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We Get to Carry Baby O

Recently, I wrote the post “It’s Okay to be Okay” – a significant realization I’ve come to this year in my life and my journey with Crohn’s disease. Today, I wanted to expand on this sentiment, and share the most meaningful that my body has been able to do since finding a state of remission: to carry a baby girl.

This year, I’ve shared a few posts on IBD and my journey to motherhood. After waiting until my disease activity was minimal and I was on a steady and safe treatment regiment, I met with two different Maternal and Fetal Medicine physicians for “approval” before trying to get pregnant. I knew my baby’s best chance of healthy development would be if my body was as calm and stable as possible, and we tried our best to work within those parameters.

Facing infertility

After trying to conceive on our own for nearly a year, my husband and I were identified as facing infertility, and we joined the group of 1 in 8 couples around the world struggling to get pregnant. After several tests for both of us, we were further categorized to 30% of infertile couples, where the cause of infertility is unexplained. I want to stress this fact, especially here. The reason we underwent fertility treatments to conceive our baby was NOT directly linked to my Crohn’s disease or IBD, any of the medications I had taken/am taking, or any of the extra-intestinal manifestations I’ve experienced from IBD.

[Disclaimer: With each female body being so different, and each IBD patient having such unique and personal disease journeys, I strongly encourage you to speak with your PCP and OB before you assume anything about your ability to conceive and carry a child.]

After 4 unsuccessful rounds of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and 1 failed fresh embryo transfer, we were so lucky and grateful that our first frozen embryo transfer was successful. I took a positive pregnancy test at the end of September 2018, and as I write this I am well into my second trimester. Outside of “normal” pregnancy challenges: morning sickness, exhaustion, aches and pains, heartburn and frequent urination, my health, and my IBD, have been relatively dormant.

I attribute this to two things: I have continued the exact treatment plan I was on when I found stability and entered remission, including daily oral medications and Remicade infusions every six weeks, AND, I have been incredibly lucky.

My feelings towards my body have changed drastically

Every single day of my pregnancy, I have thought about my body and my feelings towards it, and how those have changed so drastically over the years. For 8 years, I had nothing but contempt, anger and frustration towards this body, one so sick that provided no clues on how to help support it, on how to make it better. Even once I was officially diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, it took a year to find the correct medication and two years to find improved daily life, and so much of this time was spent mentally and emotionally struggling.

I took all of those emotions out on my body, for its failure to thrive, it’s inability to function as it should, and it’s lack of communication with me. Throw in an overlapping diagnosis of infertility, something that I not only have desperately wanted my entire life, but something that I have grown up believing my body should be able and willing to do on it’s own, and this body and I had quite a complicated relationship for a very long time. These feelings continued to get compounded with each negative pregnancy test or each failed fertility treatment, and my overwhelming fear that I might never have the opportunity to do the one thing I’ve wanted the most – to carry a healthy baby.

Gratitude for my body

For five months now, I have started every day with a note of gratitude for my body, and it’s ability and willingness to carry the healthy baby girl currently growing inside of me. Even when pregnancy is causing me to not feel well, I thank my body for its strength and its patience, and I thank it for working alongside me instead of against me.

Being in a stable place with my Crohn’s disease has brought me an overwhelming sense of gratitude on a daily, and sometimes hourly basis, not just because I am able to go out into the world and live more of a life than I ever thought I could have again, but because inside of me, a miracle continues to grow and thrive.

I know that when we meet our baby girl, my gratitude will expand and probably even explode, even if my remission doesn’t last for the rest of my pregnancy or after delivery. As an IBD patient, I feel like I always have to be prepared for the tide to turn, but I have learned that this won’t change or erase the immense sense of thankfulness I now carry in my heart. Remission has enabled me to carry Baby O, and that is truly the only gift I could have asked my body for.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    7 months ago

    Thank you for sharing! This is really beautiful and I love how your pregnancy has allowed you to view your body in a different way rather than just from the lens of an IBD patient. It really is wild, that as a woman, we have the opportunity to grow another human inside of us! What a miraculous thought.

    I wish you the best in the rest of your pregnancy. I am so happy you are feeling well and your baby girl is so lucky to have you as a mom.

    Keep us posted! Sending you virtual hugs.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • Amanda Osowski moderator author
    7 months ago

    Elizabeth,

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful response and kind words – they mean so much to me <3

    Warmly,
    Amanda (team member)

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