The 12 week scan brings with it mixed emotions, well it did for me at least.
I had so much anxiety leading up to this point about so many things, that this scan would either help to relieve or make them worse. Plus, I was excited to see my (hopefully healthy) baby.
My thoughts were a mixture of,
“will I get there and they just turn around and say, you’re not even pregnant, why are you here?”, Or
“Unfortunately there is an issue with the baby” “Sorry, but there is no heartbeat”,
“Everything is fine, you have a very healthy baby”.
The list goes on...
I had chosen to have the enhanced combined screening scan to check for Down, Patau and Edward’s syndrome, I was concerned about potentially finding out something could be wrong with my baby, but I decided I would rather know than not and have the chance to make informed choices.
The Day of The Scan
When the day came, we arrived at the hospital in Chichester with a mixture of nerves and excitement about finally getting to see our baby. For my husband, as well, I think it would start to feel more real for him seeing baby wriggling around on the screen.
We had a bit of wait in a small waiting area with other excited and anxious looking Mums and Dads to be. When it was finally our turn, we entered the small dark room and we were greeted by a lovely friendly sonographer called Rachel and another lady. I had heard some horrible stories from other Mums whose sonographer had been a little less than friendly at other hospitals. Luckily not the case for us.
I handed over my notes and was asked to get comfortable on the bed while Phil sat beside me. I lifted my top and Rachel squirted some gel onto my belly. She explained that she would start just looking at the ultrasound images on her screen while she got her bearing and would then transfer the images to the TV screen so we could see.
Seeing Our Baby for The First Time
She got started and within a few seconds she beamed a big smile and said
“I can see lovely strong and healthy heartbeat there. Congratulations to you both!”
So I am definitely pregnant then! Few.
I replied, “so there’s definitely only one!?”.
She confirmed just one, so definitely not twins. Although I like the idea of twins, I am not sure the budget would stretch that far!
The picture transferred to the TV screen and we got the first amazing glimpse of our little one. I started to well up; it really is a miracle to grow a little one. I am sure Phil also wiped a little tear from his eye (although he denies it!).
Baby was actually lay facing downwards, which we found quite funny and commented that it took after Dad, who always sleeps on his front! Rachel began to take a good look around, measuring as she went. The baby started to wriggle all over the place, making it hard for her to make her checks, so she moved on to checking the placenta, where we got to see the flow if blood pulsing through, so amazing. She checked my ovaries for cysts and just the general condition of my womb.
The Enhanced Screening
She then needed to carry on with the more in-depth measuring and checking for the signs of Downs, Patau and Edwards and asked me to lift my bottom up and wiggle to get baby to move. I had bought with me a small carton of apple juice as well, which was recommended on the scan information leaflet I received in the post to help getting baby moving if it was in the wrong place for measuring. I didn't need it though, it worked and little one was now lay on its back and more visible. We could clearly see the heart beating away. She then measured the space behind the neck and confirmed straight away that she was confident just from the measurements that we were likely low risk. That really put us at ease.
The scan was complete, I readjusted myself and then we were given 2 scan pictures to take with us for a small donation of our choice.
The Blood Test
Next we were back in the waiting room as I would also need to have a blood test for the final part of the combined screening. While we waited I took picture of our scan on my phone and messaged it to all of our very close friends and family to let them know all was well and our baby was healthy.
Next we were called in by a lovely midwife. She explained what the scan had shown, that the baby was right in the middle of the predicted sizing chart for the current gestation, which is fine, around 10cm, that everything looked fine and that my Estimated Due Date (EDD), had moved by one day from 8th to 7th Jan. She also weighed me and checked my blood pressure.
We moved on to the blood test, which was done in a jiffy. She explained that the bloods plus my scan results would be sent off for testing and analysis and then if they came back high risk I would be contacted within 3 days, if not I would be sent a letter within 10 days to confirm the results. If the results were, high risk we would be asked to come in for another appointment and then it may move onto more advanced screening if we wished to find out more.
She also booked us in for our 20 week scan on 23rd August.
Confirmed Low Risk
Well I am happy to say around a week later we received a letter in the post confirming that we were very low risk for Downs, Patua and Edwards’s syndrome. Although these tests are not 100% conclusive, it gives us some reassurance that baby is growing nicely.
Next job is to tell work….hopefully all goes well and I can relax a little more and enjoy the rest of my pregnancy!