Oliver: 6 months old

Here is what’s been happening in the past few months!

2 MONTHS OLD
December 23 – January 22
– Daddy was very sick so we stayed home for Oliver’s first Christmas instead of going to family celebrations in Kingston
– We went to our church’s Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve
– On Christmas Day we Skyped with everyone at Oma’s
– On December 31st Oliver received his second RSV shot; that evening Uncle Luke & Aunt Katelyn arrived for a 4-day visit
– Oliver weighed 11 lb 14 oz on January 6th, length 23 inches, and head circumference 40 cm; this showed no weight gain since end of December
– Drove to Kingston on January 7th for the weekend; hung out with Oma, went shopping with Aunt Keesje, and Oliver met my Uncle Dale and Aunt Margaret
– Oliver weighed 12 lb 3 oz on January 13th
– January 16th marked one year that my baby girl Khloë has been in Heaven
– On January 21st Oliver received his fourth injection of Nusinersen (IONIS-SMNrx) in Boston with Dr Swoboda; he had the CHOP-INTEND physio test in the morning and injection was scheduled for late afternoon in the OR with sedation; he weighed 12 lb 5 oz, length 23.5 inches, head circumference 40 cm, chest circumference 40.5 cm
– Packed away Oliver’s 3 month onesies and pulled out size 6 month; he was still in size 2 diapers


2 months old

2 months old

3 MONTHS OLD
January 23 – February 22
– Kicking his legs, waving his arms and holding his head up are major milestones
– Oliver was becoming interested in toys dangling in front of him; he smiled and cooed a lot
– Jordan and I celebrated 10 years together on February 2nd
– Oliver weighed 12 lb 9 oz on January 28th; this showed very little weight gain in 18 days and a half inch gain in length; Dr Swoboda recommended a swallow study to rule out swallowing issues
– He started showing signs of silent reflux (twisting and arching while breastfeeding, crying, needing to be upright often); he was prescribed ranitidine
– On February 4th Mary from Infant Development met Oliver; later he received his third RSV shot
– Nanny & Papa visited from February 5 – 10th; Oliver enjoyed having “conversations” with them
– Oliver lifted his head up, for the first time, while propped on a nursing pillow
– Struggled with getting him to take a bottle; he gagged on everything I tried
– By the middle of the month I moved Oliver into size 6 month pants and size 9 month onesies; also switched to size 3 diapers
– On February 15th I woke up in extreme pain from mastitis; spent Family Day at the emergency room to get antibiotics
– On February 16th Oliver had a swallow study at CHEO; he was put in a high chair and fed liquid barium in a squeeze bottle; the x-ray showed no signs of aspirating while swallowing
– Oliver had neuromuscular clinic on February 17th; Dr M showed concern for Oliver’s lack of weight gain and suggested we have a consult with general surgery about getting a g-tube
– We met with Dr Bass (surgeon) on February 18th and talked about g-tube surgery for June


3 months

3 months

4 MONTHS OLD
February 23 – March 22
– Oliver weighed 13 lb 1.5 oz on February 23rd, length 25 inches, head circumference 41 cm
– Started feeding him Neocate Infant formula by syringe as a supplement
– On February 24th he had his fourth month vaccinations
– Tried carrying Oliver around in the Boba 4G to get him used to it
– My mom, sister, and nephew came on February 25th to spend the weekend; we did a lot of cooking and baking
– Oma discovered Oliver was teething by pointing out blisters on his gums
– On February 29th we celebrated Rare Disease Day by wearing out special shirts from Gwendolyn Strong Foundation
– On March 2nd he received another RSV shot
– Switched to CeraVe brand for Oliver’s cleanser and cream; his eczema is so severe that everything causes him to break out and the eczema oozes; after a trip to the doctor about oozing and infected-looking skin, he was prescribed 1% hydrocortisone; Dr K sent off a referral to dermatology at CHEO
– Oliver finally learned how to use a pacifier
– Ordered a seahorse pattern Lillebaby carrier and Oliver was more comfortable in it


4 months old

4 months old

5 MONTHS OLD
March 23 – April 22
– Oliver weighed 13 lb 3 oz on March 23rd; his weight has stopped increasing
– He met all four month fine/gross motor skills
– Uncle Cheepow & Aunt Serena and the girls visited for Easter weekend
– On March 30th Oliver received his last RSV shot of the season
– We bought a used Outlander because we needed a larger vehicle; Jordan plans to sell my car
– Mary worked with Oliver on April 7th; she loaned him a Tumbleform chair
– I bought a used Baby Einstein activity jumper for Oliver
– On April 9th Oliver tried brown rice cereal and pureed sweet potato for the first time
– Oliver started rolling from his right side onto his belly but can’t get his arms out from under him yet
– On April 13th we had neuromuscular clinic at CHEO; Oliver’s occupational therapist supervised him eating pureed food; we also met with his other specialists; he showed off his new skills; had a long conversation with Dawn about Oliver’s lack of weight gain and agreed we needed to move his surgery up
– Oliver weighed 13 lb 4 oz on April 13th, length 25.4 inches
– Oliver was admitted to CHEO on April 14th for failure to thrive; an NG (nasogastric) feeding tube was inserted and he was placed on the waiting list for emergency gastrostomy surgery; the tube made him sound phlegmy and put him at a higher risk for aspirating; I continued to breastfeed before every tube feed
– Oliver weighed 13 lb 6 oz on April 16th
– On April 19th we met the pediatric dietician, Julie, who understood Oliver’s needs in regard to SMA; we moved his tube feeds to every 4 hours
– On the morning of April 20th Oliver had gastrostomy surgery performed by Dr Bass; a PEG tube was inserted; PPN (peripheral parenteral nutrition) was ordered to keep him from fasting after surgery
– Oliver’s tube feeding was scheduled at 75 ml breastmilk every 4 hours at 75 ml/hr and breastfeeding on demand


5 months old

5 months old

6 MONTHS OLD
April 23 – May 22
– On April 25th Oliver was discharged from the hospital and we moved over to Rogers House for the night; CCAC ordered us some enteral feeding supplies and then we headed home the next day
– Applied for Oliver’s first passport
– Oma stayed with us April 29 to May 2nd; she helped cook while we got used to a new routine with Oliver
– Oliver weighed 13 lb 13 oz on May 4th at the doctor’s office, length 26 inches, head circumference 42 cm; refilled ranitidine prescription and he had his 6 month vaccination
– Jordan’s parents arrived May 7 and stayed til May 10th
– Approved for ACSD (Assistance for Children with Severe Disability), but for the bare minimum
– Travel itinerary for Boston was booked; our first time flying for the NURTURE trial
– Oliver enjoyed being able to sit supported on the floor with toys in front of him
– His first tooth finally came through
– We registered for SMA Family Camp Ontario (July)
– I purchased a new stroller, Bugaboo Donkey Mono, for Oliver; insurance agreed to pay for 80%
– On May 16th we flew to Boston; Oliver did great on the plane, although the whole ordeal was stressful for myself; car service delivered us to our hotel
– In the morning of May 17th Oliver had the motor function test (CHOP-INTEND) and in the afternoon the CMAP; Dr Swoboda was very pleased with his progress
– On May 18th Oliver had his fifth injection of Nusinersen with sedation; he weighed 14 lb 2 oz, length 25.9 inches; he passed the neurological exams and that evening we left the hospital to go out for dinner; the next morning we returned to the hospital for one last neuro exam
– On May 19th we flew home
– I can’t keep Oliver from constantly rolling from his back to tummy, he’s seriously working on this skill


6 months old

6 months old

6 months old

I cannot believe my little boy is 6 months old! We are so happy with the progress he has made; he truly is a miracle!

Second trimester: Weeks 20 – 23

Week 20 (June 15)
I had ordered a bunch of baby clothes from Carters and they arrived this week. I washed everything up and sorted by size and admired the cuteness. You know what’s really annoying about baby clothes? Even among the same brand, the sizes are so wacky. For example, some of the 3 month and 6 month onesies are the exact same size in length… Figure that one out.

I also spent three days painting the nursery! It was a LOT of work but I knew if I didn’t do it myself, it wouldn’t get done. I picked out a gorgeous colour at Canadian Tire in town called Island Aqua. Jordan helped move all the furniture to the very centre of the room and removed all the nails from the walls. After mudding the holes, I taped all the trim, etc. Then I spent two days with the windows wide open while I painted. Once the furniture was moved back into place, I couldn’t believe the transformation of the room! It looks amazing! We are going with a nautical theme and adding in aqua and navy blue accents. I replaced the pink and turquoise fabric drawers with navy and aqua. I’m still in need of curtains and throw rug. I decided to leave Khloë’s name on the wall where it’s always been. Baby boy will have his name on the wall above his crib. It was a LOT of work and I was completely exhausted by the end of each day but it was worth it.

On Thursday I saw Kilmeny, one of my midwives. She said the ultrasound results looked great and gave me a copy. Baby Boy’s heart rate is still in the high 150s, just like his sister. My blood pressure remained low at 88/56. And my total weight gain is 16 lbs!


Weeks 20-21

Week 21 (June 22)
Not much to report for this week in regard to symptoms, other than I think I’m starting to get some Braxton Hicks contractions. Looking at the photo above, I think my belly is popping out more. I have been selling some items and clothes I no longer need in order to make a little extra cash to buy Baby Boy some clothes. I also found the car seat I want to get; my mother-in-law is going to pay for it so I’m just waiting for it to go on sale.

Week 22 (June 29)
Definitely strong Braxton Hicks contractions! I get them quite often. They don’t hurt but can be uncomfortable; it feels like my bladder is being squeezed. After a trip to Walmart on Monday, I starting having some cramps that caused me to curl up on the sofa. I drank a glass of water and laid there for awhile and they went away. I think it’s just because I did a lot of walking around and then carrying all the groceries inside the house. I spent Tuesday at Amanda’s. We used their Silhouette machine to cut out the shape of an anchor and seahorse on 12×12″ scrapbook paper for me to frame in the baby’s room. They look really good in the nursery!

For Canada Day, it rained most of the day. I made chicken noodle soup in the slow cooker and mint chocolate chip cheesecake squares. We didn’t plan on going to any festivities. Holidays are hard without my girl because all I think about is that the previous year we did “this and this” etc with Khloë on a particular holiday. 🙁

We spent the weekend in Kingston with my family. The drive was long and uncomfortable. We stopped for BLTs and a toilet break at the half-way point gas station, but then I dreaded getting back in the car knowing there’s still another 1.5 hours to go. On the Saturday my sister Keesje came over to mom’s house and we made strawberry cupcakes for Ashe’s birthday party. I had already made and defrosted vanilla cupcakes. I whipped the frosting and dyed it blue. We also made decorations in the shapes of dog bones and paw prints; the party’s theme was “Paw Patrol”. That afternoon we all drove down to the cottage. Dinner was hamburgers! Sunday, July 5th was Ashe’s fourth birthday party! I will do a separate post with photos, but it was a beautiful, hot day and he was the perfect little host!


Weeks 22-23

Week 23 (July 6)
On Monday, while still in Kingston, I turned 23 weeks. We had a very long day. After saying goodbye to my mom, Jordan and I headed to Gananoque to Leeder Monuments. We finalized the design for Khloë’s headstone and base and paid for it in full. That’s a weight off our shoulders. It should be completely installed by mid-September. Then we went back to Kingston for some shopping; I had a couple gift cards for Toys R Us to spend. We found a couple outfits, socks, and a navy blue crib sheet with white anchors on it. By the time we got home it was 9 pm.

My sister had sent home with us 5 boxes of my nephew’s clothes, sized 12-18 months. I spent a few days of the week washing, sorting, and folding everything. I also turned 33 on Sunday, July 12th. We went to church in the morning and in the afternoon returned a video card to Staples. I’m definitely thinking of ordering a new computer! Mine is 8 years old and not worth upgrading anymore. On the way home we stopped for Wendy’s and then a hot fudge sundae, yum!

By the end of the week, I was 21 lbs up!

Second trimester: Weeks 14 – 17

Week 14 (May 4)
Hello to the second trimester!

Mothers Day occurred this week. I wasn’t looking forward to it. Last year at this time, we took Khloë to the zoo and spent the weekend in Toronto. This year, she is gone. The hardest thing to come to terms with is being her mama but not having her with me to celebrate. Spending all these special holidays without her truly sucks.

On Saturday I felt the baby move for the first time! I felt a rolling sensation while I was sitting on the sofa. I felt it again later in the afternoon. In the evening the baby pushed right up against my lower belly.


Weeks 14-15

Week 15 (May 11)
My weight gain is 6.8 lbs according to the pregnancy app I use. I’m interested to see how much I gain this time around. With Khloë, I gained 38 lbs and gave birth two weeks early. My belly keeps getting in the way; I am definitely bigger this time around, equivalent to around 18 weeks with Khloë. I’ve been sleeping on my left side but tend to wake up on my back.

On Thursday I saw my midwife. The baby’s heart rate is 150 bpm and my blood pressure is low at 100/60. Weight gain was at 8.6 lbs.

We also spent Friday to Monday in Kingston for the long weekend. The Nicholsons looked after the baby chicks for us. On the Saturday we went to Leeder Monuments and picked out a beautiful red heart-shaped monument for Khloë. Then we stayed overnight at the cottage. I slept poorly because I kept having nightmares about saving Khloë’s life over and over again. My mom did a nice barbecue lunch for us on Sunday.

Week 16 (May 18)
I’m getting so anxious for the anatomy scan! A few more weeks away… Not much to report this week, other than we had the Nicholsons over for dinner. Their two boys love our chickens. They still talk about the time they were “chicken farmers” while we were away.


Weeks 16-17

Week 17 (May 25)
I cleaned up the blender and made my first summer smoothie this week. I love drinking them when it’s warm out–milk, banana, frozen berries, greens, yogurt, and probiotic. I even poured the leftovers into popsicle molds. And then later I made home-made fudgsicles! I was outside catching chickens on Thursday when I heard someone call my name. I turned around and there was my mom and aunt and uncle! They decided to stop in on their way up north for a quick visit. On the Sunday they actually stopped in on their way back from my cousin’s graduation. I made pasta salad, sausages, and lemon cream squares for lunch. I’m at 12 lbs gained.

Second trimester: Weeks 14 – 17

Week 14 (June 17)
After a busy two days in Kingston visiting family and playing with my nephew, I woke up with what I found out to be round ligament pain. When I stood up or walked, it felt like a pulled muscle in my lower belly. I spent most of that day on the couch. After plenty of resting my body, I felt better. Up another pound this week for a total of 5 lbs gained.


Weeks 14-15

Weeks 14-15


Week 15 (June 24)
Nothing new to report for this week in regard to symptoms. I experienced normal aches and pains and continued to eat apples and blueberries every day. Started using Palmers massage cream on my belly. Total of 6.5 lbs gained.

Week 16 (July 1)
Had an appointment with the substitute midwife on July 4th. She took my blood pressure (normal) and weighed me (up 9 lbs total). She had me pee on a stick that checks for proteins and other stuff in your urine. Then I climbed onto the exam table and she palpitated my stomach. The baby was sitting just below my navel, which she said was where it should be at this point. This time she found the heartbeat, which was really cool to listen to! At first the heartbeat was 140 bpm, then it sped up to 150 bpm after the baby moved around a bit. She gave me a requisition and sterile bottle that I need to pee in and bring to the lab at my leisure. The second trimester anatomy scan was booked for July 29th at the large hospital. I will be 20 weeks at the time and Jordan will be home to go with me!

I joined a free Prenatal Nutrition group that meets Wednesdays. We made egg and cheese melts for lunch.


Weeks 16-17

Weeks 16-17


Week 17 (July 8)
I had spent the past weekend in Kingston for Ashe’s second birthday party. On the Saturday, just before I hit 17 weeks, I woke up with a runny nose and very sore throat. I ended up driving home on the Monday, feeling like crap, cutting my visit short. The rest of the week I suffered from a nasty cold. I took Tylenol for my headaches, sucked on Vitamin C Halls for my throat, and went through box upon box of tissues. By the end of the week I had developed a phlegmy cough. I had to skip this weeks Prenatal Nutrition meeting.

A whole lot of playing “catch up”

After two weeks of living in our new house, Jordan was sent away on an exercise in the U.S. until the first week of March and I was left on my own. I don’t know anybody here, which made it kind of lonely. I ended up going back to Kingston for four days, staying at my mom’s house and visiting my family and old co-workers. I was really missing my nephew Ashe, so it was great to get to spend so much time with him. He’s such a happy child!


Playing iPhone games with my buddy!

Playing iPhone games with my buddy!


I’ve noticed that it seems to snow every day here, even if it only lasts a few minutes. The snow is also heavier and sticks to the ground much longer than I’ve seen in Kingston. I hate shoveling. Now that it’s April, the snow is finally melting.

When my darling husband returned, he used up the rest of his leave and ended up with the majority of March off work. We spent a weekend in Kingston staying with friends and I got to visit with Ashe again (in the above photo). Little monkey was 20 months old in that picture, and as of yesterday he’s now 21 months. He’ll be two this July, which is insane!


Ashe @ 20 months old

Ashe @ 20 months old


My mom came up for the second last weekend of March. We painted the master bedroom:


Before

Before

After

After


I am SO excited about moving our furniture into that room. I’ve always wanted a purple room and Jordan said he didn’t care what colour our bedroom was. 🙂 While my mom was here we did lots of cooking and baking. She showed me how to make mushroom risotto. OMG, delicious! I am not a fan of rice, and her risotto was like eating dessert. We also used my Kitchen Aid mixer for the first time (she wants to buy one) and made caramel sticky rolls from scratch and applesauce muffins.

We also spent Easter weekend in Ottawa at his sister and brother-in-law’s. Our niece, Zoë, is just over a year old now. She’s still shy and takes awhile to warm up to us. She’s pretty cute. We didn’t do anything fancy, just hung around the house or went shopping, and had Easter breakfast at their church on Sunday morning, which I think we did last year as well. On the drive home, we detoured through Fort-Coulonge because Jordan wanted to see the red covered bridge:


Standing with the covered bridge in Fort-Coulonge, Quebec.

Standing with the covered bridge in Fort-Coulonge, Quebec.

Snapshot while driving through the covered bridge (iPhone).

Snapshot while driving through the covered bridge (iPhone).


Received a chocolate package from the Attewell’s in Germany:


Chocolate stash from Germany (iPhone).

Chocolate stash from Germany (iPhone).


I’ve begun learning how to use my Canon 60D camera on Manual mode. With the help of this book:


Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson

Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson


It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m now taking the time to teach myself. Doesn’t seem as difficult as I expected, but I’ve still got lots to learn. My camera came with a Canon 18-200mm IS lens and I have been saving up to purchase the Sigma 17-70mm OS lens. One more week and I should be able to buy it. I’m really excited! Not only for a new lens, but for Walt Disney World!

That’s right, we are going to the World where dreams do come true! We are booked into POP Century, a value resort, for 8 nights/9 days in October. We are planning to drive and will also spend a night and full day in Washington, D.C. I’m a little obsessed with Disney World right now. I’ve done so much research and planning already. I even have an itinerary done up in Excel. Okay, I’m crazy. But anyway, I’m going to master Manual mode on my camera and take amazing photos on our vacation, I just know it! 😉