When I was pregnant, I finally began to realise the weight attached to my own notion of motherhood. I never perceived myself to be the maternal type, and my relationship with my own mother, though loving, has some element of distance because we are two very different people. I have never been particularly fond of children, and even with one of my own, maintain a withdrawn, wary stance when it comes to the children of others. Since I had P, I suppose my Mom and I have grown closer, though I do feel as if my general emotional reservedness is at odds with her outgoing, emotionally bold personality.
My Mom lost her mother when I, her first child, was not yet a year old. Growing up, I knew how profoundly her loss affected her - she was apologetic that I never knew my grandmother, and her mourning was two-fold now that she too had a daughter. I didn't think much about the daughter-mother-grandmother link until I was trying to get pregnant and had a dreadful nightmare that my Mom died right after I had a daughter of my own. I was lost as she had been, struggling to come to terms with new motherhood and grief simultaneously. It was a strange, lingering dream which annoyingly elbowed its way into my waking life and provided a very odd world for me mentally for quite some time afterwards.
Since I had P, I haven't lingered on that dream much. I can't. As most of you know, I have some issues with anxiety, so the further away those thoughts, the better. My worry is often allocated entirely to P, and there is so much of it, there is not often much spare. This afternoon my brother called to say that my Mom took herself to the ER early this morning because she was having heart palpitations. Because "rational" is not a word often associated with my mental processes, I have been going to extremes all day. My brother has not seemed overly concerned, but then again, he's male, and I'm 4000 miles away and helpless. He often downplays all of my Dad's forays into alcoholic idiocy, so I know he's worried too and just masking it well.
Being a negative person and extreme worrier, this only goes one way with me. Even if it's nothing this time, it has awakened an alarm within me so that from now until someone actually dies, I will think every phone call is bad news. I know it sounds horribly melodramatic and an exaggeration, but this is how my mind works. It has always latched on to one occasion where something went wrong, and thus every other time the same situation presents itself, I assume it to be bad. Once The Dude had head pain so severe that I rushed him to the ER, with me believing he was surely experiencing an aneurysm and would die before we got there. Instead, he was 26 when he discovered he inherited his mother's tendency to debilitating migraines. Nonetheless, with every twinge, every need to take an Excedrin, it's 11 years ago again and I'm bracing myself for the worst.
Since my brother phoned, I have been catastrophizing. That's what us anxious people do, and who am I to disappoint? I am now starkly aware of my Mom's mortality, and cannot think of anything else. I think of it in terms of her being my own mother of course, but also her presence as the Granny P adores. I could be a mother defining my own mother to my child in purely anecdotal terms one day - soon? - just as she was 25 years ago. My mind then goes further, just to fuck with me even more, to remind me that as I'm trying to get pregnant again, I have possible dead-grandmother emotional baggage for that hypothetical child as well. Yes, yes, I know it all sounds so absurd, and to be honest typing it makes me feel a bit ridiculous. Regretfully, rational thought does not mix well with catastrophizing.
My Mom rang about an hour ago, scaring the shit out of me as that blessed ring will do from now on. She wanted to tell me that all was ok, "so you'll sleep well tonight." Ha! She's in a difficult place - other than being more or less on her own to deal with this, she has to concern herself with my fragile mental state. She knows how I am. She often brings up the many times in my childhood when I would be too anxious to sleep and she had to stroke my hair and talk about our "peaceful place." Apparently her issue (something about a sinus which I WILL NOT Google, or I shall never sleep again) can be treated by something as simple as medication, or at its most invasive extreme, a pacemaker.
Strangely enough, there was a line that had been bouncing around in my head all week, one which I read somewhere - I'm paraphrasing, but basically, the important things that change your life are the ones which happen in a second. We tend to ascribe all the gravity of our lives to the things we ponder over and over again - do I move back to the US? Do I greet infertility again to see if I can try my luck again? - rather than the ones which can change it all in an instant.
I was in an awkward mental place prior to all of this anyway, so it's only natural that the weirdness should be extended a bit longer. I guess it's a combination of PMS (because OF COURSE my period is impending), and general mental imbalance, but I have been near tears or tearful for the past 48 hours. Now I guess I at least have a good reason to be so. I'm so paranoid, another fun aspect of my uh, issues, that I picture people reading this and rolling their eyes. Many of you have lost your mothers, or had mothers with issues more severe than what appears to be a rather harmless condition as far as heart things go, and here I am, rabbitting on like the most overreacting-nest person who ever overreacted. If anyone would like to talk me down off the ledge, you are more than welcome to do so.