Pregnancy Diaries: The Second Trimester with Crohn's Disease
Last updated: February 2019
A few weeks ago, I shared my journey of navigating the tricky first trimester of pregnancy with IBD. Now I've managed to nudge my way into the second trimester, I thought it was only right that I gave you all an update on how I'm feeling. I know when I first became pregnant, I frantically searched for real-life accounts of those with IBD; so I really hope these updates are useful to some.
A change in toilet trips
Last time, I shared about how my first trimester was *not* kind to my bowels. It was probably the worst 'flare-up' I ever had (I'm still not sure if it was a flare or just a surge of hormones). However, the second trimester is a completely different story! Since my morning sickness kicked in at around 7 weeks, I noticed a slow shift in my toilet habits-and from week 10, they've been COMPLETELY normal.
So normal in fact, that I even occasionally experienced a fascinating phenomenon that those regular folk have called: constipation! I have literally never experienced this before in my life.
However, I still haven't noticed much of a reduction in my inflammation (when testing via faecal calprotectin). Hopefully, that will follow suit-but it's been very strange having no urgency and even having to strain.
Strangely, I don't think my body is too well-prepared for this new development as it has irritated things like hemorrhoids and fissures. But I must admit, I'm loving this new change! I feel like I've swapped bodies with a regular person!
Still more sickness
I know plenty of people suffer from nausea as part of IBD at the best of times- so I am not sure if that's why my morning sickness is still lingering. But it's still very much present (in fact, I vomited about 30 minutes before writing this article!). It's very strange that as soon as my vomiting started, my bowels got much better: I wonder if there's a connection?
Another reason why my toilet habits are so unexpected is my diet has completely changed. I think I've mentioned on here before that even with medication, I need to stick to gluten and dairy-free and watch my fiber. Yet, at the moment, I'm eating fiber-rich strawberries by the punnet and even ate cheese last week!
Whilst I will probably try to stick to gluten-free and dairy-free still, I am definitely using this as an opportunity to eat more healthy. I love now not having to restrict the fiber I eat and will be definitely tucking into as much fruit and veg as I can.
Fretting about baby
Of course, my anxiety is still here. But now it's shifted from 'am I keeping food down?' to 'will the baby be ok with my Crohn's?' I can't tell you how many times I've googled for stories of successful pregnancies with IBD (so if you have them share in abundance). It's such a worry but I am trying to remain positive.
And a final note, I'm soo tired! Not sure if it is the hormones or Crohn's but I am always thinking of my bed!
Overall, I don't feel I've got that second-trimester' glow' and the morning sickness shows no sign of stopping. But I am so happy that my bowels seem to be much happier and I can expand my diet somewhat. I hope you enjoy these updates and do let me know if you have any questions at all!
What has been the most helpful for managing IBD symptoms?