Monday, 31 October 2011

1st Scan

Soon after our booking-in visit with the midwife, we received our letter from the NHS informing us of the date and time our ultrasound would be taking place.  The refer to it as a "scan" here and it generally takes place at the local hospital.  And you read right, they tell you when to come.  No "What works best for you?"  There's a number to call if you need to reschedule, but you're pretty much expected to come when you're told.

We were super excited to finally see the baby and have it all seem more real!  I read a fair number of blogs and most of the pregnant Americans I know get to see the baby way earlier than 12 weeks.  We were holding off on going public with our announcement until we'd seen that everything looked to be developing ok.

We arrived in the antenatal department and were told to take a seat and wait for our names to be called.  I looked around the room and was shocked by what a depressing sight it was.  None of the couples scattered around the room looked particularly happy.  And the toothpaste colored walls didn't help.  I felt conspicuous in the fact that Ross and I were smiley and holding hands.  At 32, I think I was closer to most of the grandmother's ages than the mothers.  I looked at him and said "Where are the happy couples?"

I realized pregnancy is a complicated time for people and that people are sometimes not getting good news during their visit.  This point was hammered home when I saw a large-ish family making their way out of the area.  The very-pregnant mother and her mom were both in tears and everyone else was huddled around.  I'm not sure what had happened, but I still think about them and wonder if they're ok.

Finally, we were called back to the dark scan room.  The technician started up the process and soon enough we were looking at our little baby.

Sept. 1st scan

And it actually looked like a baby!  I get the appeal of waiting this long to take a look.  As the technician explained to me, you can't really see anything earlier anyway.  I was amazed that at 12 weeks, we already had a little person.  Not a blob or a bean, but a person!

I wasn't prepared for how hard the technician would have to push to get this image.  Man, that hurt!  She was really digging in.  I'm sure my "layer of belly insulation" wasn't making things any easier for her.  We couldn't hear it, but we could see the little heart beating.  I just kept thinking how pretty our baby looked.  The technician tried to get the baby to move so she could take all the measurements she needed, but was unsuccessful.  I was told to go drink some more water and walk around a while.  I followed instructions and was called back after a bit.  The baby cooperated a little more and they were able to take all the measurements they needed.  The technician proclaimed that everything was developing on track and that my new due date was March 5th (2 days earlier than my original).  

Then we waited to be called for blood work.  A short wait later, I was taken over and weighed.  At this point I found out that my decreased appetite had really had an impact- I was down about 10 pounds from my starting weight.  I thought I'd gotten a little slimmer, but was surprised by how much.  I was swapping belly for baby.  Sounds like a good trade to me!  Not that I was trying, but I'll take it...

Finally, some quick blood work from a very friendly midwife and we were all set.  She told me that they'd be in touch if something was wrong and we'd receive a letter if everything was fine.  We went to the desk to pay our 4.50 to get our baby's first picture.  Yep, the healthcare may be free, but a picture of your little one will cost you.  The letter we'd received had explained that we needed exact change, so we were prepared.

What was your first scan like?
Was there anything surprising about it?

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! I can already tell that baby is going to be a looker ;-)