I’m always amazed at the end of each year as I look back and realize all that happened in the past 365 days. Obviously 2015 held even bigger changes than previous years as I announced my pregnancy at the beginning of the year and gave birth (amid some ostomy drama) to my son. And if that wasn’t enough, in my personal life, we settled into our new home that we moved into just before the beginning of the year, I decided to leave my full-time job in favor of working from home and getting to spend time with my kid, and celebrated 5 years of marriage to my husband.
I thought I’d take this chance to highlight some of my favorite posts from the past year. I actually had a hard time narrowing this down because there were a lot of posts that really meant a lot to me this year. It’s pretty pregnancy / baby dominated, but I’m OK with that!
Can you still get pregnant with an ostomy? – I used this post to announce my pregnancy at the beginning of the year, but what I love most about this post is what it represents. When my husband and I decided to try for a baby we didn’t know what would happen or how difficult it would be. I’m so happy that things turned out the way they did and being able to share that having an ostomy does not automatically mean you won’t be able to get pregnant.
My best advice for new (and old) ostomates – The 3 pieces of advice I think are some important for anyone going through surgery to get an ostomy: 1. Have a positive attitude, 2. Build a support system, 3. Learn by trial and error.
Body & weight changes after ostomy surgery – Getting an ostomy changes a lot of things. It not only is something new to deal with and to get used to, but it can change your body as well. And it may affect people differently, as some may lose weight, but others may gain.
First / Second / Third trimesters of pregnancy with an ostomy – Every 3 months I wrote about what the previous trimester was like with an ostomy and discussed what I had dealt with, what I was worried about and what I was excited about for the future. Each trimester held different excitements and challenges.
My thoughts on having children when you have IBD – I know the decision to have kids when you’re living with a chronic illness is not an easy one and there are people who decide against it. These were my reasons for making the decision to become a parent and I absolutely cannot imagine making a different one.
If I never had Crohn’s disease… – I was thinking one night about what my life would be like if I was never diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, and while I know there are a lot of things that would have been easier and less painful, in the end, having Crohn’s disease is part of what made me who I am today and I can’t wish that away.
Intestinal blockages during pregnancy – Can’t really say this is a “favorite” post, but it is an honest one about what I dealt with while pregnant with an ostomy. There are definitely extra risks inherent for anyone who has had intestinal surgery and then becomes pregnant, so I think it’s important to realize that and hopefully be able to avoid the same complications I dealt with during the end of my pregnancy.
My first NG tube experience – Again, not a post I enjoy, but a big experience for me this year was getting an NG tube. I’m one of the lucky ones who had made it this long living with Crohn’s disease and an ostomy and not having to get one, but it’s something that so many people with IBD will have to experience. I have a new respect for all of those people.
Waylon’s birth story – My son did not have a simple birth. I was admitted to the hospital 4 times over the course of 4 weeks before the decision was made to induce labor. This is the story of that final hospital admission and what led up to his early birth along with his first few days in the hospital.
My son’s first Ostomy Day – Having a child has given me a different perspective on so many things. Becoming a parent is truly a life-altering experience in more ways that I can explain because it’s not only a change in your schedule or a shift in your focus. You also start to see the world differently and try to look at things through the eyes of your children. And having a mother with an ostomy, I imagine will give my son a different perspective, as well.
It’s been a great year in 2015. Here’s to an even better 2016!