I WAS told two weeks ago I needed an emergency hysterectomy.

My first thought was sadness that I would not be able to have any more children, then I spent 48 hours with the ones I already have and decided I was fine with the op.

I had the op on Tuesday evening. I’ll be in hospital for a while yet. My husband has told me not to worry about a thing but I am slightly concerned about who is looking after the children.

My parents moved to France when I was 19, ensuring they got out of all subsequent childcare duties.

The other half’s parents were great when we only had one but enthusiasm and availability wore off by the time the second child arrived. I wondered if it was due to the second one’s strong likeness to my side of the family but it waned even more by number three, who is the spit of her father.

I got the feeling it was my choice to have three children so ultimately I am responsible for them. Which is fine, apart from right now, when I am so dosed up on morphine I am not even responsible for myself.

So you can imagine how useless I feel, stuck in here, unable to even pee for myself. Getting out of bed feels on a par with running the London Marathon. Not only do my girls need getting to and from school, they also need a bit of tenderness. The wobbly chins when I last saw them means their fragile little world has gone off kilter. I am the cog that keeps their whole world turning.

Support has come from friends who are in the same “no family around” position.

Friends, who as far as I am concerned, have become family. Anyone willing to add three more children on to school drop off and pick up or cook them food that will instantly be rejected. Anyone who will keep my children till 10pm on a school night while my husband waits for me to come round from my operation is blood to me. I used to be so embarrassed being picked up from school by my mu, but what I wouldn’t give to have her standing there now for me in her familiar Barbour coat.

But then I think of her joining the tired-looking grandparents mingling with the au pairs. Holding organic quinoa rice cakes and medjool dates for after-school snacks, wondering when Penguin bars and Blue Ribbons became the devil’s food.

I don’t know that I could handle the guilt even if it was an option. My parents worked outside all their lives. No cosy meeting rooms or bells to ring for tea. Mum cracked ice on water troughs and heaved hay bales around while Dad lay under lorries on frosty floors persuading them to start. His knees are shot, her joints have had it. I know how heavy my daughters are to carry, physically and emotionally. It’s my burden to bear. Is it fair to expect our parents to raise our children having already raised us?

I dream about retirement and the things I will do. None of them involves being told how to hold babies properly by my own children.

As soon as I am back on my feet, we will go back to being that family who go everywhere together. Business meetings, hospital appointments, house viewings, even funerals.

At least one boardroom table in the husband’s office has an indelible drawing of Peppa Pig on it. I have become oddly proud of this. When you can’t palm your kids off, you learn to cope better. Sometimes when the option of help is not there, you learn to help yourself.

I’ve asked if I can have my womb back after it’s been sent off to be analysed and biopsies done.

I thought this was an odd request but a lot of people have asked to keep various body parts. My other friend has her gall stones.

I want to see it, this wondrous piece of me that housed my babies. I want to thank it, then have a funeral for it before burying it. I am aware I will need to put a jolly big tree on top of it or my dog will dig it up (a slightly less romantic thought).

While I am recuperating, I’ve asked family and friends to exercise for me on my behalf. I did not think much would come of it but I have been overwhelmed with the response.

Even strangers have been tagging my campaign #FAF (for a friend) on social media under a sweaty post-exercise selfie of them. It’s been such a success that the wonderful team down at Logo Sports in Hove printed me a load of T-shirts for pennies.

People have swum, power-walked, weight-lifted, run, ridden horses, done yoga on my behalf – some for the first time in a while, some for the first time ever. I hope people will pay a small donation for the T-shirts which will be donated to ovarian cancer. If some good can come out of this then I’ll be a happy girl.