that I wasn't sitting around at home going crazy wondering when I'd go into labor
· remembering that my body would soon be my own again
posted by belladonna at 5:02 PM on November 16, 2007

I found it very helpful to buy a copy of "What to Expect When You Are Expecting" and read ahead each month, so when some strange pain or weird feeling came up, I wouldn't grow anxious and worry that I was going to have an alien baby or something.

You will likely join, as time goes by, some lamaze, birthing or hospital class with other Moms-to-be, at which time you will realize you are definitely NOT alone. You can also try online groups of already-Moms like my favorite,

posted by misha at 6:48 PM on November 16, 2007

Yup, it sure is.

What you're feeling is completely normal and I felt that way too. (My pregnancy was planned at age 25, so I don't think it is either of those factors.) I think it's just that a baby is going to change everything and you know it.

Luckily you have six or seven more months to get used to it. I found that was the main thing that helped. Just waiting (and reading about pregnancy and babies).
posted by Margalo Epps at 8:10 PM on November 16, 2007

I found pregnancy to be one of the most distressing experiences of my life for all of the reasons you listed. I also had a pretty wicked case of Preparturm Depression to the point where I found myself debating the morality of killing myself during the pregnancy versus waiting until after childbirth.

I really, really hate the "OMG, pregnancy is the most wonderful experience of a woman's life, EVAH" bullshit that gets crammed down our throats. It can be one of the most miserable, distressing things you will ever experience.

The beautiful miracle of it is that in spite of the wretched misery the person developing inside you is inflicting, you will most likely love that person more than you could ever imagine. Seriously, if an adult had inflicted half of the pain upon me that my son did while in utero, a restraining order would be the least of their worries.

I can honestly say that going through my pregnancy in order to end up with my insanely beautiful and funny son was totally worth it, so much so that my husband and I are going to try to have another one soon.
posted by echolalia67 at 1:43 PM on November 17, 2007

Your life is not your own. This is a normal, even rational feeling. Your disconnect is that, because of your age, you actually HAVE life. So now you'll invent a new one, and it will be great. Having children (also over the age of 30), was the best best best best thing I ever did.

And here's the good news-- after 18 years, they go away again and you get your life back, but now you've got this fantastic adult friend who gets you like no one else in your life ever got you.

posted by nax at 6:17 PM on November 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

The only advice I can add to this amazing list of advice is to get a lot of advice, but don't feel compelled to take any of it. I read everything, talked to everyone, etc. so I could have a whole buffet of options, and then picked what I liked from the table. This was especially useful during the first couple of years, when Little Caprietta changed every 15 seconds, so that what worked a minute ago was completely the wrong thing now.

Another suggestion is to write down what you are feeling, because you'll probably forget it all otherwise, or mix it up, and it's an amazing and unique time of your life which you might want to re-live by reading (rather than by getting knocked up again) later on.

FYI, I too had an unexpected and undesired pregnancy, caused by failed BCP, in my late 30s. My beautiful daughter has so completely changed my life in the most magic and wonderful ways I am breathless when I think about it. I absolutely positively did not want children, and now I am the happiest mother on the planet. Having a baby with a supportive partner is just, gasp, fabulous. Congratulations. - Capri
posted by Capri at 8:46 PM on November 19, 2007

My daughter is a year old. Pregnancy and the first 6 months are more disorienting than I would have thought possible. But they can also be fun. Chose one or two things to focus on (ie your job, decorating, whatever) and let everything else just happen as it may. Your body will tell you what it needs, and your mind will freak out. Accept that, and it will all be okay. Remember that whatever happens right now will be very temporary. This is hard to remember when everything feels more permanent than anything ever has before.

Kick back, relax, and don't over-analyze. You're about to go on an amazing ride.
posted by lisaici at 9:28 PM on November 20, 2007

FWIW I got through pregnancy by reading celebrity baby blogs. Do whatever it takes. You're excused.
posted by lisaici at 9:28 PM on November 20, 2007

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