18 Week Bump and Other Stuff

I’m pedalling away on a stationary bike as I finger-type this post. I’ll try to make this post flow as best as I can, but it’s gonna be random bits of info that I want to fill you in on.

First, here’s the bump picture that promised. If you’re following me on Instagram @mamaetmaman you already got a sneak peak yesterday!  My bump seems much more obvious when I’m wearing clothes, for some reason.  

Other snippets:

– my allergies have hit hard this week. I’m allergic to trees and true grasses, and on our dog walk yesterday, I had the worst reaction I’ve ever had- non-stop sneezing, mucus coating my throat making it hard to breathe, and my lips swelling up. I took a Benedryl when we got home, and felt way better very quickly and then slept for what felt like the entire afternoon.

– I thought my days of morning sickness were over, so I went off the Diclectin on Saturday. BAD IDEA because I was super nauseous (and feeling shitty from the allergic reaction from our walk) and then started back on it. When will the nausea end?? 

– DW took her TH1/TH2 test for natural killer cytokines a few weeks ago, to see if perhaps it could explain her multiple miscarriages. Her results came back within the normal range, and we’re frustrated. She’s been tested for all thrombophilias and autoimmune disorders, as well as had a hysteroscopy to look at her uterus, and everything has been normal. Nothing has come up to explain why her body rejected 4 of our best day-five blastocysts last year. She really wants to carry, but is scared of miscarrying again (we have 5 blastocysts on ice from IVF#2). Anyone with unexplained RPL find success with a particular protocol? We might try again with her one last time, but we want to do something different than the regular transfers because they haven’t worked at all. I would love some feedback.

– I received a wonderful gift in the mail today from Shawns and Cade:  

 Some diaper covers and homemade fitted diapers for Dumplin’.

– I have been feeling under the weather this weekend, and now have 19 fitted newborn diapers made for Dumplin’, as well as 10 burp cloths, many many cloth wipes, and my next project is nursing pads because I suspect that my boobs will start leaking soon. Any other homemade baby items you think are must haves? I’m anticipating lots of receiving blankets being gifted to us from my MIL’s friends, so I’m not making any of those.   

  

  – I have plans to integrate swimming into my weekly workouts, but don’t know what to do about a swimming suit. My pre-pregnancy ones definitely don’t fit, and neither do the bottoms of my bikinis. I don’t want to buy an expensive suit and then have to buy another one in a month or two… Any tips on where to find cheaper comfortable swim suits in Canada? Or what secure alternatives have you tried?

– cramps- I’ve had mild cramps all week, which I’m guessing is because my uterus is growing? It’s not super painful, but it makes me not want to work out or do anything strenuous.

– my IPS (prenatal screening) came back and my hormone levels look normal, confirming no aneuploidies and no spina bifida. Thank goodness!

Okay, time to go do some sumo squats! I’ll post again later this week!

Happiness Cycle Day 13: Intralipids

I’ve got two hours to kill while hooked up to an IV bag of intralipids, so I thought I’d type up a post with my left hand. It’s harder than it seems!

I had a crappy sleep last night, as something’s up with my digestive system. I had the worst bloating and gas, which continued overnight and into the morning (poor DW). My diet is so clean right now, that I have no idea what could be causing it. My colon felt like a balloon that was inflating and reaching its maximum stretching ability. As I lay here hooked up to a bag of mayonnaise, all I wanna do is fart. But because they’re checking my vitals frequently, and I’m in a closed room, I’m trying to hold it in. Unpleasant!

Anyways, I’m happy to be doing the intralipids. It gives me some hope for this FET. While I wish we had two embryos to transfer, that’s nothing I can change. All I can do is give all of my love and hopeful energy into this embryo. The RE finally reviewed all of my immune results and wants to put me on prednisone, fragmen, and baby aspirin, in addition to the estrogen and progesterone that I will be starting someday soon. I’m happy that it seems like we’re finally being taken seriously now. Fingers crossed that our embryo is a good one, and that he/she thrives inside me.

As for the intralipids, today I’m having 100mLs injected into a bag of saline, to create a 20% mixture. Then the mixture is introduced to my bloodstream via IV cannula. I’m glad that I brought a blanket, because I feel so cold not being able to move. I also brought my iPad, a decaf vanilla Earl Grey Tea almond milk latte, and two slices of the paleo banana bread that I made last night. I haven’t been able to do much other than type on my iPhone.

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Once I get a positive beta, there’s another infusion (approx four weeks), and then one more after the six week ultrasound. Each treatment is $750, and out of pocket.

The cannula hurt going into my arm, but is fine now that it’s in. I can’t feel the intralipids at all, though I feel colder than usual overall.

The nurse comes by every 30 minutes to check my temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate,

It’s been about an hour and a half, and I’m almost done:

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Tomorrow I have to go in for monitoring blood work and ultrasound again. Hopefully we will find out when our transfer will be. We also meet with our family doctor, who will hopefully agree that it’s in my best interest to continue being off work until I’m in the right state of mind to deal with those additional stresses. DW has taken the day off tomorrow to support me.

More updates tomorrow!

Finally- Some Answers

I need to take a breath before I post this. I am an intense ball of “need to google everything” right now, but I also wanted to put this out there for all you super smart fertility people.

So, I got a phone call today from our RE’s head nurse. We got my natural killer Th1/Th2 results, and they are abnormally high. I am very TH1 dominant. In a normal person, TH1 and TH2 should be balanced, as each is responsible for protecting the body against different pathogens. I will write a more informative post about this another day. Right now, I’m just trying to process this new important piece of information.

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They want me to start intralipids next week on cycle day 13. I’m supposed to bring a pillow and a blanket because it involves having me hooked up to an IV for 2 hours. It will cost us $750, but I am willing to do just about anything for this to work.

I am worried about my prognosis for a successful live birth, even with the intralipids. Since I know so little about this, I’m going to spend the evening researching the fuck out of it. My plans were to set up the Christmas tree, but that can wait.

I know a couple of you are also on intralipids. Can you tell me what it feels like, what success you’ve been told will happen with it, and also anything else you think can help me wrap my head around it.

So far, all I know is that being TH1 dominant is related to a slew of autoimmune issues, and explains the Celiac Disease that I have. I also know that stress shifts the dominance even more so in favour of TH1. While stress as a cause of miscarriage is kind of a weak claim, I think that my extreme stress at work during the beginning of the school year certainly could have worsened my TH1 dominance. Next week, I will meet with my family doctor, and get an extension on my medical leave. There is no way that I’m going back to work when I’ve got an embryo transfer happening in two weeks.

Anyways, I’m gonna go google like it’s going out of style, and will post again sometime tomorrow.

Happy Humpday!