For those not opting to have an early private scan, or needing an early NHS one for whatever reason, the first time you’ll get to see a glimpse of your baby is the scan done around 12 weeks. For me that was the case. I didn’t really know what to expect when I went in there – how I’d feel, how long it would take, what the process was.
From calculations based on my last period, we went in there thinking I was 12+4 (12 weeks and four days pregnant). There was a long wait in the room alongside everyone there for pregnancy-related appointments and blood tests (not pleasant when you’re dying for the loo as you have to attend these things with a full bladder), then we were finally called in and I lay down on the bed while Dylan sat next on a chair next to me. On went the jelly stuff (technical term!) and the sonographer started trying to find baby. Everyone always says the jelly is really cold but the surprise for me was exactly how much she was pressing into my belly to get the image on screen! So much so I felt bruised for a couple of days afterwards.
Finally we saw baby – although he/she was not content to lie there and let us have a good gaze. There was rolling around, there was waving, there was thumb sucking. It took probably a good ten minutes for the lady to get the measurement she needed – called the nuchal fold measurement and showing how much fluid there is in the back of the neck, part of the testing for Down’s syndrome which you can opt for at that stage of pregnancy. She also measured baby from crown to rump (which I think is an adorable phrase!) and he/she was 69.9mm meaning she said we were actually 13+1 so the due date was moved forward by four days to September 13.
After that she printed off pictures which weren’t super clear because of the amount of movement going on (she thinks it’s a boy as girls don’t normally give her that much trouble apparently), but they’re just about discernible when you know which end is which. And then we had another wait to see a midwife for my weight and height to be recorded and then another wait for blood tests which would form the second part of the Down’s testing (they told me I’d hear within a few days if we were high risk and needed to talk about further testing or a couple of weeks if low risk (considered less than 1 in 150). Luckily a letter later said we had a 1 in 56,000 risk, so whilst you can never be 100 per cent sure based on the tests we had, those are pretty good odds). All in all the process took about an hour and a half.
The morning was pretty much how I’d expected it, although I wasn’t sure how I’d feel when baby popped up on screen (I’d partly convinced myself even though I’d had all the symptoms and two positive tests including the doctor’s one that there wouldn’t be a baby in there and I’d made it all up), in reality I felt a little choked up. Especially when baby waved at us! It made me extremely excited for the 20 week scan when we will hopefully be able to find out if it’s a he/she and either way we’ll get to see baby again.
As I’ve already mentioned in posts, pregnancy isn’t the best thing since sliced bread but seeing baby on screen definitely is!
Harriet and bump x