Hey Bees,

Feels weird putting this here but I'm kind of at a lost and this is such a supportive community.

I lost my dad on Sunday. I am 31 years old and 38 weeks pregnant (tomorrow). He was healthy and just 71. He was riding his bike, after a beautiful day sailing his boat, and apparently started to feel out of breath. A motorist stopped and offered assistance. He was in a somewhat rural area where we have a bay house but a volunteer fire department is close by and there was a nurse and a member of the fire department there within minutes. My dad collapsed while they were on the scene. They had a CPR machine (didn't even know that existed) and a defibrillator. They got a sporadic pulse once but after a second shock, they never revived him. They continued CPR en route to a hospital and continued working on him for another 20-25 minutes. The fire chief was kind enough to share all of this information with us. I am forever grateful that he was doing something he loved, after a perfect weekend, he was not alone and received excellent medical care. I am also finding peace that he died quickly and never had to experience losing his independence in a nursing home or similar situation - he would have truly hated that. Since this happened at our family house on the coast (about 4 hours away) I have not been able to join family there. I am hoping for a good appointment this week so I can maybe meet my mom at their primary residence about an hour from my house just so I can be with her for a day or two. This pregnancy has not been complicated but I am already dilated to 2 and have been told to "stay close". He didn't want a funeral but we are planning a weekend together after the baby arrives.

I'm struggling the most right now with being somewhat isolated at home. My brother has been with my mom and they have handled all the business so far with me just checking in via phone. I'm hoping that if I can be with my mom this weekend I'll feel more connected. Secondly, I am growing increasing anxious about giving birth in the next few days and weeks. How am I supposed to be happy right now? I don't want to diminish this perfect gift we have been given, I don't want her birth to be clouded by my grief, but I am not sure how I can be emotional there for her right now. I was rushing this pregnancy along and now I want it to slow down to give me more space between the two events. A friend gave me good advice that it was totally ok to feel both happiness and totally heartbreak at the same time but balancing that on top of the normal postpartum stress and grief stress seems unbearable. I plan to bring this up to my doctor tomorrow but he's kind of cut and dry (which I typically like in a doctor) so not sure how much help he will be. I will also try and line up a therapist because I know this will be a long, hard process. My mom was also super involved in the birth and care of my first but I know she can't provide that now either.

Thanks for reading and letting me put it out on "paper". I'd love to hear other experiences of balancing grief with motherhood.