Today was our early anatomy scan. For an “optional” ultrasound, I was really, really looking forward to it. Again, it’s one of those moments where as a patient, I can’t imagine not having it done.
Midwife note: The early scan is done around 14-17 weeks and is an early anatomy scan. At this point in the pregnancy, not everything can be seen and is not fully formed yet. The medical purpose to this scan is to possibly identify any abnormalities sooner.
Going to the waiting room, I always wonder if I’ll see someone from our practice. There wasn’t anyone. However, I did make the mistake of looking out the door into the hall. One of the genetic counselors walked by and looked in. She made eye contact with me, did a double take and backed up again to wave. I was outed! Oh well - if I was really trying to hide, I would have hidden. I spoke to her later to actually tell her the news.
We were called by our ultrasound tech after 10. She was much more pleasant than the last one. Right away I told her who I was and that I didn't want to know the sex. She said okay and thanked me for letting her know. I also made sure the doctor I wanted to see was there and that he would read my scan.
We started the scan and it was so big! She said the fetus is weighing in at 6 oz. It’s still so crazy to think that a fetus that size is fitting inside my small (flat, not yet showing) belly. She was very good and persistent - I think she really wanted to see everything she could. Embers wasn’t super cooperative again, but with some movements from me and the wand, she got what she needed. She was very careful around the legs/genitals and I didn’t get a peak. Embers has hands and feet, five fingers and toes. The cord insertion appears normal. The placenta is anterior and not near the cervix.
Embers was moving a bit, especially the hands. The hands were right up by the face and even opening and closing. Embers was waving! Embers also liked to really jab and kick the placenta. It was really great to see.
I asked her for a few extra pictures for our parents and told her the last ones we got weren’t so good. She ended up giving us 10 or so pictures! It was really great.
At the end, she went to get the doctor. I hadn’t told him yet, so he was surprised and happy for me. He told me “you hid it well” and asked how long I was going to work (“to the end, right?”). He said all looked well and we’d be back in another 4ish weeks for the comprehensive anatomy scan.
Overall I was really pleased with the experience. The tech was much nicer and the pics were great. I was really in awe of seeing the fetus so much and I never thought I’d felt as emotional/happy as I do.
I am now waiting for movements to happen, which I know can happen later now because of my placenta. It would also be nice to start showing, but I should be grateful I haven’t gained much weight yet and can still wear my clothes, including pants.
Midwife note: Anterior placenta is a variation of normal. This is when the placenta is in the front, or between the belly and the baby. It can act as sort of a pillow and muffle the fetal movements. Women with anterior placentas tend to feel movement later and often feel less movements. As the baby and uterus grow, the movements will intensify as pregnancy progresses.
A pregnant midwife living and working in New York City