Friday, 15 August 2008

Sometimes, the Sun Even Shines in Winter.

I haven't bonded with Monkey, the same way I bonded with Tiger. I fully expected I would, but I didn't. There. I have said it. I don't think Monkey will be fucked up about it because I have his whole childhood to make up for it. I have felt guilt around it, especially when I would look into his screaming, wailing, face, at 3am, and think UNBLOGGABLE thoughts, along the lines of, "What did I do this for? Oh my goodness." I would (and still do) read wonderful, happy blogs of women and their new babies, and the joy and the love, and I feel twinges (ok, maybe more than twinges) of jealousy. I wished my biggest concern was the baby cried once for 10 minutes. Such a shame that my biggest concern was wondering if my husband was going to die.

I have spoken in detail, before, about how Tigers entry into my world heralded a redemption that I never thought possible. I still, cannot work out why Monkeys birth was in such dramatic, intense circumstances. Anyone? Bueller? I wondered, how would I have handled all this, if I wasn't pregnant and didn't have a baby? Why did it happen the way it did? In some strange way, it all lined up just so. I try and explain it to myself but cannot, and don't think I will ever be able to.

My baby is growing up. Thank fuck. Yesterday, he was in the sling when I was at the shops with Tiger. We stayed longer than I originally planned, my shoulders slumping and slumping, I kept having to lean on things. My back killed. I quickly grabbed one of those trolleys where you can lay a baby down in them. As I was taking him out of his sling, I though "That's it. We are officially done with the sling now .... way too heavy."

It didn't stop there, we were on a roll. I thought, may as well buy a baby monitor. So I did. Got home, and thought "Ahh well, may as well put this monitor together and put him to bed in his cot tonight then, in his own room." So I did!

It was luxurious, having my bedroom to myself. Mr TC and I have a king size bed, with a latex mattress. We spent a FORTUNE on it last year, the first time either of us had ever bought a new bed for ourselves, ever. I had a bit of a freak-out, being the first night Monkey and I had slept apart. I worried about cot death .... then I thought, you know what? His dad has cancer. Life wouldn't be that cruel. Would it. Would it? I decided it wouldn't, and promptly fell asleep. Monkey woke up twice, once at 2am then at 5.30am, and went straight back to sleep after his bottle, both times!!

At one point, I was changing his nappy and he started to do a poo. So I found myself sitting there, holding up his legs, baby wipes at the ready, staring at my sons arsehole, waiting for the shit to come out. The glory of motherhood. I remarked to Mr TC this morning that Monkeys shit smells like really bad foot odour.

"Well, what the fuck are ya feeding him, socks?"


Mr TC is sleeping upstairs, in his "chemo wing", as I call it. He has his own ensuite up there, if he needs to vomit. Plus, he has to be careful with all of his bodily fluids while on chemo, double flushing the dunny, etc.


Anyway, getting back to Monkey .. he is over three months old. He is officially sleeping in his own bedroom. It's a whole fucking new world, I tell you. A one-word description of the past 3 months, parenting a screaming newborn with feeding issues, as well as having a very sick husband? BRUTAL.

I don't expect I will ever, ever be clucky again. Today is the youngest that Monkey will ever be again, and instead of feeling sad, or, oh my God the bay-bee is growing up too quickly, I just want to bring it on, mofo. I welcome it, with open arms. Here's your size 0's big guy, congratulations. I want to shake the nightmare off, and start living again. I love seeing how chubby Monkeys little hands are, how lazy he is when he's lying on the rug and couldn't be bothered to move. (Tiger was the same .... SO take after their mother). I'm starting to love Monkey, more and more, as I get to know him. It wasn't instant, like it was with Tiger. But very, very, soon, it will be just as fierce, and overpowering, and strong. Not wrong, or bad ... just different.

Mr TC will get his last chemo in October. Talk about the agony of waiting .... we have waited three months .... two more, and we will see the scan that shows how much his tumours have shrunk. We are hoping for the best ... that they are gone entirely. We're all used to him being sick, I can't wait to find out how he is going to feel after the chemo.

I know he will need regular scans, for a long time. Cancer casts a long shadow, even in remission. But, the cancer never made its way into his internal organs, which is great. His is a very treatable cancer. His was aggressive, which is why he was in so much pain, because it was growing so rapidly. Imagine if we didn't know. Imagine if it was all still growing in there, running rampant.

When my neighbour came over to visit a then two-week old Monkey, she used the word "miracle" to describe the doctors finding Mr TCs tumours when they did. I wanted to say: "Miracle! Lady, aint nuthin' miraculous about this fucking bullshit."

I still don't think it's a miracle ..... but fuck it could be so much worse.

******Edited to add .... of course, Monkey just woke up after I wrote that post, and he is cooing and babbling and loving on me so much. I love him so achingly much that my heart hurts: I adore him, would kill for him, walk over hot coals, etc. Truly.


bleu said...

I have sometimes wondered, reading your blog, and please tell me to shut the f*&^ up if I am so off base here. But is it possible to have subconscious resentment of Monkey tied to Mr TC's cancer? With he timing and all. Like the birth of him is the reminder of the other?

I think you are doing fantastic btw, I just wonder that sometimes, because of the messed up timing and you being alone having him while your husband was along having this awful thing.

Anyhow much love.

Topcat said...

Bleu! There's probably some truth in that. But, I just had to quickly log on again, to do an edit. Because, Monkey just woke up and of course I feel dreadful about what I just wrote and need to say how much I do, truly love him!!

Hope your chili was yummy!!

bleu said...

Oh hun, I know you lobe him, you frickin adore him, I think what you wrote is truth and honesty and really good.
And I am currently having chili round wo fore day, lol.

bleu said...

two that should have read

Stacie said...

I was waiting for that instant bond with the boys, too. I beat myself up when it wasn't happening. I knew they were mine, and I loved them, but there was a strange, oh I don't know, indifference about them. I suppose it was because of all of the trauma surrounding their birth, that and a whole lot of PPD. Whatever the reason, it took a long while for me to get to that bond I so wanted and needed. That sounds awful, but it is true.

Bleu had an interesting connection. I wonder just how much the cancer thing is keeping you from really letting all of your love pour out for Monkey and truly bond with him. Maybe it is a form of protection? Dunno.

The best thing, though, is that you are continuing to be honest with yourself. Just feel what you feel and you don't have to apologize for it! We know you love your boys. We know you love the cantankerous man upstairs. What you are going through is F'ed up. If it wasn't messing with your head, you wouldn't be human.

Much love as always,

Geohde said...

TC- I just love this post. Can't even put a finger on why but I do,



Wordgirl said...


And then the sun shines on your face my friend...

My love,


MrsSpock said...

I didn't have instant bonding due to the horrible excruciating BF pain from hell. In fact, there was resentment building there until I switched to formula. You are doing the best you can with things like the Big C that are out of your control.

Caba said...

Do people instantly fall in love and the world is all happiness and roses when they have a baby? Who are these fucking people? I feel like I cried non stop for the first 4 months. Don't be so hard on yourself. You are dealing with a lot of shit. Fuck if I wouldn't be crying all day.

People keep telling us how "lucky" we are that my sister found the cancer early. Ummm, lucky? Yeah, I guess when compared to other people with cancer, she is lucky. But compared to all the 36 year olds without cancer, yeah, she doesn't feel so lucky. People want to say something helpful. A lot of times they don't.

Aren't I in a great mood? Sending you lots of hugs.

annacyclopedia said...

I think the fact that you seem to be struggling with this is proof of how attached you are to your gorgeous little Monkey. You are going through a lot, and it's fucking brutally hard, but I don't think any of that means that you're not being a total rockstar mom who's firmly attached to her bambino.

Just my thoughts. Thanks for your great comments on my blog lately - you always make me smile.

Betty Boop said...

TC, this is a fantastic post. I love your honesty and the way you just let it all hang out.


Sugar and Ice said...

Ok, so this wasn't the point of this post...but I've been wondering for so long, and I just have to ask...what the heck does "clucky" mean? I always think "horny" I right?