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Ultrasound or not?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

With my son I had two ultrasounds - the nuchal scan at 12 weeks, and the anatomy scan at 18 weeks.  We didn't take it easy with the doppler, either.  He's now left handed (which doesn't run in either family) and very hyperactive.  I wonder how much of it can be attributed to all the ultrasound he was exposed to.

 

This time, I have been wavering on the anatomy scan.  I expect we'll allow a doppler at our first appointment so Husband can hear the heart, but only fetoscope after that.  No nuchal scan for sure, and we're not convinced on even getting the 20 week scan.  I've done my research, and I know the risks are high even for a single exposure.  But there are two factors that make me think the anatomy scan might be a good idea.  The first is that we're probably going to have a UC, and it would be nice to know that everything is ok (and that there's only one baby, which is a concern).  The second is that I have an extreme preference for a boy, to the point that I am already starting to get depressed at the thought of having a girl, which I feel this baby is.  If I am able to find out the sex ahead of time, I feel it might help me to get used to the idea and have a plan to address my depression when she comes.

 

What do you think?  In my situation, would you have the anatomy scan, despite the risks?  Would you try to limit the length of it (I'm thinking of putting a 15 minute limit on it, and walking out if it goes longer)?

post #2 of 30

The only scan I'm planning on getting is the gender prediction scan around 19-20 weeks. We're not surprise kind of people. I say go for it, if you already know you'll need some warm up time if you find out it's a girl.

 

As far as length of ultrasounds, they don't usually last longer than 15 minutes do they?

post #3 of 30

Honestly, all of the hoopla surrounding u/s is a bit silly (IMO)... if there truly was great issue with u/s we'd see a lot more serious problems. Boys are notoriously hyper... and left handed might run in your family but was discouraged.

 

I say if it makes you feel good get the scan. If you're a planner... do it. :) I did not have one with my last daughter and while I really enjoyed the surprise ending, I am a planner and it definitely stressed me out greatly not knowing what she was and planning for clothing. :)

post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Demeter~ View Post

Honestly, all of the hoopla surrounding u/s is a bit silly (IMO)... if there truly was great issue with u/s we'd see a lot more serious problems. Boys are notoriously hyper... and left handed might run in your family but was discouraged.

 

I say if it makes you feel good get the scan. If you're a planner... do it. :) I did not have one with my last daughter and while I really enjoyed the surprise ending, I am a planner and it definitely stressed me out greatly not knowing what she was and planning for clothing. :)


I'm 100% with Demeter on this.

 

post #5 of 30

I know people don't mean it that way, but I never quite get the idea that if you're a "planner" you need to find out the sex.  I didn't with my first so all I did was gather newborn clothes that would work for either, plus a few things I liked that were very boy or girl specific just in case either way.  I did mostly get yard sale stuff.  I still have all those things so I can get that together for when the baby is born.  After I had Elsa everyone was so excited that I got a ton of cute girly clothes as gifts so I don't really see how not finding out makes me less organized or more willy-nilly or anything.  ;)

 

I don't like the idea of ultrasounds in general, for several personal reasons I won't get into.  Obviously I don't begrudge anyone their decision to get as many as they like, it's a personal thing.

 

I will be getting the 20 week one, and probably a few more near the end to get an idea of size.  Not that I trust the technology 100% in that regard, I know it can be off, but I figure it's something that can help me make some decisions down the line.

post #6 of 30

Using an u/s to assess size is a really bad idea, they are more often than not off by a pound or more (either way). I've seen way too many women get bullied into an induction because of the 'size' of their baby... when at birth they are healthy and perfect, not too big or not too small.

 

And I wasn't implying that someone who didn't find out the sex was any less organized, I was only stating my own feelings and experiences. I felt unorganized and unprepared. It was near to impossible to find anything gender neutral at the stores and it really stressed me out, it seems most lines are phasing that stuff out unless you can afford boutique prices... which I can not. I was lucky I had a few friends that sent me some boy clothes on the chance that Marah was a boy but that didn't happen until I was almost 40 weeks and those last few weeks of nesting were hard on me.

post #7 of 30

I knew what you meant, no worries.  I just find a lot of people telling me things like "Oh, I could never not find out, I'm just toooo organized!"  Like you can't be otherwise.  I know nobody means it the way it sounds, that's just my hangup.

 

I know it's not very reliable, but having already had one over 13 lbs that pressure is going to be there no matter what.  I plan to look at it in combination with other factors like fundal height, but my fundal height and measurements were perfect with Elsa so I know that doesn't mean much either.  I don't really have much choice.  It will be information I use at my discretion - if I've been laboring for days and I don't feel like I've made any progress then it might sway me to make different decisions if I think the baby is close to Elsa's size.  I will refuse any kind of induction because of my previous c-section anyway.  This is stuff I would use only after I went into labor on my own.

post #8 of 30

Funny... my fundal height is always larger than average. I'm about 8 weeks right now and a good 2-4 fingers above my pubic bone depending on the point in the day. lol I just finally decided to sit down and come up with a logical ovulation date that I can use because I'm always screwed over and forced into induction because I'm 'past dates' even though my placenta is healthy and functioning and looks perfect upon delivery.

 

I was pretty insistent last pregnancy that I did not want to find out gender and I was good with that decision all the way up until the end and nesting kicked in. I wanted to have what I needed ready, lol.

post #9 of 30

I had 2 u/s with my first and far too many with my second. The German doctor I had with my second wanted to do an ultrasound at every appointment! I said no several times. I let them do one at my first appointment, one at 20 weeks to see if everything looked good (did not want to know the sex), and one on my due date because we were planning a home birth and knowing that baby looked good and was in position eased my husband's worries. My children are both very healthy and I don't think it did them any harm, but I'll be limiting the ultrasound to 2 this time unless there is an emergency. I'll have one at 10 weeks and another around 20.

post #10 of 30

I'll end up having a few more than "usual," because of my diabetes. Besides my dating ultrasound and anatomy scan last time, I had a detailed anatomy scan to look closely at brain development and a fetal echocardiogram to look at the heart. And then towards the end I had one to look at general baby size, because diabetic moms often have large babies (I didn't, though!) I'm not worried at all. I think ultrasounds are safe. I don't think I'd want one every single appointment, but having a couple extra doesn't bother me.

post #11 of 30

I had 5 or so with DD. The dating one, the 13 week one, the anatomy one, and at the end a few bio-physical profiles to determine how much amniotic fluid was there.  I plan to do the exact same thing this time.  I definitely want the dating one and the anatomy scan, and I also want the 13 week genetic testing.  I would not terminate the pregnancy no matter what, but if the child I am carrying will be born with serious disabilities, I want to give myself the opportunity to plan for it during the pregnancy and adjust.  I also thought about not finding out about the gender, but there is no way I can have access to that information and deny myself.  For me it's not so much planning for clothing as it is planning our LIVES.  We only have a two bedroom home, so if this baby is a boy, we will have to start thinking of moving in the next five years.  It will also mean that we are going to be parents of either two little girls or one girl one boy - that information is life changing and I want the chance to prepare for it before the baby comes comes. Then, in order to allow me to go to 42 weeks, I am comfortable doing whatever it takes to ensure the baby is fine to avoid induction.  I don't worry about the side effects of that many USs because the alternative of not having them at all is not acceptable to me because the information gained from the US is very important to me. 

post #12 of 30

I had quite a few with my ds as we were put on high risk after losing dd. I liked the peace of mind it gave me. But I can't believe I looked at the pictures all the way through wondering what the bubble was next to his neck and was suprised by a nuchal cord! I had the normal first two, another one in the 2nd tri, then at some point moved to monthly, then weekly NSTs with ultrasounds at the end. I have no problem with ultrasounds. This time I do not want to find out the sex. I have boys and girls clothing so it is not an issue. However I also will be sad if it's a boy. Yes i know my ds will be closer to a brother so it'll be lovely for him to have a boy. If it is a boy I will be happy for him to have a sibbling he can be so close to. However after having lost one daughter I ache for a girl. I don't want to find the sex as I hope I'll just be so overjoyed by a baby it won't be such a big deal if it''s a boy. At a scan it's a bit sort of flat, you have nothing, nothing exciting is happening so if I get told at a scan I'm having a boy I will feel saddness.

post #13 of 30

I am concerned about exposure to too much ultrasound, especially early on, but I really don't think one ultrasound poses a significant risk. I only plan on getting the anatomy ultrasound at this point. I can totally respect wanting time to plan for a baby at high risk of having special needs, but honestly... I want to enjoy my pregnancy as much as possible. If my baby is born with Downs, I have the rest of my life to deal with that. I want to spend this time thinking of my baby as perfect and whole, even if that may not be true. But that's me. I would consider more ultrasounds toward the end of pregnancy if there was concern about the baby's position, as breech babies can't be born in a birth center, but I would assume those would be very, very quick ultrasounds.

 

OP - As far as limiting the length of the anatomy scan - I've heard of them taking up to an hour, so I'm not sure if you'd get all the info you need in 15 minutes. I would probably talk to your midwife/doctor about what specifically they want to look at in that ultrasound, and get an idea of what you think is worth checking for and what isn't, and then get an estimate of how long it should take to check those things.

post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyscience View Post

I would consider more ultrasounds toward the end of pregnancy if there was concern about the baby's position, as breech babies can't be born in a birth center, but I would assume those would be very, very quick ultrasounds.

 

Reminds me of my ultrasound at 37 weeks (a week before my daughter was born) to check position and size. It was very quick, with one funny moment. The tech said, "Whoa!" as she pointed the wand down low where my daughter's head was. I was scared at first, but then she said, "Your daughter has SO MUCH HAIR! It's floating around her head like a halo!" I loved hearing that!

post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Demeter~ View Post

Honestly, all of the hoopla surrounding u/s is a bit silly (IMO)... if there truly was great issue with u/s we'd see a lot more serious problems. Boys are notoriously hyper... and left handed might run in your family but was discouraged.

 

I say if it makes you feel good get the scan. If you're a planner... do it. :) I did not have one with my last daughter and while I really enjoyed the surprise ending, I am a planner and it definitely stressed me out greatly not knowing what she was and planning for clothing. :)

 

This is the first I am hearing of the ultrasound being possibly harmful. I am having my second baby (the first 20 years ago) and have already had one US at 6 weeks (for an unrelated issue - but as a bonus they let us see / took pictures of the baby). I was imagining a dating scan coming up soon and the gender scan around 20 weeks (although we are still torn about knowing – for much the same reason as fazer6 – dp wants a boy really bad). I just read some internet reports about mouse studies and links to slowed cell growth, some research linking the heat in US to fetus harm (and both being linked to increase in Autism) and then the mayo clinic statement that US is generally safe. Does anyone know of any other research on this issue in humans? For some reason I am nervous about losing this baby although I have never had a miscarriage so part of my desire to have the ultrasound was just for peace of mind (it was incredibly comforting to hear the strong heartbeat at 6 weeks) but I don't want to do anything to increase that chance! I also do not need another thing to worry about :).

 

 

post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stTimeMama4-4-10 View Post
I don't worry about the side effects of that many USs because the alternative of not having them at all is not acceptable to me because the information gained from the US is very important to me. 


This is pretty much how I feel. I learned some important things at my 6wk ultrasound - aside from the important positives of an embryo in the uterus with a hearbeat (which helped ease my anxiety), they also discovered a nearly 5cm cyst on one ovary & confirmed a fibroid on my uterus near my cervix. At my 12 week ultrasound, they will follow up on these issues. If the fibroid is growing, I will probably want to have it monitored closer to delivery, since it could potentially block the birth canal, and I would want to be prepared for a higher likelihood of c-section. I'll also have the anatomy scan because if there are any known serious issues that would require NICU care, I would probably want to deliver at/close to the top-rated children's hospital here rather than a county away near the small hospitals associated with the birth center. 

post #17 of 30
We had 2 with my DD (ob hospital birth), none with my DS (mw home birth). If I had seen an ob with him, they would have wanted to induce for size (I'm 5' 4" and 115 lbs [not pregnant] with a small frame). My son was born at 41 weeks (based on ovulation) at 8 lbs 15 oz w?the a head circumstances of 40 (birth time was about 8 hours and pushing [included in that] was all of 14 minutes).

Anyway, this pregnancy (me home birth) we had one ultrasound at about 7 weeks (done by the local Dr office) because we didn't know how far along I was (miscarriage the cycle before and though baby may have made it), and were concerned about fibroids (another possible reasons for the heavy bleeding the cycle before, and my herbalist had some stuff we could do to stop or reverse their growth, safely during pregnancy).

Anyway (again), we'll have no more with this pregnancy unless we feel it necessary to babies health.
post #18 of 30

I had 2 with DS.  We did the anatomy scan at 19w, which revealed a 2 vessel cord.  This in and of itself is not a problem, but it often coincides with other birth defects, particularly heart defects and also sometimes coincides with IUGR.  So we did a fetal echo about a month later to check out his heart, and it was fine.  I would have consented to growth scans in the third trimester if we saw any warning signs that he wasn't growing, but it wasn't necessary.  He was born at 40 w 6 d, 8 lbs 2 oz with the skinniest umbilical cord you've ever seen!  (My midwives actually sent my placenta to a midwifery school :))

 

For me, I would not be comfortable doing a HB without the 20 week scan.  I need the reassurance that there are no major birth defects, proper placenta location etc.

post #19 of 30

lactomom - what herbs are you using for the fibroids? I have one 10cm and another 4-5 cm. They've both gotten bigger since I've been preggers.

post #20 of 30


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thebyr View Post

lactomom - what herbs are you using for the fibroids? I have one 10cm and another 4-5 cm. They've both gotten bigger since I've been preggers.



I ended up not having them. However, I'll ask what she would have suggested if they had found some. 

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