8w4d and the Blood Monster

Hola folks! This is just a little quickie to update you on how Dumplin’ is doing.

This past week has been a blur of gluten-free pancakes and naps. On the weekend, we drove out of town to meet up with friends that we hadn’t seen in a loooong time. Some we hadn’t seen in a couple of months, but others in about a decade! It was basically a big lesbian reunion of hockey players! 

We first hit a pub for food and drinks, and then hit up the local gay bar, which has changed names several times in the last ten years, but still looks the same as what DW remembers. The resident DJ, DJ Dallas, is still kickin’ and spinnin’, just like she did twenty years ago. The dance floor was never empty, and was very well populated by awesome 50 year olds wearing polo shirts and khakis. If you’ve ever been to a gay or lesbian club, you’ll know that the atmosphere is a lot more fun and much less pretentious, especially in smaller towns (which is where we were). We were open about our pregnancy, and found out that one of DW’s roommates from her twenties (who was there) had done several IUI’s and two IVF’s as a solomama, and had no success. Infertility is so much more common than we think, and it so sad that we still seem to struggle alone. We’ve been much more open about our miscarriages this year, partially because it started to affect our lives in an undeniable way, but also because infertility awareness is so important. 

Friday night I started having some spotting again, accompanied by cramps all night. I totally freaked out, and contacted the fertility clinic, hoping that I could get in for an ultrasound to check that everything was still okay. They booked me in for today, and I got my favourite ultrasound tech, who angles the screen so that I can watch as she scans me. None of the other techs do this, so up until today, I had actually never gotten to see Dumplin at all. I wasn’t allowed to take any photos, but I managed to sneak this super blurry one from the intraabdominal scan (which is much less detailed than the transvaginal).

 

My favourite part was when she was doing the transvaginal scan, and she zoomed in on little Dumplin’, and I could see her little heart flickering away. In that moment I was so in love, and wished DW could’ve been there to share in that moment. 

So all is well. Dumplin’ caught up in growth and is measuring 8w4d (a day ahead now, compared to a week ago when she was 4 days behind). Her heart rate is 184bpm.

There was also a teardrop shaped bleed beside her sac, which they think is a subchorionic hemorrhage. This is likely the source of the spotting. I’m hoping the Blood Monster goes away, or shrinks, because seeing red in my underwear is freaking me out! Luckily the spotting stopped, and now that I know the cause, I can freak out a bit less the next time I see it. 

Otherwise, not much else to report. I’m just trying to stay sane, and am willing time to pass quicker so that the second trimester arrives soon. Being paranoid of miscarrying is no way to live, but every day I am getting closer to feeling like Dumplin’ is gonna stay. 

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Some Random Tidbits

Well I’m 7w6d (based on LMP), or 7w2d (based on my last ultrasound), and I’ve got a couple of things to update you on. I’m considering doing those weekly Bumpdate posts, but I’m kind of nervous, and am not sure which dating to use at this point. Suggestions?

Midwife Appointment:

I was so happy that DW was able to meet the midwife with me. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had applied to 6 midwifery clinics in my region, and all were either full or wouldn’t accept me because I’m out of their catchment area. I was really bummed about this, but then, I received a call from the midwifery clinic that is the furthest away from me, offering me a spot. They were going out on a limb accepting me because I don’t live near their catchment area at all (compared to 3 other clinics where I’m on the border). Something feels serendipitous about this, and I feel like I will have a really good experience with them. 

Things that I wasn’t thrilled with:

– all of the pregnant women in their waiting room looked grumpy and unfriendly. Not a single one smiled the entire 20 minutes we sat waiting to be seen.

– my midwife was 20 minutes late for our appointment. Granted, she was with another patient, but my family doctor and endocrinologist are ON TIME or have a maximum wait of 10 minutes. I timed this because most appointments will be during the work day, and if I have to drive across 3 cities to get there, I need to factor in how this will work with work. 

Things that I really like so far:

– our midwife used to be an OB-GYN in India. She practiced for 20 years before moving to Canada and trained to be a midwife. She has been a midwife for 10 years. This means she has a lot is experience, even beyond the scope of midwifery care. 

– our midwife is a good listener. I felt comfortable interrupting her to ask questions. She paused many times to offer me opportunities to digest information and to ask more questions. She explained things well, using a slow but comfortable pace. 

– Our midwife was very clear about informed choice, and that her job is to lay all of the options out on the table, but that the choice is ours. There would be no bullying me into choosing one way over another. With both DW and I being highly intelligent, with backgrounds in science and medicine, this appealed to us. I’m also incredibly picky, and am a stick in the mud when I don’t get my way.

– I have two midwives: at any given time, there is always one that is on call, and the other is in the office available for appointments. I will meet the other one next week. 

– at our birth, the midwife from my pairing that is on call, plus another midwife from another pairing will be attending. There will always be TWO midwives present: one for me, and one to take care of Dumplin’ (I LOVE THIS). 

– despite being outside of their catchment area, both of my midwives in my pairing live close to us, and are willing to still do home visits after Dumplin’ is born.

Last Intralipids:

Well I had my last intralipid infusion today. Being all paranoid that this infusion wouldn’t have enough lasting power to get me into the “safe zone”, I asked one of the nurses if she could ask the head nurse if they’d let me do one more infusion in a couple of weeks. The nurse said that once the placenta is established (8-12 weeks), I shouldn’t need it anymore, but everything I’ve read about NK cells is that they are active (ie. A threat) until 16 weeks. We’ll see what they say. Those of you who have been pregnant on intralipids- at how many weeks did they do your last infusion?

Diclectin:

Diclectin successfully turned me into a bed-ridden zombie with a hangover. The drowsiness was so bad, that I dialled back my dose from 2 at night + 2 during the day, to just 1 + 1. It’s still managing to prevent me from puking, but I feel less like a waste of space, and can actually interact with my wife.

Pregnancy Acne:

I have honestly maybe had 1 pimple in 12 months. But this past week, 6 nasty pimples erupted on my face. They are the small red ones with deep white pus coming to the surface. I am gross and have been expressing them, but the pockets are so deep that a few have gotten worse or won’t drain completely. My face is an absolute mess, and I am embarrassed to go out in public. I’ve been dabbing them with tea tree oil, hoping that they will just go away. You know that alleged “pregnancy glow”? Well apparently my version is just extra oily pizza face. Ladies- those of you who experienced this, does it go away? Or do I need to go into hiding like a celebrity who’s recovering from several major plastic surgery jobs?

Baby or Carb Bump:

Is 8 weeks too early to be sporting a mini baby bump with a singleton? Or am I carrying an anterior-facing carb monster from the 8 meals of pancakes with maple syrup that I’ve eaten this week? PS- DW has been bringing me pancakes in bed these days, which has helped tremendously with my morning sickness. She is amazing. So is pancakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Hmmm… I think that’s all I’ve got for now.