When did your DH "bond"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 29 Old 02-11-2009, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know I may just be too sensitive, but it really doesn't seem like DH fully understands or truly is there for me in pregnancy. Don't get me wrong- he is wonderful and takes care of me and all- but he doesn't seem all that into pg stuff yet. He loved the u/s, but was only outwardly excited after he called MIL. I had a prenatal appt. on Monday and heard the heartbeat- when I called him so happy, he asked me to call MIL and tell her. I refused. MIL is not my DH, and hearing the hb is not a MIL-worthy call for me.

I was upset last night because I was feeling my fundus, which is moving on up to my navel ( ) and I felt a hard knot that I'm pretty sure is the baby. I couldn't get him off of his email to come and feel. I brought it up this morning and was ignored. There's a lot of little instances like that and I feel sorta down about it. Also, I mentioned I didnt always want to be the dd when we go out- just in case I need someone else there who is not drunk- and he basically told me he would be "fine" in an emergency. OK....:

I asked a friend who is a recent first-time daddy about it, and he refused to comment because he didn't want to "get the men in trouble". Whatever. When did your DH really open up to your first? Is there something I can do to facilitate it? He really is excited, but I think scared and detached, maybe?

Mum to DS1 7/09 and DS2 5/11

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#2 of 29 Old 02-11-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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Hugs to you!!! I'm not in your DDC (I'm due in June) and I totally understand why you're upset! This is our 4th pregnancy and DH just felt the baby for the first time and acted like it was no big deal. He also said that he can go days without thinking of the baby. :

With our first, I don't know that DH really bonded until I was bigger, he could feel the baby move constantly, he could start talking to the baby and know the baby could hear his voice (and respond to it!) and we were washing baby clothes, setting up the nursery etc. I think for us we are reminded 24/7 that we're having a baby, plus we're maternal. I think it's just harder for men. Although like I said, this being our 4th I still cried the other night when DH didn't seem to care that he felt the baby, so being a first time mom would be really hard to have the DH not that into it yet!
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#3 of 29 Old 02-11-2009, 02:26 PM
 
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With my first, DH didn't "believe it" until the 20 week us and he could feel the baby moving. Even then, he wasn't very bonded at all. It wasn't until DD was born that he really formed a bond with her. I remember feeling hurt and annoyed.

This time around, DH is much more interested in my pregnancy and the baby. He seems more excited and asks me more questions about how the pregnancy is going.

I wouldn't worry. I think it is common for first time fathers not to bond with the baby until he/she arrives. It is hard for us as mothers to understand because the baby is growing inside of us...it is a contant reminder that we are having a baby and that baby is a real, living thing. Men don't have that physical connection, so it is hard for them to develop an emotional connection.

mama to DD (7), DS (3.5), and another DS arriving in August!

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#4 of 29 Old 02-11-2009, 02:28 PM
 
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I've heard many men don't really bond until the baby is born, and some don't bond until the baby is older. I heard a story (maybe on MDC?) of a guy who told his wife, "isn't it weird how there's 3 of us now?" and the baby was almost a YEAR old! The wife was like... um... you're just now noticing? My midwife told me not to worry if dh seemed detached - I have all these changes in my body all the time, but I'm barely showing and no longer sick. It's hard for someone else to really understand.

All that said, I think one of the things that has helped us so far is the Bradley classes we're taking. It's really focused on getting partners involved, so I think it's been really helpful to him.

Mom to a little boy (June 2009)
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#5 of 29 Old 02-11-2009, 02:30 PM
 
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Only once the baby is born.
He loves the idea of the baby and all, but real bonding only happens when he sees the baby - but then it is strong and instantaneous.
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#6 of 29 Old 02-11-2009, 02:37 PM
 
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I think that the words "scared" and "detached" can be pretty commonly used to described expectant dads, especially when it's the first baby. Being and expectant mom and being an expectant dad are two totally different experiences and even though DH and I have talked about it I'm sure I still don't really understand the full extent of it. Mom has the hormones right from day one, the million ways her body changes, and the early flutterings that only she can feel. Dad has a tired and grumpy wife and takes on a huge mental burden of trying to figure out how he's going to take care of everyone.

When I was pregnant with DD (DH's first), he was excited as soon as we got the BFP but he didn't really seem to get emotionally worked up until I was bigger and he could feel her moving. Even after she was born I think it took a while for something to develop between the two of them. There was certainly the instantaneous love that he felt the first time he saw her, but in the early weeks all of her needs seemed to focus around my breasts so it took a bit until they had their own thing going!

Kim - Wife to Liam , Unschooly mama to Nick (10/00) Lily (09/05) and Olivia (07/09)
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#7 of 29 Old 02-11-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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i think its harder for guys because first off they dont have the natural maternal insticts like we do AND the baby is not growing inside them this is my 4th and my DH doesnt usually feel a BOND with the baby until the baby is here and a week or so old when he has had plenty of time to get to know the baby and see/ feel him/ her

Betsy, Mommy to DS (10) DD (4) DS (2) and DS (1)
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#8 of 29 Old 02-11-2009, 03:49 PM
 
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With our first, DH got more into the pregnancy around 26wks when he could feel and see the baby move, also because we started getting the carseats together, putting out clothes etc etc (he didn't help much, but, I think it made it more real to him). We have to remember that the baby isn't in their body...so they just don't have a way to bond as well. Of course, I don't think true bonding for either parent occurs until holding the baby...there's nothing like it! We have a pic of my DH holding my 5min old son that it just looked he'd been a father for his whole life...so sweet!

This time DH really isn't into it yet either...but, it's easier for me this time because I expect it. He does sometimes ask if I can feel the baby move...he really did love feeling and watching it move with DS1.
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#9 of 29 Old 02-11-2009, 04:20 PM
 
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I dunno, my husband is totally into it. He is constantly touching my stomach, talks to the baby more than I do, and loves to kiss my tummy and lay his head on it. He has already planned the first thing he is going to read to the baby next week (on the assumption that they start to be able to hear at 18 weeks)!

I will say that we did not talk about it much until we were certain the pregnancy was viable (heard the heartbeat, etc). He didn't want to get his hopes up, he said. Maybe your DH is still worried that something will go wrong?

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#10 of 29 Old 02-11-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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songbird - HA! The person you heard that story from (and I'm sure it was on MDC) is one of my closest friends. She and her husband and son were in France (for his work) for a couple of months...and it was then he said that to her. She was like 'SERIOUSLY?' HELLO!

We talk about that often -and I've heard this more than once - that some men just take awhile before it really sinks in and they feel connected.

I'm not very far along, but so far - my husband has been pretty disconnected to anything I might be going through. Especially the m/s. Sometimes I feel like I'm just giving him an excuse and that maybe he thinks I'm just playing the 'im pregnant card'. It makes me crazy!

Ie: especially with regards to have sex. i ask him 'do you remember the last time you had a hangover? imagine a hangover EVERY DAY...and then tell me how much you want to go funky town'. He must be smokin'. Because its the furthest thing from my mind - and the very thought makes me wanna hurl.

I hope it gets better for you!!! For us all...for that matter. He'll come around eventually!

32 - son born 9/21/09
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#11 of 29 Old 02-11-2009, 04:36 PM
 
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With our first, dh was kind of into the whole "my wife is pregnant" thing, but I don't think he really bonded until dd was born. I will say that he fell in love with her as soon as he saw her. He mostly found my pregnancy frustrating, as I was very tired and sleepy, not up to doing much, and not a lot of help at home (I actually fell asleep on the living floor while we were moving).

He's been stressed through all of my subsequent pregnancies, and can't wait until he "never has to hear about birth or pregnancy again". He's been badly affected by the toll my c-sections took on me, and was (obviously) traumatized by the loss of or son in 2007. I think he'd be happy if he never had to see a pregnant woman again. I'm sure he can't even begin to understand why I still like being pregnant in many ways.

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#12 of 29 Old 02-11-2009, 07:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by georgiegirl1974 View Post
With my first, DH didn't "believe it" until the 20 week us and he could feel the baby moving. Even then, he wasn't very bonded at all. It wasn't until DD was born that he really formed a bond with her. I remember feeling hurt and annoyed.

This time around, DH is much more interested in my pregnancy and the baby. He seems more excited and asks me more questions about how the pregnancy is going.

I wouldn't worry. I think it is common for first time fathers not to bond with the baby until he/she arrives. It is hard for us as mothers to understand because the baby is growing inside of us...it is a contant reminder that we are having a baby and that baby is a real, living thing. Men don't have that physical connection, so it is hard for them to develop an emotional connection.
THis was my experience too.

My DH wasn't as interested in the pregnancy.. but as soon as DS was born they instantly fell in love, and have been super close ever since.

Now with this pregnancy, DH is very much interested in all the little things that I tried to get him interested in with our first.

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#13 of 29 Old 02-11-2009, 07:54 PM
 
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My DH is a really great dad. In pregnancy he did whatever I asked, albeit somewhat half-heartedly (let me put it this way - if I do hypnobabies it will be entirely on my own. which is fine by me.). He really doesn't seem to bond with them big time until they're 2 or 3 (or 5 lol) years old.

Honestly, he has a big increase in bonding with one of my kids during and after the time that the next one is born (out of sheer necessity).

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#14 of 29 Old 02-11-2009, 08:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by songbird45 View Post
I've heard many men don't really bond until the baby is born, and some don't bond until the baby is older. I heard a story (maybe on MDC?) of a guy who told his wife, "isn't it weird how there's 3 of us now?" and the baby was almost a YEAR old! The wife was like... um... you're just now noticing? My midwife told me not to worry if dh seemed detached - I have all these changes in my body all the time, but I'm barely showing and no longer sick. It's hard for someone else to really understand.

All that said, I think one of the things that has helped us so far is the Bradley classes we're taking. It's really focused on getting partners involved, so I think it's been really helpful to him.

My husband exactly. He could really care less to hold the baby either. We have two older sons and he doesn't really bond until they are about a year old. I have friends that touch my belly and talk to the baby more than my husband does and I really only get together with them once a week. I put my husbands hand on my belly when the baby is moving and he acts like he can't wait to get it off. Hmmmm, I think I'm going to talk to him about this because it really does bother me. Thanks for the post and making me realize I'm bugged by it.
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#15 of 29 Old 02-11-2009, 08:48 PM
 
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My DH doesn't really get into pregnancy the way I do. I just think it is a different perspective for him. He was/is excited about each of the pregnancies (this will be our third kiddo) and rubs my belly but its just different. The bond for him develops slowly after the baby is born. He is a great dad and cares for the babies but his heart seems to melt around the time the babies smiled at him and be a bit more interactive.
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#16 of 29 Old 02-11-2009, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, it's good to know I'm not alone but I wish all of our DHs would just get it together sooner. My momma died last year, I have no sisters, I could do without my ILs and most of my friends don't have/want kids so I just wish I could share the exciting changes with someone- like, hmm... the one who helped make the baby?

It is hard to make decisions about the birth and get things ready for the baby when I feel like I have to do it all myself. Close to 100% of the info he gets is from me and I think it is important to make some decisions oneself, based on one's own research. I dont want DH to get upset in retrospect and feel like I controlled everything, but he's not a big talker when it comes to emotions and I can't force it. Hopefully once I am big and the babe is kicking he will start to realize and play a more active role.

Mum to DS1 7/09 and DS2 5/11

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#17 of 29 Old 02-11-2009, 10:00 PM
 
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My husband is not a huge pregnancy fan because I am so sick, and though he liked the U/S, he's not into talking to the baby or feeling it kick or anything. When I was pregnant with #1 I wrote in my birth plan that I wanted him to catch the baby, and he didn't want to get in the water if it was going to be all bloody.

After having him watch videos, he was more into it, but it just wasn't his "thing". He is an excellent daddy though, and bonded with my dd as soon as she was physically there.

I have a friend who has a super husband--almost to the point of being feminine. He is into the whole thing can talks about pregnancy and breastfeeding all the time and can tell you minute by minute accounts of his wife's labor and what her cervix is doing, etc.

Some men just aren't big pregnancy and birth junkies, which is why I'm using a doula at the birth. It puts no pressure on the dh to do anything except for what he wants to do. Once the baby comes out, I am sure he will be just fine though

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#18 of 29 Old 02-11-2009, 10:06 PM
 
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FWIW, I'll throw one other thought in the mix.

DH is a wonderful husband, a wonderful father and a wonderful stepdad. He loves his children more than I can possibly say and takes his responsibilities to all of them (including ds1) very, very seriously.

My ex was totally into me being pregnant. He thought it was just the coolest thing ever, and loved every report I gave him about the baby. A "the baby just moved" would cause him to light up like a Christmas tree. He hasn't seen his son in over two years, and only saw him about once a year for several years before that. For the last 2-3 years that we were married, he wouldn't bother picking him up from school if he didn't feel like it, and would yell at ds1 for asking for lunch while my ex was playing a videogame. He smoked pot around him, or kicked ds1 out of our place (to go downstairs to my sister's) so that he could smoke in privacy. He resented having to do any kind of childcare at all, because it cut into his time.

I just thought I'd point out that the degree of interest and involvement a guy feels with respect to a pregnancy doesnt' necessarily correlate to what kind of dad he'll be.

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#19 of 29 Old 02-12-2009, 12:45 AM
 
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Um, since we are pointing things out, I think its rather unfair to assume that all women feel about their unborn babes as y'all apparently do...and that the disassociation is just a "DH" thing.

I still find being pregnant to be rather freaky actually. I do not spend much time thinking about the baby, but rather about how I have to prepare our lives to be ready for the baby. Its not that I am not looking forward to having a child, because heck, it took me four years to become pregnant with this one, but I still see it as a "potential" child instead of a babe-in-arms. Maybe because its my first, and I have never done this before, or maybe because I am older than most first-time moms, but I actually feel a bit resentful that some squirmy thing has colonized my body. Its a loss of control over things that are fundimentally mine, and its rather hard to get used to.

I'll tell ya if anyone touches my belly they're going down! No how no way (except me and hubbie that is). I can't see reading to my stomach or anything likethat either...seems too surreal. So I guess I am saying that I totally understand where your partners are coming from, and I do not think that it is just a guy thing.
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#20 of 29 Old 02-12-2009, 05:36 AM
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Great post!

KimProbable I think you noted it correctly for my situation. DH will even tell you he's terrified but excited.

My problem is somewhere in the middle... DH goes to every Dr's appointment with me. He asked if he could try and feel the baby, and was excited. When I tell him "your baby has been kicking me a lot today" he smiles. He's really into picking out a name. He thinks it cute to see some baby outfit I bought (on sale). He's willing to drive to the store in the middle of the night if I need anything...BUT, it's fleeting. This past weekend was the first time he spontaneously put his hand on my stomach and smiled at me. But he never asks how things are going. After reading all of your comments I feel more assured that his reaction is all normal and he's actually showing quite a bit of interest. I may just be a bit more sensitive now that I'm pregnant.

My main thing is that we have work to do on the house before the baby arrives and he is not motivated to do any of it. But normally things like people visiting us gets him finishing projects in record speed; I thought knowing a baby is on the way would be motivation enough but it's taken two months to half finish a project in our dining room. I'm not sure when it's going to "hit" him and he gets motivated. I told him once the baby arrived he won't want to work on the house. It's frustrating because I won't be able to help if he waits too long. We have u/s on Monday... I'm hoping seeing the baby will be motivation, or else he'll get even more scared.
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#21 of 29 Old 02-12-2009, 04:52 PM
 
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My DH didn't really bond with our son until he was about 3 months old. It really pissed me off at the time, actually, but I've since discovered that this is fairly normal for men.

He WAS helpful prior to that, and was clearly excited about/ loving towards DS. He just didn't *get* it. He kept wanting to toss DS in the air at two weeks to "play;" stuff like that. That was the annoying part. He wanted a kid he could have fun with right out of the gate.

He did bond, eventually. It didn't help that our DS was colicky and could only be soothed with movement, and DH had knee surgery a month after DS was born and couldn't walk with him. :
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#22 of 29 Old 02-12-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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After reading later posts, I realize that I forgot to add something important:
despite never really being able to bond with the babies in the womb like some other expectant dads, my husband is THE BEST dad in the world. Super involved in everything the children do, loving, patient, caring and fun.
From the moment they are born, he is super dad

So please don't worry about what kind of daddy your hubbies will be based on their involvement now.
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#23 of 29 Old 02-12-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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my DH is totally a great father, attached, will wear his babies (and toddlers!) helps with all parenting. However with pregnancies I find he is more into me than the growing baby. Our first he did not bond till 2 days after she was born (premature and he could hold her in one hand so he was freaked). I was really sick, there was talk about maternal death, he was so scared. He did not want to be a father without me, so it was hard for him.

This is our third. He is excited, telling me to enjoy the pregnancy (since it will be our last ... haha so was last time!) but he is not bonding particularly with the baby, but I know he will when it really counts, when I am hormanal, scared, tired and exhausted ... the baby and I will be all that he can see and care about.

Hang in there. Abstract for men (gross generalization) is tough.
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#24 of 29 Old 02-13-2009, 11:01 AM
 
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Um, since we are pointing things out, I think its rather unfair to assume that all women feel about their unborn babes as y'all apparently do...and that the disassociation is just a "DH" thing.

I still find being pregnant to be rather freaky actually. I do not spend much time thinking about the baby, but rather about how I have to prepare our lives to be ready for the baby. Its not that I am not looking forward to having a child, because heck, it took me four years to become pregnant with this one, but I still see it as a "potential" child instead of a babe-in-arms.
Oh, I totally understand. I think the idea of a person-inside-a-person is fundamentally strange in a sci-fi sort of way, and I feel like I'm going through puberty all over again; I barely recognize my own body! And after taking 2 years to conceive this child, I just want my baby! I am not emotionally connected to *this particular child* I'm emotionally connected to the *idea* of a baby, or the *potential* for a baby, if that makes sense.

I am guessing once we start feeling movement we'll start getting to know the "personality" of the baby a bit more, and that will help us feel more connected. I have a couple friends in the third tri, and they tell me their babies are "active" and "stubborn" and other things that I never knew you could tell just from movement in the womb.

Mom to a little boy (June 2009)
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#25 of 29 Old 02-13-2009, 08:15 PM
 
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Oh, I totally understand. I think the idea of a person-inside-a-person is fundamentally strange in a sci-fi sort of way, and I feel like I'm going through puberty all over again; I barely recognize my own body! And after taking 2 years to conceive this child, I just want my baby! I am not emotionally connected to *this particular child* I'm emotionally connected to the *idea* of a baby, or the *potential* for a baby, if that makes sense.

I am guessing once we start feeling movement we'll start getting to know the "personality" of the baby a bit more, and that will help us feel more connected. I have a couple friends in the third tri, and they tell me their babies are "active" and "stubborn" and other things that I never knew you could tell just from movement in the womb.
Thank you Songbird. I was really wondering if these emotions signified that there was something wrong with me.
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#26 of 29 Old 02-15-2009, 01:53 AM
 
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I think it's totally mindblowing that there is a person inside me still
but you know. . . . almost every birth I attend, the woman grabs up her baby exclaiming how she can't believe it's *a baby*. I firmly believe in the surreality of bearing children!
That said, the other night a big box arrived with dd's old nb dipes we'd lent to a friend and Dp opened them and was suddenly. . . "ohhh, we're having a little baby!". Teary eyed even. So I think realization might be dawning

finally midwife mama to my home-birthed nurslings: Noemi Sakura 16.10.07 & Seder Pádraig 13.7.09 and partner to their lovely daddy
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#27 of 29 Old 02-18-2009, 03:58 PM
 
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I don't see anyone else saying this, so I'm going to step out on a limb and volunteer that really, I am more on the "scared and detached" side and my husband is more on the exciting and happy side. I mean, I'm 100% aware of the pregnancy and am feeling movement and so on, and it's not that I don't care about it, worry about it, and know that it will be a baby to me eventually whom I will love. But right now? It's exciting and cool, but it's partly like having an alien inside me. I know a lot of moms who are totally connected and love their babies at this point...but to me, it's still very theoretical. I'm trying not to judge myself for that, but it's a strange thing.

My husband, on the other hand, really likes to try and feel the fetus move, and he's excited about listening to my belly, talking to it, etc. etc. He was excited when I was still sort of mostly alarmed. So...I think it's a pretty individual thing. There's no way to know for sure how any one person will react.
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#28 of 29 Old 02-18-2009, 03:59 PM
 
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Haha, and now I see several other posts with a similar sentiment. Reassuring, I guess.
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#29 of 29 Old 02-18-2009, 04:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangofandango View Post
I don't see anyone else saying this, so I'm going to step out on a limb and volunteer that really, I am more on the "scared and detached" side and my husband is more on the exciting and happy side. I mean, I'm 100% aware of the pregnancy and am feeling movement and so on, and it's not that I don't care about it, worry about it, and know that it will be a baby to me eventually whom I will love. But right now? It's exciting and cool, but it's partly like having an alien inside me. I know a lot of moms who are totally connected and love their babies at this point...but to me, it's still very theoretical. I'm trying not to judge myself for that, but it's a strange thing.

My husband, on the other hand, really likes to try and feel the fetus move, and he's excited about listening to my belly, talking to it, etc. etc. He was excited when I was still sort of mostly alarmed. So...I think it's a pretty individual thing. There's no way to know for sure how any one person will react.
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