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Confused on How to Feel - Pregnancy Post Alzheimer's Death
Posted: Monday, August 14, 2017 4:06 PM
Joined: 4/13/2017
Posts: 21

We very recently lost my MIL on July 31 from her short battle with Alzheimer's which had only been diagnosed in April. She went down hill very fast at the end particularly in the last week or so. We really didn't have any idea of just how badly her mom was really doing, or that her health was going to go off a figurative cliff in the last week and a half of July. Wife and I had been passively trying for our second child the last few months, right up until her mom went into her terminal week and a half. But low and behold we find out this weekend that my wife is pregnant and that the baby was likely conceived during her mom's last week.

As the thread title suggests... I'm more than a little torn about how to feel about it. I mean on one hand it's amazing that right as her mom was leaving us another little person was beginning the process of joining the world. But I'm also feeling guilty as all heck about that same timing, particularly with regard to her dad.

King Boo
Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 8:42 AM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 3626

There's no need to tell FIL right away if you feel that is best.  If you and your wife feel it would be best to wait a bit to tell him, that is fine.  Some individuals would be able to hear the good news earlier than others, for some it would be a great coping tool and something to look forward to, others, perhaps not.  Don't feel bad for not realizing MIL was going to die, things change on a dime with the elderly and particularly with Alz.  Lots of forum members report being shocked at not realizing the end was coming.

I think that it is a great representation of your ability as a couple to live life as it was meant to be lived, even in the face of the demands of caregiving/advocacy for the PWD.    How is your wife feeling?  Talking about it together might be helpful.  No need to plant a negative seed if it isn't there, but perhaps an opening statement along the lines of "I am so excited that our child is on the way, I know this is an upsetting time with Mom's loss, are you doing OK"?

New life is something to celebrate, many struggle to conceive for years and years.

To some extent, time will help somewhat.  MIL has only been gone weeks.  Wife will probably be a bit traumatized with her Mom gone.  Down the line, explore perhaps something like a post partum doula for a week or two.  I did - nothing fills the place of a Mom, but the doula was a supportive presence when hubby went back to work, gave me a break for a few hours, did light meals, parenting support, etc.   That may lessen the void in those difficult early baby days, when everyone is sleep deprived.