Our Twelve & Twenty Week Scan Experience
Updated: Jan 17
Our week 12 scan was quite surreal. I had spent the minutes, hours and days leading up to it in a complete stress about whether the baby would actually be in my tummy, alive and well. Despite having numerous pregnancy symptoms I still had major anxiety over miscarriages and missed miscarriages and the internet is a dark place that should be steered clear of until after week 12. I was a mix of excited and anxious in the morning and made sure I drank a crap ton of water so my bladder was nice and full so it was easy to see the baby. We arrived at the hospital and I just kept thinking to myself, ‘please let there be a baby.’ We were called in and the first thing we noticed was a big sign saying ‘No Photographs or Recording’ which threw our idea of documenting the experience out the window.
I lay down on the bed, tucking some tissue in to my leggings and the sonographer but some, surprisingly un-cold gel on my tummy. There I was waiting for the movie style, ‘this might be a bit cold’ but it never came! What did come though was a picture of baby and the sonographer played the heartbeat almost straight away, at which point I burst into tears because I’d still been muttering silent prayers up until that point. The relief of seeing that there was an actual baby in there was overwhelming.
I was curious to know if our due date was roughly the same or if it was a few days out as Leigh was convinced I was a little further along than I thought but absolutely nothing could have prepared us for the sonographer saying that baby’s head was in fact measuring at FOUR WEEKS further along. I told him it wasn’t possible, whilst Leigh gloated in the corner. He said that he wasn’t joking and that I had missed my 12 week scan and was now 16 weeks. He also said that baby was misbehaving and was upside down so it wasn’t possible to get an accurate body measurement so could I go and empty the bladder I had tried so hard to fill and do some star jumps to try and turn it.
I went and did some jumps in the toilet and came back out to wait again. We were called after a little while and went back in, this time armed with a plan. I set my voice recorder going on my phone and left it on the side. Once I was lying back down I asked if I could hear the heartbeat again. We managed to get a clear recording of the heartbeat that I listen to when I’m feeling anxious, it helps remind me that there is a little person inside me and all is well.
Baby hadn’t moved so he sent us out AGAIN. This time we were told to go for a walk and have a fizzy drink in an effort to turn baby. We used the time to call my mum and let her know that she was going to be a grandmother sooner than previously thought. We were still trying to wrap our heads around the fact that we were now expecting a baby in April instead of May as well.
Finally, after nearly 2 hours of hanging out at the hospital Baby had turned, although all the way around so it was lying on its front. It was enough for the sonographer to finally be able to measure the length although it did mean the first picture we got of Baby wasn't that clear.
Still we were thrilled that we'd had the opportunity to see our little one three times AND we managed to get a recording of the heartbeat too. We got two pictures, and we were prepared for the fact you have to pay for them as I'd read it somewhere but I didn't know before that(!) so if you don't know either - be prepared to pay for the photos of your scan. We were charged £3 a picture, but I don't know if prices differ dependent on region.
So that was that. We'd come away from the first scan knowing that that our baby was going to be trouble and not behave and also that it had been sneakily growing without me realising and was no worse off for the cheese/alcohol binges that took place during the month I didn't know. Mostly though we came away knowing that we were very pregnant and it was all very real.
It would be nice to have a scan experience that goes smoothly but apparently our baby doesn't want to play ball. We went to the 20 week scan hoping that maybe this time it would be the right way up, and you know, maybe that the due date hadn't changed again. It was good on one count - we are still the end of April thank goodness. I don't think I could have handled being told the date was wrong AGAIN.
Once again I felt nervous going to the scan. Unlike the 12 week (read 16 week) I wasn't nervous about the baby not being there, my ever extending tummy proves that there is definitely a baby growing in there, but I was nervous that something might be severely wrong and we'd have to make a difficult decision. I would live a much calmer life if I wasn't such a worrier. Leigh just kept reassuring me that we would cross that bridge and that everything would be fine.
We got called in again, and knowing the drill I lay down, had some very warm gel spread on my tummy and waited to see our baby again, hoping that maybe this time we would get a clear view. BUT of course Baby was fast asleep and all curled up into a ball. Thanks for being so helpful pickle.
The sonographer was able to find the majority of the vital bits though - brain, kidneys, two arms, two legs, the umbilical cord into its tummy. He whizzed over the groin as we had made it very clear before he had even started the examination that we did not want to know the sex. Leigh and I have been in agreement about that decision throughout the whole thing. It was really interesting to see all the little parts of Baby and we got a really clear view of its feet.
However the sonographer couldn't see the heart clearly enough to check measurements so once again we had to do the walk/fizzy drink trick and go in again. Only it didn't work this time and our little pickle was still curled up asleep, so we get a week 21 scan as well just to make sure that all is ok there, and that four chambers are present. I feel guilty about that one as Leigh won't be able to see baby again as he'll be at work but if his child will be trouble....
Again we got to take away a couple of pictures, mostly zoomed in on the head, one of the only clear parts but you can see its little nose and lips which I just love. It looks like a real baby now, and is growing at an alarming rate. of course 20 weeks also marked half way through which was pretty exciting and 21 weeks wont be the last time we see it either, because I'm high risk (blame the BMI) we get a couple more scans over the next 4 months which hopefully baby will finally behave at.