Hey Beauties and Beasts, it’s been a while. I hope you’re all happy and healthy!
Ulcerative Colitis? What is that? A question some of you may have or may have not asked yourselves when you saw it as the name of this new post. Colitis, which is what I call it because it’s long saying ulcerative colitis all the time, is a bowel disease. A disease with no cure, something I and others who have it have to learn to manage and live with for the rest of our lives. This unpleasant disease runs in my dad’s side of the family so no I wasn’t completely shocked when I got diagnosed with it but yes I was absolutely devastated because I’d been suffering with the symptoms for months already and I’ve seen loved ones suffer with it so I knew exactly how it was going to change my life, which was the last thing I wanted, tell you that for free! For the first 2-3 years of having it, I’d say I was in complete denial. I’d still eat everything I got told I couldn’t eat, I still smoked and drank my alcohol which is probably the worst you can do with a bowel disease and I would only take my tablets when the excruciating pain, bleeding, diarrhoea, vomiting etc. would get so bad there’d be no way of ignoring it. A while back I wouldn’t have even said what some of the symptoms are but 1. you could easily google it and 2. I’ve learnt to accept that it is what it is and I can’t change it.
Mind you, I’ve only started learning to accept it more during my pregnancy, don’t get me wrong I still have my days where it can get me really down but I’ve been forced to face it now more than ever. Before I got pregnant, my doctor told me I had to plan for a baby if I ever wanted one as the condition could cause serious complications, obviously we all know by now that this pregnancy was a real surprise so you can imagine some of the anxieties I had when I found out I was having a baby. My doctor advised me to start on one of my medications and to stay on it if I wanted to avoid complications. Making sure nothing happens to my baby is all I care about now so you best believe I waited two hours that same day for my medication for the first time in a long time and haven’t skipped a day of taking them since!
As well as taking my medication religiously to help keep my condition under control, I’ve made sure I’m staying active by walking lots and swimming when I can, which helps with both my pregnancy itself and the condition. I don’t drink anything less than 1.5 litres of water a day, this is important in general anyway, however is even more important during pregnancy and when you have a bowel disease. I’ll be honest, I have eaten loads of chocolate, sweets, doughnuts and burgers. I can’t help the cravings I get! however, I balance this with making sure I also eat my fruits, veg and drinking my water! The last and most important thing I’ve been doing to ensure me and my baby are okay is looking after my mental health and emotional wellbeing, pregnancy is extremely overwhelming and comes with a lot of heightened emotions so being aware of them and looking after yourself in that area is vital. Being stressed is mainly felt in our stomach, which is known as our second brain and that’s where we physically feel a lot of emotions, stressed is what triggered my condition to flare in the very beginning so keeping my stress levels down is extremely important in maintaining a stable colitis. Keeping stress levels down is also very important because the baby feels everything the mother feels so emotions like stress and anxiety the baby can feel too which then makes them feel stressed and can affect there developing body and brain.
Everything I’m doing to prevent my condition from flaring badly is also important for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby which is everything I want and need to be happy. What I’ve really learnt through this is that a happy and healthy mum god willing means a happy and healthy baby/child. Learning how to face things that I find challenging is all part of the process of becoming a stronger, happier and healthier version of me.
Taking care of yourself is part of taking care of your kids.