Ask Alannah about giving birth and being a new Mum - Trio Healthcare

He’s here! Our guest blogger, Alannah, has given birth to a beautiful baby boy and shares her joy at his arrival after a difficult pregnancy and all the challenges living with a stoma brings.

“The theatre staff were amazing”

On the 13th of October, we welcomed our baby boy into the world via C-section under general anaesthetic! I was in hospital for two weeks prior to this as I wasn’t doing well at all. My stoma was causing me so much pain and my Crohn’s Disease flare was not settling down. Due to this and the other complications I was having, including contractions, I was taken to theatre at 37 weeks.

Going into surgery is normally an awful time for my PTSD and anxiety. However, the theatre staff and the anaesthetist were so amazing and made everything so calm. It’s the first time that has ever happened for me. They needed to use forceps as the baby was so engaged into my pelvis but eventually, he came out. He was a healthy 8 pounds 3 ounces and we named him Odin.

 

“The first 48 hours is the toughest”

That’s how it was for me anyway. When I first came around, I was severely sick and in a lot of pain. I couldn’t hold or lift Odin at all, but recovery staff helped me all throughout the day and night. I was so grateful as, due to the pandemic, Jaimie wasn’t allowed to stay past 8pm. Once back to the maternity ward and, (after being well enough to be taken off the PCA pump and catheter being removed), I was on my own until Jaimie came in to help. Luckily, Odin is quite a good baby for sleeping and so I was able to go to the toilet when needed even if it did take me a while to get out of bed!

I quickly noticed that my stoma went back to normal, and my Crohn’s got so much better. It has been such a relief. I’ve also been able to eat better and had my first bath in months just 10 days after my section. It felt so good. Obviously, I still have the “pregnancy pouch” which is the loose skin you have that’s been stretched during pregnancy which has caused no issues with my bag’s adhesive sticking or my stoma itself. My stomach has slowly but surely started to tighten back up and I feel amazing being able to wear my clothes again. I hadn’t worn nice, normal clothes since before I was 5 months pregnant!

 

“Mentally, some days have been tricky”

The section scar does still get sore some days, but really what hurts most is my back which is usual after abdominal/pelvic surgery as you hold yourself differently. Constantly lifting Odin and carrying him and also bleeding has also contributed to the back pain. The bleeding pains feel like very heavy periods, so my hot water bottle has been used often!

Mentally, some days have been tricky due to my hormones. I often cried during the first two weeks at home because of how full of love I was looking at Odin and feeling so lucky that my dream of being a mum has come true. I also feel a lot more like myself again and have been going out for walks and making the most of my good days by going to visit family or us going to do things as a family.

“There’s no better feeling than cuddling my baby”

One month on, I still sometimes find things a bit overwhelming, but I just have to keep reminding myself that I have to take each day as it comes. The lack of sleep due to feeds and nappy changes has been quite a prominent part of every day and it can be tough to get things done or be able to find the energy to shower. I also don’t find much time to eat and keep up with the washing that is never ending! I have also experienced my first blockage and bag leak this week due to eating potato wedges, so I’ll know in future that making my own may be a better option to avoid skins.

Luckily, I have Jaimie and we can do a lot 50/50. I do miss having my bump, but I am so relieved to have had Odin and my stoma going back to normal. There is no better feeling than cuddling my baby boy and it makes all the bad days so much better. It’s been a long journey since my first post about fertility and getting pregnant, and a very difficult 8 and a half months, but now I can sit here and know it was all worth it.

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.