This week we have the lovely Naomi who blogs over at Me Becoming Mum talking about what happens at a pre natal scan.
“Every expectant parent spends the days following taking that positive test counting down to the first time they will see their baby on a pre-natal scan. Having had two miscarriages in the past it was an especially nervous time for my husband and me, wondering if we would see our baby’s little heart beating.
We were lucky with our two girls.
Our first daughter was conceived following fertility treatment. Due to the treatment, there was a chance that it could have been a multiple pregnancy, so we were sent for a scan at 7 weeks. Seeing that tiny little blob with a strong beating heart gave us a massive sense of relief.
So far, so good.
We went to Ultrasound Direct to pay for a BabyBond scan at seven weeks with our second daughter. There, on the screen was our second rainbow baby.
By the time we had reached week 12 of my pregnancies, I was so ready for another opportunity to see my babies.
The ‘dating scan’ is the first that you are offered as part of your prenatal appointments, and is usually done between weeks 8 and 14 of your pregnancy. The purpose of this scan is to use the baby’s measurements to find a more accurate estimated date of delivery, or EDD than that provided by the midwife at your booking-in appointment. They also check how many babies you are carrying, as well as the baby’s (or in some cases babies’) development. The last check is to ensure the placenta is in the ‘right’ place. If your scan is between 11 and 14 weeks, you will also be offered a screening test for Down’s syndrome. We declined this test with both of our children, but everyone is entitled to make their own decision, and I do not judge those who choose to have the test performed.
As both my girl’s dating scans were done at 12 weeks, we had a much clearer view of our little ones. The scan gave us an opportunity to watch as our eldest danced and wriggled around.
It gave me a feeling that I can only describe as, ‘euphoria’.
She was happy, and healthy, and content in her little bubble. We got to take an amazingly clear photo home, which we used to share our good news with family and friends. Our second experience couldn’t have been more different. Our youngest was content to rock from side to side, rolling away whenever the sonographer tried to get the view she needed. This resulted in the photo being nowhere near as clear, but it didn’t matter as this time we announced using a photo of our eldest holding the scan photo whilst wearing a t-shirt saying, “I’m going to be a big sister”.
All being well at the dating scan, you are then given an appointment for the ‘anomaly scan’. This is usually booked between weeks 18 and 21 of your pregnancy; and focuses on your baby’s bones, heart, brain, spinal cord, face, kidneys and abdomen. It allows the sonographer to pinpoint potential abnormalities in your baby’s development. Also at this scan, if you so desire – and baby is in a ‘favourable’ position – you will be able to find out your baby’s gender.
Both of our anomaly scans were performed during week 20 of my pregnancies. Despite making the decision when I was pregnant with our eldest that we wanted our baby’s gender to be a surprise; she had other ideas! She spent most of the appointment misbehaving. She caused all sorts of problems for the poor sonographer, who was desperately trying to get the measurements needed. Then she proceeded to roll over, legs wide spread and show us her bits (or lack thereof!) We were having our first girl. We did keep it a secret from those around us, however, choosing to announce it on the day of her birth.
This time around, we decided that we did want to find out. There were two reasons for this.
The first was that our due date this time is 18th December.
Ultimately, we didn’t want to be rushing out a few days from Christmas to get some new clothes if baby was a boy.
Secondly, we wanted our daughter to be given the opportunity to bond with her baby sibling.
We were lucky that the sonographer was able to find out for us, and so we discovered we were having another girl. Using pink paint and our daughter’s handprints we announced this fabulous news to our friends and family.
Although they are functional, the best part about having prenatal scans is simply being able to see your baby and know that everything is ok.
Each scan that we had, for both of our daughters, was such a precious moment of being pregnant with them, and they were some of the best experiences of my life.
It was amazing to share all of them with my husband. Furthermore, having our eldest daughter attend each scan with him and me the second time around brought more new experiences, with her childlike love for the baby sister she had yet to meet. These are memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”