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Mothering › Groups › March 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › Are you getting a 20 week U/S?

Are you getting a 20 week U/S?

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 

That is the only U/S we are getting, but just to make sure the baby is looking good. No gender check for us this time around!

post #2 of 72

Yes, that's the only one we typically get offered here, unless there's a suspicion there's something wrong or the mama is totally clueless about her dates.

 

I just found out that the health authority isn't charging for gender checking any more.  So, we might find out.  Haven't really discussed it with DH yet.
 

post #3 of 72

We are.  I am home birthing for the first time and it makes me feel more comfortable to know all I can about possible problems the baby, placenta, cord or I may have.  I think the 20 wk scan provides such a wealth of information and is not too intense of a test. Prob won't do anything more invasive than that, though (ie. amnio, et el).

post #4 of 72

Not sure yet! I don't really feel the need to do it, but DP seems to want to. 

post #5 of 72

Yes, we will be doing the morphology u/s. I`m planning another homebirth and feel better about everything knowing that we have (attempted to) ruled out any major health issues for the baby or placenta. We are 45 minutes away from the hospital so for us, it is worth knowing if we have any complications we need to pay attention to that would best be handled closer to a medical facility with skilled staff. We won`t be finding out the sex of the baby though.

post #6 of 72

We are. This is the one screen that our midwife (home birth) actually required. Basically to check to position of the placenta, baby, etc. We're not planning on finding out the gender, or weren't until a week ago. After seeing the little bean last week during our 1st tri screen we're a little curious. Hopefully we can hold out. This will probably be our last and I think it would be fun to be surprised. Plus, I just realized that I have several outfits leftover from DS in the gender neutral category.

post #7 of 72

We will be, it will be the only 'test' we will do. I also think it's a good non evasive way of checking numerous things with babe and mom. We also are finding out the gender. It's totally my fault, I just have to know!

post #8 of 72

Similarly to others, planning for a HB, wanting to know how things look.  I had pre-e last time and we want to check out the placenta and since i'm older, make sure the babe looks ok.  

 

I'm a little up in the air about further screening, but I believe if we had bad numbers from the US and ended up wanting amnio or CVS, we'd need to go in before 20 weeks?  I'm calling an OB tomorrow, a practice that told me I could come in and have an initial intake and US/ consult without the assumption I'd be staying for my entire pregnancy.

post #9 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peace+Hope View Post

I'm a little up in the air about further screening, but I believe if we had bad numbers from the US and ended up wanting amnio or CVS, we'd need to go in before 20 weeks?  I'm calling an OB tomorrow, a practice that told me I could come in and have an initial intake and US/ consult without the assumption I'd be staying for my entire pregnancy.

 

I think you're right on that. I know that the NT/First tri scan has to be done between 12 & 14 weeks, and then the CVS shortly thereafter. I'm not sure about the amnio. I know that our midwife was able to give us a referral to a OB who specializes in genetic scans. We'll also be going back there for the 20-week. The CNM group that we used with DS did a similar referral to a perinatal center. I wonder if that would be an option for you? Both also took insurance, which was great. Good luck on whatever you choose!

post #10 of 72

This is actually a major source of tsuris for me.  DH and I are having a homebirth and have gone back and forth on the anatomy scan, run statistical analyses (well, practically), discussed it for hours, etc.  We are declining all other screenings, including the quad screen, and even declining doppler use, but considering the 16-20 wk anatomy scan.  We actively do not want to know the sex nor do we particularly want to see the baby, etc., and I would rather not have the scan-- more for psychological reasons than for concerns about the theoretical risk of u/s.  My CNM MWs don't require it or really feel strongly one way or the other, I am not really worried about having an otherwise undetected previa (and have zero problem getting an indicated, diagnostic u/s if any issues are suspected) but as of RIGHT NOW, here's what I think:

 

-The ABSOLUTE risk of having any of the "bad things we can/might 'do' something about" ("other" trisomies, bilateral hydronephrosis, anencephaly, etc.-- basically everything but Down Syndrome) is cumulatively like 1 in 2000 or so.  My risk for DS is about 1 in 500.  So the ABSOLUTE risk of any of the above is extremely low.  Whether or not we have the scan, we have a better than 99.5% chance of everything being (basically) perfectly fine.

 

-The RELATIVE risk analysis favors getting the scan (and getting amnio if there are significant signs of the above).  Like, the risk of losing the baby d/t amnio-- if we would only get it with more than one soft marker for the above-- is much lower than the risk of just taking our chances and not getting the scan and ending up with one of the above.  If we wouldn't terminate for DS, the above still holds true for everything else-- the only difference is that we would be more likely to be generally "worried," as most markers are for DS (since it's so much more common).

 

From what I understand, if we get the scan, there is about a 10% chance of seeing a soft marker of some kind, because of the very high rate of false positives (though the FP rate is lower at ~20 weeks than at a NTT or earlier u/s).  But of course, there's less than a 0.4% chance of actually having one of the above issues.  While "worry" is hardly worse than losing a baby or (IMO) carrying a baby with anencephaly, etc., to term, worry is still a factor-- especially considering how, basically, "unnecessary worry" is by far the MOST likely "bad outcome" of getting the scan-- YKWIM?

 

Anyway...  I am trying hard not to be too "woo" and "overly" faith-y about this, but know that since the ABSOLUTE risk is low in either case...  Well, IDK.  This is the big toughie for us.  If anyone else is considering the same things, PLEASE talk to me about it!    

post #11 of 72

My head is in the same space as yours, Buko smile.gif I didn't have any ultrasounds with my first pregnancy. This time around I'm tempted to do the same, but the 20 week u/s is the one option that I'm still not sure of, for the exact reasons that you mention. Good thing we have a few weeks to decide!

post #12 of 72

Apologies in advance for the looooooong-@ss post.

 

LF, I've thought about it a bit more and I think I'm going to do the 20-week...  Might get it done closer to 16-18 weeks, as that appears to be a reasonable time to do it, too, and I don't need to wait until the later end to be sure and see the sex, since I don't want to know that.  I discussed it elsewhere and realized that the risk of issues that can be detected without an amnio (spina bifida, anencephaly, etc.), while pretty low, makes the scan worthwhile IMO.  I really would do amnio for more than one soft marker of a genetic issue, but it's not like it's required...  Yet just the u/s, by itself, can detect some issues, including a few that are "correctable."  Again, they're rare, but they're possible.  I am also not 100% confident that a previa can be detected/suspected without a routine u/s.  Mostly sure, maybe in the 90% range, but not 100%.  Since I am not particularly worried about the (mostly theoretical) "risk" of u/s exposure-- and almost completely unconcerned about the risk of just one exposure @ 16-20 weeks (since I'm declining doppler as well)-- I have to conclude that this is a good thing for me.  If all risks were completely equal, or maybe if I would not terminate for ANY reason, I could see not doing it.  Especially since I have no desire to see the baby on u/s.  But I don't feel the actual health risks/benefits are quite equal, so I'm going to go ahead and do it, unless my mom (Dr.) or MWs have new, pertinent info in the other direction (I'll be discussing it further with them)... but I doubt it.  My MWs don't think lots and lots of routine u/s are a good idea/helpful, but the anatomy scan is the one that-- as I recall from the info session when I met them-- they see as having more benefits than risks.  They won't force you into it (what I really meant by "they don't have strong feelings") and they don't legally require it for licensing purposes or whatever, but I have a feeling they will encourage it.   
 

I am feeling a little upset... or disappointed? frustrated?... right now, because the other board where I discussed it, while not really "mainstream," ended up dogpiling while projecting all kinds of craziness onto me.  Acting as if I were (even saying I WAS!) dead set on not getting the scan, just because I questioned it at all.  confused.gif  And not so much questioned it as I was trying to ask, basically-- "Hey, I should get the anatomy scan, right?  I'm not 100% certain, but I want to be sure there's no really good evidence-based reason NOT to, before I proceed."  I know I didn't phrase it as well as I could have, and OBVIOUSLY it's a very sensitive subject for those who have kids saved by routine u/s (and their friends, et al.)  But I felt only like... I was trying to be responsible and thorough in my decision-making, and the scan, esp. when combined with inevitable (for me) amnio, was not completely without risks, either. 

 

Eventually I mentioned my previous loss-- only to say that, yes, it's had some influence on me.  Mostly to trust in the process and not try to control things I can't control.  Of course, there are things I CAN control or influence, which is why I will be getting the 20-week scan, since it can reveal some of those things.  But, for example, I no longer see loads of value, personally, in listening for the HB early on.  Either the babe is going to make it or not, and sometimes (like at the 11-wk appt I had) it may be too early to hear the HB and you worry unnecessarily, but it's fairly uncommon to have a missed m/c without some precipitating symptoms and/or eventually m/c'ing on your own.  Well, after I mentioned the m/c, suddenly people were "concerned" for me, because they could see that instead of being excessively worried about my baby's fate (of which I had just been accused) and needing serious anti-anxiety meds...   confused.gif ... now they could see that it was the opposite-- I was avoiding the babe/the idea that the babe could have any issues and I was in deep denial, as evidenced by the facts that A) I declined to hear the baby's HB (see above explanation, which I had already given them) and B) I would even QUESTION the 20-week scan.  I think mentioning I was not particularly interested in seeing the baby on u/s (and to a lesser extent, not wanting to know the sex), made them think that was an actual REASON I wouldn't get the scan, which it wasn't at all.  I only mentioned it to explain that if all outcomes truly were equal, I wouldn't choose the scan-- though I doubted they were equal, so, whatever.  I noted it mainly to point out that it might be harder to relate to my question at all if they (as most people, I'm sure) felt like they need/want/enjoy looking at u/s just independent of the diagnostic issues. 

 

It did occur to me later that this probably WAS part of the disconnect, too-- that to some of them, anyone who would decline the chance to "bond" with an u/s or hear her baby's heartbeat for the first time must be scared witless and avoidant or something...  But here's the kicker-- I never did care to see an u/s-- and I mean I felt that way loooooong before my loss and before even getting pregnant the first time.  And DH always felt the same way, too.  Plus, though I lean neutral on actually seeing the babe, I also wouldn't particularly mind seeing him/her on u/s, theoretically, except that I REALLY don't want to know the sex.  And I just know I couldn't stop myself from looking/seeing-- that's just how my brain works. The not-hearing-the-HB thing, yeah, that was because of the loss-- but mostly just because, while there's a good chance you can hear it at 11 weeks, there's a totally decent chance you won't (and that everything is still fine).  So...  shrug.gif  My pregnancy symptoms were in full force (unlike with the m/c, even before I lost that babe), etc., etc...  And though I am not really worried about u/s exposure, you know...  I didn't see much benefit.      

 

I know I'm feeling defensive and a bit sad...  I did ask myself if maybe there is something "wrong" with me, but then it's like...  Really?  Just because I am kind of apathetic about using technology that's not terribly necessary, doesn't typically improve outcomes* and wasn't available even 30-40 years ago, that means I'm f*cked in the head?  I mean, how did women "bond" to their babies before u/s technology?  Is it so crazy to think I could do the same?  And DH is like as bonded as humanly possible to our buko-- I joke maybe even more than me, though it's really equal.  All those books and people telling you how men don't bond to their babies until they see them on u/s (because they don't have the reminders of m/s and sore boobs, etc.)-- or maybe until after birth or later-- I'm sure they're being honest, but is it SO crazy that not all men would feel that way?  Are they the liars?  How about me?  Am I secretly in deep denial?  I love this baby so much!  I am happily planning all kinds of good things for his/her future.  I am also under no illusions that he/she has zero risk factors and I can "just" have faith and "trust birth" and everything will be fine-- as I'd think was evidenced by my careful ("obsessive!") consideration of the 20-week scan.  headscratch.gif  Meh.  It's not like I outright dismiss even "concerns" from Internet Strangers...  But I mean...  I just don't think people get where I'm coming from.  Not that I think I'm soooo speshul and no one can possibly understand me-- at least, I don't feel that way, which is why I'm surprised when it seems like a lot of people don't understand me.  I sort of get that-- had you asked me a couple of years ago, considering how science-y and analytical I am, I never would have thought I'd feel this way about u/s and dopplers and whatnot.  But I do.  As my grandma says, "Different folks is different."  shrug.gif   

 

Sorry for the novel/vent/brain dump!  Just been bugging me a bit, as it just happened yesterday, and I'm trying to let it go.

 

 

 

*I'm talking about doppler/u/s used routinely just to hear/see the heartbeat, not all its uses.

post #13 of 72

Maydaymom, thanks for that.  I did call today.  I am scared that I'll be considered high risk immediately and feel trapped into OB care through this pregnancy.  I told the receptionist everything - that I had been in for a consult with an MFM PP and she had told me I could come in for intake and first tri consult/US, etc. without the expectation of establishing care with them.  She was not thrown at all, she said she'd check with the MFM to see "where I fit in" and call me back.  Relieved and scared shitless.

post #14 of 72

Buko, I'm sorry that you were jumped on in the other board!! It's so interesting to hear all the baby-bonding-themed reasons for U/S... As if people haven't been finding ways to fall in love with their babies in utero for millennia. (Of course, if somebody else wants to have U/S for this reason, then more power to them. But those emotionally (not medically) -driven reasons are no reason for YOU to have an U/S!) That just reminds me of how people say you shouldn't leave the house without a cell phone because it's unsafe, what if there's an emergency, etc. Sure, these technologies offer some benefits, conveniences, and downright peace of mind, but they were introduced so very recently into mainstream culture. When I see how things like this are used (overused?) and relied upon for emotional connection, I really do wonder about the cost we're paying in the long run (by looking to technology to give us a sense of security and emotional fulfillment). DH and I are both extremely tech savvy, but I've observed over the years that our high tech professions have pushed us toward a much simpler, lower tech personal/home environment.

 

Of course I can't help but get a little conspiracy theorist-ish about the growing use of U/S for pregnancy in the US as well, because it is such a sweet moneymaker for medical professionals billing our insurance providers. I can't help but notice that the Canadians and Europeans on this discussion board often lean towards more moderation when talking about things like the use of U/S and it's emotional role in helping them to feel like everything is going well in their pregnancies (maybe because unlimited U/S is not a routine part of prenatal coverage in other countries?).

 

Whenever my feathers get ruffled by something someone writes online, I try to just step back and remind myself that there's so much room for miscommunication in forums like this. Without other communication cues (like facial expressions, tone of voice, body posturing), it's easy to read things the wrong way. And, well, sometimes people say things online that they'd never say to your face - somehow courtesy escapes us sometimes when we don't have the human right there in front of us! Here I go ranting about technology and it's negative impact on human interactions again! Somebody shut me up already!!!

post #15 of 72

LF, thanks!  Your post (well, and DH last night-- lol.gif-- I should give him credit too) really helped a lot.  I'm kind of a veteran of these things-- being new to a board, sharing something even a tiny bit "controversial" and the stuff hits the fan.  Especially when they don't "know" you yet, it's easy for signals to get crossed, and occasionally for people to use you as a punching bag because you're not in the fold yet.  Ah, well. 

 

I agree with you re: technology...  and u/s in particular, it CAN (doesn't have to, but can-- especially when you are given tons routinely) be a part of what I described in my "pregnancy limbo" thread... 

 

 

Quote:

It's not that I don't have some worry, and some "loss of innocence" d/t the miscarriage.  I have actively worked on having faith and being grateful for each day.  In fact, it was extremely useful for me to wean myself off of looking at my TP every time I wiped (and thanks to hormones, I went to the bathroom literally 15x/day, so there was a lot of checking!)  My m/c was preceded by spotting, which, while truly scanty, occurred nearly every day for weeks before I really started bleeding/losing the pregnancy.  The spotting was what made me think something was up, even though it truly, theoretically could have been "nothing."  Sadly, that spotting wasn't nothing.  So with this one, I had my heart in my throat every time I went to the bathroom.  And I realized that, even though the "news" was ALWAYS good, I was just perpetuating a cycle and need for that sort of... "positive reinforcement."  You know-- 1 o'clock and all's well.  1:30 and all's well.  2 o'clock and all's well.  But it never ends.

 

Even though every wipe was "good," my reassurance was only as good as my last wipe. 

 

I decided since I had no control over this process, I was going to try to trust rather than constantly second-guess what amounted to, in my mind, G-d.

 

I mean, I agree with you-- getting several routine u/s is not the end of the world, and though my best guess (without much evidence either way) is that they don't do any/much harm....  I also think they can be part of the way technology initially makes our lives easier/better and then shifts our expectations when we become more dependent on it...  Sometimes in a neutral way, sometimes not so.  Like all the evidence shows that multiple routine u/s don't actually improve outcomes, but when you can't wait to hear/see a HB (because you can), and then are reassured by hearing/seeing it...  Well, then you are just waiting for the next one and the next one to be continually reassured, and you start to require that to feel reassured.  Even though there's nothing you can really do about the situation, one way or the other.  Now, I'm not saying that's "bad!"  Just that if we didn't have access to/weren't expected to have multiple routine u/s, people wouldn't crave/depend on them, and they wouldn't (typically) be missing much because they don't statistically improve outcomes.  It's not a judgment, just a fact-- if something is not an option, it's not an option.  Before TV was invented, nobody missed it.  Etc., etc.  U/s technology isn't like TV in that way, exactly, because it is pretty awesome when it's needed or improves outcomes.  But multiple routine u/s are not so dissimilar (IMO) to regularly watching TV for entertainment, etc.  You might miss it if someone took it away-- especially if it still existed outside of your home, you might feel cheated.  But it's not at all essential to daily life, and people got on fine without it, as it's a non-essential.

 

So, you know...  If some people don't mind not owning a TV...  What's wrong with that?  shrug.gif 

post #16 of 72
Quote:
 I no longer see loads of value, personally, in listening for the HB early on.  Either the babe is going to make it or not, and sometimes (like at the 11-wk appt I had) it may be too early to hear the HB and you worry unnecessarily, but it's fairly uncommon to have a missed m/c without some precipitating symptoms and/or eventually m/c'ing on your own. 

 

I feel this way too.  I always wonder what the midwives/doctors are going to do to stop an early miscarriage, by the time it's detected, its probably too late.  

 

I was going to only do the 20 week scan, but my midwife thought that I was measuring bigger than would be normal for the dates I'd given, even though I'm pretty sure of the dates, so I'm having a dating u/s to ease her mind.  

 

I'm sorry that you got jumped on, for the record, your long post didn't come across as defensive.  I think your arguments and reasoning are sound, and you felt frustrated and needed to vent.  We all have those moments.

post #17 of 72

We will be doing the 20wk. We did it with DD and will do the same this time around.

We won't have any before then and not after unless needed.

post #18 of 72

Wasn't planning on getting a 20 week ultra sound due to cost unless the quad screen suggests we need to take a closer look. But, then did a little figuring and because we'll reach our deductible next year due to the birth, we might as well get one after the new year. I guess that would be around 30 weeks. I really want to know the sex for sure, so I think we'll plan to do that.

post #19 of 72

Shew, scheduled a US/Nuchal for next Tuesday morning.  Kinda scared....

post #20 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by buko View Post   

 

I know I'm feeling defensive and a bit sad...  I did ask myself if maybe there is something "wrong" with me, but then it's like...  Really?  Just because I am kind of apathetic about using technology that's not terribly necessary, doesn't typically improve outcomes* and wasn't available even 30-40 years ago, that means I'm f*cked in the head?  I mean, how did women "bond" to their babies before u/s technology?  Is it so crazy to think I could do the same?  

 

*I'm talking about doppler/u/s used routinely just to hear/see the heartbeat, not all its uses.

Buko - so sorry this is happening and causing you stress. I know of a lot of people who absolutely refuse and medical testing/monitoring, etc at all during pregnancy because they trust that their bodies can grown a healthy child & don't feel the need for outside technology to confirm that fact. The group is part a bigger group called the "Trust Birth Initiative". I really like the philosophy, even if I'm not 100% there yet (I had the 12 week scan & will do the 20 week scan per request of my midwife).

 

I don't know if you are a facebook person, but there is a group on there women who discuss topics like the one you are struggling with. It is fascinating to me, as I never considered some of their views before. Here I thought doing a homebirth was "out there". Great topics and support on both sides & basically unbiased. PM me if your interested in being added and I will do so.

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