I am half way this pregnancy… I am 20 weeks pregnant.
This means that we had the anomaly scan and got to see Sticky Bean thanks to the advances in technology giving us great Ultrasound images.
Getting to the ultrasound scan was a bit long- winded: We drove up to the hospital just on schedule, only to discover a HUGE queue of cars waiting to get into the hospital parking lot. After idling for 5 minutes, I decided to hop out and walked, leaving Oh-so-lovely-Daddy to come up with alternative solution for parking. Made my way to the Ultrasound department, or so what used to be the Ultrasound department… now a building site. Now sign on the door. Search for someone in the know. Finally saw a security guard hiding in his back office watching a film on his laptop (?) with headphones in. He pointed out an obscure A4 sheet pinned out on the corridor to say the department has moved to level 4. Dash to the lifts…waited, waited, waited. About 3-4 mins later lift finally arrived… going down. I hopped on, went down and then went up, stopping at each floor.
Found the Ultrasound reception, lady was on the phone. Waited, waited, waited. I was 15 minutes late by the time they checked me in. After signing a consent form to undertake the ultrasound scan (It is not compulsory. As it will show up some of the possible abnormalities in the foetal development, some people choose not to have it done. That’s not me and I don’t understand why someone wouldn’t want the scan!)
I took a seat in the sparse but bright waiting area.
There was a flu vaccination lady by reception asking all expectant mums whether we’ve had the flu jab and offering it to the few who hadn’t. I think this is a great idea!
Oh-so-lovely-Daddy arrived and we waited together. We purchased the £10 voucher for the Ultrasound image printouts. I am rather outraged by the price, but I remembered from previous occasions that it went towards something to do with the department, so that was OK. Tweeting about it wound me up though and I decided to ask. …Yes, it used to go to fund special training days for sonographers, that’s when it was a discretionary and voluntary amount, now it goes to cover hospital debt!!! I was again outraged… at least it took my mind off the wait.
We waited and waited and waited. Just over an hour after my scheduled appointment I was finally called. My bladder was full, as is requested. I lay down on the table and the sonographer, who was absolutely delightful told us she was a midwife and just finished her training as a sonographer.
The purpose of the 20 week ultrasound scan is to take important measurements and check all vital organs have developed. A fidgety foetus and a newly trained sonographer are not a very good combination for this. As soon as the sonographer honed in on the part she needed, Sticky Bean did a flip… this one is a real little monkey!
After about 30 minutes or so I begged to go and empty my bladder. I just couldn’t take the prodding anymore. When I tried to get up I realised I was stuck: my back had totally seized up from lying on the relatively hard surface of the scan table- this is PGP (SPD) related. With help I finally managed to get up.
All done and a bit of stretching and I got back on the bed. The ultrasound took a total of 90 minutes (as opposed to a 20-40 minute scan with a more experienced sonographer and a less mobile foetus). During this time the sonographer took images and measurements of
– skull circumference and a couple of important bits at the base of the skull
– abdomen circumference
– and thigh bone length.
She also checked eye sockets, the nose and the pellet, the spine in it’s whole length, including skin cover of it. She checked the foetal heart, it’s valves, the pulmonary artery and the aorta, that our foetus had a stomach, kidneys and bladder (something that was pretty hard to find as it would seem Sticky Bean was being a little Denise the Menace and had just emptied it.) We counted all 10 fingers and 10 toes, making sure they had healthy bones attaching them to the torso. We were shown the bum and the genitals (though this later bit I’m not sure I was convinced). Everything was as it should be. At one point we even got to zoom in on an ear.
Lying on the table was torture, however the sonographer was so engaging, half the time explaining, half the time talking out loud to herself about what she was looking for in the foetus and what she was seeing from the ultrasound images. All in all it was a lovely experience!
…I have been rendered slightly immobile as a result, but nothing a few days of rest won’t help with. 🙂
Do you know anyone who chose not to have their 20 week scan? Or someone who has found out about a condition at this point? What’s the story?