“My Mommy Has Colitis”
When you make the decision to have a baby there is so much information to take in. There are so many variables you try to predict and situations you try to prepare for. The mound of responsibility from choosing what foods to eat when you’re pregnant, what name to give your child when they’re born to choosing a place to live in a kid friendly neighborhood with good schools. So much to do and prepare for…and it never ends. As you grow and evolve together, life will continue to pack it on. I was one of those read up on everything, try to prepare for everything, five year plan pregnant ladies. Even with my Ulcerative Colitis I didn’t think my life would be so different. And what I thought I should expect was not at all what I got!
My UC turned into (what felt like) a mutated form of Ulcerative Colitis. My body was doing things I didn’t know if could do and didn’t know it was even related to my IBD. I did not expect to give my son a sick mommy. But that’s what he got. Looking back, I’m not sure how I survived with the amount of daily pain I was in. I guess, I didn’t really think I just knew that things around my house needed to get done and there were two people that needed me. So I just did without thinking. And then suddenly two people turned into just one and life got way harder. I’m talking hard! It wasn’t just the lack of support, but the emotional toll it took on both me and my son…more so on him. He just didn’t understand what the hell was happening around him. And then I began to change. I was thinner. My skin, grayer. My hair shorter. My energy, non existent. And then before I knew it, a doctor’s visit turned into two weeks in the hospital without being able to hold my baby boy. His whole world flipped upside down. Where was mommy? What was happening?
Then mommy came home with a funny thing on her tummy. But the funny thing was a good thing, right? Yes, I told him. I told him even though mommy couldn’t pick him up right away, having the boo boo on mommy’s tummy was gonna make mommy feel better. When I walked into the house from a month stay at the hospital, my brother held Jax up to me so I could hug him. Jax hugged me around my neck so tight, I wasn’t sure if I was breathing…but I was happy. I thought he was gonna burst from joy and I shed the tears he wouldn’t let fall. But what was wrong with mommy? My two year old was smart. Some say brilliant. He knew something was up and he wanted answers. Why does mommy go to the hospital so much? Why does she run to the potty? Why can’t she eat? Why does she have that boo boo on her tummy and why can’t she pick me up?
I told him. I told him that Mommy has something called Ulcerative Colitis. It made her stomach and her boom boom (my kid term for butt) hurt really badly. In order for it to be fixed, I had to get a boo boo on my tummy and then the doctor made a pouch inside of my tummy to help me go potty better and not make my stomach hurt so much. We talked about colitis for about 45 minutes. He asked what it felt like and did other people have it. He asked if he had it and how can you get it. He asked if I had it when he was in my tummy. And then he asked God to take it away from the planet! The next day we were out to dinner and the waiter asked me what I wanted to drink. I told him just water. Jaxon stopped the waiter and said, “My Mommy has Colitis. And now she has a pouch and soon she will feel better. Can I have water with no ice with lemon, please?” That was the day having Colitis became normal. All this time I had felt a certain way about my condition…and don’t get me wrong, I still get a little frustrated… BUT…at that moment, me having colitis and J-Pouch was as normal as ordering a glass of water. It happens. Some people have it and some people don’t. My kid’s reaction to his mommy having colitis was not what I expected. THAT was definitely NOT in the book! 🙂