Mochi is Here!

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Mochi Is Coming

Mochi’s due date was last Sunday. She was still fully closed and Mochi had not yet dropped.

Apparently dilating my wife’s cervix is like trying to break into Fort Knox. She went into the hospital for her first dilating gel on Tuesday night, and they had her return to the hospital on Wednesday morning, but then turned her away because they didn’t have any beds available. Wednesday afternoon they called her in and inserted another gel. At 4pm, I went to pick her up from the hospital, and we went though the Harvey’s drive through and then sat in Starbucks to enjoy some Frappacinos. She joked around about the Starbucks employees giving her a hard time about eating a Harvey’s burger in their establishment, and about how she’d threaten her water breaking all over their floor…. Walking back to the car, she had a strong contraction, and then while she breathed through another contraction seated in the car she felt a big guuuuuussssshh! We checked her pants and they were wet, despite the giant pad she was wearing. On her next contraction, she felt another guuuussssh! 

Clearly, her water had spontaneously broken. 

I downloaded a contraction-timing app, and we started timing them. They became more regular, and were lasting about 45 seconds on average. I drove home and she took a hot shower, changed into some clean dry clothes, and I gathered some last minute items and packed our pre-made meals.

 At home, DW sat on the toilet and experienced another big guuuussssh, complete with bloody mucus. She must’ve lost her mucus plug. 

Her contractions were consistently 2 minutes apart and lasting 50 seconds, so we thought that we should head back to the hospital. 

At the hospital, and she was admitted at 6pm. They hooked her up to an IV of antibiotics because she’s GBS+, and then we didn’t see a doctor until 2am, at which point she was 1cm dilated.

Late night hospital selfie

To recap:

Tuesday 8pm: cervix closed, gel inserted afterwards

Wednesday 1:30pm: cervix closed, second gel inserted

Wednesday 4pm: water broke

Thursday 2am: cervix 1cm dilated

Now, I was wiped from the weeks of sleep deprivation, and not a lot was going on, so I went home to nurse Dumplin’ and had a cat nap. It was nice getting to snuggle my boy and even take a little nap with him. I missed him so much. I felt so torn between being at the hospital with my wife, and home with Dumplin’. As it turns out, he had been doing really well with my MIL and FIL. He went down nicely for naps and for bedtime, and took milk from his sippy cups and MAM bottle. He also took some tablespoons of puréed peas and pears. They went out on walks, played lots, read books… Overall, I’ve been relieved with how well Dumplin’ is doing being taken care of by people other than us. 

Missing my boy.

So here we are on Thursday, now on a pitocin drip and an epidural. At 11am her cervix was 5cm dilated, and we’re just waiting for it to keep dilating. So much waiting…. 

DW’s hooked up to a catheter draining her bladder, and the bag is sparse but contains dark, bloody urine. They think that Mochi’s head is finally starting to come down, but that it’s ginormous (like Dumplin’s was), and stressing her bladder, hence the blood and low volume of urine passing through. What is with our babies and injuring our urinary tracts!?!!


Update

So it’s 3pm, and DW is fully dilated, but Mochi’s head has still not descended beyond a station -2. 

It’s been called- we’re waiting for an operating room for a caesarian-section.

Stay tuned.

Today is Mochi’s Due Date

Just a quickie to acknowledge that today is Mochi’s due date. Still no signs of labour or anything, and we are waiting to hear from the hospital about what time they will be inserting a cervical dilation gel on Tuesday evening. The plan is gel on Tuesday night, home for the night, then cervical check on Wednesday morning. Rinse and repeat until DW’s cervix is favourably dilated and effaced for a pitocin drip. 

Also- We bought a minivan. The paperwork goes through tomorrow, and hopefully we can pick up our new wheels on Tuesday before the hospital. I’m a bit sad to say goodbye to the Subaru, but I’m happy to have more space and more comfortable seating! 

I think DW is more at peace now, knowing that Mochi will be in our arms soon. Her arms and feet just can’t take it any longer. 

Last night I started the Remeron (the sleep med that is supposed to cause weight gain), out of desperation. It made me drowsy within an hour, but I had interrupted sleep and woke up really drowsy. I also woke up feeling like I’d been run over by a truck- flu-like symptoms and a fever. My whole body aches, sore throat, headaches, and my breasts have been sore. I’m pretty sure it’s mastitis, and have been trying to get Dumplin’ to nurse more frequently to dislodge the clog or infection, but he is so distracted and not interested in nursing much these days. I’ve taken Tylenol all day, and am taking 4800mg of soy lecithin, hoping that I wake up tomorrow feeling much better. I guess the sleep deprivation and emotional stress finally took its toll on my health. I feel like ass, and need to be well before Mochi comes. Right now I can’t even lift Dumplin’ or hold him against my body without pain. And sleep…. We all need more sleep.

An All-Around Update

Anxiety:

It’s been 4 weeks since I’ve had a normal sleep. Sleep is still nowhere to be found in the Mama et Maman household. After 14 days of Cipralex/Lexapro, I was still sleepless and my anxiety was over the roof. My family doctor recommended that I stop the medication and has prescribed another medication- Remeron, which is often used for anxiety in people with eating disorders because it causes a significant increase in appetite and in fat storage. I’ve read that even in the short-term, and at low doses, people can gain upwards of 10-30lbs in a month. Obviously, this freaks me out. It freaks me out enough that I am considering not taking it even though the prescription has been filled. 

I’m currently dealing with the withdrawal symptoms of coming off the Cipralex cold turkey (as recommended by my doc). Headaches, heart palpitations, feelings of dread/anxiousness, insomnia, and a little bit of depression. I took an Ativan three nights ago and had a great sleep, but the last two nights, I’ve gone unmedicated at night and sleep is not happening. To make matters worse, my in-laws are over right now (which is normally fine) and there was a big fight last night. But more on that later…

Mochi:

Mochi’s due date is this Sunday (in two days!), and at yesterday’s midwife appointment, DW’s cervix is soft, but still closed. Mochi’s head also seems to alternate from being engaged to floating up near DW’s round ligament, so baby doesn’t seem to want to come out to play anytime soon. DW is super uncomfortable- with feet so swollen that they no longer fit into Crocs, and hands that are painful and feel like they are on fire all the time from the nerve impingement. She’s so uncomfortable lying down that she’s only able to sleep for about 3 hours at night, then spends the rest of the night with her hands hanging while seated watching British crime dramas on Netflix. She’s so ready to be done, so that unfavourable cervical status was heartbreaking for her. 

Yesterday, the midwives called us to discuss scheduling an induction, since DW is 40 years old, and unlikely to go into spontaneous labour anytime soon since her cervix is still closed and baby hasn’t dropped yet. They discussed the significantly increased risk of stillbirth after 42 weeks (2/1000), and explained how induction would be done after prostaglandin gels to soften her cervix. Since DW is so uncomfortable, we are thinking of getting the ball rolling sometime early next week…. So Mochi might be on this side of the womb before May, which is exciting and terrifying both at the same time.

We have a “to do” list of things we need to accomplish before Mochi arrives though, one of which is minivan shopping. We know we want a Dodge Caravan with 4 captain chairs, stow and go, and automatic rolling middle windows. We also intend to trade in our Subaru Impreza, since it is no use to us if we can’t fit the babies and the dogs both at the same time for drives to the cottage or to the conservation park. Right now we’re taking two cars whenever we need to have Dumplin’ and the dogs in tow. Also, I have two old disc herniations in my low back, so bending over to do up the kids in their car seats in the low Subaru is aggravating. Basically, it’s time to become a minivan family.

Dumplin’:

   
 This boy is my everything. He makes even the most sleepless nights bright in the morning. He is so smiley, happy, funny, and adorable right now. Our boy turned 6 months this week and I feel like this past month has been super sweet so far, aside from a weird week where he was super fussy and going through what I suspect was the beginning of leap5. He is very active, always rolling or wanting to Jolly Jump, so much that he’s actually lost weight this past month! He’s back down to 19lbs 12oz at last check. He sleeps happily in his own crib from 7pm-7am, with 2 or 3 nursings at night. He plays in his crib in the morning until we get him at 8am. We just started transitioning him from the swing to his crib for naps, and he still fusses a little bit, but will eventually fall asleep for a short 40 minute nap a few times a day. He loves watching and petting his dogs and front-facing in the Ergo360 during walks. He’s extra cuddly these days, which we love. We have started giving him “tastings” of food- chicken bone broth (loves!) avocado (loves!), peanut butter (loves!), butternut squash (unsure?), but don’t plan on really starting solids for real until Mochi has arrived and settled in a bit. It all just seems like a huge undertaking, and I’m a bit scared of what his poops are going to be like. He’s also super distracted these days (must be all the learning), so his intake of breastmilk has dramatically decreased, so I don’t want to exacerbate that either. Anyone delay feeding solids? Pros/cons?

The In-Laws:

I don’t even know where to start with this. Basically, my niece might have mono and her parents dropped her off at my MIL and FIL’s for a couple of days because she couldn’t go to school, and the next day my MIL and FIL at our house for a planned visit with Dumplin’. Being concerned parents, DW and I jokingly (but not really) said just “don’t be kissing him”, which seemed to set my MIL off on the meanest drunken rant I’ve ever witnessed from her. She was downright nasty, saying things like “well it’s not like your parents come and help” (my parents live across the country), and “how [we’re] such know-it-alls” regarding our concerns for Dumplin’s health, how “[they’ve] often complained about how taxing the drive is, and how [they’ve] commented on how [they] can’t keep doing the drive” as a sort of threat to say that they won’t be coming over to visit Dumplin’ anymore, how we “make it difficult for her to be with the baby”, how we are “hypocrites because he goes out into public and into daycare” so he’s exposed to worse than the potential mono that she’s exposing him to, and so much more. She also verbally attacked my FIL because he was trying to talk some sense into her (she was truly being irrational), and for the first time ever, picked on me. I was sitting quietly as she was ranting away, just listening to her, and she singled me out with personal insults for no reason. Her intentions were simply to be mean, and it took everything in both DW and I to respond kindly and with kid gloves because her mother twists the truth and has a tendency to go all emotionally unstable when criticized. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very appreciative of their efforts at coming for visits, and recognize that it is a 2 hour drive, but everytime they come over, she gets piss drunk and starts fights with DW. Last night my MIL and FIL polished off 2.5 bottles of wine and at least one beer in 4 hours. And the damage that her words have cannot be erased. Both DW and I spent the night talking through her insults, taking turns crying because we were so hurt by the mean things that she said. Neither of us slept, and both of us considered alternate childcare plans for Dumplin’ while DW is in labour at the hospital, since my MIL threatened to pull her support for us. It all made me really sad. Sad because the reality is that we really have no one. None of our friends have kids or the ones that do already have their hands full. We don’t have a village. We are alone. I even thought about possibly paying my massage therapist who is a doula to come over and stay with Dumplin’ when we have to go to the hospital. Or even one of the daycare workers at the gym because they know him. It all makes me want to cry. Anyways…. Today is a new day, and I just hope it’s better, but I still feel really wounded by the harsh things that she said to us, and in particular that I was singled out and picked on.

So yeah, lots of drama going on here. Just in time for Mochi’s induction. Ugh. 

Right now I need some reassurance- people that don’t have help with their kids- how do you manage? 

Treating Anxiety: Days 3, 4, and 5 of Lexapro/Cipralex

The past three days have been the worst so far. The medication has made it impossible for me to fall asleep at night, even though I’m so tired. Night 3, I didn’t sleep a wink. By 5am, I was a desperate wreck and finally took 0.5mg of Ativan (lorazepam) to help sedate me. It took a while to kick in. I laid it bed until 8am when I heard Dumplin’ singing, and then I went to join him and DW as they played in the living room. By about 10am, I felt groggy, so I laid down again and fell asleep finally. I didn’t wake up until 1pm, when we had to get going to a friend’s going away party downtown. 

Night 4, I decided to take the Ativan in the evening with my Cipralex so that I had a chance at sleep. It worked, and I slept okay, but not deep enough to not notice Dumplin’ fussing for his regular 3 nighttime feedings. But, unlike all other nights, I returned to bed and was able to fall back asleep fairly quickly. The next afternoon, exhausted, and feeling really flat, I decided to bring Dumplin’ into our bed for a nap. It was the best nap we’d had in a long time. It was the perfect combination of both of us being tired, and both of us needing each other’s comfort. I woke up from the nap before he did, which is always nice compared to being woken up by him when I’m still needing more sleep. However, that nap involved an all-you-can-nurse buffet for Dumplin’, which may have been confusing for his nighttime sleep that night….

Night 5 sucked badly. Since Ativan is super habit-forming, DW and I decided that I should try sleeping without it. Again though, with the Cipralex coursing through my body, I got zero sleep. By 8:30am, I called it when I heard baby boy playing in his crib, and got on with our day. We went to the gym, came home, and then everybody napped. Again, I could not fall asleep!!! It’s so frustrating. Tonight, I’ll be sure to take the Ativan. 

Some key points about this transitional period:

– it sucks balls

– my insomnia is worse, but I’m not laying in bed with my mind racing. I just can’t seem to fall asleep

– being super sleep-deprived, I haven’t been doing my regular workouts, which has been hard on me too. I’ve snuck in a run on the treadmill at home, and some quickie weights here and there

– Dumplin’ has been sleeping like crap too- he’s in leap 5, which is termed the “world of relationships”. He is noticing the distance between us, and just wants to be close all the time, especially bedtime. Last night he cried from 7pm-10:30pm (previously minimal crying at bedtime), and kept rolling into the crib bars, peering between them and looking longingly for us. During nighttime feedings, he’s clutching my back and my hands while he nurses, and when I unlatch him, he starts wailing like he’s been hurt. He just doesn’t want me to stop holding him. It’s heartbreaking.

  
– DW has been my rock, and has been super supportive throughout this transitional period. She’s been watching Dumplin’ despite her extreme 38-weeks-pregnant discomfort. She has a hard time getting around because her feet are sooooooo swollen (she can’t even cram her feet into Crocs!), and struggles to carry the 21+ pound Dumplin’ because her hands and arms are so numb and painful from the shoulder impingement and carpal tunnel. I am so glad Mochi isn’t here yet, since I’m not through this transitional period with the Cipralex. 

Warning: freaky pictures of DW’s feet below.

   
 

Treating Anxiety: Days 1 and 2 on Lexapro/Cipralex

I started the meds two nights ago, and I definitely feel different already. It’s not necessarily a good different, just different. The first night, I slept better, only waking to go to Dumplin’s room to nurse him three times. The next day, I felt like I do when I’m depressed- seeking comfort in cozy warm blankets and clothes, carbs, and quiet spots on the couch or in bed. I was so unmotivated to go to the gym, but I did. When I was there, I could barely muster up a 30% effort, compared to my usual 90-100% effort. I think my regular anxious state helps to push me to challenge myself physically. 

That night, we watched a little Netflix, and then talked about how we need to do our taxes. Clearly, that was a bad topic to bring up before bed, because I laid in bed for 3 hours, with my head spinning. I eventually fell asleep, but again, the hours added up were not many, since Dumplin’ wants to be nursed every 2:30-3hours. 

During the day today, I’m super tired and lazy. DW was willing to watch Dumplin’ so that I could go to the gym, but I opted to take my second nap of the day instead (it’s only 2pm). This is how tired this medication is making me.

So far, side effects that I’ve noticed are: tiredness, nausea, feeling cold (temperature), and a lack of motivation to do anything.

I’m not as anxious, which I guess is the purpose of taking this medication. But I hate feeling this way.

Like I mentioned in my last post, my day times are fine- minimal anxiety then. It’s just nighttime when I’m trying to go to sleep. If I weren’t breastfeeding, I would’ve opted for an Ativan at night as needed, rather than a whole course of antidepressants. 

Ugh. 

Now, I’m off to nap.

Anxiety Strikes Again

I’ve started this post about 3 times, but never finish it because something always seems to come up. 

It always starts the same way though: 

It’s been ____ days since I’ve slept more than 2 hours. 

Today it’s been 5. 

Why? Because my anxiety issues have returned, and with a vengeance. 

Dumplin’ is sleeping well. He still fusses 3-4 times a night to be nursed, but I don’t mind because I’m awake and because I miss him so much. It’s seriously excruciating for me not to have his warm little body snuggled up to mine all night. I know we wanted him to sleep in his crib in his own room because Mochi is coming,  because it was often uncomfortable being stuck in a breastfeeding position all night, and so that he could learn to self-soothe, but I miss having him close and smelling his milky face. I love that kid so much that it aches.

DW is also not sleeping, as her body continues to swell and her nerve impingement problems have worsened from just numbness to pain and lack of motor control. Sometimes I open my eyes at night and she is sitting on the edge of the bed shaking her hands out in frustration. She eventually goes downstairs to the living room to watch Netflix because she needs to distract from the pain and discomfort. 

So almost nightly, the two of us are awake and doing stuff around the house from 1am-5am. All while Dumplin’ and the dogs are sleeping soundly in their respective beds.

While the insomnia is kinda comical, it’s taking its toll on me. I’m so tired during the day, and so frustrated that I’m kicking my feet and throwing tantrums at night in bed. My mind just won’t shut off, and worries about everything under the sun. At first it was about the Diono Ranier convertible car seat that we bought for Dumplin’ that does not fit into our Subaru Impreza. We both freaked out and decided that we need to buy a minivan or something equivalent in space before Dumplin’ outgrows his car seat (his head is about 1.5 inches from the top). R who blogs at Started In the Belly (and is a totally awesome person) even came over to help us, as she’s a car seat installing whiz, but the only way to get the seat in was with a seat belt install, an angle adjuster, and in the middle seat. While Dumplin’ is ginormous for his age (must be around 21lbs now at 5.5 months), his sitting isn’t where it needs to be for him to ride in the Ranier safely, so bucket seat for a little longer.

The next thing I started obsessing about was Mochi’s impending arrival. I am terrified of the chaos of when Mochi comes, as well as the logistics of who is going to take care of Dumplin’ who is exclusively breastfed while DW is in labour. I had grand day dreams of just being able to babywear Dumplin’ in the L&D room, but the midwives say that the hospital won’t let Dumplin’ be with us until Mochi is born and DW is in recovery. I worry about him being away from me for a long time, and for overnight because DW will recover better at the hospital (no dogs). 

I also stress about my workouts- not getting them in, not making enough progress, my ball hockey season starting in a week and a half…. I’m 5.5 months postpartum, workout about 5 days a week, but haven’t lost a single pound since 1 week postpartum. I’m sure that some of my fat has been replaced with muscle, but I still have this poofy fluff above my c-section incision that looks and feels awful. I have days where I’m proud of my progress- my butt is rock solid and has zero pinchable fat, my pecs and shoulders look awesome when I’m lifting, my quads are starting to show a nice sweep… But I’ve always had a flat stomach, and the two rounds of IVF plus pregnancy and the c-section have made some unfavourable changes from my normal. I’ve heard the “it takes 9 months to put it on, 9 months to lose it” blurb, but I have body dismorphia issues to begin with, so couple that with a anxiety disorder and I’m just a mess some days. 

So. 

No sleep in 5 days + clear signs that anxiety is back + Dumplin’ to take care of + Mochi is coming + regular therapist appointments not helping with this –> time to see the doctor about those meds that I keep avoiding

So today, we cleared our schedule and drove downtown to see my family doctor. 

I am starting Cipralex/Lexapro tonight. 

Apparently, the meds can cause more anxiety in the initial 2-4 week period, so shit might get realllllly bad before they get better. I’m nervous about it for various reasons:

1. Cipralex will cross into my breastmilk, so Dumplin’ will be getting some SSRI, but I hope that he’s unaffected because he’s so big, and from my own research, a nearly undetectable amount reaches breastmilk.

2. What does this initial anxiety exacerbating period look like? What if I just can’t deal? I’m not suicidal, but what if it pushes me over the edge where I’m not able to cope safely? I’m starting at a 5mg dose for a week, then up to 10mg the next week, and up and up until I reach an effective dose.

3. What if I still can’t sleep- especially if things get worse? I can’t even describe what it feels like to not have slept in 5 days. I’m trying my best to keep it together for Dumplin’, and DW has been struggling with her own discomforts but trying to help me too. I feel like a failure as a mother and as a partner. I feel terrible that I “need” to sleep more than I am- how ridiculous does that sound! I know, I’m not making sense, but these are the thoughts going on in my head. Those damn cogs don’t stop turning at all.

4. Weight gain from the meds. IVF has caused me to gain about 10lbs that I have not been able to shed. I’ve lost all my pregnancy weight (all 40lbs of it), but those 2 rounds of IVF has pushed my body weight baseline up, and I can’t seem to get back to my pre-IVF weight. 10lbs makes a huge difference when you are sprinting and doing shuttle runs like we do in ball hockey. 10lbs makes me so much slower and my recovery more painful. Not to mention (again) my body dismorphia and how more weight will mess with my head even more.

5. I worry that I will feel weird. I generally like being an empath and experiencing all of the feels that life provides. I am afraid that these meds will make me feel like a zombie. 

6. I worry that the meds won’t work, and that I’ll be stuck in this hell that exists in my head, forever churning and producing worst case scenarios.

Wish me luck.