First trimester: Weeks 12 – 13

Week 12 (April 20)
I’m getting closer to the second trimester! Nausea improved this week, but I threw up my prenatal vitmain no matter what time of day I took it, even with food. I think I’ll stop taking it. The anatomy scan is booked for June 11th in Pembroke. If baby cooperates, we can find out if we are having a boy or girl! I don’t have a gut feeling for a specific gender.

On Monday I had the telemedicine conference with our genetic counselor from CHEO. I asked her if the baby’s cord blood can be used for SMA testing but she said it’s not a good idea as cord blood contains some of my DNA. So the plan is have baby’s blood drawn before we leave the hospital. I have to contact her a month before my due date to remind her, and then once we get home from the hospital contact her again so that she can make sure the test is rushed and double-check that SMN2 copies will be checked if the baby does have SMA.

So far I’ve gained 4 lbs. And my next midwife appointment is May 14th.


Weeks 12-13

Week 13 (April 27)
Some websites list Week 13 as the second trimester, and some say Week 14. I’ll keep this post as “first trimester”.

My belly has popped out a bit more this week. No nausea which meant I was able to eat a better variety of food. On Wednesday I went to Prenatal Nutrition group and we made a cold tuna potato salad which was surprizingly good, not to mention filling. And I ordered a new set of unisex Aden & Anais muslin swaddling blankets (white with silver, gray, or beige stars) and a set of gray bibs.

We have picked out a boy name, and have two options for girl!

First trimester: Weeks 8 – 11

Week 8 (March 23)
Not much to report for symptoms. I’ve been able to eat food without feeling queasy afterward, but I still vomit after taking my prenatal vitamin. On Wednesday I went to my Prenatal Nutrition group at FEN. All the same girls are there.

At the end of the week I emailed Claire Goldsmith, our genetic counselor from CHEO. She wants us to have a video conference when Jordan and I return from Florida to discuss having the new baby tested for SMA. I’m interested to know if cord blood can be used or if it has to be a blood draw.


Weeks 8-9

Week 9 (March 30)
Florida!

Week 10 (April 6)
Florida and Kingston!


Weeks 10-11

Week 11 (April 13)
During the past couple weeks, on our trip, I would feel queasy in between meals again. I had to keep snacking. Restaurant food didn’t always agree with me. But I still managed to have a good time. The most exhausting part of the trip were the full days spent at EPCOT and Magic Kingdom. When we returned to Ottawa, we drove to Kingston and stayed at my mom’s to prepare for Khloë’s burial on April 11th. That day the weather was beautiful (after a rainstorm the previous day). Afterward, we held a small reception for friends and family at the church we attend in Kingston.

April 16th marks three months that my baby girl has been in Heaven. It is the strangest feeling to be a mother but to not have a child in my arms. Even with the new baby, there will always be that blank space where Khloë should be. She is in my heart.

I also had a midwife appointment mid-week. Suki will be sending Claire a referral for the genetics appointment. My blood pressure is still low at 90/60, but Suki wasn’t concerned since it seems to go up a little at each visit. She also found the baby’s heartbeat: 160 bpm.

First trimester: Weeks 6 – 7

Week 6 (March 9)
On Wednesday I went to the local hospital for my early dating ultrasound. The receptionist had told me to drink 1L of water an hour before the appointment, but I only managed 700mL and felt like my bladder was going to burst inside me. By the time I drove there, checked in, and changed into a hospital gown, I was in a considerable amount of pain. Once on the bed, the tech used the transducer on my abdomen. There were two technicians there, one lady training the other. Apparently my bladder was TOO FULL so I was allowed to pee a little. When I came back, the girl still seemed to be having issues finding anything. I mentioned to them that even though my LMP would have me at 8 weeks, I was 100% certain I was 6 weeks so it would be difficult to see anything through my abdomen. The trainer asked if I would allow a transvaginal ultrasound instead–which meant I could completely empty my bladder–and I said yes. YES! Now, for dating ultrasounds at this particular hospital, the techs are not allowed to tell me about anything they discover or even show me the screen. (This is because there is no radiologist on staff and the images have to be sent away for analysis.) Luckily at one point I heard the trainer say, “You didn’t need to measure gestational sac. You have crown to rump, right there.” Well, that confirmed to me that there was a baby! And at the end, she also said, “I’m not supposed to tell you anything, but I think your guess is right.” Ha!

On the weekend, Jordan and I stayed at my mom’s in Kingston. We checked out two different cemeteries in the Gananoque area. In the end, we decided that Khloë should be buried at the Willowbank by the huge tree at the back of the cemetery. Unfortunately it was pouring rain and snow up to our knees whilst tramping through the grounds, but we still found the perfect spot.


Weeks 6-7

Week 7 (March 16)
I’m starting to have issues with food in the mornings. Everything seems to turn my stomach. I have been eating a lot of bread, pasta, and salty crackers. Still feeling bloated and constantly tired.

On Friday I decided to head into Petawawa to get my blood work done. I kept putting it off because I hate needles. When I got there, the nurse said I was missing a form and sent me over to the doctor’s office where my midwives work (across the hall). I had to wait for Kilmeny to finish with her patient and give me the proper forms. Then back over to have my blood taken and to pee in a cup.

Eleven more days til Florida!

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.

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