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Nervous about imminent birth of grandchild

(25 Posts)
onlyruth Mon 14-Oct-19 10:49:51

Back when I had my kids, we only really bought the basics beforehand. I'm not superstitious, but I (along with most people as I recall) didn't feel comfortable fitting the house out with everything we'd need for the first six months of babyhood, until the baby arrived safely. I always felt that if anything went wrong I couldn't bear to return to a houseful of baby stuff

I get that things have changed, but it freaks me out to visit my daughter and son-in-law at the moment (3-4 weeks to go). The cot is up in the nursery, as is the bedside crib in their bedroom. The car seat is even installed in the car and they have bought more stuff than they will ever need in regard to equipment, blankets and clothes, all washed (that seems to be a thing now too) so consequntly nothing is returnable.

I get that I'm being illogical and over pessimistic, but for some reason, seeing all this stuff and their house looking as though a baby already lives there (they have a wool nest on a stand, complete with bedding a soft toy, already in the living room) is making me anxious about the birth where I wasn't before.

I don't know if I need reassuring that everything will be fine, or reassuring that I'm not the only person who feels antsy about them having absolutely everything ready at this point!

Luckygirl Mon 14-Oct-19 10:52:55

I am sure it will all be fine; but I do understand how you feel. You are not the only person who has felt like this. I guess when we were young we were less inclined to count chickens. But their approach is probably healthier.

I look forward to hearing news of a safe delivery.

Scentia Mon 14-Oct-19 11:01:52

I was similar to you when my DD was near her due date she fetched the pram from her MiL house. We were both horrified as we would NEVER have bought a pram in the house until baby arrived. I would say though, please keep your thoughts to yourself, my DD still remembers her MiL going mad when she fetched the pram saying she was tempting fate. Times change and although you say you are not superstitious, we are! No amount of equipment will change anything, including how you feel if the worse happened. Just calm down, the excitement is getting to you. If this is your first GC I can assure you that this will be, alongside having your own children the single best thing to happen in your life. Don’t upset your DD before the event by telling her how it all should be done❤️

Feelingmyage55 Mon 14-Oct-19 11:06:53

I understand but I suppose that times have changed. Try not to worry, impossible but perhaps they are being optimistic where we see it as tempting fate. I am sure the last weeks of waiting are happier for them which has to be healthier. Come back and let us know when baby arrives. ☕️🍰

onlyruth Mon 14-Oct-19 11:13:03

Oh I definitely won't say anything. We did have a conversation before they started buying things, when the subject of what we had to start with and what we bought later (and about how her dad came home from hospital after the birth and instantly put up the cot that had been sitting in its packaging waiting for the birth!) came up. But once they started getting stuff I didn't say any more.

The people who've said that it's healthier to be positive and excited have made a good point.
Thanks for the lovely responses so far! And yes, I will definitely report back next month.

onlyruth Mon 14-Oct-19 11:14:29

(Also, keeping quiet and letting them do things their own way, is good practice for me ready for baby's arrival, isn't it!)

Witzend Mon 14-Oct-19 11:18:29

i was just the same, onlyruth, couldn't bear to buy anything for first Gdd until I had the call to say she'd arrived and all was well. Charged down to John Lewis to buy something, ready for first visit later that evening.
Might add that I'd told dd and son in law that I didn't want to know until it was all over - would have been a nervous wreck otherwise.

Same for Dgs, no. 2, and I dare say I'll be the same for no. 3, due early January. Was in M&S recently, looking at all the lovely new-baby things. For the first time they know the sex - a girl - so I could have gone a bit mad - in particular there was a lovely Peter Rabbit sleeping bag - but couldn't bring myself to buy anything yet.

craftyone Mon 14-Oct-19 11:19:43

Onlyruth, I think we only bought the basics because that was all we could afford

dragonfly46 Mon 14-Oct-19 11:42:12

As Scentia said having everything ready will not change anything.
Being positive these days is to be envied and as they have things ready they will have more time to enjoy the baby when he/she comes.
I am sure all will be well - you have some very exciting times ahead.

ninathenana Mon 14-Oct-19 16:19:28

I think it was also partly to do with the fact giving birth was riskier then. Although a lot was down to superstition passed down the generations. Things have improved so much in the last 20-30 yrs. The odds are stacked towards a happy out come and parents feel safer buying baby items prior to birth.

HildaW Mon 14-Oct-19 16:43:51

onlyruth…..its a classic scenario most of us went through it. A double layer of worry for both our child and the potential grandchild. Its compounded by the fact that as we age we have seem more of life and know more of the risks. Also, as in my case, I have just become such a worrier - a missed phone call and I have all those I love dead in a ditch inside a minute!

Try to remember how you felt when you were first expecting - how much faith you had in those in the professions and in your own family for being there to support you. I can remember (when I try hard enough) how blissfully ignorant I was as to so many of the pitfalls. Somehow I just assumed all would work out and even when things did go a bit wrong (induced birth and problems with her settling for several weeks) I just soldiered on and it 'all came out in the wash'.
Us Grandparents know too much so its beholding to us to keep calm and make out its all going to be fine - statistically it is of course but that does not stop us worrying. However, Mum to be and her DH need you to pretend its all a bit of a doddle. Breathe a bit and enjoy being a Grandma....its the best!

Eglantine21 Mon 14-Oct-19 16:51:54

It is only superstition and doesn’t have any effect or meaning. After all everything will be in place and ready for number two because they’ll already have it!

crazyH Mon 14-Oct-19 16:58:58

Try not to worry Onlyruth. I am a bit like you....very superstitious. Last week, I dropped a mirror on the floor and it cracked. I panicked . But I calmed myself, said a prayer and that helped dispel my silly fears. Mind you, my d.i.l. had a fall and had to have 3 stitches . Coincidence, just that, coincidence...that's what I told myself.

newnanny Mon 14-Oct-19 17:01:45

Calm down onlyruth and allow your DiL to do her nesting as she wishes. Things are safer now. My dd told me she took her mind off the labour to come by sorting out the baby things. When she had her first baby I went down to help her but she had already done most of it.

MawB Mon 14-Oct-19 17:33:58

Superstitions will always persist but try looking at it from a more positive perspective.
They are ready well in advance but when you think that even with first babies, mum and baby can be home the same day the baby is born! Plus everybody knows that babies can come early/late/on time, whenever they are ready!
46 years ago I went along with the superstition about not having the pram and cot delivered until the baby had safely arrived.
(John Lewis would hold the order until after the birth so a couple of days before we were due to come home, DH rang the store and true enough I came out of hospital to the pram and cot on our flat doorstep.)
However, our baby son had gone into heart failure the day before, was rushed to Westminster Children's Hospital and sadly we lost him three weeks later.
Don’t be a pessimist, don’t worry about tempting fate, just let them enjoy these last few weeks before their lives are turned upside down by the arrival of their new baby!

felice Mon 14-Oct-19 17:56:21

My MIL was like that when DS1 was born until I half joking asked her what she had done when her other 2 arrived, after all the stuff was already in place from baby no 1. Just a comment.

Ninarosa Mon 14-Oct-19 18:19:15

I'll become a first time grandma in about 2 weeks time or even sooner as there's some concern over high level of amniotic fluid and baby is a good weight (8lb ) to be welcomed a little early.
My son and wife have absolutely everything in situ,even down to varying sizes of feeding bottles as baby's appetite increases.
My dil asked me if I had a cool bag they could borrow as they were taking drinks and snacks into the delivery room with them. I was so tempted to reply ' I have to say it ain't no picnic '. All so much more organised and thought about than when I had my son.

Oopsminty Mon 14-Oct-19 18:23:17

I was the same. We bought a Silver Cross pram and my parents stored it. Didn't really have anything prepared ... just in case.

I'm sure all will be fine but totally understand !

Hithere Mon 14-Oct-19 18:39:14

Parents nowadays can be mega prepared or just the bare basics - it depends on the couple

I do think it is a good thing they are ready for the baby's arrival, especially talking about the car seat and crib. If baby comes early, the last thing they want to worry about is how to take baby home and putting crib together.

I am glad you are not saying anything.
This is their pregnancy and baby and they are enjoying it their way - as much as a pregnancy can be enjoyed 😎

onlyruth Mon 14-Oct-19 19:18:59

This was my first ever post on Gransnet. Thank you so much for being so kind in your responses! And yes, everything you've said has made sense.

To clarify it's not that I'm thinking they're tempting fate as such, so superstition certainly isn't a conscious thought. I think it was just the thought of returning to such a 'baby' house if anything went wrong. But I think I was letting my imagination run away with me, and that set up extra anxiety.

Whoever said that with age and experience comes more awareness of what can go amiss, was absolutely right. Our babies having babies seems much more anxiety inducing than having our own was!

Hetty58 Tue 15-Oct-19 18:01:03

I think it's good that they're so prepared. I remember all the washing and drying of new stuff when I brought the first baby home, assembling the crib, etc. It was extra work when we were so tired. Along with a difficult labour, cesarean delivery, cracked nipples and a colicky baby who rarely slept - it was all too much!

Granarchist Tue 15-Oct-19 18:37:52

my mother always said a baby could sleep in the drawer of a chest of drawers if necessary - what I don't understand is the buying of everything new - even with baby number 2!! My three daughters bought second-hand, or borrowed everything they could and all those baby clothes are still circulating their friends and relations - babies grow so quickly. Really the only thing I wish we had had is those brilliant towelling mini deck chairs that babies can sit in in the bath - leaving the carer with both hands free. It made me much less frightened of dropping the babies when it was me doing the bathing. Genius.

Iam64 Tue 15-Oct-19 18:56:34

I suspect some of the anxiety is because we grew up in the shadow of WW1 and WW2, pre NHS. My great grandmothers had as many as 12 children, with only 5 surviving and not all of those children reached adult hood.
Pregnancy and childbirth aren't free of risk these days but much safer than they were for the women who influenced our choices.
Those are good points from Hetty58, about the issue of assembling cots, collecting prams etc at the same time as trying to get used to being first time parents.
I agree with the posters who say its healthier to be positive, excited and looking forward to the arrival of your baby. My daughters both prepared "nurseries" for their babies. I had a cot and some nappies! They survived well of course and I love the way they prepared for their own babies.

Hetty58 Wed 16-Oct-19 11:20:57

By the time we got to child number four, I'm sure that we bought absolutely nothing! She had a few new things, though, as presents. Funnily, she turned out to be delightful, the happiest, most adventurous and positive of them all!

ElaineI Wed 16-Oct-19 13:55:02

Sometimes new mothers are discharged the same day as the birth so it is probably wise to have a few essential things ready. DGS1 was 9 weeks early and house extension had just been finished so nothing was ready! We were despatched to buy premmie baby clothes from John Lewis straight away. As he was in NNU for a month there was time to help DSIL to build things and sort house. Was looking at his photos and DDs videos this week and he was tiny and baby clothes that fitted length wise were massive round his little arms! The travel system was being kept at the shop till his arrival though.