Always Expect the Unexpected

Happy New Year Ostomates!

I can’t believe it has been almost 3 months since my last blog entry which I posted the day before I was due to set off on my first holiday abroad as an ostomate. It now seems just a distant memory but, we had the most amazing time and my ileostomy behaved beautifully.

If you haven’t yet found the confidence to holiday abroad with your stoma, here at Stomawise are currently have something in the pipe-line which we hope will enable ostomates to have supported holidays in Tenerife to start with, and make your holiday dreams become a reality – watch this space!

I have some very special, exciting news to share with you today which makes a nice change! If there is anything that a life with poor health has taught me it’s to “Always expect the unexpected” and NOT in a positive way either.

Until today that is……

6 years ago I was clinically diagnosed as infertile after a little while of trying for baby number 2 and several tests. In 2011 we were referred to a reproductive center and I began an oral form of therapy (Clomid) with hopes that it would trigger ovulation. It didn’t. So, the next & final port of call was IVF treatment.

I underwent a series of hormone injections which were used to release follicles which then mature into eggs for fertilisation. Sadly, in all 5 rounds/months of injections, no ovulation occurred and not one egg made an appearance – that was that.

As disheartening as it was at the time, we had our beautiful Chloe (then 3), whom was a blessing in herself, unlike so many others who heart breakingly never get that chance to be parents. In some ways I was relieved; it was becoming a bit of an obsession and emotionally draining but, at least we could say we had tried and could move on knowing that it would never be.

At the time, amongst all of this, I was rather poorly and underweight and not in a great place. Although the Crohns disease in my small bowel meant a third of it was removed in 2009, it had started to savage my face, mouth, colon, rectum and anus instead. Throw everything else into the mix; interstitial lung disease, 2 collapsed lungs, 4 thoracic surgeries, bowel surgery, medication, severe osteoporosis and a previous c-section to boot; it’s hardly surprising that my reproductive system gave up.

So, onwards and upwards it was and we never gave it a second thought. The 4 years that followed seemed to be a complete whirlwind; Chloe started school, we bought our first home, I got my first Bulldog, we finally tied the knot, Crohns got ugly, had a few stays in hospital, Crohns got uglier and so I made the best decision ever to have my Ileostomy formed. I started being able to enjoy life for the first time in a long time, I joined Stomawise which has really helped in rebuilding my confidence and I’ve made some amazing friends, got my second Bulldog, Chloe was blossoming at school.

I ended up back in hospital in April (2015) and nearly landed myself a bed in ICU with adrenal failure and sepsis, finally got a good medication balance and felt great, got broody for more Bulldog wrinklies, my Bulldog Betty gave me 7 beautiful wrinklies of her own, we kept 2 of said wrinklies, hubby bought me a beautiful new car and then we had our amazing holiday in October.

Despite the “nearly landing a bed in ICU” part earlier in the year, 2015 was an incredibly amazing year for us and we couldn’t have been any happier and content as a family. And then, on the 12th of October (the day after we flew home from Tenerife), I got the biggest shock of my life when I discovered, by some miracle, that I’m pregnant!

To say the discovery has left us completely and utterly gobsmacked would be an understatement; after all these years of nothing, minimal menstrual cycles, exceptionally shit health etc the reality of the news still really hasn’t really sunk-in yet.

Due to the high risks involved for both myself and baby, we decided to wait until now, the New Year, to tell friends and family to ensure we knew that baby is healthy and developing well.

The first couple of months have been rather tough dealing with mainly tiredness and chest infections but, *touch wood* I’m starting to feel a little more like my old-self once again.

Fingers and toes crossed my Ileostomy won’t be affected by the pregnancy; I can’t wait to share this new chapter with you all. If you have any positive, or negative, stories and/or experiences of pregnancy with an ostomy i’d love to hear from you.

Rachel xxx
rachel@stomawise.co.uk