We were originally only going to have the ~20 week anatomy scan done, since I'm planning on giving birth at a birth center and wanted to make sure everything checked out ok (ie there wasn't anything indicating a hospital birth would be better). I live really far from my family (I'm in southern FL and my family is in eastern Canada) and I'm going to visit them this week, and my mom is throwing a baby shower for me since this is most likely the last time I will be there until well after this baby is born.
A couple of weeks ago we went for our regular checkup and we asked the midwife if we could schedule our anatomy scan for right before I left for Canada, so we would know the gender. She said it was better to wait until after 20 weeks, but she could get us in for a 'quick dating scan' since we hadn't had one yet and we could find out the gender then. We talked about it and decided to go for it. I was 17 weeks 4 days along on the day the scan was scheduled. When we did get the scan, it was longer than I expected. The tech checked lots of different organs, etc, and explained everything looked good (and announced that he's "definitely" a boy
). At the beginning of the scan he wasn't moving at all and he gradually became more active. Towards the end of the scan, she switched it to 3D and we had a profile image of his head/face. He started putting his arms on his head, over and over again, like he was rubbing his head. He really didn't seem to like the ultrasound, and even the tech seemed a little bit weirded out by it (based on her reaction to it). Even DH seemed to be getting antsy about the whole u/s at this point.
When I got home I did some research and found this article
which basically says that ultrasounds can be heard in the womb and that they can be really loud (~100 dB). It also says that the u/s should not be directed right at the baby's ears unless there is an indication to do so. So now I am thinking that when he was in profile he was hearing the u/s and it was loud enough to be uncomfortable (painful?) which would explain why he was putting his arms up over his head
So I've had all this guilt ever since, feeling bad that this selfish u/s (only done for gender purposes) hurt my baby or maybe even affected his hearing in some way. And of course now I don't want to go back for the anatomy scan. It had already been booked for the day after I next see the midwife and I canceled it (I want to talk to the midwife about the risks/benefits at this point). I know they can't see everything as early as we got the scan (17w4d) but everything checked out and there's no real reason to suspect anything is wrong. Of course on the other hand, I've been on some (necessary) medications that *could* cause birth defects. I've been on prednisone for colitis for some time, and I took Imodium in the first trimester (the pharmacist said it was ok but when my GI doc found out he was concerned, and when I looked into it there was a possible risk of heart defects when taken in the first trimester). So I'm really torn. If I hadn't taken the meds I would probably not be getting another u/s done after all the guilt associated with the last one.
Argh ... I wish this was easier. And I know this is just the beginnings of worry/guilt/hard decisions (this is my first)