April’s Place

April's Place

As we found out our devastating news that April Rey had trisomy 13, I was writing live updates and recording our journey.

On this page you will find posts about our experiences from our first blood test, through present time as we figure out life without our sweet angel.

The posts have all been kept in order, so it not only follows the sequence of events, but also documents where I was with my grief.

Cell Free DNA Test Positive for Trisomy 13

On this day, July 7 2017, we found out that the cell free DNA test was indicating that April Rey had trisomy 13. We hadn't done the amniocentesis yet, so we didn't yet have a firm diagnosis. We also learned that sweet April was a girl, and gave her a name.

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Amniocentesis Positive for Trisomy 13

The amniocentesis came back positive for trisomy 13. I am broken. I have so many questions. Today is the day after our devastating news. My whole body aches from the pain of this news.

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Questions to Ask the Genetic Counselor about Trisomy 13

We got the results to our amniocentesis today. April Rey has full trisomy 13. We have several questions that we asked the genetic counselor that I've documented in this post.

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Why Would We Ever Consider Not Fighting the Fight?

We haven't made our decision yet on if we are carrying to term, or terminating. But we know one thing- we will NOT make our daughter fight and have surgery after surgery. Here's why.

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Getting More Information & Our Plan Moving Forward

Just my thoughts today. We were given some hope. We've made a plan to get weekly ultrasounds, and a fetal MRI.

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The Worst Fears That I HATE Admitting About The Trisomy 13 Diagnosis

No parent should ever have to think these thoughts. This is probably the most real, raw post I'll ever write. I hate admitting every single word.

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Trisomy 13 April Rey's 17 Week Anatomy Scan

I figured we'd continue to see good ultrasounds for awhile longer. I was so very wrong...

Today, we started seeing significant defects on her ultrasound images, and also received our final amniocentesis report.

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In Honor Of April Rey- A Donation That Can Save Lives

We may not be able to save April, but we are determined to make her life matter. We have set up a fundraiser in her honor, to help living children get the help they need.

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Our Visit To The Hopkins Fetal Therapy Group

We had long conversations about our daughter's genetic diagnosis, compared to her physical abnormalities that are on the ultrasounds and how they "contradict" one another, but add up to a fatal outcome.

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One Week Until Induction Day

There hasn’t been any new news, other than an actual date set for our induction- August 8, 2017.

Yesterday I realized it was one week away. I have one week left to spend with April. One week left to feel her kicks. One week left to talk to her and enjoy her presence.

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April Rey's Birth & Death Announcement

April was such a fighter. She was born at 19.5 weeks gestation. She was ALIVE for 11 minutes! She squeezed my hand and was never in pain. She looked so peaceful.

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Induction Day 1- Taking the Pill to End The Pregnancy

Today was hard. I had to take a pill to end the pregnancy and start the induction process. They make you take a pill so that YOU have to do it. YOU have to swallow it. YOU have to be 100% sure you want to do it.

And I had to sign abortion paperwork. It was devastating.

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The Girl Who Changed My Life: (A Note From Our Photographer)

This note was written by our photographer. She'd never even met us, yet she ran to the hospital to capture April's short life before April was taken away. This photographer gave us the greatest gift.

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Leaving the Hospital With Empty Arms (A Note from My Mom)

A note from my mom about how we had to leave the hospital empty handed, without our sweet April Rey.

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April Rey's Birth Story

All the details written out about the birth process, and our time with April Rey after.

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Memorial Tattoo in Honor of April Rey

I chose to get a watercolor tattoo in April's honor. This came out stunning and is a wonderful celebration of April's life.

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I Didn't Come Home With A Baby, But I Still Gave Birth

My milk came in, my body bled, and all I wanted was my body to know that I didn't get to come home with my baby.

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Dear April Rey (A Letter from Auntie Maria & Uncle Adolfo)

This is a letter that April's auntie and uncle wrote for her. I hope this letter was healing for them to write, as it was such a wonderful tribute to our daughter.

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"You Just Have The One Child?"

It was 3 weeks after April was born. I was asked a simple question at preschool orientation. That simple question cut me to the core, though. It was brutal and I had no idea how to answer...

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Dear April Rey, Today Marks One Month

Today marks one month.
One month since you were born.
One month since you took your first breath.
One month since you held my hand.
One month since I’ve held you in my arms.
One month since you took your last breath.

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One of My Daughters Doesn't Get To Grow Up, And The Other Is Growing Up So Fast

It’s going to be a heart wrenching story to watch unfold.

For every milestone Caroline reaches, I know it’s a milestone that April will never get to experience.

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Pro-life or Pro-choice? Did April's Story Make You Change Your View? Think About New Circumstances?

I am not usually political at all. Unfortunately, everything about our decision to terminate for medical reasons is POLITICAL, however. I am genuinely curious how April's story has impacted other's views.

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A Tree For April

We planted a memorial tree for April Rey today. I had no idea how healing this moment would be. Our 2.5 year old planted and painted rocks. We cried and did a little tiny bit of healing.

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Grieving Our Daughter- No One Knows How to Navigate the Storm for Themselves

There's this storm that keeps hitting. Over. And over. And over. Each time it feels different and raw. Each time it feels harder and I feel weak.

It's been 2.5 months since we held our daughter in our arms. 2.5 months since we had to say goodbye forever.

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Am I Going To Die On My Birthday?

3 months after April was born and died, Caroline was about to turn 3. She stunned me when she asked the question, "am I going to die tomorrow?" Our almost 3 year old was terrified that, since April had died on her birthday, she would too. It's so amazing how children's minds work.

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Family Trip to the Beach (Ocean City, MD) Winter 2017

Then I looked down. There was a black seashell. It was perfect. As I reached down for it, it was a reminder that April was there on that walk with me. In all the blackness and grief that is in my life, there is fullness. There is happiness.

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A Due Date to Remember

My angel's due date: Today I am letting the grief win, though. Today I am letting it be ok to just be sad and miss you. You are forever and always in my heart.

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A Research Project About Trisomy 13 & April Rey's Story

At the beginning of January, I was contacted through my blog. I woke up to the following request, and my heart was so full of joy...

"I have been researching cytogenetic disorders and have recently come across one in particular that I want to learn more about: trisomy 13, Patau syndrome."

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When Our Daughter Was Given a Death Sentence, We Were Given a "Choice"

An explanation of our 4 choices- all would have a fatal outcome. Why we chose to induce early.

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A Special Thanks to the Wonderful People at Hopkins

All of the people at Hopkins took a horrible situation and gave light to it. They are the best examples of truly wonderful, amazing, genuine, thoughtful, and kind people.

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April's Birth Plan- Trisomy 13

This is the exact birth plan that we used for April's birth. There is also a free printable option for you to have a copy if it helps.

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The Day I Gave In To My Grief: I Served Peach Cobbler and Ice Cream for Breakfast

The acceptance part of my grief was the hardest. For me the hardest part wasn't when we lost April, but when we found out we'd lose her.

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Memorial Service- Maryland State Anatomy Board

Every year, they hold a memorial service and spread the ashes of all bodies that were donated in their memorial garden. It was perfect and we were glad to have a memorial service to attend.

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Dear April Rey, On What Should Have Been Your First Birthday

I asked Caroline what she wants to do for your birthday. She wants to bake a cake, because "that's what you do on birthdays." And so, we're going to bake you a cake today.

We're going to decorate it and blow out a candle. I asked Caroline how she wants the cake to be decorated. Her first answer was "with rain." I inquired as to why. "Because April never got to see the rain. She doesn't know what it is and I want to show her."

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I Knew I'd NEVER Get An Abortion, But Life Had Other Plans

Fast forward to my second pregnancy, and I again knew this fact about abortion to be truth.

Except this time something happened...

This time I found myself down a path that would terminate our daughter's life. My truth as I'd known it went out the window and I am now medically considered to have had an abortion.

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In Honor of April Rey 2019

Every year we raise money in honor of April Rey. This year, you can donate and have your angel's name put on the remembrance t-shirt. All funds go directly to the perinatal palliative care team at Hopkins to support parents like us going through TFMR.

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We Thought We Were So Lucky

We thought we were so lucky.

With our first pregnancy, we tried for 1.5 years to get pregnant, and needed fertility help. It was hard and frustrating and felt like it took an eternity.

This time around, we knew that could happen again. We waited to try until we were ready, but also kept in mind that it might take a year or two to conceive.

The first month that we allowed it to happen- it did!

I couldn’t believe my eyes when that second line appeared on the test. I was pregnant. It wasn’t even a faint line. It was dark and real and there! I had no idea what was to come...

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NSGC Conference- Sharing April's Story

April, yesterday I had the honor to tell your story to a room full of genetic counselors. Yesterday I had the honor of speaking to the people that can take your story to the people that need to hear it...

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