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I really need your advice. I am 2 months pregnant with my first child, I am 34 and felt in my heart it was the right time for me. I have been taking care of my mom for years, and these last 2 we live with my now husband and his son who is 9 years old. I have a full time job on top of this, luckily work at home, somedays are harder than others as you know, I do my best. There is help that comes in 2 hours a day for her bathing and light housekeeping. My mom is relatively young, 66, with severe osteoporosis and lung issues. She is completely bed bound unless we get her in the chair ourselves. She is mentally 100% just can't ambulate and requires diaper changes, food brought to her, etc... Well, I am now pregnant and terrified I won't be able to handle it all. I thought I could until my husband came to me with his concerns of "what if's." He has even suggested coming up with a plan B for mom if (or should I say when) I can no longer care for her because I won't have the "time or energy". When I tell him I think I can pull this off he's mentioned that "we shouldn't have to" or "it shouldn't be this hard for me." I honestly feel like my heart is breaking when I think of a nursing home for mom, this isn't what was mentioned prior to me getting pregnant. Sure, we talked about how hard it was going to be, but if I wasn't up for the challenge I likely wouldn't be a caregiver to begin with. Is caregiving now unfair to him now with a baby? Could anyone relate to this and tell me if I am being underestimated? I really need some practical and compassionate advice. Thank you all.

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I was never a caregiver while pregnant, but I was a caregiver for multiple elders while caring for my own two children. I can tell you that it's hard. My younger son had many health issues, so I was always torn between an elder and one or both children needing me. I'm mentioning that because while I can't totally relate to your specific situation, I do have an inkling about your dilemma.

I can't imagine that it will be good for you to be physically transferring your mom and doing the heavy physical caregiving while you are pregnant. I believe you also need to consider how you'd feel if you miscarried or had an early delivery. This can happen without any known reason, but if it happened to you, you'd always wonder if you brought it on.

You mom is cognitively in excellent shape and is actually quite young as you say. It seems to me she'd understand your dilemma and be will to move to assisted living or more likely due to her needs, a nursing home. If she is nearby, you could visit often. She's have more social stimulation in a group setting and expert care. You'd be able to help her but concentrate on your step-son and new baby.

Likely, she'd complain a bit for awhile, but for the sake of your whole family, it seems that you should consider a move. Your mom isn't going to get better - her osteoporosis is going to get worse. She's likely going to become too difficult for you to care for alone, anyway. Please consider everyone in your family, not just your mom. Consider your marriage, as well.

Considering the "what ifs" is painful but sometimes necessary. You may want to ask the opinion of your spiritual counselor or another good friend.
Good luck to you all,
Carol
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34michelle, wow you have a fantastic husband!!! Listen to him. He's concerned about you. Also, don't forget this is his baby too. He has a right, no, an obligation to protect you and the baby. Don't try to be a hero. If you can't bring yourself to place your mom then you should consider inhome full time care for her. Don't you think your mom would want you to have your baby be your number one priority?
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Terrim, I think you are lying and a trouble maker. Please refrain from giving dangerous advice to innocent and sincere individuals. I'm going to call you out on every post I see. I am hoping Aging Care will deal with you.
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"Remember when you were yourself a baby that it was this woman who is not a disposable napkin who cared for you when she was exhausted and did everything for you. Now it is her turn."

You are a piece of work to come on this forum and try to guilt the heck out of people. We suffer, we cry, we get exhausted AND we care about our loved ones. It's lovely you have three generations together and a husband who helps out. It is sinister for you to imply that the rest of us who have no support, don't care. You're ugly, inside and out, and I don't care if I get banned from here for saying that.
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windytown don't waste your time addressing terrim. She is constantly going to different posts saying the same thing over and over. It is her standard MO. She has this obsessive need for attention and saying how wonderful a person she is for doing what she is doing. Ignore her, she is an attention seeking person who seems to be suffering from low selfesteem.
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First off, bless you for what you have been doing for your mom. I do not know your age, but regardless it is hard on your body to have a baby and recover even if you are a healthy woman. It does take an emotional, physical and mental toll. Some moms bring a baby home from the hospital and they sleep throught the night in a couple of weeks. Others, well -- not so much.
My mom started part-time care giving for my grandmother when I was seven. It only increased year after year. My mom was not in good health and honestly in no shape to do it. I will be honest though, it would have been best for our entire family if she had not. I was a pretty easy quiet kid to deal with. But I internalized much of my depression, anger, etc. and had 3 ulcers by the time my grandmother died when I was 21.
My husband is now care giving for his father. He is in his own home and hospice rarely comes in and another lady is paid to check on him once a day. He refuses to go to a nursing home, refuses to go to the hospital to get treatment he is told he needs -- so we are all in a holding pattern waiting for him to die. He has violent outbursts, has put a gun to his stomach and threatened to kill himself, has cut himself with a knife but hospice and other workers are no help in getting him committed. My husband should put him in a mental institution but says if he gets out (which he did once from a nursing home) that he will kill him.
Here are the things we cannot do and that could not be done when I was a child because of caregiving: 1) no family vacations. 2) no day trips. Right now my husband must check on my father-in-law 3-4 times a day. 3) no peace of mind. Always waiting for the other shoe to drop. What will they do next. 4) always around some kind of sickness. I'm sorry but it is horribly depressing as a child to always be around someone in various states of dying. Either throwing up, out of their mind, having meltdowns and angry.
Please take it from someone who was raised by a mother who was a caregiver. Do not do this to your child. I have way too many issues to burden you with, am always anxious, nervous and to be honest have a very bleak outlook on life because I was constantly around someone dying growing up.
I found my mom to be trying to do both and there would be blow-ups in our house because of the emotional drain. It was so bad that I once offered to leave home and I was going to live in a hotel until my grandmother died.
You may not realize that you are taking things out on others. I honestly don't think my mom did, but it happends. We are human, we get tired and sometimes you snap at the nearest person. Don't let that person be your innocent child.
There is a scene in Pet Semetary that was in the movie and I honestly think Stephen King (or the director) hit the nail on the head. The wife told her husband about having to live in a house with a sister who was dying and had her spine twisted. It was a horrible experience and the husband says, "if I ever had a reason to hate your parents, that is it." My husband has often said the same about my parents. They were wonderful, loving parents but my grandparents were put too much on the front burner. I actually had to call my grandmother once because in between caregiving for her my mother was caregiving for my grandfather. He was ready to move in and have mom do it full time. She was in bed, sick and all my family always took for granted that if mom was unable, then I would just step in and take her place. After all, I was raised around all of this and knew the medications, talked to the doctors, etc. I told my grandmother to have my uncle come and pick him up and take him home.
I asked my grandmother, "will you all only be happy when you take my mother away from me? Because you all are killing her."
I am sorry for such a long post but I thought if I shared from a child who has been raised in this situation, it may help. I know there are probably thousands of happy stories of this kind of situation working wonderfully but I haven't heard any personally.
I wish you the best and for a healthy happy pregnancy. May God bless all your family.
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joycws - you make some great points from the "child's perspective" -- and it is so true; sometimes we forget how these decisions affect others in the family -- especially children. THANK YOU FOR SHARING. I would recommend to others considering caregiving responsibilities if they have children at home.
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34michelle, there is no way you will be able to take care of your mother, work fulltime and take care of an infant. Is there anyway to be able to increase the hours of the in home care? How you are manging now is unbelievable. You may think you can handle it, but what will you do when you are attending to your mother and your baby needs you at the same time? Do you really want to be caught in the middle of trying to meet your children's needs and those of your mother's. You have been a fantastic caring daughter, now allow yourself the joy of being a caring mother.
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Michelle, I had a baby at 36 and was exhausted from caring for a newborn. I can't even imagine caring for your mom at the same time. I speak from experience as I cared for my mom full-time in my home, similar physical limitations, at 50. She is now in AL for an abundance of reasons.

Your husband is right. The two simply won't mix. You'll be no good for anyone as the stress and lack of sleep will be HUGE.

I hate to be a negative nelly, but that is too much for even the fictional Wonder Woman. Your mom will understand. After all, she raised a wonderful daughter like you! Let go of the guilt, easier said than done, I know.

You have a few months to get your mom in a good living situation. It will be different, but it will be alright and you can visit mom with your bundle of joy. Congrats on the baby!
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I am a mom and a caregiver to my mother-in-law. It's very hard. There is a lot of tension in our house. A lot of resentment. I feel like my MIL is stealing time away from "us" as a family. We can't all go to dinner or a movie. My daughter is great and will actually offer to stay home with her so my husband and I can go out for a burger once in a while. But we miss a lot. We have to choose who gets to go to what. And when she intrudes on my mother time with my daughter, like in the mornings when I'm trying to get her up and ready for school, it makes me very angry.
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