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:

   
 

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. 

  

21.5 Weeks: I Spoke too Soon

Not 24 hours after proclaiming how much wonderful energy I had, did it all come tumbling down. I am so tired again every afternoon, and have been napping to get through each day. I have also noticed an increase in my appetite, and have added another meal to my day, which tells me that maybe Dumplin’ is going through a growth spurt. 

Also, I’ve totally finished my stash of Diclectin (Diclegis) and have been dry heaving once or twice a day again. Ugh. I’m almost 22 weeks! Why am I still so nauseous?! With that, has returned some food aversions, particularly of the chicken variety, which sucks because chicken had become a healthy staple in my diet, bringing my protein count up. Now, I wanna gag anytime I think about it. Yuck!

Today, I met with our union’s parental leave person, who went through the whole paperwork process with me and explained how everything works. I’m feeling pretty excited about all of it, but there is a lot of paperwork, which makes me a bit nervous. At my next midwife appointment (tomorrow), I will have to get a signed letter confirming Dumplin’s due date, which will be sent to my principal as well as the school board, as the first step in initiating this process. The rest of it kind of happens once I have started my leave, and then when Dumplin’ actually arrives. My plan is to teach in September and October, as long as I am physically comfortable doing so. Once things start becoming really uncomfortable, I might be able to take some time off before his due date, if medically necessary. 

Questions for y’all: 

1. By how many weeks were you becoming physically uncomfortable at work?

2. How close to your due date did you (or do you plan to) work until?

3. How much time do you feel would’ve been ideal to have off before baby’s due date?

Thanks in advance for your answers!

Now I will leave you with photos of some cute things that I’ve sewn recently for Dumplin’: Waterproof PUL wet diaper bags (one is for him and one is for my swim stuff).   3-Layer flannel fox print bandana drool bibs, white organic bamboo microfleece soakers (size large and small), and flannel PJ’s.

 Linen newborn kimono.

Lastly, I think our registry is pretty well done. We hammered out details, read reviews, and debated between our wants vs. needs, and also left out things we can probably get second hand. Woohoo!

Have a great Monday!

5 Weeks and Still Bleeding

I apologize if you’re getting tired of this, but after one blood-free day yesterday, I’m bleeding again. Full-on bright red.

I’m also super tired, and have really achy low back pain. I am averaging one nap a day, and took two naps yesterday. 

I called the clinic, because the bleeding started up again, and my low back pain is kind of unusual, and they had me come in for another beta HCG. 

To recap on my HCG levels:

4w1d (10dp5dt): 229

4w3d: 643

4w4d: 897

5w (today): 3363

So my HCG levels are steadily climbing, which is very reassuring. But what do you make of all of this bleeding?!?

Well they’re a little concerned now, with the addition of low back pain to the mix, and want me to come in on Monday for an ultrasound (5w3d) to rule out an ectopic. I know a couple of ladies following my blog have had ectopic pregnancies, and I would love if you weighed in on this.

I am comforted by my high HCG levels, as I know ectopic pregnancies usually have lower levels. I also haven’t had any cramps or abdominal pain. I don’t have a fever. Mostly it’s just the bleeding and my achy back. My back pain feels the same as when I’m waiting for my period- sore, dull, and achy. 

Today I also found out that one of the receptionists at my fertility clinic is 16 weeks pregnant, and that my endocrinologist is 17 weeks pregnant. It was kind of a hard blow to see how easy it is for other people to get pregnant, and also awkward to take all of that information in, especially as they both seemed so apologetic in their announcements to me. I don’t blame them, I’m genuinely happy for them, with a touch of jealousy. 

Other than that, I’m doing okay. Next week I have a clear and open schedule, so I will definitely need some distractions. Any ideas? 

Another Beta HCG Test Today

Hi everyone, I’ve been laying low lately because not much is going on. I’m also anxious as hell and so many times, I have started irrational blog posts related to negative things, even though so far, everything has been going well.

No real symptoms except sheer exhaustion about midday, at which point I take a 1-2 hour nap. I attribute this to the progesterone supplementation though, as I know it can make your blood sugar levels drop, making you feel an energy crash. Boobies are still sore, and are BIG! When I fully inhale, I can almost hear the seams of my sports bras rip. Again, that is thanks to the progesterone. Other than that, I’ve been so thirsty every day, drinking about 3+ litres of water, and not peeing most of it out even though I’m waking up in the middle of the night to pee 1 or 2 times. Either I’m becoming a camel, or my blood volume is increasing due to this pregnancy.

Oh such is the dilemma with progesterone and estrogen supplementation. I can’t tell if the symptoms are from pregnancy or from the medication.

I have no nausea yet. But I’m only 5 weeks and 3 days, and most women start getting really queasy during week 6 or not at all. Strangely enough, I’m hoping for some morning sickness, as it would reassure me that my HCG is higher.

Today, I have to go in for another blood draw to check my HCG levels. I’m so nervous, and will feel so much better if the results are good.

Please pray and send whatever good vibes that you can for us to have a positive outcome.

I appreciate all of your support, and I hope to be less neurotic in the coming weeks.

IUI#4: Four Days Post Ovulation

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Exhaustion. Has. Hit. Me. Hard.

It’s 5pm and I’m in bed right now. Under the sheets, hugging my pillow as I type on my iPhone.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that little spark chooses Motel Moi as a suitable place to implant for 38 weeks, at least over the toilet.

I have started prepping for the upcoming school year, and DW and I have been doing some “house stuff” like re-painting the exterior of our house and the 1970’s wood paneling in our recreation room. We also have a contractor coming to completely gut and renovate our bathroom. We have some other big plans for the house once know what is happening with our pregnancy status.

Anyway, eyes are shutting. It might be time for a nap.