I’ve been telling you about the freedom my Tupperware friend gave me. However, like in any good thing, there is a darker side that I sometimes try to forget, as I tell myself, “hey, I’m alive”!

This darker side that even non-ostomate women fear is not being able to give birth to a “mini-me”; a small, fragile being who will help society grow, and make our universe revolve around them.

After having an ileostomy, a J-pouch and anastomoses (surgeries with a significant risk of infertility due to the adhesions they can cause) when I was really young, this fear became a reality before I was even old enough to think about it. I’ve known I wouldn’t be able to achieve one of the biggest and most beautiful accomplishments for a woman, which is to naturally give birth to a child, since I was 12.

You don’t understand the impact it will have on you as a woman when you’re a teenager. You laugh about and think that at least you can’t make any mistake. The more years go by, the more this feeling of lack of something grows. That’s when you think to yourself: “At least, I’ll have a nice career.” But when you meet a man with whom you feel comfortable, and see he would be a good father, reality hits you: you want to be a good mom too!

For one of the first times in my life I thought: “why me?” I constantly have a pouch on my stomach; why is the simplest and most natural thing for a woman impossible for me? That’s when I remembered all those years of surgeries and restrictions. I again realized that I am proud of myself. I’m proud to have come this far, to have a job I love and to be able to live my life to the fullest. I realized my infertility doesn’t define me and takes nothing away from my femininity. This was but an obstacle on the road to maternity. And obstacles can be bypassed or overcome!

Two years ago, my boyfriend and I decided to try the in-vitro fertilization procedure. Unfortunately, it was not successful. It was heartbreaking, but we knew it could take a few tries. I am strong!

A few months later, we tried again. Again, the procedure was unfortunately not successful. This was much tougher, mentally and physically than the first time due to a mix of hormones and disappointments. It was also tougher on our budget. A lot of efforts, pain, investments and hope that all led to nothing. Then a new emotion came into the mix: fear. There was the fear of being pregnant and the fear of this little bundle of love that I desired so much causing medical complications when it’d be in my tummy. Because of all this, we decided to take a break.

This break allowed me to question myself and do research. There are very few stories of pregnancies with a stoma! But I did find stories of mothers who said they didn’t regret their choice and that there had been no real complications during their pregnancies. At least not the complications I imagined. That’s when I regained a little bit of hope. I thought: “Let’s try one more time!” Who knows? As the old saying goes: Three time’s the charm! Maybe it will work on the third try. No, not maybe. It will work!

And my heart is big enough to accept someone who doesn’t have a biological family!

Whether they are blood-related or not, three happy people makes for a good story, don’t you think?

Geneviève A. 

This article is sponsorised by our partner: Centre de Stomie de la Mauricie