I don't have childbirth experience. My kiddos were already delivered by their precious birth mothers when I arrived. As a result, I hear interesting comments. Grown-ups say the darndest things...
"Oh. How sad! Childbirth was the most beautiful experience of my life."
"You're so lucky! You got to keep your figure."
Did I miss out by not having all the hours of sweating and screaming and discomfort? Maybe. But so far, my time as a mom has also included sweating, screaming and discomfort so I still feel as though I am getting the full experience.
Regarding my body, my children didn't ruin it, sharp cheddar cheese and Costco pretzel rolls did.
Let's say, hypothetically, I did deliver a baby. And this baby emerged with a facial deformity we didn't know about before birth. THAT would be disheartening.
To put it mildly.
Is it because I'm a jerk? No. It's natural to want our children to be beautiful. It's not that a deformed face would make us love them less, but it would definitely alter the trajectory we dreamed their lives would take.
We want them to be successful. We want them to fit in. And, like it or not, their face is kinda important in making that happen.
If faces weren't valued, people wouldn't spend millions on moisturizer, make up and surgery. The face matters, people. It's not a nice thing to say, but it is honest.
And if I'm one thing, it's honest.
So my sweet new hypothetical baby has a facial deformity. I get over the initial shock and speak to the doctor about possible options.
I'm so thankful I have options.
The tumor will likely inhibit their ability to see and breath in the future, so we must see a specialist. Definitely have a surgery. Or many.
This is not what I had envisioned, but in nursing school I learned that seeing and breathing are important so let's get this fixed as soon as possible.
I know myself and I know how much I love my kids. If this was real life, I would schedule the surgery for immediately.
You would too.
The Doctor says the tumor is benign (awesome!) and is as simple as tooth enamel that won't stop growing. A dentist can remove it.
What a relief.
Oh, but I live in Congo.
I don't have access to that dentist.
Or that surgery.
And in my culture, this deformity is viewed as a result of evil spirits.
My precious child will be labeled as "rubbish."
They will be shunned.
When I die, they will have to forage for food at night while society sleeps.
When I think of the faces of my real life kiddos, I can hardly type those words.
I wish this was hypothetically happening to thousands of children and their parents at this very moment.
But it is all too real.
I'm struck by the fact that this could just as easily be my family if we were only born on a different piece of land.
But there is hope.
The group is Mercy Ships. They are why I became a nurse. At this point I am not working with them, but I would love to in the future. This week another amazing company called Sevenly has featured some shirts to raise money for these children.
Even better, the shirts are cool.
You know you want to be cool.
I definitely wish I was cool.
This is guaranteed increase your cool-factor.
And your I'm-changing-the-world-factor.
I bought the red one pictured.
But even if you can't buy one, share this post and give someone else the opportunity.
The charity supported by Sevenly changes every week so if this touches you, buy one now.
And, as always, I get no money for this. I am writing about this because I am passionate about these organizations. I recently met the people of Sevenly and they are amazing.
I wanted to connect you because most of you are my friends and family and you are also amazing. Seems like it would be a good fit.
Sevenly is generously giving me a shirt to give away because I told them I am obsessed with them. In a very healthy and socially acceptable way of course.
Ways to enter:
Buy a shirt and leave a comment saying as much.
Share this post on facebook or twitter and leave a comment saying as much.
You can enter as many times as you want. Everyday if you want. I don't even care.
The point is to spread the word.
Also, the right thing to do would be to give me the shirt if you win it because I don't really want to give it away anyway. I'm selfish and it's awesome. ;)
I am just kidding.