Dumplin’ and Mochi: 3 Weeks and 16 Weeks

I have not disappeared into the depths of sleep deprivation. I have however, got about two or three draft posts started and never finished. So my lesson is that unless it’s short, I shouldn’t bother writing it. But anyways, hi friends!

We are surviving (but barely at times). DW has been back at work since 4 days after Dumplin’s birth (over 2 weeks ago). My mom left a week ago. It’s just me and the little man (and the dogs) at home everyday now. 

The days are tough. I wish I still had my mom here- both for the extra set of hands, but also for the company. She was awesome when she was here- she made food and cleaned and made grocery runs- all so that I could focus on Dumplin’ and establish a good breastfeeding relationship. Now that she’s gone, it’s been hard trying to get things done myself, as well as trying to stay sane when cooped up at home. While she was here we went out with the baby- we hit up restaurants, stores, even the mall (Yorkdale mall has an awesome family lounge by the way).  It helped me feel normal again to go out and do stuff, with Dumplin’ in tow. But the more I talk to people, and the more that I read online, it seems like I’m putting him at risk by exposing him to the outside world, especially during flu season. I’ve wanted to go to the grocery store for a couple of weeks now, but haven’t because I’m scared he’ll be coughed on or that I’ll handle something and transfer germs onto his face when I’m putting him in his car seat… The fear and guilt never ends.  

Family lounge at Yorkdale mall.

While I’m so grateful to have my take home rainbow baby, I must admit that motherhood has been really hard on me. Each week has brought new challenges for us:

Week 0-1: no colostrum, milk taking a long time to come in, Dumplin’ losing more than 10% of his birthweight, midwife recommending we supplement with formula.

Week 1-2: Milk and weight are great and he surpasses birth weight, stop formula, but he has really painful gas, and cries inconsolably as he tries to pass the gas. We try tummy massage, different feeding positions, BioGaia probiotics, burping after feeds, and most recently Ovol simethicone, and nothing has helped.

Week 2-3: Gas issues persist and get worse- now he’s spitting up a lot after feeds and is even more inconsolable. We aren’t getting much sleep because he cries on and off for more than half of the night.

It’s funny (not funny) because I thought Dumplin’ would be an easy baby. My pregnancy (aside from external stressors) was really wonderful, and part of me still mourns not being pregnant anymore. But the inconsolable crying…. It’s not quite colic, but every day, he seems to cry more than the previous day. I’m reaching my breaking point. Last night, it got so bad that I daydreamed about walking out the front door in just my underwear, just to escape the crying. There’s nothing worse than not being able to soothe your baby. 

It’s sad because I do really love this kid, but with DW at work full-time and 16 weeks pregnant, and with me slowly spiralling into what I worry will be post-partum depression, I feel utterly helpless. Even the dogs (who are low maintenance), have felt overwhelming to care for with Dumplin’ in the picture. DW’s parents would likely come and stay with us if we asked, but as good as their intentions are, they (her mom) create more work and stress for us than they resolve. Her dad is really helpful, but how do you invite one and not the other? 

Anyway, on a positive note, Dumplin’ is getting huge. Everyday, I notice that his hands have gotten bigger, and that his body feels a bit heavier. So at least there’s that. He has a great latch and we feed well together now. 

  
Our chunky monkey this morning.

Things with Mochi are good. With the arrival of Dumplin’, DW often forgets that she’s pregnant. I feel bad that she isn’t getting more sleep, since she’s growing a tiny human inside her. And did I mention that she’s starting to show? She’s definitely got a baby bump, and she suspects that people at work are starting to notice too. We need to start doing bump photos for her. We haven’t announced her pregnancy yet, but will probably do so today when she gets home from work. As introverts, we have to brace ourselves for the mass of attention that comes with such an announcement. 

DW has also switched midwifery practices too. We were so happy with the practice that I was with, as well as the hospital that I gave birth at, that she’s now with the same midwives I was/am with. The drive is longer for her, but is totally worth it. This past Wednesday she broke up with the other practice in person- right after she heard Mochi’s strong heartbeat of 153bpm, and got a requisition for Mochi’s anatomy ultrasound (2 weeks from now! Exciting!).

Anyways, please pray for us and keep us in your thoughts. We could use some help getting over this hump. We’re so sleep deprived and want to enjoy this newborn phase. Send Dumplin’ some good digestive and happy vibes! 

I’ll leave you with some pictures:

   
 
   
   

Dumplin’ and Mochi: 37 Weeks and 11.5 Weeks Gestation 

The past couple of days have been a rollercoaster of emotions and excitement. 90% good, 10% not so good. 

Both DW and I had midwife appointments on Tuesday– at different clinics because I couldn’t get in with the midwives in our municipality. 

– my appointment went well. Dumplin’ was measuring 38 weeks, and the midwife mentioned that if he continues to keep measuring so much ahead, that I may need to be induced, but that we’d wait to see what the ultrasound says.

– DW’s appointment was fantastic!! After the typical long history and information gathering, we got to hear Mochi’s heartbeat on the Doppler!!!! Some of you might not think that this is a big deal, but after all of the miscarriages, it’s such amazing reassurance to know that there’s a wee little fetus in there, with a heart that is thumping away.

On Wednesday, we both had ultrasounds, again, in different cities. Mine was in the morning, and went well. It was a biophysical profile and a growth scan, to estimate how big Dumplin’ was at 36 weeks 5 days… And well folks, he’s huge! He’s already just about 8lbs, putting him at the 93rd percentile for weight, and equivalent to 39w4d. I didn’t get the results of his biophysical profile until today… But more on that later. He’s dropped nice and low, so low that the technologist could barely get his head measurements because of it being so low in my pelvis. His face is facing my right hip, his back is on my left side, and his knees and feet are up near my right ribs. Here’s a shot of Dumplin’s chubby face resting on his chubby fist:

  
– Mochi’s ultrasound went well too. He/she is measuring almost a week ahead, has all four limbs, and showed off his/her rolling skills and flailing arms. Mochi’s NT measurement was 1.2mm, and CRL was 5.7cm. I only got to see Mochi at the end of the session, but I could tell it was good news because DW was just beaming! Here’s a photo of Mochi, at 11w3d:

  
And a comparison of Mochi and Dumplin’ at around the same gestational age:

  
Today, I received a stressful phone call from my midwives about Dumplin’s biophysical profile. Apparently his amniotic fluid is really low. The midwife wanted me to do a repeat ultrasound ASAP, and then called me back because she realized my ultrasound was just yesterday, so asked me to repeat it next Wednesday instead. We are at risk of oligohydramnios, which means a consult (and transfer of care) with an OB and early induction. Since Dumplin’ is already 37 weeks, the midwife says he can safely come out anytime now. So now I wait until Wednesday’s ultrasound, and then Thursday for the results. The normal range for amniotic fluid is from 5-25, and mine is at 8. The midwife says if the level goes down at all, then we have a problem. This makes me wonder- if my level seems to be the cut off, why not just arrange for the consult with the OB now? Anyways, I’ve been feeling really sad and worried about Dumplin’. I also feel guilty that my body doesn’t seem to be providing him with an optimal environment right now. This wait is gonna kill me! I guess this partially explains how I’m hiding an 8lb baby in this bump:

  
Keep us in your thoughts and prayers. While I’m excited that we might meet Dumplin’ as soon as the end of next week, I just want what’s best and most safe for our little boy. And keep cheering for Mochi to continue growing and developing into his/her awesome self!

Thanks friends! Love to you all.

Mochi: 11 Weeks Gestation

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving next weekend, but my in-laws were nice enough to move our family festivities to this weekend, since we had plans to go up to the cottage anyway. We had ribs, baked beans, two different kinds of salad, and some amazing cheesecake samosas that DW picked up from a local chef. The cottage was warm from our wood stove, and filled with the sound of children playing and adults laughing. It was wonderful. The leaves are also changing, and at one point, we heard fluttering in the woods. When we went to check it out, we were shocked to discover what it was…..

Wild turkeys perched in the trees! Three of them! On Faux Thanksgiving!

Anyways, DW is doing well. She is still super tired, has a weird taste in her mouth, and her heartburn is out of control! Ladies who have had heartburn, what have you taken that is safe during pregnancy?

Other non-fun pregnancy things that she’s noticed are: pimples, and her stomach is still unsettled when she’s hungry or tired. 

Her favourite foods this week: A&W Rootbeer, gourmet butter chicken samosas from that local chef, pasta, and oranges.

DW is excited to finally stop her fertility drugs soon. She’s already started tapering off of her Endometrin, and soon she will also be off Estrace, Fragmin, and will start tapering off her Prednisone too.

We’re also super excited to see Mochi on Wednesday. Given her recurrent pregnancy losses, she’s been super nervous because she hasn’t seen Mochi since she was discharged from the fertility clinic at her six week ultrasound. I know a lot of you can empathize.

Anyway, stay tuned! Lots of exciting stuff happening next week 🙂

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 🙂

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!

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:

   
    
 

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!