grief and stress mgt. while pregnant - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 02-04-2008, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi ladies - not sure if anyone has any suggestions but I thought I would throw this out....

I'm due to give birth to my first child in the next 3 or so weeks. Since I have become pregnant, I've had 3 deaths, a very near death of my very best friend and then this sunday I got a call that my mother tried to kill herself. I'm starting to get a little overwhelmed by all this. What's more, I live in New Hampshire and mom lives in Indiana. Things with my parents (who are divorced) have been very tense since the end of September (long story) and a huge source of stress in my day to day life. I keep a good attitude about it most of the time and am able to focus on the joys of my pregnancy but it's not easy dealing with the external forces and I worry that my stress might effect the baby.

My history with my mom is full of "drama". She didn't come to my highschool graduation, caused a HUGE scene at my college graduation, left my wedding reception in a huff and now has tried to kill herself two weeks before my baby is due. I feel terribly guilty for saying this, but I literally feel angry with her selfishness. I know she's depressed and obviously having a hard time with life right now, but I still can't help but be pissed off over the whole thing - especially since I'm so far away and not able to travel at this point, my hands are completely tied.

I have not spoken to her, she's medically stable in the critical care unit where they have no phone access. Her finace is the only one there with her and he doesn't want to see her admitted into the psych. wing. He's been threatened with security since he's put up so much of a fuss about that. Truthfully, that is probably where my mom needs to be most so she can get stabilized on meds again and is no longer a threat to herself.

Part of me wants to send flowers, but I don't want to acknowledge her cries for attention. I don't want her to think if she tries to kill herself, her family will respond by giving her the attention she feels she deserves. BUT, I don't want to seem caloused. I'm obviously not about to tell her that I'm angry, dissappointed and disgusted with her behavoir.

I truly want to be supportive and loving but how do you do that without playing into the behavoir?

I'm certainly hoping the situation gets resolved before I give birth because I fully intend to focus on my baby but geesh, who needs this kind of stress ever, let alone when you're full term with your first child !

Thanks for listening!
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#2 of 7 Old 02-04-2008, 05:30 PM
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Do you have a counselor you can talk to about this? This is an extreme amount of stress to be dealing with right now. If you can get in to see somebody soon I would.

One thought that crossed my mind is sending her a letter instead of flowers? I understand not wanting to give her extra "juice" but it is possible this has nothing to do with getting attention.

She is your mom and this is happening .. my automatic response would be to try to ignore it and concentrate on my upcoming baby... but I don't recommend that because that wont make it go away, the stress will still be in there even if you don't acknowledge it.

hugs and peace to you

Mom to DD born 1989 DS born 1993 and grandma to
DGS born 2005
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#3 of 7 Old 02-05-2008, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much, the kind words and loving support are just what the doctor ordered. I've been thinking of seeing my therapist again but just hate to try to make another appointment work in my schedule. You are right though, taking care of myself is a priority.

I'm feeling a million times better about things today but the issues still need to be dealt with.
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#4 of 7 Old 02-05-2008, 05:42 PM
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It is a very tough position to be in, and one that I have struggled with myself when my mom attempted suicide several times in years past.

I don't have a lot of advice, but I didn't want to read and not post. I think seeing a therapist would be a very useful thing. Even if it is hard to fit in.

Sandra SAHM to Kayleigh and welcoming Emily January 2010
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#5 of 7 Old 02-05-2008, 06:09 PM
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I'm gonna come from the other side of the fence for a second - yes, if you do not respond to her, she's going to think you don't love her and that you're callous and she'll call you every name in the book... but it's probably for the best.

I've been through this, being in the hospital for another suicide attempt, simply assuming that once again my family would come and support me. The last time it happened, they did not. There were other things in the family that needed their attention (like in your case, you are having a child and need to focus on that). It was a huge slap in the face for me, and a huge wake-up call. It made me realize my actions were selfish and eventually, I got over the offense and came to see that they'd done me a favor by leaving me to work it out on my own.

It's not going to work that way for everyone, though. It depends somewhat on why your mother is behaving this way. Is she bipolar? I was diagnosed as such, but I was actually borderline (a personality disorder, not a psychiatric one, so therefore there's hope for a change in behavior, non-medicated). I was able to adjust my life and stop doing these attention-getting, self-destructive things to myself and my family, but without medication a true bipolar or other emotionally-challenged individual will have a much more difficult time.

You DO need to take time for yourself, though, regardless of any other person's behavior.

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#6 of 7 Old 02-05-2008, 06:20 PM
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I think driving down there through the night to reach her is playing into the drama. If that's a 10...then not responding is a 0. Perhaps you should aim for responding with a level 3 - maybe flowers is the right action. She might not even be allowed flowers in her room, so you could call and ask.
Also possible is some one-sided communication with her health care providers - they can't talk to you about her, but you can talk to them about her, ykwim? So, you could say, "I want to be supportive, is sending flowers the right action or should I ignore the hospitalization?" The psychaitrist might be able to help you.

I would suggest making some time to talk to someone yourself. It is really nice to speak to someone totally outside of the situation. Maybe 2-3 sessions with a counselor would be nice.

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#7 of 7 Old 02-14-2008, 04:52 AM
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I'm so sorry your dealing with so much on your plate, when you really should be able to enjoy your belly growing, and just relaxing.

My Mom tried to commit suicide when I was about 5 months pregnant. She had a long history of mental illness (that she refused to acknowledge) but I stuck in there and supported her because her illness always turned on her. She was always very supportive of me, and helpful.

Now, a different situation, much like yours, is my best friends mom. Every time something good is happening in her life, her mom has decided to create drama in order to either take away from my bf, or put the light back on herself.

In HS on opening night of the big play, her Mom didn't go and checked into rehab. When we decided to move across the country, her Mom all a sudden was "ill" and had all these tests done at the hospital to figure it out, and nothing was wrong. Her Mother stole her money bag at the reception of her wedding, and decided that she would go cold turkey off drugs during the same time, making no sense and creating a scene.

So we both grew up with dysfunctional mothers, but different in how they effected us, and how we viewed them as humans.

In the case of my Mom, I would do the flowers route, because that's what my Mother needed.

In the case of my bf's Mom, my friend had to break ties with her for about a year, after the whole wedding fiasco. She stepped back, stopped talking to her mom, and then after some time had passed she wrote her a really long beautiful letter. Instead of writing "this is what you did to me" she wrote the letter like the story of her Mother's life. Explaining to her mother how she, her daughter, viewed her Mom. How threw it all she got why her mother was the way she is, but as her daughter she explained how she deserved better. Then she stepped back again, and allowed her mom a long amount of time to take it all in. Slowly they developed a relationship again about a year and a half later.

In your situation, you need to take care of you. If I were in the same situation I would write a short card. I would tell Mom you hoped she is recovering well, and getting the help she needs. Tell her that while you wish her well, you need to think about you and your babies needs right now. Then I would back off. Allow her fiancé to handle things, that is his role. You need, and deserve to take care of yourself, and only yourself right now.

Maybe some would view that as cruel, I don't think it is.

Nothing has healed my relationship with my Mother (who passed in September 2006, due to complications that led from her suicide attempt) like raising my own daughter. I wish that same healing for you.

-Janna, independent mother of dd, Ms. Mattie Sky born on my 25th birthday, 06*23*2000. My Mama Feb.21,1938-Sept.10,2006
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