29 Jun William Doesn’t Care
Over the course of my life, I have found that I do care about the opinion of others. While I don’t listen or react to every single one, there are a few people who’s opinions matter more; my fellow firefighters, my family and my wife.
When my wife and I started trying to have a baby, I knew that there was going to be one more person who’s opinions would matter to me.
Since I already knew that my co-workers, my family and my wife didn’t care about my ostomy, I knew that my future child wouldn’t either. Everyone in my life is accepting of my ostomy because of how open, honest and positive I am, so I knew that with that same attitude, my child would be, too.
The best thing about children is that they are born into the world without any prejudice. When William was born, his only cares were his dirty diapers, needing to be fed, and making sure that his parents were there to care for him.
Looking at my newborn child, I began to think of all the things that being a father entailed. I thought about teaching him to talk and walk, helping him ride a bike for the first time, giving him “the talk,” and most importantly, how I’d explain what the pouch on my stomach was. I figured that one day down the road, he and I would have a conversation, similar to the ones I’ve actually had with my nieces before. I imagined the conversation would start with how sick I became, how I was led down the path to a choice where I ultimately chose to live… and that’s why he’s alive!
While we were in the hospital with William only being a couple of days old, a friend of mine came up to take some newborn pictures (because that’s standard now!) While she was there, I asked her to do a picture of me topless, holding William to my chest with my ostomy showing.
This picture not only represents the love I have for myself, but the love I have for my child, all thanks to the ostomy that saved my life.
Oh, and yes, I plan to take another one with our next child, due December 2017!