Thursday, March 31, 2016

Pregnancy Update and Answers to Your Questions

The baby is doing well. We're almost 17 weeks now. At our appointment last week, he (while we haven't found out sex yet, Steve is convinced it's a boy) was measuring right on schedule. He was quite active on the ultrasound, waving his little arms and legs.

I'm doing okay. For the most part, the morning sickness and exhaustion that I had through the first trimester has eased. Now that I have more energy, I joined the local recreation center and have been going swimming several days a week.

At our last appointment, the doctor gave us a scare. He said he heard some abnormalities with my heart and insisted I see a cardiologist. It had us freaked out on multiple levels. One, I have a strong family history of heart problems, including a somewhat rare heart condition with no cure. My mom has that heart condition and has already outlived her prognosis, but is starting to fail. Two, he made it clear that any heart issue would risk us out of his practice, which would leave us scrambling to find another doctor. He wouldn't even schedule our next appointment until I went for the cardiology consult, which was really frustrating since our next appointment is where we learn if the baby is a boy or a girl.

When I called to set up an appointment with the cardiologist's office, I was initially told that they had no appointments for at least a couple months. I explained the urgency and they managed to squeeze me in earlier this week. Thankfully, I passed the exam with flying colors. I'm scheduled for an echocardiogram to be on the safe side, but the doctor said he doesn't anticipate it showing any issues.

The whole experience has left us questioning our choice of pregnancy doctors. We're not happy about the way he handled the situation. He made it appear that there was a definite problem rather than a possible one, which caused a lot of unnecessary stress. We're also not happy about the fact that in refusing to schedule any appointments until after I saw the cardiologist, he left us hanging as far as prenatal care. If I hadn't been able to convince them to squeeze me in as early as they did, I would have went without any prenatal care for two months.

After talking about it, we've decided to stick with this doctor for now. We're hoping that this was an isolated incident and not a reflection on his true quality of care. There's also the issue of insurance reimbursement. I had a terrible experience with my daughter's birth in a hospital so I'm pretty adamant about doing a homebirth this time around. This doctor is one of the few homebirth practitioners in the area and the only OB/GYN that does them so we have a better chance of insurance reimbursement with him. With that said, we've begun to research other providers in case we change our minds or he freaks out over something else and decides to drop us.

Now for your questions and our answers.

Cat asked: If time and money were not an issue, where would you travel? Or would you?

There are so many places I would love to go. In the US, I would love to see New Orleans, Alaska, Hawaii, the redwood forest and the Grand Canyon. There are probably more, but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. I'd also like to travel to Europe and Australia.

Ronnie asked: How did you choose your blog name? One item on your wish/bucket list.

I've always loved Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken." When I was trying to come up with a blog name, it popped in my head. I saw us at an intersection in our relationship. We could either continue down the more traditional path of relationships (which hadn't been working for us) or we could take a less common path with DD. We chose the less traveled road and it has made all the difference.

Travel is one of the big things on my bucket list. My response to Cat lists a few of the places I would like to go.

Lindy asked: How did you start TTWD? What is your and Steve's favourite implements? Do you both have fantasies and would you fulfill them?

There's a lengthier story about it if you click on the "Our Story" tab at the top of the page, but in a nutshell, I wasn't happy with the way our marriage was (and I found out later that Steve wasn't either) so I started researching ways to fix things. While following links, I landed on a webpage talking about DD. At first, I hated the idea, but I found myself coming back to it again and again. After spending a year researching it and debating about whether Steve would think I was crazy for suggesting it, I finally wrote him a  lengthy email explaining what it was and asking if he would be willing to give it a try. We've had some ups and downs with it, but nearly four years after sending that email, we're stronger than ever.

My favorite implement would probably be Steve's hand. It just feels more personal to me. His would be the wooden paddle.

We've explored a few fantasies over the years so it's always a possibility. However, since some fantasies didn't work out as well in reality, we might choose to keep them in the realm of fantasy.

Lani asked: What are the hardest adjustments you've had to make with pregnancy and ttwd?

Steve has really struggled with the idea of hurting me or the baby. As a result, he's a lot more lenient than he probably should be. While it gives me some wiggle room when the hormones get the better of me (can we say mood swing?), it means he's not as fast to stop me when I'm headed in the wrong direction, which can cause a little issue to spiral into a bigger one.

For me, I think the hardest adjustment is dealing with how protective Steve is right now. He's added rules about not lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk and not standing on chairs to reach stuff that's up high. He even made it a point to move stuff down from high shelves that I can reach without a chair. I tend to be pretty self-sufficient so it bugs me having to ask for help when I think I'm perfectly capable of handling things myself.


  1. Hi Dana, so glad to hear the baby is doing well. 17 weeks already!

    Gosh how scary! That's definitely not good leaving you without prenatal care! It's a good thing you were able to persuade the cardiologist to see you.

    So happy to hear the tests showed no issues. Sending positive thoughts that the echo is clear also.

    Enjoyed reading your answers, those were some great questions.


    1. Thanks Roz. It was great to hear from you.

  2. Thanks for answering all the questions Dana. What a way to scare you with sending you to a cardiologist. Glad everything is alright though. Hope the rest of your pregnancy runs smoothly and no more hiccups.
    You should definitely visit Australia, it is beautiful down here.
    Hugs Lindy

    1. Thanks Lindy. Our plan is to have our house paid off by the time Steve retires so we'll have money free to travel.

  3. Hey Dana...Loved your answers. Wow 17 weeks already. Sorry you had such a scare...I'm sure everything will be fine. Does your insurance cover midwives or doulas? If so, you might want to consider checking in to that route. Sending lots of prayers and positive energy your way.

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

    1. Thanks Cat. Our insurance does cover midwives. The problem is that our state only recognizes certified nurse midwives (CNMs) and there's only a handful of them in the entire state that do homebirths. There are some non-CNM midwives in the area that do homebirths under the radar, but given their non-legal status, they can't take insurance. We have the money to pay out of pocket, but it will wipe out every penny of our savings, which is why we were trying to go with someone that our insurance would cover.

  4. Hey Dana,
    And congrats! Man, I haven't been in blogland lately. I am a few weeks behind you...
    So far I liked all my doctors, but I don't think I would continue seeing yours, the way he created stress when it wasn't necessary can't be good for you. But I understand sometimes we don't have that much choices. Glad to hear you passed the tests though.:)

    Happy napping!


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