9 Weeks- Dumplin’ and the Earthquake

Not a whole lot has changed since week 8. Taking the Diclectin 2x a day has been great for managing my all-day sickness. Yesterday, I forgot my afternoon dose, and was dry heaving all evening. That was some reassurance that Dumplin’ is still doing well and making me sick.

I was supposed to have a midwife appointment yesterday, but she called and rescheduled because she was at a birth and wouldn’t likely make it back in time for our appointment. I haven’t met this midwife yet, but she seemed nice over the phone.

After our ultrasound on Monday, I’ve been feeling a lot better about this pregnancy sticking around. My feelings of security are still wavering though. I joined a due date group on Facebook, and every single day, a woman posts about a miscarriage or no longer seeing a heartbeat. It’s sad, and also terrifying. On the other hand, at this point, we have a 98% chance of a successful pregnancy. I know that our case is unique, with the autoimmune stuff going on, but I’m hanging on to the fact that 98% is pretty damn close to 100%.

All day yesterday, and all day today (so far), I’ve had really loose stools. It’s not quite diarrhea, but more like the cat poops I tend to have when I just start my period. They are airy, and I pooped about 8 times yesterday. This morning, I have already pooped 4 times. No blood, no mucus. At first, I worried that it might be food poisoning, but I haven’t really had cramps or felt sick. Now I’m wondering if I have just been eating too much fibre? I have been living off pancakes for two weeks now, and then felt really guilty about my poor food choices that I replaced the pancakes with oatmeal and hemp seeds, and have been force-feeding myself salad and veggies at least once a day. Could this be the culprit?

My TSH is on the low side (0.3) despite lowering my dose of levothryoxine to my pre-conception dose. My endocrinologist called today, and wants me to lower it even further to only taking 25mcg 6 days a week (instead of 7). Does anyone know if working out increases thyroid demands, as I’m wondering if my levels are so good because I’m NOT working out. I’m considering exercising a bit again soon, but wonder if it would mess with my thyroid levels.

I’m considering returning to exercising soon. Nothing intense like I used to do, but mostly a yoga class and maybe some elliptical cardio. Then if that feels good, I’ll reintroduce some light weightlifting. The gym that I go to has regular yoga classes, but I’m not sure of what “restrictions” there are on postures during first trimester. I know a lot of you bloggers do prenatal yoga. Can you advise on what to avoid this early in my pregnancy? Merci beaucoup!

And finally… after 6 weeks of waiting… I had my first orgasm!Pregnancy has increased my libido somehow, and out of fear, I have been abstaining from any orgasm-causing action. I generally have a fairly high drive, and several times in the past 6 weeks, I have woken up to having orgasms in my sleep. And I mean, full-on, body quivering, uterus-contracting EARTHQUAKES! DW and I joke around that poor little Dumplin’ is grasping the walls of her amniotic sac, screaming “Earthquaaaaaaakkke!”. I spoke to the midwife yesterday about whether it was safe for me to be having orgasms now, and she said that when we have orgasms, oxytocin is released, which normally causes contractions like in labour, but that it isn’t until the 3rd trimester that we start to develop oxytocin receptors. That is why they often encourage orgasms as a way to encourage labour at term. For now, it means we’re all good to orgasm away.

Other than that, I’ve got nothing else to report. I’m still exhausted, I have headaches from the afternoon on, but otherwise, all is well. I’m looking forward to feeling better and better about this pregnancy as each day passes.  

Advertisements

Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you to My Perfect Breakdown  for the original nomination, and to several others of you for subsequent nominations. I’m sorry that I’m so late to the game, but the truth is, that I’m rarely blogging from my computer (embarrassingly, I mostly post from my iPhone), and The Versatile Blogger Award is something that I feel should be typed out by fingers, not thumbs.

I have known My Perfect Breakdown  for less than a year, but her story, and her strength have touched and inspired me so much. Her realistic advice and timely support have helped me since our battle began with our unique experience with recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL). I say unique, because I feel fraudulent claiming that all of the losses were mine. The one with RPL is really my wife, DW. I suffered one loss, and she suffered two. Together, we’re struggling to get past the RPL.

20150307 - Versatile Blogger Award

These are the rules when you are nominated:

1. Post the award on your blog
2. Thank the person who nominated you
3. Share seven facts about yourself
4. Nominate 15 blogs
5. List the nominees and let them know

Seven Facts About Me

*TRIGGER WARNING* Some of my facts aren’t happy ones, but they are a part of who I am.

1. Infertility has brought out really odd personality traits that I didn’t realize were there. It has made me (clinically) anxious, revealed some OCD tendencies, and has made me come off as a bit “type A”. It’s interesting, because prior to baby-making, most people would describe me as easy-going, go-with-the-flow, calm, and generally optimistic. Finally being pregnant, I can feel things shifting again towards my original self. I am starting to let go of things that I can’t control, and am hopeful for good things to happen again.

2. I am very sensitive and in-tune with my environment- not so much the details like a police officer would be, but more the ambince of a place. Being around negative people, music that I don’t like, or strong perfumes/colognes make me want to leave, but warmth from people and sunlight, music that I like, and general zen or happy energy is therapeutic for me.

3. I was never allowed to attend sleep-over parties as a kid. It kind of messed up my attempts at fitting in as a kid from a broken home. I thought my mom was just being super strict, or that she was just being super controlling, but she never gave me a proper reason for it. I never understood why, until I was 24, and she told me it was because she was sexually abused as a child by her male cousins every time they visited.

4. I was the lead singer and bassist of a band when I was in university. We played shows at the Sugar Refinery (closed down now), and a couple of pubs on the university campus, including a benefit concert for Amnesty International and the Vagina Monologues (university level). I had a shaved head… and groupies.

5. I am very smell-oriented. I need to work in a scent-free environment because perfumes and colognes give me a headache. There are smells that I love though- the smell of sleep, my dogs’ faces, suntanning. I love essential oils too- I have a shelf in the bathroom that is full of them. I also love my wife’s smell- there’s a special spot near her temple that I’d like to bottle.

6. I need a lot of sleep- ideally 9 hours a night. I’m not sure why, but my whole family is like this. Not a single early-riser among us.

7. I knew I was gay in grade 3. There was a defining moment between me and this grade 4 girl who 15 years later ended up in a long and messed up relationship with an ex-gf of mine, and now has two kids and is married to a man. It was all really weird for me because I was in love with her for like 15 years.

Nominations:

Taking our family from 3 to 4

Solo Mama

The Gayby Project

Future Dance Mom

Ladylove and Babydust

The Chronicles of a Non-Belly Mama

Speck of Awesome

Where’s My Baby Bear

Our Egg Her Nest

Hound Mamas

8w4d and the Blood Monster

Hola folks! This is just a little quickie to update you on how Dumplin’ is doing.

This past week has been a blur of gluten-free pancakes and naps. On the weekend, we drove out of town to meet up with friends that we hadn’t seen in a loooong time. Some we hadn’t seen in a couple of months, but others in about a decade! It was basically a big lesbian reunion of hockey players! 

We first hit a pub for food and drinks, and then hit up the local gay bar, which has changed names several times in the last ten years, but still looks the same as what DW remembers. The resident DJ, DJ Dallas, is still kickin’ and spinnin’, just like she did twenty years ago. The dance floor was never empty, and was very well populated by awesome 50 year olds wearing polo shirts and khakis. If you’ve ever been to a gay or lesbian club, you’ll know that the atmosphere is a lot more fun and much less pretentious, especially in smaller towns (which is where we were). We were open about our pregnancy, and found out that one of DW’s roommates from her twenties (who was there) had done several IUI’s and two IVF’s as a solomama, and had no success. Infertility is so much more common than we think, and it so sad that we still seem to struggle alone. We’ve been much more open about our miscarriages this year, partially because it started to affect our lives in an undeniable way, but also because infertility awareness is so important. 

Friday night I started having some spotting again, accompanied by cramps all night. I totally freaked out, and contacted the fertility clinic, hoping that I could get in for an ultrasound to check that everything was still okay. They booked me in for today, and I got my favourite ultrasound tech, who angles the screen so that I can watch as she scans me. None of the other techs do this, so up until today, I had actually never gotten to see Dumplin at all. I wasn’t allowed to take any photos, but I managed to sneak this super blurry one from the intraabdominal scan (which is much less detailed than the transvaginal).

 

My favourite part was when she was doing the transvaginal scan, and she zoomed in on little Dumplin’, and I could see her little heart flickering away. In that moment I was so in love, and wished DW could’ve been there to share in that moment. 

So all is well. Dumplin’ caught up in growth and is measuring 8w4d (a day ahead now, compared to a week ago when she was 4 days behind). Her heart rate is 184bpm.

There was also a teardrop shaped bleed beside her sac, which they think is a subchorionic hemorrhage. This is likely the source of the spotting. I’m hoping the Blood Monster goes away, or shrinks, because seeing red in my underwear is freaking me out! Luckily the spotting stopped, and now that I know the cause, I can freak out a bit less the next time I see it. 

Otherwise, not much else to report. I’m just trying to stay sane, and am willing time to pass quicker so that the second trimester arrives soon. Being paranoid of miscarrying is no way to live, but every day I am getting closer to feeling like Dumplin’ is gonna stay. 

Some Random Tidbits

Well I’m 7w6d (based on LMP), or 7w2d (based on my last ultrasound), and I’ve got a couple of things to update you on. I’m considering doing those weekly Bumpdate posts, but I’m kind of nervous, and am not sure which dating to use at this point. Suggestions?

Midwife Appointment:

I was so happy that DW was able to meet the midwife with me. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had applied to 6 midwifery clinics in my region, and all were either full or wouldn’t accept me because I’m out of their catchment area. I was really bummed about this, but then, I received a call from the midwifery clinic that is the furthest away from me, offering me a spot. They were going out on a limb accepting me because I don’t live near their catchment area at all (compared to 3 other clinics where I’m on the border). Something feels serendipitous about this, and I feel like I will have a really good experience with them. 

Things that I wasn’t thrilled with:

– all of the pregnant women in their waiting room looked grumpy and unfriendly. Not a single one smiled the entire 20 minutes we sat waiting to be seen.

– my midwife was 20 minutes late for our appointment. Granted, she was with another patient, but my family doctor and endocrinologist are ON TIME or have a maximum wait of 10 minutes. I timed this because most appointments will be during the work day, and if I have to drive across 3 cities to get there, I need to factor in how this will work with work. 

Things that I really like so far:

– our midwife used to be an OB-GYN in India. She practiced for 20 years before moving to Canada and trained to be a midwife. She has been a midwife for 10 years. This means she has a lot is experience, even beyond the scope of midwifery care. 

– our midwife is a good listener. I felt comfortable interrupting her to ask questions. She paused many times to offer me opportunities to digest information and to ask more questions. She explained things well, using a slow but comfortable pace. 

– Our midwife was very clear about informed choice, and that her job is to lay all of the options out on the table, but that the choice is ours. There would be no bullying me into choosing one way over another. With both DW and I being highly intelligent, with backgrounds in science and medicine, this appealed to us. I’m also incredibly picky, and am a stick in the mud when I don’t get my way.

– I have two midwives: at any given time, there is always one that is on call, and the other is in the office available for appointments. I will meet the other one next week. 

– at our birth, the midwife from my pairing that is on call, plus another midwife from another pairing will be attending. There will always be TWO midwives present: one for me, and one to take care of Dumplin’ (I LOVE THIS). 

– despite being outside of their catchment area, both of my midwives in my pairing live close to us, and are willing to still do home visits after Dumplin’ is born.

Last Intralipids:

Well I had my last intralipid infusion today. Being all paranoid that this infusion wouldn’t have enough lasting power to get me into the “safe zone”, I asked one of the nurses if she could ask the head nurse if they’d let me do one more infusion in a couple of weeks. The nurse said that once the placenta is established (8-12 weeks), I shouldn’t need it anymore, but everything I’ve read about NK cells is that they are active (ie. A threat) until 16 weeks. We’ll see what they say. Those of you who have been pregnant on intralipids- at how many weeks did they do your last infusion?

Diclectin:

Diclectin successfully turned me into a bed-ridden zombie with a hangover. The drowsiness was so bad, that I dialled back my dose from 2 at night + 2 during the day, to just 1 + 1. It’s still managing to prevent me from puking, but I feel less like a waste of space, and can actually interact with my wife.

Pregnancy Acne:

I have honestly maybe had 1 pimple in 12 months. But this past week, 6 nasty pimples erupted on my face. They are the small red ones with deep white pus coming to the surface. I am gross and have been expressing them, but the pockets are so deep that a few have gotten worse or won’t drain completely. My face is an absolute mess, and I am embarrassed to go out in public. I’ve been dabbing them with tea tree oil, hoping that they will just go away. You know that alleged “pregnancy glow”? Well apparently my version is just extra oily pizza face. Ladies- those of you who experienced this, does it go away? Or do I need to go into hiding like a celebrity who’s recovering from several major plastic surgery jobs?

Baby or Carb Bump:

Is 8 weeks too early to be sporting a mini baby bump with a singleton? Or am I carrying an anterior-facing carb monster from the 8 meals of pancakes with maple syrup that I’ve eaten this week? PS- DW has been bringing me pancakes in bed these days, which has helped tremendously with my morning sickness. She is amazing. So is pancakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Hmmm… I think that’s all I’ve got for now. 

Sprouting Hope contest: Win $5000 towards IVF in Canada

Awaiting Autumn

I just came across a contest where you can enter to win $5000 towards IVF at any Canadian clinic of your choice.

Canadian Fertility Consulting is currently hosting a contest called Sprouting Hope.

The contest runs from March 19 to May 18th. The winner will be announced during the Canadian Infertility Awareness Week May 19- 28, 2015.

To enter: 

  1. Create a short YouTube or Vimeo video explaining what brought you to IVF. Include a brief description with your video and include the hashtag #CFCINFERTILITYAWARENESS
  2. Fill out the form on Facebook and add your video!
  3. Share with your friends and loved ones to get votes!

I know this contest may make some people feel vulnerable as you are putting yourself and your story out there on social media, but I do think it is a great way to bring awareness and put a face to IVF in Canada.

Let me know if you enter so…

View original post 11 more words

Cent Cinquante Neuf

All-day pregnancy sickness has kicked me in the ass this week. I’m basically doing the bare minimum in terms of daily tasks (feed self, feed dogs, bathroom tasks), and then trying to sleep away the nausea in between. When I am awake, I feel like I’ve got the worst hangover of my life- nausea, headache, flu-like symptoms. My food aversions are terrible too- all foods are grossing me out. I had a bottle of Diclectin (Diclegis) leftover from last pregnancy, and finally decided that it was time to take it. I started it last night, and so far, it hasn’t kicked in yet (heard it can take several days to work) and makes me feel super groggy. I’ve never responded well to Unisom or Benedryl as a sleep aid- it keeps me drowsy but unable to sleep, contrary to what many other people experience (Diclectin as a wonderful sleep aid). 

This morning I dry heaved several times because I didn’t get my oatmeal in my tummy fast enough. However, I was able to finish an entire lunch and had a snack this afternoon. That’s progress!

So today was my viability ultrasound. 

And I have good news….

We have a heartbeat!

Dumplin’ is measuring 6 weeks 6 days (a little short of the 7 weeks 3 days that is based on my IVF dates), and has a heartbeat of 159!

There was also another empty sac measuring 0.6cmx0.4cmx0.3cm that could either be a subchorionic hemorrhage or a second gestational sac. Judging by the shape of it (sphere-like vs. crescent-like), RIP Dumplin’s Vanishing Twin.

So I’m not sure if we’ve graduated from the fertility clinic, but given the congratulations!, random loot bag they gave me, plus the requisition for my OB or midwife to sign off on (for me to do a 12 week screening ultrasound there), I’m guessing we did!



Loot bag (with a post-it note that says ” For OB patients only”)

What was inside the loot bag.

So yeah! They want me to start tapering off my prednisone in two weeks, but after consulting with some other RPL friends as well as investigating other protocols for NK cytokine activity, I’ve decided to go rogue and start tapering at 15 weeks instead. 

The progesterones and Fragmin they want me to stop abruptly at 12 weeks.

The aspirin I continue until 32 weeks. 

The synthroid I will continue as per my endocrinologist’s recommendations.

This week I will have my last intralipid infusion as well.

We are very happy to have viability. Given our losses, it’s difficult to be as bright-eyed and bushy tailed about it, as we know anything can happen. But we are taking it day by day, and are grateful that this little soul chose us.

And of course, we celebrated with some awesome authentic Chinese food for lunch! 



Tomorrow, we meet with our midwives for the first time! 

Thank you everyone for keeping us in your thoughts. Please continue to, as the next five weeks will be difficult as well. 


7 Weeks

Hi folks, I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting as much lately, but I have been feeling like garbage. This week has been a real shitshow in terms of nutrition, thanks to the pregnancy sickness that started a couple of days before six weeks. It started off as random food aversions, and then more aversions and bouts of dry heaving started, and now I am basically grossed out by all food. It’s worse when I prepare food, so in order to survive, I’ve been dining and grabbing take out a lot more than usual. 

I’m not as exhausted in the afternoons now, which is nice, and I haven’t been napping all week. I do have a mild headache in the afternoon and evenings, which when combined with the nausea, makes me feel super hungover (without the fun night before). 

I am eating though, even if it is a battle, and I’m trying to include as many healthy items (protein and veggies) as I can to offset the bad things that I seem to enjoy right now, like popsicles, lollipops, and juice (sugary things that I normally never eat). 

I turned 33 this week, and celebrations were very chill, as I wasn’t feeling very well with the UTI symptoms (that didn’t end up being a UTI). My in-laws drove down to take DW and I for lunch for our birthdays. We went to a very nice Italian restaurant that does gluten-free substitutions for their pastas and pizzas. I had my favourite pizza there, with prosciutto di parma, figs, arugula, mascarpone and grano padano cheese, and a drizzle of honey. 



(Photo from Trip Advisor- my pizza looked almost exactly the same as this)

The pizza was delicious, but I struggled  with nausea during the car ride to the restaurant, as well as towards the end of our lunch, because I devoured the entire pizza (in comparison, DW only ate half of her pizza). When we got back to our house, my MIL surprised me with homemade gluten-free brownies, which were delicious. I felt bad because I didn’t feel much like eating again after our car ride, but I froze them so that I can enjoy them once my appetite returns. I thought it was super sweet of her though. 

The weather has warmed up a bit here, which has been nice for my mood, but terrible for keeping the dogs clean. DW has started some plants from seed, and they are now doing very well under the grow-lights. We’ve got leeks, green onions, eggplant, peppers, and lettuce going right now. Other plants will be started in a couple of weeks. Mid-May, we start considering putting them in the ground. 

Other than that, not much is new. I am so grateful that the bleeding stopped and has not returned. I sometimes feel a fluttering near my left ovary area. I suspect that the little Dumplin’ may have implanted on the left. It has almost been two weeks since my last ultrasound (5w3d) where the tech saw the gestational sac and yolk sac, and I’m anxious as hell to see a heartbeat on Monday (7w3d). This has been the longest two-week-wait yet. I feel like I have been perceiving this time as an extension of my original two-week-wait, because of our previous loss which happened at around 7-8 weeks (but the embryo stopped developing a week earlier than that). I haven’t allowed myself to celebrate this pregnancy yet because my body has shown that it can be fooled into continuing to carry a pregnancy that has already stopped. That’s why this next ultrasound is so important to us. 

However, I do appreciate the support from all of you, and your happiness for me is helping me to believe that this will work out. In particular, I received this lovely card in the mail from Alicia at Ladyloveandbabydust! 



It actually arrived on my birthday, but I was thrilled that it was to celebrate my BFP! I feel like this baby would be the best birthday present ever. 

In other news, after finding out that the midwifery practice in our region was fully booked, I went out on a limb and contacted 4 neighbouring midwifery clinics. All of the clinics explicitly say on their websites that they will not service residents outside of their catchment areas, but I sent in applications anyway. One by one, I heard back from each clinic, them reiterating that they could not accept me because I lived outside of their catchment area. Keep in mind, that for two of these clinics, I am outside by only one major street. Then, two days ago, I heard back from the last midwifery clinic, which is located the furthest distance away (technically two cities away), accepting me for an appointment next week! There are two hospitals near us, and they have privileges at the one a little further away. This hospital is the same one that my endocrinologist and RE are affiliated with, and the same one that I had my D&C at. Anyways, I’m so excited to meet our midwives on Tuesday! Last week I asked my family doctor whether she thought I should go with a midwife or an OB, and she said that a midwife would align more with my personality and needs. She said of course, that’s if everything goes well and this is deemed a low-risk pregnancy at the time I’m discharged from the fertility clinic.

I can’t wait until Monday, when hopefully we get to see the little Dumplin’s heartbeat. I hope she is thriving as expected, and that me and her Maman can finally stop holding our breaths. 

In the meantime, little Dumplin’s furry sisters are on guard.