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Crohn's, Stress, Trying to Conceive & Motherhood

My Story:

    Way back in October of 2011 when we were trying to conceive for the first time my crohn's flared up. Wow, after 9 years in remission I was not expecting that. Then we found out we had succeeded in conceiving and I was in one of the worst flare ups of my life. So, needless to say 3 months after my son was born when I finally got the flare up under control for good. I was not expecting to deal with it again until possibly the next time I was pregnant.
    But just recently it flared again. I talked with my doctor and expressed my disbelief that it was flaring up after just getting into remission 6 months ago.
I mean I had 9 years of remission before this! What changed? She told me to relax. Stressing over having a flare up wasn't going to help me any and she was very right. She also brought to my attention all the life changes that had been going on recently. The last flare up was very likely due to the stress of TTC (Trying to Conceive) and boy were we stressed. It seems such a simple concept to just trust God and that everything will happen in his time and that he will take care of you. I found out the hard way though that a head knowledge just isn't enough to stop that wrenching pain in the pit of our stomachs caused by needless worrying. If you are a worry wort or have crohn's you know the feeling. You know with every second you are bringing on a flare up but the more you try to relax the more helpless you feel to soothe that sharp pain caused by twisting subconscious fears and uneasiness.
    This current flare up was due to a cumulative of stresses piled onto each other. We were going on our first vacation with a small child. I don't know why I let it stress me out so bad but I did. I was worried about what to pack, how would he do, how would he sleep in a strange place and so much more.         
    Then right before our vacation our son had his 9 month doctor check up. The pediatrician told me that I should be feeding him more solid foods then I was currently doing and giving him finger foods. Finger Foods?!? My baby doesn't have any teeth! This is my first baby and this is all knew to me... but he just seemed so young to be sticking anything whole in his mouth....thus worry....worry and more nasty unforgiving worry. We tried little Gerber easy dissolving snacks... and he would choke and gag every time. My heart and my gut were not taking it well. Thus this flare up.
    Later after we get through this choking and gagging on everything with "chunks" in it I will write a post on that also to help anyone else going through the I hate everything but formula & juice stage.
Things I found to Help the Stress:
    First: Pray, not only for help, but pray prayers of thankfulness. You'd be amazed at the wonders for your gastrointestinal tract after 3-5 minutes of just giving thanks.
    Second: You know what I realized? Just picking up my beautiful, sweet little angel and forgetting the house, the chores, the list, the finances and kissing his pudgy, sticky cheek sends happy butterflies that chase away the demons of stress. I know parenting can and is stressful but I think it is so sad that we have a tendency to concentrate on the stressful and forget how wonderfully beautiful it is to be a mom or a dad.
    Third: Find things that make you happy and relax you. Reading, chatting, blogging or just sitting and playing peek-a-boo with your angel. It may even be like me which is shopping. My guilty pleasure. Allow yourself a set amount of money to just spend on you if that is what would help : )
    Fourth: Exercise. I know when do moms have time to exercise, but try to set a time and include your children. Whether it be a bike ride or a jog in the park exercise and have fun with your little ones. You'd be amazed and the stress you burn off on a 15 minute jog and it gives you happy endorphins (feel-good brain chemicals)!
    Fifth: A good back/neck massage and a hot bath or shower always do the trick. Try getting your hubby to give you a nice back rub. If he isn't available then do like my dad did and offer the nearest child 5 bucks for a neck rub! LOL money talks, they are happy and so are you! Then when it is all over go take some you time and soak in the tub. If you have little bitty ones put them in a stationary activity center or playpen in the bathroom with you so, you can relax and keep an eye on them or just wait for their long anticipated nap time.
I hope this helps you and really try to trust God. He loves you and will take care of you. Try to keep in mind good things that happen not the bad and overall don't let your crohn's keep you from enjoying the little things in life! Being a mom or dad is hard work, but doing it while dealing with crohn's is harder. God has a plan and he is using everything in your life to shape and mold you and your little ones into bright lights shining his love out into the world.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
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