Scanner in the works

We mastered the post writing bit some time before the blog set-up bit, so have some historical posts to share with you. Here is one about Cath’s 12-week scan.

I didn’t think there could possibly be any advantage to having long cycles (apart from getting less periods, which although a good idea in theory, actually isn’t so great when you’re trying to have a baby). However, this led to an unexpected bonus: TWO scans in the first trimester.

A pregnancy is measured from the first day of your last menstrual period, or LMP in medical-speak. Therefore, at my booking appointment they counted ahead accordingly and booked my scan in for 12 weeks after this event. They also informed me that my due date was 21st June. Instinctively, I knew this wasn’t right. It just didn’t feel likely, or even realistic, that out of the blue I would have had the perfect 28-day cycle. I also had a strong feeling about when conception occurred and this was actually 4 weeks after my LMP.

Anyhow, along we trot to the so-called 12-week scan. We see our little baby for the first time – amazing! However, the sonographer then tells us that the baby is not big enough for her to observe everything she needs to observe; it needs to grow an extra half a centimetre, which seems like a tiny amount but when you consider the overall size of the foetus I suppose it makes sense.Baby pic for blog

Our mini baby!

The sonographer re-dates my pregnancy to 10 weeks and reschedules my due date to July 4th, 1 week and 6 days later than the original date! My feeling about ovulation was therefore correct and I am relieved that the mystery is resolved – it would have been perplexing to continue through the pregnancy with the timings based on a system that I knew wasn’t right for me. We book the real “12-week” appointment for a fortnight’s time.

At my booking appointment, the midwife had instructed me to drink a litre of water in the hour before the scan and not visit the bathroom during this time. The idea is that the full bladder makes everything clearer to see… This all goes perfectly fine at my first “12-week” scan and in fact we take away some really cute pictures of the tiny little 4cm-long baby.

The second scan 2 weeks later, however, is a different story. I haven’t even finished all I’d supposed to – I’ve drunk maybe two thirds of a litre – but the sonographer says the baby cannot be observed properly because of my overfull bladder. Indeed, on the screen, we can see the poor little thing squirming around under this huge sac of fluid. Directed to empty half my bladder contents, once I am in the process of doing so I simply can’t hold on and out it all comes. Upon returning to the scan room, the sonographer now says I’m too empty and need to drink more liquid! So out we trot back to the waiting room while she sees another, more cooperative patient, and I stock up again from the water machine. Thankfully, on the second attempt my bladder appears to be the correct fullness and the baby can be accounted for. Thank goodness, after all that, everything appears to be fine.

Since that fiasco, I am particularly conscious about obeying any urge to go as I now visualise the tiny little creature inside, curled up in defence against this vast bulge encroaching on its home!

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