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I am a first time mom, 37 weeks pregnant. UC since 2009, total colectomy 2010, and J Pouch 2011- 4 abdominal surgeries total. Pregnancy had been easy and pretty perfect thus far.  However, woke up at 3:00 am with horrible back pain and constant urge to have a BM. 7 watery BM's in last 5 hours and feeling nauseous too. No cramping or anything I would describe as a contraction, but I am wondering if anyone can shed light on what labor felt like with a pouch? After all of the surgeries and changed anatomy, are there other symptoms to look for? I have a c section scheduled for 3/17 and am hoping to make it to that date without labor, but these symptoms are concerning me. I have a doc appointment today but nothing compares to first hand experience. Thanks so much!
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I had a c-section but I was having contractions the week before - not frequent enough to go in, but I felt really terrible. It was kind of like horrible period cramps? Nothing sharp, but my back and abdomen would ache so badly and I wouldn't be able to get comfortable at all. If I remember right, I had diarrhea and definitely nausea. I actually pulled out my pain meds left over from surgery (baby-safe, of course) to get through that week since it was right before my scheduled c-section.


Also for the record, this was my first delivery so I have no metric for what it might have felt like sans J-pouch.


If I were you, I would definitely go right in to your OB to have them check on you, especially since you're only 37 weeks.

My gut was right- I was in labor and had baby boy that same day at 4:00 pm. I never experienced what I thought contractions should or would feel like- abdominal pain. Only intense low back pain with nausea and severe loose stools. My GI doc said that isn't totally uncommon for women with a J Pouch.

Since c-section I have had some GI complications- persistent watery stools with some incontinence and vomiting, which ultimately required a scope and NG tube. Not what I had hoped for, but baby is perfect and healthy and I would much rather me than him. Working I getting healthy enough to breast feed, but NPO for the time being and not able to produce anything because of it.
Happy to discuss recovery anytime. Here are the basics of how it went for me. Immediately following the section when I still couldn't feel legs or abdomen, starting having uncontrollable watery BM's. When I got feeling back still had severe frequent watery BM's, nausea and then persistent vomiting. Officially diagnosed as an Ilieus from either labor or surgery or both, NG tube and NPO lasted 2 days, then I was able to start liquids and keep them down. Progressed to solids after a few days.  Being released from hospital today on day 6. I would listen to your gut and docs advice as to section or labor. Unfortunately, I think us Pouchers are prone to issues with either type of delivery and the best we can do is stay positive, make an informed decision, and pray everything goes according to our plans. If it doesn't, at least we are well trained in how to adjust medical circumstances and make the best out of any situation.

Thanks for telling me about your recovery. I'm glad to hear you are doing well now. I wish someone would tell me what I should do for delivery. My high risk OB says I can do either vaginal or c-section as he says evidence is mixed with respect to long-term outcomes either way (I took a look at the scientific evidence and agree with his assessment). So, basically he has left it up to me after having explained the risks both ways . .  sigh. I am still uncertain about which way to go.


Enjoy your little one!


Hi Somegingersomesnap,

I couldn't help but notice you had surgery for your jpouch in 2008, this was the same for me :-) I just recently delivered a healthy little girl 4 months ago. I too had the same discussion with my OB about C-Section or Vaginal delivery. I remember feeling so torn on one way or the other. I remember coming on to this site to see what women had experienced with vaginal vs. c-section. I thought I would share with you that I opted for a vaginal delivery and to my surprise everything went really well!  I was worried about what would happen to j-pouch, could things tear.. etc I was really surprised to find that the delivery created no additional problems for my pouch. And in some ways I felt that I had built up a mental tolerance for riding the waves of contractions/pushing because of my experience with Colitis pre surgery. Just wanted to give you a bit of encouragement as you make your decision! All this to say, whatever YOU choose will be the best decision for you and your little one.



I have been thinking of you and your big decision, and was curious if they are doing regular growth scans for you? While I know growth scans aren't 100% accurate, my last scan was only off by a few ounces compared to his birth weight. Maybe knowing how big baby is projected to be will help you make a decision?

We have been home for a few days now and I am happy to report that my J-pouch hiccup didn't ruin breastfeeding. While he had to have formula during my NPO/NG ordeal, he has taken to breastfeeding and is thriving and gaining weight well. No nipple confusion or any issues! I am also feeling pretty great, not much pain compared to the big GI surgeries and my gut seems to be on track and digesting everything well. The issues seem to have resolved fairly quickly. I can't say that I regret the c-section, though a part of me does wonder if I could have done it vaginally or whether it would have made a difference given I was already experiencing GI symptoms from labor. At the end of the day, a healthy baby is all I was hoping for and we definitely have been blessed with that. Hoping the same for you!!

Thanks Ljclifford,


Sorry, I haven't meant to take over your thread . . . 

Yes, they are tracking her size as I make small babies (my husband is Asian and I'm pretty small boned), so baby being too big definitely isn't a concern.  That being said, it took me two hours to push out my daughter 9 years ago and she was only 5 pounds (she had to be induced early). I asked the ob but of course he just said it could be the same this time with a full term baby or I could push her out in 5 seconds flat -- there is just no way to predict. Certainly smaller makes it that much easier though


I have to decide one way or the other soon as they are pressuring me to book the c-section if that's what I choose. I swear I change my mind by the day now . . . 



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