The birth of Oliver Kaleb Azariah

While Skyping with my mom on October 22, I felt some mild cramps. I didn’t think much of it, but I did mention to her that it felt like period cramps. Later that night I felt them again but a little stronger and they continued until 4 am. I realized they were contractions because they were regular. I tried to get some sleep.

By morning (October 23) I felt that I had had some rest. Jordan went to work but was supposed to come home at lunch time to take me to my midwife appointment at 1:30 pm.

At 11:15 am I went to the bathroom and lost my mucous plug–so gross! Fifteen minutes later, contractions started up again, but stronger than the previous nights’. They remained strong and steady at 4 – 5 minutes apart and 30 – 45 seconds long. After an hour of this, I texted my mom to let her know. I wasn’t sure if I was really in labour… October 23 marked 38+4 weeks. I called Jordan and told him he should come home.

By 1 pm mom decided she would start driving up from Kingston because she really wanted to be a part of Baby Boy’s birth. At that point I called my midwife and told her I was having regular contractions and asked if she wanted me to go to my appointment. She told me to stay put and she would come to check my progress at 2 pm.

Suki arrived around 2 pm. She checked my cervix and did a membrane sweep. Only 1-2 cm dilated! She also confirmed I really was in labour and offered me the use of a TENS machine to manage the pain. I figured I would give it a try. She decided to go home to rest and told me to head to the hospital when the pain is getting too much to handle, and to call her when we leave.

By 3:30 pm the contractions were pretty intense and I had to really focus to breathe through them. They were coming 3 – 4 minutes apart and about 1 minute long. Another hour later, I decided we needed to get going! I knew we had a 40 minute drive ahead. My mom just happened to pull in our driveway at that time too, so she hopped in our car and came with us!

We arrived at the Pembroke hospital and Jordan grabbed me a wheelchair. We had to make a stop at registration but quickly headed up to Labour & Delivery. Suki hadn’t arrived yet, but the on-call obstetrician Dr M showed me to a delivery room. A nurse came in and hooked up the belly monitors.

My midwife showed up at 5:30 pm and checked my cervix: 3 cm dilated. At this point we discussed what I wanted for pain relief; I was really struggling with the contractions and was already feeling tired. We agreed an epidural would be a good idea and she went to talk to Dr M, as an epidural means a transfer of care to an OB.

Around that time a nurse came to start an IV and take my blood. I was GBS+ which meant I needed a round of antibiotics (clindamycin). A fluid bolus was also administered for the epidural.

Two hours later, at 8 pm, feeling like I was gonna die from the pain, the anesthesiologist arrived! Suki joked to Jordan, “Here comes the man your wife is going to want to marry!” And boy was she right. 😂 He explained the risks of an epidural to me, I replied “Let’s do this!”, and he had that epidural in super fast!

My body slowly began to go numb; he said it would take about 20 minutes. Both my legs were completely frozen, but I could wiggle my toes. I couldn’t feel the contractions except in a small fist-sized area on my lower left side.

Dr M checked me at 8:30 pm and voila, 6-7 cm! Finally my body was doing its job and dilating my cervix. The catheter went in at this time, as well as a scalp monitor for the baby. Baby Boy was so active during labour that the belly monitor was having trouble picking up his heart rate so I agreed to the monitor being attached to his head.

Fully dilated by 10:10 pm! This was it! Soon we would meet our little boy. Even though I had been transferred to the OB, Suki still caught the baby. At 10:42 pm, Oliver Kaleb Azariah was born and placed on my chest. He was completely covered in vernix! We waited for the cord to stop pulsating, then Daddy cut the umbilical cord. And guess how much my little guy weighed–a whopping 8 lbs! He was 21 inches long and had a healthy cry. Head circumference was 35.5 cm.


Birth collage

I was so astonished to have birthed an eight pound baby!

After Oliver was cleaned up and weighed, I let him breastfeed. He knew just what to do, my little milk guzzler.

We were discharged the next morning and brought our sweet little boy home. 😀

Second trimester: Weeks 18 – 19

Week 18 (June 1)
Mid-week I felt the baby moving around a lot on the outside, which was pretty cool. One more week to go and then we will hopefully find out if we are having a boy or girl! I think the anatomy scan is the most nerve-wracking ultrasound. I’ve gained 13 lbs.

Jordan is away on “adventure training” this week, which means he’s camping and rafting and having a grand ol’ time in the name of work. Must be nice! Since he was away, I had to keep myself busy. The house is so quiet when it’s just me. I had lunch with Amanda on Monday and we talked about crafting beautiful headbands and photography. On Wednesday I went to Prenatal Nutrition and back over to Amanda’s for the afternoon. They fed me a yummy dinner!

And on Friday, at our church, Watoto performed. They are a group of orphan kids from Uganda who sing and dance and they are amazing! The show was high-energy and the seats were packed. Jordan and I had volunteered our home to host some of the kids, so after the show two girls and an auntie came home with us and stayed the night. We gave them a late dinner, breakfast, and a packed lunch the next day. It was a neat experience!


Weeks 18-19

Week 19 (June 8)
Those kicks are definitely getting stronger and more frequent! On Thursday afternoon, Jordan and I went to the hospital for the anatomy scan. I was told to drink 3 glasses of water an hour before the appointment. I drank only two and was in complete agony by the time I was called in. The technologist had me pee right away. When I came back and laid down on the bed, she started the ultrasound but said that my bladder was still too full. I peed a second time. And then a third time before I was comfortable and she said she could continue. Wow, and that was only two glasses of water! I guess the baby was squirming too much from my full bladder. Although she told us that she can’t 100% confirm, it was very obvious that this baby is a BOY! There was no mistaking him for a girl. 😀 Everything else looked good, she said.

At the end of the week I picked up a box of almost brand-new newborn clothing for $25. I won’t need anything else in that size! The majority of the items are Carters brand, too. We also picked up a bunch of clothes from Value Village.

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.

Khloë: 6 months old (26 weeks)

My growing girl and her Hello Kitty doll:


26 weeks (June 3)

26 weeks (June 3)


Each week it’s a little more difficult to get a perfect photo with her doll. Khloë’s neck control hasn’t improved and she is constantly falling over during photo shoots. Poor girl. It helps having Daddy there to act silly for her, which causes her to look up and try to hold her head steady.

Jordan started parental leave this week. He will be off until the end of November. Perfect timing because we will have many trips to CHEO and also to the pediatrician in Ottawa. In between all these appointments, we are planning to take two weeks this summer to go back home to New Brunswick so that Khloë can meet her great-grandparents and other family members.


Purple zebra

I'm six months old!

I’m six months old!


We went to Circle Time for the first time this week. It starts right before the Prenatal Nutrition group. Basically we sit with our babies on a large round mat and sing songs and play with them. Afterward, those of us registered with Prenatal Nutrition stayed and made a ground beef and pasta dish for lunch. Khloë did really well missing her morning nap, but that meant by the time we got home she didn’t want any naps! I find if she misses one nap, then the rest of the day gets messed up for nap time. But that’s okay because we need to get out of the house once in awhile!


Eyelashes

Finally, we had a visit from Baby Welcome Wagon. We were given a few coupons for free gifts around town, including vouchers for free flowers, a teddy bear, $5 at Giant Tiger, etc.

Computer issues

My computer is still being upgraded/fixed by my darling husband. It’s a pretty old machine and my husband took out the old hard drive and replaced it with a new one. He also upgraded XP to Windows 7. However Windows 7 lags, even with all the updates installed. So far it looks like the motherboard is too old to be supported by the new operating system. I may need a new computer. In the meantime, I can still write posts on my tablet, but I can’t add photos from my DSLR camera. I’ll have to go back and add photos in at a later date!