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My Story

Hi there! My name is Jennifer. I am 33. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis almost ten years ago. I have been on daily meds ever since. I have been hospitalized three times, when medication was not able to control my symptoms.

I always wanted children. Once married, my husband and I made the decision to immediately try to have a baby. I was surprised to find out that I was pregnant in an instant! I then had this feeling of irresponsibility. I felt that I should have been more informed about colitis and pregnancy before we decided to have a baby. I worried … Would my symptoms get worse while pregnant? If they did, what would happen? Could I be on medication while pregnant? Would it hurt the baby?

I ran right to my Gastroenterologist. He assured me that I could remain on my medication (then Colazal) throughout my pregnancy without harming the baby. He also said that typically, whatever state you enter pregnancy you’re body will stay in until your term is done. In my case, he was right. I was feeling well at the time when I became pregnant. I stayed virtually symptom-free during the time of my pregnancy.

After eight hours of labor, I had an emergency c-section (not UC-related.) I was so doped up on the operating table that I said to my doctor, “I have Ulcerative Colitis, how’s my intestines looking?” It gave him a laugh, but the question seems legit at the time. I had a healthy baby girl!

Shortly after giving birth my UC flared up again. I opted not to breastfeed my daughter. I had already gone through pregnancy while on meds. I felt that passing meds through feeding her AGAIN would just be unfair. I did feel guilt for not breastfeeding. Others tell you that it is how it is supposed to be. I got over it!

After having my daughter I told my doctor that hospital visits were no longer an option. I was now a stay-at-home mom. I had a family that needed me and I could not leave them. Any time my UC acted up, I just went on a stint of Prednisone.

When I unexpectedly found out that I was pregnant for the second time I was just tapering off my prescription of steroids. Throughout this pregnancy my symptoms went up and down, as usual. I was blessed to have a second healthy baby girl!

Dealing with UC while caring for two small children certainly has it’s challenges.

5 thoughts on “My Story”

  1. I was diagnosed with UC some 15 years ago…it was not until 2007 that I had what was the start of a severe flare up that got progressively worse. in June of 2009 I had my first colonoscopy (believe it or not) I was to continue on Asacol 400 mg 3x a day and started hydrocortisone enemas…I did not get any better, in fact my symptoms got worse…I found a new gastro dr in November 2009. He increased my asacol to 800 mg 3x a day and I was now on prednisone…He did a follow up colonoscopy and found that the inflamation had worsened and traveled up the colon in the previous six months. We decided that to come off he prednisone was important and agreed that because I was feeling so ill..losing weight…flu-like symptoms…severe anemia from bleeding and severe pain in my stomach….we would start remicade. I literally felt a difference as the drug was being administered during my first treatment. I have since had a 2nd treatment 2 weeks after. I have started to decrease the prednisone and am down to 20 mg per day for another week..I will then go to 10 mg for 2 weeks…then stop…so far the Remicade is working unbelievably!!! I feel the best I felt in literally years!!! I am so thankful for this treatment, and although I have insurance it will still be very expensive but I will look the other way on that because to feel THIS good after SO LONG of feeling TERRIBLE… worth it in my book!

    1. It is great to hear that you found something that works for you … whatever that my be. Good luck to you and be well! :)

      I am now on MY search for UC relief. I will try all options.

    2. Hi Laura,
      Just read your story, and am wondering how you are doing are you still on remicade and do you still feel great…? As my GI doctor is very persistent on me going on Remicade.. I have been in a flare up for the last 3 years, have not been able to work and have been hospitlized 3 times with c-diff.. I am in so much pain, I dont know what to do any advise would help…
      thank you

  2. Funny thing about pregnancy and UC as that is when mine decided to show itself. I got diagnosed when I was about 6 mths along and had to take Asacol and Prednisone during my pregnancy and the only way it effected my son was that he was a little bigger then average when born (a week early 8lbs 10oz)and was able to get off the steriods before I gave birth and breastfed safetly on Asacol as it goes straight to the bowels and doesn’t go into the breast milk. It is definately hard to look after small kids when you have a flare up and I luckily have a bathroom on the main floor of my house. You are not alone and this is one of the things I think of when I’m having a hard time!

  3. I had a second baby at almost 40. my first at 23 before I had UC. It is hard to care for babies while spending time in the bathroom. You must be completely worn out. My daughter is now almost 16 months old so my bottom drawer in my bathroom is full of small toys and books for her while she is in the washroom with me.

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