So you may be thinking what on earth does this topic have to do with a blog about ostomies. Well pregnancy and infant loss is very close to my heart and actually in my mind has a lot to do with my ostomy. Feel free to read on but I understand if this topic maybe too hard for you to read but know that any pain, sorrow or grief you are feeling is completely acceptable and you have every right to feel.
So a little bit of background and context first of all; I was told when I had my jpouch surgery I was told my fertility would probably drop by about 25% at the time my ex partner and I didn’t want children and at 21 it wasn’t something I put much thought into (or ever if you talk to my family) But within the first 9 months of mine and 00Steve’s relationship that had changed. It took 2 years for us to conceive Ra-Ra and for 2 years after that I was terrified of the thought of having another child as my pregnancy wasn’t smooth due to the pouchitis flaring up and having post natal depression.
Just before I decided to have my ostomy surgery I had changed my mind and I felt I was ready to at least try to fall pregnant. I wasn’t allowed to get pregnant or I couldn’t have my surgery. 00Steve and I weighed up our options and felt that having the surgery was more important as we at least had a beautiful, happy and healthy little girl who I always deemed as my miracle. So in the April of 2016 I went ahead and had my permanent ileostomy formed.
It was the weekend of my brother and sister in laws wedding in July of the same year and I had missed a period but for all I knew it could have just been late whilst my body was getting to it’s new normal. We found out two days later that I was indeed pregnant and we were so happy.
At 6.5 weeks I remember telling a close friend that I was pregnant whilst our daughters played in the park; I ended up being in excruciating pain, not knowing if it was bowel or baby related I rang the maternity unit and got an appointment for a scan. They asked me if my dates were right because the sac wasn’t showing more than 6 weeks and no heartbeat could be seen. They said not to worry and maybe I was just a little earlier than originally thought.
A week later I started to bleed and went into the hospital to be told “if it is a miscarriage there is nothing we can do” which whilst is completely true it’s not how I wanted to be told. I was scanned again a couple of days later and the miscarriage was confirmed. I asked if it was to do with my body being under too much stress from still healing from major surgery and the midwife said it probably wasn’t. I waited another 2 weeks to allow it to pass naturally but sadly it didn’t happen and I still had to have it medically managed. 2 months after that we fell pregnant with Button and although I am so thankful to have him and how freaking amazing he is, I do often think about Bean and what they would have been like.
For the fact that 6 months after my surgery my body was able to conceive and go full term with Button I believe that the ostomy surgery and the invisible stress and healing my body was coping with caused my miscarriage. Now it may have been an early loss but the pregnancy was wanted, excited for and loved which made it hard for me to come to terms with. My ileostomy didn’t stop me from having more children as it clearly made the difference in terms of health and the ability to fall pregnant, it just included me in the 1 in 4 mothers that experience the loss of a child/pregnancy.
I won’t forget Bean and they will always be in my heart until the day I die regardless of how log the pregnancy was viable; I urge those who have experienced loss to talk about it. It is only a taboo subject because we don’t speak out about it, nobody wants someone to go through it alone. To those who haven’t experienced it but know someone who has or who is going through it, yes it will be awkward but just let them know you care if nothing else as it will mean more than you ever know.
October 9th-15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Week with the 15th being the main awareness day, show your support by lighting a candle for those parent’s whose children who aren’t here today. After losing my angel baby it makes me appreciate my two tinkers even more and I hold them a bit tighter every day.
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