First Pregnancy Stress, Estranged Mother OD'd and Dying

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Registered: 12-31-1969
First Pregnancy Stress, Estranged Mother OD'd and Dying
Sun, 08-12-2012 - 9:59am

Hi Everyone,


Im posting here because I didnt know where to turn. Im 26 weeks pregnant with a little baby girl and I couldnt be happier. After previous miscarriage, my DH and I are so happy to be doing well.


My mother has had an addiction problem for more than 30 years. She has been in and out of rehab, in and out of jail and in and out of mental care this entire time. Growing up from a baby she would leave me alone to go get drugs or she would just get so high or drunk and pass out leaving me sitting in my unchanged diapers for hours until my father would get home. She abused my sister and I quite frequently during these times, both verbally and physically. My father left her and took my sister and I away to protect us from her and it wasnt until 2009 that I started speaking to her again. She was trying to get better. I was happy. I got engaged in 2010 to a wonderful man and we were married in May 2011. About 2 months before my wedding, the bahviour started again. She failed to show up at my shower and she did not attend my wedding. She told me she was coming to both and just didnt show up because she was high, I decided that I couldnt continue involving myself in this behavior and decided to once again cut ties.


This past Friday I recieved a phone call from my aunt telling me that my Mother had OD'd on pain killers. This wouldnt be the first time. The previous time she did this she told my sister and I she was drugged and raped. This was a lie. So I was confused. My sister and I went to the hospital and my 53 year old mother looked like she was 85. The nurse advised us that this time she is not going to make it. Her liver has failed and she is living off machines as the medication after years of liver abuse was corroding her liver.


I stood there watching her breath off machines and literally dying slowly in front of my eyes and feeling the grandchild that she will never know kicking and I felt this sudden sense of utter confusion. On one side I thought, how could you do this when you know you have a grandchild coming and you couldnt even try to get back on track before taking these drastic measures! And on the other side I felt this sense of pity and compassion.


Im dealing for 3 days now trying not to let this stress affect my child and wondering what the hell I am supposed to think or do... and I dont know the answers...

Avatar for duchessdina
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2011
jla I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I work as an ICU nurse and see families and patients struggling with addiction on a daily basis. I can't imagine what you're going through right now and it's hard to not think about why she would do this when she knew she was expecting a grandchild. I truly believe that it is an illness and that often they don't even stop to realize what they are doing, it's just the illness taking over and dictating what they think they need that moment. I hope you can find some support from someone close to you and we are always willing to give support with any struggles you are going through. It's never easy losing someone! I'm sending lots of PT&P's your way and I am very sorry for what you're going through right now.


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-05-2005

I am so sorry you have to go through this. I went through a similar type of stress extremely early on in this pregnancy, although mine has a much better ending. My MIL was hospitalized right before we found out we were expecting with extreme back pain die to degeneration of the column and a tumor (cancer) and was in there for 4 weeks, going through surgery to stabilize her spine and rehabilitation to be able to walk again. She is still dealing with all the issues associated with it, but she is in remission.

There are times when the stress of everything will start getting to you, but I found meditation very helpful. Just looking into my and DH's own future and knowing what was happening was out of our control and there was nothing we could do besides be there helped. Just know that you did nothing to put her in this situation. She had an illness (every type of addiction is an illness) that she was not strong enough to fight. This is no ones fault in the end.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2007

I don't know what advice I can exactly give you. But I went through a similarish situation when I was 15, however I wasn't pregnant at that time. I am  now, although I am 24 years old.

My mom died of liver failure. I watched her pass away in front of me in the ICU. She drank more than she should have, although she was what the Dr called a functional alcoholic. She held down her job as a frontline/in charge nurse at the hospital, and was a wonderful mother. I had a very happy childhood. Even though I know what caused her liver failure I have a hard time actually calling her a drunk/alcoholic. But every night when she came home from work, she would drink rum and coke until she passed out. On xmas and new years she always ended up needing a family member to give her a ride home.

Anyways I know what your going though and seeing isn't something to be wished upon even your worst enemy. I don't know how bad your mother is but my mom was on life support, and had 10 iv's in each arm for a total of 20. Her body was so swollen she looked like the michelain man and her eyes would not stay shut, they had to put gauze pads over them with ointment so they wouldn't dry out. And her skin was so yellow she looked like a simpson. Its was terrifying.

I remember the last conversation her and I had. The dr was talking to my dad about transporting her to the next city over for a transplant, as she was first on the list, and I asked her if she thought she would make it through the transplant and she said she would make it for me and me only. But that didn't happen, her kidneys failed later that night, and that was when she ended up on life support, and she developed pneumonia as well on top of everything else. three days later she died.

Now that I am pregnant it really hurts to not have her around to enoy this with me. Especially since she was a nurse and used to look after premies....thats how she got me. I was adopted by her. I was born 3 months early, my birth parents never came back to the hospital to visit me and just left me there. So my primary nurse adopted me. She would love that I am having a baby. Babies were the light of her life. I am super small. Only 4'9" and 82lbs and if she were around I would have no fears at all heading into this pregnancy and looking after a baby. But sadly that is not the case. Sometimes I feel slightly angry at her for not being around for the big moments in my life like this, but I've come to terms with it. Thats life, and things happen that we can't control, and all we can do is move forward. It hurts and sometimes we don't understand, like I don't understand what compelled my mom to drink when she had a seemingly perfect life. Good marriage, beautiful house,good job, a baby.(me) but that isn't for me to know or be concerned with because what happened happened and neither I or anyone else can change that.We all have our demons, some big,some small, and some of us know how to cope,others of us don't. 

Try not to let your self get too overwhelmed with your current situation. I know that is probably next to impossible and easier said than done, but what is important is your baby, and you. Not being confused or angry at your mother for having an addiction. Addiction is selfish, and the addict technically is selfish, they aren't thinking of their loved ones. But not because they don't love them, because they are sick. So just know that I am sure your mother wishes to be in any situation but the present and I am sure the way her life has been is not what she wished at all. But she is sick, and no longer her own person. Just try to be there at her bedside and just take things in stride. Good Luck!