What To Expect When You Are Expecting: Ultrasounds

I have had three children. With my first child, the ultrasound was eagerly anticipated. We did not find out the sex of the baby. Our anticipation for the u/s was tempered by the fact that we had to see a genetic counsellor around the same time.

You see my husband’s family has a couple of people with neuromuscular disease — MD, MS. The genetic counsellor assured us that MD, MS passes from the mother’s side of the family, not through the father. We were relieved. I was even more relieved when I began to feel my baby move. The u/s confirmed that here were no problems with the baby. I think I had another u/s later in the pregnancy.

With my second child, we had the scare of our lives. My AFP test came back with a possible Down’s syndrome diagnosis. Strangely I could have dealt with spina bifida much more easily than Down’s. I got the call at home, frantically called my husband, drove my daughter to my in laws, and went for the sonogram. Of course the u/s tech did not say anything as she did her measurements. We were petrified. The next day I got the call that the u/s was fine. I was fewer weeks along than I thought I was so the AFP had given me a false positive. I redid the AFP test. I had another u/s later in the pregnancy. We did find out the sex of the baby, but did not tell anyone.

With my third child, all was going well until I was about 25 weeks when I started measuring larger than I should. I was sent to a high-risk OB/GYN for a high-tech u/s. I was petrified as I did not know what lay ahead for us. The waiting room was filled with moms on monitors and moms who looked sick. Very depressing. The high-risk OB measured my stomach, then measured my head, then measured my husband’s head. He declared that the baby was following in the footsteps of mom and dad with a large head. We were relieved and a little embarrassed. We found out the sex of our son since relatives and friends were asking what they could get us. With two older girls it was handy to receive boy outfits as gifts.

My husband went with me to every sonogram. For my 2nd child our 2-year-old came with us. She thought the baby on the screen was a dog. For my 3rd child, my 4-year-old and 7-year-old accompanied us. They were so proud to be there.

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