One of the Hospital visits that Jen and I were keenly looking forward to was the Pregnancy Dating Scan visit. Jen, because she wanted some sort of confirmation of the pregnancy (she still believed that there was a 1% chance the pregnancy stick she used had errors) and I, because I just wanted to see the baby.
We reached the Hospital almost 40 minutes before the appointment time, mainly due to the enthusiasm and also because this was our first visit to the Hospital and we wanted to acquaint ourselves with the parking, Maternity ward, facilities available etc. We checked in at the Maternity department reception and were asked to wait. The waiting area was calm, well-lit and had other moms-to-be with their partners and some children.
As always, Jen starting reading through the notices and pamphlets around the ward whereas I settled in with my favorite past time- observing people (not staring or judging!). A young couple complaining to the receptionist about how long they have been waiting when others are being called in, another mom-to-be trying everything to gain her partner’s attention whilst he was busy with his phone, a seemingly teenage couple getting all excited about the scan, a middle aged lady with a calm demeanor sipping a cup of coffee; and an elderly couple, probably in their late 60’s, sitting very quietly holding each others hands. I have always been fascinated by the human-kind. We are all so fundamentally similar yet so strikingly different.
Back to the topic, there were notices around the reception room asking the visitors not to take any photos during the scan. Great, I thought! Just the previous day, a colleague of mine had advised me to take some cash with me in case I wanted photos of the scan and I jokingly mentioned that I will take photos with my phone. I ran out to find an ATM and after searching for about 15 minutes within the Hospital, found one right next to the Maternity ward!
We were called in to the scan room shortly afterwards and as we entered, the Sonographer, somewhat discourteously, pointed towards a chair and asked me to sit. I promise I will behave.
After the usual question and answer session, the Sonographer applied gel on Jen’s tummy and started the scan with the Ultrasound probe. I must say, it was not very easy to find the baby as the Sonographer kept changing the probe position. She said that the baby was trying to move away from the probe. Cute! After about a minute or so, a fuzzy outline of the baby emerged which was nowhere near the other scan photos I had seen on various forums online. It was a baby, yes, but it was just not clear. The Sonographer said that for some people, the scan is not clear and that Jen was one of them. After trying for 10 more minutes, the Sonographer asked Jen to have something to drink and return after 20 minutes. The reason was, because of the unclear scan, the Sonographer was unable to perform the Nuchal translucency test (measuring the fluid at the back of the baby’s neck) which forms part of the ‘combined test’ conducted to check for Down’s syndrome.
Jen held my hand walking towards the Hospital cafeteria, deeply lost in her thoughts. I told her there was nothing to worry. And I knew it.
The second attempt at the scan went well, I would say. The scan was still fuzzy but this time we were able to see the baby much clearly. An alien like entity with extended arms. We saw the baby float up and down in the amniotic fluid just like how Leo jumps in air when Jen or I return from work. Does the baby know we are watching? Scientifically, no, but you never know. The Sonographer joked that the baby was dancing to Bollywood music!
It was an amazing, emotional and a ‘goose-bump’ moment. I told myself, “There it is, our baby” and glanced at Jen. She had this distinct look on her face which eventually inspired me to start this blog (read more here).
After trying further, the Sonographer gave up and said that the Nuchal translucency test could not be done as the scan was not clear enough. She advised us to book a blood test with the Hospital to screen for the risk of Down’s syndrome at approximately 14th week of the pregnancy. What she did confirm was that there was one baby and the EDD (Estimated Due Date), which will be 28-Jan-2017.
As we were wrapping up, I asked the Sonographer for a photo. She was not happy with the quality of the photos so decided to give us 2 photos for the cost of 1.
It may be not be clear, but means a lot to us!
Jen sat quietly in the car back home. As I was starting to comprehend what all emotions she must be going through, she looked at me and asked, “What do you think that elderly couple was doing in the Maternity ward?”
You can find more about the Pregnancy Dating scan here.
If you want to share your Dating scan experience, leave a comment. Spread the joy of Parenthood!