Wowzas, it’s been a long time since you’ve heard from me. My sincerest apologies. I just took a look at my stats and it appears people are still showing up here every day. Have you been waiting for me? Here I am!
Another reason I know people are still stopping by is that I get frequent emails (which I may or may not refer to as fan mail), mostly from young women who have just been diagnosed with breast cancer and want to know all the details of how I ended up having a baby. How cool that I get to be a beacon of hope for someone who is having trouble seeing any sliver of a silver lining.
And on that note, I have a very important update which I have been meaning to share with some of the people who I care about the most – you! My faithful readers, most of whom I do not even know.
If you think it was pretty exciting when I got pregnant the first time, well, break out the champagne and party hats because another little miracle baby is on his way, coming this June.
I’ve had people ask me if this was planned/if we expected it. Which means a lot of people forget that I had cancer and am not allowed to get pregnant without a lot of careful planning. But I don’t mind. I don’t need you to remember about my cancer all the time. You have many other things to remember. Sometimes, I forget too. Which is really terrific. But for the most part, I’m stuck with reminders everywhere, and that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. (P.S. Remember when I had cancer and everyone was sending me treats all the time, like cookies? Oh boy, that was nice. People don’t send you treats when you’re healthy. But overall it’s a very good tradeoff, and I do have other means of procuring cookies if need be.)
I’m really excited for this little boy who is kicking me from the inside right now. (My other boy has hit a fun phase of kicking me too, so I am doubly blessed.) What will he look like? Act like? Will he be like his big bro, or a completely different specimen? Will he sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time? A mom can dream.
I’m also nervous. And scared. I wrote a bit about that here. Things will likely be tough again for awhile. But hopefully a bit more manageable than the last go round.
I also get scared because having kids has really raised the stakes in terms of the importance of my being alive. I was always scared about possibly dying too early, same as anyone who’s had a cancer diagnosis before their life has really kicked into gear. But I could somewhat cope with it. Now I cannot let my brain go to that place. With two little kiddies who need me… it’s just an entirely unbearable thought. Sometimes my brain can’t help it, and those intrusive thoughts come in. I imagine my kids not remembering me, or being raised by someone else. Me not seeing them grow up. I can’t imagine anything worse.
Ugh cancer. You’re such a bummer.
But those thoughts are few and far between. I’m too busy making a human and chasing after a little human who tires me out way too much to have any deep thoughts beyond what I’m going to eat next and when will the next episode of The Bachelor air. My family keeps me grounded. And distracted. And for that, I am grateful.
Sometimes I think of my life like that Gwyneth Paltrow movie Sliding Doors, where there are two versions. In one version, things went the opposite way as they have gone, and it’s a pretty sad ending. I couldn’t have babies. The cancer came back. Game over. But in the other version, I turned out okay and continued on the path I was supposed to be on. A second chance, that I really did nothing to deserve.
By some stroke of luck, the second version ended up being the true story in my movie. I don’t know why and I don’t know what it all means, or if it means anything at all. And it’s probably not the real, final ending. I assume this is some kind of ongoing series, like a trilogy, or maybe an anthology. Who knows what the future installments will look like. I could choose to obsess over them, but we all know that would be a very poor use of my time. And if I’ve learned anything, it’s that you don’t want to waste whatever time you do have worrying about the things you have zero control over. Easier said than done, of course. But that’s where the reality TV and cookies come in. Thank goodness for life’s small pleasures.
And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see
17 thoughts on “A new beginning. Again.”
I am so inspired by your courage and strength. I was diagnosed in 2019. This has been a journey as I was ready to get pregnant for the 2nd time and now I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to get pregnant in the future as mine was aggressive and affected my lymph nodes. I’m so glAd you went ahead with your decision to get pregnant.
I hope all is going well!
This so improved my mood. I am happy for you. You got this!
Oh wait, now I see, baby boy is here, kicking, and happy. Double congrats to your growing family.
P.S. I would love to see some of your cool dance moves that Andrea told the world about (snickles and giggles). I too love to dance.
I kinda came here with baited breathe wondering if you were okay. Phew, you’re alive!!!! Not sure if the new baby has arrived but congratulations!!!!
Was admiring your tichels over at a past post on Wrapunzel. Stunning woman you are!
Steph. It’s Shira. Maytal’s mommy. How is it I don’t have contact info for you? Just heard the good news. Mazal tov!!! Can’t wait to meet him. Next time I’m in TO for sure. Love and kisses to all
I’m one of those ladies that emailed you after a shockingly young diagnosis myself and who thinks about your miracle baby ALL the time as hope for my future littles. I love this update- congratulations! You deserve this sliding doors version of your life.
Mazel Tov Steph, this is wonderful news.
Inspiring post on International Women’s Day. Thank you! And congrats on #2. Xxoo
I’m so excited for you. And I love Neutral Milk Hotel, so beautiful and eerie.
Thank you! One of my fave songs 🙂
So glad you posted again. Was thinking of you just the other day. Wondering how things are going.
Happy for you for another miracle. Hopefully everything will be smooth sailing.
Don’t forget us. We are your ‘fans’ cheering you on from the sidelines as we live our own stories, with life’s ups and downs.
Blessings to you all four.
Sent from my iPhone
Thank you so much!
Congratulations!! This is wonderful. My 2 years of tamoxifen are up next month, and we will be trying for our first baby this year. Lots of excitement (and anxiety) about this…You give me hope!
That’s exciting! It can definitely be done 🙂 Good luck to you.
To are darling Stef glad your back Unc Jack Aunt Fran xoxo and xoxo
MAZEL TOV on the new baby!
I read your blog during a hard time for myself and your story has stuck with me. but I hadn’t really thought about you or your story in a while (since I read that article your wrote about breastfeeding and wanted to hug you because I went through something similar – not breast cancer, but a breast surgery that left me unable to BF!!) Strangely enough, I had a fleeting thought of you THIS MORNING, just a ‘remember that young woman with cancer whose blog you read – she got through something unimaginable, you can get through your shit right now…’ and bam, there was a notification of your post when i checked my email. Strangely coincidental? I don’t know, it just struck me as wow, i just thought of you this morning, and now here is your post that you haven’t made in quite a while… I never commented before either, just read your blog, in my own time, with my own emotional reactions. In any case, I thought I’d share that even though we do not have any connection, never met and probably never will, your story impacted me. And the universe had some kind of intervention this morning. All the best to you and your beautiful, growing family.
Thank you so much. I’m glad if I could help in any way. Thanks for taking the time to comment!