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Effect of grief on bump?

(15 Posts)
dribbleface Sun 07-Aug-11 18:15:18

My dearest Nan is very unwell and we have been told she won't survive. I'm 32 weeks and also have a 3 year old. I'm trying to stay calm but baby is kicking like mad. what effect do you think it's having on it. Also wondering what on earth i can tell my 3 year old.

Boosaphena Sun 07-Aug-11 18:39:18

I'll watch this post with interest. I've just lost someone close am 30 weeks and have a 3 and 17 month old. I'm also trying hard to be calm but feel dreadful.
I am sorry you're going through this now. It's rubbish.

allthefires Sun 07-Aug-11 18:51:42

So sorry you are going through this. Just to reassure you that both myself, my sister and many friends have lost close family during various stages of pregnancy. I was about the same you are now and one friend lost her dad around due date.

All the babies were fine.

Maybe order a book to help your 3 year old as suggested in this article

dribbleface Sun 07-Aug-11 18:58:53

Boosephena I'm sorry to hear that, it's hard isn't it. x Allthefires thanks for the reassurance and book suggestions.

lucindapie Sun 07-Aug-11 21:19:52

I think the fact that you are worrying about how the baby will react means he\she will be fine! I know it might sound a bit silly, but you could try talking to bump while rubbing your belly, just to reassure her/him, that although you feel sad, you will still look after them, love them and do your very best. This is what I always do when I feel upset, no idea what effect it has on my baby, but I think it's better just to let the emotions out, and talk to them.

Jill72 Sun 07-Aug-11 21:24:38

Sorry to hear that both of you are going through hard times. Just want to send kind thoughts to you both. Although some may say it is not on the same scale my loyal and constant companion, Jake - Springer Spaniel , is very much in his last days. Have had him since 8weeks and he is now 15 yrs old. I am 30 weeks and just hoping he hangs in there.

I realise that it is impossible to do or say anything that can make the situation any better other than to offer support. It is a process we have to go through - but hopefully easier to cope with with friends and family around you. My maternal grandmother died two weeks before I was born - I know that if it was me passing away in these circumstances I would not want it to dominate the joy of a new life coming into the world. I would be have strong words with my family to encourage them to celebrate my life and joyfully welcome the new life in to pick up where I left off!! I say these words in an attempt to find a positive way through a hard time - hope it helps.

kind regards

Jill x

Jill72 Sun 07-Aug-11 21:26:06

p.s * Lucindapie* makes a good suggestion!

LisMcA Sun 07-Aug-11 21:29:39

I lost my Grandma in March when I was 36 weeks. DS was born 6 weeks later and doesn't seem any worse for it. I found trying to keep calm and focussing on the LO through the tough times got me through it. I was probably more detached than my cousins during this time, but they all were fussing over me.

When DS was 6 weeks FIL passed away and then last week my Granda did too. It has been tough but you do get through it. And having the LO to giggle and coo over is wonderful at a time of sadness.

And on MN there is always someone out there to hold your hand if you need it.

dribbleface Sun 07-Aug-11 21:38:52

thanks everyone. i have been talking to my bump. my Nan is still very with it and said not to be sad, her time has come to move on and allow new life into the world. was very sad. have come home to rest, just waiting on the call to be honest.

Bonkerz Sun 07-Aug-11 21:44:42

I lost my mum 6 years ago when I was 24 weeks pregnant with DD. I spent the remainder of my pregnancy convinced that I couldn't cry or grieve because I didn't want my baby to feel this or become distressed. I was convinced that if I just Waite ld till I gave birth everything would be fine. It wasn't!

I gave birth and it didn't solve anything. I failed to bond with DDsad every time I looked at her I resented that my mum would never meet her. I had hoped DDs birth would make me happy it made me so sad. I was diagnosed with PND at 4 weeks and went to counseling when DD was 6 weeks old. In counseling (went alone) I talked and the counsellor told me to bring DD along. I sobbed my heart out while holding DD in 3 sessions and DD actually calmed and slept whilst I sobbed! I really wish I had grieved whilst pregnant, I think the stress of staying strong was a huge contributing fact to my PND for sure.

Tangle Sun 07-Aug-11 22:29:50

You're Nan sounds like an amazing lady.

Re. what to say to your DD, Winston's Wish has some very useful info on their website. We had to try and explain death and bereavement to DD1 when she was about 2 3/4 (the baby we were expected died in utero at 36 weeks). IIRC the advice was very consistent in that its best to speak plainly and truthfully and to try and avoid euphemisms - young children are very literal beings and if someone tells them "Nana's gone to sleep and this time she won't wake up" they can become terrified of going to sleep for the fear they won't wake up.

DD1 took it very pragmatically - she came and saw her baby sister in hospital and came to the funeral and burial, all of which she coped with absolutely fine. She talks about her baby sister from time to time - sometimes in a very matter of fact way (I'm now pregnant again - there's been a fair amount of "Mummy, if the baby in your tummy doesn't die this time I thought it could use the pushchair you used for me." style comments) and other times she's got quite upset. We've just tried to be there for her and help her deal with her emotions as best we can - and if that means we all wind up in floods of tears from time to time then maybe that's a good thing!

I don't mean to compare my IL's dog with your Nana, but we were also staying with at the IL's house when the dog had to be put down recently. DD had seen the dog getting older and starting to find life harder, so we took the approach that as animals get older their bodies have more problems and start to wear out - and at some point the animal may be suffering by trying to carry on living in a very old body and at some point the body may no longer be able to keep working so the animal will die (although in this instance the vet was involved and "helped the dog to die gently"). In those circumstances, death can be a blessing as the suffering comes to an end.

I think what DD's struggled with the most is what happens to the "person" when they've died but their body's still here - for us some variation on a theme of life after death (even though we're not particularly religious) has helped us find an explanation that DD seems to accept and understand. Waterbugs and Dragonflies was recommended to us by our Rector (we had a church service) and we didn't find it overly religious, plus for us it followed up on themes that the rector used in the service so dovetailed in quite nicely to give DD a consistent reference to try and fit the bereavements into.

Sorry - that's all got a bit waffley. I truly believe that both your 3yo and your unborn baby will cope with the bereavement - your grieving will not harm either of them and will help you immeasurably. Being sad when someone dies is normal and allowing your 3yo to see that is more likely to help her cope with her own grief than cause problems. I hope your Nana passes on as peacefully as is possible, you get support from your family and friends and you can treat yourself gently over the next few weeks and months.

KenDoddsDadsDog Sun 07-Aug-11 22:34:59

I lost my BIL when I was pregnant and DD was fine. It did have a delayed effect on me though. I was so concerned with looking after my bump and staying calm I didn't really 'grieve' until quite a few months later.
Sorry you are in such a sad situation.

LemonDifficult Sun 07-Aug-11 22:39:46

Exactly the same as KenDodd here. My mum died when I was 27 weeks and I just hung onto the grief until afterwards. I needed a heap of counselling about two months later but it was for bereavement not anything postnatal. DS is absolutely unaffected by it.

dribbleface Mon 08-Aug-11 11:02:51

Thanks ladies. I'm really sorry to hear of your sad loses. It's a bit surreal at the moment, like its not happening as just waiting.

crazyhead Mon 08-Aug-11 16:09:42

My dear Mum was diagnosed with a highly aggressive brain tumour at the start of my pg (I’m now 26 weeks) so I understand what you are feeling. It is very hard and I was very frightened initially about the effect on my baby too. It is difficult to know where to find the ‘space’ to deal with this stuff while you are pregnant (probably reflected in the delayed grief people are talking about here).

What I think to myself though is that a great many women face high levels of stress and anxiety in pregnancy for different reasons, whether it is caused by relationship breakdown, domestic violence, pre-existing mental or physical health problems, massive financial worries.

The vast majority of their babies will be just fine - we've evolved to cope with stress.

I bet your baby will be fine too.

Take care though because it is horrendous, my heart goes out to you.

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