The 12 week scan is not only to check the wellbeing and development of baby, but to also preform a nuchal translucency test. This test predicts whether a woman is at “greater risk” than other women their age of having a baby with chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down Syndrome. This test is done in two parts. The first is a specialised ultrasound scan which precisely measures the thickness on the back of the foetus’ neck. The second part is a blood test.
The other day I finally got to see my tiny baby via ultrasound. It’s been an anxious wait to say the least. It’s a long time to go without having any real indication of how well the baby is doing. Especially seeing I knew I was pregnant quite early on. Before you arrive for your scan you’re required to drink 2 large glasses of water, I do this 40 minutes prior to heading to our local diagnostic imaging centre.
When Hubby and I arrive we take a seat and proceed to wait our turn. However, as soon as I sit down the water I drank some time ago, hits my bladder like a kind of heavy water bowling ball and I now find myself desperate to use the bathroom. I stand up, squeeze my pelvic floors in tight and pray they hold up. As a distraction I hobble up and down the waiting room with my arms wrapped around my waist, slightly hunched over and resembling something similar to that of Quasimodo. They finally call my name and a choir of angels in my head sing “haaaallelujah”.
As soon as the sonographer places the transducer (you know that wand thingy covered in warm gel they use) on my abdomen she lets out a “whoa, your bladder is ridiculously full. You should go to the bathroom and let a good amount out, but not all of it”. With a sigh of relief I reply, “with pleasure” and I race off to the bathroom to somewhat relive myself. When I return I hop back on the bed and the magic begins. Seconds later my precious baby is enlarged on a screen. Immediately it starts to wiggle around as if protesting the intrusion. In my mind I think to myself ‘well it’s moving, so that’s a really good sign’. The sonographer then finds the heartbeat, as I listen to it race I grab Hubby’s hand and a massive smile spreads across my face. The rest of the checks are carried out and from what the sonographer can see everything is where it should be and nothing where it shouldn’t. With the scan done I go and completely empty my bladder, “Ahh, that feels good”. We collect baby’s first photo and then have the obligatory blood test done. A couple of days later the results come back and we’re told the baby is at “low risk”. I start to think about my next scan in 7 weeks when we find out the sex. I can’t wait!