My Crohn’s Disease Post Pregnancy

Finally. Can you believe it? I’m FINALLY writing this post about my Crohn’s Disease post pregnancy! 😀

If you have been reading my blog (& previous blog) for a while, you know that I have Crohn’s Disease. I was diagnosed at 16 years old, and for the past 10 years it has been pretty severe. I was on some pretty strong medications, and at one point the disease was so bad that I couldn’t even drive. Which means I had to actually work from home at one point because it was so bad.

But in February 2012 I found out I was pregnant! 😀 It was actually on Leap Day- how cool, right?

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I was a little nervous about my Crohn’s disease. You really are not supposed to try to get pregnant if your Crohn’s disease is flaring up. My Crohn’s was definitely no where near being in ‘remission’ & I was having a LOT of issues with it when I found out I was pregnant. I immediately stopped taking all medication for it, until I spoke to my gastroenterologist.

I was able to get into my gastro’s office the very next day so that we could discuss everything. He informed me that typically when patients with Crohn’s get pregnant their symptoms either ‘hide’ during the pregnancy OR they get worse. That’s what scared me. I did NOT want the disease to get any worse…it was already pretty bad. But either way, I was going to do whatever was best for my baby.

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After speaking with my doctor, and having him answer all of my questions he put me back on the really mild medication, Asacol. I was on the medication years ago, but it was too mild to treat my symptoms. It was really the only ‘safe’ medication for pregnancy. There are other medications that you CAN be on during pregnancy, if your Crohn’s starts to flare up. If your symptoms are so severe that you are losing a bunch of weight & nutrients, obviously you have to do what is best for your body- and that may mean being on a stronger medication. If you are so ill from the disease while pregnant, obviously your baby is not getting the nutrients that it needs, so you need to do what is best for your illness, which could be a stronger medication. (& that’s OKAY! Do not get too hard on yourself!!- stress during pregnancy is NOT good)

Thankfully my Crohn’s actually went into remission during my whole pregnancy. I could NOT believe it. I had NEVER felt better in my ENTIRE life. I felt like a whole new woman. I didn’t need to run to the bathroom every 5 minutes, I didn’t have to miss events because of the disease, I was able to truly ENJOY every second of being pregnant & not having to worry about the disease.

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But in the back of my mind I kept wondering how things would be once I delivered my little girl. I was worried, not going to lie. I CANNOT imagine how it would be to take care of a newborn while living with the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Having to constantly be in the bathroom while caring for a newborn would be impossible.

Fast forward to now. G is 10 weeks today. (HOLY COW does time FLY.) And I’m still in ‘remission’ from the disease. I’m amazed. I always said she was my little miracle baby, because of how she ‘took away’ my Crohn’s disease during my pregnancy, but she really has no idea (yet!) of what a MIRACLE baby she really is. (for way more reasons that just the Crohn’s, but there are way too many reasons to list 🙂 )

A lot of people thought I was absolutely INSANE for starting to jog/ run at 2 weeks postpartum. But, do you want to know the real reason?? It’s because I CAN. I honestly cannot tell you how long it has been that I was just able to go out & ENJOY a run without having to know where every single bathroom was along my run. And honestly I haven’t been able to run outside for a LONG time- I always had to run on the treadmill- due to needing a bathroom near by.

I did run during my pregnancy…actually up until the day she was born. (I even did a run the morning we went into the hospital to have her 🙂 ) But I thought the whole idea of running outside was just a temporary thing…that once she was delivered, I would be back to the treadmill.

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(weekend before we had her- that was after our run as a little family. Craig went with me 🙂 )

Well, I was wrong. & I’m SO SO SO glad I was!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

No longer do I take running for granted. When I was in high school, on the cross country & track teams, I never really valued how LUCKY I was to be ABLE to run. I really never even thought about NOT being able to run.

Now every time I go for a run I cherish it. Whenever I really don’t feel like going for a run (which is VERY rare these days), I just remind myself of the times when I couldn’t run & that just makes me want to run longer.

G & I run daily and I love every minute of our runs. She is my favorite running partner. 🙂 I feel like she remembers when we would go for runs when she was still in my belly…haha! I think she was born a runner.

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(out for a run this past week. She’s a lucky girl..gets to go for a run in her pj’s 😉 )

I love that I get to run with her. She makes me smile the ENTIRE run. I’ve actually had people that I know that have seen me out running with her tell me how they saw me smiling & they could just see my love for her. Melted my heart!

I really hope that the disease continues to stay in remission. I just know that it has really put things into perspective, and it makes me appreciate the littlest things SO much more.

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My Crohn’s Story- Part 2

First things first: Happy Birthday to my Brother in Law!!! 🙂

This is a continuation of my Crohn’s story. This post picks from where I left off in my previous post. I was just finishing up talking about my experience with Crohn’s disease in high school & moving on to life in college.

College was actually REALLY good! I never had a flair up once..and I was on really light medication.(Pentasa)  Everything involving my stomach was actually ‘pretty normal,’ and I was really lucky! Adjusting to college life is hard enough, let alone throwing in stomach issues.

During my whole college career, I think I only had one not so good experience but it lasted only about a month

Once I graduated college, the flair up happened…that I’m still experiencing. It was about 3 months out of college. I graduated in December 2009 & the flair up hit March 2010; I will never forget that month. It was a mess.I can even pin point the day that it started- I just remember being in SO much pain one night while out at dinner, I actually had to leave the restaurant. At first I thought it was from the food that we ate (sushi), but later I found out that it had nothing to do with the food, it was just a flair up.

My whole goal right now is to try to control this flair up that I’m currently going through, and to do that I have had to adjust what I eat. Yes, sometimes it sucks…but I would rather change a few things rather than constantly be in pain. If you have Crohn’s or know someone that has it, you could try these suggestions! They might help you control the disease.

Dairy.

This is the hardest one. Sometimes Crohn’s disease can cause lactose intolerance. One of the suggestions that I have is to use those lactose pills. I have found that they tend to help a bit.

Sugar Substitutes.

These things are now the devil to me. I had NO idea how much they affected my stomach until I stopped using them. I always swore by Splenda- I used it in coffee, baked goods, anything that needed sweetening. Now I stay FAR FARaway from it. It just caused a lot of gas/ bloating and I honestly think it’s a good idea to stay away from sugar substitutes in general, even if you don’t have Crohn’s disease.

Instead of Splenda, I have now turned to Truvia or Stevia to do my sweetening!

It is an all natural calorie free sweetener!

Coffee.

I LOVE coffee. Like really LOVE it. I’m sure you can tell after my post yesterday.  As much as I love it, I PAY for drinking it everyday. Coffee is a diurectic, it makes you GO! (& by go, I don’t mean pee!) You see, even though I should probably give it up completely, there are some things that I just refuse to give up to this disease. Yes, I do know I might feel better if I stop drinking it, but I just really love it. If you aren’t such a big coffee drinker like me, I suggest trying tea. I guarantee you will feel better than drinking coffee.

Alcohol.

This one is the easiest for me! Honestly, the past couple of months I have really stayed away from alcohol in general. I just don’t like drinking it that much anymore. Now if you offer me a glass of wine, that’s a TOTALLY different story! I LOVE wine..but no so big on the alcohol anymore. It just really makes me sick to my stomach..and I REALLY feel it the next day..even after just ONEdrink. Eek!

Other things that I have also tried to avoid eating as much include salads- too much ‘roughage’ , popcorn (hard to digest), oatmeal (high fiber), and spicy foods. (I swear the spice goes STRAIGHTto the stomach!)

These are just some of the things that I have found that work for me. I know everything is different for everyone, but I think staying away from these things (Or having less of them) has really helped me.

If you have any questions about Crohn’s, or need someone to talk to, please feel free to email me: everydayholly@gmail.com. Oh, and happy Friday eve!!