As the wedding season began and the backlog of weddings put on hold due to Covid starting to fill the diaries, I was honoured to be Maid of Honour for my best friend. We have been friends over half our lives, met in school and as the old saying goes, the rest is history. Weddings are an exciting occasion for anyone, but when it's for someone as close to your heart as this, it means so much more. The dress chosen was a multiway number by Infinity quoted to:
“..suit different styles and body shapes. Also known as convertible dress or multi-way dress, our dress is made from a combination of spandex and polyester that is NOT SEE-THROUGH and yet very stretchy”.
I won’t lie, the dress did feel thin when I first tried it on and I worried about how ‘see-through’ it would be as claimed above. It truly complimented all the bridal parties body shapes and the girls looked beautiful. With 100 styles possible there really is something for everyone. Despite this, you could see my stoma bag through the dress. As far as I am aware, the company does not acknowledge exceptions for the ‘not see-through’ claim however it's not something some clever support wear won't fix. I teamed my dress with my white coloured Comfizz 10" double layered level 2 support waistband. I was worried the dress would be too thin allowing any type of support wear to be visible, but this was not the case. I wore my waistband feeling secure and confident that my bag would not poke through. The lovely bridesmaid Meg suggested to the photographer to take a photo of myself as a test shot to make sure you couldn’t see anything, which was something I didn’t even think of. This was a great idea as it gave me reassurance and the photographer could be on the lookout should the worst happen and I had a leak. I wore my Pelican Healthcare Modavi 2 piece in black. Ironic as I chose a white waistband, black makes me feel my most confident and as you couldn’t see anything through the dress I rocked it!
With the dress sorted I made sure to do the following to make sure I could be fully present in wedding bliss, not worrying about my stoma:
- Keep hydrated - the most important point for me. Everyone's alcohol tolerance is different and some can not tolerate it at all with an ostomy. As for me I am lucky and can handle a few drinks with no repercussions. I made sure between each drink I drank some water as dehydration can sneak up on you out of nowhere.
- Pack a mini stoma bag changing kit to have on you at all times - I went with a small bag that complimented the dress, I could have gone for a clutch and squeezed everything I needed in but I thought why bother? Much easier to have a bag that comfortably fits a few bag changes giving it easy access. I had the base holes cut in the morning and a few packs of tissues with my other essentials.
- Pee and empty - yes you read correctly! When needing a pee I always empty whatever is in my bag at the time however small. This reduces the time needed to use the toilet facilities and you are more likely to catch a leak and rectify it before it shows through your dress.
- Have a back up dress - a bit difficult if you are in the bridal party but essential all the same. I had a party dress ready to go in my car in case my dress got ruined. Being my best friend and many in the wedding party knowing about my stoma it wouldn’t be a shock if I had to do a costume change! Thankfully I didn’t need it.
With all these in mind and more more I am sure, what I am most thankful for is being able to enjoy the day without worrying about using the toilet, being in pain, and letting people down. Thank you stoma and thank you Comfizz, Pelican Healthcare and Respond Healthcare for always having my back!
Take care, Rach x