Preparing for Baby Claire's Birth
August 14 , 2002
9 weeks
    Dr. appt with Obstetrician (OB).  
September 11
13 weeks
    Dr. appt with Obstetrician (OB).  
October 9
17 weeks
    Dr. appt with Obstetrician (OB).  
October 11
    Appt for Amniocentesis. Ultrasound (u/s) showed Choroid plexus cysts (CPC's), flag for Trisomy 18 (T18). No other flags appeared at that time. Dr explained about the cysts and what they could mean for baby.
October 11-21     Researched CPC's and it lead us to do research on T18.  
October 21     Results from Amniocentesis. Full T18. Baby girl.
October 31     Appt with grief counselor.  

Met with priests to discuss options - get church's perspective since this was such a rare situation.
Read Internet articles on grief and anticipatory grief and children's grief.
Told kids, parents, family and only very close friends.
Researched on Internet and contacted women with T18 babies which are thriving to learn their stories.
Spoke with daughter's daycare director.

November 6
22 weeks
    Dr. appt with Obstetrician (OB). Baby is about 10" and 3/4 lb. Gained 5 lbs total.  
November 14     Followup with Geneticist to see T18 markers on u/s. - Brain showed dilated ventricle. Heart and all other organs looked good. One hand wasn't clenched, other one could have been. Baby was 2-3 weeks behind in growth. Amniotic fluid was slightly excessive.
December 4
26 weeks
    Dr. appt with Obstetrician (OB). External measurements are normal. Baby is sideways position.
December 9     Spoke with son's teacher.
Agreed to continue with pregnancy and put baby's future into God's hands, since diagnosis is 'incompatible with life' anyway.
December 12     First Gestational Diabetes screening.
December 13     Slight spotting so went to hospital (per OB's instructions) for monitoring, pre-registered for hospital admission.  
December 19     Meet with another priest - asking about Christening, learned about 'Baptism by Desire (of parents)'.  

January, 2003    

Notified Anesthesiologist to get 'pink card' for epidural at delivery.
Added baby to health plan as unborn child.
Met with hospital bereavement nurse.
Discussed funeral plans so we can come to an agreement before we need to about burial and services.
Contacted Pediatric Neurologist in our area to see if they accepted our health plan, etc.
Decided to name baby Claire Elizabeth.

January 8
31 weeks
    Dr. appt with Obstetrician (OB). Gained 15 lbs. Ultrasound showed CPC's are gone. Measuring 4 weeks behind in growth.  
January 17     Second glucose test (testing for Gestational Diabetes) came back normal.  
January 24     Slipped on ice and hurt my tailbone... stupid stupid stupid!  
January 29
34 weeks
    Dr. appt with Obstetrician (OB). Externally measuring 28 weeks. No additional weight gain.  
January 31     Explained to co-workers the condition of baby and diagnosis of her life expectancy.  
February 10     Baby having frequent hiccups. Increase in movement and increase in false (non-painful) contractions.  
February 18     Finalized birthing plan from reading some others found on the Internet.
Met with Neonatologist at hospital and met nurses, delivered birth plan, and discussed options.
Met with Pediatrician. Discussed care for baby when she is born.
February 19
37 weeks
    Dr. appt with Obstetrician (OB). Ultrasound found amniotic fluid level was normal. Stomach and bladder were full. Baby was about 3lbs 15 oz. and in breech position - given exercises to try to turn her around. Baby measuring around 30 weeks. Ventricle in brain is still dilated.
Gathering information on financial help.
February 26
38 weeks
    Dr. appt with Obstetrician (OB). Gained 19 lbs. so far. Baby still positioned sideways (with butt down). Externally measuring 30 weeks.
Continuing exercises to turn breech baby.
March 4
    Reading more about other babies with T18 and keeping close contact with other moms.
Finalizing lists and stared gathering film and items for keepsakes such as baby blankets, clothing (dresses and gowns), handprint keepsakes kits.
March 5
39 weeks
  Dr. appt with Obstetrician (OB). Dialated one cm. Gained 2 more lbs, total of 21 lbs. Baby is still breech and very low, so it likely won't turn, no more exercises, we will just deliver breech. Dr. doesn't want to induce, given position of baby, so we will wait until I go into labor. Check up again on Friday and then again on Monday if necessary. Baby not moving very much.
Purchased and washed a preemie sized gown for Christening and onsies for baby at hospital, as well as 2 disposable cameras, baby blanket and handprint kit for keepsake. Still packing bags.
March 7
39 weeks
    Dr. appt with Obstetrician (OB). Dilated three cm.  
March 8
    Went to triage at the hospital... Still only dilated two to three cm. Sent home.  
March 10
40 weeks
    Dr. appt with Obstetrician (OB).
Contractions started to get painful at 9pm - but not consistent or close. Made preparations to go to hospital. Fell asleep at 11pm.
March 11
40 weeks
    Up at 2am w/ contractions at 10 mins apart. Arrive at the hospital at 2:30am, contractions were 5 mins apart. Started epidural asap. Baby Claire was born at 11:29am.  

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