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Pregnant and a carer for both parents! - Carers UK Forum

Pregnant and a carer for both parents!

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Hello everyone. What a delight to find this forum.

I just wanted to put my story out there and see if there's any one who can relate or maybe has any useful information or advice...

I'm 30yo, 6 months pregnant with my first baby. I am married but my husband lives abroad for the moment, where we were living together until I came back to the UK to care for my parents who are in their 60's. We're finding a way to get my hubbie to come to live here, but that's another story...

What I really want to talk about is the domestic situation I'm in, and the fear I have for the future:

My dad has terminal oesophageal cancer, naturally he's struggling with chemo and is very weak and finding it difficult to eat, not helped by the tumour in his oesophagus. My mum on the other hand is bipolar, we believe (but I'm wondering if she's actually schizophrenic...as she was diagnosed in the past, but this got put as a misdiagnosis later on when she showed drastic improvement) + a bunch of other physical problems that she simply refuses to get treated like obesity, possible diabetes, possible tumours, and partial blindness.

My Dad has spent many years 'caring' for my mum, in the best way he could, but he's just not the caring or understanding type - so I can't say it's done them much good staying together all those years and my dad's treatment of my mum could certainly have erred on the edge of emotional/verbal abuse at times.

Now they are certainly at breaking point, my mum seems to be caught between this place of hating my dad and completely fearing him dying. She's very psychotic at times and my dad, with his own health problems now, has just had enough, their arguments are starting to get physical (though more in the range of throwing objects at each other rather than hitting or punching, for now). It's not necessarily a daily thing, sometimes things are fine for a week or so but whenever my mum starts to get stressed it seems to trigger something and she starts a pointless argument with my Dad which then escalates to the point where I need to intervene and tell them to stop acting like children. It's really stressful to live here sometimes with them, I feel so alone as I have few friends in the local area any more. I really don't know where to turn to sometimes, I have some good friends up in London which is just a train ride away but I can't always get out of the house due to medical commitments for myself as well as my parents. I feel so unsupported.

I don't want my baby to be born and live around this but I don't know what else I can do right now because of financial commitments and the complications of the visa process.

I just don't know what to do next to make it a better home environment for everyone, my mum flat out refuses to see anyone about her mental health or physical health and if I called someone over without her consent then she would lose trust in me and could turn against me too. I think my Dad should move out but I don't know if he would agree to that and then I will need to care for them back and forth!

This is supposed to be one of the happiest times of my life, being pregnant for the first time, but it feels like one of the hardest and most difficult times that I've ever had to face. I'm trying my best to stay positive and healthy for not just myself but for my baby too but I just feel like there's a massive weight that I'm carrying on my back when everyone else around seems to be lightly floating about in their daily lives.
I can understand your fears.

My dad had that, I believe, with his windpipe, is that the same?

Have you any siblings who could help mum and dad, of have mum and dad got any siblings?
Hi Madeline
Welcome to the forum,
Are you able to speak to Mum's GP on the quiet and explain your concerns asking fo rNeeds assessments to be done for muma nd dad by social services. Your parents need not know it was due to your intervention.
Another possible source of help for your Dad - McMillan
https://www.macmillan.org.uk/?gclid=CIO ... lsrc=aw.ds

It does sound really important that you try to get some help in place before baby arrives.
Hi Madeline
What a lot on your plate!
First of all contact your local hospice. As Dad is terminally ill they may have either respite place for him or at least home support and information to help him, you and Mum.
Yes Mum will be very frightened so you need revised Needs assessments for both of them, and a Carers assessment for yourself.
You also need to see whether Dad is at the stage of being eligible for Continuing Healthcare (Google it). You may need to contact his GP to fastrack that.
Sorry if this sounds pushy, but there is help out there for you, you might just need to shout/push for it
Kr
MrsA
Madeline_17071 wrote:Hello everyone. What a delight to find this forum.

I just wanted to put my story out there and see if there's any one who can relate or maybe has any useful information or advice...

I'm 30yo, 6 months pregnant with my first baby. I am married but my husband lives abroad for the moment, where we were living together until I came back to the UK to care for my parents who are in their 60's. We're finding a way to get my hubbie to come to live here, but that's another story...

What I really want to talk about is the domestic situation I'm in, and the fear I have for the future:

My dad has terminal oesophageal cancer, naturally he's struggling with chemo and is very weak and finding it difficult to eat, not helped by the tumour in his oesophagus. My mum on the other hand is bipolar, we believe (but I'm wondering if she's actually schizophrenic...as she was diagnosed in the past, but this got put as a misdiagnosis later on when she showed drastic improvement) + a bunch of other physical problems that she simply refuses to get treated like obesity, possible diabetes, possible tumours, and partial blindness.

My Dad has spent many years 'caring' for my mum, in the best way he could, but he's just not the caring or understanding type - so I can't say it's done them much good staying together all those years and my dad's treatment of my mum could certainly have erred on the edge of emotional/verbal abuse at times.

Now they are certainly at breaking point, my mum seems to be caught between this place of hating my dad and completely fearing him dying. She's very psychotic at times and my dad, with his own health problems now, has just had enough, their arguments are starting to get physical (though more in the range of throwing objects at each other rather than hitting or punching, for now). It's not necessarily a daily thing, sometimes things are fine for a week or so but whenever my mum starts to get stressed it seems to trigger something and she starts a pointless argument with my Dad which then escalates to the point where I need to intervene and tell them to stop acting like children. It's really stressful to live here sometimes with them, I feel so alone as I have few friends in the local area any more. I really don't know where to turn to sometimes, I have some good friends up in London which is just a train ride away but I can't always get out of the house due to medical commitments for myself as well as my parents. I feel so unsupported.

I don't want my baby to be born and live around this but I don't know what else I can do right now because of financial commitments and the complications of the visa process.

I just don't know what to do next to make it a better home environment for everyone, my mum flat out refuses to see anyone about her mental health or physical health and if I called someone over without her consent then she would lose trust in me and could turn against me too. I think my Dad should move out but I don't know if he would agree to that and then I will need to care for them back and forth!

This is supposed to be one of the happiest times of my life, being pregnant for the first time, but it feels like one of the hardest and most difficult times that I've ever had to face. I'm trying my best to stay positive and healthy for not just myself but for my baby too but I just feel like there's a massive weight that I'm carrying on my back when everyone else around seems to be lightly floating about in their daily lives.

Madeline - re your Mum and getting her to the doctors - this plan worked for me recently regarding my other half.

Write to your Mum's GP, and acknowledge that he/she cannot reply because of patient confidentiality. BUT then tell him/her of what you suspect regarding your Mum's health, and how it impacts on the family. This will give the Doctor the insight he/she needs. Ask then if the doctor can call your mother in to see him/her under some pretence - something that will not frighten her off. The doctor will be used to this sort of request and will know exactly how to go about it. It worked for me.... I hope it works for you too. Good Luck!
What a tough time. Just keep in mind that your unborn child always comes top of your priorities. I don't have a lot to add to what people have said. If you can get some help in place now hopefully you can enjoy your new baby.

For your Dad, I would see if he has a MacMillian Nurse as they are total life savers and can help you put things in place for him. My Aunt died last year of Cancer and the MacMillian nurse put everything in place for her to stay at home. I am sure that they could also help you find a hospice place, and would know if he should get Continuing Healthcare Funding.

For your Mum, it is wise advice to contact her GP and get them to visit on some other pretext. You can then hopefully start getting her some help? Could you get her consent to have a social services assessment? If so why not try to get that done and get some help in for when you are tied up with the baby.

Then what about you? It seems you are living with them at the moment? Is there anywhere else you could go once the baby is born as it doesn't sound like an ideal environment for you both? Will your husband be in the country by then to support you? Make sure you have plans in place to look after yourself and the new baby so you can enjoy this time.

Maybe you should also contact some local carers organisations to get some local help and support. My local carers charity offers 2 hours free respite a week that can be banked to take up to 8 hours at a time, maybe there is something like this local to you? You could then get out and give yourself some space.

Good luck with it all. I care for my Mum and Dad and have 2 young children so know how hard it is to be spilt in 2. But I keep things in perspective by always saying the kids come first. Take care.
My only extra thought is this - dreadful though it is to think about it, do you know what your father's prognosis is at the moment in terms of life-expectancy? I know that's a grim thought, but the doctors will have a 'fair idea', though they can always get it quite wrong - some people they think can't possibly make it longer, do, and some who might have reasonably be thought to have more time yet, run out.

But the reason I ask this grim question is that at some point you will need to think about the question 'What happens after Dad dies?'

As in, what happens to mum.

Can she live on her own, or does she need a care, and if so, what kind, and how much, and how, too, will HER health needs increase????

This may be too premature, but alas, the situation is 'on-going' and at some point thinking to that 'beyond Dad' scenario is going to be necessary.

In the meantime, I hope things 'ease' on your current very difficult predicament, and I do hope that your dad gets to see his grandchild.....that would be wonderful! (My father JUST lived long enough to see his first grandchild, even though the 'meeting' took place at his hospital bed.....)