First trimester: Weeks 4 – 5

With my first pregnancy, I was pretty good at keeping track of everything. This time around, I have been forgetting to write things down when they happen. I do have a bunch of journal entries, they’re just not as detailed as I would have liked. As far as I can remember, this pregnancy is fairly similar to my first.

Deciding to have another baby, after losing Khloë, was not easy. When she was alive, Jordan and I always hoped that we could give her a sibling. I wanted to start trying as soon as possible, but I had to wait until my cycles came back–which they finally did when Khloë turned one year old. We know that there is a 25% chance that this baby will have SMA just like Khloë. That means there is a 75% chance that Baby will be perfectly healthy! 25% may seem like a small number, but to us, it’s the number we are most afraid of.

I am trying my hardest to stay positive about this pregnancy. Jordan and I are both very happy about it. We refused invasive genetic testing of the fetus (ie. amniocentesis or CVS) because the results would not change our decision about having the baby. Our plan, after a discussion with our genetic counselor, is baby’s blood will be taken after birth and sent away for testing. When Baby is a few weeks old, we will receive the results. That time frame will feel like an eternity, I don’t doubt.

Anyway, my due date is November 2nd, 2015. So here we go! :)

Week 4 (February 23)
The day my period was due, a Monday, I decided to pee on a stick! And lo and behold, it was very positive! I was pretty excited and felt like Khloë had sent us this wonderful gift a mere month after she went to Heaven. The new baby’s due date is November 2nd, which is actually a month before Khloë would have been 2 years old. Of course, after that first burst of excitement came this thought: What if this baby has SMA? I knew that, no matter what, I had to stay positive and deal with those crazy emotions day by day. As soon as Jordan came home from work, I showed him the test and he gave me a silly smile. It’s so hard to get a reaction out of him, but I could tell he was pretty happy!

That same day I contacted the midwife group I used before and left a message. The secretary called me back on Wednesday and said that they would be delighted to have me back! My first appointment was scheduled for March 5th. As for symptoms, this week I was feeling tired, hungry, with mild cramps and jabbings in my uterus. By the end of the week, I noticed my favourite jeans were pretty snug against my belly. Already?!

Week 5 (March 2)
First midwife appointment was on Thursday of this week. I met Megan for the first time (she was on maternity leave during my first pregnancy), and unfortunately I had to explain about Khloë’s diagnosis and passing. She was really sweet and empathetic. We talked about how my first pregnancy and labour went. She sent me home with a requisition for blood work and a dating ultrasound at the small local hospital. That same afternoon the hospital called and scheduled the ultrasound for March 11th. They think I’m actually going to drink a whole litre of water beforehand. Don’t make me laugh!

On Saturday, my mother-in-law called to let us know that the Florida trip was finalized! We are going to surprize them with the news in Florida.

Mothers Day without my baby

Mothers Day was not an easy day to get through. I kept thinking that, at this time the previous year, we had taken Khloë to the Toronto Zoo and spent the weekend with her Aunt Crystal and Uncle Lukas. And then this year… she is gone.


Memory for Mothers Day

I was happy to see that quite a few people wrote special messages about Khloë on my Facebook Timeline. I also received some texts from friends who have not forgotten my little girl. The above picture is not the best quality, but it is one of my favourite “selfies” taken with my Sweetpea. Her smiling face says it all! She was a shining star.

When all you’ve known is SMA

I was washing dishes this morning and thinking about Khloë and then about the new baby. And I realized that this time around, if this baby is healthy and does not have SMA, then our life will be filled with all these milestones that we’ve never experienced before. How crazy is it that, as a second-time mom, I have never had the joy to watch my baby grab for a toy within her reach? I never saw my baby learn to roll over or sit by herself for the first time; she never crawled or pulled herself up to standing; she didn’t even take her first steps or learn to feed herself. All of these little things will be brand-new to us.


Mommy and her girl

Beauty

Instead, we watched our baby grow taller but also weaker. She had her first surgery at 8 months old–a feeding tube to allow her proper nutrition. Then we learned how to operate a Joey feeding pump, clean out feed bags, prepare formula, and care for her tube site. After that intervention, to help prolong her life, came the BiPap machine and another hospital stay. Any time Khloë took a nap or went to sleep for the night, Mommy or Daddy would put the Pixi mask on her face, check the leak, make sure she was comfortable, and then off she would go to dreamland. By the time she was 11 months old, she was requiring us to suction her mouth and throat much more often; this meant she was losing her ability to swallow. Twice a day, we would perform a cough treatment to make sure all the yucky stuff in her lungs got out because she couldn’t cough it out on her own.

All these things, they were Khloë’s special milestones.


After gastrostomy surgery

But I had the most amazing daughter. She liked music and loved it when Daddy helped her play xylophone or strum a guitar. She enjoyed watching “The Magic School Bus” and “Chuggington” on Netflix. She especially liked when one of us would dance around with her in our arms! She would lay contentedly on her ottoman, playing with her Do Not Enter sign and Sharkie, until she dropped one of them; then she would wait patiently for Mommy to pick the toy up and give it back to her. She rarely complained or cried. She was always so happy, no matter what we did during the day. Her giggle will always be the cutest thing I have ever heard. I think that’s what I remember the most.


Playing the xylophone

Things are going to be very different when the new baby comes. I think we are up for the challenge!

A new beginning

I haven’t updated in a long time and I hope that I can begin to get things back to normal around here. I loved putting together the weekly updates about Khloë, and now that she is gone I haven’t felt the call back to this blog. But today I want to start again.


My angel's resting place
My angel’s resting place

On April 11th friends and family gathered at the Willowbank Cemetery as we buried our sweet little girl. The sky was blue, the snow was finally gone, and the leaves blew in the breeze. The weather was perfect and allowed us to say goodbye in sunshine.

Afterward, everyone came back for a small reception at the church Jordan and I were married at. Some amazing people provided sandwiches, fruit and veggie platters, and desserts. We are thankful to each person who came out to let us know how much Khloë touched their lives.

We also recently announced to the world that Khloë is going to be a big sister! As of today I’m 12+4 weeks pregnant and my due date is November 2nd. :)


Big Sister

I used the above image to make the announcement! This was the surprize we had for Jordan’s parents, too. I texted my mother-in-law that picture right before we boarded our planes (in two different cities) and she was so excited that she had to tell some passengers on the plane. 😀 Needless to say, we are all excited! Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a scary aspect to this pregnancy, but I’m determined to stay positive and believe that God will give us the baby we need.

Upcoming

Next weekend we will be heading to Kingston to finalize a burial plot for Khloë. We decided to purchase a family plot. Then the burial will be April 11th.

At the end of this month Jordan and I will be flying to Orlando, Florida! I’m super excited about this trip. His parents wanted to take us on a much-deserved vacation and of course we said yes. Everything is now booked and the countdown is on! We have a surprize for them while we’re there, too!

You're just as sane as I am. — Luna Lovegood (H.P.)