I had 3 ultrasounds in my entire pregnancy.
First Ultrasound: Confirm Due Date
I didn’t know about my pregnancy until I was 13 weeks in. The reason(s) for why I ignored all my pregnancy symptoms would make this blog too long, so that would be for another post.
My doctor ordered the first ultrasound around 14 weeks so that we can have a better sense of my estimated due date. I have an irregular menstrual cycle so it was a bit tricky to rely on traditional due date calculators to predict my due date.
I remember being super excited for my first ultrasound. That was when it felt real for me, when I saw those images of my baby in my tummy. It was a quick appointment because all we needed then was to do some measurements (and based on those solidify an estimated due date), check my baby’s heartbeat, and rule out possibilities of ectopic pregnancy.
Fortunately, everything checked out. My baby’s healthy and was indeed 14 weeks strong!
Second Ultrasound: Anatomy Scan
Remember that episode from Friends when Rachel went for her anatomy scan and the whole time she was there she couldn’t make out the baby from the screen? Well, that pretty much sums up my anatomy scan.
I was always excited for my prenatal checkups because I loved hearing my baby’s heartbeat. It gave me a sense of calm and made me really feel the connection with my baby. But I remember being particularly stoked for my anatomy scan because I thought it was my first meet-up with my baby. When I saw my baby on that black and white screen, I instantly felt my emotions overflow. Though I couldn’t make out the images clearly, I just knew I love that baby so much and I’m so proud to be his mama.
There was a point during that 45-minute appointment when my baby moved, lifted his arms and rested his head on them like he was laying on a hammock. My husband laughed and thought it was the cutest thing our baby did. On the other hand, I couldn’t see the image at all. Then the sonographer and my husband both tried to explain how I should look at the image, but by the time I was able to picture it, my baby moved and changed position. I thought he’s already playing tricks with me even in the womb!
When it was time to check his spine and see if it’s well-aligned, the ultrasound technician couldn’t get a good view of it. It was like my baby was purposefully hiding his back from us. So I was asked to do some jumping jacks to try and get my baby to change position, hopefully lay on his tummy and show us his spine.
I felt a little silly doing jumping jacks in the room but I thought, I’ll do whatever it takes just so we can complete my baby’s check up. This was the first instance when I realized that I was ready to be a mother — because I didn’t mind looking silly as long as what I’m doing is for my baby!
To my surprise, the jumping jacks indeed worked! We finally had a good view of his spine. And that was the image that was the easiest for me to make out.
Third Ultrasound: Biophysical Profile
I was coming to 38 weeks when I went for a biophysical profile ultrasound. Again it was to make sure my baby was doing well in the womb, to verify his position, and to check my amniotic fluid level.
Fortunately, everything checked out again. My baby was positioned well — head down, facing my back, and ready to enter my pelvis. His heartbeat was strong as always and my amniotic fluid level was given a good score as well.
After that appointment, I was at the peak of my excitement despite the discomfort I was in. I thought my pregnancy was relatively smooth and was really hoping my labour and delivery would go as planned. However, somewhere between this appointment and when I went into labour, my baby changed position a bit — he lifted his chin up! And I ended up with a vacuum delivery.
So I guess that’s the moral of the story for mamas and mamas-to-be: when it comes to labour and delivery, we can do all the prenatal check-ups, get prepared as much as we could, and confirm everything is good; but we need to have the mindset that it may not always go as planned and we need to be adaptable to what the situation calls for. Frankly, this is such a great introduction to what motherhood is about!
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