UC and Pregnancy

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JM21204
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 12/27/2008 11:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi -
 
I'm a new member here, so sorry if this topic has been discussed before.  I didn't see anything recent.  I was looking for experiences from people with UC who are or have been pregnant.  I'm currently 29 weeks along and just getting over my second flare up.  Both times I had to take 40 mg of Prednisone and taper.  I tend to get one every 3-4 months which puts me close to having another one near my due date.  I also take 8 Asacol daily but not really worried about that.   
 
My questions are:
  1. What experiences have you had with Prednisone and pregnancy?
  2. Did you have any flares near or during delivery?
  3. My OB has suggested inducing me at 39 weeks if I am stable vs. the risk of me having a flare up during labor.  Thoughts?
  4. Any other advice in general about Pregnancy and UC combined.

Thanks!


*Jen*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 514
   Posted 12/28/2008 12:35 AM (GMT -6)   
First off CONGRATS!!! Very exciting having a baby. = )

I have had 2 kiddos, so I have a bit of advice, though I've never been on pred. so can't comment on the #1. As for flares, I found myself to be very stable during the 3rd trimester, but my UC is very tied to hormones. Is yours? Like do your periods ever cause you to flare? With my DD I had a really bad flare 6 weeks after conception, but it was my own dumb fault for not being on any meds. With my son(born 8 weeks ago) I stayed on my 6 Asacol a day and did not flare during pregnancy though I did have a bit of bleeding/mucous, but my GI thinks that was from hemrroids(so much fun!). With BOTH kids I flared after giving birth. With my first it was 6 weeks with my most recent it was 4 weeks. Again, I attribute it to hormones after giving birth and my body regulating back to not being pregnant. With my first I also flared after I weaned from breastfeeding, so this time around I am going to increase meds before I wean to hopefully avoid a flare.

I don't think an induction at 39 weeks would be a bad thing. I was induced with my first 5 days early and she was perfect, however my body was ready, meaning I was already starting to dilate, effacing, etc. If you are planning a "natural" childbrith(meaning no epidural..as IF!) I would say induction isn't you best bet as the pitocin really kicks up the contractions and I don't see how anyone could handle those without an epi. Also, if your body isn't truly ready to go into labor and you induce you might not progress enough and end up with a c-section, so you have to be ok with that. If it was me, I would rather have a c-section than risk a flare if you really think you are going to flare. I think having a flare while giving birth would be HORRIBLE, but talk to your doc about the 3rd tri-mester hormones and see if he/she thinks that might keep you in remission.

As for advice, get tons of help with the baby afterward. SLEEP as much as you possibly can. If you wear yourself out you are more likely to flare and then you will be no good to your baby at all. If you are going to BF and you do flare, keep in mind that the BFing might make your urgency worse. This is something I didn't know, but when I would BF in the middle of the night I would literally have to run to the bathroom. This is a horrible feeling as your poor baby is in the middle of a meal, so make sure you have someone to help you during the night to hold the baby, comfort them, etc. There is nothing worse then sitting on the toilet listening to your baby scream. I could go on and on, but if you have specific questions let me know.

Good luck!! Having a baby is the best and most life changing experience ever. They are truly a gift and make life worthwhile, but they are also exhausting and a LOT of work.
Diagnosed: 
Officially Diagnosed with UC in June 2003.  Have had stomach issues since 1989.  Unknown if they are related or not.  Have mild/moderate UC.  Have had 4 flares, the last one caused by hormones from stopping breastfeeding.  Currently back in remission!  Only taking 6 Asacol a day.   Will take Rowasa enemas as needed. Colozal did not work for me.  Luckily my UC is relatively minor and responds well to meds, but man do those flares hurt!
 
 


RobinByrd
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 12/28/2008 7:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes...Congrats with the pregnancy!!!!! My son is turning 1 very soon and I must say that no matter the complications with the pregnancy or issues afterward every second of being a Mommy is worth it!!

I was on 40mg prednisone my entire pregnancy. You may want to discuss staying on the higher dose with your doctor so you can prevent a flare. I agree that the possibility of having a flare during labor is not ideal. You should try to do what you can to get the UC under control for the time being. I know there are horrible side effects of having the prednisone for a long period of time (as I have experienced almost all of them), but again, it's worth not having a flare while caring for the baby. I hated having to let my son cry so I could run to the bathroom. I nursed too, and we remained on 40mg until we thought I was in remission...but alas...the pregnancy hormones were my secret warrior and I didn't know it. : ) My son quit nursing at 4 months b/c he needed more than I could offer, and I had almost gotten entirely off the prednisone...but once my body shed itself of the hormones a flare kicked up within a matter of days and I've been sick ever since. I almost wish I could just take pregnancy hormone injections. : ) So, back to 40mg I went and I just recently tried to taper after we started Remicade, but I'm stuck at 20mg and still not better.

As for the pregnancy, I did a lot of research regarding the prednisone and effects it could have on the baby. It's my understanding that portions of the medication do not pass to the baby...however, some women are given prednisone prior to an early delivery to help the child's lungs develop. My son decided it was time to join us a month early, and my body felt it was too early, so I was given pitocin and I agree that it was not something anyone should experience without a medication intervention. : ) I ended up having a c-section b/c of different complications that were not attributed to the UC. My son was born early and in perfect health. He's an amazing child that has constant wonderment and intrigue...he's the best!

I also was on 1200mg Asacol bid, but you could also discuss doubling the dose with your doctor as I am now on 2400mg bid...though I am not sure how the double dose is during pregnancy. I've noticed that some people take it three times a day in smaller doses. You do have a few options during pregnancy, but I feel that you should consider remaining on a higher dose of prednisone just to get you through it without a flare.

I also know the frustration of having a flare while trying to care for an infant. I hate that I've had to rely on the TV in my son's room as a babysitter for when I have to run to the bathroom. However, he has been extremely patient with me, and he has learned the sound of the flushing toilet meaning that Mommy returns...so sad. When you do have your baby and are home learning and adjusting, you are more than welcome to PM me with any questions or comments. I am still up in the middle of the night with my son, and still in a flare so I've been living with no sleep for a very long time. : )

The adjustment of having a baby is a big change in and of itself. Do you have a significant other? Just an FYI I'm studying to be a licensed counselor with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy...I've also just recently studied the effects chronic illness has on the family with young children and I have a lot of information that may help you cope with and accept your situation. : ) I learned that my husband and I struggled at certain times because we were going through some major changes, and everything we experienced was normal...a challenge...but normal.

Just know that every feeling, thought and question you have is normal. Also, please know that you are not alone and that the path you are currently traveling is a well traveled one by many of us. I have just joined this site myself in addition to j-pouch.org, as we are opting for surgery...and I feel the support and guidance I have recieved has been invaluable. I am so glad you are here and asking questions.

I hope you have had the happiest of holidays!!!

: ) Robin
Dx-May 2007  Asacol-2400mg bid  Prednisone-20mg  Remicade-4 Tx
28 year old Mommy of a 1 year old and a Wife for almost 2 years!
Life has never been so sweet!  I appreciate the small things in life...the little joys that occur every second of every day.  Though we struggle and have crazy complications, nothing can over ride our love and happiness.


mjw82704
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 251
   Posted 12/28/2008 6:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi JM21204,

Welcome. I had the same fears as you do with my Asacol dose. I have a 2 month 3 week old son. My first at age 35 (my doctor says that I am at advanced maternal age) and my husband and I want more! I was on 4 pills 3 times per day (4800mg!) during my pregnancy. I have a beautiful healthy baby boy. What a blessing. I had one flare in the third trimester but I was able to go into remission with enema steroids. But as one of the posters stated steroids are given to some moms to help the baby's lungs develop. Hearing that when I was pregnant made me feel better about it, even though I did not end up needing the oral, although the baby still can be exposed through the enema.

Anyway do what you can do keep yourself healthy just as the other poster mommies said.

I am currently doing research on meds because of breastfeeding. It is never ending but it is all worth it. If you need information on breastfeeding and meds please let me know I have some good websites that you may be interested in plus of course your docs should know but sometimes it makes me feel better to read about it myself.

I am currently in a flare right now and caring for my Little One is rough with bathroom issues.

Thank you for posting because I was able to read some of the other posts and get help for my own concerns as well. What a blessing a baby is☺ Congratulations! I wish you all the best.

Melissa
Left-sided colitis diagnosed at age 28 in 2001
Asacol 4 pills 3 times per day
Hydrocortisone Enema and Rowasa Enema rotating days for the next thirty days
Prenatal vitamins


Joma
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 222
   Posted 12/28/2008 9:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there. Just wanted to add my experience. I know how reassuring it can be to know that other have had healthy babies/pregnancies with UC an on meds. I am currently 38 weeks pregnant...counting down to the day my little one is born. I was in remission when I got pregnant but I was on maintenance meds - 9 asacol per day. I started to flare about mid-way through my second tri - my usual fall flare, never fails. I tried adding rowasa enemas and using various natural meds with the help of my natureopath but had no luck and my flare got worse. So I had to go for the steriods. I have been on Cortifoam (so it is topical rather than systemic like yours) for a little over a month. In talks with my GI doc, he told me about a pregnant women who he recently treating who had just had a very healthy baby while she was on prednisone throughout her pregnancy and if I remember correctly she was also on 40mg to whole time. Also spoke with my Perinatal (high risk) docs who said that both Cortifoam (what I am taking) and Prednisoe were OK to take during pregnancy. The only issue with steroids can be in the first tri where it SLIGHTLY increases the risk of cleft palate. Actually, the high risk pregnancy docs told me that prednisone did not cross the placenta very well. My regular OB also has told me that the steriods are OK and, like another poster stated, are given to mature the lungs of babies that are at risk for preterm delivery (and given in doses higher than what you are on too). I hope that makes you feel a bit more comfortable taking the meds. I understand what crappy choices we have....take meds which we worry will hurt our babies or flare-up which we worry will hurt our babies.

MJW82704 I would be interested in your info about breastfeeding and meds for UC. I have done a fair amount of researh and have decided I want to breatfeed because I think the pros out weight the possible problems. I have spoken with nurses and have read the book Medications and Mother Milk by Thomas HAle but more info would be good. Also, I would love to hear the experiences of others who have breastfed while on Asacol and/or hydrocotisone foam.

What was your experience breastfeeding on Asacol? How much were you taking? Was the babe OK? What have your docs told you about it?

Thanks Jo

*Jen*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 514
   Posted 12/29/2008 12:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Wonderful comments from everyone. I just love how supportive this forum is. I found it interesting that others flared after stopping BFing. Why aren't they studying the hormones that are produced naturally by us while BFing and creating a medication like that??!! UGH!

I also found others comments about having to run to the toilet while caring for an infant SO helpful. My son is 8 weeks now and I flared when he was 4(almost back in remission..fingers crossed). Dealing with a 2 1/2 year old that has tantrums, a newborn that has dairy/soy allergies which give him gas and make him cranky, a husband that got laid off right after thanksgiving, AND a flare was a lot to handle. There were many times when I let those "bad" thoughts enter my head wondering if I should have brought my wonderful son into all of this when I have UC. The WORST was in the middle of the night when I had to sit on the toilet and hear him crying for me. What is it with 2 am and the crazy thoughts that pop into your head? SIGH...but things are getting so much better and he is SO wonderful I can't imagine life without him. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing similiar stories to help me with the "guilt" factor that comes with motherhood with UC.

As for Asacol and BFing, I am currently doing that. I am on 12 Asacol a day(6 in the morning and 6 at night) as well as cortifoam which I have been using for almost 2 weeks, but will hopefully go back to Rowasa soon for maint. when I get into remission. My baby has had no side effects that I can see, but keep in mind that he is allergic to dairy and soy so he isn't the calmest baby out there. He is MUCH happier than my daughter though who had the same allergy, so I don't think the Asacol has anything to do with his gas, usually just something that I accidentally eat as he is very sensitive to any amount in my milk. It is a tricky one for me because I HAVE to BF because of the allergy(he can't take ANY formula) and I have to be on the meds because otherwise I will flare horribly, so honestly I have no choice. Well my only choice is to give him formula which would make him cry all day long, not sleep, most likely have bloody BMs and colitis(not UC, but literally the allergy caused swelling in my daughter's colon) and possibly a lifelong allergy to milk and soy vs. BFing him until he outgrows the allergy. I choose tha latter. My GI is a wellknown doc who treats UC and is also involved with studies on women with UC and pregnancy and she said it does give some babies diarrhea, but there should be no other effects on them. I trust her. I have to or I will drive myself crazy worrying about it. I'm not sure what I would do if I had the choice not to BF. I think honestly I still would at least for the first 6 months because it is so good for them and so many babies have stomach problems processing the formula. If I had stopped BFing before I found out about my daughters allergy we would have been in BIG trouble, because she coudln't even tolerate the hypoallergenic formula that only has 10% milk in it. Anyway, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about what Asacol is doing or if I am doing the right thing by BFing because right now it is my only option. But I can say, my son is very healthy and HUGE(13 lbs. 4 oz last week) from my breastmilk...haha...and he is for the most part a happy guy. Good luck on your decision. I know it is a hard one!
Diagnosed: 
Officially Diagnosed with UC in June 2003.  Have had stomach issues since 1989.  Unknown if they are related or not.  Have mild/moderate UC.  Have had 4 flares, the last one caused by hormones from stopping breastfeeding.  Currently back in remission!  Only taking 6 Asacol a day.   Will take Rowasa enemas as needed. Colozal did not work for me.  Luckily my UC is relatively minor and responds well to meds, but man do those flares hurt!
 
 


mjw82704
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 251
   Posted 12/29/2008 2:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Joma,
My information is also Dr. Hale. His website (blog) is great. I just click on search and type in the medication or ulcerative colitis and read what he has said to others.

http://neonatal.ama.ttuhsc.edu/lact/


I also like to google the words breastfeeding and (whatever medication I’m curious about)

I am currently breastfeeding and I take Asocal (4800mg) which worries me. From what I have read on Dr. Hale’s website is that parents should look for diarrhea in their babies an indication of it causing an issue. My GI says it’s fine but like I said in the prior post I like to do my own research. I recently started prednisone 20mg due to a flare my first one since my little one has been born. I get concerned with taking so many meds at one time but I researched both and they seem to cross mother’s milk in very small quantities. So far my baby has done so well with breastfeeding. I plan on breastfeeding for a year hopefully,…… because of the health benefits from me and my son. So far he has not been sick since he has been born not one day. I think God for this. I pray that he never has to go through what I have with my health.


http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-breastfeeding-benefits-you-and-your-baby_8910.bc




Another idea for when your babies are born are looking into vaccines. I bought Dr. Sear’s The Vaccine Book. It is very interesting.
Left-sided colitis diagnosed at age 28 in 2001
Asacol 4 pills 3 times per day
Hydrocortisone Enema and Rowasa Enema rotating days for the next thirty days
Prenatal vitamins


RobinByrd
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 12/29/2008 7:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Yep...being a new mommy with UC is quite a challenge! : ) I was on 1200mg Asacol bid throughout my pregnancy and breastfeeding...in addition to the 40mg of prednisone. My son will be 1 very soon and he is amazing! We did have a long bout of colic and he does have GERD, but our children's hospital assured us his issues had nothing to do with mine. My little man is now taking 15mg Prevacid bid...and I was so happy when his system was able to process air bubbles! He also was on the gentle formula until a week ago and now we're on milk based...because he will be going to whole milk soon! : ) I love our little accomplishments like that...along with his most recent accomplishment of clapping and waving! Anyway, my point is that he is developing wonderfully and a very healthy little boy. We had not planned on surgery until much further down the road, but our situation has changed, as I have poor success with the medical interventions and am ready to be rid of this hellacious disease. However, if for some reason we become pregnant before the surgery my GI feels that Remicade is safe for pregnancy as well. Which, was going to be our option, as I am so ready to be done with prednisone. But, I have joined the j-pouch.org site and am receiving a lot of support from them as well, because more than likely our next pregnancy will be with either a bag or after the let down surgery.

Either way, I've experienced pregnancy with a flare, Prednisone, Asacol, c-section and a baby with colic and GERD. : ) We also all get to experience the joys of teething...so we could be added support for one another through that as well! My son started cutting his first one at 3 months and we went through the dissolvable teething tabs like crazy! I highly recommend them, in addition to the numbing gel.

Anyway, it is comforting to know that other Mommy's like me are out there...we love our children but do have those thoughts of 'did we do the right thing?' regarding bringing a child into a world that I could not provide everything I want to b/c of my condition. However, those thoughts are far and few between, and after the initial adjustment to motherhood and juggling the demands of UC with our daily duties, it's all good! I also secretly suffer...so only when I'm really down and out does my family get a glimpse of my sadness. It is truly amazing how quickly I can be pulled from my dark place the moment I lay eyes on my son. Even when he's mad at me, which is frequently because he's learning boundaries, I adore every second.

Have a wonderful day!!!

: ) Robin
Dx-May 2007  Asacol-2400mg bid  Prednisone-20mg  Remicade-4 Tx
28 year old Mommy of a 1 year old and a Wife for almost 2 years!
Life has never been so sweet!  I appreciate the small things in life...the little joys that occur every second of every day.  Though we struggle and have crazy complications, nothing can over ride our love and happiness.


Joma
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 222
   Posted 12/29/2008 10:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Just a thought on the 'guilt' factor or thinking 'did I do the right thing' involved in UC and having babies. I have thought alot about this and have come to the conclusion that these thoughts could and probably do occur in countless other situations. I guess most or all mothers have ideals they wish they could raise their children by. And probably for most the reality of life gets in the way in bigger and smaller ways. So whether it is meds that you dont want in your babies system to not having enough money to buy them the things they need to having to run to the bathroom while they cry to small things like letting the TV be a babysitter sometimes, we all have limitations placede on our 'perfect parent'. We are all doing the best we can with the tools we have.

Anyhow, I just wanted to say thankyou for the comments on breastfeeding and asacol. Reading the literature about it is somewhat reassuring but hearing others real life stories is much more so. I just wish that they would do some good, solid studies of these meds and pregnancy and BFing.

jo

*Jen*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 514
   Posted 12/29/2008 4:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh one other thing, babies poop is well liquidy. I mean all they do is DRINK, so I asked my GI "how do you know if your baby has diarrhea" and she said "don't worry you will know as it will be constant". So, nope, don't have that issue. Oh and my son has GERD and "colic" which is really an intolerance to milk/soy protein as did my daughter. With my daugter whose GERD and coli was MUCH worse I was only on rowasa enemas a couple times a week. With my son I am taking 12 Asacol and cortifoam nightly and he is MUCH better than she was, so just another plug that the meds are not what causes those issues. My husband still has a problem processing foods(lots of gas) so I know my kids get it from him...ugh. My daughter was on prevacid, but my son is only on Zantac/Axid.

As for "guilt" factor thinking. I completely agree. EVERYONE woman has it about something. I also have it about working fulltime, so I have UC and working, and did I eat any dairy/soy guilt. Haha. It is so nice to talk to other women who go through the same things!
Diagnosed: 
Officially Diagnosed with UC in June 2003.  Have had stomach issues since 1989.  Unknown if they are related or not.  Have mild/moderate UC.  Have had 4 flares, the last one caused by hormones from stopping breastfeeding.  Currently back in remission!  Only taking 6 Asacol a day.   Will take Rowasa enemas as needed. Colozal did not work for me.  Luckily my UC is relatively minor and responds well to meds, but man do those flares hurt!
 
 


JM21204
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 12/29/2008 5:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you everyone for your replies! I'm sure I'll have more questions shortly once I re-read them all. I was feeling so alone in my situation the other day before I posted this and already feel more encouraged about the road ahead of me.

shannon1
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 12/29/2008 8:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, congrats on your pregnancy!!!!

First question is, do you have a high risk pregnancy doctor? (perinatologist) Since you are on multiple meds, you should be seeing a peri in addition to your OB. Ask your OB for a referal to one.

I had my very first flare about two weeks before i delivered my first child. I had already been admitted into the hospital for premature labor/bleeding due to placenta previa a few week previous. As the flare worsened, i got sicker and sicker, however did not know that it was UC. I delivered a preemie (7 weeks early) and had to deal with him in NICU for 18 days and then a few weeks at home before i had my first colonoscopy to diagnose.

3 yrs later, i was in a nice remission, on 6mp and we decided to get pg again. I flared right away, likely due to my fertility meds. I was put on 40mg pred, tapered, and flared again. Went back on 40mg, tapered and my peri decided to leave me on 10mg through the rest of the pregnancy to help maintain. This seemed to help ALOT. I again went into premature labor at 25 weeks pg, and decided to stop my 6mp so i could BF my preemie. As the others mentioned, i recieded steriod shots for baby's lungs (got them w/ first pg also). They are not exactly prednisone, but betamethasone. I was able to hold off labor till 34wks and delivered 6wks early. Baby stayed in NICU for 4 wks due to other complications. I flared RIGHT after birth, and the stress of spending 10hr days at NICU w/ baby and then spneding time at home w/ my 3 1/2 yr old and trying to recover from a csection, proved to much for me. My Neonatologist(baby doctor) said i could get back on my pred and still breastfeed, so i went on 60mg pred. However i was so sick, i was only able to BF for about 5-6wks.

It is HARD, there is no doubt about it....BUT, the good news is that you will get past it eventually. Hopefully u will have some help afte your little one arrives and u should rest as much as humanly possible with a newborn...LOL Keep the lines of comunication open w/ ur GI and hopefully u can keep ur flare to a minimun! Good luck!
2003, dx moderate UC
2000, dx selective IGA deficiency w/ anti IGA antibodies
2000, dx Antipholipid Antibody Syndrome
1999-current, chronic hemmoragic ovarian cysts, w/ partial ovary removal
1977, complete reconstruction of foot after lawnmower accident (chronic pain)
 
Meds
6mp 75mg, prednisone 40mg (just starting meds again)
percocet 5mg 3x day
potassium 3x day
 


mjw82704
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 251
   Posted 12/29/2008 8:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a question for you ladies? Just curious my husband and I want to try for another child as soon as possible. Did your doctors suggest to you to wait until you are not flaring to get pregnant? If yes, did you do that and did you stay in remission? If no and you were in a flare when you got pregnant did it get worse or better? I know that my pregnancy seemed to suppress everything and it was wonderful and I am wondering if it was because I started off in remission or if it would have happened anyway if I was in a flare just my specific situation. I know that we are all different but just curious what others experiences have been .
Left-sided colitis diagnosed at age 28 in 2001
Asacol 4 pills 3 times per day
Hydrocortisone Enema and Rowasa Enema rotating days for the next thirty days
Prenatal vitamins


RobinByrd
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 12/29/2008 9:03 PM (GMT -6)   
mjw...

I was told by my doctor's that it's more difficult to control a fare while pregnant...which I agree. : ) We became pregnant during the initiating process of UC...meaning I was in my first flare and in the process of learning what was wrong with me. I was actually in the hospital for my first c-scope, in the gown waiting to be put asleep when the nurse came in and said our pregnancy test was positive! What?! Crazy how things happen. : ) Anyway, I was in a flare until well into my second trimester, but then I felt so good during my sixth month...I loved being pregnant and I was no longer sick. : ) But then came the third trimester...because of the prednisone I was swollen and miserable. I was also told that it is better to not be in a flare at the start of a pregnancy...I guess some women really struggle getting it under control. I did...if it weren't for the high doses of prednisone I would have seriously suffered.

I think it's wonderful you are wanting another baby! My husband is so scared for us to have a pregnancy before the surgery b/c of other complications we are having with my immune system. So, we will more than likely have to wait longer than we hoped for our next child. I'm sad, but it's definitely the smart and safe thing to do.

I am really just so excited for you!!! A little jealous as well. : )

: ) Robin



Oh...I'm starting to take fish oil...I've read a lot of posts regarding people doing so...what do you guys think? Just a thought.
Dx-May 2007  Asacol-2400mg bid  Prednisone-20mg  Remicade-4 Tx
Paxil-40mg  Prilosec-bid  Multivitamin  Moderate/Severe Pancolitis
28 year old Mommy of a 1 year old and a Wife for almost 2 years!
Life has never been so sweet!  I appreciate the small things in life...the little joys that occur every second of every day.  Though we struggle and have crazy complications, nothing can over ride our love and happiness.


Joma
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 222
   Posted 12/29/2008 10:27 PM (GMT -6)   
mjw

I was in remission when I got pregnant and I still flared in my second tri. From what I can gather the research supports being in remission when you get pregnant because if you are in remission going into a pregnancy you have an increased liklihood of remaining in remission and if you go in flaring you are more likely to continue to flare. Of course this did not hold true for me - wish it had. However, I have also read that women that are pregnant have the same rates of flare-ups as women who are not pregnant. Confusing info.

JM21204
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 12/30/2008 6:47 AM (GMT -6)   
I haven't seen any change in my frequency of flare ups during my pregnancy. I get one every 3-4 months like clockwork since being diagnosed in 1/07. We conceived at the end of June. I flared at the end of July and then again in November. Being due in March, that's what makes me concerned I'll be ready for another one right when I go into labor. At least I usually get a fair amount of warning with the preliminary symptoms that perhaps we could go the inducement route if I'm far enough along. And as someone else previously mentioned, I could just stay on high prednisone as well.

mjw82704
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 251
   Posted 12/30/2008 7:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your responses on pregnancy and flares everyone.

RobinByrd I am excited for you to be able to not have to deal with UC sounds great. I have been doing some research in the area of surgery after seeing your post. I look forward to hearing updates on how you are doing.

I look forward to hearing how everyone on this thread is doing with pregnancy, breastfeeding, and motherhood. I hope that you all will post new things you learn, how you are doing, and any vents you have. Most likely we will all have a similar venting issue. :-)
Left-sided colitis diagnosed at age 28 in 2001
Asacol 4 pills 3 times per day
Hydrocortisone Enema and Rowasa Enema rotating days for the next thirty days
Prenatal vitamins


RobinByrd
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 12/30/2008 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Something I constantly feel but never vent about is my exhaustion! I am always tired...but who am I going to complain to? My husband will tell me that he's worn out and I just want to slug him. Really? He doesn't understand the meaning of 'tired'. : )

My son actually slept through the night last night and I only had to get up three times...so really I got a lot of sleep. However, I've been in an up and down flare since this past spring and after a day or two of constant issues I'm just beat! Do you ladies experience the same fatigue? Have you found anything that helps maintain energy?

I very rarely admit to anyone my struggles with this, but I'm just so tired of being tired!

: ) Robin
Dx-May 2007  Asacol-2400mg bid  Prednisone-20mg  Remicade-4 Tx
Paxil-40mg  Prilosec-bid  Multivitamin  Moderate/Severe Pancolitis
28 year old Mommy of a 1 year old and a Wife for almost 2 years!
Life has never been so sweet!  I appreciate the small things in life...the little joys that occur every second of every day.  Though we struggle and have crazy complications, nothing can over ride our love and happiness.


hekela
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 731
   Posted 12/30/2008 6:08 PM (GMT -6)   
jm21204-
looks like you got a lot of good replies from the other mamas here. i won't go into all my details here but basically everyone will handle pregnancy, labor, birth and UC differently. it's just how our bodies are.

as far as flaring DURING labor, everyone (even non-UC people) basically clean out when labor begins. yep, that means lots of pooping. so while it may seem a bit like a flare, it's just very normal for the first stage of labor.

induction is rarely a good idea. only if you or baby is in danger if that baby doesn't come out soon.
if your body is not ready, and baby is not ready, induction will likely lead to a c-section. not always, of course, but there is still a good chance. i would think that flaring while healing from a c-sec would be much worse than flaring while healing from a normal birth. and you may not even flare.

you don't need a high risk OB. as long as you're taking care of yourself, and it sounds like you are, you and baby will be fine.

i gave birth to my 2nd baby AT HOME and we were both as healthy as can be.

congrats on your pregnancy and may you have a lovely birth experience!!
29, happily married, stay at home mom to 3 year old son and new baby boy.
currently: possibly in a post-childbirth flare but not bad yet.
UC (probably pancolitis, but no c-scope yet), dx'd June 2006, started having major symptoms sometime in Jan 2006, about 3 months after childbirth. 2nd flare (minor) may 2007.

-Prednisone 8/28/06-2/28/07. and again may '07, 8 week course.
-Prayer! asacol, probio, ground psyllium husk, folic acid, cal-mag

may you live all the days of your life.


*Jen*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 514
   Posted 1/4/2009 5:57 PM (GMT -6)   

As for the fatigue, yes yes YES....man it is horrible.  I can get 8 hours of sleep and still be completely exhausted.  Sometimes it is so bad that I literally HAVE to take a nap.  I try to explain it to my husband as I know he is tired too, but it isn't just TIRED, it is...complete exhaustion.  Honestly I have never felt like that except when in a flare.  I've been tired before but not that wasted, I can't even think, feeling dizzy feeling.  And some say it is from the blood loss, but even if I am not losing that much blood and my labwork is perfect I still feel that way if I am in a flare.  Weird.

Oh and my GI said that 1/3 of UCers get better while pregnant(meaning stay in remission when they wouldn't normally), 1/3 stay the same(flare as they normally would) and 1/3 get worse.  Like someone else said all of our bodies react differently to the pregnancy hormones so one persons experience can be very different from your own.

I am doing much better.  My son is 2 months old and a joy.  I have only had a tiny bit of mucous and 2-3 BMs each day for the last 2 days.  HOORAY!!  It took almost 5 weeks to get this one back under control.  The last two nights I stopped using the cortifoam and started using the Rowasa enemas again so maybe that is what did it.  Who knows.  I know that I will flare again when I stop BFing which stinks, but for now I am doing well.


Diagnosed: 
Officially Diagnosed with UC in June 2003.  Have had stomach issues since 1989.  Unknown if they are related or not.  Have mild/moderate UC.  Have had 4 flares, the last one caused by hormones from stopping breastfeeding.  Currently back in remission!  Only taking 6 Asacol a day.   Will take Rowasa enemas as needed. Colozal did not work for me.  Luckily my UC is relatively minor and responds well to meds, but man do those flares hurt!
 
 


JM21204
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 1/5/2009 11:43 AM (GMT -6)   
I saw my GI doctor today and she recommended a scheduled C Section.  A few reasons why but she said with the severity of my UC (pancolitis) and how much I flare, I may want to opt for surgery some day and having this area in "pristine" condition would make surgery easier.  And regardless, any severe pushing/tearing can impact continence down the road.  She didn't say I had to have a C Section, but rather if I was her daughter that's what she would tell me to do.
 
Thoughts?
 
 

33 yr old female
Diagnosed with Pancolitis in 1/2007
Baby due 3/2009
 
1600 mg Asacol a day
Ferrex
Pre-Natal Vitamins
Lovenox
On and off Prednisone, 40 mg then taper
 

Post Edited (JM21204) : 1/5/2009 11:56:20 AM (GMT-7)


*Jen*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 514
   Posted 1/6/2009 11:39 AM (GMT -6)   
That's a hard one, but if you trust your GI and you aren't "set" on a vaginal birth, I would do the c-section.  Your health is very important, plus you never know you could have tried for a regular birth and ended up with a c-section anyway.  As this is your first baby you have no way of knowing if you will need a c-section in the end anyway.  At least if it is a scheduled one you won't have the issues around an emergency c-section.  Good luck!!  I know it is a hard decision to make.

Diagnosed: 
Officially Diagnosed with UC in June 2003.  Have had stomach issues since 1989.  Unknown if they are related or not.  Have mild/moderate UC.  Have had 4 flares, the last one caused by hormones from stopping breastfeeding.  Currently back in remission!  Only taking 6 Asacol a day.   Will take Rowasa enemas as needed. Colozal did not work for me.  Luckily my UC is relatively minor and responds well to meds, but man do those flares hurt!
 
 


RobinByrd
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 1/6/2009 12:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a secret when I was pregnant.  I talked the talk about wanting a vaginal "natural" birth, but secretly I wanted to feel the labor pains and experience a natural delivery for a little bit then have a c-section.  : )  Ironically that is exactly what happened.  Now, the pitocin (sorry for the sp error) was a horrible drug and those were some extreme contractions, so I was very thankful to end the attempt and have the surgery.  However, I was also very scared and pissed beyond belief because everything from that point on was out of my control...funny how control issues are heightened when you're in labor...so I was pretty mad mama until I was back in my room with my baby.  : ) 
 
Now, for you and your questions regarding the scheduled c-section, I also feel it will be in your best interest.  Any unnecessary strain on the UC and your body in general will be the best.  Everyone heals differently from surgery, as one lady I met during the labor classes had one and she was at the store the day she was released from the hospital.  I, on the other hand, was miserable and could barely walk for two weeks.  The plus about having a scheduled c-section is that you know your baby will be okay...we had to have one b/c the chord was wrapped around my son's neck three times and his heart rate went down with each contraction.  Never again do I want to experience that, nor would I wish that upon anyone. 
 
You are faced with big decisions, and as a first-time Mommy we do kind of have a preconceived notion regarding how the labor will be.  However, as long as you keep in mind that it doesn't matter how your baby gets to you, as long as he/her arrives safely.  The entire experience is so overwhelming in and of itself, nothing can prepare you it.  : )
 
I am currently gathering information regarding pregnancy after the step 1 of the j-pouch surgery.  We have options of keeping the ileostomy during our pregnancies or trying to conceive post surgeries.  I'm very nervous b/c the possibility to conceive greatly lessens after both surgeries. 
 
I've decided to not take summer classes and we're hoping to schedule the surgery immediately following the end of this semester.  We're meeting with the surgeon the 27th of this month, so we have lot planning and prepartion to do!
 
Ooo...also, if you do have scheduled c-section you can plan for meals, help around the house, help with the baby, etc.  Before my surgery I'm going to freeze loads of meals for my husband and son.  We're also going to stock up on paper plates and bowls, as my husband does not maintain dishes and I get very irritated.  So, better to avoid conflict during a time of recovery!  : )
 
: )  Robin
Dx-May 2007  Asacol-2400mg bid  Prednisone-20mg  Remicade-4 Tx
Paxil-40mg  Prilosec-bid  Multivitamin  Moderate/Severe Pancolitis
28 year old Mommy of a 1 year old and a Wife for almost 2 years!
Life has never been so sweet!  I appreciate the small things in life...the little joys that occur every second of every day.  Though we struggle and have crazy complications, nothing can over ride our love and happiness.


JM21204
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 1/9/2009 12:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Well it's official - I am going to have a C Section on 3/10. Thank you so much to all of you for your perspectives and advice. I'm so glad to have connected with so many other people who have or are going through the same things.
33 yr old female
Diagnosed with Pancolitis in 1/2007
Baby due 3/2009
 
1600 mg Asacol a day
Ferrex
Pre-Natal Vitamins
Lovenox
On and off Prednisone, 40 mg then taper
 


*Jen*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 514
   Posted 1/9/2009 11:02 PM (GMT -6)   
JM I am so excited for you!!!!!! Your baby will be in your arms before you know it. Stay in touch and let us know how everything goes!
Diagnosed: 
Officially Diagnosed with UC in June 2003.  Have had stomach issues since 1989.  Unknown if they are related or not.  Have mild/moderate UC.  Have had 4 flares, the last one caused by hormones from stopping breastfeeding.  Currently back in remission!  Only taking 6 Asacol a day.   Will take Rowasa enemas as needed. Colozal did not work for me.  Luckily my UC is relatively minor and responds well to meds, but man do those flares hurt!
 
 

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