I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at 18 and then Crohn’s disease in my early 20’s. I had my large bowel removed when I was 28 (1997), 4 weeks after the birth of my second baby. Until 28, I had minor flare ups, with two short hospitalizations. During my first pregnancy, I improved and stopped taking prednisone, but with my second pregnancy, I was hospitalized at five weeks and needed multiple blood transfusions.
At 13 weeks, my large bowel was detached (instead of removed, to reduce the risk of losing the baby) and I had two temporary stomas. With rest and the help of my family, doctors and stomal therapy nurse, I made it through the pregnancy and my baby was born healthy, but my symptoms worsened, and my bowel had to be removed 4 weeks after the birth of my baby. Since my surgery, I have not had any Crohn’s symptoms, and have been happily living with a stoma and managing the bag well for the last 25 years. Having a stoma greatly improved my health and the freedom to live my life to the fullest, and I am very grateful for it.