Thursday, April 29, 2010


Well, today marks 35 weeks and our first official doctors appointment in Omaha. I decided to wait and drive down this morning so that I could spend a little bit more time at home and to avoid driving in the TERRIBLE wind in SD yesterday! I ended up leaving SF around 7:30 this morning and got to Methodist just in time to get myself registered and checked in with my new perinatologist, Dr. Bonebrake.

It was a pretty routine ultrasound. Our little one remains head far down in fact that they STILL couldn't get us any good pictures of that little face of hers! I give the ultrasound tech credit though...she tried and tried (much better than that last girl I had!) It seems like our little girl is just a little camera shy. She's definitely a little more cramped in there than she was at the last ultrasound. We've gone from being able to see whole areas of her body to just being able to look at an arm or a leg at a time. They estimate that she is right at about 5 lbs. at this point, which would put her in the 30th percentile for size. She's just a little peanut, but we've still got some time to beef her up!

After the ultrasound we had the chance to talk a little about the "plan"...if you can call it that! Originally we thought that we would be coming to Omaha for a planned induction sometime around 39 weeks. Well, apparently for 1st time mamas, inducing increases your risk of c-section by about 50%. He said it would be ideal if I just had someone here in town that I could stay with and just let things happen naturally...little did he know! So now there has been a slight change in plans. Right now I'm scheduled to come back to see Dr. Bonebrake the week of May 17th, and it looks like I'll become a temporary Omaha resident at that time. I'll be about 38 weeks at that point and will just ride things out until she decides its time. He said that he would probably even let me go to 41 weeks....please little girl, lets not wait until 41 weeks. During that "waiting" period we'll get set up with appointments to see our cardiologist and surgeon.

I'm having some major mixed emotions about being away from home for such a long time. Just when I'm getting to that "nesting" point, I've got to pack up my bags and "move." I know that its for the best, but I hate the thought of being away from Matt (and the puppies) for that long. UGH, I don't even like to think about it! Then there's the issue of when I DO go into labor--my husband is 2.5 hours away (not that I'm expecting to have a baby quite that quickly--but still.) Again, so much for planning. We'll make it through, but nobody said we have to like it!

AND WHAT THE HECK AM I GOING TO DO WITH MYSELF WHILE I WAIT!?!?! If anyone in Omaha wants to include me on any little field trips or needs company, help with kids, etc. PLEASE let me know!

So that's the latest. I'm heading back to SF tomorrow morning sometime. I have a feeling that I'm going to become a total homebody these next few weeks, wanting to enjoy every moment that I have there! I have my weekly OB appointment in SF on Monday and a cardiologist appointment on Tuesday.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hap-Hap-Happy Birthday!

No updates today but the Sioux Falls Ritchie's want to send a HAPPY BIRTHDAY wish out to a very special aunt-to-be! Hope that you have a wonderful day!

Monday, April 26, 2010

One step closer

All that I've wanted for the past who knows how many weeks was to have some sort of an idea of our plan of attack to bring our little miracle into the world. Now that we are getting closer to a plan, I've decided that it would be best for everyone if I just kept her inside all to myself where I know that she is safe and sound! Perpetually pregnant??? Maybe not.

I got the long awaited phone call from Dr. Sami's office today. When I saw their number on my caller ID, my stomach did a little "jump for joy" as I knew we were finally going to be moving forward with things. I was given the phone number of a perinatologist at Methodist (Dr. Bonebrake) and was told to call and make an appointment with them within the next couple of weeks. One phone call later and we were set to go with an appointment on Thursday...yes...THIS Thursday (apparently he is going to be gone all next week and they didn't want to keep pushing things back).

As soon as I hung up the phone, my stomach stopped its happy go lucky routine and just sunk. Everything is starting to become a whole lot more REAL, and as excited as we are for this big day to finally be here...there is a constant looming fear that accompanies it. You anticipate for your life to change after having a child, but there was no anticipating the road that we have been chosen to travel. There was no anticipating that such a happy moment in our lives could be so unsettling and frightening. We've known about her heart problem for about 20 weeks, and personally, that much anticipating has been enough for me!! Now the official countdown is starting for Little Miss Ritchie makes her grand entrance into this world.

So back to our appointment... unfortunately work is very busy AND short-handed for Matt right now, so I will be making the trip on my own. Lucky for me, my mom and sister have both offered to come along with me. I'll drive down Thursday AM and my appointment is at 11. After that we might actually have an expected arrival date for our little lady!!

I forgot to put up at 34 week picture last week so we'll go with 34.5 weeks instead! Focus on the belly part...not the "end of the day, no make-up face" that I have going on!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I called Dr. Sami's office this afternoon because I still hadn't heard anything about how the conference went yesterday. There is good reason for that...It's NEXT Monday! Oops! I guess that I just wanted it to be this week. His nurse said that if I don't hear from her next Monday afternoon (the 26th) to give her a call the following day.

Patience Kristen, patience.

Monday, April 19, 2010

STUBBORN Little Miss Ritchie

Well, its official. I'm done with every 2 week visits and and bumping it up to WEEKLY! CRAZY!

I had a routine visit this afternoon with Dr. Berdahl. Everything continues to go smoothly! They decided that they wanted to start doing weekly non-stress tests (NSTs) which proved to be interesting. Basically they put 2 monitors around my to measure the fetal heart rate and the other to check for contractions. They got a baseline rate and then had me drink some OJ and eat come crackers to get the little lady moving. Healthy babies will respond with an increased heart rate during movement, and the heart rate will decrease at rest. They want the heart rate to increase by 10 beats per minute for 15 consecutive beats. Wouldn't you know that our child would make it 13 beats and then drop back down...REPEATEDLY! If you don't "pass" the test, then they want you to go for another scan so that they can monitor fetal activity. The catch in my situation was that it was just past 5:00 and the maternal fetal medicine office was closed. That meant that I would have to go to the hospital labor and delivery unit. Lucky for me, after almost 45 minutes the little stinker finally cooperated and held an increased rate for 15 full beats before settling back down to her baseline. THANK YOU LITTLE MISS!

Also, today was the day that Dr. Sami (cardiology) was supposed to have his conference with the doctors at Children's. Hopefully we will hear from him in the next few days and we can start moving forward with our delivery plans and any appointments in Omaha between now and then. I'm trying to be patient!!

Not much else new here. We are trying to get as many little projects done around the house as we can before the big day. I can't believe that I'm already approaching the 34 week point. A little over a month and we'll have a baby!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Positive thinking

Last night while we were laying in bed I asked Matt how he stays so positive when thinking about what our baby girl's future holds. For the most part I think that I do pretty well with this, but there are always those pesky "what if" negative thoughts that manage to rear their ugly faces, despite how much I try to fight them off. As a result of our diagnosis I've come across many other blogs from families with heart babies and have even been befriended by a few. While its difficult to read about all of the obstacles they face, its uplifting to see when they come through triumphant. They are all so positive....

A while back I read a story on another woman's blog who's daughter has a heart condition very similar to what our little girl has been diagnosed with. I had shared with my family, but thought that others might enjoy it also.

"Not too long ago in Heaven there was a little soul who took wonder in observing the world. She especially enjoyed the love she saw there and often expressed this joy with God. One day however the little soul was sad, for on this day she saw suffering in the world. She approached God and sadly asked, “Why do bad things happen; why is there suffering in the world?” God paused for a moment and replied, “Little soul, do not be sad, for the suffering you see, unlocks the love in people’s hearts.” The little soul was confused. “What do you mean,” she asked.” God replied, “Have you not noticed the goodness and love that is the offspring of that suffering? Look at how people come together, drop their differences and show their love and compassion for those who suffer. All their other motivations disappear and they become motivated by love alone.” The little soul began to understand and listened attentively as God continued, “The suffering soul unlocks the love in people’s hearts much like the sun and the rain unlock the flower within the seed. I created everyone with endless love in their heart, but unfortunately most people keep it locked up and hardly share it with anyone. They are afraid to let their love shine freely, because they are afraid of being hurt. But a suffering soul unlocks that love. I tell you this - it is the greatest miracle of all. Many souls have bravely chosen to go into the world and suffer - to unlock this love – to create this miracle - for the good of all humanity.” Just then the little soul got a wonderful idea and could hardly contain herself. With her wings fluttering, bouncing up and down, the little soul excitedly replied, “I am brave; let me go! I would like to go into the world and suffer so that I can unlock the goodness and love in people’s hearts! I want to create that miracle!” God smiled and said, “You are a brave soul I know, and thus I will grant your request. But even though you are very brave you will not be able to do this alone. I have known since the beginning of time that you would ask for this and so I have carefully selected many souls to care for you on your journey. Those souls will help you create your miracle; however they will also share in your suffering. Two of these souls are most special and will care for you, help you and suffer along with you, far beyond the others. They have already chosen a name for you. In parting, God said, “Do not forget little soul that I will be with you always. Although you have agreed to bear the pain, you will do so through my strength. And if the time should come when you feel that you have suffered enough, just say the word, think the thought, and you will be healed.” At that moment the brave little soul was born into the world, and through her suffering and God’s strength, she unlocked the goodness and love in people’s hearts. Many people dropped their differences and came together to show their love. Priorities became properly aligned. People gave from their hearts. Those that were always too busy found time. Parents hugged their children tighter. Friends and family grew closer. Old friends got together and new friendships were made. Distant family reunited, and every family spent more time together. Lives changed forever. The world was a better place. The miracle had happened. ~ John Alessi"

Matt and I have been given this little girl for a reason, and we will fight with her and for her every step of the way. We have more than our fair share of reasons to be positive. Thank all of you over and over again for all of the thoughts and prayers and for being additional brave souls in our lives!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Baby Shower

This past weekend I packed up and headed down to Omaha for a baby shower thrown by my lovely sisters. I hadn't been back to see my family since the end of January, so it was a much needed trip! Nothing like a day full of family, friends, yummy food and adorable little baby gifts! Thank you again to everyone who came to help celebrate our little girl. Most of all though, thank you to Jill, Angie and Lindsey for putting together such a wonderful day. Angie, I wish that you would have been able to be there. You were missed!!

The Goeser Ladies (minus Angie)
Me with Matt's aunt Deanna, sister Kristen and mom Vicki
Me with Matt's step-mom Mary and sister Kristen
Looking at books with my niece and helper for the day, Aubrey
Just before this picture she said to me "You weigh a little more than you used to!" THANKS!
Baby bump at just over 32 weeks!

While I was busy baby-showering, my oh-so competitive husband was having a boy's weekend. After 2 days full of frisbee golf, ping-pong, bowling, golf, etc. he earned the title "Supreme Master of the Universe." Needless to say, the trophy below will be staying in the garage! Its the most disgusting, tacky thing in the world, but he was soooo proud of it!

Thank God I was in Omaha while this was all going on!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pretty girl

Today was the first of my every 2 week visits with my OB. Once again, it was nothing super eventful, but nice to know that everything is progressing right on track. It just never gets old hearing that little heart beat. I go in for one last ultrasound and a final visit with the cardiologist in another month and then we're about 3 weeks from induction--assuming there is no change of plans or a baby who wants to come early! As impatient as her mommy and daddy can be, it wouldn't surprise me!

On another note, I was looking online at one of my favorite websites and found some super cute baby headbands. The pictures that they had on the site made them too cute to pass up. I put an order in and got my package yesterday.

I needed a model to get the full effect...

Maybe might not look like she was thrilled, but I think that deep down she felt quite pretty. Haha...I was lucky enough to get her to cooperate for 2 seconds while I snapped a picture!

Friday, April 2, 2010

31 weeks down, 8 more to go!

It was a pretty uneventful week here. There were no doctors appointments, no major news on the baby-front, no doggy granola bar raids. Matt had a chaotic week at work, but I just sat back and enjoyed the beautiful weather (sorry honey, not to rub it in!) I'm always amazed at how excited I get the first time I get to walk outside barefoot each spring. I guess its the little things in life...

We are sticking around Sioux Falls for Easter since Matt has to work the weekend. Lucky for me, I get to go back and see the fam next weekend. My LOVELY sisters are having a baby shower for me! I haven't seen family since late January and I have a few out of state friends coming as well, so it will be good to go back. Matt is going to stick around Sioux Falls and have a few Nebraska friends up to our place. Should be a good guys weekend/girls weekend!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend and that the Easter bunny treats you well!