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I just need to vent - feeling numb

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I suppose this should go in "parents as partners" or something, but really wanted to post it here instead because I have got to know some of your names, and it IS related to pregnancy (seeing as every aspect of my life relates to pregnancy at this point!!).

I am going to try to shorten this, but it may end up being a bit long, since I'm feeling the need to just type it all out. Sorry for that.

My partner and I are not married, and this was an unplanned pregnancy. Although in the very beginning, it took us a while to get our heads wrapped around the idea, we are both VERY excited, and couldn't be more thrilled about our little guy that is almost here. DP has been super supportive the whole time, and I know he's going to be a fantastic dad. He will be really involved - I think he would even breastfeed if it were possible! I've been feeling happy in our relationship, and confident in us as a family up until this point.

As of last night I feel completely shattered and numb. DP mentioned something that would mean a possible change in what I envisioned our family life to be like, and I really never saw it coming. He currently works as a teacher, and loves it. He told me last night that he received an email from someone about an opportunity that would both take him away from his current job, as well as away from our family (for a period of time, anyways). This opportunity would be an absolute dream for him, as a musician, something he has wanted to do all his life. (So why did I not see it coming, you say? lol)

I don't know any details, and neither does he, but it could mean that he would be away, out of the country, for a few months at a time. It could also mean a lot of money, a lot more than his salary right now - we don't know those details either. He has friends who have lived or are living this life right now, and I hear about how much they miss their families, and how rough it is. We have one friend who toured with a very well known band for over a year - he had to watch his daughter's first birthday party on tape in his tour van, and he cried through the whole thing. It's stories like these that are upsetting me right now.

I am getting WAY ahead of myself. He was sent one email, and it is more likely that this will turn into nothing. What is bothering me is that DP told me that he sent the guy the first email, actually seeking this opportunity out, and that this email back was a response to it. The fact that we are weeks away from having a child, and he is looking for an opportunity that would take him away from us just doesn't make sense to me. On one hand I understand that it would be his dream to do this, but I just can't get passed this sadness that he doesn't want to be here, with his family. I personally can't imagine *choosing* to leave my partner and baby for an extended period.

I don't want to feel like this when the baby arrives. I don't want the baby to come now, because my confidence in DP and I as a couple feels shattered, and I am not confident in us as a family anymore. What awful timing, especially with my hormones all over anyways! I don't even know what, if anything, to say to DP, since he will just tell me that I am getting way ahead of myself, and that we'll deal with it when the time comes. I don't think hearing that will make me feel any better.

Any words of wisdom? I haven't slept at all tonight, because I can't stop worrying about this. Am I being unsupportive? Do I have a right to feel this way? What should I do to make myself feel better for this baby's arrival?

TIA,
winn
post #2 of 8
Oh, sweetie, I'm sending lots of s. I hate stuff like this. You have every right to feel this way, but I also think that you are getting ahead of yourself (I also tend to have this problem). Can you take a bath, drink some tea, maybe take some rescue remedy? Also maybe talking to your dp, saying something like, "I know I am way ahead of myself, but I'm 9 months pregnant, and the hormones are flying and this feels really real and scary to me right now." I totally do this to myself. Stay up all night freaking out about something(lately it is money stuff), and then I feel like I am just on an anxiety roller coaster. So I try to calm myself down externally(with bath, tea, etc), and calm down internally by discussing it with dh. Often just getting it out there helps, even though there usually isn't any resolution per se. I hope some of this is useful, if nothing else, I'm here listening.
post #3 of 8
That's hard. I don't think you're being unsupportive - there are just bigger needs that you see right now that take precedence over his possibly pursuing this opportunity. The end of a pregnancy - whether it was planned or unplanned - it always a difficult time, in many ways, because it is a period of transition. Everything can be going along fine and then one partner starts to get worried about whether they will be a good parent, whether they will like parenting, etc. and perhaps takes some actions that, in a different context, would completely not make any sense. Who knows what your partner is actually thinking. He may be experiencing some of that insecurity, perhaps even subconsciously, and that is what gave him the little push he needed to check out this opportunity. He may not realize that. But it may be happening just the same.

Having a baby is a very big transition in life. Having something like this cross your path at a time like this is far more difficult than if you weren't expecting a child. I am sure that it really, really hurts. It does not surprise me that you were unable to sleep. It's a tough blow to take, even if it is just theoretical.

I don't know what to tell you except that it sounds like you feel like you're not in control of the situation (rightly so) and that somehow you need to get your groove back and feel like you are going in a direction you want to go in again. Sometimes that means looking at the things you are happy about and building on them. That may include grieving for the loss of the life you thought you were going to have - even if it turns out to be a theoretical idea that never goes anywhere. It's kind of like preparing yourself for a stillbirth. The possibility of stillbirth is real, and sometimes it does happen. Chances are you will not have to face that or deal with it, but just the same, if you are prepared and it does happen, it is still hard but perhaps not as much so.

Even if he never pursues this and everything you thought was going to happen does happen, you still somehow need to let go and grieve. You thought something was going to happen like a sure thing, and now perhaps it isn't as sure. Unfortunately, life doesn't always work out the way we like, and sometimes we have to let go of things even though we end up getting to keep them. I know it is incredibly diffcult, and I know the path will not seem apparent to you right away. But somehow you have to figure out how to let go and allow yourself to grieve, and then you will be able to move on.

I trully hope that he decides to stay. My strategy, I think, would be to ask him lots and lots of questions and let him answer them. That's a strategy that has worked well with my dh. I had a very difficult birth with our ds and dh didn't want to have any more children. My clock was starting to really tick, and I really wanted more children. So I just started asking him questions about the reality of not having any more children. In your case, questions like, "Do you think you would be okay not being there for your child's first birthday?" (thinking of the friend who watched the video and cried). Think of the realities of what it would be like, think of the most painful moments, and ask your dp how he would feel about that. Either you will process some of that grief now so that if those situations do occur, you'll be a bit more prepared, or you will help him convince himself (by answering the questions for himself instead of doing what you think) that this is not as exciting of a plan as it may sound. Lots and lots of questions. That way he will think for himself and make the decision for himself, but you have complete control over which questions you ask. Don't make all of them be worst case scenario questions, and make sure he understands that you understand why he is excited about this opportunity (some questions about that would be great too). You don't want to tell him what to do so he feels trapped, but you can have a significant influence over the decisions other people make by asking the questions. Asking questions would also give you a sense of control over the situation again.

Hang in there - my heart goes out to you.
post #4 of 8
Oh, big hugs, mama! This seems like a pretty big deal to me, too ... and I think you've gotten some great advice so far. My thoughts on this are maybe that having a child can turn the partner's world upside down, too...and maybe it's made him a little - well, not crazy - just temporarily freaked out? Maybe it brought on thoughts about "I'm never going to follow my dream if I don't do it now" or maybe he's worried about money and wants to boost the finances, maybe it's his way of subconsciously rebelling against all the responsibility of being a parent?

Telling him how you feel and asking lots of questions and listening sounds like a good idea.

This is not the same at all, I know, but I'll share my experience with DH. I got pregnant while on the pill with DD, and although we were married and had talked about trying for kids maybe a year out, it took him months to adjust to the idea, and he was pretty angry at me when we first found out. He was really holding on to the idea of making up for his own childhood, getting to do what he wanted with his free time, not being responsible for someone else. I don't blame him - that's how he felt. Even after our daughter was born, he did a lot of hiding out in the basement playing video games, sort of in denial that it was happening - she was really colicky and not the kind of baby that any new parent dreams of much of the time - think constant screaming day and night for months and months!

The thing is, he grew into the role, he got over his fears and has learned to let go of some of the selfish stuff in order to enjoy our family more. He is actually excited, if very scared, about this new baby we're about to welcome. Remember that it is a process, and do your best to stick with him through it.

In the mean time, warm thoughts to you. I hope you are able to process your end of it and find a way to enjoy welcoming your new baby.
post #5 of 8
I am so sorry you are feeling so bad . My dh took a job about a two weeks before we had ds. At that point I felt completely abondend. But in retrospect it was the best thing. My situation was completely different though, my dh didn't have to leave for months at a time. I was just trying to let you know I know how tuff it can be to feel left. For my dh it was the money and his way of wanting to support his family while doing something he liked.l It was really important for him to be able to support a life where I could stay home with our child. I hope this works out for you hon. Maybe it is the money for him too, and he wants to be able to give something to you and his child. Men get weird during pregnancy LOL.
post #6 of 8
Musicians!! : (And I'm one, too.) My dh toured with his band for 10 years. During the last few years they've been touring less and less and have all but stopped. Our baby was also unplanned and has put a complete end to his touring. He totally laments it way too much for my taste. I sometimes feel guilty for being pregnant, like I've screwed something up for him.

I hope you can talk him out of it. I know it's his "dream job", but his dreams aren't the only dreams out there now. Maybe he's just panicing. It's hard for some people to wrap their minds around the idea of being responsible for a baby. It means growing up, and that's really hard for some people (like my dh). Good luck, get some sleep and know that there are lots of us sending you our .
post #7 of 8


When I read that he sought out this opportunity, my first thought was that his main concern might be paying for this baby, he's not even thinking at this point about what he would miss if he were gone. With DH and I, I was concerned about how we would parent our children while he was concerned about how we would afford to parent our children, does that make sense? So while I was nesting and reading about how to care for babies, he was trying to figure out how to make more money and looking for different employment.

Please don't take my response as my not being concerned or compassionate, I do think it sucks terribly that NOW is the time he brings this up, and I hope you two are able to quickly resolve this. You are in my thoughts!
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the thoughtful responses.

After posting this yesterday, I went back to bed and managed to get a few hours of sleep in, and then everything looked a little cheerier. I didn't end up bringing the topic up again with him, because I really don't see the point right now. If something further happens with this, I will certainly have a conversation with him and ask all those questions! At this point, I'm actually not all that worried that it will even happen (that he would go away), because it would be such a huge thing.

I hadn't even thought of the money issue before, but that could be part of it. We are incredibly broke right now, and although I will be getting maternity leave for the next year, it will be barely enough to cover our groceries - the rest is on him. I know he's really concerned about this, and he's been following a strict budget ever since we found out about the baby to make sure he will have little debt, and some savings accumulated by the time baby arrives. Personally I would much rather live like this with him HERE than have more money and have him be away!

I decided I'm just going to push it out of my mind for now - I have more immediate things to think about, and it's just not worth it to be upset about something that isn't likely to happen anyways!
Thanks again for the responses, they made me feel so much better!

winn
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