I can’t believe I am writing this and I am 34 weeks pregnant. Of course I know I’m pregnant but it felt like only yesterday I was 20 weeks pregnant and looking to the ‘future’ of having another baby. It now feels like that future is here and reality now is that our second child could be joining us in only a matter of a few weeks.
This pregnancy has been hard on me, more so than my first, both emotionally and physically. Last week or so I’ve been extremely emotional and tearful. Maybe that’s because I have a toddler who takes up all my time and energy (I’m exhausted), maybe because I had a cesarean section with my first and it’s caused excruciating pains (adhesion of scar tissue that joined tissues that shouldn’t normally be connected) maybe it’s because of the pregnancy complications that are hanging over our heads once again or maybe it’s just the massive hormone surges that happen when you’re pregnant…
As far I know, the baby is still breech, my placenta is still very low and we still don’t have any answers about whether the placenta has eaten into the cesarean scar tissue or not. An MRI scan has finally been arranged and hopefully we will get all those questions answered next week.
I know now, more than ever I need to keep my shizzle together and maintain a healthy level of perspective. Nothing is going to be gained from letting things get on top of me. I am so, so lucky to be pregnant with our second child and I have to keep faith in our NHS that they will look after the both of us and put our needs first.
When I look back at all the baby scans I’ve had during this pregnancy, it’s quite staggering. There has been loads, starting from being only six weeks pregnant, when the baby was barely a dot on the screen, all the way through to a couple of weeks ago. They have been full of joy but I’ve also let them be tainted with stress and worry that comes along with being told things aren’t going as smoothly as I’d wish (haemorrhaging, placenta issues, size of baby, positioning etc.). As most people who have been through a pregnancy know, an NHS ultrasound scan is a medical checkup, nothing to do with acquainting you with your baby or give you any time to bond or see much of the little life that’s growing inside of you.
I had heard about more advanced ultrasound baby scans before but knew little about them. Even a friend of mine have had an advanced 3D/HD baby scan during their pregnancy, where they got to see their baby in quite staggering detail before giving birth. It definitely tickled my curiosity. Sadly in my first pregnancy it was just something that I didn’t get round to trying, maybe now was a good time?
I found a local company in Milton Keynes called Humpty Bumpty who offer these bonding scans in up to 4D/HD Live at Manor Farm Court in Old Wolverton. They very kindly offered me the chance to experience a bonding scan. How exciting! A chance to see our baby, see what they look like and get to know them a little bit without all the craze of the medical stuff.
My appointment was made for the weekend I turned 33 weeks pregnant. Humpty Bumpty advise the ideal time for a scan is anywhere between 24-32 weeks pregnant. Being 33 weeks didn’t bother me though, as I knew that our baby was breech and I suspected that I had as good a chance as any to see them now as the head still high up in my abdomen.
When I arrived for my appointment with my husband and toddler in tow, we received a warm welcome from the lady on reception before being shown to a sofa waiting area. I was asked to fill a form giving my doctors details, agreeing to some terms and conditions and giving some basic details about the pregnancy.
There is a TV in the waiting area, toys which entertained my toddler and a drinks machine that we were informed we could help ourselves to. My husband approved of the coffee!
We were then called through to the scan suite and introduced to the lady who was going to be conducting the scan for us.
The scan room itself is large with a reclining bed (for the pregnant one to lie on), a large sofa next to the bed for additional people to sit and view the scan on the large widescreen TV opposite and in one corner of the room is lots of toys to keep any accompanying children happy.
The toys were invaluable to us as our two year old really doesn’t quite comprehend or share our enthusiasm for what we were there for and he was quite happy playing with the toys during the scan, taking pauses every now and then to see what was happening to his mummy and to steal his dad’s attention.
During the scan, warm gel was applied to my tummy and then the ultrasound scanner was used just like you would experience in a typical ultrasound in hospital.
Of course NOTHING goes the way you plan when it comes to children or babies. The baby was fast asleep in my tummy and had their hands over their face meaning a clear scan just wasn’t possible. We tried gentle wriggling my tummy to try and wake the baby, drinking lots of cold water and I even had a skip around the room but this little squishee was out for the count. TYPICAL! Haha. The scan was rearranged for a late evening appointment a few days later (this baby has a habit of being most active in the evening which I thought might suit better than the original 10am appointment we had).
At the second appointment it was just my husband and I in attendance as it was past 8pm and our little toddler was fast asleep and being babysat by his great grandmother.
No need to panic this time though. We had success! The baby was awake and more than happy to give us the most amazing scan I’ve ever experienced.
My husband and I were able to see facial features, ears, nose and little eyes that would look at the screen as if they could see us (so cute). A mouth that would open as it they were saying hello to us and arms and legs, it looked like the baby was getting ready to start sucking their thumb too! The scan images were so memorising on the monitor and TV that I could’ve watched for ages and even my husband looked a bit emotional by the experience.
The scan is supposed to last for 30 minutes but I think our scanner gave us much longer. She never once rushed us and for the most part it felt like the room, the lady who was scanning me and the outside world just faded away and it was just my husband and I, holding hands, giggling and saying things like “looks like your nose” and “no, no that’s definitely your smile”.
I am extremely thankful to Humpty Bumpty for kindly arranging the scan for us. I thought ‘bonding’ was just a marketing term but I guarantee that’s exactly what happened in that room. All the anxiety, stress and worry just stopped. It was just us and our baby. Taking centre stage was the intense love, joy for the impending arrival and lots and lots of bonding. It really is the perfect description for it.
When the scan had finished we were given a DVD with the scan recorded onto it. We were also given three colour photo prints of our choice from the variety of 2D/3D/4D HD Live images that were taken during the scan as well as a roll of black and white images that were captured too and a USB stick with all the photos on.
Humpty Bumpty work closely with a local photographer called Annalise Photography and included in the price of the scan is a ‘Bump & Baby’ photo sessions which are worth £195. I’m looking forward to learning more about it and will share the info with you when I know.
So, 34 weeks pregnant now. Nothing has changed except a bit of perspective and a lot of bonding with this little baby (the baby that is curled up asleep in my tummy as I type this). I cannot wait to meet them properly. Maybe even one day I’ll get to show them the scan dvd of when they were tucked up inside mummy’s belly too…