No Pictures Please

6 Jul

Since becoming pregnant my life can now be compartmentalised into a series of weeks. Getting to the twelve week mark, the twelve week scan, the sixteen and twenty week antenatal appointments, the twenty six week blood tests, the twenty eight week Anti D injection…the list is endless. I no longer see the months go by. I no longer have any idea what months occur between now and October. All I know is that there are sixteen weeks between now and when my baby arrives. I could be in December and missing Christmas for all I know.

I now have a calendar next to my desk which I must look at about forty times a day. I feel like I’m in prison awaiting my release date. I’ve actually started crossing the days off in black marker.  

So, it was with great relief when I got to the half way mark and ’20 week scan’ appeared in my diary.  I’ve not only been really excited about this because it means I’m half way. More importantly it’s because I get to see my baby again. 

I had heard lots of stories from my friends with babies about how much they could see during their twenty week scan. A few told me how their babies, when born, had looked exactly like they had in the sonogram picture, such was the clarity of the shot. I was truly expecting to lay there as my child waved at me, mouthed ‘hello Mummy’ as hubby and I argued over whether baby had my nose or his.

Of course, this excitement was intertwined with me worrying greatly beforehand. I spent hours fretting over what could be wrong. This isn’t helped by all the literature you receive beforehand telling you what might be detected. It’s even worse than the twelve week scan.

As we get to the hospital and head up to the scan room my heart is seriously in my throat. I keep repeating to hubby all the things that might be wrong, somehow convincing myself that if I think of every worst possible outcome then the fact I’ve thought about it means it won’t happen.  Hubby, who is of the ‘it’s going to be fine and if it isn’t we’ll deal with it’ brigade is graciously reassuring me that our baby will not have claws instead of hands. 

There is a much larger queue then last time which means we’re waiting a lot longer. I see this as a ‘sign’ that something is going to be wrong. Hubby rolls his eyes.

And then we’re called. I go into the room, jump onto the bed, roll my trousers down and get my belly out. I know the drill. On goes the cold gel and then on goes the scanner thingy (I’ve still to learn the medical term) and then there it is. The scrummy little black and white mass that is my baby.

What I didn’t mention is that as we were called into the room, I realised it was the same sonographer I’d had at my pervious scan. This eases my nerves somewhat. I’m hoping she’ll remember the over anxious paranoid Mum to be from last time. It appears she does, but it would also seem sonographer has undergone something of a personality transplant.

I explain I’m feeling nervous about the scan. No response.  Ok, I get she has to concentrate on what she’s doing and of course I don’t want to disturb her very important work. But I suppose I expected a little more explanation of what she was doing and perhaps a tiny bit of reassurance that yes, the heart beat was normal, and yes, it’s ok that baby isn’t moving around so much as last time. It felt like my driving test all over again where you have absolutely no idea if you’re going to spectacularly pass or dismally fail as the stony faced examiner stares straight forward giving nothing away. Expect this time it’s my bloody baby, the most important thing in my life, and I’m getting nothing. This did not help with the anxiety.

I think my baby sensed sonographer lady was being less than forthcoming with her information, so much like its stubborn mother, refused to play ball and despite much cajoling refused to turn around for a picture. Baby would literally not move. I don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl, but I know for sure it’s a little diva.   

So, after what felt more like a business meeting in which I was offered no details and had to ask repeatedly if everything was ok, I also never got to see a clear picture of my baby. Oh and my baby is also breech, something the sonographer never told me, but my midwife did two weeks later. I’m pretty sure this is something she should have shared?

Of course, we are both delighted that everything was normal and our beautiful baby is healthy, but if I’m honest, after grumpy lady and baby doing its best Greta Garbo impression, we both left feeling a little flat. The last thing we had expected.

So, we have decided to pay for a 4D scan at the thirty week mark. I am determined to get a clear shot of baby. Plus, I just need to double check for claws…


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