It's so refreshing to hear about somebody who is excited to get an ostomy. It truly has been the best thing that has ever happened to me(and my surgery wasn't planned...I woke up with a stoma!). I was SO worried about a million things but after about 8 weeks, life started to take on a whole new normal. Three years later and I can hardly remember my life any other way and I love it. I'm so grateful to have my life back, or should I say, start living the life I never could before.
1. Leaks are not as common as the worried mind would like to think. They happen, sure, but a lot of things with an ostomy are trial and error. You will have plenty of time to try out different appliances(brands and types) and get a system going that works for you. I've never had a leak at night and the few leaks I have had were very small and honestly happened because I didn't change the appliance soon enough. You'll learn as you go and you'll gain confidence with each day that passes.
2. I never had the opportunity to get inked for my stoma site and it couldn't be in a better spot, thankfully. So the fact that you're able to choose where it goes, is awesome. The stoma nurses will help you out tremendously. It's a good idea to wear what you'd normally wear so you can get a good idea of how things lay. Definitely ask to see an appliance, or bring one, to get a feel for it. I'm in my 20s and still wear low rise jeans, bathing suits, and pretty form fitting shirts. I wear a tank top under most of my shirts, only because I feel like it gives me that extra security of keeping the appliance snug to my skin so that I CAN wear those tighter shirts, and so I don't worry about it popping out from under my shirt. I never have any issues with seatbelts, but keep in mind that the first 2-3 months your body will be healing and changing. So don't be discouraged if you're sore or bloated. Life gets better. I promise!
3. Yes you can still sleep on your stomach. I don't, but I was never a stomach sleeper. I do lay on my stomach to get massages, lay on the beach, and anywhere else I may need to. Flat on my stomach with no propping anything up or using pillows. Like I said above though, it will probably take a few months before your body is healed up enough to feel comfortable in that position. There have been nights I've woken up to a bag full of air, that I needed to get up to empty(amazing how the body knows to wake up like that). Other than that, I sleep with no interruptions.
4. In the beginning, I *think* I may have gotten up 1x a night, but that was in the very beginning. In fact, I don't even think I got up to empty. I was so anxious that the stoma would retract back into my stomach that I would wake and turn on the light just to make sure. My anxiety was the problem, not the ostomy. It's different for everyone though. Your output will be very watery in the beginning and you'll need to empty more often until you can incorporate more foods that help bulk up the stool(pasta, bread, potatoes, etc). The thicker the output, the longer you can go inbetween emptying.
A few words of wisdom...
-Get up and walk as soon as you can after surgery. It took my bowels 2 full weeks to wake up and if you can avoid having that problem, your recovery will be much quicker. The NG tube used when your bowels aren't cooperating is not fun and if you can avoid it by moving around, do it!
-Prepare yourself to be in the hospital twice as long as the doctors tell you before surgery. If they say 1 week, prepare for 2.
-Complications happen. Prepare yourself as best as possible so that you don't get discouraged.
-Be open and honest with your nurses/doctors. Tell them of your fears, anxiety, pain, and any other discomfort during your stay. Ask questions, be informed. Knowledge is power. The better educated you are on what's happening with your body, the better experience you'll have.
-Don't be shy to ask for pain medication. I had open surgery, but if you're able to do it through lap. surgery that's even better.
-Bring some comforts of home with you. Your pillow, a blanket, an ipod, crossword puzzles, magazines, a book, etc. Those post-op/recovery rooms tend to be very "cold" and it helps, mentally, to have things that bring you comfort.
-If you can, have somebody(be it a spouse, parent, friend) with you if you're up to it most of the time. It helped TREMENDOUSLY to have another person to be my advocate when I wasn't feeling well enough to do it on my own. Sometimes it gets intimidating when the surgeons do their daily rounds, and sometimes those 10 questions you had thought of earlier completely get forgotten once those "white coats" come in to check in on you. Jot down things as you think of them so you don't feel overwhelmed to remember it all.
Hope these will help you make the most out of your hospital stay! Best of luck and keep asking questions!