Pregnancy flare and the possibility of a third trimester colectomy – Chloe’s story

My name is Chloe and I’m 30 years old living in Sydney. I was diagnosed with UC when I was 16 in 2009. I have had a handful of flares and they were all resolved with a combined treatment of steroids and immunosuppressants.

I disappeared off the face of the earth a month ago because my ulcerative colitis ripped me out of reality, and I’ve been in hospital since. I’m also 30 weeks pregnant with a baby boy that could come any day now. I’m super excited to meet him but keeping my disease under control, and keeping him in for as long as possible, has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. He’ll be coming early — whenever that ends up being — so this disease not only makes my life really challenging sometimes, but it’ll also make the start of his life a tricky one too.

It’s unlikely he’ll end up having UC himself, but if he does get diagnosed with UC in the future, I want him to have a cure or the closest thing to it. Autoimmune disease flares in pregnancy are rare but it happened to me. Understanding how it happened and stopping it from ever happening to anyone else will require a broader understanding of this IBD. That requires research money so please donate this IBD Awareness Month so doctors can help change the lives of people with this tricky disease.

I’m at the RPA in Sydney and have had a fantastic experience with my multidisciplinary team and feel very confident. I’m well informed about my and the baby’s health and possible outcomes. What’s unique about my case is that I was in total remission when I conceived. My doctors informed me that pregnancy often suppresses your chance of flare. That was not the case for me.

I didn’t want to share the story to scaremonger but to tell a story of UC flares and pregnancy because I’ve never heard or read about one.

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