A blog by my friend Milly.
There’s an article doing the rounds on Facebook called ‘Seven Things Women Without Children Want Moms to Know’. It’s a decent article, I’ve seen a few times in the past year, and I’d recommend any parent to read it to open their understanding of what it’s like for those of us who live without children.
I’m a non-parent, and after reading it, I felt I had a few things to add. These are just my perspectives and I don’t claim to speak for all non-parents.
Let me choose
Sometimes I want to be around children, sometimes I don’t. Let me choose, and let me change my mind.
In the ‘Seven Things.’ blog, one participant said:
“I’ve rarely been invited to dinner parties at homes with people with kids. Or to life festivities: confirmations, holiday celebrations, graduations, etc. I’d like to be invited. Please let me decide if I…
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Walking through the trees on tiptoe
Collecting fallen leaves.
Trying not to wake Gruffalo
Best to leave him asleep.
Finding mushrooms (or fairy seats)
You can look but don’t eat.
This twig a branch for owls to stand
Or could it be Stick Man?
The air is heavy with wood-smoke.
Hard to see but so real
Why are all the best ones just
Out of reach?
You stretch over the fence
You eat greedily.
Purple juice stains your lips.
Before you go in for surgery, you have to remove most of the things that you hide behind: make-up, skin cream, deodorant, lip gloss, jewellery, nail varnish. Even most of your clothes: instead you get to wear a huge trendy NHS gown that opens at the back, and some ultra-tight green anti-DVT socks.
It’s a weird feeling because it makes you feel quite exposed; and I’m not a high-maintenance person who wears nail varnish or loads of make-up.
It makes me think of how God sees us: not as surgery patients but without all the stuff that we hide behind. We all show a certain face to other people; that may be businessperson, earth mother, geek or socialite. We may want others to see us a certain way. We show only our good sides and try to hide our faults. But God sees us for who we really are. He knows all about our past and he sees our every thought. We can’t fool him.
And that’s ok. He made us, after all. And he loves us no matter what we’ve done or who we are.
As I went into surgery yesterday, I felt completely at peace. Firstly, because I trust my surgical team; but mostly because I trust God. That doesn’t mean that I never get worried about anything, in fact I can get anxious over even small things. But I do try to remind myself that God is always in control, no matter how bleak the circumstances.
He has a good plan for my life. Events like surgery, trying to conceive and childbirth, remind me that really we have very little control over our lives. Yes we can make decisions, and there will be consequences, but actually we do not control our destiny when it comes to life and death. Sometimes our health will let us down; sometimes our friends and family will let us down; sometimes we will disappoint ourselves. Yet God is there with us, every step of the way.
My surgery went well and I feel surprisingly good. Hopefully I won’t need a major operation for a few years, although there are risks (like leakage) with implants. I am going to be discharged to go home soon. ☺ I won’t be able to vacuum or lift a laundry basket for a few weeks though, which is a shame.
Thanks to everyone for their thoughts, prayers and messages. Thanks to Mike for being the best husband, and to our parents for babysitting and all your help. And thank you to my doctors and nurses, and the caterers and cleaner too. They work so hard and are always friendly. I am so grateful to them all.
We are in the waiting room and watching rugby on the TV. Japan beat New Zealand! And soon my name is called.
“Sorry to keep you.”
I have filled in one questionnaire but there is an even longer one to complete with the nurse. Have I had other operations; what is my house like; will my husband help me when I get home, etc.
“Are you allergic to anything?”
“Yes, I responded very badly to an anti-sickness drug after my last operation. I would rather be sick than take it again.”
My poor brain struggled with that one. I knew what I wanted to say but the words wouldn’t come out. Also very dizzy, hot and cold and spaced out like an alien.
She checks my notes and they say ‘Reacted badly. Not to be used again.’
Lots more health questions. I look around the room and remember what it was like last time. But then I was sick, now I’m not. I am nearly back to normal and feel mostly healthy, besides the tiredness, headaches, occasional migraine and hormonal stuff.
“You are the first patient without complications I’ve had all day.”
It’s 6pm. I am her last patient today.
“At least you can get home soon.”
“Oh no, my paperwork will take me at least another hour and a half.”
Then we are sent back to the waiting room for the next nurse. I find a Gideon’s Bible and read some Galatians and Psalms. It doesn’t quite feel right as the font is different from my Bible at home, but it’s still good.
“Sorry for the wait.”
Measure my height and weight, take my blood pressure, take three vials of blood, do an MRSA swab.
“When will you get home tonight?”
“Probably about 8:30. I think I’ll get fish and chips. My husband works nights.”
“When did you start work today?”
“7:30 in the morning.”
Oh my goodness that’s a 13 hour shift! And she was still cheerful.
“Yes but it’s a vocation isn’t it?”
“Well yes, but still.”
Home time, to my parents’ to pick up the kids. This time next week my operation will be over.
God bless the NHS.