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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Exercise Post Pregnancy

Before I write anything this morning, I just have to comment on the TRAGIC events in Sandy Hook, CT. I am still completely heart broken & cannot stop thinking about what happened. As a new Mom it has hit me HARD. Every thought I have is encompassed by thoughts of those families who lost their innocent, young children. It literally rips my heart in two. Every time I look at Gabriella I tear up because of HOW lucky I am to have her & how devastated (& that’s an under statement) I would be if ANYTHING happened to her. Last night I could not sleep because I couldn’t stop thinking about the shootings. It just tears me up. G would wake up to feed & I would just hold her tight and cry because of how much this little lady means to me. All I want to say is hold your loved ones tight, tell them how much you love them…not just in light of these events but always. I don’t think anyone will be able to move on from this HORRIBLE event for a very long time. I know that my whole heart, prayers & thoughts are with those families who lost loved ones. I really cannot even imagine.

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Good Morning!

Hope everyone is off to a great start! I cannot believe that it is LESS than a week until Christmas & in a week I will be OLD…just kidding. I will be 26..does that make me out of my mid 20s? It doesn’t right?! 26 is TOTALLY still MID 20s. Yep, I’m sticking with it. 🙂

So yesterday I had my six week appointment with my OB-GYN. Hard to believe it’s been six weeks! This was just the standard appointment that every post pregnancy woman has- to check on how you are doing and to make sure everything is heeled and that your bleeding stopped. The doctor said I was good to go & no need to do anymore follow ups regarding post pregnancy- just have to go back in March for my standard annual woman’s exam. (good times 😉 )

When he asked me how I was doing, I replied ‘great! & that I had actually started running (well, more jogging for the first week) 2 weeks after I had Gabriella. At first I thought he might of yelled at me & said it was too soon, since six weeks is typically how long you are supposed to wait, but he just said ‘that’s awesome! & if you were up for it, then good for you.’

Good to know he didn’t think I was crazy 😉

The only reason that I did start running so soon was because of the easy labor & delivery that I had. It was really all thanks to G! She is the one who made it all happen. I was able to start my first workout (weights & walking) two days after having her. I started out walking, then after two weeks of just walking I couldn’t take it anymore….running was calling my name 🙂

Throughout my whole pregnancy I worked out & I can tell you now that I believe it had a HUGE effect on how well my labor went.
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Hard to believe that was me just a few short months ago!

I actually worked out (including running, elliptical, stair master, & lifting) up until the day I had her. Craig & I went running the day before we went into the hospital, and it was one of my favorite runs ever. I kept telling him that once we had her he could tell her how the three of us went running when I was 9+ months pregnant 🙂

The first trimester was HARD – I was EXHAUSTED the entire time. It was BAD. I mean I was in bed by 7pm almost every night, the sun was still shining when I would go to sleep, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open for the life of me. (& the smell of coffee made me want to vomit. ew.) But I would just go to the gym on my lunch break, when I actually felt awake….one of the very few times of day 😉

Once I got past that first trimester, I was back to my old self- up at 5am to head to the gym for an hour. That hour is always just a time I could clear my head & enjoy my time with my little girl 🙂 It’s funny because she actually came out still on my gym schedule. EVERY day around 4am (because of the time change) she was up & ready to go for the day…we couldn’t get her back to sleep no matter how hard we tried. Craig realized that she must still be on my gym schedule. 🙂

I can honestly tell you that I am SO GLAD I kept up with my workouts. Not only for my own sanity, but also because of baby weight. I gained a total of about 22lbs, and lost it all within the first week after having her. And it wasn’t just ‘luck’- it was because I kept up with the gym.

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(8 months pregnant)

Now that I am 6 weeks post pregnancy I’m back to my old self. I’m honestly amazed that I didn’t lose my strength or speed. You know what else? Running with a stroller has made me even faster. When I go running now without the stroller (when Craig is on Daddy duty 🙂 ) I can rock out some miles! …and my average mile pace has dropped pretty significantly.

Now I’m actually training for a few races coming up- I’m thinking of doing a marathon in February. Still debating a few things, like if it will work out with other plans we have in the upcoming months, but I’m really looking forward to my training runs 🙂 (I’m actually about to head out for one as soon as I finish this post!)

This isn’t a post to brag about how well I’m doing post pregnancy. Trust me, it’s NOT that at all. It’s a post to tell those considering getting pregnant to NOT stress about baby weight. I know I did. Before I got pregnant that was one of my fears- that I would gain a ton of weight. I know that sounds selfish, but I’m just being honest. I would NEVER do anything to harm my baby, or not eat enough, I was just worried how my body would react to pregnancy.

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(8 months pregnant)

I know some women have terrible morning sickness, or are not allowed to exercise during pregnancy. But if you can keep up with your workout routine, I would definitely suggest it! Not only did it help me with my labor & delivery, but it help with my sanity 😉 …and I know my husband appreciated that 🙂

Now the best part of my runs are when I get to run with Gabriella. As I run I just stare at her & smile…and sometimes I sing to her as I’m running, but I swear she covers her ears. Poor girl has to deal with my terrible singing 😉

OH, and I just realized I need to do a post about how my Crohn’s disease was during my pregnancy & now post pregnancy- I’ll have to do that in my next post!

Have a great day…and call your family members and tell them you love them!