Today was a big day in the Dann house–it was Eli’s first time swimming!
This time last year, I was barely pregnant, but my tummy was busting out already. I remember making a regular swimsuit work for our first few trips to the pool, but I was wearing a maternity suit in no time! There were so many babies at the pool last summer–I would wonder what my baby would be like, whether we would have a little girl or boy for Evie to play with. That’s one of the perks of pregnancy–daydreaming about your little one. 🙂
John and I were a little apprehensive at first about taking Eli swimming with a colostomy bag, but after reading up on it, we decided to give it a try. My husband also pointed out that a colostomy bag is probably more sanitary than a swim diaper (when it’s not leaking) since everything gets trapped inside a sealed plastic bag.
And that was our biggest fear, of course–that with all of the leakage issues we’ve had, the bag might leak in the water, and that would be, well, disastrous. But, we’re pretty good at detecting leaks now (when we’re not asleep), and we sealed every seam with waterproof, flexible clear medical tape. As long as we were diligent about checking his bag often, the tape would serve 2 important purposes in the event of a leak: 1) It would keep it contained (still more effectively than a swim diaper); and 2) It would buy us enough time to get home before the dam would break, causing a full-blown “poop-splosion” (as they’re known in our house). Hell, our 3-year old daughter pooped many times in her swim diaper when she was potty training last summer–there was nothing sanitary about that! In fact, it made me wonder if swim diapers actually do anything or if they just make us feel better.
The other piece of it, of course, is that although the colostomy bag is temporary, we don’t want it to interfere with Eli’s ability to participate in as much as possible (within reason), and we still want Evie to be able to do the things she enjoys doing. So, while we realized that some people might perceive us as incredibly irresponsible, we decided to go for it anyway. We knew we would only have a couple of hours before the risk of a leak started to increase exponentially, but that was better than nothing.
And I am so glad we went! Eli absolutely loved the water! He tried to splash in the baby pool after I showed him, and he floated all around the big pool with Daddy’s help. He was a wrinkly prune of a baby by the time we got out, but he was a very happy little guy. And we played our cards right because we had absolutely no problems with the colostomy bag! No leaks, no issues–it was fine! In fact, that same bag is still going strong right now (although I’m anticipating a massive blowout around 3am).
Big sister, Evie, had a blast too! She loves the water, loves to swim. She was just so excited to be there–it made my heart happy to watch her delight in her day! She showed her little brother some essential pool skills, including how to rip Mommy’s bathing suit down while hanging on her, waiting until after you get in the water to announce that you have to go potty, and conning Daddy into buying you snacks even though we packed our own (healthy) snacks.
All that fun in the sun left everyone pretty tired, especially Eli. He has been asleep most of the evening!
Even Evie went to bed tonight without incident. Well, unless you would consider rubbing her bare butt on an ice pack from the cooler an incident (she was waiting for me to get her some clean underwear…what else was there for her to do? 😉 ). And this mama is officially exhausted. My husband went to work at 6pm and I’m on my own for the next 36 hours. All poop-splosions, screaming kids, and dog messes (well, all messes) are mine to handle. Off to bed I go, without doing the dishes or putting away the toys. I’ll get them in the morning. (That’s my mom confession of the day.)