Pregnancy, fertility, lookin’ sexy and other "ladies-only" stuff

Okay, you know I really don’t believe that the above subject line is really “ladies-only” stuff, especially, I might emphasize, the “lookin’ sexy” part.

My shocking revelation:
I don’t know if I want to have children. Wild-and-crazy, right? But seriously now, I see some of my friends getting pregnant (because we’re just at that fun baby-making age, apparently) and I see other friends raising their children, and I see still more friends dealing with their grown children and their new grandchildren.

A. and I wrangle back and forth about it (“Do you want to talk about it?” “I don’t know. Do you?” “I thought you wanted to talk about it.” “What do you think about adoption?” And sometimes, a day after I’ve proclaimed thoroughly and loudly my desire that we should A|remain childless or B|have lots of kids for C|whatever present reasons, I come out with some argument for the opposition, which leads A. to grasp his head and make loud unintelligible noises) but ultimately, we’re still undecided.

One of our big recurring discussion pieces revolves around the ulcerative colitis. I’m worried (as I repeatedly hash over via keyboard on this blog) about passing on the nasty stuff, or about flaring during pregnancy. I worry about being unable to calm a flare without resorting to crappy meds. I’m incredibly worreid about my meds affecting the fetus during pregnancy and with breastfeeding, especially since breastfeeding has been shown* to increase a person’s defenses (so to speak) against developing IBD. I’m worried about needing A. to look after both me and the baby, if I’m all incapacitated after the birth. And I am stupidly worried about all this nonsense when lo! I am not even pregnant and I AM on birth control.

Ahem.

Considering all that, I’m not sure why I still have a sometime-urge to start a family. It could be a mystical maternal instinct. It could be the Neverending Poke of Conformity. (It’s a sneaky Poke, that one. Always getting you just before you fall asleep, or as you’re admiring a pair of red pants.) It could also be that I am constantly channeling John Locke because I don’t want any damn autoimmune disease telling me what I can’t do!**

I don’t really have the time to research the pregnancy/UC stuff, I just occasionally talk to my gastro or read an article or happen upon some alarmist shit on the Internet. But luckily, there are doctors who do research this stuff. And without further (endless) (seriously, infinite) ado, here’s CCFA’s webinar by two doctors on IBD and the lady population:

IBD & She
(I know, it took me a while. But I got there.)

If you can’t access the webinar for some reason, here are the slides and transcript:
Slides
Transcript

I loved this, cheesy name and all. Not only did it give me more solid hope that I could have a biological kidlet of my very own without irrevocably damning them to ulcerative colitis, but I also learned that screwing up a fetus with my UC medications is more difficult than even I imagined. I feel a little less like a freak after listening to this. I still don’t know if I want a baby, one that’s biologically mine or not.

A note: UC/Crohns ladies even less interested in the pregnancy/fertility discussion, you should still check out this webinar, because the docs also discuss menstruation and menopause, self-image and self-confidence issues, birth control, and intimacy/sex life problems. All these topics should probably have individual webinars and discussions, but this is a great start. Thanks to CCFA for sponsoring this, and I heartily vote for more to come.

* Mentioned in the webinar! I suppose I need 3 sources, though. Damn it.

** Eh, double negative, waaah. DON’T TELL ME WHAT I CAN’T DO, grammar nazis!

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