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Thread: Losing a parent while pregnant

  1. #1

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    Unhappy Losing a parent while pregnant

    I dont really know where to put this posting i guess it is a general discussion so here i go.

    I am 32 weeks pregnant and my mum has terminal lukeamia and up until yesterday we had no idea how long she has to live...unfortunately it turns out she only has 4-6 weeks if she is lucky and i have 8 weeks to go until my baby girl is born.

    When i first found out i wanted to find out if i could get induced just so she can meet her but now i have had a chance to think about it i know that is really quite silly but i am looking to try all the natural induction methods to see if i can get things moving when the time is right.

    I would like to hear from anyone who has lived through something so horrible and what kind of effects it had on your pregnancy.



    I just want my baby to have the same kind of bond that my son does with his nanny
    Last edited by rylansmum; May 5th, 2007 at 10:54 PM.

  2. #2

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    Oh Rylansmummy, I can't help you sorry, but my heart goes out to you. My mum had a cncer scare not that long ago and I was heartbroken.....I can't even imagine how you feel. I really hope you get everything you hope for.......and also remember BB is always here for you. All the best hon.

  3. #3

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    Oh Sweetheart. Life really is bittersweet. I'm sorry I can't offer you any first hand advice but my heart and thoughts are with you and your family

  4. #4
    paradise lost Guest

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    Oh honey, I'm so sorry.

    I wasn't pregnant when i lost my mum, i got pregnant 6 months later, but i really wanted DP to hurry up and "be ready" to ttc so she'd have a chance to see my kids. Never happened though.

    My mum had terminal cancer for 7 years before it killed her, and throughout that time she told me she just kept moving the goalposts. She was determined to live to see me through school, then she was determined to see me graduate, then she was determined to see my sister married, and after that one of her 2 daughters have a baby. As it was she saw my graduation but died 3 months before my sister married, and 6 months before i fell PG.

    The doctors don't know everything darlin, and with cancers especially, determination can make a big difference. Hanging on to meet your little one might well be within your mum's grasp, whatever the medical community says. I'm sure you provide her with something amazing to look forward to and NOTHING is more valuable than that in the fight against illness.

    I've missed my mum during my pregnancy and especially being a single mum (something which she went through before she met my dad), but i knew her very well, so whenever i was having a tough time i would hear her voice in my head, saying what i knew she would.

    Her photo is on the wall in my living room and when asked "where's granny wilson?" DD can point to her and always laughs when i pick her up to see better. I put together a book when Mum died full of photos of her and the story of her life as much as i knew it, for her future grandchildren. I'm still working on it now, and i feel closer to her, writing out the anecdotes she told me as a child for DD to hear later on. I keep a box containing her things, her wedding ring, a necklace she wore, a scarf of hers, the book of memories and the cards and letters i had from her. It's precious to me and i know it will reveal enough when DD's bigger that she can know my mum a little even though they missed one another.

    She lives on in my house now, everyday. SHe was a nurse when she was young and was fine with any sort of medical emergency except choking as her brother had choked to death age 2 when she was 5 and she never got over it. NOw when DD gags on the too-much-bread she likes to shove in i say "what does granny wilson say DD? NO CHOKING!" and we smile together. Recently i was on the phone to my dad, who misses her terribly but is doing brilliantly at going forward with life, telling him my various minor woes. He said "you know what your mother would tell you?" meaning her oft said line "struggle's good for you - builds character." and i replied "What, no choking?" and we both cried laughing for a bit.

    So, my situation wasn't exactly like yours, but i would say that you and your family should spend these precious weeks enjoying one another. Let your baby hear your mums voice, talk about her life with her, get as much info as you can - it's surprising what we don't know about our own families, and so valuable afterwards to have these memories.

    Mum's promises got smaller as she got closer to the end, but she always kept them. Another saying of hers was to quote "Not tonight, josephine." if we asked for something we couldn't have, or if we wanted her to do something immediately and she couldn't. The night before she died my brother asked her, full of fear as we were leaving my dad and her alone in the hospice, "you won't die tonight will you?" and my mum murmured (for she was very poorly, the doctors had said anytime now) "not tonight josephine". SHe went very peacefully, with nine of her family and loved ones around her, telling it was ok to go and we loved her, at dawn.

    DD frequently looks at me, askance, wearing EXACTLY my mum's expression on her face, especilly if i've done something she disapproves of. In this way i see her everyday still. I suppose i've tried to balance accepting her death, as we all have to die eventually, with holding close the parts of her i can.

    I hope some of that helped. It's can be so frightening and lonely at this time. If you want to talk about anything i'm here, and you can email me if you'd rather.

    Lots of love

    Hana
    Last edited by paradise lost; March 28th, 2008 at 10:57 AM.

  5. #5
    Mimi's Mum Guest

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    Dear Rylansmummy, i'm sorry to hear that your mum is unwell. I lost my father suddenly last year when i was 3mths pregnant, it was my first pregnancy . All my dad ever used to look forward to was being a grandparent. Thank god we didn't wait to let people know that we were preggas until the 3mth mark as i never would have been able to see the look on his face when we told him at 5 weeks.
    I can't really help you to much with advice on how to handle your situation but if i could turn back the clock, and if i had even one hour to spend with my dad again (apart from hugging, kissing him and telling him how much i love him), i would video him telling his beautiful granddaughter how much he loves her and that he will always be there watching. I would get him to give her all the advice and cuddles she will miss out on and try to portray his fantastic personality so one day she can say - yes i really am like my pa.
    I struggled every day of my pregnancy feeling numb and just plain ripped off for not being able to go through the excitement that all mothers seem to have for their 1st pregnancy. I feel angry that my dad was so great and that there are real *****s of fathers out there but mine had to go. I got sick to death of people saying "oh but you have so much good to look forward to" like the baby was going to replace him, no one ever asking how i was and that it is ok not to care about the baby as all i needed to do was to wake up every morning and that would be enough. I suppose i should get round to writing my own thread one day as since it happened i have been scouring this sight for someone in the same boat to talk to - your the first.
    As for after the birth and dealing with it all, i was worried i would get PND and it has been in the back of my mind. I lost my two beautiful dogs within 2 1/2 weeks of Emily being born and as a whole i don't think i have really dealt with anything.
    I too reckommend that you do look into help, unfortunately the only greif councelling i could find while pregnant was under miscarraige and loss which i didn't feel was appropriate. So now i have been diagnosed with PND and am waiting my first appointment but i'm sure most of it is greif. I hope i have helped and not turned into to much of a sob story but i suppose i need to start getting it out.
    Take care and good luck - look after you....

  6. #6

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    While I am blessed to still have both parents alive and *well*, my Dad is due to have a radical prostatectomy and lymph clearance in early May when I am 35 weeks pregnant. I can only imagine your sadness and distress at this time with the immenent loss of your Mum. I know how anxious, worried and concerned this diagnosis of cancer and the surgery that accompanies it has made me. I can't fathom your pain :hugs: Take care of yourself and spend as much time with her as possible while your baby finishes cooking.

  7. #7

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    Dear rylansmum,
    The situation you find yourself in really sucks doesn't it ! My heart goes out to you and your family. This is one of those hard lessons in life. Like you my mother died of leukemia. The first time she got sick was in 1999 Dec. I was pregnant with third child and to complicate matters my father had a stroke just eight weeks prior to this and was a real burden on mum as she was very weak and sick and dad just wanted to be at her bedside day and night. Dad had really bad short term memory as a result of the stroke and this was extremely frustrating for all. My mother underwent three months of chemo, survived multiple organ failure and many other complications from the treatment.

    Eventually dad recovered his memory and I gave birth to our third child. Almost five years later dad had another stroke and just days earlier mum was having tests because her leukemia had come out of remission. This time I had (Mum in townsville and dad in Tully hospital ) a five month old baby a both parents in different hospitals hundreds of miles apart from each other, it was jsut aweful. Mum was told without treatment she would die within about 6 weeks. She elected to have more treatment ( in Brisbane) but sadly the luekemia was more aggressive the second time around and she died 5 weeks later. Dad didn't cope well after her death and became very aggressive and paranoid. He now lives in an aged care hostel on the other side of the country and I write to him.

    It is really sad that my mum never really got to know some of her grandchildren. We keep her memory alive and I have also been creating an album to celebrate her life and my children look at it regulary and we talk about all the good times we had together. I still miss her and it's hard not having her around especially when giving birth and having a new baby around as she was very much a hands on grandma.

    I think taking photos of you and your mum together while your still pregnant and her touching your belly and taking photos are great ideas. Maybe with help your mum could write or dictate a letter to your unborn child, a precious momento to keep and for the child to read when he/she is older to know how much their nanny loved them.A video message would be good too if your mum is up to it. However things turn out it will be a hard road ahead for all but you will survive and life does go on just now it will be different without your mum around anymore. If you need to talk about how your feeling bb is great or you could see a grief councellor when the time comes.

    I am now 30 weeks pregnant abd giving birth again without mum around will be hard but my little sister is coming with us to fill her shoes and just support us at this time. I hope your family are supporting each other it help so much when everyone pulls together in a crisis.
    Last edited by smiley10P; April 26th, 2007 at 11:03 AM. Reason: spelling add more details

  8. #8

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    After reading through all of your posts in absolute tears, i want to send all of you hugs.
    Rylansmum, i really hope that your mum is able to stay with you all until your bubby is born. I can only imagine the pain and heartache you must be feeling at this time. I like the idea of taking photos and of your mum maybe writing a letter, or recording a video message for your children.
    Take care

  9. #9

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    Hi Rylansmum and also all you other lovely ladies who have been in similar situations. I am not in the same situation but I do feel a loss. My Dad died when I was 9, and at these times I miss him a lot. Around my wedding was hard, as it just felt that he should be there and no one understood as he had been gone for so long. And now I feel a great loss that my child will not have a grandpa on my side,not even for a day. I feel ripped off and v sad.
    However, there are elements of my Dad that do live on, through me. I know I have trits of his, looks of his etc and that helps me. I am sure some of these will be passedon to my kids too. I intend to give my 1st son my Dad's name as a middle name too.
    It doesnt help me that my parents were going thru a messy divorce at the time and I do not have any bros as sisters so i dont really have anyone else to share happy or any memories with. But I will try to instil a sense of my Dad in my kids, i think it is important and I miss having a Dad.
    Take the opportunity to have photos and memories for your baby to see as they get older, and as sad as it is that your Mum may not meet your little one, she will be a part of its life through its genetics and your wonderful and loving memories. I like the idea of a letter (or a few letters) for your little one too - you do have that opportunity.
    I am thinking of you.

  10. #10

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    I know exacly how you feel. My mum died very unexpectedly from a blood clot in her lung about 10 months ago. I was 24 weeks pregnant with DS, it was also 6 days before my 20th birthday. I really wish she could of had the chance to meet her grandson and have that bond like she did with DD. It was very hard for me and it still is. I think i am still in denial with what happened to be honest. So i don't really have any advice for you but just wanted to let you know that you're not alone.

  11. #11

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    rylansmum,
    My thoughts are with you and your family at this time.
    I lost my father 9 years ago to terminal cancer. Beofre he died he gave my partner at the time his permission to marry me (I was 18 at the time). None the less, we are now happily married and expecting our first child.
    My mother had been very ill for the last 2 years with liver disease. She was getting better so my husband and I started to TTC, 3 months later we found out we were pg, although unsure of the dates. We told my mother the day we found out. She was so happy. She was getting better and had medically reitred at 55. SHe was in hospital at the time, going to a rehab hospital to get physically fit (she had surguery to remove skin cancer from her leg). We went for a scan later that week and found out we were 6 weeks pregnant. Mum was so excited, i had never actually seen her that happy. She was finally going to be a grandma!!!!
    She died suddenly and unexpectantly that saturday from a brain haemorrage. I was seven weeks pregnant.
    The hardest thing I have ever had to do is carry on with this pregnancy without my mother being there to support me, to laugh at me with all the little things that I have done, which i know she would be doing.
    I am now 27 weeks pregnant. I feel that I never grieved my mothers death, as, from the day she died, people have said to think about my unborn child. I do, but I also think about what my mum is missing out on.

    I haven't met anyone that has had the same thing happen to them, I just thank my lucky stars that we found out when we did about my pregnancy and I told her that day.

    My advice is to get the help that you can now. Find a nice social worker or councellor, who can deal with this. If she is in a hospital or pallative care there are specially trained workers to help with grief. You will probably start greiving before your mother has even passed away, which is natural. You are going through so much with just the pregnancy let alone the death of a very much loved one.

    Take the time you have now to spend with your mother, as it will never come back. Take photos of you and your mum so you can show your child when they grow up that 'that was them in your belly' with grandma!

    My husband and I are planning on naming ours (if it is a girl) with a variation of my mothers name and if it is a boy with my fathers name as the middle name. It is our way of showing our children, that they are there is spirit and blood even if they can;t be there in person.

    Don't try for an induction or to deliver early just so they can meet your mum. Babies come out when they are ready. if anything should happen trying to deliver early you would have to bare that as well as the illness of your mother, and I know from experiance, its hard enought to hadle one thing at a time.

  12. #12

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    Hi everybody thank you so much for your kind words and warm wishes, it is good to be able to read other peoples experiences and see that it is possible to get through it all.
    I would love to take photos or make a video but she is so self concious about how she looks i dont think she will agree to do it let alone be able to actually talk...we can bearly get through her touching my belly without both of us in tears.
    The hardest thing to deal with is she was in remission when i fell and we have been shopping together and looking at all the beautiful little pink stuff we can buy etc plus she is a knitter so even before we found out it was a girl she was knitting pink outfits etc i think she was trying to jinx me into having a girl lol
    When we found out it had come back it was all of a sudden and there was nothing else they could do, so she went downhill really fast and we havnt had an opportunity to have her healthy enough to take photos etc.
    We have decided on naming the baby Ashlyn Frances...Frances being my mums name, i couldnt imagine naming her anything else.

    I have spoken to the midwives about the situation and i have previously had PND so i was automatically referred to a counsellor but as she was healthy and ok up until just after Xmas i havnt felt the need to talk to anyone as i didnt believe we were going to lose her so quickly, i have alot of family to support me i am the 2nd youngest of 6, with 8 nieces and 3 nephews my baby being number 13 and my older sister is 22 weeks pregnant so that will be number 14!! So we are our own support group lol.

    Kerrie L... I just want to mention that i didnt get diagnosed with PND until Rylan was 18 months old i just didnt want to admit there was something wrong with me but once i actually confided in my Dr it was as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and things started to feel better just because i knew that there was a reason i felt that way, even if it isnt PND it may help talking to someone who is unbiased and doesnt really come to the conclusion before actually hearing what you have to say....good luck to you and feel free to vent and get it all out because its amazing how good you feel after i good cry lol

    Thank you again to all of you for your thoughts and well wishes
    Rylansmum

  13. #13

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    Tegan i just noticed we live in the same town...thats pretty cool....im sorry to hear your story it is pretty scary how similar our stories are, and i can understand how you are still in denial and trying to deal with it.
    I find myself putting it to the back of my mind and not dealing with it because i have DS around 24-7 and i am sure with 2 littlies it is even easier to push how you feel aside and deal with all their needs before your own.
    Take care i hope you feel better soon
    Rylansmum

  14. #14

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    Wow, another Novacastrian!

    It is easy to push my feelings aside with having 2 littlies 24/7. I barely get time to think. My GP has just referred me to a psycologist, so i hope that helps with how i'm dealing(or not dealing) with this.

    I think in a way it would be even harder, knowing that your mum isn't going to be around much longer. I think i would be even worse if i knew what was going to happen.

  15. #15

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    I lost my mum to a sudden massive stroke last year when I was about 5 weeks pregnant. She was only 55. She had no idea i was pregnant either. I already have a daughter and she was definately her grandmas first love. I was fine in the hospital until dad said she was really looking forward to watching Leah (my daughter) grow up. After that I lost it. Since then Ive been extremely busy and havent greived yet. I didnt really cry at the funeral because it was like an event I was organiseing (im an only child and my dad had no idea what to do). All of my relos are in Sydney so some of them came up but they are back home now. We had to move in with my dad to help him out and thats where we are at now.

    It is extremely hard and I dont think u will ever get over it. I cry on the way to work everynow and then but u keep on going because u have to.

  16. #16

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    Rylansmum I lost my mother about half way through my first pregancy. It was unexpected although she had been ill for some time. I geuss that it's just one of thise things that nothing can prepare you for even if you know it's inevitable. It was really tough to lose my Mum at a time when I really needed to have her and now that I'm a mother myself and I realise how much she did for me it's too late for me to say thanks. I really miss having the oppurtunity to discuss being a mother with her and although I know we would disagree about alot of things it would still be great to have her support.
    I often think how proud she would have been of my two little boys and I feel sad for them that they won't ever know her. I feel extra ripped off when I compare her to thier surviving grandmother who isn't even half the person my mother was.
    I agree with Jodie, it's not something you get over. I'll always miss my Mum and I'll always be sad that my boys don't know her but it's my intention to make sure that they know all about her - that even though she's the grandparent they'll never meet that they will know her a little bit through me. I want them to know how excited she was about Yasin and how she would have been just as excited about Imran - that she loved them even though she never met them.

    I don't really have any advice to offer but I know how it feels to lose your Mum when you're about to become a Mum yourself and if you ever need to vent I'm certainly here to listen.
    There is a thread about motherless mothers somewhere. I'll see if I can find it.

  17. #17

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    Wow, it is amazing to see that there are others that had or are going through the same sort of thing.
    Little sprocket, I swear that I was reading my own story for a while when I read yours.

    What happaned was my worst nightmare, and sometimes I feel that people don;t understand what I went and am still going through. I am so worried about getting PND, I have warned my husband to prepare himself for it. I guess that I am aware of it that might help after the birth.

    My MIL is seeing things differently, she dosen;t understand what I am going through. She thinks that now mum has gone the she will now get to do all the baby sitting and what not. I see it that it is unfair that my mum will not be here to do those things, like sit outside the delivery room waiting for the news. I guess that I have to understand where she is coming from and try not to 'rain on her parade' as well.

    Only time will tell when the baby arrives i guess.

  18. #18

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    here is the thread about motherless mothers

    Sara, you're more patient with your MIL than I could have been with mine. I always got the impression that MIL saw my mother's death as an oppurtunity for her and like you I felt that it was unfair that my mother was going to miss out.

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