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Accepting My Body After Pregnancy With Crohn's Disease

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Once upon a time, my tummy was scar-free, bag-free and full of disease. It was not a fun time.

I’d spend my nights lying wide awake thinking about the future. What was in store for me? Well, realistically, I was more than aware that surgery was only a “when?” not an “if.” I just wanted it done.

Then my new belly was right in front of me. It was all so foreign. My stoma was weirdly precious, and I was so scared that cleaning it I would hurt it. I was somehow so disconnected from it, and yet it was a part of me.

Five years later, being pregnant with Lukas stretched my stoma so wide that a tiny little tear happened — not even big enough to show up on any scans, but the fact was I became septic and almost died due to two five-centimeter abscesses full of fecal matter.

My Crohn’s disease was also bad, and more surgery was needed. All of this trauma to my body, and pregnancy was messing with my head.

I struggled big time with accepting the physical changes in my body during pregnancy! In my head, I told myself that “God” gave me awesome boobs to distract all the boys away from my tummy. Well, then I went and got pregnant, didn’t I? It felt as though pregnancy ruined my body so quickly that my mind just couldn’t catch up.

Then there was more surgery. I had so much more time on my hands to think about all of these things and how bad I felt. I hated my body and the changes, and the fact that I felt I had nothing going for me anymore.

But then, you know what? Time just kept ticking by. It’s not that I still don’t occasionally look down at my body and don’t like what I see, I think it’s just that these days I hardly get a chance to look down.

It’s become my new “normal.” It’s 10 years this year since I had my first surgery. It’s now all I know, and it’s just not even an issue anymore.

I think what’s helped is how calm my life has become. You know when there is just so much drama and negativity around you, you feel like your drowning in it?

So my advice: Kick the negativity to the curb. Get rid of those soul-suckers in your life — you owe them nothing! You need only people that lift you up and make you feel like the absolute Goddess or God that you are!

You are all my champions, and I am with you as you are now with me.

a family including mom dad baby girl and young son sitting on a staircase outdoors by a beach
Krystal and her family.

A version of this post originally appeared on Bag Lady Mama

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing you thought on the day of your or a loved one’s diagnosis that you later completely changed your mind about? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: May 6, 2016
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