We recently caught up with guest blogger, Alannah, who is now just weeks away from giving birth. She explains what it’s like to be heavily pregnant with a stoma, the main challenges she’s had to overcome and how her doctors plan to deliver her baby.
“The third trimester is that last stage where you can’t wait to get the baby out!”
I’m being humorous, of course, but I mean it seriously too! The pressure behind your stoma builds up over the months. For some ostomates it’s not too bad. For me, however, it has been crazy pressure leaving my stomach very tender, sore and when I cough or blow my nose, I have to hold my hand over my stoma. This can be quite common and normal to experience during any stage of your pregnancy, but mostly in the third trimester.
“My bag doesn’t stick too well but emptying is easier”
I have also found that my stoma has swollen up a lot bigger than it normally would. This has meant that my bags won’t stick too well or peel off easily in the shower. Emptying, however, is much easier thanks to my bump! The only issue you may find is that you can’t see underneath the stoma when applying an ostomy seal and bag so if you have to apply anything else, like a powder, you have to take your time. My skin became really dry, so my stoma nurse recommended bigger bags, which I now cut myself, and some cream to relieve the dryness.
“It is the most bizarre feeling being kicked where my Barbie butt is!”
It’s true when they say that your first trimester symptoms come back in the third, my gosh. I got a few weeks break from my blood pressure causing me issues, nausea and fatigue but since hitting 25 weeks, this has all come back! I also find now that the further along I get and as the baby grows, it is kicking me a lot more in a variety of places! It is the most bizarre feeling to be kicked where my Barbie butt is! I also get kicked in the ribs and behind my stoma which will make me go, “Ow!”. It makes me laugh at the same time and also reassures me that baby is well.
“I’m having to be a lot more careful with what foods I eat”
You may experience this at any stage in your pregnancy due to everything inside being squished together! Constipation is still very much an issue on a daily basis, and even though you thought you’d never see laxatives again, they are also going to be taken more regularly and reintroduced into your routine. Sometimes drinking some smooth orange juice helps to move things along! Now I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy I’m not able to bend down to pick up things due to my bump. Getting comfortable in bed is also a huge challenge and so I lose a lot of sleep due to the pain I have in my pelvis from a condition that affects some pregnant women called PGP (Pelvic Girdle Pain).
“My doctors have recommended a C-section”
People keep asking me if the baby will be affected by my stoma. Due to my complex issues from Crohn’s Disease, fistulas and my unhealed Barbie butt, as well as nerve damage in my back from surgeries, I’m having a planned C-section under general anaesthetic. A colorectal surgeon will also be present. This is so different for every ostomate, and I know many have had natural births, with and without epidural. I don’t mind which way the baby comes out; I just can’t wait to meet him or her!
About the author: Alannah is an ostomy, chronic illness, mental health, invisible illness and disabilities blogger. She lives in Scotland with her fiancé and dogs. We will always do everything we can to help ostomates share their stories. If you’d like to become one of our guest bloggers, please get in touch.