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Special Article from the Mom of this Month’s Cover Kid- Age Is Just a Number

Life sure is full of surprises. Some wonderfully exciting, others incredibly terrifying, but there is one common denominator – they are all life changing. The last three years for the Phillips family have been nothing short of eventful.

In 2016, after years of contemplating, I made the decision to undergo bariatric surgery. I was 37, a type two diabetic, suffering from high blood pressure, and struggling with depression. Although I was blessed with a beautiful daughter, wonderful stepson, and loving husband, I was sick and tired of the weight, and needed some help to take my life back. The process of bariatric surgery is not a quick one. There are many appointments with therapists, dietitians, social workers, nurses and surgeons, along with other criteria a patient needs to meet to be approved for the bariatric program. It took years, but I finally was accepted in August 2017.

Life was about to change. Not just myself, but for my family. They were about to embark on this journey to get “me” back, I was going to get “me” back, and I was ready.  On November 2016, as I sat in my cubical at work, I received the call. To this day, I can still hear the call as vividly as the day I answered the phone. The nurse on the other end was from the bariatric program; thoughts raced through my head. Were they moving my date up? Was my blood work okay? “Nope”, she calmly stated. “Mrs. Phillips, we are going to have to place your surgery on hold.” “WHAT!”, I exclaimed. “You’re pregnant”. I remember a rush of emotions flooding my body. My coworkers told me that I sat unresponsive for several minutes before blurting out those same words, “I’m PREGNANT”.

On June 27, 2017, we were again blessed with the birth of our daughter, Maci. Instant love is the only way I can describe how she completed our family. All fears quickly vacated. She was here, she was healthy, and she belonged in my arms. Maternity leave was a time where I found myself reflecting on what the future held for me and my family. With my husband’s support, I made the decision to follow my dreams and head back to Fanshawe in the Early Childhood Education Program. I was accepted and started in the fall of 2018.  Surgery was subsequently scheduled for August 2019. With the support of my family and friends, today I am down three sizes, currently successful in the third semester of the program, and the lucky mother to Jaeden, 16, Olivia, 13, and Maci, 2.  I will leave you with this: it is never too late to take a chance, and it is never a bad idea to follow your heart, as anything is possible.

Julie Phillips

(mother of this month’s cover kid, Maci)


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