I'm officially abandoning my casual, unhurried attitude (kinda sad and long) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 05-06-2006, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When we got pg, DH had three grandparents. Then his grandfather was dx-d with cancer, end stage, and died within weeks. Now his widow, DH's grandmother is on the verge of being dx-d with terminal cancer.

They both wanted to meet their first great-grandchild *so* much. They were so excited. I don't like gmil, but I appreciate how much she loves this baby even before it is born (even if that has manifested itself in busybody-ness and insisting on buying millions of little pink baby things).

Last Monday she was feeling really bad and went to the ER. She had a completely perforated bowel from an ulcer, suspicious spots on her liver (that they found while repairing the perforation), and has had pneumonia for a while--along with suspicious lumps in here lungs.

We all saw how run-down she was when we went to thier winter home in Alabama after gfil died, but she insisted she'd seen a doctor about her cough and breathing issues, and she's smoked for sixty years, so what can you really expect, kwom? She claimed it was a bit of emphysema and a separated rib. Turns out some quack in AL prescribed 600 mgs ibuprofun three times a day for her "separate rib" that was actually (almost certainly) lung cancer and pneumonia. Keep in mind this is a women who has a couple of ulcers and was just widowed. She needed to be referred to a psychiatrist or counselor to cope with her loss, and at least have gotten some testing to figure out what the problem was. And even I know that a ton of ibuprofun is not a good idea for someone with ulcer troubles! But I'm getting rambly.

We went to see her today (she is over an hour away. DH and I tried to go on Tuesday but I was too tired. We need to balance going all out to support her with taking care of the baby) and she's in bad shape. The doctor wanted to get consent from fil to do a more complete biopsy later this week, but he's pretty sure it's lung cancer and that it's either metastized from somewhere or to somewhere. The spots on her liver are probably also cancer.

her living will specifies no chemo for cancers with a low survival rate and fil and the doctors have pretty much agreed that if the tests show conclusively that it's cancer they are not going to treat her for anything but pain relief.

Until this winter I had thought it was pretty rare for cancer to kill so quickly, but it's apparent that both of them had their respective cancers for a while before being officially diagnosed.

I was standing there, very pregnant in the hospital room (very careful hand and face-washing after, and I made sure DH and I didn't touch anything, especially not door handles, elevator buttons, etc), and it was just obvious that everyone just want sthis baby to be born *NOW* so that gmil can see her before she does. And at this point no one knows when that will be.

So we're going on the 'natural induction' lifestyle--walking twice a day, working on positioning, sex daily, etc. I'm not gonna risk bad stuff by going a medical induction, but I was mentally prepared to have this baby at the end of the month or the beginning of June. Now the whole family, myself included, is waiting with bated breathe, hoping the babe shows itself within a week or so. My EDD is the 15th.

And then we get to face the challenges and worries about taking a newborn to the hospital Moby wrap and not touching anything should do the trick, but the very idea still makes me nervous.

And FIL, MIL, DH and I are her only family in state. We're all over an hour away. DH and I are in that part of the state twice a week for my classes, but it's so tiring going to class a tthis point that going to the hospital too is gonna be hard, although we promised to visit on Thursday.

I wish FIL and MIL would have her move in with them, but I don;t know if she would be ok with that. At this point it looks like she will either die without ever leaving the hospital or will have to go on hospice care--but there is no one to be with her 'round the clock. I'm worried that DH and I should really do this--we spend a lot fo time in her area, we don't have work commitments other than class a couple times a week--but wiotht eh baby coming we can't focus our energy on gmil.

We're discouraged. I just wish this baby would come. I will feel like I've failed them so much if she doesnt' survive to see her great-grandchild. i know that's irrational, but I'll still feel that way.
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#2 of 17 Old 05-06-2006, 11:18 PM
 
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I don't belong in here but

I can't say I completely understand because I haven't been in your exact situation. but, I did get VERY anxious about *needing* dd to be born at the end and while I was 100% against induction and ready to to go 42 wks if necessary, I panicked at the end and got induced at 8 days past my edd. so I'm glad to hear you say that you won't do a medical induction and I really, really hope you stick to that, because once (if) you're past your due date, the pressure is going to be ON.

your 1st priority has to be the baby. period. I hope for everyone's sake the baby comes soon but if it doesn't that cannot feel like failure. I did every single natural induction technique in the book, constantly, for the last 3 wks of my pregnancy including nipple stimulation that would cause me to contract very strongly. I ended up 4 cm dialated but no labor in sight- boy do I wish I'd held out, pitocin is awful, induction was awful, prolonged 3rd stage contributed to baby in the NICU for five days.....I just know so well how it feels to really need to go into labor and just not have your body (or baby) cooperating and I wouldn't want another mama to go thru what I did. please don't put too much pressure on yourself. you will never have this pregnancy or birth again to re-do and no matter what else is going on, this is more important.

good luck. best wishes to your family during a difficult time.

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#3 of 17 Old 05-06-2006, 11:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bri276
your 1st priority has to be the baby. period. I hope for everyone's sake the baby comes soon but if it doesn't that cannot feel like failure.
:

Not in your month, but I wanted to comment because something similar happened when I was born. My great-grandmother was dying of cancer, not doing well at all. She died not long after I was born, but the whole family feels she was holding on just to see her favorite grandson's baby. I hope that your husband's grandma can hold on too. Please don't put this all on yourself and please don't stress yourself out over this. I'm sorry to hear of all the losses in your family this year.
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#4 of 17 Old 05-06-2006, 11:58 PM
 
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Tie-dyed, it sounds like you are putting so much pressure on yourself - and your family is too. It's really hard to lose loved ones, but you are right in the thick of the cycle of life. Can you try to let go and trust that whatever happens it is meant to be? And once the baby is born you may want to go to the hospital...but you may not. Trust your protective instincts - they are what has sustained your family up until today as you await a member of the next generation.

sharing life with | 10 yo ds | 8 yo dd | dh (since 2012)
"I am not what happened to me...I am what I choose to become." ~ Carl Jung
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#5 of 17 Old 05-07-2006, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not really doing too much...yet. DH and I have been talking about ways to be attentive without focusing too much on things other than the baby. It's just a bit hard for me to witness this whole thing. I grew up in a *very* close knit family. My great-grandma lived with her son's family once she couldn't live on her own, and when that got too hard, someone visited her inthe nursing home at least once a week--usually two or three times. Whne my grandpa was dying the whole family was there constantly. Two of my aunts were holding him as he died.

This business of people stopping by once or twice a week while she's in ICU is so foreign to me, and to DH too, now that we've spent time around my family. But his family is smaller (that side of it anyway) and there just isn't the manpower to have people there constantly. So naturally we want to step in. We're so used to saying that we're young and strong and independent, we can be where we're needed and do what's needed. Now we have to realize we're no longer the young, independent, carefree couple who can do anything for anyone at the drop of a hat.

It's kind of a dificult adjustment.
Fortunately, I will have *a lot* of support for avoiding medical induction, even if I do reach a point of getting really tempted. For one, I know the risks to the baby. By going the DEM route, I've avoided a lot of the medical rationalization about these things and I knwo the dangers. My homebirth midwives will do their utmost to stop me from medically inducing, and even my medical backup knows better than to push for an induction--I told her my comfort zone ends around 44 weeks. If she has any talent for picking her battles she won't encourage medical induction before 42 weeks.

It's just another big adjustment.
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#6 of 17 Old 05-07-2006, 12:19 AM
 
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What a rough thing to go through - I am so sorry for you. BUT - your first priority is to your child. and I don't know how spiritual you are, but I believe they will both see this baby.

I agree you are putting too much pressure on yourself. Trust that it will work out as it should.
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#7 of 17 Old 05-07-2006, 12:45 AM
 
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#8 of 17 Old 05-07-2006, 04:55 AM
 
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No matter how tempting it is to try to carry everyone's burdens for them (especially when you are used to being the ones who can pitch in, help out, make things happen-- and I say this as someone who tends to do exactly the same thing), remember that you are not responsible for anything except choosing to do what is best for your baby! Of course it would be extraordinarily wonderful if gmil can meet this baby, but if that doesn't happen **it is NOT your fault**!

What a sad and hard situation to be in at the end of your pregnancy, my thoughts are with you and your family.
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#9 of 17 Old 05-07-2006, 06:58 AM
 
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I am so so sorry. What a difficult situation to be in emotionally. I won't claim to completely understand, because your situation is a bit different, but I lost my stepfather (who I had known my whole life - was more like my father than my stepfather) a week and a half ago, somewhat suddenly, and especially for the days he was so ill it was extra difficult because of how much I knew he had wanted to meet my daughter - and how much I wanted him to be able to. Sorry, my intention is not to make the thread about *me* rather than you - but I wanted to show that I can kinda sorta understand part of where you're coming from, and you're welcome to pm me if you need to talk more.

In the end, I totally agree with the previous posters. Your first priority has to be the baby - and I know how difficult that is, but it sounds like you're on the right track. I hope baby comes out all on his/her own in plenty of time for your gmil to meet him/her. I know it is difficult to feel so helpless.
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#10 of 17 Old 05-07-2006, 07:09 AM
 
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Oh tie-died, that sounds so emotionally stressful & draining to be going through right now. Please don't forget to take good care of yourself (and baby) first. And what a lot of pressure you must be feeling to have this baby early. Just my opinion, but I recommend not giving yourself more stress by attempting the natural induction techniques - although it helps to feel like you are doing something, we all know that the baby will come when s/he is ready, and nothing else will change that. Putting yourself through all the techniques will likely bring on contractions, but not necessarily true labor, and that in itself is another huge stress.

Just do the best you can to support gmil & your family, take good care of yourself, & try to trust in your body.

I am so sorry for your losses. I'll be thinking of you.
max

Happy mama of four Wild Things
"And now," cried Max "let the wild rumpus begin!"
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#11 of 17 Old 05-07-2006, 08:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Marylizah


No matter how tempting it is to try to carry everyone's burdens for them (especially when you are used to being the ones who can pitch in, help out, make things happen-- and I say this as someone who tends to do exactly the same thing), remember that you are not responsible for anything except choosing to do what is best for your baby! Of course it would be extraordinarily wonderful if gmil can meet this baby, but if that doesn't happen **it is NOT your fault**!

What a sad and hard situation to be in at the end of your pregnancy, my thoughts are with you and your family.
:

There are so many pressures at the end of a pregnancy. While I certainly don't think a little walking or sex ever hurt anyone, please please please try not to feel added pressure to "make" your baby come--she will come when she's ready, whever that is. Birth (and death) are simply not things that we can control.

I'm sorry for your loss of your gfil--my gfil actually died last Wednesday. (Was ill for a long time and had no chance of traveling to see the baby, though.) Be there for your dh and his family...but try not to think that being there means you need to "perform".
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#12 of 17 Old 05-08-2006, 10:08 AM
 
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I know how you feel We went through similar when dh mom was ill with cancer. She held on just long enough to see our wedding. I know dh was so glad that she was able to be there. Now when I look at our wedding photos I can see how tired she was. He was her youngest and favorite. We didn't rush the wedding though-I was so young at the time I never realized how sick she was and how she was barely hanging on. She wanted to be there though-and she was. Its so close to time for your baby to be here-you would be surprised at the will power of the dying-they will finish their business here on earth before they let go. Hugs to you-don't dwell on this too much either-it could work against you with all that stress. YOur body and mind need to feel that you are in a dsafe place to have the baby. So in addition to walking and sex-relax and meditate on the happy aspect of birth and having a baby.

my thoughts go out to you and your family-but especially you at this time of transisiton in your life.

mother, wife, sister, friend--step mom to one grown man and mommy to 3 boys-ages 19, 10 and 4
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#13 of 17 Old 05-08-2006, 12:49 PM
 
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Not from your DDC, but I wanted to comment.

First, big

I TRULY understand where you are coming from. My gmil passed away on 12/22/05, just a few weeks after finding out we were pregnant with #2.

She had been diagnosed with lung cancer in July, I believe. And, decided to go the chemo route. It was exhausting for her, but she needed to feel she exhausted all routes of treatment. She wasn't ready to surrender. Luckily, in those extra months, she really bonded with our ds (we'd just moved back to the area). Unfortunately, we found out too late that the cancer had spread to her brain and she ended up having a stroke and died shortly thereafter in the hospital. She went peacefully and that really helped all of us cope with her death.

Even though I was only 7 weeks along, I missed not being able to tell her that our baby was okay (had a few bleeding scares, etc). Our u/s was scheduled for the day AFTER her death. But, we knew she was with us at that appt.

(tears in my eyes...) So, I truly feel for you and your dh. And, I totally understand your wanting to do as much as possible for your gmil and still do what's right for your baby.

Steph, wife to C, mama to O :, E , and I :.
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#14 of 17 Old 05-08-2006, 01:32 PM
 
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tie-dyed, my aunt just went in the hospital, it's serious and i don't want to visit her. I know 2 folks that got antibiotic resistant infections there last year. . . . my family thinks i'm a nut job but really, vancomycin resistant enterrococcus is not on my supply wish for the new baby. the family pressure is intense.
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#15 of 17 Old 05-09-2006, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, she passed away early this morning. No funeral or anything--she wanted her body to be evaluated for organ donation and then sent to the local medical school.

We're really sad she didn't make it a bit longer. Not sure at all how to help DH through this. There's not much closure when someone dies and that's it. His parents are going today to finish up paperwork at the hospital and since she/they still maintained 2 regular residences and one vacation home, there's going to be *a lot* of arrangements to be made over the next several months. For now though, DH is a bit lost.
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#16 of 17 Old 05-09-2006, 09:38 AM
 
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I'm so, so sorry that you and DH have to go through this right now.

My thoughts are with you and your family.
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#17 of 17 Old 05-09-2006, 09:53 AM
 
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I'm so sorry tie-dyed. I am sure you, dh & your pregnancy were a comfort to her in her last days. When my father passed away he did not want any services either. I know this can make it harder to put closure on the situation. Perhaps you & dh can think of a small way to memorialize her for you & your family.

Thinking of you all,
max

Happy mama of four Wild Things
"And now," cried Max "let the wild rumpus begin!"
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