Today was our anatomical ultrasound. My midwife had warned me that the place they liked to use was “really fantastic, but they have absolutely no bedside manner”. Apparently previous clients have complained about it, but when she rang them up, they said that they “weren’t paid enough to give bad news”. Fair enough, says I.
Anyway, all of that meant that I went along today with absolutely NO expectations. Maybe they wouldn’t let Q. come in. Maybe they wouldn’t show us the baby. Maybe they would be horrible and cold and mean.
Of course, it turns out that they were none of these things. They won’t disclose the gender- if you want to know, they include it in your report. A couple of you have asked about this- Q. and I are choosing to be surprised on our baby’s birthday. Given that I get to carry this baby, I think it will be lovely if Q. is the one to tell me whether we have a son or a daughter.
And they don’t allow the support person in the room while they take their measurements. You’re not supposed to be able to see the screen either, but I was able to get a reasonable view by casually propping my head with my arms. I was able to see that the heart beat was 158 bpm, that the head is still measuring a week ahead (which I’m thrilled with if it means our baby is growing an amazing brain, but seriously, I would love for it to stop being this big by May), and that the baby generally was measuring right on target. I could see the two hemispheres of the brain, but had no idea what all the dark patches and squiggles meant.
Once she froze the screen and turned the monitor to me to show me that our baby was giving me a thumb’s up. Then we chatted about how hard it is to find the hands and see all the digits. After that she pretty much gave me a running commentary of what she was looking for.
After an hour (it was hopefully going to be no more than 45 minutes) she went and got Q. and let him watch while she tried again to get the pictures she needed of the hands and of the heart. She got the hands eventually, and then gave us a head to toe look at our baby, pointing out various things.
Our baby is already a stubborn one. Despite jiggling the ultrasound machine, getting me to roll over, and sending me out to the loo, she couldn’t get the picture we needed of the heart. So she sent me out for a walk, and I ate an orange, had a drink, and a piece of candy before another tech called me back in to try again. Baby had moved a little, but not enough, so she sent me to the loo and then had me jump up and down. Baby was very comfortable, thank you very much, and had NO interest in rolling onto his/her back, so finally the tech went and got Q., gave us another look at our baby, printed us some more pics and asked me to reschedule to come in again.
She said that everything looked fine, but that they really needed one particular picture from one particular angle to satisfy the doctors who interpret the images. She went out of her way to tell us that this was nothing to worry about, and when she was showing us the baby she said the spine was “beautiful”.
I seriously think the women who complained about this place had very unrealistic expectations. I thought they were fantastic. The other possibility is that there’s a difference in how they react to a good ultrasound and a bad one. The worst part of the whole session was when the first tech sent me to use the loo I had to go past a cubicle where some poor woman was sobbing her heart out. It was heart wrenching to hear her, and it made me so grateful again for our baby.
I also think the clot I had has resolved completely because when I asked the first tech about it halfway through the scan she seemed really surprised and then went and did another look of the uterus. So I think she hadn’t seen anything, which is great news.
My midwife will call if there was anything suspicious once she gets the report, but the vibe I got from both techs was that we have nothing to worry about. And we get another sneak peek on Friday! I just hope this time baby decides to cooperate!