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Please, please tell me there is life with horses after a baby

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  • Please, please tell me there is life with horses after a baby

    I'm posting this under my alter as some people here know me and my husband & I haven't told many people yet. I just found out two days ago I'm a month & few days pregnant, we had been half heartedly trying so when the pregnancy test came up positive I about fell over. I'm turning 39 this month and was beginning to think kids just weren't in our future, truthfully I could take having kids or leave it but my husband has wanted kids from day one so I thought okay we'll have one. But now that I'm actually pregnant I'm ready to jump off a cliff. My husband sobbed with tears of joy when he saw the test stick, my parents are elated & my sister is even happy. My little sister has always wanted to have kids in the worst way but she had ovarian cancer and her chances are slim to none, I wasn't sure how she'd take the news knowing how I felt about kids but she seems happy to be an Aunt. I'm in shock,feel numb, fear, panic, overwhelmed & sadness, I want to be glowing with happiness and excitment but I'm not and I feel horrible about it, is something wrong with me? I don't want to lose who i am and I'm afraid now the only thing everyone is going to see or care about is pregnant me & then the baby. I want the baby to be apart of my life but not my whole life if that makes sense. I know some women after they have children that is all they talk about and their whole lives are about just being a mom, I still feel the need to be more than just a mom, but I feel if I don't devote my whole life to just being "the Mom" I'll be judged. Then the other things wearing on me right now is I'm in the process of losing my job, I had hopes of returning to school but my classes don't begin until fall, that's when I am due. Losing my job was hard enough but then I was beginning to accept this and looking forward to the new chapter of my life & eager to go back to school. Then there's my inlaws & husband's family, they despise me, but they'll want to now come around because of the baby. I have separated myself from his family for my well being and my husband has supported me on that decision & understands but I can see this will change things. Life is too short to subject myself to their behavior it just wasn't healthy and I know they'll accept the baby because after all it's one of them. I'm scared too about my age, I know there's higher chances of having a baby with health problems. And twins runs in my husband's family & with my age I know that increases the chances as well. I worry too about the child having allergies to our animals, we live on a farm & I can not imagine life not surrounded by them. I know this is stupid too but I don't want to be that parent that runs their child 7 days a week sports, we have a farm and I just don't know if I can juggle it all. I'm worried too about holidays, I can foresee my husband's family coming around now & on weekends. I'm not one to entertain at our place now as it is, I'm not looking forward to a house full of people that dislike me even more. My husband too feels it's time we begin going back to church, I'm fine with that, but I don't want to get involved with the church right now, I feel like I'm being pulled in a hundred different directions and trying to do it all. I'm worried too about losing our friends around us that don't have children, will they still want to be around us once the little one arrives? My husband & parent's have promised me all kinds of support & help once the baby arrives so that I can have my horse time. But they are ones that are all gung ho and talk a talk but when reality comes I'm afraid I'll be on my own and have no time for my horses. My horses are my sanity & happiness, I had such goals & dreams for my gelding this year but now it looks like it's on hold until 2013, and that's IF I ever find the time. Are these feeling normal? I hate thinking & feeling this way, but I feel like my life is over & now all I am is a mom, nothing more and I'll be judged if I take or ask for time to be with my horses. And my husband already is treating me like I'm going to break, it's driving me nuts. He won't let me carry water buckets or hay, etc. My barn work is my exercise & therapy, I need to feel normal right now, not terminal. He never use to help with the litter boxes and horse work but now he's jumping thru hoops, I sort of resent the fact that it took getting pregnant to have his help. All anyone keeps saying is this is a blessing & a gift you should be happy & they get mad at me for not glowing with excitement. Please if anyone can send their words of wisdom, support anything I'd greatly appreciate it, I feel alone right now.

  • #2

    Pregnancy is a temporary condition, and kids do grow up.

    It seems that you have the family on board. That's half the battle in having a life past mom duties.

    Congratulations to you and your husband.
    I personally think that women who do not go gaga over baby make better moms anyhow.

    Also, rest up. Don't let people drag you about. Don't be afraid to speak your mind (I hear it becomes easier once you hit 40, but pregnancy hormones are amazing that way, too! )

    many hugs, you are not alone.


    • #3
      I've got three kids, 6 if you count the ones on four legs. Towards the end of the pregnancies, and for the first few weeks after baby came home, horses became less a part of my life, but I'm more active with the equines NOW than I was before kids so yes, there is horse after child.

      As for the him treating you like a fragile flower, unless the doctor says otherwise there's no reason to discontinue those things at this point, but you do have 'hormones' on your side if you feel the urge to snap at him. I have some guilt about having done this. "I was already pregnant two days ago when all this crap had to be done and you wouldn't think about helping me do it, I did it then and I and I can do it now! Save your energy for when I CAN'T do it and you HAVE to you @#(*%&#@))!(*!@ I'm pregnant not incapacitated!!!!.........sorry honey the baby made me do it."

      There may come a time you're too miserable (yes, I won't sugar coat it, some of us have miserable ends to our pregnancies) to even want to do the things you do now, and you'll be grateful he wants to help, but for now maybe don't scream at him like I did my daughter's father just gently let him know you are not an egg, and he is not a hen.

      You may not appreciate it at this point in time but congratulations anyway! Finding out your pregnant has it's own set of stages, kind of like grieving.
      Owned by a Paint/TB and an OTTB.
      RIP Scoutin' For Trouble ~ 2011 at 10
      RIP Tasha's Last Tango ~ 2010 at ~23
      RIP In Sha' Allah ~ 2009 too young at 5


      • #4
        I know LOTS of people who have small kids and still have horse time. Don't panic. It will all work out, and things will be fine. In a few years, who knows? You might have a great kid/riding buddy!


        • #5
          Whoa there. Deep breath. Another one too. Good. :-)

          I can't speak to the actual pregnancy feelings, but I do feel strongly that you need to take control in your life, which will help with everything else. Boundaries.

          No one comes in to your house who isn't invited by you. In-laws just drop in? Sorry, I have a prior commitment. Maybe another time. In-laws invite themselves over on the phone? Say, "yes, you may come and stay for 1 hour or as long as your good manners last. You'll be leaving at the first negative interaction." Call them on their rudeness. Simple, just not easy at first. Yes, I know this is a highly unusual way to work with people. That is why it is usual for many people to have to tolerate bad behaviour. Consider the option of no longer accepting random rudeness/misplaced anger/passive aggressiveness. Just opt out.

          Anyone who intimates or directly tells you how you "should" feel is an ignorant bore and is to be ignored and then methodically avoided in favor of kinder, more thoughtful company.

          Find a friend who gets it. Or find a counselor to help you. You are not alone and you are not the first (or the last) person to feel as you do.

          Oh, and he does get to clean the litter box for the next 8 months. The small risk of Toxoplasmosis is a "get out of jail free" card on that chore. :-)


          • #6
            You are not alone.

            Many women have the same sort of feelings of being overwhelmed by the prospect of becoming a mother. You should talk to your doctor or midwife about your concerns. Your health, the baby's health and other questions are their main concern and that includes your emotional health as well.

            There will be time for your horses, the kids' play dates, soccer and school. Take any offer of help that comes to you without feeling guilty about accepting it.

            You will be fine.

            Best of luck to you.


            • #7
              Been There.
              Take a deep breath and relax. I promise you if you make it a priority to have horses in your life after having a baby it WILL happen. People that don't have time for anything else don't make it a priority. Period.

              I had some naysayers tell me that once I had a baby I might as well retire my horse (he's 20) as I wouldn't have time to ride. I was quite happy to prove them wrong

              As far as worrying about things like your age and the possibility of twins you just have to relax and try not to stress about things you have zero control over. Eat healthy, keep active, listen to your Dr and hope and pray for the best. That's all you can do. Keep doing the barn work for as long as you can unless your Dr says otherwise, it's good for your mental and physical health. I was cleaning stalls, throwing hay at 9 months pregnant and I full board. I was doing it to keep me sane and fit. I also rode up till 2 weeks before my section.

              I had my first in Sept of 2010. She sort of came as a surprise too because we were only half trying and I became pregnant very quickly! Most of my friends told me they tried for months before they became pregnant so really I didn't expect to get pregnant quite so fast. It was a bit of shock and I too was unsure about how I really felt in the beginning. Lots of mixed emotions and worry. But then I talked to some friends who had young kids and still rode and they told me exactly what I am going to tell you and I was fine.

              1.) You are not a bad person for wanting your own time and your own hobby. It helps you keep your mental sanity and in turn makes you a better mother. The mothers I know that don't have their own "thing" and their entire lives revolve around their babies are a heck of alot more stressed than I am . I don't envy them one bit. Stress affects your baby and your family life. Everyone is better off if you are not stressed.

              2.) It sounds like you have a supportive husband that REALLY wants kids and will be helpful so that is HUGE. I feel really bad for women who have kids and their husbands don't chip in. Without his help making time for yourself is ten times harder. My husband loves spending time with my daughter and also wants me to be happy so he watches our 15 month old on the weekends so I can ride. During the week I work full time but my husband picks up our daughter from daycare after work so that gives me some time to ride before they get home. I work full time, I have a 15 month old and plenty of housework & responsibilities to deal with on the homefront yet I STILL manage to ride 5-6 days a week. I even haul out for long trail rides, clinics or to hunter pace once a month or so. It's even easier to squeeze in riding if you have your horses at home. I board, trust me, you will be able to ride if you make it a priority to set aside that time. Do whatever you can to simplify your barn work so you have more time to ride. When I had my horses at home they had a large run-in shed that was bedded. They lived out 24/7 with access to the run in. This cut back on my stall cleaning duties immensely. If I ever have horses at home with kids that's how I would do it.
              I have the summers off and I have my daughter all day. I hire a sitter for a few hours twice a week and ride then. The other days I get up at 6am and ride before hubby leaves for work. If there is a will there is a way. There are people on this board that ride at 5am or earlier so I don't feel bad about 6.

              3.) Stop worrying about what other people think. Surround yourself with friends that are supportive of you and your horses as well as your baby. I still ride and hang out with all of my horsey friends that don't have kids and they think it's great and are very supportive. Many of them now have hope that they too will be able to ride and have horses after they have kids too. There are TONS of horse women that have kids. It's not impossible. If you find someone isn't supportive or thinks your "selfish" for wanting a little "me" time each day they are not worth your energy. Seriously.

              Hope this helps


              • #8
                Oh, and the higher prospect of twins runs on the mother's (your) side. Think about it, millions of sperm race to fertilize the egg. The sperm is not the limiting factor. Whether the potential mother releases more than one egg is the deciding factor. If the women in YOUR family were having multiple births, that would suggest that you would be more likely to do so as well. His family? Not so much.


                • #9
                  This video was posted yesterday on Eventing Nation by a single mom who's daughter was videoing her ride:


                  You are carrying in you someone who will love you unconditionally for the rest of your life. This knowledge will help you get through all the rest.

                  Congratulations, and hang in there!
                  Graphic Design & Websites


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by allalone View Post
                    But now that I'm actually pregnant I'm ready to jump off a cliff. (SNIP) I'm in shock,feel numb, fear, panic, overwhelmed & sadness, I want to be glowing with happiness and excitment but I'm not and I feel horrible about it, is something wrong with me?
                    OP, I feel you. There is NOTHING wrong with you. That is exactly how I felt when I found out I was pregnant on MOTHER'S DAY, of all days, in 2008. I was 29. I didn't know how I was supposed to feel as DH and I were never sure we wanted to have human kids. We told our parents, who were, of course, elated... but I just couldn't get there. My mother was very, very scared that I was going to do something "extreme." She even had one of my second mom's growing up call me and talk to me because she was that worried. My dad called to talk to me about antidepressants that were safe to take while pregnant. I felt like my life was over as well.

                    DH and I went to my primary care doctor a couple of days after we found out and she said... "I don't understand... what's the problem?" To which I replied crying, "I was never sure I wanted to have a baby!" And then she told me "Well, there is a good chance with the cramping you are describing that you will miscarry and then you won't have to worry about it... something like 1 in 3 women miscarry. It's quite common."

                    I didn't know that little bit of information. It's so taboo to talk about miscarriage. DH and I pondered that. What if that happened, would we be actually better off? We wouldn't have to worry about late night feedings, heath issues, education, driving, cars, college, etc... Then I actually started to secretly hope I would miscarry.

                    Long story short, I miscarried at about 3 months and was devastated... completely and utterly defeated. It took loosing that baby for us to realize that we really did want to be parents.. And we would have been good parents... I still think we would make good parents, but like your sister it isn't in the cards for us.

                    As someone said, being pregnant is temporary and kids grow up fast. There CAN be horses after baby, you just have to keep them a priority... and who knows, maybe in a few years you will be sharing your passion with that child. Maybe there will be a little pig tailed horse crazy lady galloping around on her little gray pony...

                    Keep your chin up. It will get better. But know that you are not in any way alone.
                    Dreaming in Color


                    • #11
                      Read my blog listed in my sig. I feel ya. I never wanted kids and still don't and I'm pregnant. Pretty similar feelings we are having.


                      • #12
                        First, you are full of hormones and facing a big life change! Scary!

                        It's okay that it's scary and you're not alone.

                        But, as my eventing coach always says, when in doubt, make your mistakes going forward. (Which is not to say that a baby is a mistake, but to say that instead of worrying about the past, KICK ON! and worry less. )

                        There is no doubt that your life is about to change. But, for example, I doubt we would have bought a farm if not for our daughter. I certainly wouldn't have two adorable ponies out my window if not for her. And I've been able to do some things and meet some people I wouldn't have met if not as DD's mom.

                        Being raised on a farm is good for kids - there's evidence even that kids raised with animals have less allergies and asthma. My daughter, is, alas, somewhat allergic to horses, as is her father - but it has worked out. One thing I've noticed is that there are some places where she is highly allergic and others where she has had no problem.

                        Your child may or may not like horses - but if she likes soccer and you don't, then hubby can take her!

                        As far as him treating you like glass - I say it's about time he did his share. Glory in it and think of it as training for all that time he'll be taking the baby and teaching your toddler to do the barn chores. And use that time to do things important to you.

                        Your biggest restriction, to put it bluntly, is going to be money. It's easy to keep riding if you have financial security, if you can hire babysitters when you need/want them, and if you don't have to work full time. You will be shocked at how much money a baby will suck up, too, both in terms of lost time and opportunity to make money, lost time in doing things for yourself, and the direct expenses. If the family wants to help, let them, if you can.

                        We all are here for you, and there are thousands of women on this board who have kids and still manage to do some sort of horse thing, even if it's not the same as before. There's lots of support and sage advice to be had.

                        It will all work out. You're a strong woman, and you will make it so.
                        If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                        • #13
                          But look, you don't have to be THAT mom who carts kiddie to soccer games etc. YOU tailor your life to the life you want. DH and i have 1 kid. She's great. I carted her everywhere I wanted to go when she was a baby. She was in the barn when she was 2 1/2 (we board out.) There is NO reason why your life has to stop because you have a kid. I don't feel like I am selfish b/c i want to keep living my life... and riding my horse. I bring the kid along. You are NOT alone. PM if you need to vent.


                          • #14
                            Oh, and my infant daughter attended quite a lot of clinics and horse shows when she was young, in the Baby Bjorn carrier. For those days when I all could do was watch her, I figured there was no need to sit in the house. So she went to Equine Affaire, she went to the CDS clinics, she's been to several Jimmy Wofford sessions (I will never forget how kind he was to her as a toddler), and we hung out at LAEC and watched a lot of the top dressage riders warm up. When I was too pregnant to ride, I did a lot of that too, including auditing an L judge training session.

                            OBVIOUSLY! I was extremely sensitive to not disturbing anyone else at these events. If DD fussed, we were out of there. I *always* sat in the back so I could make a quick, unobtrusive exit. But a lot of times she slept through them, and often she watched quietly and avidly. She loved being out and about. And we were fortunate to be in the LA area, where there's always something horsey going on somewhere.

                            But my point is that while you may need to redirect your activity somewhat, there's so much horse out there that you probably aren't able to do with your current life. Now, there are great videos (both DVD and online) and of course there have always been horse books, so there's much to do even if you find yourself stuck inside.

                            When I came back to riding after my pregnancy, I expected I would have deteriorated and have to make up for lost time. But, actually, I improved dramatically from the time off. My coach took the opportunity to fix a couple of bad habits, which were easier to mend when I was not quite so practiced at them. That muscle memory, and the reading and observing I did, benefited me quite a bit.
                            If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                            • #15
                              Chill! You're on a runaway here, grab a rein and pull it around.

                              Look-you and your husband determine what goes from here.

                              Do NOT let yourself think that your life is now over in order to conform to this kid. That's martyr behavior.

                              The KID will happily conform to your life.

                              You can ride as long as you're comfortable, you can make arrangements for someone to watch said kid as soon as you're comfortable to ride again, you can make your schedule work around your riding time as much as you want. I can tell you that you'll naturally move away from it for a while but you will be back into it ASAP.

                              Our kids have been on and around the horses since they were babies. They're both riders, we ride more as a family than we ever did before and now I have two more riding buddies than I did before and twice as much reason to buy horses and horse stuff.

                              In part due to LBM's whining about being pregnant I'm a little frustrated with this "my life is over" attitude. You got pregnant on purpose, yeah it's a roller coaster ride but motherhood is hardly a death sentence and if you thought it was you should have thought of that sooner. If you're going to hate it, give the kid to your sister. Maybe LBM can give her kid to your sister. I know this board likes the approach that horses and dogs are a blessing from God but believe or not, lots of people love their children too.

                              Buck up a little. I understand being blown away but when you're done with that adjust your sails.
                              “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by allalone View Post
                                I'm in shock,feel numb, fear, panic, overwhelmed & sadness, I want to be glowing with happiness and excitment but I'm not and I feel horrible about it
                                All perfectly normal and acceptible. I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old and I ride more now than I have since the very first year I owned a horse. And, to top it off, I have a horse-crazy 5 year old daughter to share my passion with.

                                As others have said, kids are adaptable. You and your husband absolutely CAN and SHOULD remain who you are. I still have my career and my horses and my husband has his career and his softball teams and sports hobbies. Now you just have someone else to share them with.

                                AND you get to go pony shopping in 4-5 short years!


                                • #17
                                  OP, I've been in your shoes. Last year I found out I was pregnant and was devastated. I didn't want kids. I've never wanted kids. We weren't trying for kids and I was using birth control religiously. I'm also only a year younger than you are. I'm not going to lie -- I thought very seriously about ending the pregnancy. In the end, Mr. Loshad and I decided to take the plunge (he was super excited). My doctors told me it is super normal even among women who really, really want kids to be ambivalent about the whole thing, so you are in extremely good company.

                                  I stopped riding around 22 weeks when the ultrasound showed a marginal previa, but did fine until then. Being olde, I did go and get the genetic testing (ultrasound + blood test -- they can then determine your odds of having a child with the issues they test for) for Down Syndrome and Trisomies 18 and 21 that can crop up for those who are AMA. It was fantastic for peace of mind. We were good with the initial results and opted not to do the more invasive testing. If you are worried, it might be good for your peace of mind to get this done. If nothing else, you can be prepared.

                                  As far as there being life with horses afterwards, yes there is. I'm in a tight spot due to my husband's being posted in Afghanistan at the moment (timing, we haz it!), but even I get out to ride sometimes. Friends have been fantastic, as has hubby on the rare occasions when he's home and family when they come into townn. If Mr. Loshad were home all the time, I would probably have a riding schedule similar to what I did before I had my son. My little guy has been out to the barn (and met his big "brother") several times already.

                                  All that having been said, I adore my kid (who is the world's easiest baby. Plus he SLEEPS nights!) and I'm probably a better mother now than I would have been when I was younger. I'm more patient. I'm more my own person. I don't feel I have to be perfect. Most importantly, I can accept help so much better than I ever could in my 20s or early 30s. Your in-laws show up unannounced? Accept their help, whether willing or unwilling, and put them to work. They can babysit or wash bottles or help clean. At best they start calling first. At worst, you get some chores done or some time to yourself.

                                  One of the most important pieces of advice I was given about parenting came from a pediatrician via my mom. Although you will certainly need to make changes to your life, you already have an established family and system and the kid needs to fit in with that rather than you changing everything for the kid. Kids do well when they see their parents enjoying life and each other. You don't have to be That Parent who thinks and talks of nothing but her kid. In fact, your kid will probably be better off if you aren't.

                                  Best of luck to you, OP. If you ever need to chat with another older first time mom, feel free to PM.
                                  According to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end this week. Please plan your life accordingly.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Thank you everyone for your support

                                    I just need to thank everyone for their posts, it has made me feel much better, I felt like an evil person for not being excited or happy. My parents just can't wrap their head around why I'm feeling this way, I think they're disappointed in me right now for not feeling the way they think I should and that hurts. My dad said about my goals & dreams for my gelding in 2012 "but aren't you more happy to have a baby" I said no not really and he got pissed at me. I wanted to say I'd be extremely happy to have the baby & not be pregnant, have my cake & eat it too, but he wouldn't understand, riding is just a hobby, to me it's my me time, exercise & happiness, it's so much more than my parents will understand. I want to be the best Mom i can & I'm worried I'm going to screw it up. I feel great physically now if my dang mental state would be good too it'll be all good. I never would've suspected I was pregnant other than my missed period and burping all the time & achy boobs!! I just may PM some of you that offered, having someone who's been there & understands make a world of difference, I can't thank you enough. OKay now crazy hormones are kicking in & I'm crying, need to go blow my nose.


                                    • #19
                                      Here's what:

                                      I was in exactly your shoes this exact time a year ago and feeling all of the same emotions. First things first...relax and get a copy of what to expect when you're expecting. I didnt read the first thing about pregnancy until i was 7 months. I recommend starting sooner so you dont freak yourself out. You will feel differently when the baby comes, you'll want to spend every second with him or her. When you do need your mommy time, you will have the support you need so you can have it. It is a wonderful experience. Best of luck and wishing you a happy and easy pregnancy!


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by allalone View Post
                                        I just need to thank everyone for their posts, it has made me feel much better, I felt like an evil person for not being excited or happy. My parents just can't wrap their head around why I'm feeling this way, I think they're disappointed in me right now for not feeling the way they think I should and that hurts. My dad said about my goals & dreams for my gelding in 2012 "but aren't you more happy to have a baby" I said no not really and he got pissed at me. I wanted to say I'd be extremely happy to have the baby & not be pregnant, have my cake & eat it too, but he wouldn't understand, riding is just a hobby, to me it's my me time, exercise & happiness, it's so much more than my parents will understand. I want to be the best Mom i can & I'm worried I'm going to screw it up. I feel great physically now if my dang mental state would be good too it'll be all good. I never would've suspected I was pregnant other than my missed period and burping all the time & achy boobs!! I just may PM some of you that offered, having someone who's been there & understands make a world of difference, I can't thank you enough. OKay now crazy hormones are kicking in & I'm crying, need to go blow my nose.
                                        Oh, no worries, having kids is like having horses. You are bound to screw it up on some level!

                                        Don't let anybody tell you how you feel. Especially not people with no hormones.