Updated: May 8
Today we had an appointment at Cardiffs children’s hospital, Noah’s Ark. I felt nostalgic so went back and forth to my phone to write some blog notes like I used to do while pregnant with Lunar to help process the tricky pregnancy, this entry fluctuates between first and third person. (I think, I’m not educated enough to know)
I keep looking back at Lunar, sleeping in her car seat, completely unaware and peaceful. It almost feels like we are driving into memories. Some good, some bad, some pushed back to the darkness corners of my mind.
The sun is almost blinding, and I can feel its warmth on my face as we drive closer. No satnav is needed as we know where we are going. This journey was once a part of our regular routine for almost a year.
Parking is as bad as ever. I hate this car park. It just brings back memories of the awful day when I had to get Deryn back in the car to go home, leaving me in Cardiff with Lunar. Me trying to get Deryn back in the car as we were both in tears was one of the worst moments. "But mummy, I want to be with you." Thankfully that situation is over and now, at night, I cuddle and kiss both my children good night, also they are usually both in my bed! Every time I'm in this car park, I always wonder why they make them all so high. Hospitals are often the source of bad news and stress. Surely, a car park so high up is dangerous, or perhaps my thought process isn't normal. Dark.
Walking to the appointment is weird, but I have Lunar in my arms. She's snuggled in, and my heart is full of love. My jeans feel very tight though. Luckily, there are cuts in the knees, or I might not be able to walk or sit. It's the first time since before my pregnancy that I'm wearing these extra skinny jeans, so it's a small win. There was also a £10 in the pocket, so another win! Perhaps these are my lucky jeans!
We made a quick visit to the Ronald McDonald charity house that we stayed in while Lunar was in NICU. We always try to donate anytime we can, usually online, so it was nice to do it in person this time. Being back in the house we stayed in was weird. It's friendly, warm, and triggering. They are as lovely as ever and gifted Lunar with a teddy bear. It was nice to see them, but it was nice to leave.
Next up, Noah's Ark, the children's hospital. It was like a different place there today. The chairs are different, for a start, and the Covid structure of everything spread out has disappeared. There are children playing and parents chatting. A large rabbit (not real) welcomed us and gave Lunar an Easter egg. She was NOT impressed and pushed her head as tight into my shoulder as possible. But she will definitely appreciate it later, I'm sure. I'm not sure how I feel. The atmosphere here is bubbly and positive, not what I'm used to. But here I am again, in this chair, perhaps even the same exact chair I sat in before, now in a different order. Who knows. For a few minutes, it's almost possible to forget that this is a children's hospital, almost. However, there are clearly some very unwell children and worried parents here, with Easter eggs gifted by the large white rabbit so many are smiling.
One thing will never change here, I guess. Our appointment is running late. However, I feel that's allowed in a children's hospital like this.
I'm grateful for the hard work that's put into curating this atmosphere, the positive vibes, and the brightness. The walls are colorful, and there are lovely paintings all around the building. It's beautiful, but also heartbreaking to think of some of the children and what they face in these walls. Do the large windows generous with light and tall ceilings become almost prison-like? Or does it just become almost like a second home?
I always find myself people-watching and wondering about different situations. There are so many unwell children, and then I tell myself off for making assumptions. But I can't help my curiosity. I wonder if others are having the same thoughts as me. If they are curious about why Lunar is here, I would probably share that she was born with gastroschisis, a condition where a baby is born with their intestines or other abdominal organs outside their body. It occurs when the muscles in the baby's abdominal wall do not form properly during fetal development. It is a rare birth defect that requires immediate medical attention and surgery, which Lunar had. It's still all so mind-blowing to me!
We had our appointment, with the surgeon who performed Lunar's life-saving operation is amazing. Of course, Lunar has no idea who she is or why we like her so much. My admiration and gratitude can't be expressed. How do you articulate into words how grateful you are that you have a happy and healthy child as a result of someone's ability to perform an operation? You can't. She's incredible, and so is Lunar, and I'm in awe of both of them.
The appointment was successful, and Lunar is doing great! She has a slight slow bowel, which is apparently part of the condition, so she will need a high-fiber diet and some medicine to help, but she's happy and healthy. Our next appointment will be in six months, and if all is well, they will see her once a year until she's signed off, which they are hoping will be by the time she's 6. So our trips to Cardiff will continue for some while yet, but get more spread out.
It's been a positive day, but I still find the trips mentally draining and emotionally hard.
I decided to get a quick tattoo, a semicolon, at my local tattoo shop where I get my tattoos done. They were running an offer and raising money for Mind, so I got a new tattoo and made a little donation to a mental health charity, and Lunar is doing amazing.
So, all in all, it's been a good day! However, because I love to end on a slight doom and gloom note, right? Let's talk about general life! Ok, so it's not been a terrible week at all, but it's been an interesting one. I'm still trying to establish boundaries, and I've had a few situations that have reminded me that I have no control over other people's narratives about me. It's frustrating, but it's a fact, we are powerless in what other people think and say. But that's okay. I'm not powerless in what I think or say. Unfortunately, people, including myself on occasion, are often blissfully unaware of what people have been through in their lives, so it's easy to judge, not realising what is a trigger or not. We have "be kind" spread all over the place, on clothing and posters, but do we put it into play enough? Probably not. We can all do better. "It was just a joke" shouldn't be an excuse for hurtful behavior. It's important to remember that everyone is fighting their own battles, and we should always strive to be compassionate and understanding towards others. So, all in all, it's been a challenging week but a valuable one in terms of personal growth and empathy. Here's to continuing to work on ourselves and being kinder to those around us.
Other people's drama can be stressful. I do work in a theater (ha, a pun! I do like working in a creative space) ... that reminds me what's that quote? I believe it goes something like "the world is a stage." And perhaps that is so, but if that's the case, then I hope I at least get a standing ovation at the end of this crazy show. Or maybe just some free popcorn. I'll take what I can get...
It's not easy is it, to open up, sometimes it's not easy to talk, or even to listen. But it's ok to need help, and ask for it.
Thanks for reading.
Get Involved- The shape of us
I really like blogging. It feels very 'me,' and it's great to do something we love, right? I've wanted to do this style of work for years, but I wasn't ready to open up about my artwork as I am now.
I'm really finding my voice, and this has given me a deeper reason for creating. However, having my own voice doesn't feel like enough. We all have stories and struggles that are different. Art for me is about connection, awareness, and storytelling, and I believe that together, there is so much awareness to be spread.
Sound like something you may be interested in? Great! Let's tell some stories together!
Email me: email@example.com
Social Media Links
Please help us out! Not just me, but the creative community in general. Everyone knows an artist, a writer, a dancer... We think a lot, and it's hard. If we are producing work, then please share, like, or comment!
TikTok: Click here
Instagram: Click here
Facebook: Click here