View Full Version : Father to be having regrets and doubt
12-24-2009, 06:11 PM
My babies due in June and i dont feel at all interested. I would go as far as saying that i dont care for it. The thing is,my gf and i had talked about having a child and the idea made us happy. When we found out she was pregnant, we were both delighted. However, lately ive lost all interest. I tried to spark interest by thinking of names and buying clothes for it,rubbing her tummy,trying to feel and hear it,just hoping that some connection would evolve.
Its gotten to the point that ive talked with my gf about my lack of interest for our unborn child and if i would be there ,physically, for them after the birth. I think it has to do with my fear that i wont be attracted to my wife after the child is born. It sounds shallow, but im being honest. I think shes perfect now and after hearing of the stretch marks,sagging breasts, and her vagina not being how it was before birth, not to mention the lack of intimacy most couples suffer after the birth, i find myself at a crossroads. I know all these marks of childbirth are not permanent.
If these did happen , i think i would blame the child and hold a grudge. Even though i know the baby did nothing wrong, i know part of me would still hold it accountable. The thought that a loveless father would raise this poor child also is at the back of my mind.
I would appreciate advice, or related situations that anyone here has. Is this normal?
Please note , its not a fear of responsibilty or of being a father.
12-24-2009, 06:58 PM
Most fathers don't connect with the baby until after it is born. Mothers get the joy (and pain) of carrying the child so they connect almost immediately. The physical items that you mentioned don't happen to every woman. I did not get any stretch mark, sagging boobs, or a different looking vagina. Even if these things were to happen I highly doubt that you would resent the child. And if you do start to feel resentment towards him/her then you can always seek couseling to help you cope with those feelings. There is still a good 6 months before this baby arrives and I think you are most likely feeling what most first time fathers feel at this point. Apprehension of the unknown, it is normal and most likely will pass. If you can, please find someone that you can talk to about your feelings, someone that can help you understand and deal with them. Good luck.
12-30-2009, 09:37 AM
hardworkinmama is right. a lot of men dont feel a thing until the baby is in this world. I think it has to do with pregnancy being a special time for the mom. She gets pampered and everyone smiles and touches her belly, pregnancy is more of a woman thing lol. Dont worry about it oh and I showed this post to my husband. He said its fine, when we were pregnant with our first, i would get excited about going baby shopping and he was in the car going yay, shopping (insert sarcasm here lol) But he wants me to tell you that as soon as that baby is in your arms for the very first time he or she will have you wrapped around their little pinky. and its true!! so good luck to you and your girlfriend
12-30-2009, 10:40 AM
I tried to involve my husband as possible when I was pregnant. He went with me to dr's appts, read to the baby, and when he saw the ultrasound he fell completely in love. It takes time to adjust but try to be involved, it helps a lot. Good luck to you!
01-06-2010, 02:09 PM
My boyfriend was basically the same way you are. WHen we first found out he was so excited and as the pregnancy got further and further and I got bigger and bigger and things changed, he became less interested he even stopped going to some doctors appointments and didn't want to do anything extra like lamaze classes so I missed out on things too! Don't abandon her at her most vulnerable of times. It really hurt me that he didn't want to connect or even be a part. We did stick it out until our daughter was born even though I wasn't very pleased with them to say the least, but the second she was born he fell in absolute love with her! Everything changed at that moment, he never left my side in the hospital except to get food, he would just stare at her for hours in amazement, he was helping me get in and out of bed and go to the bathroom and such (believe me it is not easy she can use all the help after she can get). Now he is a wonderful father, he loves to come home after work and play with our daughter and read to her and put her to bed. It's quite amazing. Our sex life, because I know your oh so worried about that after , she has to heal and get doctor's ok for you two be having sex after. And I'm not gonna lie the sex may not be like before because you will have a newborn and in between diaper changes and breastfeeding(if she decides to) and play time you both will be exhausted especially her because I'm being honest here men generally let the women do everything. Plus added chores and work if she goes back after. There will be little time or energy to do it. Hopefully you can deal with it and stay with her and the baby. It will not always be like that once they get older and a little more independent and they slep though the night and don't need you so much the sex life picks up a little bit.
Hope this helps!
01-06-2010, 04:37 PM
If you're trying to keep the guy engaged, it would probably help if you didn't trivialize his concerns ("because I know your oh so worried about that after..") or let him know that he will always be considered the moral inferior ("men generally let the women do everything.").
01-06-2010, 07:24 PM
My hubby felt pretty left out of our first pregnancy, and the baby didn't feel real to him until he felt the kicks. While you don't have to obsess over every detail the way your gf might be, it will probably help to continue taking an interest. And maybe one way to do that is by referring to your baby by something other than "it". Maybe it's not intentional, but if you say "he", "she", or "the baby", that makes your child much more of a person now, and you'll start building that connection. It's normal to worry about how your gf's body will change. Chances are, she's also worried about that and wondering if you'll find her less attractive. While her body may not look the exact same way it used to, if she's generally in good physical shape now, she'll probably bounce back pretty quickly. And having a child together will help you find more reasons to be attracted to her! Good luck!
01-07-2010, 09:19 PM
Don't assume the horror stories will happen to your GF. I never got stretch marks, my boobs are still the same, everything is still the same. Of course be realistic, she is not going to walk out of the hospital looking like she did before she got pregnant. It takes 9 months - 1 year for most women's bodies to get back to "normal" naturally. That means vagina goes back to normal and hips getter narrower, stomach goes down. This all takes time. Just be patient and positive. If you start thinking that this child is now your responsibility and will love you and rely on you in a way that no one in life ever will, and not something that is taking away from your girlfriend's beauty, maybe your priorities will get more in check. Your girlfriend is giong to need a tremendous amount of support, she will be going through extreme hormone changes in the coming months. She needs to know that she is loved and is beautiful. Please put your self needs aside for a little while and consider her. You made this child as well. If it is difficult to put your needs aside for this time, wait until a baby comes. Your child's needs come before yours for a very long time. that is being an adult and parenthood. It is also not horrible, it is a wonderful feeling to know someone loves and relies on you so much. You will hopefully realize that there are things in life so much more important than a stretch mark. When you are up every night for hours at a time with a crying baby, stretch marks will be the last thing on your mind.
01-09-2010, 01:21 AM
First of all I think all the things you are feeling are normal and most likely felt by lots of guys, they just don't say it out loud. Your gf might even worry about her body and loving the baby, hey we woman are human too! Just give it time. As the delivery date nears you will probably begin to feel more connected to the baby and see what your woman is going thru with her pregnancy. Don't feel bad about your feelings but in her defense, or not even defense but just to put her feelings in mind, I would stop saying out loud things like "not being ther for the baby". My boyfriend can be kinda immature bout stuff and thats fine, to each his own but I'll tell you it can be stressful to hear you worry about things that we can't control, like her VAGINA feeling the same. Its a perfectly natural thing to wonder about this, but I stressed about this too and its useless cuz whats gonna happen will. Here's the thing, it might never feel the same, her body might never look the same. But that doesn't mean it won't look or feel good. Is her old body and vagina the only one you have ever been attracted too? also she's probably worried bout all these things too. May I suggest Kegels? (I did em with every feeding) Seemed to work for us. but I will say getting back in the swing of things was a lil awkward, but hey we tried a few more times and its all good now!
And as far as stories you heard about love lives fizzling after a baby, it can happen. But honestly that can happen at any time if you two don't work at it. Make sure you both agree that your love life is close to the top of the list. Spend time together, get creative, sneak in quickies and have date nights!! Don't forget about each other. Tell her she's sexy, cuz she won't feel like it sometimes, especially being home all day with a baby.
And don't worry about resenting the baby. You will learn to love the baby. It doesn't happen overnight, something will happen either an ultrasound or even a late night feeeding between you and the baby that will make you connect with the baby. But don't give up!!! And once you fall in love with being a father, you'll never want to let it go. Good luck
01-10-2010, 05:10 PM
I appreciated all the comments.
As for how what i posted. Its mostyl all gone. I think its just a phase that some guys can go through. Im excited for the baby to come out and i cant wait to hold it. We had an ultrasound the other day, and i think that really woke something up.
I dont know if this helps some guys out there, but i was thinking why i was feeling like this. The major thing i felt is that my wife is being exposed. All those doctors looking at her. My gf wanted female doctors, so when i found that out, it was a relief.
Another was that i wasnt the only thing in her life anymore. I was looking at it all wrong like that.
It really helps to talk with someone, and posting on this board was a major step in relieving my insecurities. Thanks again.
01-14-2010, 02:41 PM
yeah, i felt a lot of dis-interest when my fiance was pregnant with our first, i was terrified that after the bad childhood i had, and the horrible examples my parents had set for me, that i was going to be a terrible father as well. i think i was as wrong as i could be. my fiance's body did change afterward, but my love for her is not based on physical attributes, and it never was, i love her as a person, and with or without a belly, stretchmarks on her breasts, or the bigger behind she has now, i love her more than i did before the baby. i think your fears and apprehensions will fade when you hold the baby for the first time. its a life changing experience. trust me .
01-14-2010, 07:41 PM
Dont worry about it, men are not as into until after birth. When you lock eyes on your baby it will be a different story!
01-24-2010, 11:48 PM
I think you're a very selfish person.
01-25-2010, 06:13 AM
My baby just started smiling at me and I can't tell you how great it feels. She recognizes me. I can tell she really is starting to like her daddy.
Unlike mommies who have a deep bond with baby from conception. For daddies it takes a lot more time. I can't say I felt a whole lot the first time I held any of my children, but that first smile is what melts my heart every time.
Regarding your fear of a compromised sex life after the baby is born, most women are advised to refrain from intercourse for 6-8 weeks after childbirth. Within that time period many women go back to looking and feeling their best.
So my advice to you is take things one day at a time and cross bridges when you get to them, not before.
01-25-2010, 12:28 PM
I agree that this post does not exhibit pinnacle of selflessness.
Nevertheless, had it occurred to you that part of the purpose of a forum called "Dad to Dad" is so that there's a place where man can discuss their issues about parenting, even those that are less than flattering, in a place free from judgement from women?
01-26-2010, 03:12 PM
First I want to commend you for your courage. NO ONE should be judging you for your feelings. When we as women feel judged for feelings we have, especially by men, we go off the deep end. I'm glad that you are coming out and saying what some men do not have the courage to say. Talking about it and getting it out in the open is the only way to deal with it in a healthy way.
I actually felt similar to you, and I was carrying the little man! I grew up in a broken home, had a father who had very little to do with my life and I had *literally* never held a baby before I held my own. I was sure I didn't know how to be a mother...
I was also afraid my DH would not be attracted to me after. I did get stretch marks just under my navel, but around 6 mos after they are gone. And there is a little weight, but I'm working on it. 10 lbs down, 15 to go. But the vagina is a wonderful thing, it bounces back well! I had a superficial tear, but that is all, and my husband said it doesn't feel any different to him.
Alot of the uneasiness melted away after he was born. I was still a bit scared of him at first, and I felt ackward and such... and I did get frustrated at night when he woke me up. But as soon as you see that little face, you just cannot be upset anymore. It's hard to explain, but it only took about 2 weeks and it's all gone. I couldn't imagine my home without my little man of the house, even if I tried!
It's hard now because the baby is not "tangible." But once he comes, you will catch up quickly. One thing that really helped me connect with him was to get down on the floor and play with him. Learn what he's learning, teach him how to grasp, hold, sit up, hold his head up, babble, etc and just enjoy time with him. Offer to feed him (if he's nursing ask Momma to pump so you can give him the goodness in the bottle), and change a few diapers here and there. Offering care to your LO makes him more "yours."
And remember, Love is a choice. You choose to love someone, despite their flaws and despite your frustrations with them. Even when it's hard, choose to love your gf and your darling LO and God will do the rest! Best of luck!
01-27-2010, 10:10 PM
Takes a lot to admit that and especially on a site that seems to be mostly mothers! I respect that you are able to do that. My husband has two children from a previous girlfriend, and 2 with me (2 boys, 2 girls), then we found out I'm pregnant again and the feelings were a mix of shock, severe disappointment and unpreparedness. I thought at first when we found out that we might look into abortion (I have SERIOUS medical conditions to where me carrying a child is so dangerous to myself and the baby that my doctors have been encouraging me to get my tubes tied since I had my first child...I'm only 23). We thought about it and then realized that we werent able to do it due to emotional regrets of abortion (I still feel that a woman should be able to make her own choice though). I have found myself regretting NOT getting an abortion though. The thought of 5 children it terrifing to me, I worry that I will not have as much love for this child as I do for the children we already have, and I especially worry that one child will be left out. I know that growing up in a three child household I was picked very last for everything. My mother favored my sister, my step-dad favored my brother (and absolutely HATED me), and it was a very uneven household. My grandparents were the ones to step up and threaten custody challenging if it wasn't made more equal. I NEVER want someone else to have to come to me and make me aware of my neglect towards another child. Needless to say, they ended up favoring me and doing anything and everything they could for me. Still do to this day. I worry that, that will happen most of all. My two step children dont live with us so, our house is pretty calm. I worry especially for my daughter that she will end up with responsibilities to help out. I remember the pain of wanting more of a childhood and less jobs as a "go-fer" as in going for diapers, wipes, helping with chores, etc. I believe that yes a older brother and sister can help but that it's not their job to pick up a small portion of parenthood. I have had some regrets with getting pregnant and now as my due dates dangles ever so close I hope that the feelings change. I want to want to have this baby. I want to want to feel the connection and not worry so much. Hard to feel differently so far yet.
01-28-2010, 12:35 PM
Mrs_Mamma_of_3 - Parening Magazine had an article a couple yrs back that talked about that "surprise" pregnancy & how many women feel about it. Of course you're in shock. And probably angry. And I'm sure that regardless of how you feel during the pregnancy - once they hand you that little baby, and you look into his/her face... well you just go into auto pilot. All of a sudden you are head-over-heals in love with this new little stranger. And you cant get to know him fast enough! When i found out we were expecting our 2nd - despite it being a planned pregnancy (vs our first which was a "surprise"), i felt a twinge of betryal. Like i was cheating on my first son. And i was saddened throughout the pregnancy of the idea of "displacing" my first born. And when baby#2 came along - i was just AMAZED at how easy & natural it is to love yet another family member. Besides remember: loving that new baby is like loving yourself, right?? I think i treat both my boys equally - but taylored to age-appropriateness. Growing up my family also had favorites. And I know not to do that to my boys - even though i was in fact the favorite of many relatives. Just be patient with yourself, and forgiving. You're not perfect - you can just do your best.
As for Dad - so brave of you to post! And its great to hear that you're once again excited about the baby. My husband wouldn't acknowledge my pregnancies for the first 3 mos out of fear that something bad might happen b4 then. But by the time that first sonogram is taken, or when he can feel those first few belly kicks - he was ALL into it! He thought it was amazing when my son would press his little head up against my belly and create this alien like bulge. It creeped me out but my huband loved it! It was like holding your baby in-utero. So just roll with it and have fun! Congrats!
01-28-2010, 08:37 PM
Hey, your girlfriend needs you right now. I think it's pretty messed up that you think that way but you can't help how you feel. However, you can decide what actions you are going to take. Just like you said, that baby did NOTHING wrong. It deserves the world. If your girlfriend works out after she has the baby and takes care of her appearance, she will look fine. And if you are feeling this way, maybe it is a deeper problem that has something to do with you and your girl, not the baby. Whatever you do, just PLEASE don't walk away from that child. PLEASE. My boyfriend is only 17 and if he can do it and be a father then you can.
01-29-2010, 02:20 PM
My boyfriend was not excited when he found out we were pregnant. He did step up and take responsibility, but he was not interested in being a father. He worried more about me no longer being sexy and him losing his "man" time (dart league, Sunday night football, beers with the guys). This caused us to break up before our son was born, but we did still speak because he knew he had a "responsibility" to the baby. He came to one prenatal appointment and the prepared childbirth class, but no shopping, attending the baby showers or helping me. He told me he didn't want to be a dad and he wasn't ready.
Then our son was born and all his negative thoughts went out the window. He's a wonderful father and spends all the time he can with our child. At our son's second birthday he told me he was glad he stuck around and he apologized for his bad attitude towards me, the pregancy and the unborn child. So things might not seem great now and you have worries and anxiety, but I think you really want to be a father and you care for your child's mother. The fact that you can address these concerns shows you want to make the right choices.
01-30-2010, 10:12 PM
I, too, think it is brave and healthy of you to post your doubts, even if they have passed now. My husband was ina similar boat, even if more emotionally than physically. He definitely was concerned that it had always been the two fo us, and now that would be gone. He was also concerned that he would be a bad parent. Our daughter is almost 2, and they adore each other. They bonded pretty early on after she was born, but he was not interested in touching my belly. hearing the heartbeat, etc. I woudl say, if you really don't want to do some of these things, don't force yourself -- it's worse to be resentful!! But do drag yourself to childbirth class, even if you are not interested. My husband did, and it helped him a lot. There is also a great book -- The Expectant Father, that I got for my husband, and he loved it!! Good luck.
02-03-2010, 11:05 AM
I wish the people who only read the beginning of the thread would read the *entire* thread before posting judgemental comments. You would see that the original poster a) was refreshingly honest, and b) posted a second comment talking about the transformation in his thinking and how it was a phase that he was going through. I appreciate that a father was honest in his posting here and shared his progress -- it's a great gift to the men here who might think that they are alone in their doubt, and a great opportunity for the women here to learn what the men in their lives may be feeling, especially since their boyfriends/husbands/etc might not feel comfortable opening up face to face. A child would have left without admitting the truth. A man faces shortcomings and overcomes them. I say kudos to you, depop! I hope the growth continues, and that you and your baby enjoy a bond that strengthens every day!
02-06-2010, 03:12 PM
I read all 3 pages worth and his update before I posted my previous post. I still thought he was is immature and not in love.
Did that include my previous post that the point of a "Dad to Dad" forum is o have a place where fathers might share unflattering thoughts and feelings without being judged by women?
Or did you think your observation that the OB is immature was so valuable that it was worth undermining the purpose of the forum? Because I'm sure it never ocurred to anybody, and we all would have been convinced this was a good way to respond without this input...
02-23-2010, 04:29 AM
These forums are for all types of responses and mine is in the wake up call category.
The forum (singular) is for all types of responses; the forum sections (plural) are distinguished by types of responses -- your input conflicts with the concept of this particular section.
And I don't think it's that well into the wake-up call category either, more so the pretentious cry-out category. Your opinion wasn't, and isn't, valuable because it wasn't constructive in any manner. The only thing you brought into this discourse is conflict and attitude. Your perspective is very singular as well. For someone that speaks so critically about vanity, you have much hubris.
There's a confusion, I believe, between men who fetishize the female body, and men who love the female body. The latter is where the OP is situated. There are many kinds of lovers, that express and entake love in different modes. A touch lover, the kind of the latter female bodily love I said earlier, feels closer to their significant other by being intimate with them; not always sexually, it can be the holding of hands or even eye contact as a kind of touch. When this mode is compromised, and either the woman becomes less affectionate towards the man or the man feels less affectionate *due to aesthetic differences*, the "loving" seems to be less real, as it is certainly less tangible. It is not always vanity that embraces beauty.
To the OP, your regrets and doubts are, from what I experienenced, unavoidable. Your life is going to change. Dramatically. And the conversion of lifestyles is going to be uncomfortable and always reluctant to some degree. Don't kid yourself, your life isn't going to be super happy fun time once the baby is born. Babies are fun maybe 6% of the time during the day for the first six months. My six month old son is now fun for the majority of the day, but he only makes his maintenance fun, you still have to dedicate a lot of time to him. But I swear it! From a man who never wanted to be a father, became a father, had his life turned upside down and still isn't recollected; you will enjoy the very few moments of fatherhood bliss when the baby learns to smile, laugh, do tricks like a puppy, etc. etc.
It's tough dude, but what's toughest is always the relationship with the other parent, and if that is strong -- even if only in a parental context (I separated from my SO but we still function cooperatively as a family unit and get along just fine) -- then I don't forsee any problems aside from the traditional ones that we all experience.
I'm pretty confident I'm the youngest poster to respond, and 'tis true you should always take a young, or old, philosopher's words with care.
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