fetal echo.

Just in case you were sitting on the edge of your seat about the saga that is our lives…
I’m still pregnant, showing no imminent signs of not being so anytime soon. I went to my normal OB appointment Tuesday before leaving for school, all seemed well, including the NST we did before I traveled across the state. With the NST, I could hear a perfectly normal heartbeat, and it was pretty reassuring all was fine.

Yesterday I attended a picture perfect fetal echo and ultrasound. Not a single arrhythmic beat. All ductuses and ovales that should be open are open. All septums that should be solid are solid. No transposition of vessels.  Anatomically and physiologically text book. THANKTHELORD!

While I 95% felt this was the case all along, there was that shade of doubt and worry over my heart, until I knew his heart was okay.  The perinatalogist gave us the clear to deliver whenever and wherever we wanted. In his very educated (and probably expensive opinion) this was an uncomplicated pregnancy/fetus.  And I got to see him, the him we will soon know…



I know they’re crappy iPhone pictures, but I’m still 400 miles from home.  And seriously… who cares how crappy the pictures are, he is freaking adorable!

So now, a few more stops on the east side and then back to the west side of the state… a few more days of work, and hopefully soon, a baby boy!


getting stuff done.

Everything on the “to-do-before-baby” list is checked.
Even the finding-a-nanny-thing 🙂
And the Jesse-please-put-on-the-trim thing… but not without some mental anguish.  Jesse and I don’t fight very often, and we didn’t fight over this either.  What happened was, neither of us knew what the heck we were doing, and we both got angry at our lack of expertise.  I handle things I’ve never done by jumping in with a “I’ll figure it out” attitude.  Jesse, however, is always more cautious, whether it’s making a (big or small) purchase or putting trim in his first-born’s nursery.  While we normally make a great couple because of our polar opposite-ness, this particular task, um… well, I didn’t cry, so it went pretty okay, but not without frustration on both parties, and some re-do pieces.  And, considering that neither of us had done this particular home improvement, it turned out well in the end. The nursery’s all scrambled up because the paint is drying where I painted over the nail holes, so no pictures yet. Except this one…

IMG_3397Jesse’s cautious perfectionism (seriously, for those of you who know him but didn’t realize he’s this way, it’s 100% true) came in handy for hanging up the curtain rods. They are perfectly spaced. Perfectly level. This is a task Jesse felt confident in doing and rocked it. Honestly, it was fun to be his assistant and watch him do a task he liked and did so well. And Muffin was rolling all over the place, cheering on his daddy 🙂 at least, that’s how it felt to me.  I’m proud of my husband, even though we approach things differently, we worked together, we didn’t fight, and it got done.

I know I said I was going to do this a while ago… maybe even weeks ago. It wasn’t difficult. Just scary. Real.

car seat

Yes, that is a car seat. IN OUR CAR. And window shades and a little mirror thingy and everything. Now it just needs a baby.  A baby. HOLY SHIT.  Seriously, I know there’s probably nothing wrong with Muffin, and he’ll be born, and we’ll bring him home.  However, there is a constant undercurrent of worry… of heart defects, Downs syndrome, and cord accidents.  Of coming home without a baby.  It is my worst nightmare.

But, I believe in a faithful and loving God.  A merciful God. I just continue to pray that Muffin will come home in his snazzy seat with his parents. Healthy.  And pretty soon.

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37 weeks. and a “birth plan”

Birth Plans. Even hearing the phrase makes me giggle. Smirk. Plans and babies. The fact that I’m still pregnant and Mr.Muffin hasn’t purposely chosen to go against my “plan,” my schedule, is a miracle.  I wrote a birth plan before I got pregnant. A long time ago, when we were still living in Mitchell, I was still an OB nurse, and we were still oblivious to PCOS. It is truly what I would like in my perfect birthing situation… it is also a total spoof on “real” birth plans. I have tweaked it since then, but it still holds the same core values.

When you work in labor and delivery you learn, quickly, that the “plan” is to have a breathing, pink, heart-beating baby.  The “no Pitocin, don’t augment me, I want the whole town in the room, no IV fluids, skin-to-skin, baby can’t ever leave my side” crap goes by the wayside quickly if your baby isn’t healthy. People are TOTALLY entitled to have preferences. You are entitled to not have your baby vaccinated (but please, don’t ask me my opinion), to refuse pain medication, to have the lights dimmed, or to have your great-great grandmother in the room. Whatever, as long as the nurses and physicians can keep you and your baby safe, most anything can be kosher.  (God help me, I’m speaking in the tense of a current L&D nurse, I miss that job so much!). What I learned was also, when things look scary or dangerous, the nurse will escort grandma to the waiting room.  The physician will do everything possible to make sure you don’t bleed out on the table. The pediatrician will whisk your baby away to make sure he starts breathing.  And… much to your birth plan’s surprise, you won’t care.  You’ll just want things to be okay.

So, in honor of being “full term” here is my birth plan:


happy full-term week to us. anytime now, mr.muffin. anytime.


I went to bed last night feeling not-so-easy about the appointment yesterday. Today when I ran into the ultrasound tech, I asked him if we could squeeze me in today, despite the fact I was supposed to be working (my lame excuse for scatter-brained nursing that I was performing up to that point). He said he had an opening and my co-workers squashed my guilt about leaving them with a little extra work for an hour… I think they knew if I got a little reassurance, I would come back a more normal version of me. So I waddled down to the ultrasound room.He doesn’t have hydrops (the radiologist in me says so) THANK YOU JESUS.  Anatomically everything looked pretty good. I even got to see his little out-stretched hand for the first time (he had always had his dukes up in fists for ultrasounds). His heart is taking obvious pauses, about every 8-20 beats of so.  My nurse brain says, “it’s fine. quit worrying.”  my mommy brain is more concerned, but still super, duper relieved he doesn’t appear hydrops-y.

I have an appointment with the perinatologist next Thursday for a fetal echo… if I’m still pregnant at that point.  At least that will tell us if this is a physiological (caused by something normal) or pathological (caused by a problem) problem.  Until then, we wait. And pray. And be positive.  If it is something, or is the sign of something, we’ll deal with it.

hello everyone!

hello everyone!

he’s at it again.

“he” being the baby.

“it” being scaring his mother.

At the appointment today I measured ok and gained weight, great! BUT, he had an irregular heart rate today… the base line was in the 130’s, which is perfectly normal, but he would skip a beat here and there every couple seconds. My physician listened for a long time (ok, maybe 2 minutes, but that’s a while with the Doppler), and I heard it, too, of course.  I gave him a good poke, he had a great acceleration into the 150’s, but then slowed down and skipped a few again.

Here’s what I know. Babies can have irregular heartbeats and be born perfectly normal. Mom’s would come to the hospital in labor, the HR would be irregular, and it would annoy the nurses, but I never saw an issue ensue after birth… whether the irregular HR was known about before labor or not.

As she sat and told me she would like another ultrasound and a maternal fetal medicine consult for a fetal echo, but that she thinks it’s nothing… which, of course, feels super contradictory.  I told her this is typically something that is a pain for the nurses to monitor in labor and then ends up being nothing… she smiled, and agreed, saying, “I’m so glad you understand this is probably nothing, but we have to check it out, in case it’s hydrops or something.” I let that slide, didn’t really respond. But hydrops can be a fetal death sentence. I really wish she wouldn’t have said that. I wasn’t worried until she said that.

SO… we have an ultrasound Thursday (every one of our ultrasounds have shown completely normal fetal cardiac activity up to this point). And next week, when I’m on the east side of the state for class, I am going to skip part of my class and head to the perinatologist.  My doc thought it was “awesome” that I would be able to see the peri while I was there, because he’s really difficult to get into over here. Remember, we’re in South Dakota. Specialty medicine is not easy to come by in most of the state. Yay, lucky us. I did warn her that if anything did appear abnormal, I would be delivering on the east side, not coming back to have her deliver. She once again said, “that’s fine, but I don’t think anything is actually wrong.”

This is one of those times I am glad I know things and have the OB experience… BUT, part of me also wishes I could not know some things.  I’m trying to not stress or worry. haha. let’s maybe just have a baby, find out he’s normal, and move on.

yes, the schedule nazi just said that. and I mean it.

maternity pics

I am so fortunate to have a great friend and co-worker who also has a photography business. We intend to have her in the delivery room, if at all possible, to capture the birth of our little man (from the … Continue reading