(seriously though I really love that top, it’s the only thing that I can wear comfortably without looking like a sack of potatoes)
Typical me to avoid blogging only to start at 10pm, knowing that I always take at least 2hrs to write a blog post. It’s not that I’ve had nothing to say. Rather, the whole pregnancy brain thing has become a bit overwealming. I’ve re-written this first paragraph five times trying to make it witty, or at least make it sound like proper English, but my mind just isn’t doing words right now, which is unfortunate because that’s what blogs are for.
So I’ll just spill everything onto the page (screen) and maybe organise it later. Here’s a bunch of stuff that has happened to me recently:
As advised by his ex-wife who I’m still in touch with via facebook (because she’s nicer than him), I emailed my birth father, who I’ve never met, but exchanged a few emails with when I was 21, before he suddenly broke contact. His ex-wife suggested that I at least tell him I’m having a baby, as maybe this would move him to get back in touch.
It didn’t. He did email me back earlier this week, but it was basically to say “sorry I can’t do this, please leave me and my family alone”, which was honest at least. He did explain why he’d broken contact so abrubtly last time, so I got closure. But it’s taken me a few days to get over the fact that I’ll probably never meet my half-siblings on his side, as he won’t tell them I exist, and I’m not about to jeopardize their relationship with someone as important to them as their father, for the sake of a relationship with me, who they’ve very well survived without until now.
What’s frustrating is that I don’t even know why I care. Blood bonds never mattered when it came to my (step-)dad and his side of the family, so why should it matter if the man who accidentally created me doesn’t want to know? Why should I care about siblings who don’t even know I exist? I have two younger sisters already. Is it because we don’t look much alike? Because people can tell we’re not full siblings? My birth father’s kids aren’t my full siblings either, but I’ve seen photos of my half-brother and he has light brown hair and blue eyes just like me, so is it that? Is it because I don’t have any other brothers? Did I even want a little brother before? Etc.
So I’m still in a weird, sad haze three days later when my mum rings and tells me – “don’t panic, but -” she’s just gotten operated for breast cancer.
It was only a tiny, first-stage tumour, triggered by hormones, which means it’s easily treatable and there’s very little risk of a relapse, so I really don’t need to panic, and she didn’t tell me because she didn’t want me worrying and triggering pre-term labour or whatever. It’s not like I can do anything to help her, living as I do in another country.
At this point I’m pretty much over getting mad at my parents for not telling me things because they don’t want me to worry – I have panic disorder, for godsakes, of course they don’t tell me stuff. So I tell her she was right, but I’m glad she’s told me now, and I’m glad she’s ok, and I love her very much, and is the radiotherapy she has to do now really safe? And the hormone treatment? I promise her not to panic but warn her that I will be looking up as much as I can about breast cancer. She says that’s ok as long as I keep to reliable sources. She also advises me to tell my doctor, though I’m at little risk since this type of cancer isn’t hereditary, and she’s the first person in our family to get it.
She keeps apologising for not being able to come up and be there for the birth – she was originally going to come up for the whole month of November to help me out – and I’m like “Mum you had CANCER, just get better please.” Then my sister in the background shouts at me that she’ll come up instead, which cheers both of us up immensely. After what seems like hours (but turned out to only be 30 minutes), we reluctantly ring off, and I’m very proud of myself because I managed only to cry after I hung up, in the arms of my ever-patient boyfriend, who my mum had the good sense to call and warn beforehand, just in case.
The idea that my mother is mortal and will one day die is something I have serious issues with and try very hard not to think about most of the time. However, in this case, it does serve to help me get over the whole birth-father issue. Who fucking cares about my birth father when the mother who raised me and loves me is sick? Or was sick. With CANCER.
Holy crap. I’ve seen The Fault In Our Stars, and that’s a Hollywood death sentence right there. It’s kind of hard to imagine that, in fact, loads of people all the time get small tumours taken out and never have a relapse because they caught it on time, but it’s true. We just never hear about it because those stories don’t sell. When you hear “cancer survivor”, you imagine some epic battle against the illness, during which the person was hospitalised for ages and lost all their hair in the process. You don’t imagine someone saying “well yeah I have to take a few months off work, and my boob is dyed blue and sore with the scar, and the radiotherapy’s probably going to suck [Irish people are more susceptible to burns] and taking hormones for 5 years is gonna be annoying, but I’m fine and I’m still coming up to see you before christmas, once it’s done.”
My mother is one hell of a badass.
And I have no idea how I’m ever going to live up to that standard, but that’s ok as long as she keeps surviving everything life throws at her. Which she will, because survival is something she’s very good at. She did, after all, raise me entirely on her own for five years. Which is why I always believe her when I worry about becoming a mother, and she says “you’ll be FIIINE.”