These are the first pictures of baby number four. It's a little early for an ultrasound (I'm just 17 weeks..usually the first ultrasound is done at 20 weeks). But there is good reason for this early look at baby.
I went in for a routine check-up last week Thursday. I had heard baby's heartbeat at my visit four weeks ago and it sounded perfect. This time, it skipped a beat. It was a consistent skip...three beats, nothing, three beats, nothing. At first I thought Dr. P's equipment wasn't working correctly, but when her voice sounded concerned, I knew it wasn't an equipment malfunction. She quickly sent me down to ultrasound to get a better look at baby's heart.
I'm no doctor, but I must tell you I knew the second I saw the ultrasound screen...something was wrong. I could see a muscle (which I assume was the heart) beating three times, then skipping a beat, then beating three beats, then skipping. The ultrasound tech turned up the volume and suddenly I could see and hear baby's heart. Tears started flowing at that moment, and didn't stop for several days.
The tears were for many reasons: fear that something is wrong with my baby, fear that it was caused by something I did (or didn't) do, and an overwhelming realization of how much I already love this baby. That's been the most sobering part of all of this... I didn't really want a fourth baby. I was thought I was warming up to the idea, despite the rude comments and questions I've endured from people (no kidding, numerous people have asked me if this was "planned", or "did you mean to?") I figured by the time baby comes in November, I'd be ready. But, turns out, I'm already ready, and I've already fallen in love with this baby, heart problem or not. When I heard the heartbeat and saw the images on the screen, it hit me like a ton of bricks. This is OUR baby...and let's face it, Brad and I have cute babies! I'm now more excited about this baby than I ever have been. I truly can't wait for November!
In the meantime, I am now considered a "high risk pregnancy"..in all my pregnacies, this is a first. We will do some follow up on the irregular heartbeat. We go to Fargo on June 24th to see a cardiologist from Sioux Falls, and to get a level two ultrasound and a fetal echocardiogram. That should determine if it was a "fluke" thing, or if there really is something wrong with baby's heart. I've been trying not to google "irregular fetal heartbeat", but I couldn't help myself. From what I've read, it happens in about 14-percent of all pregnancies but is only a problem in one to two percent of those. That means statistics are on my side. But, I am cautiously optimistic...I have many friends who have been in that one to two percent in other ways. But, I know that whatever happens, we will be ok. In the meantime, please pray. That is really the only thing anyone can do at this time! And, watch for more baby pics...we'll have lots after the appointment on the 24th!