Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pregnancy and RA

When I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis three years ago at age 31, all of the doctors asked how old I was and if I was planning on having children. Up to that point, my husband and I hadn't really thought too much about it. Dealing with RA and all of the lovely medications associated with it really made us stop and think about what we wanted to do. After much research (aside from talking to others with RA and reading as much as I could online, I also read this book) and discussion, we decided to go for it.

Last summer, I stopped taking Methotrexate and then met with a high-risk obstetrician to go over my condition and list of medications. His conclusion was that my case was not high-risk (phew!) and that hopefully my RA would get better during pregnancy. With that huge weight off of our shoulders, my husband and I had to really decide if we were going to go through with it. Like, for real.

We finally decided that yes, we wanted to have a family, and we had better get started. My rheumatologist said I could stay on Humira until we had conceived. So, now here we are at 22 weeks. Things have been going fairly well. I had the usual bouts of nausea and extreme fatigue early on, but that has mostly subsided. Now, I'm left with "normal" RA fatigue. My obstetrician said I could still take my NSAID (Indocin) through the end of the second trimester. However, at my last prenatal visit, some fluid level was a little low, so they asked me to stop taking it. This wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that I have been feeling pretty bad for the past two weeks. Luckily, I had an appointment with my rheumatologist yesterday, and she prescribed me good old Prednisone to get through the rest of the pregnancy.

I have to say, I'm not thrilled about taking Prednisone, but it is considered fairly safe for pregnancy. What really bums me out, though, is that I haven't gone in to any sort of remission during pregnancy. I was really hoping to feel extra well for these nine months. But if I had to pick between having a good pregnancy with RA symptoms or a not so good pregnancy without RA symptoms, I'd definitely pick the former.

Now, I'm just hoping for enough relief with the Prednisone and that I don't have a major flare after giving birth. And really? Even on bad days, it's still worth it to know that I'm going through all of this so that I can meet my baby in December.


  1. Jodi, I am so happy you decided to blog about your pregnancy and I hope you will continue to do so. I am sure there are plenty of young women who will be interested to hear your story as well!

    I am sorry to hear that your RA symptoms didn't subside, because I have read the same thing. However, the most important thing is a safe, healthy pregnancy and a safe, healthy baby.

    You look beautiful!!!

  2. I have an almost 1-year old. I have RA and had an almost RA free pregnancy. My joints never felt better! I am paying the price now. For the past several months the symptoms have gotten a lot worse. The positive thing is that going from no pain back to having pain, I've been able to identify my symptoms more accurately and have been able to get more accurate treatment from my doctor. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy. Hope you have no post baby flares!

  3. thanks, kat!

    @glitter girl: so glad to hear that you a bit of a reprieve during your pregnancy, but sorry to hear that things are bad for you now.

  4. Hi there, This is my first time visiting your blog-- Your name caught my eye and made me smile-- then I saw your beautiful pregnancy pics and was hooked.

    I have lupus and fibromyalgia and arthritis but am doing pretty okay. I'll be back reading about you next few months and hoping you have an easy pregnancy!