It is nothing new to hear that I don’t have an issue with my ostomy or the bag or people knowing about it or even seeing it! However something has always stopped me from wearing itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikinis even long before having my first surgery and that is my confidence around my stomach. We all have parts of ourselves we aren’t keen on or society shakes fist have made you feel less than because you don’t look a certain way but it is taking little steps to change your mindest on your body that is often the hardest.
So my stomach always looked bloated and never slim because I was always impacted from being constipated thanks to the then undiagnosed hEDS – doctors and myself alike were baffled at why I got constipation with my ulcerative colitis instead of diahoera now we know! I then had my first surgery when my jpouch was created and the scar split open twice due to infection and the muscle never really knotted together properly and so left me with lumps rather than something a wee bit more streamline! That is when my confidence really took a hit and I needed to start wearing bikini bottoms that covered that bit of my stomach.
That photo was probably the only photo of my stomach from a holiday to Rome with friends a year after my first surgery. I felt comfortable around them because they knew how much I had been through to get to this point don’t get me wrong I still found it incredibly uncomfortable standing there with my scars and my lopsided tummy. It has only took me to the last few years to not hate my scars and I only did because my own mother used to say how ugly they were and that if she had the money she would pay for plastic surgery on them. I know it sounds awful but I would like to think she didn’t mean it like that.
Then I had c-section scar to add to the mix and 00Steve once said it looked like an upside down cross and that because I’m alternative it suited me. The cut went right through went through my split and in fact the thought of it makes me cringe! Then I had lost a dramatic amount of weight and looked so flipping sick although at the time I thought I looked great minus an awful fringe I was trying to grow out! Having my stoma massively helped my body confidence in one sense as the bag covers half of my stomach!! When I had Button they tried to cut through the same scar from when Ra-Ra was born so that took awhile to heal but the way they had sewn me up made me feel like I was strung up like a piece of meat.
Fast forward to this spring, this week in fact! Where I was laid out in the sun in my garden and playing in the paddling pool with my kids in my little yellow bikin that sits just below where I am fully comfortable with it being and my bag out. Like I said it isn’t the bag that is the problem it is my stomach but this is the biggest step I could have done towards my body confidence.