The second time around

And how I plan to better manage my pregnancy with an ostomy

Here we go again! We are excited to announce that we are expecting our second child this July! My husband and Waylon and I are so excited to grow our little family. (You can see W showing you where the baby is!)

new baby pregnancy stolen colon ostomy ileostomy colostomy urostomy ibd inflammatory bowel disease crohn's ulcerative colitis

It’s amazing the difference already between the first pregnancy and the second in as much attention you devote to it. With my first, it was pretty much all I thought about, all of the time. This time around, between chasing after a toddler, finishing up my master’s degree and just everything else I have to accomplish in a day, I feel that I’ve had very little time to really just think about it and what all it means. I, myself, am a second child and I suddenly have a whole new appreciation for what that means and my place in my family…

For those of you who followed along with my first pregnancy, you know that I had complications in the end—specifically an intestinal blockage—that led to a series of hospitalizations, a dreaded NG tube, and ultimately to my induction just before 36 weeks when I gave birth to my son. So obviously, we had some things to consider when we discussed the idea of having another child.

So how do I plan to make this pregnancy different from the first? Well, in all honesty, I’m not sure that I can, but I sure as hell am going to try. While I was being cautious with the foods I ate later in my first pregnancy, I realize now that I was not being cautious enough. There were a couple of times that I ate things that were probably a little too risky. Knowing now what the consequences of that can be, I will be sure to be more vigilant in making sure that I avoid problem foods and make smarter decisions. I have already noticed a time or two that I have felt a little blocked up, although nothing that some extra hydration and careful eating couldn’t fix, but it does make me wary about how the next few months are going to go.

I have bandied the idea of going on a mostly liquid diet during the final weeks, but the reality of living for 10+ weeks on a liquid diet when you’re pregnant would not be an easy task. At the minimum, I will be employing a some sort of low residue diet during that time, in hopes that I do not run into the same issues I experienced last time.

But other than some extra caution and some food avoidance, I can’t say that I have done anything differently this time than I did the first time. I have been trying my best to stay hydrated, but that’s a constant struggle, pregnancy or no pregnancy. I am prepared with some larger sized wafers for once my stoma grows, which I expect it will again, and potentially prolapses.

Even with the complications last time, I am still not considered high risk by my obstetrician. I do know they’ll be keeping a slightly closer eye on me, especially as I progress further along in the pregnancy, but the ostomy really doesn’t change any of my treatment, unless there is another complication.

For now, I am focused on trying to eat healthy, but smart from an ostomy stand-point, drink lots and lots of water, and hopefully enjoy a complication-free pregnancy.

(You can read some about my previous pregnancy, as well: All about pregnancy with an ostomy.)

6 thoughts on “The second time around

  1. Ginnie Kasten

    I had a super easy pregnancy 2 yrs after my ileostomy surgery. I gained 35 lbs and had a 9 lb baby boy. I had surgery for UC so my health was greatly improved and all disease removed. My diet didn’t change but I really drank a lot of water. I did have a WOCN in the delivery room, but she only took pictures!
    Good luck. Sounds like you got this one under control! My baby is turning 34 in a week!!

  2. Tony

    Good for you Stephanie!!
    Anything can be done with those bags hanging from our bodies, anything!!! Actually I will be able to do more once they get rid of this ridiculous bowel of mine that’s only making my life miserable, yikes.
    Anyways, all the best.

    Cheer up people!!!!


  3. Dani

    Giant congrats on your pregnancy! I am so happy for you and your family! You are in my heart and prayers. If you need extra support along the way please be sure to lean on us. I am a call away!
    I look forward to tagging along on your post during your miraculous journey! 😘😘😘😘

  4. Rachel

    I am 29 weeks’ pregnant with our first baby and just spent a horrible week in hospital with a small bowel obstruction (aka, baby). The dreaded NG tube didn’t do anything for me but what did end up working for me was a catheter into the stoma for 24 hours – I felt like a new person! Sent home with a supply of catheters for just in case – though I suspect the 15 minute drive to the hospital would be a better option than self-catheterising!! Now I’m on a mostly liquid diet with the occasional low-residue solid. All the best for your second pregnancy, you are far braver than I!

  5. Lisa

    HI! I was diagnosed with UC at 12 years old and had a continent ileostomy at 20. Due to blockages, perforations, scar tissue and more blockages, I had my 8th surgery in February. My continent ileostomy was converted to a permanent end ileostomy and after multiple complications and 2 weeks in the hospital I am feeling much better physically. I am struggling with the emotional piece of having to wear a bag and very down in the dumps. I don’t like to leave my house and can’t seem to give my situation a healthy perspective. I am 58 years old and too young to be a hermit. Any advice?


Sit down, stay a while. I'd love to hear from you.