Dumplin’: 30 Weeks Pregnant

  (The origami mobile we made for Dumplin’s room.)

Just a quickie as I wait for our gluten-free oatmeal chocolate chip / raisin cookies to cool….

We’ve made it to 30 weeks pregnant, Dumplin’! 10 or so more weeks until we meet you in real life!

This week’s bump:


Also, today’s our 5 year wedding anniversary. Embarrassingly, I had no idea what day it was until I hopped on Facebook at 3pm. Interestingly, today was also the day that I went into my school board’s HR department to officially change my last name (to DW’s) in their system. It’s bittersweet for me, as all traces of my maiden last name are disappearing…. In class, I’ll be known as Dr. M, instead of the Dr. H that I’m so used to. So whether or not I subconsciously knew it, I officially changed my last name in the most impactful way (my livelihood) on our actual anniversary. Interesting how things work out.

Anyways, we were both completely oblivious to today’s date, and spent the day running errands, and made lunch and dinner out of a leftover Costco rotisserie chicken. I also had a pregnancy meltdown in the express check out at Walmart due to being hangry. Poor DW also slammed the car door closed on her right index finger, and despite poking a smoking needle through her nail, is still in excruciating throbbing pain. Hence the cookies- to make her feel better. Oh- and I just cracked and swallowed about 1/4 of my back molar! Wtf?

As for pregnancy, things are pretty much the same as last week:

– I am having problems emptying my bladder due to Dumplin’s position.

– I am feeling Braxton-Hicks when walking the dogs, crouching, and getting up off the toilet seat.

– My appetite is less than it was in second trimester. In fact, I’ve unintentionally lost 2 pounds over the past 2 weeks. I’m also getting more nauseous than before, despite being on the Diclectin still. It’s like the first trimester all over again… Bring on the pancakes!

– I’m exhausted after a couple hours of errands. Like passed out on the couch in minutes exhausted! 

Anyways, we’re heading to the cottage again tomorrow for one last hurrah before school starts again. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

12DP5DT- Mochi, Did You Make a Friend?

Just to recap, on Monday (10DP5DT), DW’s HCG level was 354.68. Today, at 12DP5DT we’re hoping for some good doubling, you know, something around 700-something. 

So yeah….
I’ll get right to it folks…..

Today’s HCG is 1042!

Now, remember we intentionally transferred a single blastocyst? Lol.

So lately, we’ve been singing the following lyrics, 

Mochi are you in there? Mochi did you make a friend? We transferred only one of you…. But somehow now there might be two…. Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh, Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh….

– to the tune of Bob Marley’s “Buffalo Soldier”

Next step: 6 week ultrasound in two weeks.

Thanks for all of the love you guys! 

Mochi, Are You In There? 10DP5DT

Hells ya, you are!

Today’s beta: 354.68!

 We just got the call minutes ago, and I thought I’d share the good news ASAP since y’all have been such good cheerleaders!

DW’s beta HCG levels during previous transfers have been super low- like 30-ish, so an HCG this high definitely means that something is different this time! 

I’m so glad that we have her on a more aggressive protocol. 

We are super excited, but still protecting ourselves emotionally. She has a repeat beta on Wednesday, so keep them fingers and toes (and paws) crossed for us! 

Mochi: 8DP5DT

Symptoms this past week:

DW hasn’t really had any cramping like she did after her previous two embryo transfers. She also hasn’t had the nausea or “sick feeling” she has had previously either. She has noticed however, a weird metallic taste in her mouth, that doesn’t go away with brushing her teeth or drinking water. 

We’ve been on pins and needles for the last day or so because DW started having some spotting on our last day at the cottage (6DP5DT). The pink/brown spotting continued (7DP5DT) and increased a bit in volume, so we were worried that it might not be just implantation bleeding. 

Last night, we both cried, as the bleeding became more red, as her two miscarriages started off with spotting that progressed to full-on bleeding despite being on large doses of Endometrin and prometrium. I’ve always found this weird because my body seems to respond differently. For me, the Endometrin and Prometrium have always staved off any uterine shedding until 3 days of withdrawal. Of course, that was with my 4IUI and freezer-burnt embryo transfer BFN’s. But every single time, with every one of her BFP’s, she’s had this kind of bleeding. Having experienced the terror of a subchorionic hematoma, I can sympathize with her feelings of dread and terror going to the bathroom for a pee or a poop. 

Anyways, finally, she testing this morning: 

We are cautiously optimistic since she has always gotten a BFP after a transfer. We just need her body to welcome and nourish little Mochi so that he/she will stick around. Hopefully, the plethora of meds that we’ve got her on makes the difference!

Beta on Monday and second beta on Wednesday!!!
Thanks for your continued love and prayers!

29 Weeks Pregnant

Thank you for all of your supportive comments last week. Sorry for the delay in responding, we don’t really get cell signal at the cottage. It’s kind of an exercise in disconnecting, which is good for us, but also is challenging because I love reading all of your posts and comments. 

We’re home from the cottage now, which was a bit less relaxing than we had hoped for. We’re having the deck replaced this summer, and the construction guys picked our week to work everyday, starting at 7am. I’m not an early riser, so it was particularly painful being woken up by drilling, sawing, and hammering. The workers worked all day, so we didn’t get a break from the noise until about 4pm each day. Not quite the peaceful getaway we were hoping for, but look how great the deck looks now:

 In progress:

  Almost done:

 We spent some time on the dock and in the lake, though the temperatures were a bit lower this week. 

We also had a fire in the evening one night, and played a few rounds of Monopoly Deal.  
Pregnancy-wise, things are starting to get really uncomfortable:

– I can’t seem to find a comfortable way to sit anywhere

– I’m getting up 6-8 times a night to pee, I think because Dumplin’s cozying up to my bladder so I can’t fully empty it in any one go

– My sleep sucks because I’m constantly needing to flip sides that I’m lying on (due to sore hips), and rolling over is very difficult. I get tangled up in the Snoogle, so I’m using an old flattened body pillow, which seems to help more right now

– Dumplin’, our sweet boy, is preferentially active at night. He’s giving knees and elbows, having weird super fast (startle reflex?) tap dances, and practicing his strong kicks throughout the night. Lord help us if this is indicative of what his sleep cycles will be like outside of the womb!

– I’m having weird moments of strong nausea again (even though I’m on Diclectin still!), and overall, my caloric intake has reduced because I am not as into food these days

– my body has broken out in pimples, just like during late in my first trimester- on my face, on my back… Seriously deep cystic acne too. *TMI warnjng* One finally came to a head last night, and my dermatologist (aka DW) attempted to “drain” it. The damn thing shot pus past the medicine cabinet and over her shoulder, past the door, and onto the wall. The second round of draining (yes, this was a two-for-one-special), a large noodle-like pus nugget shot up in a perfect parabolic arc and landed higher up on my back. Seriously, it looked like a broken piece of dry ramen noodle. Domo arigato Mister Dumplin’ for the extra androgens. 

– I haven’t been exercising this week (because we’ve been at the cottage), but when I take walks with the dogs, I’m getting a weird stabbing pain through my cervix. My guess is that our little man’s head is grinding up against it? Anyone else have cervix pain like this too? What was it from? I’m planning to hit the weights again tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes. 

I did Dumplin’ a solid today, and got my TDAP vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis). I know that the U.S. is seriously pushing it to combat rising rates of infant mortality due to Whooping Cough, but the practice of immunizing pregnant women during 3rd trimester is not common here in Canada. In any case, my family doctor was willing to administer it. Now my arm hurts, which won’t bode well for the gym tomorrow lol.

Despite my complaining, I’m still loving pregnancy and this little boy growing inside of me. I’ve speed-read through a couple of birth and labour books that I borrowed from the the library, and am forming an idea of what I want our birth plan to be. I’m also starting a  Hypnobirthing book generously gifted to me by a wonderful fellow blogger

As for DW, we haven’t POASed yet, but plan to soon. Fingers and toes and dog paws crossed that we get good news! Her beta is on Monday. Stay tuned!

Embryo Transfer #6: Welcome Home Mochi

Two days ago, on a beautiful Friday morning, DW and I headed to the fertility clinic for her single blastocyst transfer. She’s been on a long list of meds for this cycle, in the hopes that it will combat whatever has been causing her recurrent miscarriages, and maximize little Mochi’s chances of a successful implantation and growth:

Since day 15 of her cycle, she’s been on: 

– 4mg Estrace 

– 3 x 100mg Endometrin (suppositories), 300mg Prometrium (orally)

– 20 mg prednisone

– 5000IU Fragmin injections

– 25 mcg + 6.25 mcg Synthroid

– 1800 mg Omega 3 Fish Oils (3:2 of EPA:DHA)

– 400IU vitamin E

– 300 mg vitamin B6

– 4000IU vitamin D

– 100mg zinc

– Pregvit Folic 5 multivitamin

The clinic was running really late that day, as they seemed to have the RE (who is an OB) booked with OB-GYN patients in addition to his regular fertility patients. DW’s transfer didn’t happen until about 1.5 hours after she was scheduled. But as usual, the transfer went smoothly, with no pain or discomfort at all (she has a very friendly cervix, as opposed to my angry s-shaped cervix). 

 Little Mochi in DW’s uterus:  
Now, in case you’re not familiar with the deliciousness that are Mochi, they are a Japanese dessert made of an outer sweet glutinous rice layer, and then usually a flavoured filling. DW loves Mochi, particularly the Taro flavour.

Many flavours of Mochi:   
(Above image from:  http://blog.wagashi-net.de/category/wagashi-sweets/mochi-wagashi/)

After our transfer, we headed to one of our favourite Korean restaurants for lunch. For the past couple of days, we’ve been chilling at home, trying to get DW not to do chores or yard work. It’s hard for her, since she’s such a busy body! 

Tonight, we’re heading to the cottage for a week of lakeside relaxation. See ya when we get back on Friday! 

Fingers, toes, and your dog’s pads crossed for good news in a week! Please keep us and Little Mochi in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you friends!

28 Weeks Pregnant

Here’s this week’s bump picture:  

And I made this little collage of my bump progression for your viewing pleasure:

My belly seems to be rounding out a lot this week- my belly button is starting to thin and flatten out, and I suspect that it will turn into an outie at some point, which will be really weird for me.

I finally weighed myself today, and over the course of 3.5 weeks, I have gained 7lbs. So that’s a steady 2lbs per week now, which is interesting because my second trimester gain was about 1lb per week. My total weight gain so far is 35lbs, and I’ve still got at least 12 weeks to go! Yikes!

Emotionally, I’m doing great- still very happy. In fact, I’ve been happier pregnant than non-pregnant. I feel like I’m the version of myself that I should be, if that makes any sense. I’ve been busy and motivated to get things done, as there are only a few weeks left before I head back to work. We’ve scratched the idea of transforming Dumplin’s closet into the ultimate storage heaven, and just moved a dresser from the cottage into the closet and put up some extra shelves above it. We’ve been working on some DIY projects for Dumplin’. One is a lighting system that I kinda dreamed up. We have an old deer antler that a hunting friend of my in-laws gave to them to give to us. I want to mount it to the wall and hang an Edison bulb off of it instead of a sconce or a lamp beside the glider. We bought some of the pieces that we need, and are in the process of experimenting with metallic spray paint etc. I will post a picture of it when we’re done. This is mostly a project that I’ve got DW working on, since she’s handy with drills and stuff.

We also got new shutters installed:

I’ve also been trying to tidy up my incomplete sewing projects. I’ve made two sets of 24 cloth wipes to fit the wipes warmer, sewn Velcro laundry tabs onto the last couple of newborn fitted cloth diapers, and made a couple of pacifier clips with fabric scraps:

Dumplin’s stash of 33 newborn fitted cloth diapers, 7 covers, and 41 disposables (some made by me, some made by Shawni, and some generously gifted from Solomama).

 Pacifier clips made by moi.

I’ve also been chipping away at one of two physics courses that I’ll be teaching in September. Gaah. Homework. But I need to get it done so that things are streamlined (read: less stressful) for when I am back at work and extremely exhausted and uncomfortable. 

Physically, I am still going to the gym every other day and enjoying it. I’ve had to modify some of the exercises due to my pelvic pain (e.g. No more lunges!) and it feels good. I am noticing that I’m sore for a little longer than before though, so I’m not doing any back-to-back workouts like I was in second trimester. I’m not as antsy on rest days as I used to be. I’m loving them. 

My bump is getting more and more in the way. Putting on underpants is a particularly humbling daily task, and DW gets a kick out of having to help me with it. The same with socks and shoes. Any sandals/shoes that I can slip on are my favourite right now. The weather hasn’t been as hot this week, so my feet haven’t been as swollen, thank goodness!

Dumplin’s kicking lots, all high on my right side, sometimes in my ribs. He also does jazz hands on my bottom left side too. He seems to love it when I’m just getting into a meal, and gets really active at bedtime. One of my favourite things is that DW is reading to him/us every night. Right now we’re making our way through the Beatrix Potter books that were DW’s when she was a baby. They are surprisingly violent at times- like Squirrel Nutkin, for example.  

I’m still drinking copious amounts of lactose-free milk. Pretty much one bag a day is what consumption is at. As a non-cow milk drinker my entire life (including childhood), this is super bizarre. I’m also into tacos this week, but DW pointed out that it might be for the cheese and sour cream that I’m slathering on.   

I noticed some nausea creeping back in a few days earlier this week, despite the Diclectin/Diclegis that I’m still taking. It doesn’t last more than an hour or so though. 

I’m getting really excited about our baby shower, which people have finally started RSVPing to. We invited about 40 friends and family, and so far about 20 have responded YES, and about 10 have responded NO (surprisingly/unsurprisingly mostly hockey people), so we’re just waiting for 10 more people to reply. My friend who is hosting has twin boys who just got chicken pox, and she’s worried about exposing me to them even though I’ve had chicken pox already. Anyone know if reexposure poses a risk to me and Sir Dumplin’? I didn’t think so, but when there was a chicken pox outbreak at our school two years ago, the school board made a special point to offer pregnant employees voluntary paid time off… So maybe?

Anyway, pregnancy has been, and continues to be amazing. Dumplin’ has made me happier than I’ve ever been! Tomorrow, another embie comes home, as DW has her transfer. Fingers crossed!

Now That’s a Big Dumplin’! And DW’s Transfer Date!

(Photo from: http://www.boozyburbs.com/2012/10/18/brand-new-mandu-factory-northvale-nj/)

Today we went downtown for our 28 week biophysical profile ultrasound at Mt. Sinai. I’m only 27 weeks 5 days, but close enough. Not everyone has this ultrasound, but after our scary NT scare at 12 weeks (thank goodness everything turned out okay), we get all sorts of fun precautionary appointments. Seriously though, we love the extra opportunities to see Dumplin’, and what he’s up to in there. The reassurance that all is good is also very nice. And like I’ve mentioned before, the peeps over at Mt. Sinai are da bomb and might be getting an Edible Arrangement from us. 

The ultrasound itself was actually really short in duration. Previous ultrasounds at 14 weeks and 18 weeks were about 45 minutes, we saw lots of stuff, and were given a pretty good commentary by the ultrasound tech. Today however, it was 8 minutes, and the guy doing it barely said two words. I guess he’s not a morning person? 

Pro Tip: Bring a hand mirror to your ultrasound appointments- so you can watch and see baby as they’re doing the scan! This is what we’ve been doing.

We got to see Dumplin’s positioning- he is already head down, right by my cervix, which is 3.4 cm right now. His face is looking at the left side of my back, and his legs are tucked near my far right ribs. Which is exactly the position that I predicted! When I feel movement, it’s usually strong kicks near my right ribs, and punches near the bottom of my left belly. Sometimes I feel both at the same time. I also rarely feel what feels like bubbles or popcorn popping near my cervix. I’m guessing that that might be hiccups?

Anyway the specialist said that at this point, there’s less space so Dumplin’ is unlikely to change position. So I’m really happy that he’s already setting himself up in a good birth position.

Functionally, he scored an 8/8 on his Biophysical tests- amniotic fluid, fetal movement, fetal tone, fetal breathing. Mommies are very happy about this!

The blood pressure in his umbilical artery is perfect, and my placental integrity is a grade 1 (best).

Size-wise, little Dumplin’ ain’t so little. His head is measuring 30 weeks, his legs are measuring 29 weeks, and overall, he’s measuring 1 week and 1 day ahead. He weighs 1260 grams = 2lbs 13oz, which puts him at the 80th percentile for his gestational age. 

I’m sorry if I’m boasting too much. We’re just so relieved that all is good with our little man. Ultrasounds have been kind of traumatic for us after all of the fertility treatments, sad miscarriages, and horrific NT scans. To have a “perfectly normal” scan is something to be celebrated!

So yeah, that’s one big Dumplin’!


In other news, DW’s started her daily regime of 27 pills (13 different drugs/vitamins) + 1 injection, and FRIDAY IS TRANSFER DAY!!! We are nervous and excited about it, and I’ve been giving her “spa” treatments everyday- massages and acupuncture on alternating days. We are begging the universe for some good vibes.

Pregnancy update to follow in a few days…