Itchy, itchy, ITCHY!

Friends, I’ve been scratching like it’s going out of style. 

The itching started last week, and has been worse in the evening and night time, with no hives or rashes really. I’ve noticed tiny leeeeetle red bumps and scales more recently though. 

  Trying to figure out what this is has been difficult, as there are a few pregnancy conditions that are associated with itching. 

At first, my midwife thought it might be cholestasis of pregnancy, which is kind of a scary thing because it is quite harmful to babies and has been associated with and increased risk of stillbirth. [Goodness, I hate that word. Makes me shudder in fear.] In this condition, the itches are associated with the hands and feet,  is worse at night, and has no noticeable rash. My doctor tested my liver enzymes, which are elevated in 60% of cases, and mine were normal. She should’ve tested for fractionated bile acids too, but somehow didn’t put it on the requisition form. So, we can’t totally rule it out, but the rash starting to form between my fingers and toes is starting to rule it out (for me anyways). 

So now I’m thinking its Prurigo of Pregnancy, which is like an eczema flare up due to fluctuating hormones. I’ve never had eczema in my life, but both my mom and sister have it, so it’s possible that it’s that. When I Google “mild eczema”, I see pictures  that vaguely resemble the little red bumps in between my fingers and toes. Luckily, this condition is not harmful to the baby, but can put me at risk of skin infections if I scratch too much. It’s also making it hard to sleep, because I’m so itchy!

Another common skin issue in pregnancy is PUPPP, but I’m sure it’s not that because PUPPP usually starts on your belly, and the spots are more like hives. 

Anyways, I’m super itchy these days, but I’m overall doing better because I’m finally off work! Which means more sleep, more gas in my tank, and more of a chance to enjoy the remainder of what will likely be my only pregnancy. 

I’m sleeping in two-to-three hour chunks: from 10pm to 1am, from 5am to 7-8am, and then from 1pm to about 2pm. It seems that Dumplin’s getting me sleep-ready for nursing. My family doc was super understanding, and said that given my already difficult relationship with sleep, it would be better to give me a couple of weeks to acclimate to what will likely be my sleep schedule when Dumplin’s here. It also removes me from the mould-infested classroom, and gives my pelvis a rest from all of the standing and stair climbing. 

I’ve been slowly getting things checked off my “To Do” list:

– wash Dumplin’s linens and clothes ✅

– organize Dumplin’s stuff ✅

– buy the rest of his necessities ✅

– pack hospital bags for me/Dumplin’/DW- in progress

– have both vehicles serviced/tuned up/ oil changed – in progress

– make gluten-free lactation cookies

DW has been feeling even more exhausted and constipated lately. She has never been a night-time pee-er, and has been finding it difficult to fall back asleep after peeing. At 10 weeks, she’s still nauseous and has taste aversions, but her food preferences are starting to welcome fruit and salads, so perhaps things are turning a corner? She’s nervous because she hasn’t seen Mochi since her six week ultrasound, but we will see him/her in about a week and a half. I’m soooooooooooooooooo excited!!

This Thursday, Dumplin’ will be 36 weeks in the womb, and I’ll do another update then 🙂

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Mochi: 9 Weeks Gestation

Since Sundays are when Mochi’s weeks turn over, I’ve decided to do Mochi updates on Sundays! As I mentioned in my last post, blogging  isn’t DW’s thing, so I’ll be updating you on her behalf.

Things have been good with Mochi. We suspect that Mochi is a strong little bugger, as he/she has been causing DW quite a bit of pregnancy sickness. There hasn’t been any barfing so far, but DW feels very nauseous and dizzy whenever she’s hungry or tired- most afternoons and evenings. She also has a gross taste in her mouth… Like she’s been sucking on a metal washer. 

Physically, DW has been super tired. She has been sleeping a solid 8 hours a night, which is a lot more than her pre-pregnancy average of 6-6.5 hours a night. Most afternoons she yearns for a nap, but we’re so busy that it never actually happens. 

She was constipated a few weeks ago, so she’s made a routine of drinking Metamucil (fibre drink) twice a day, which has been helping. 

Other symptoms: heartburn, giant sore breasts (fun to look at, but not for touching), weight gain from the fertility and RPL drugs, unquenchable cravings for pasta- all types of sauces. Liquids make her want to puke. 

Work has been super busy for her, but she has been enjoying it. DW teaches at-risk youth math and science in a specialized classroom. So her interactions with students in a class is more one-on-one, rather than “performing” at the front of a class for 30 students. This makes a difference when you’re feeling kinda shitty. 

We met her midwives two weeks ago, and 2/3 of them are pregnant and won’t be present at Mochi’s birth. She’s with a different clinic that I am, but hers are closer to our home (mine is 2 cities away). She has another appointment in two weeks, and then has her NT scan at 12 weeks. 

We are soooooo excited to see Mochi again (I’ve actually never seen Mochi except as a blastocyst). Exciting times ahead!

Sooooo Done

So today has been a total shit show. It was supposed to be an easy day for me- two of my classes had a test, which means that I should’ve been able to relax a bit during those classes. However, that is not what happened. 

First of all, my classroom is one of two rooms in the entire school that suffered a black mould infestation underneath a science bench due to repetitive water damage last year. The school board didn’t want to deal with it over the summer, and when I complained they just taped up the area and told me that the mould shouldn’t be problem as long as it stayed dry (not true, but they didn’t seem to take me seriously).

Well today, the sewage backed up again, and water gushed from under the science bench (which also happens to be my teacher desk).

Black mould rehydrated!

So I notified my department head, who notified our vice principal. The health and safety rep at our school also contacted the union because this is an outstanding health and safety issue that the school board has refused to address… And now they have a pregnant lady teaching in a black mould infested room.

Anyway, my classes have been moved to other rooms in the school for now. I went to check out the rooms and one of them they double booked, so when I went down to the office to let them know, they basically sent me on a wild goose chase, out to find myself an empty room equipped with the technology suitable for teaching physics. This is not my job- it’s the vice principal’s. 

So I spent all of my prep time, dealing with a problem that should’ve been dealt with by my vice principal. 

This is after I spent all of my lunch time giving an inappropriately placed student one-on-one help. 

So I hadn’t eaten lunch until last period, walked- no, waddled- about a million routes through the school with my swollen feet and pelvic pain, and had to move my entire classroom’s contents onto a cart, which is so heavy that I can’t push it myself but somehow need to now- through a busy hallway full of teenagers.

Oh, and I had to poop during all of this, but didn’t have time to. The stress scared my poop back in. 

Oh, and there’s a confirmed case of chicken pox in my school…. And while I seem to have immunity to chicken pox, I could still get shingles. 

Due to the day’s shenanigans, I didn’t get any of my own work done, and didn’t leave the school until 3.5 hours after it closed. I was leaving as the custodians left! 

So on my way home, I called my family doctor, and made an appointment for the end of next week, to discuss going on maternity leave a few weeks early. 

Sorry for the rant. It’s just been a really rough day. TGIF!

Dumplin’: 34 Weeks Gestation

Hola friends! Geeze, it’s been two weeks since my last post. Lots to update you on, but not a lot of time to do it. I’ve been back at work for two weeks now, and I’m loving it. The kids are so polite and well mannered. One even noticed that I had finished my bottle of water and offered to get me another from downstairs in the main office! Sweet teenagers (said no one!), they really are. The school administration was also very kind to me and scheduled all of my classes in the same classroom, so I don’t have far to travel between classes, which is nice. Though, I’m in the opposite wing from the office, so I do have to walk a lot and climb stairs at least four times a day. By about noon, my feet are super swollen and I’m waddling like a duck because my pelvis is so strained. At my midwife appointment on Tuesday, the midwife felt that Dumplin’s head had engaged (dropped lower into my pelvis). I guess that explains the discomfort with walking and sitting! She also told me to start considering going on leave soon, and with each week’s sleep getting worse and discomfort increasing, I’m thinking I will only be able to stick it out for another two weeks or so. I’m so tired that I’m starting to get sleepy driving, which is a huge problem too. 

Here’s this week’s bump picture:

    

Oh, and my belly button is now an outie!

  This past weekend, a wonderful friend hosted our baby shower at her parents’ farm house in the country. It was beautifully decorated, there were fun “game” stations around the room, a photo booth, and she served the yummiest spread of pulled pork sammys, salads, cake, candy, cupcakes, and punch. 

 
  
 We mingled for three hours with our thirty or so guests, and then opened gifts. People were incredibly thoughtful and generous, and we were both in tears at the end when we were giving our thank you speeches. We were so touched by their presence in celebrating Dumplin’ with us.
  Handmade gifts (below):

 We also finished another creative project for Dumplin’s nursery: an Edison bulb antler sconce, which hangs above the glider in our nursing/reading corner. It is so beautiful, and the photo really doesn’t do it justice.

   

 This weekend we will be busy with odds and ends- school work, organizing and washing Dumplin’s new clothes, preparing a hospital bag, and writing thank you cards. 

  

Dumplin’: 32 Weeks, and Mochi: 6 Weeks 3 Days

Holy smokes friends, I haven’t posted in ages. I’m sorry. Life got really busy and crazy and is gonna continue that way until Dumplin’s here, and then it’ll get busier and crazier.

I’m absolutely wiped from my day today. We’re back at work officially tomorrow, but I’ve been in to do some prep and helped with registering our students today. I spent all day on my feet, and lemme tell ya, I don’t think I’m gonna be able to keep this up very long. I do multiple flights of stairs each day, and just walking around from wing to wing has my feet screaming and swelling. I felt lots of practice contractions while standing for hours, and Dumplin’s kicks are more like elbow and knee scrapes because he’s running out of space in there. 

Speaking of which, I’m feeling awfully huge these days. Someone asked me at work if I was carrying twins! Others think I must be due soon. My dad told me that I looked much farther along than I am, and told me not to eat so much. 

My feet are super swollen and achy, my crotch feels like it’s been breaking in a new bicycle seat, and I’m waddling because my pelvis feels like it’s gonna split open. My chiropractor friend/colleague is coming over tonight to fix me up.

Sleep has sucked particularly badly too- somehow, I’m one of the minority of pregnant women who gets true third trimester insomnia. Like- I can’t seem to buy a good night’s sleep. I’ve tried everything- meditations, hypnosis, visualizations, no screen time, having some magnesium, good sleep hygiene…. And nothing. Now, this insomnia is different than my usual anxiety insomnia. This current insomnia allowed me to fall asleep, but the problem is that I can’t seem to maintain a deep sleep. My sleep feels shallow and like I’m fully aware of everything going on around me. It’s not restorative. It’s not quite deep enough. I’m getting up and out of bed well before my alarm, because I’m just not sleeping. And as a result, I’m super friggin’ wiped during the day, and need a nap at around 2:30-3pm, because I truly cannot carry on with my days like this. I am so so sooooo tired. And it’s been like this since 31 weeks.

In contrast, DW has been sleeping like a log everyday. She normally never sleeps in past 7:30am, but has been needing wake up calls at 9:30-10am because the first trimester exhaustion has her storing sleep. She has also been napping, so at around 2:30pm-3pm the house is vulnerable to intruders. We both stare at each other, eyes bloodshot and droopy, and wonder, “How the fuck are we gonna survive going back to work at the end of this week?”. Honestly!

In big news, DW had her 6w3d ultrasound today, and Mochi is definitely in there, with a crown rump length of 51mm, and a flickering HR of 121 bpm! And it’s just one Mochi. An HCG-producing  Mochi that is making DW sick already. Her pregnancy sickness is pretty bad- it keeps her in bed throughout the afternoon. We’ve gone to Costco and bought a huge box of Goldfish crackers for her to stash in the car and at work. I also made some quick oatmeal-based muffins, which are a lot healthier than conventional muffins, and provide her with a quick breakfast on school days. 

[Omg. I’ve fallen asleep twice since trying to write this post. So tired.]

I apologize if I haven’t been commenting as much lately. I’m seriously drained and can barely handle responding to text messages. I am trying to keep up with all of your posts though, whether or not I’m commenting. 

I will however, try to post at least every other week, to update you on how Dumplin’ and Mochi are doing. 

Now I’m gonna leave you with some fun pictures:

 Definitely bigger than 2 weeks ago: 
Fun at the cottage last week: