Most people don't have their gender reveal party in the hospital solarium as we did last week. (We're having a little girl!) But most people also don't have a severe flare of UC while pregnant.
Anna has Ulcerative Colitis (UC), an auto-immune disease that attacks the colon. This disease tends to flare at different times, and Anna's happened to flare last month, toward the beginning of her second trimester. The flare was so bad that we had to come to the ER on April 15, and Anna has been in the hospital ever since.
The big decision facing us is whether to get surgery to remove Anna's colon. She is not responding to Remicade, the strongest medication she could take, in the way that the doctors want. The inflammation is not going down. This second trimester is actually the best time for surgery in pregnancy, so we are trying to decide whether to go ahead with the surgery now--when it is ideal from a surgical perspective--or wait and see if the flare lessens by other means.
We want Anna to be able to keep her colon. Removing it would involve a significant lifestyle change for Anna. (Though we have talked with several people who have had this surgery, called a colectomy, done before and who are now doing well.) In addition, surgery is always a risk, one that we'd rather not take during pregnancy. On the other hand, if we decide not to get surgery and Anna's flare becomes worse during the third trimester, it would be a lot more difficult to perform the surgery, and there is more risk to baby and mother.
So this is where we are: praying for healing such that Anna would not need surgery, and also trying to discern what is the best course of action for baby and mother alike. It's an in-between kind of place to be. We are also beyond excited to welcome this new little life into the world, while also sometimes feeling anxious and overwhelmed by all that is going on in the hospital. Another in-between kind of place. It feels like a Holy Saturday moment, right smack in between suffering and joy.
Your love and care and prayer have sustained us in ways I (Jeff) never imagined. Thank you for being so concerned, and for lifting us up in prayer. Please keep praying for Anna, baby, and me! I'll try to keep this site as updated as I can manage.