FTMs- is it what you expected? — The Bump
September 2015 Moms

FTMs- is it what you expected?

this may have been asked before, but I'm not really sure. 

Since STM+ already had an idea what to expect this time around, I'm going to direct my question primarily towards FTMs. 
Since our LOs are now 6 months give or take a month, and you've gotten a taste of what it's like to be a mom, is it what you expected? 
What did you expect and what's different? What's better than you expected and what's worse? What are you looking forward to and not looking forward to?
STMs feel free to reply too, if you like, especially if this LO is the polar opposite of your older children. 

Re: FTMs- is it what you expected?

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  • Yes! I would also add that I did not bond as expected with my daughter. Lots of people (usually older women, MIL, aunts,etc.) kept asking "isn't this amazing?", "don't you just love being a mother?". I wanted to say "No! I want some sleep and a strong cocktail!" 

    Truly, I'm completely in love with my daughter now. But that didn't happen until about FIVE months. Part of that was her temperament (sensitive and she cried constantly) and she's a poor sleeper. Part of our slow bond was attributed to my mental health (either mild PPD or seasonal depression was looming around November-January). And a large part of it was my surprise with the LACK of support I received from our "closest" family members. My mom was amazing for like 2 weeks then spiraled out of control mentally into depression and began pulling away from me and my daughter. My MIL is the most judgemental person I know, so you can imagine how guarded I felt to show ANY weakness at all. It was hard. So frickin hard. 


    ZebraStripedAsch14shaina925irenejean
  • Wow @kmcshane0211  we have a lot of the same thoughts! It took me awhile to bond w/ DS as well. I was amazed and loved him the instant I saw him, but it wasn't an overwhelming draw to him that I expected. Many days I was mostly looking for ways to get out of the house. And the people saying "Isn't it amazing!?!" Um....NO! It was awful those first few weeks. I was a mess. Nursing/feeding/spitting up was a nightmare. There were mornings from 6am-11am where DS did nothing but cry, eat, or throw up for 4 hours solid. And I was alone because DH didn't have any vacation time left.

    I was also shocked by the complete lack of support I received. Like literally everyone offered to help and I kept trying to get them to come over and people kept not showing up! Or their support was to sit on the couch and hold the baby. Literally MIL came over and sat on the couch for 3 solid hours just holding the baby. Did nothing else. Seriously, the only thing I DIDN'T need help with was holding the baby.

    DH has been amazing though! He really stepped up in a way that I've never personally seen in a man.
    I'm now working full time and momming full time. DS is in a great day care, but I've never been close to a working mom before. All the moms I've ever been close to stayed home. So I have no one to give advice or support. They all just want to complain about how hard being a SAHM was.

    BUT (a word that negates everything I just typed) I've never known someone that makes me as happy as DS makes me. I'd never cried tears of joy before him. It is amazing....now.
    ZebraStripeirenejean
  • I love this post and so many responses have me nodding my head and thinking: "AMEN" haha. 

    It is harder than I thought some days but then on those few good nap days I feel on top of the world. Ds took a turn around five months with sleeping. He went from sleeping about 8 hours to now only 3 so that's been hard and my post partum anxiety really got bad which I didn't expect. Some days it's mentally hard trying to entertain ds all day long as he's pretty clingy and gets bored quickly. However I love his little personality- he's very social and active and even on the days I just want to sit in the shower and cry, I still have those moments of heart swelling love. 

    I think the hardest thing is balancing being mom and being me. Some days I feel like I'm literally just milk maid and maker of odd noises. I have tried to be intentional to still be myself and find working part time when dh can watch lo has helped.

    Im lucky to have a great support system which I think makes all the difference. Dh is so hands on and both his family and mine are very helpful. I seriously think this experience would be so much harder without them. 

    ZebraStripeirenejean
  • Im not a FTM but like other moms on here said its amazing how different each child is. I dont remember  DD needing as much feeds as the twins. I dont remember being so sleep-deprived when DD was a baby. Everything seemed so much easier with her, But @ the same time i thought being a twin mom was going to be harder. Maybe ive just found my way with them.

    This time around i knew things were going to change but i didnt know how much. Dividing my time and attention for the 3 of them individually & together is a task!
    When i first brought them home from the NICU i underestimated how much time it would take to leave the house & it took forever. I was so used to giving DD her clothes. She would get dressed. I would comb her hair I'd tell her to put on her jacket & we would leave where we had to. Now i have to get 2 babies ready & DD ready then myself it takes us maybe an 1.5 or 2 hours to even leave the house if we have something to do.

    & even though its hard. Just like @ElleMF728 said its amazing how your heart has enough room to love all your kids. That was something i was afraid of. not being able to love my kids equally, as ridiculous as it sounds..

    & i know some mommas are having a hard time still, but just remember everything passes & when they are older in an awkward way you'll miss these moments that drive us crazy now. 
    ZebraStripeirenejean
  • I got very lucky with my son and it's way better then I expected. He's not a crier and only does when he's hungry and fights sleep. I expected to hear nonstop crying all the time and it's a pleasant surprises that it's not like that. When I was pregnant, I dreaded the thought of having to get up every 2 hours during the nights to feed him. That wasn't the case either, I loved it. I couldn't wait for him to wake up. MOTN feedings were my favorite because it was just us and it was such a special time. I didn't expect him to grow this rapidly at all! At 6 months old he's in 9 and 12 month clothing, he's grown 10 inches and gained just under 17 lbs. I thought I would have a small baby since I'm only 5'4"..nope! I also didn't get the immediate bond and overcome with love feeling right away. My labor was difficult and I didn't hold him for over an hour so I think that had a huge impact on it. I didn't feel it until the first day we got home. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was afraid to put him in anuthing to let him sleep because I thought he wouldn't be able to breathe and just die, honestly. I was hysterically crying and inconsolable for 45 minuets when we got home. The love for your newborn is so overwhelming that it's terrifying. 

    Things I miss/ don't love:
    - how poor we are
    - being able to sleep without interruptions
    - being able to casually leave the house at any moment or running quickly into a store to grab something
    - I miss alone time with my DH 

    Things that make everything worth it:
    - my sons smile when he looks at me. He doesn't give anyone the type of reaction I get and its the best feeling in the world
    - Seeing how much my husband loves him and how proud he is 
    - the sound of my son talking to himself in his car seat while I'm driving 
    - being woken up by the sound of raspberries and a smile 

    Being a mom is the best thing in this world. I thought there'd be moments where I'd get bored with it, like when you're babysitting and you're ready to give the kids to their parents. I never get bored of him, I could stare at him 24 hours a day and be perfectly happy 
    ZebraStripekatythelady22irenejean
  • Fourth time mom here, but in a way I almost feel like a FTM in some respects because of the huge age gap. My older kids are 12,11 & 11. I thought it would be easier this time around because (a) obviously I've done this before and (b) having a toddler and preemie twin babies seems like it should be so much harder, but boy was I wrong. My older boys may be self sufficient for some things and potty trained, lol, but they still require a huge amount of my time needing help with things and rides to activities both early in the morning, late at night and all throughout the weekend. If I've had a rough night with LO and am running on no sleep I still need to be up and get everyone breakfast, lunches made, make sure everyone has taken their meds/brushed/changed/packed up their homework etc. Homework and projects take hours after school every day and many weekends all our free time. When I was a kid my homework was mine and my parents didn't need to help me, now there is "family homework" where parents are needed to construct things, bake, hot glue, print pictures, sew etc. There are strict deadlines with harsh penalties for not meeting them. It was a million times easier to have three kids in diapers than it has been with three tweens and a baby. There is absolutely no time for me to do anything, or dh and I as a couple. This Easter weekend we'll be working on a Science Fair project and two Invention Convention projects. We have a three day weekend which means extra homework.

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    vibarra27ZebraStripeirenejean
  • STM here - I also and living this post and the responses. It's so amazing to see how far a lot of us have come in the past few months.

    So I kind of echo what @vibarra27 and @ElleMF728 said; I was so worried about how my relationship with DS would change once the new baby came. He was my little buddy and for 3 years we did everything together. I had huge anxiety about two weeks before my due date because I was scared for him. It sounds so silly and irrational now (especially typing it out.) Our relationship didn't change, we still have the same bond. And I'm amazed at how much I can love both these little creatures at the same time. 

    One other thing I wasn't prepared for was how DH would handle having a girl. When DS was born he was all over diaper changes. With this LO he was (and still is) concerned about diaper changes because he's "not used to female parts" in that way. I'm like dude, how do you think I felt when we DS was a infant! 
    vibarra27ZebraStripeElleMF728irenejean
  • My biggest surprise was how much I have come to depend on MIL. i went into this thinking MY baby, Ill be watching him 24/7, I'll be tired all the time and never get a moment to breathe, we won't have time for dates.... In order to stay sane we have been using grandma a lot more than I thought and my biggest surprise of all is that I don't feel guilty about it. We help eachother out, and its like we actually live in a multigenerational family. We mo ed here to be closer to them, but I never actually thought about the dynamics.
    Also, I never expected to be so in love. It's overpowering. 
    ZebraStriperachelkawesomekarebear2301irenejean
  • @ElleMF728 are we the same person?! LOL I taught in a Montessori toddler room, nannied for ten years and helped my sister with all of her children nonstop before my little one! 

    I, now a FTM, knew what I was getting myself into but didn't understand the 'no sleep for months on end' aspect of it. This shit is rough! Wouldn't trade baby love for anything. It's the whole no sleep thing that kills me. This makes my once dreaded finals week look like fun! Ha! 
    ZebraStripeElleMF728irenejean
  • yellow1daisyyellow1daisy
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments Photogenic
    member
    edited March 2016
    Much harder than I anticipated. Echoing a lot of the other mommies that the lack of sleep is really the roughest (and I have a fairly good sleeper). Also the always being 'on'. I don't even really rest well at night because I wake up multiples times just to check on her even if she doesn't wake on her own (or especially if she doesn't wake on her own). 

    She's worth every bit of pain and hardship it took to conceive her though. I wouldn't change a thing. 

    Best part of my day is the excitement, big smiles and laughs I get when I go get her in the morning. 
    BFP May 2013 - MMC at 8 weeks
    BFP September 2013 - MMC at 12 weeks
    BFP February 2014 - early loss/CP at 4.5 weeks
    BFP May 2014 - MMC/ complete molar pregnancy at 11 weeks
    BFP December 2015 - DD born 8/18/2015
    BFP November 2016 - pending...



    ZebraStripeirenejean
  • I didn't expect...
    - to not connect with him right away. It took a month or so to really bond. 
    - to adapt to sleepless nights so well... Not that it was easy, but pre-baby me loved me some sleep, and now I function pretty darn well. Yeah!
    - to think about someone alllll the time. He's the last thing I think about at night, the first thing I think about in the morning and all day in between. I miss him during the day, I look forward to seeing him on my way home and when I wake up.
    - Also I never expected to be so emotionally drained. LO is a fusser and when he's unhappy, it takes a lot out of me. A lot. 
    - I didn't expect to want another... And sometimes I don't. But sometimes I really do. 

    ZebraStripeirenejean
  • Things that were what I expected/better  than expected:

    -husband is hands-on,  top notch, conscientious,  and involved parent/partner. He's like this about everything,  so I knew he wouldn't be "that dad," who is hands off/leaves it all to the wife.  He also waited for a long time to be a parent, and is over the moon about it,  which also adds to his attentiveness. 

    -I adjusted to lack of sleep fairly well.  I've gotten by on minimal sleep most of my life,  so,  apart from the first couple of weeks where everything was basically a dissociative  fugue, minimal sleep wasnt a huge,  new challenge. 

    -that simply being smiled at by my son would be so heartstoppingly joyful and lovely each time it happens. 

    Things that were harder than anticipated:

    -support from non-spousal sources, or, lack thereof.  Not to sound bratty and like anybody owes me anything,  but the biggest letdowns have been people who go through  the motions of giving vague lip service...the,  "Anything you need,  just call, " people who,  when you actually do have a need and call,  suddenly become either totally unavailable or very conditional about whether or not they can help.   It's like don't offer if you don't want me to take you up on it. My husband is awesome.  Other supposed sources of support?  Not so much. 

    -balancing a full-time grad program and parenting  an infant...including going back to class less than two weeks postpartum. 

    -Doing what used to be a reasonable number of household chores around baby needs and schoolwork. There is never a time everything is done. 

    -That breastfeeding would be so very time consuming,  

    -That physical recovery from labor,  including second-degree lacerations,  would be so lengthy. 

    -That my hair would fall out in clumps (though that's eased up in the past month or two).
    ZebraStripeirenejean
  • I don't even know where to start! 

    I did not expect breastfeeding to be as challenging - I had this idea that it was this calm, bonding moment filled with love - not me sitting there crying with pain and stressed LO is not latching correctly or getting enough milk. 

    I expected the physical recovery from labour to be difficult. But it never crossed my mind that I would not have the time to even recover! I could barely sit, to yet alone work on breastfeeding techniques. Add to that sleep deprivation and post-partum depression! 

    The entire time I was pregnant I continuously stated how parenting would be 50-50 between my husband and I. I was so sure of this! Especially coming from a Middle Eastern background, I was determined to be different than the stereotypical norm. I was wrong. It was just impossible. Maybe because I exclusively breastfeed? Maybe because as a mother we easily put ourselves second after our babies? My husband tries to do his 50%, but somehow parenting has naturally led its way to fall into my hands more for us. Whatever the reason, parenting is for sure not 50-50. And there is not a day that I am not jealous of my husbands continuous night sleeping, while I wake up to nurse.

    Well, this post was surely the best form of birth control. Bye bye, baby fever!
    vibarra27irenejean
  • As a first time mom, I have to say that it's about 90% what I expected. My mother was a stay at home mom and I am the oldest of her four so I had lots of hands on experience with infants and how to mother full time. I had hoped for my darling daughter to sleep through the night sooner and more often than she does but that is her personality I suppose. I will say this I'm half terrified for my next baby because this time around I was blessed with a happy and well tempered little girl and I've seen how radically personalities can change with each baby. Another surprise that came with being a FTM was the bonding and love between my LO and myself. Of course, every soon to be mom is tills about the magical moment at birth but it just doesn't fade. We still look at each other as we did in those first moments and it's amazing!  I can't explain how much I love my LO and being her mother. But while I can't wait to have more babies and do fear that I won't be able to multiply my love or be equal with more children. I've seen mothers who utterly fail at properly spreading love and damaging one or more children just like I know children whose mothers knowingly didn't love them as much a their siblings and I fear that. Does anyone feel that way as well or understand?
    vibarra27irenejean
  • I have to agree but only to the fact that I thought parenting would be 50/50 but my other half thought other wise. He is very traditional thinking to put it gently. We are working on it however, right now its about 25/75 Lol.
  • I am a FTM and am over the moon in love with DD. I always come back to how blessed we were to conceive without intervention since we are older parents. For the most part it is exactly what I expected however the lack of sleep and lack of my free time is the biggest change for me and I didn't white expect that. I would love to run to the store real quick or get a quick manicure but there is no more "real quick" anything. I crave to sit and pick up - let alone finish - a book I started months ago. DH is so hands on and way better than I could have ever expected and makes me more and more in love with him every day when I witness them together. I'm suprised how my relationships with close friends have changed and think it's mostly because they don't have kids and in a weird way it doesn't matter to me all that much because my priority is my family now. I will say that the first few months while I was home was an eye opener to how hard it is to be a SAHM and I find now that I'm back at work - a career that I really do enjoy - makes me appreciate it all and I find while I'm busier, I'm doing a better job with her and find that I'm happier than I could have been with her experience and all she gets to do and learn at daycare. I at first was against it but I now realize as everything seems to have fallen into place it was the right decision for our family and it really is the quality of time you spend with LO and not quantity. I am absolutely loving every-single-moment and couldn't be more in love with my daughter. I can't believe how much my life has changed and how swollen with love my heart is. I am so proud to be her mother, strive to be the best version of me and I couldn't be happier. 
    ZebraStripeJenLovesDesignvibarra27irenejean
  • jen83mnjen83mn
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    edited March 2016
    My biggest shock was the strain it put on our relationship ... this whole parenting thing was a lot tougher than my husband anticipated (I knew it would be tough, especially at first!). We've had some tough times, but I think we're slowly figuring out how to do this whole family of 3 thing now and enjoy each other again. :)

    I had expected to love my little dude more than anything, but I didn't realize the extent to which I could love someone. It's unlike anything else ... you love your parents, you love your siblings, you love your spouse, but the love you feel for your own baby is indescribable. I could seriously just sit and stare at him all day and everything he does is amazing to me, lol.

    I also didn't expect my friendships to change, but they have ... maybe they haven't from their point of view, but I find it harder to relate to all my friends who don't have kids anymore, especially when what I want to talk about most is my baby!

    I did expect the sleep-deprived nights and the lack of free time ... that's not to say it doesn't get to me every now and then (thankfully our little man is an awesome sleeper now, but we had our share of multiple night wakings!), but I am trying to be better about carving out at least once a week to hang out with friends or do something for me while DH watches the baby.

    Being a mom is the best decision I have ever made! When I was in my early 20s, I didn't ever want kids, and my mom was heartbroken and said us kids were the best thing that's ever happened to her and that having your own kids is so different than hanging out with other people's kids. She was so right!
    ZebraStripevibarra27irenejean
  • There were things I didn't expect both ways.

    I didn't realize breastfeeding would be so difficult. It was emotionally difficult and physically painful and was the biggest drain on me those first couple months. But I'm so happy and proud that we are going strong now! 

    I did not understand the permanent changes that would happen to my body and how long it would take it to recover and return to normal (as close as I will get). My pregnancy was so easy, very few side effects, no physical aches, didn't get that big, was able to be physically active until the end....I thought my body would return to normal right away. But there are all these little things that are hanging around or that I'm still noticing. I'm still coming to terms with the permanent changes in my body.

    My favourite surprise was how fun my DS is! This sounds bad but I thought he was going to be so boring for the first year or so. I anticipated putting a lot in and getting little in return. But I am seriously loving every stage!! He is so much fun and they learn new skills so fast that they are amazing to watch. 
    ZebraStripevibarra27irenejean
  • irenejeanirenejean
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    edited March 2016
    I'll second what others said about being on 24/7 and how hard it is. I know a lot of moms and I knew it was going to be hard, but man, I don't think there's anyway to know how hard it is until you're a parent. DH and I both feel this way. Sleep deprivation, no free time, no social life, becoming parents really changed our life!

    I also don't think I could have known how much love I could have for my child. It was one of those things that I knew about, but couldn't really understand until LO was here. I spend so much time just watching him, and it's amazing!

    I thought my stretch marks and extra weight would bother me. While I am on my way to losing the baby weight, I'm not nearly as obsessed about it as I thought I'd be. And my stretch marks don't bother me. I think I'm in a much healthier relationship with my body now, oddly enough. 

    I didn't expect to be one of those moms who constantly takes pictures of her baby and posts them on social media, but I TOTALLY am one of those moms! #sorrynotsorry

    Edited to add: I was totally surprised by the postpartum hormones. I'm normally pretty even-keeled, but those first few weeks after LO was born were so rough. I'd cry over nothing and stress about everything. I hated not feeling like myself for those few weeks.
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