Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Not-So-Teeny Bathing Suit

 So as the summer has been heating up I find that I am in the pool more and more every day. And as a 36 year old mom of 4 with an ileostomy, finding swimwear is one of the most important priorities of spring. I have always been a huge fan of the 2 piece, and when I had my j-pouch and was under weight I could pick whatever suit caught my eye. One day while I was swimming with my kids the comment was made to me that my lack of swimsuit was making them uncomfortable.... really!? I had the skinny and the suit, but I also had 4 kids watching me. I started looking for cool looking one pieces or tankini's.

I found a cute tankini from Lands End. Black with little white dots. It was my first transition to the not so skimpy and I noticed right away that I hate the feel of wet bathing suit hanging on my body. (picture the green tankini on this page but back with tiny white polka dots! super cute)

Its funny how something so small as a comment for your child can get you ready for the unexpected! My j-pouch ended up failing and I decided to have a very functional permanent ileostomy. Well now I am not so free spirited that I run around with my pouch all exposed especially when friends have come over for a BBQ and a swim! So I started to search more for a younger looking one-piece that would camouflage my pouch. (The roaching, I find is the total key to the discreteness of the ostomy!)The last thing I wanted was to look like an old lady in my 30's! I have plenty of time for that! ;)                                           

 So here are a few of the suits that I have found and love! I feel totally concealed as well as young. Now I am sure you are wondering how I have come to terms with the wet suit...I haven't! I have been on this road of j-pouch to ileosotmy back to j-pouch finally to permanent ileo since 2008 so I have built up a little 'selection' for myself! :) When one suit is wet I simply run inside and change into my next favorite suit and hang the wet one to dry. I think this also extends the life of my suits! They are not cheap by any means! And yes, this works the best when you are at home swimming. If I am at the lake or another friends place I will have one change of suit that is the same color and usually no one notices ;)  Sometimes I just have to deal with it!!

I hope this gives you some fun ideas to keep yourself feeling like yourself. It is hard to watch your body change so drastically, but I have found that if you are patient with yourself and use a little imagination you can redefine how you see yourself in that mirror!

Happy swimming~ Sarah

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Up and Running~

So I went and set up The Colonless Chronicles on facebook and I couldn't have picked a less busier time to do it! During the last week of July me and the kids go to the Fowlerville 4-H Fair. I don't mean just go to the fair, I mean we spend weeks getting the cows and calves ready, pack up the camper and GO to fair! We stay in the camper all week while fair is going on. This is our second year with our 4-H group and although it is tons of fun and learning, it is also tons of hot sweaty work! We teach the kids that come to fair about the dairy cows and how we take care of them. We let the kids touch the cows and if we have any girls in milk we show them how to milk a cow. It is funny how many little kids (and adults) have never seen how to milk a cow by hand.

So rewind a few years back. Me laying in bed, weak and recovering. My mom taking my place in my home busy with 4 kids. Me laying in my bed, watching, listening, dreaming. I had this feeling that not only did I loss my health but I also lost my independence. I was not the one mothering, I was being mothered to. I watched as others took care of business.... but I had a lot of business going on in my head! I was planning! Planning on how I was going to become more independent, how I was going to do everything with my kids~together! My passion for gardening and sustainable living became my goal and I started plotting. I got chickens, then honey bee's (or was it bee's then chicken :) ) It became our family thing. My dad helped me get my hives set and my husband finished the coop. Everyone seemed to help with the garden and I grew stronger as I watched my dream coming true. Then one day I decided I wanted my own dairy cow.... I knew nothing about raising cows, milking or calving, but I wanted to learn and 4-H was the perfect in! I meet Farmer Andrea and well now I have my own little Rosie, a 6 month old Jersey.

As I sit here and think of the path my life has taken I am nothing but thankful. I am happy, healthy and full of hope. I am just as excited to share my experiences of living with my ileostomy and overcoming UC as I am to share what my life is like on my little hobby farm.  It is going to be a really busy week but I am so glad I have the strength to live it!