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.