Ultrasound, to have or not to have?? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Are you having (did you have) an ultrasound?
No, we did not (will not) have one 29 43.94%
Yes, to monitor high risk pregnancy 10 15.15%
Yes, for fun 6 9.09%
Yes, for fun... and have found out (hope to find out) boy/girl 21 31.82%
Voters: 66. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 01:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm wondering what all you wonderful mamas are doing reguarding ultrasound/finding out sex of baby... have any of you regreted your past decisions reguarding this stuff??

We have our ultrasound appointment already made with the OB for next week, but have decided to see a MW and have a homebirth. She said it's up to us if we still want to have the ultrasound... We were basically only having it because our OB schedules them for all his patients around 20 weeks...

Seems as though the natural thing to do would be just leave the baby be... it is what I always imagined I'd do...

But on the other hand it would be fun to see and have the pictures, and economical to know boy/girl to clearance shop right now for next winter...

Wanta share your thoughts either way with me?? tia...

jennifer
mommy to baby on the way 5/26

Jennifer, mama to Zander (04), Maddie (07) & Lizzie (10/09)
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#2 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 02:25 AM
 
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Not planning on finding out the sex -- seems like opening a present before the big day. of course, this is coming from a woman who NEEDS to know the endings of movies before I will go see them at the theater (mostly because if I don't, I get too excited and bite my nails off until my fingers hurt)

And unless we need an ultrasound for some diagnostic reason (to determine the cause of bleeding, pattern of slow growth, etc.) we are not planning on having one. They are quite overused and even their use as a diagnostic tool is questionable depending on who you talk to. I don't need to see my baby on an ultrasound screen to know they are growing inside my belly.

just my thoughts...

--claudia
mama-to-be in late spring 2004!

p.s. We are working with homebirth midwives and all testing is offered on an informed choice basis.
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#3 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 10:43 AM
 
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I'm seeing a wonderful CNM who has asked about all tests so far (giving me the option to decline), and we decided to go for the ultrasounds. We had one at six weeks to rule out ectopic - I have endo so it was a concern. And, we had one a couple of weeks ago. It was amazing... To see my baby kicking, sucking its thumb, working its mouth, stretching... and all at only 18 weeks! My father-in-law actually cried when he saw the baby's profile! At a fundraising auction at the museum where I work I bought a 3-D ultrasound package. I wasn't planning on it originally, but when my DH saw some sample 3-D pics he decided he really, really, really wanted us to have one. So, I compromised, and now I can't wait either!

We are being very specific and telling the u/s techs that we DO NOT want to know the gender. So far, the one at the 18 week u/s thought it was great not to find out and the 3-D tech I spoke with on the phone loved my reasoning so much she asked if she could quote me on it! I had explained to her, "One of my friends has had four babies. When she was preggers with her 3rd, I asked her if she was finding out the gender. Her reply was, 'No! It makes you push harder if you don't know!'"

Mama to DS (05/04) and DD (11/05), married to a wonderful DH.
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#4 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 11:14 AM
 
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This is baby #3 for us and we have never had an u/s. I feel that they are a wonderful tool if/when a risk may be involved and mama wants to be reassured that all is well. For myself, I KNOW that baby is growing and thriving and I do not need to have that confirmed by an u/s. Also we feel that why ruin the big surprize?? Once the sex of the baby is told, what can we do about it? We sure cannot change things!! I dress my baby in gender nuetral clothing so shopping is not an issue for us. We too are hbs and feel it is more natural to only do what is absolutely necessary. Good luck whatever you choose--- you do know in your heart what is right for your family. peace--
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#5 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 12:08 PM
 
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I didn't vote because I didn't like the options. :LOL

I had one initially for dating purposes (my midwife can only deliver up to 42 weeks, so it was important to me to have an accurate date). The u/s didn't reveal anything other than an empty gestational sac, so I had to have another one to confirm (we did see the baby with a beating heart). And I will probably have another one around 20 weeks, but not just "for fun".

I respect every woman's right to choose regarding u/s. Some people don't feel comfortable with them, and that is fine with me. I, on the other hand, want to know if my baby has any significant abnormalities that would show up with an u/s. So for me, it's more than fun. (Although it is fun to see the baby.)
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#6 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 12:15 PM
 
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I had one (20 week diagnostic) for each pregnancy. For the first 2, we did not find out the sex. This time, we did. It will be our last (planned) pg, and we already have a dd and a ds, and just thought it would be fun to know this time (and it is, for us!).

For us, the benefit of having one diagnostic u/s at 20 weeks outweighed any potential risk factors of u/s. We also had some good friends that had a baby's kidney problem diagnosed in utero, and the info was very helpful to them at birth.

And yes, it IS fun to see the baby on the screen! OTOH, I completely agree with not having one.

Good luck!

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#7 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 12:47 PM
 
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In my case we have a family history of cleft lips, my dd has mild spina bifida, and my brother had a rare genetic syndrome. So there was no question that we were going to have an u/s. I would have carried the baby to term no matter what but I wanted to know what we were dealing with. Turns out baby appears to be fine. Then at 23 weeks I had preterm labor and at 25 weeks was not measuring on track anymore. So had an u/s to check baby's growth. Again she was fine, just jammed low into frank breech position, but the u/s really eased my mind.

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#8 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 01:22 PM
 
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I was told that I was a high risk pregancy just because I was over 35 and they wanted to do ultrasounds every month. After the first one I told them I would only do one more later in the pregnancy and that's what I did. Knowing what I know now, I would not have had any.

Even though we had the u/s, we still did not find out the sex of our child until the birth. It added to the excitement, I thought.

Also, both times of the ultrasound, the babe in my womb tried constantly to move away from the ultrasound equip, a sign to me that it is very uncomfortable to be blasted with the sound. Even the doppler is a form of ultra sound and I feel is used way too much. Too invasive imo.
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#9 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 01:24 PM
 
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There was a United Nations physician on the radio the other day saying something about how there have been no long term tests on the effects fetal ultrasound might have on human beings when they grow up. He compared the history of ultrasound to that of the x-ray which was used very freely decades ago because they were untested (long term) and thought to be harmless.
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#10 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 01:53 PM
 
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I had a nuchal u/s at which point a problem with one of my ovaries was discovered (multiple cysts). I've had 3 more u/s since then, mainly to monitor the ovary. I have another one tomorrow, and I imagine I'll have one ~every 4 weeks till the end. I'm fine with them focusing on the ovary... there was a concern about cancer at one point, and I even had surgery scheduled. Now we just have to make sure the cysts are not growing anymore and that the blood supply to the ovary is fine.
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#11 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 02:24 PM
 
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My reason for having an ultrasound was not on the list. We had the first one because my midwives were concerned that my conception date was off by over a month. In this case, a false due date may have complicated my homebirth if I went considerably over the (false) due date. That ultrasound led to another because the tec found evidence of placenta previa and then I had a THIRD because my midwives were having a hard time figuring out the position of the baby when I was post-due.

I didn’t find out the sex and next time will make a bigger effort to avoid the procedure.

BUT, if I have an ultrasound with another child I would consider finding out the sex.
For me, I think it would help with bonding and when my daughter was born, I could have cared less what the sex was. I thought not knowing would add this big element of “surprise” to the birth…but the birth alone was more than enough of a surprise! LOL!

Edited to add: I see you are a new mama! Congrats!

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#12 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 02:35 PM
 
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I think there are too many unknowns about ultrasound and unless the results significantly changed the management of the pregnancy I would not get one. I believe it should be used, as many of the mothers have already suggested, as a tool when there are possible complications. The studies about adverse effects are out there and some are pretty scary. If I had to get one I would want to wait until 20 weeks or later. I don't think it is a tool that should be taken lightly.

AP, Homeschooling, Part-Time working mom with 3 rambunctious boys fencing.gifbabyf.gifall born with love at home. (04 & 08 & 12).

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#13 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 02:38 PM
 
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I agree with TurboClaudia.

I'm not planning on having one this time. I have NO interest in finding out the sex. Last time I was so eager to know. I want to be surprised this time. I also don't "need" a photo, much less a 3D one. Besides, regular ultrasounds are so black and grainy... it's hard to "enjoy." And the 3D ones are just plain creepy - to me.

Last time I had one (went along with everything without questions) and they said it was to check that everything was developing properly. That sounded fine to me.

Regrets? None really. They did make a video tape of it for us and perhaps the only regret was that PERHAPS the technician (who was very well regarded by the OB and was great) spent a wee bit too much time peeking. I don't think she did... but MAYBE she did because she was videotaping. I don't know.

So perhaps one option is... OK... if you need it... look, but don't linger too long just in case there ARE issues with unknown side-effects.

Anyway, this time, unless there is a medical NEED for it (or history like Darshani's case where there is concern) then sure. But I don't see that now.

I was talking to my SIL and she did not have one 13 yrs ago for her son. Back then, it was not "routine" (and only recommended under certain cases) the way it is today. Interesting.

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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#14 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 02:53 PM
 
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I voted yes, but I have one more than for the fun of it. I have a family history of Spina Bifida, so I wanted to make sure my lil' nugget's spine appeared to be fine. If there was any chance of SB, I would elect for a c/s, because my sister was born vaginally and did have SB and hydrocephalus, which caused her more damage because of the pressure of coming through the birth canal. I would carry the baby no matter what, I just feel more in control if I'm prepared for what is going on with my child. So to me the benefits far outweigh the risks of u/s. And yeah, its so fun to see them on the screen.
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#15 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 03:47 PM
 
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I had alot of ultrasounds with my boys, almost every time we went to the OB. It was amazing to me to see the boys grow and move inside me. I liked having them frequently because I am a bit of a worrier and it was nice to hear them say everything looks real good. It put my mind at ease. It made me feel closer to the boys. We never found out the sex. DH didnt want to know. It is kinda cool to the have photos from before they were born too!
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#16 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 04:07 PM
 
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The reports (both scientific and anecdotal from friends) that babies become active and agitated during the procedure have convinced me that there's something else going on that we don't have a handle on yet.

Also, I have read reports that very early ultrasounds (now used to diagnose pregnancy! sheesh!) have caused tiny bubbles (cavitation) in cardiac cells of chicks. I think it's the Heisenberg Principle that says you cannot observe a situation without changing it? Well, unless there's something like bleeding or fetal distress, I don't want to be changing my baby's situation!

I did have diagnostic u/s on two of my babies due to midwives thinking I was carrying twins, but each time there was only one. Never looked at the sex... I think it's a privilege to meet your baby when it arrives, all at once. But I'm one of those wierdos that think you should meet your baby before you pick out a name for him, too.

So I'd add another choice on your list: Only in a medical emergency, otherwise leave well enough alone!

Katje
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#17 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 04:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by klsabin
But I'm one of those wierdos that think you should meet your baby before you pick out a name for him, too.
Katje: me too me too!!! It took us about a week to name our cat when she chose us as her humans 4 years ago (i.e. showed up on our doorstep and meowed continuously for 15 minutes until we paid attention to her!) Although if it's a girl, the name will probably end in -a or -ia - or -ea and if it's a boy, we have a family name in mind for a first name or middle name...

warmly,
claudia
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#18 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 04:24 PM
 
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I chose option four, but I would have liked an option five.

I don't have the u/s "just for fun" or "just to find out the gender", I have one for basic diagnostics and if we happen to be able to tell the gender we want to know. After much research about u/s safety I feel confident that an occasional u/s is not harmful.

Having worked in L&D and NICU (as a touchy feely social worker), my greatest fear is having my baby wisked off for some unknown problem, having my dh go with the baby and me laying in my bed all alone, not able to go to the nursery (still have a placenta to deliver, which might take awhile) and nobody telling me if my baby is going to live or die. If, by u/s I know that there may be a repairable problem then I am prepared for the baby leaving the room. If we know the baby has spina bifida, we can schedule a c-section. If I know there is an anomoly that is incompatible with life I can say, "Don't take her. We want her to be with us for whatever moments of life she has."

Quote:
For me, I think it would help with bonding and when my daughter was born, I could have cared less what the sex was. I thought not knowing would add this big element of “surprise” to the birth…but the birth alone was more than enough of a surprise! LOL!
This is my feeling exactly. I loved finding out the gender at the u/s. Just me and dh with the tech as we learn that we have another son or a daughter. It's just as much of a surprise as it would be at birth, but then at the birth we can focus on all of the other surprises.

At the birth, I'm tired, I'm hurting, still cramping and waiting an eternity for that blessed placenta to come out, trying to get a baby to latch on to my breast. We still had so many "surprises" the gender was the least of it. We could focus on the fact that Lars had this amazing blonde hair and a big ol' dimple in his chin just like my dh and he cried real tears from the minute he was born.
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#19 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 05:53 PM
 
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Never had one, never will.

http://www.mothering.com/11-0-0/html...finition.shtml

http://www.mothering.com/11-0-0/html...und-risk.shtml

http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...hreadid=103489

http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...hreadid=103290

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#20 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 06:52 PM
 
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Couldn't vote...none of the choices fit for me.

We are having our first (and hopefully only) u/s on Wednesday (at 18 weeks). We opted to have an anatomical survey. I have a family history of spina bifida...I would like very much to see our baby's spine and make sure it is developing properly.

We would like very much to know our baby's gender but I have been meditating and talking to the baby and letting the baby know that it's his/her choice...if s/he prefers not to make the information available we are fine with that. :LOL

It's funny...our decision to have and u/s and especially to find out the gender has been largely criticized by friends, some of my yoga students, co-workers and a few random people in the grocery store who just like to spout of their opinion apparently. :

I was talking to my mom about it and she said...well Erin...I think people are just really surprised. It doesn't seem to "fit" with you (yoga teacher, doula) and your cloth diapering, co-sleeping etc.

I've been thinking about that a lot and I think it just goes to show that there is no exact formula for AP or natural parenting. We are making an informed decision that feels like the best decision for us and our baby....just as many of you - who do not have u/s - are making the decision that feels best for you and your baby.

As far as finding out the gender...we would like to experience future pregnancies not knowing the gender...but for this pregnancy...we would REALLY like to know (and despite some of my co-workers criticism...it's not about wanting to buy gender-specific "stuff" or making a girly or boyish nursery 'cause we're not doin' that). We feel SO strongly that we are having a girl...and nearly EVERYONE who has expressed an opinion has said it's a girl...I've almost slipped into taking it as a given. If we are in fact having a boy...we wil be thrilled...but I need to do a little re-programming of my thinking.

Anyway...sorry to be so wordy.

~Erin
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#21 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 08:52 PM
 
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I voted I will not have one but that is for the next baby I have.

With both my dd I have had ultrasounds and I choose to have them because I felt like I need to know that they were O.K.
With this dd I had an ultrasound at 20wks. and they found a clorid plexi cyst on her head. That is a marker for trisomy 18 that was the only marker she had,but it was enough to scare and worry myself and dh to tears.
It took me a while to feel confident that this babe is O.K. and still have my brief doubts of her health. But my heart says she is very healthy.

That being said ultrasound is just a tool that tells you the possibilties of something being wrong with your child. Like everything else it is no gurantee.Just my 2cents.

It is a very personal decision and you need to find what works best for you.
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#22 of 29 Old 01-11-2004, 11:43 PM
 
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We Had one us with our first and then after realizing in many ways how much the medical field can f&$% with your life and your babies just because they are given the power to by the title they carry around with their egos attatched.... well, let's just say the scales weighed heavily on the side of "not broken, dont fix"
kwim?
I think that the data shows that u.s. were meant initiallly to be only used when a problem existed or had high probobility and then became routine when doctors saw it could give them more power to control the situations. this may sound cynical and negative but I sincerely believe this is what has happened in most cases and that control is usually false and often leads to more intervention. I have learned one thing in mothering and that is that control is something to be very wary of . Mothering is crazy and wild and not to be controlled. Plus all this medicalizing and control doesnt lend itself to the most precious exercise of intuiting.
Laura
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#23 of 29 Old 01-23-2004, 01:14 PM
 
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I really didn't want to have any ultrasounds but after bleeding for a week and a half I felt that I really wanted to know why. It turned out that the bleeding is probably from unsuspected fibroids. They also found what looks like a partially divided uterus. I'd be less stressed now if I didn't know about it but in the long run it is important to know about my uterine division. I'm scheduled for another u/s next week and I've thought about canceling it but I think that I do need to know all I can.

It wasn't an easy decision though. And it still isn't.
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#24 of 29 Old 01-23-2004, 03:49 PM
 
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Before I got pregnant I was sure I would never have an ultrasound, because I knew I didn't have any risk factors. Then once pregnant, I was SURE I was having a girl, from the first time I saw the positive pregnancy test. It got so that I only referred to the baby as a girl and then I realized I would be mighty shocked if I had a boy. Our homebirth CNM doesn't approve ultrasounds unless indicated but we were seeing an OB for labs and my husband thought it would be good to check out the anatomy. As the date grew closer, I was sure I wouldn't find out the sex because I KNEW the little one was a girl. But then during the ultrasound, we buckled when the tech asked us if we were sure we didn't want to know. No big surprise, it was a girl! Since everyone then knew what we were having, we kept the name a secret until she was born just to have some element of surprise. Retrospectively, I'm glad we found out but I don't think I'd need an ultrasound next time around.
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#25 of 29 Old 01-23-2004, 04:09 PM
 
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With both my boys we did the level I u/s to ensure there is a viable pg in there...that's the one in the beginning. With ds#2 we also did the level II but did not find out the sex. With my first and w/this one, we decided against the level II. For a while, I really thought I wanted to know the sex ahead of time this time (we don't find out til they're born), but after reading so many responses here, I realized it wasn't important for me to know ahead of time afterall. Two posters in particular really iced it for me too-one said something to the effect of 'if we're supposed to know then our belly buttons would turn either pink or blue'...that's my type of humor so I got a kick out of that. Then another poster likened it to knowing your Christmas presents ahead of time. One year I actually snooped and found out ALL my gifts and Christmas morning was rather anticlimatic to say the least. I had to pretend to be excited with each gift I opened. To me, just being able to buy pinks or blues isn't a good enough reason to know ahead of time. I've always bought white, yellow, and green and will again with this one.

I think I've definitely made the right decision b/c I haven't even worried about not having the u/s, even just to see everything else! Really mull it over before you decide. I'm glad I did b/c the urge to know DID indeed pass.
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#26 of 29 Old 01-23-2004, 09:53 PM
 
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Hmm, we just had this conversation!! Yes, we will find out teh sex of the baby, but that is not why we are having an ultrasound. We did with our first. My third child was born with a heart defect. It was not extremly serious, but it was extremly tramautic. We had no idea anything was wrong, then BAM. Not only did they have to take the baby away, but the hospital we were in was not equipped to handle her problems. She had to be resusitated twice and was transported to another hosp two hours away. I would have been better prepared had we had the ultrasound. She would have been in the right hosp, I would have had backup care for my other kids...all that. So...after that, I will DEFIANTLY be having US this time.

As for the sex, I never felt it was the grand moment that people made it out to be. When I had my babies, I didn't really care the sex, I just wanted to see that hte baby was okay. SO, it will be cool to see the sex early, we can plan and all that.

But it is a personal choice, I think with every pregnancy, there are different feelings...

Caroline
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#27 of 29 Old 01-24-2004, 10:00 AM
 
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We do the one around 20 weeks. We don't find out the gender and we don't terminate but we want to be in the right place if there are any problems that require a NICU.
Planning a homebirth after 1 emergency c-section and 1 unmedicated vbac.
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#28 of 29 Old 01-24-2004, 06:05 PM
 
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I voted no because I will not have one...however I did have one at 20 weeks with Dylan. I wasn't really aware of the potential risks at the time and it was a big bonding moment between dh and myself to see her various parts.

"Look, honey, there are her little kidneys!"
"AWWWWW!"

We did decide to find out the gender, somewhat because we had made a bet - he won. His tears of joy when she said its a girl melted my heart.

I think having an ultrasound for our 1st pregnancy was not a bad thing at all, but now that we know what to expect and how quickly those 40 (well, 42.5 in my case) weeks fly by- despite morning sickness, backne, pelvic pressure, calf pain, and weight gain, we won't do it again- unless there is a concrete medical reason.

Evergreen- Loving my girls Dylan dust.gifage8, Ava energy.gifage 4 and baby Georgia baby.gif (6/3/11).

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#29 of 29 Old 02-08-2004, 09:09 AM
 
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I personally don't have ultrasounds for many reasons. But I just wanted to share my friends experience. She says having an ultrasound was the worst thing she ever did. She has a history of spina bifida in her family or she never would have had one since she's a health care provider and well aware of the risks. So she wanted to "check that everything was fine" and everything was not fine. She was told her baby had a "soft sign" for down's syndrome and also that her baby had abnormal kidneys but they couldn't tell how severe the problem was (including with subsequent u/s). She was extremely worried throughout the pregnancy and had a very long and difficult labour because she really didn't want the baby to come out and find out the truth. Luckily he is just fine! But my friend is emotionally scarred and I wouldn't be surprised if she has trouble bonding with her baby. If he really had those problems she would have found out, but at least they would have had 9 blissful months of learning to love their baby as perfect.
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