Dumplin’: 36 Weeks Gestation

Hurray! It’s October! 
  Well, I must say that I feel a million times better this week than I did last week, energy-wise. This whole “nap three times a day” instead of sleeping a full night’s sleep is working really well for me. Depending on how much sleep I get in my midnight and early morning naps, I am able to get away with two naps a day and still feel great. Clearly, this schedule wasn’t conducive to work, so I’m officially off work now!! In many ways, this is sad for me too, as I was loving my classes, the kids, and my colleagues, and gave me a wonderful outlet to socialize, which I don’t get as much when I’m cooped up at home. However, DW and I have actually been very busy socially recently, and will continue to, right up until Dumplin’s due date. So that helps me to strike a bit of a balance, and gives me things to look forward to, besides our little one’s arrival. 

My pelvis still hurts though, and I’ve kind of come to accept that it’s gonna stay that way, and/or get worse with time. Let’s think of it this way- I’ve gained 42-45lbs now, and I’ve managed to stay pretty lean overall, so my guess is that a lot of that weight is stacked on my chest, and in my belly- all weighing down on my already Ehler-Danlos lax pelvis. This week, I’ve also noticed that my vulva is all swollen, which actually hurts. 

Other than that, the added sleep has made me feel good enough to go back to lifting weights this week. I did a leg/back day, a shoulders/tricep/chest day, and a leg/calves/biceps day, all separated by 1-2 rest days. I cut my weight down to about 75% of what I was lifting 3 weeks ago, and shortened up the number of sets, so I’m only lifting for about 30 minutes each session. I just don’t want to stress out my body, or Sir Dumplin’. I’m also trying to walk the dogs every to every-other day, but some days, my pelvis just can’t handle it. 

At my midwife appointment on Tuesday, my fundal height jumped significantly from last visit to this visit, and my midwife is concerned that Dumplin’ is gonna be really big. She is sending me for a biophysical profile and size ultrasound, which I’ve booked for next week, on the same day as Mochi’s 11.5 week ultrasound, so that DW can also attend. We’ll get to see both babies on the same day!!!

I also talked to my family doctor again, and now have a more comprehensive requisition to test for cholestasis. Luckily, my itchiness has faded a bit from being super intense to moderately itchy. I am however, feeling a lot more right upper quadrant epigastric pain at night, and I’m not sure if it’s my gallbladder/liver or Dumplin’ shoving his little feet under my ribs. I only feel this pain when I’m lying on my right side.

Other than that, all is well. I’ve noticed that Dumplin’ has been much less active the past 3 or 4 days. I have moments of freaking out, but then eat something, lie on my side, and start kick counting, and he passes, but with much smaller movements than before. My guess is that it’s getting really cramped in there, and that he is starting to take longer naps. I have noticed hiccups pretty much everyday though, which is apparently him practicing his breathing.

The dogs have been really annoying lately, I think because I’m home again, and they tend to boss me around when I am. They’re constantly wanting in and out of the side door (into the yard), begging for walks (when they’ve already had a glorious off-leash hike in the woods within the past 24 hours), and right now, they are begging for dinner at 3pm. It’s not such a big deal, except that I’m 36 weeks pregnant, and getting up and down is a struggle for this pelvis of mine.  Today, I have been busy sewing some more drool bandanas, bottling and starting the second fermentation in a batch of kombucha I’ve been brewing, and I played around with modifying my favourite GF oatmeal raisin cookies into lactation cookies. They are just delish! 

Now, my eyelids are drooping…. I think it’s time for a nap!

Before I go, here are this week’s bump photos:

   
 

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A Quickie Update: 16 Weeks

I know I’m posting this a couple of days late, but better late than never.

We just got back from a relaxing long weekend spent at the cottage with my MIL and FIL.  

We were also expecting my BIL, SIL, and their kids to show up as well, and planned a surprise sex reveal. I baked some gluten-free chocolate cupcakes, cored them, and then filled them with coloured icing. I then dressed the top of the cupcakes with white cream cheese icing. 

My BIL, SIL, nephews, and niece didn’t show up (they were busy at their own cottage), but we went ahead with the cupcake surprise with my MIL and FIL anyways.

  
I won’t spoil it quite yet, but I do plan to reveal Dumplin’s sex on the blog  soon.

For now, I would love to hear your predictions!

To help, I thought I’d share some fun bump pictures:

  

  

Bump progression. 

 

16 Week Bump.

So what’s your guess? Is Dumplin’ a girl or a boy? 

14 Weeks… Welcome to the 2nd Trimester!

  I am so grateful to have made it to this milestone. After our 3 first trimester losses in the past year (2 DW’s, 1 mine), the second trimester seemed like a pipe dream. I am not sure if it’s the intralipids, prednisone, or fragmin, but I’m glad that I strong-armed our RE into implementing a more aggressive protocol after my NK cytokine findings in October.

Pregnancy has been nice lately. I’m still a bit pukey at certain times in the morning, usually when I have been slow to get food into my belly, or when I’m brushing my teeth. I’m still on the 4 Diclectin daily, as it’s allowing me less food aversions, so I’m eating healthier. I’m up about 12lbs from pre-pregnancy, and up 17lbs from pre-IVF. I’m starting to not care so much about the weight gain, as my bump begins to show more. 

Sleep has been terrible, as my anxiety has been high from this elevated NT crap. I’m a little less obsessed with it now that the NIPT has been sent off, and there’s just waiting to do now. It’s out of my hands. Work has also been stressing me out, as we are 99.99% going on strike, and that means “bye bye salary!”. As a two-teacher household, we are hit even harder. We have money saved (that was supposed to go towards a minivan), and there is a strike fund that we’ve been paying into for years and years which will start to pay us back and definitely soften the blow. It’s all just crazy town over here though. DW’s is leading her school in this strike, and has been stressed out worse than I’ve ever seen her be. 

I started weaning down from my 10mg of Prednisone last week. Last week I went down to 7.5mg daily, and today I go down to 5mg daily. Next week I will be down to 2.5mg daily, and then off of it completely. During December’s failed FET, they didn’t give me proper weaning/tapering instructions and told me to go off cold turkey. My body didn’t respond well, as I had full-body aches, was exhausted to the point of bed-ridden, and I was super hypotensive (my normal BP is around 100/70, and it went down to 90/70). I’m hoping to avoid all of that this time. I have developed a wider “moon face”, and have probably gained more weight than I would’ve without the prednisone, so I’m looking forward to going off of it soon. I’m still on the Fragmin though, and will probably ask to stay on blood thinners until 6 weeks postpartum because while I don’t have a thrombophilia, my sister had a DVT and my grandpa died of a pulmonary embolism. I’m supposed to stay on the aspirin until the end as well.

My hair remains a mess. The front half has been combed out, but the back is still in dreads. DW likes to say that I’m “all business in the front and party in the back”, which makes me laugh my ass off. A couple of days ago, I had a meltdown because I regretted taking out those hard-earned mature dreads. I hate my hair not in dreads. It’s this super fine, wavy sometimes curly always frizzy mess. I have to put way more work into my “normal hair” than I do with my dreads. DW came home to me bawling my eyes out over this one day, and agrees that I should just redread what I took out. I always wanted my dreads a bit thinner, so I might take this as an opportunity to get what I want. It’ll take a while, but I’m glad I didn’t continue to take more out.

I’m definitely showing now, and DW has been coming home and greeting both me and my bump. My belly kinda asserts itself in our hugs now too, which is kinda fun, thinking that Dumplin’ is part of our hug. Clementine has been guarding my belly more closely now, insisting on lying such that her front legs rest on my belly, in Sphinx pose.

  
I’m getting more and more excited about Dumplin’, and have been itching to pull out the boxes of baby clothes that were handed down from my BIL and SIL almost five years ago. We’ve got lots of shuffling to do of stuff in different rooms. We’re moving the entertainment stuff from the rec room to the living room, the office stuff into the rec room, and turning the office into Dumplin’s room. We chose to keep the spare room as the guest bedroom, because all of our family is from out of town and do often stay over. 

I’ve been visualizing good things for us, partly because it helps me get through this tough time, but also because I’m trying to believe in the law of attraction. In my mind, Dumplin’ is perfect. Early next week, the NIPT results will show no/low risk for all trisomies, and we can breathe a sigh of relief. We start moving furniture in preparation for Dumplin’s room, making space for him/her in our home. The next week, at our early anatomy ultrasound, Dumplin’ measures normal on everything, especially his/her heart. We start setting up Dumplin’s room. Two weeks after that, he/she measures normal for everything at the anatomy ultrasound and fetal echocardiogram. We celebrate by washing, sorting, and putting away the baby clothes we’ve been waiting so long to finally be able to use. The rest of the pregnancy is full of happiness, laughter, and love shared between myself, DW, Dumplin’, and those we care about. We have a wonderful summer spent at the cottage or travelling. We celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary with a baby moon. I return to work in September and love being back at my old school. I am able to work until close to Dumplin’s due date. Dumplin’ is welcomed into the world through a meaningful, intense, birth without fear. He/she continues to be wonderful. These are my hopes and prayers.