Friday, September 28, 2012

The ultrasound schedule

Each practice is slightly different, so not everyone has the same ultrasound schedule, but it usually follows a similar pattern.  I'll share my schedule to give you a general idea of how it usually goes for a low risk pregnancy.
I had a total of 6 ultrasounds:
  • 7 weeks This was my first ultrasound, and is often referred to as a dating or viability ultrasound. It is mainly just to confirm the due date by measuring the size of the baby and checking the sac development. They also confirm that the baby is growing in the right place and that it is not an ectopic pregnancy. Although they attempted to do mine abdominally with a doppler, it ended up having to be a transvaginal ultrasound because they couldn't get a clear view of the baby with the doppler. I thought it would be scary and terrible but it really wasn't bad at all, and once I saw my teeny blobby baby on the screen and heard that strong heartbeat,  I couldn't have cared less about the method of ultrasound.
  • 11 weeks What a vast difference a month can make! At this appointment, the baby actually looked more like a baby! I could clearly see her legs, arms, head and body. She was kicking me very hard although I couldn't feel a thing. I was in awe of her. I just stared at the screen almost in shock. I knew there was a baby growing inside me but seeing her bouncing around in there was just such an emotional experience. This ultrasound was part of my Nuchal translucency test which is the combination of a scan and blood work to assess the possibility of Down syndrome, trisomy 18 and other major congenital heart problems. (I'll be posting more about the Nuchal scan later)
  • 19 weeks This was part one of my anatomy scan. This ultrasound is much longer than any others, they pretty much measured all the bones in her body, checked the heart, kidneys, brain, face, looking for any possible malformations or structural abnormalties such as spina bifida and cleft palate, etc..  Again a huge change from the last ultrasound in the size and proportion of the baby. She was now a fully formed little person with so much attitude! She kept moving away from the doppler ad would fold herself over in crazy contortions. We weren't able to get a look at her spine or kidneys, they tried everything and even made me lie on my belly for a brief period which was strange! But she still wouldn't cooperate so the anatomy scan was marked as incomplete and I had to come back in two weeks. She was also "breech" at this point she was lying sideways. The best part of this day was I found out my baby was a girl!! But we weren't 100% sure yet because of the position in which she was lying.
  • 21 weeks This was part two of the anatomy scan. Firstly they confirmed that she was a girl!! I would have been happy either way, I didnt really mind which gender the baby was, but it was still nice to know! It helped with narrowing down name ideas and buying clothing and baby gear.  The anatomy scan was completed and she had moved into the correct position with her head down and feet up.
  • 37-38 weeks I don't remember exactly when I had this ultrasound. I'm pretty sure it was at 38 weeks but it might have been 37. The main purpose was to check the fluid and then get an estimate of the size and weight of the baby. I was told my fluid was great and the baby was approximately 7lbs 8oz. The baby was born weighing 6lbs 9oz so their estimate was off by about 1lb.
  • 40 weeks + 4 days I had an ultrasound just to check up on things since I was past my due date. This led to the discovery that I extremely low fluid and I had to be induced.  

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