Over the weekend, I officially moved past the second trimester into the third trimester. It’s crazy to think that we’re already in the final stretch of this pregnancy and waiting for our little one to come in less than three months! Things are getting real and I am definitely feeling the pressure of everything that we need to get done and all of the decisions that need to be made. It is a lot to take in and can be quite overwhelming, but we are excited and trying to not get ourselves too stressed out. Just being the planner than I am, it’s hard being in a position where I have no idea what to expect and there’s not a whole lot that I can do to truly prepare myself, since I know that each pregnancy, birth and child is different. But I wanted to talk about some of the things I have experienced over the past three months and what I have learned during the second trimester.
What I have experienced so far:
- I have been pleasantly surprised to be able to keep my ostomy bag on for a fairly normal period of time. Even with my stomach growing and stretching, I don’t feel like I’m having to change the bag constantly. I definitely have to pay a little closer attention to it, but I’m thankful that I’m not having to change it every other day.
- I’m also glad that my ostomy is a little higher on my stomach (just a little lower than my belly button) because that has made it easier for changing the bag. If it was lower, I could see it being on the underneath of my belly, which would make changing the bag more complicated.
- Maternity pants are awesome! Like seriously, I had never thought about pregnancy pants for someone with an ostomy before, but it’s a great idea. They have the built-in panel, they don’t restrict the flow of output in the bag and they are really comfortable. (I’m planning on doing a little more about what to wear during pregnancy soon.)
- Regardless of what I wear, my ostomy is more visible through my clothing than it is normally. This is due in part to it protruding farther forward, but also because most maternity clothes are fairly tight-fitting. It doesn’t bother me too much, but I’ve had a couple of comments so far of people noticing it and thinking it’s something baby-related.
- I have been incredibly blessed to not have dealt with sickness and nausea during this pregnancy. I have still been tired, but not nearly to the extent that I was during the first few months.
- I am ceasing to be comfortable a lot of the time. Whether it’s sitting at work or sleeping at night, it’s a struggle. I have one of those awesome pregnancy pillows which has helped tremendously at night, but laying on my right side is a little awkward with my bag sometimes.
- This kid has been kicking up a storm, which is so crazy! I can’t describe what a strange feeling it is having something moving around and kicking inside of you.
- I have an anterior placenta (meaning the placenta is attached at the front of the uterus, rather than the back, which is more typical) so this usually makes it a little harder to feel the kicks, at first. But what’s interesting, is that I’m pretty sure it’s right where my ostomy is, which I think has kept the baby from kicking right at my stoma spot. Just recently have I gotten a couple of quick jabs right at the ostomy. Thankfully nothing too bad yet, but I can see that becoming a bit more uncomfortable in the future.
- My stoma has definitely changed shape and is a bit prolapsed (or pushing out farther). It’s close to 8mm larger than it was prior to pregnancy, so it’s good that I’m using cut-to-fit wafers for now, especially since the size keeps changing.
Things I am nervous about in the future:
- I have been pretty worried about people touching my belly and therefore my ostomy bag. Since I know people have some odd desire to go touching pregnant women’s bellies, I would really prefer people to not go feeling on my bag, but I’m afraid it might be inevitable at some point. Thankfully, no random people have grabbed my belly yet! (Although I’ve had some family who has and has gotten confused about my bag…)
- As my stomach gets bigger, I’m unsure what it’s going to be like having to empty my ostomy bag. So far, it has been find and I don’t feel like my big stomach is making it too difficult, but I can imagine that as I move into these final weeks that logistics could get tricky.
- I know that blockages can become an issue later on in pregnancy, as the belly gets bigger and the part of the intestine that forms the ostomy opening can get pinched or restricted in some way. I am trying to be extra cautious about what I eat and making sure that I chew really well and drink lots of water, but it’s hard to think about that all of the time.
- I’m hoping my stoma doesn’t prolapse more than it already is. I’m not entirely sure what to do if it continues to push forward.
Things I am excited about in the future:
- I’m excited about these final months and everything starts coming together. I’m looking forward to getting the nursery set up and ready and having some time to celebrate our new little one in the coming weeks!
- I’m not sure there’s a whole lot to “look forward to” in the third trimester (you know, other than backaches and swelling and contractions), since the fun stuff like getting to find out the gender and feeling the baby kick for the first time is already past. I do enjoying feeling the movement, so I’ll continue to be excited about that, but more than anything I’m just excited about getting to meet the little one! I feel like these final 12 or so weeks are simply about making all of the final preparations and then waiting for the little one to arrive.
For any other mamas out there who have been through/are going through pregnancy with an ostomy, what was your experience like? For those who have not, what are some of your concerns if you decide to do so?