…I am going to have a baby!
I remember when I first got diagnosed with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) my doctor explained that I had a chronic illness with no clearly known cause or cure. He told me that as my doctor he would do all that was in his power for me to be able to “have a normal life.” He also told me not to worry, that I could still have children. Just not right now. In the moment I was taken aback.. it hadn’t even occurred to me that my disease would impede my ability to be a mother and to be completely honest I wasn’t even thinking about babies.
Over the following years filled with flares and doctors visits I became used to comments about my fertility. One doctor suggested that I go off hormonal birth control because he had seen research connecting IBD and oral contraceptive use. Another said that I probably was only getting my period because of the hormones from the pills. One thing that they all agreed on was that I shouldn’t get pregnant until I was healthy for at least a year.
As I began to work on my diet, lifestyle and slowly recover my health I also began to learn more and more about the effects of hormonal birth control on my body and my reproductive health. I learned that while my doctors had always stated that I could have children it is often not as easy for women with autoimmune disease to conceive (read more about this here). I began to realize that something I always had thought of as part of being a woman was a privilege that I couldn’t take for granted.
After 8 years of hormonal birth control and 4 years of constant struggles with Crohn’s disease symptoms I imagined that conceiving would be a challenge (to say the least). To my surprise, it wasn’t!
We are expecting a baby boy in June!
I truly believe that I would not be announcing this happy news were it not for the dietary and lifestyle changes I have made in the past years, as well as the support I have found in the online AIP Community. Your encouragement, support, and inspiration to eat nutrient dense foods and take the best care possible of myself have given me the strength to keep on going, even when I felt worse (instead of better) and all I wanted was to sit down and eat a huge cheesy slice of pizza.
I look forward to sharing my experience with you all… the fears, joys, and just plain hard parts of pregnancy with an autoimmune disease.
A couple things that you can look forward to reading about:
Morning sickness – It isn’t just for people who don’t eat healthy food.
Cravings – They are real and they are very serious