And I am 35.
Somebody just found this blog via a search on “brain cancer during pregnancy.” My heart goes out to that person, wherever she is.
The happiest moment in my life, I think, was shortly after I’d learned I was pregnant. I was relatively newly married then. I must have been maybe two months along. I was driving home from my vanpool on a warm May day. Maroon 5’s “Payphone” was playing on the radio. I remember being stopped at an intersection. I had the windows down on my Toyota Corolla and was singing along with the radio and feeling the sun. My baby girl was in my tummy. I stopped by my parents’ house on the way home, and drove into the driveway with the windows down and the music loud. My mom was on the last leg of her chemo, which was horrible, but all else was well with the world. I bet my dad took a photo of me on my way out the door, over my protests. He always used to do that. God I miss that. How I miss that.
I remember after the baby was born thinking “wow, all five of us are healthy right now in this moment. God, if you exist and if you listen, please freeze this moment.” It lasted eleven weeks. And it never really existed either as my dad’s cancer had taken root then, we just didn’t know it, because who on Earth thinks that being a little sleepy sometimes is cancer? Those weeks weren’t happy weeks, either…I was torn up from childbirth and sleep-deprived. I lost 30 lbs in weeks and returned to my pre-baby weight…I remember days when I couldn’t make it downstairs to eat breakfast until 4 p.m. The baby would cry, I’d feed her, she’d need a diaper change which made her cry again, and then when the diaper was changed I would have to pump and then it was feeding time again. And that would just go on in a loop for hours until I was too exhausted even to get up. I don’t know why it was so hard. Maybe because I hadn’t been around babies before, or maybe because of the lack of sleep. Or because I had a rough pregnancy.
Anyway, I don’t have that car any more. Shortly I won’t have my father any more either. I had the car 12 years and I can’t remember the details of the car without seeing a photo. I worry sometimes about forgetting my father. I keep turning memories over and over in my mind like worry beads. But I guess maybe forgetting is natural and it is necessary to heal. Along with forgetting I will forget the grief and pain, and memories of pain are never as bad as the pain itself, which is probably why I would even think about having another baby someday. 🙂 Look, I just smiled. In the middle of hell I just smiled.
But anyway, someday I will remember the last two years of my life as years that vanished. I wasn’t able to accomplish much professionally or personally. There was just trauma and change.
I am not sure what is going to come out of the wreckage of all this.