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(by Pauline)
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since May 2004

For the following 12 months Gary's health remained good. Andrew continued to grow and develop normally. I had been told that Crohn's wasn't genetically passed on, but my own research indicated otherwise. At 5 weeks old his weight had dropped dramatically and he'd had to be seen by a paediatrician. I'd mentioned that his father had Crohn's but he didn't think that was a factor. The more likely reason was that I wasn't producing enough milk for him, and he suggested putting him onto a bottle. I did and Andrew's weight increased, although he was always underweight. As a toddler he ate huge portions but remained underweight.

Three years after his ileostomy, Gary saw the surgeon and mentioned that the draining from the mucous fistula was a thorough nuisance. The surgeon said the only way to stop that was to remove his rectum. He would also refashion his stoma at the same time into a conventional Brooke ileostomy. He then floored us by saying he could fit him in the very next week.
This was Thursday. Gary was due at the hospital the following Tuesday. We wanted a brother or sister for Andrew and we had 5 days!

Gary had the operation. This is major surgery and makes the ileostomy permanent - so there is an emotional aspect too.
Again the operation went well, although Gary took time to recover from it. He had stitches front and back and the surgeon had removed a lot of tissue too.
His new ileostomy was so small and neat! He was able to take care of it and has continued to do so to the present day. After over 3 years of being nursed by me he was now independent.
A few weeks later my pregnancy was confirmed. Once more I had the morning-noon-and-night sickness, this time accompanied with actual vomiting every hour unless I ate. Poor Andrew had two parents who were incapacitated. Fortunately the sickness passed and I had a smooth pregnancy again - this time without dashing into Casualty with Gary.
Chris was born uneventfully, weighing 9lbs 2oz. Gary was again at the birth, by now recovered although still tender from the rectum removal.
Although Gary would face further operations and trips to Casualty, Chris' birth heralded an end to the constant health problems and anxiety, which accompanied it.

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