Grieving while pregnant - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 07-25-2010, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
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My father passed away earlier this month (July 6th) from multiple myeloma (a form of cancer of the blood). He had been sick pretty continuously since he was diagnosed in January 09, but his death came on pretty quick.

He made the decision to stop treatments and begin palliative care and just over a week later, he was gone.

I live over 2000 miles away and was making my travel plans. He died 12 hours before I got there.

Anyway, I'm also pregnant--almost 31 weeks along and it's all so emotional. My dad was soooo happy I was pregnant (I've had several pregnancy losses), and he was rooting for me. We knew the gender (boy) but were keeping it a secret. About 2 weeks before he passed I was talking to him on the phone and he was saying that he didn't know how long he'd be around (this was before he stopped treatment but had been thinking about it). So I broke the secret and told him it was a boy. He was overjoyed. This will be his 9th grandchild. The first born was a boy, then there were 8 girls, and this one--most likely the last, was another boy.

I'm struggling to take care of my pregnant self and prepare for this baby because I'm so overwhelmed with grief. the first week or so I was barely eating, sleeping poorly and not drinking enough water at all. My DH kept on me to care for myself. I'm doing better with basic care but it's hard to focus on this baby and the upcoming birth at all.

A friend of mine asked if I was talking to the baby and telling him that I wasn't sad because of him that I'm very happy about him etc. And I was thinking, "nope! It didn't occur to me." So now I feel guilty that my baby is absorbing all my sadness--that and the fact that I can barely remember to eat, take my vitamins, drink my pregnancy tea etc. Could this be affecting my baby?

Happy Mom of Maeve (6). Always missing my DD2 Daisy (22 weeks--June 2008). After an ectopic at 6 wks (11/08) and a miscarriage at 5 wks (12/09), Rainbow Baby Finn is here (10/3/10)
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#2 of 9 Old 07-26-2010, 06:56 AM
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I am sorry about your dad. Mine passed away 9 months ago of colon cancer. I was pregnant 6 weeks after my son died and I definitely was in a very bad place. I had this picture in my head that Noah and Jake were together for the time I was pregnant. Maybe you can talk to your dad and your son about how you feel. After losing my son, my then 3 y.o. said to me: Mommy, don't cry! Jakey is happy, sooo happy!
This convinced me that Jake was indead happy and in a very good place. Noah was born a very funny boy. Relaxed, happy, sure of his place even though I might not have had him if Jake had not died. And I am sure your son wont suffer! Cry all you need because he knows it is not because of him!

Barbara, Mama to Isabel (06/2004), Jake (08/2006-03/2007), Noah (01/2008), and Matteo (07/2011) 
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#3 of 9 Old 07-27-2010, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Gismobabe View Post
Cry all you need because he knows it is not because of him!
I agree.

My father died days before DD was born, after a long drawn-out illness. I was in early labor during the funeral, and chose not to speak from the podium because I didn't want to have a contraction in front of everyone.

I am sorry you are going through this.

Ditch the guilt. You need to grieve, so that the emotions are resolved, the hurt healed. So you can go on and be a happy mommy for your little one.

If you are concerned about it, then DO go ahead and tell your baby why you are sad (or angry, or guilty, or...). But, as the previous poster said, I'm sure he knows it's not him.

Please do take care of yourself. Drop any responsibilities that you can, or delegate them, so that you can reduce your stress level and recharge.

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#4 of 9 Old 08-01-2010, 09:38 PM
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I lost my husband when I was 3 months prego and I had the most difficult time taking care of myself and found myself getting mad at our 16 month old as well. The best advice I recieved is to cry. let it all out. So I did just that and I still do that. I tell my newborn about his daddy all the time and talk about him to my now 2 year old as well. I constantly remind the both of them that I'm sad, but not with them. My 2 year old gets really onry and mad sometimes and if I ask him "Do you miss Daddy?" he always comes over, puts his head on me and cuddles for a minute. I know they both feel my pain as well as have thier own pain as well. It's not easy to grieve while pregnant or with a newborn, but I know that if I didn't have children to care for, I would probably be 90 lbs at 5'8", drunk somewhere or who knows! They really are the only motivation I have to continue on now.
My husband was in a lot of pain from a disease he caught in Iraq. It wasn't fair for him to go on living in so much pain. I want him here, in fact I'm even mad that all those shity fathers get to keep living and my kids who had a great father who loved them have to grow up fatherless. But if he was here, his pain would have just got worse and worse and it wouldn't have been fun for them to see their Dad in so much pain anyway.
I don't know if you are spiritual/religious but if so, remind yourself that both you and your baby will see your Dad again someday. Your father is no longer in pain and is watching over you and the baby. This life is temporary, heaven is eternal and you and your baby will have plenty of time to catch up and visit with him soon where he'll be pain-free!
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#5 of 9 Old 08-02-2010, 02:07 AM
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I'm sorry for your loss.

I agree with the previous posters who said it's good to let it out and grieve. I lost my grandmother while I was pregnant with DD. I was able to go out and visit her 2 months before she died of ovarian cancer (I'd just found out I was pregnant before I left town to see her). I think it helped her to know that she was going to have a grandbaby (her first and only so far) even though she knew may never meet her.

I've spoken to DD about her grandma and DD gets sad that she never met her, but she loves hearing about her and seeing photos. DD is very sensitive. But I don't think I harmed her in any way by going through a grieving period during my pregnancy.

If you feel like you are having difficulty coping with your grief, you might want to consider seeing a grief counselor, but otherwise, it sounds like you are doing what you need to be doing. Your baby will be fine.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#6 of 9 Old 08-18-2010, 11:09 AM
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I'm sorry for your loss. Many blessing to you and your family. My 60 year old mother suffered a major brain injury when I was 6 weeks pregnant. Resulting in severe frontal temporal lobe dementia. I really struggled with the idea that my pregnancy would be impacted by my grief. You can only do the best you can. Don't be afraid to reach out for help if you need it. As for my little one he is just fine. A very sunny little boy.
Love lives on. Take care.

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#7 of 9 Old 09-21-2010, 09:13 PM
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I am so sorry for everyone's loss.... I started crying a little just reading everyone's posts because I am also grieving while pregnant and didn't realize how alone I felt with that.

My dad has had a very long tortured path with Alzheimers the last 5 years or so and had a severe stroke about a year and a half ago that left him in a wheelchair and with more brain damage.

I found out that I am pregnant a couple of months ago and go from being overjoyed with a new life growing inside me to having the waves of grief and feelings of helplessness over my Dad wash over me.... I've also been wondering how that feels to my baby. It is so hard.....

homeschooling mama to 8 yr old biggrinbounce.gif with a new little one(5-5-2011) babyf.gif...  h20homebirth.gif

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#8 of 9 Old 09-28-2010, 12:55 PM
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My beloved grandmother died when I was 5 months pregnant with DS1. My dad died three months before I got pregnant with DS2.

You can't NOT grieve. It's not possible to stop feeling the way you're feeling. So don't feel guilty... Guilt is for stuff that you can do something about.

It'll be okay. Take care of yourself, get some exercise and enough sleep and food.
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#9 of 9 Old 06-06-2014, 10:27 PM
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Unhappy help!

I lost my oldest son 18,and was pregnant with my 3rd son..8 months along. I have read up on stress on a baby while pregnant..because I was and still am concerned about my now 5 year old and if that stress may have affected him in any way. I cant find much information on babies born to bereaved mothers. I was led here and read many comments. We all have lost loved ones during pregnancy and I feel that pain with you all. Wondering if anyone here has these concerns or have any information on the effects on our children while we are/were pregnant with them. My sons doctor says she honestly has little information either..but we are looking into behavioral and other issues that have come up. I still grieve every day..missing my son..and really hope someone somewhere can help with this. Prayers to all of you!!
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