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#1 of 20 Old 01-20-2003, 03:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm 10.5 weeks and have my second midwife appointment on Tuesday. This is my first pregnancy and other than the awful morning sickness, all seems to be well. Now that we're telling everyone, they are all asking if we're going to find out the sex. I haven't given it much thought. For some reason, I have assumed that if all is normal, I probably won't have an ultrasound. But everyone keeps telling me that it's SO routine these days that it's hard to avoid. I don't have strong feelings against having one, but I'm just wondering what the reasons are for having one if all seems to be normal. I don't want one if the only reason is to find out the sex. I'd be curious to hear what reasons you've been given for having one or not having one.

And another semi-related question...did you find out that sex of your first baby? Why did you decide to/not to? Am I strange for not really caring? I guess I'm just convinced that it's a boy (there are SOOO many boys in DH's family/extended family) that if I was told it was a girl, I probably wouldn't believe it until she was born!
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#2 of 20 Old 01-20-2003, 04:24 AM
 
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and everything study I came across said that they are not to be used for routine screening. There is not ONE single study that shows the use of ultrasound helps improve maternal or babies outcome during birth.

In fact the World Health Organization, National Insititute of Health, and the American Medical Association all say that ultrasound should not be used for routine screening. Rarther, it's only a tool to be used if there are indicators that something is wrong, ex: bleeding, and the doctor needs to diagnose the problem. However our society has let corporate america introduce technology without testing it throughly first and birth is BIG, BIG business. Lots of money is made off of ultrasound and it gives people the warm fuzzies, but I am not convinced that the pay off is worth it.

I suggest reading the first two sites if nothing else...

http://www.hsurc.sk.ca/research_studies/pdfs/26654ultrasound.pdf

http://www.acegraphics.com.au/articles/wagner02.html

http://www.parentscentre.org.nz/having_a_baby/c-ultrasound.htm

http://www.aims.org.uk/ultra2.htm

http://www.unhinderedliving.com/pultra.html

I have several other sites as well if you are interested.

Many people want ultrasounds done because they are so common so people just trust the process, but there is no evidence that it helps, and I read several studies that indicate that the sound waves actually harm the baby.

Hope this helps some

Nikki
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#3 of 20 Old 01-20-2003, 05:48 AM
 
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hi there! We did not find out the sex of our ds because 1) we wanted to be suprised 2) we didn't care whether he was a boy or a girl and 3) they are often mistaken. As for whether you should get one or not, that is a very personal decision. Most of the time the only reason other than sex determination is to verify that all the part are present and appear to be working. Many people find this reassuring and that is why they have it. Also some people use it as a screening for abnormalities which they would then abort. If you are not interested in this alternative, I would say don't bother. There are a few medical problems they can treat in utero but most have to wait until the baby is born. It can be an advantage to know about some problems ahead of time so the preparations can be made for immediate care after delivery. Again, for most conditions this doesn't matter anyway so why worry? If you don't want to know the sex and are not overly concerned about any rare potential problems the there are no real reasons for an ultrasound. Bottom line, do what you feel is best and don't let anyone pressure you to get one if it's not needed and you don't want it.

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#4 of 20 Old 01-20-2003, 10:23 AM
 
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For me, it was about respect for my unborn baby. I said I would not subject the baby to any medically unnecessary procedures. So, no ultrasound for us. I don't take medicine or subject *myself* to hospital or doctor procedures unless they are necessary, why would I do that to someone else?

As an added bonus, I enjoyed going "against the grain" when people asked me about ultrasounds and the sex of our child.
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#5 of 20 Old 01-20-2003, 10:40 AM
 
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My sister found out through an ultra-sound that her second baby's brain had not formed. Between this and having miscarried once, I was very aware of what could go wrong while the baby developed. I had an ultra-sound to ease my mind. I found out that he had all of his parts and did not find out the sex. My husband wanted it to be a surprise.

: madrone - : SAHM to 12 y.o. DS, : 9 y.o. DD, and : 4 y.o. DS
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#6 of 20 Old 01-20-2003, 12:49 PM
 
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I am 18 weeks and actually headed to an ultrasound this afternoon. This is my third pregnancy and from the practices I've been involved with they have all routinely offered an u/s at around 4.5-5 months. You can refuse to have one if you are not interested though - I've never been pressured into having one.

I'll be honest - I don't think it's medically necessary in any way.

For me, I am a big worrier and it eases my mind to see that my child is developing well. It helps me to relax and enjoy the rest of the pregnancy. I also like finding out the sex and have done so with my other two and will if it's possible to tell today. For me knowing the sex means I can choose a name and feel more connected to the being growing inside me. I also thinks it helps my other kids to start bonding with the baby before it's born to give it a name and a gender. I know it's not for everyone and that's cool with me. But this is why I agree to doing one each pregnancy.

I think you have to do whatever you are comfortable with. If you are not comfortable with a u/s don't let people freighten you into it, b/c there really is no medical benefit - more just a peace of mind thing.
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#7 of 20 Old 01-20-2003, 12:54 PM
 
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Another reason for a u/s would be if you or your midwife suspect twins . That's why I had one. After the twins were diagnosed, I had to have more u/s to check their growth (sometimes one twin grows much better than the other and this can be fatal for the smaller twin). I always feel mixed about getting the u/s (I've had four now, I think) because the babies really don't like it (they kick at the wand-thing and shield their eyes). On the other hand, it is very reassuring, and I am a HUGE worry-head (I never knew before pg!). I didn't have any other screening done (AFP or amnio), and I am glad to know that the babies have all of their parts, etc.

We cose to find out the sexes, though I wouldn't have wanted to if we were just having one baby. Having two was enough of a surprise for me! It was so hard to imagine it being real, and once we knew that we were having two little boys, and not just "twins," it made it much easier for me to prepare mentally. Also, when you know that the u/s technician is staring at that tell-tale part of the babe, it's quite hard not to let your curiosity take over! I don't think it's at all strange to not care about what the sex of the baby is. It's first and foremost a baby!

If I were to be pregnant again and not suspecting twins or another "complication," I wouldn't have a u/s.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 5, 6, 8, 9, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#8 of 20 Old 01-20-2003, 01:13 PM
 
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#9 of 20 Old 01-20-2003, 03:46 PM
 
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Well... I had one at 19w and we did find out the gender. The reason I did this was as a compromise. I get my homebirth... dh gets to find out gender.

BTW Sharon, dh's family has TONS of boys and hardly and girls. Our first was a girl! You really just never know. Even tho they told us she was a girl... I wasn't 100% until she came out even though they saw those '3 lines'.

Good luck deciding!

Michelle
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#10 of 20 Old 01-20-2003, 03:53 PM
 
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I had two u/s - one for dating purposes and one routine. I did not find out the sex; I already knew I wanted to be surprised. If I had another one I would not want to find out either.

If I had another pg I would skip the date u/s, since they also gave me a date at the routine one, and we all know due dates don't really mean anything anyway - babies are due the day they are born!

I would do the routine one just to make sure all the vital organs are there - if I'm going to have a baby who is missing the entire front of its brain, for example, I would like to know about it well beforehand!

But that is the only reason I would do it, and I would only do it once if there was nothing to be concerned about the first time. I hear that doctors' wives sometimes get a u/s every few weeks...ordered by their dh's, of course.
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#11 of 20 Old 01-20-2003, 07:02 PM
 
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I had two ultrasounds during my pregnancy with ds, we never found out the sex, neither one of us had the need to know, we'd know soon enough. I had one ultrasound at 12 weeks, we couldn't hear the heartbeat, and one at 31 to check on organ development (and to make sure all parts were there). They were both very reasurring, however if you are calm and relaxed and don't want one then there is no point.

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#12 of 20 Old 01-20-2003, 08:18 PM
 
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My midwives never brought it up until I asked and they said I could if I wanted to. I had one at like 4.5 months, and the u/s tech was totally perturbed that we had not had at least one, if not more, u/s already. I didn't want to find out the sex.

I don't know about next time - I don't think I need one, but I have this weird paranoia/Murphy's Law thing going on where I feel like I should get one. :
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#13 of 20 Old 01-21-2003, 12:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks everyone. good food for thought. If offered one today, I would probably accept. I've had terrible morning sickness and feel like I MUST be starving the baby, though everyone keeps telling me I'm doing fine. So, right now I'm a huge worrier. But hopefully tomorrow we're hear the heartbeat and I think that will be enough to ease my mind.
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#14 of 20 Old 01-21-2003, 12:52 AM
 
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Now that I'm thinking about it - I'll probably skip it next pregnancy.
I had two done with DS - he was breech and they checked for how much fluid was left etc........ (they let me go into labor before the c-section)

My Dh and I are TTC#3 now - and I don't think I want to know if its a boy or girl, and I don't want anyone saying how BIG he or she is either........... cause that would just frighten me.....

I think I'll stay away unless there is good reason.

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#15 of 20 Old 01-21-2003, 01:17 AM
 
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Link to another thread, long list of stuff, if interested.
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#16 of 20 Old 01-21-2003, 02:31 PM
 
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Hi all~
I just had a U/S last wk @ 21 wks & also had 1 @ 8 wks, neither as part of an OB care routine. The 1st one was bcz my 1st pgnancy was a blighted ovum & after 5 yrs TTC I was an emotional wreck & had to make sure we had a baby in there! It was just a very quick peek in.

Here's why we went ahead with the 2nd:
baby's sex: tempting but decided not to find out. I remember the Christmas I peeked @ my presents & found out what they were weeks early. I wasnt happy & Christmas wasnt as fun for me. Decided to apply that logic & we will wait for the big surprise. Plus the reason most people give me for finding out is so we can buy the right color clothes & the paint the nursery the right color. We won't be having a nursery (cosleeping) & I am totally against an all pink/all blue baby wardrobe! So for us, there was no reason to ruin the surprise.

Cons: I am not a "routine" OB care person. Hate the idea of doing it just bcz everybody else does, would never abort, havent had any other "screens" done, particularly anything that would be physically invasive like an amnio. Very conservative about anything that might harm the baby or risk the pregnancy.

Pros: @ 21 wks measured 29 cm, so pretty big for dates, but we already knew that most of the excess was just my big tummy. After discussing with our midwife, the real reason was to rule out anomalies that could be corrected/treated in utero like spina bifida. I actually know a man @ work whose baby was treated in utero for spina bifida. I decided that I wouldn't be very happy if there was something I could have done something about & we didnt just bcz we didn't know.

Respect for the baby: I did feel uncomfortable during the U/S, like we were invading the baby's space. Bcz most of my family lives 8 hrs away from me & we were on our way to visit, I opted to have a portion of the U/S videotaped. It was spooky to watch the baby moving instead of feeling it, and after a couple minutes I told the tech that was enough. I really don't like the idea of "baby's 1st pictures" being an U/S. I don't agree with the commercialization of this technology.

On a side note, I don't know if it was the U/S or the 8 hrs in the car, but when we got to my mom's house the baby was jumping! He/She really showed off for grama & we could actually see my belly popping in & out while I was laying down! Now that was much more cool than seeing the baby on a video monitor!

blessings to all, Maria
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#17 of 20 Old 01-21-2003, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I asked my midwife about it today and she said it's completely up to us. They don't recommend it unless there is some kind of medical reason (suspect twins, bleeding, etc), but they don't refuse it if the parents really want it. She said probably 50% of their patients get one. We sort of heard the heartbeat today (kept squirming) so that was reassuring. And I figure by 20 weeks (when I would get the ultrasound), I'll be feeling the baby move so I don't think I'll need the visual reassurance. DH and I think we'll opt out unless something comes up that would warrant some kind of medical justification. Thanks for all the links and personal opinions/experiences!
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#18 of 20 Old 01-21-2003, 11:08 PM
 
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Sharon,

Please try not to worry too much about all your morning sickness. I also had it really bad. And I worried so much about adequate nutrition. Your body is not going to lead you inthe wrong direction!

It really is very normal -- I am sure your midwife or Dr. has told you the same. And your baby is going to be fine!


Jean

Jean, happy HS mom to Peter (5), Daniel (9) and Lucie (2) and also someone new... baby.gif
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#19 of 20 Old 01-23-2003, 06:36 AM
 
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Interesting thread. My experience - first pregnancy, not as educated as I am now, had two routine ultrasounds - one to "date" the pregnancy and one to check growth I guess? I would not abort regardless and have friends who were told (granted this was 15 years ago) their baby had problems then after worrying endlessly for months, gave birth to a healthy baby.

I was offended by the ultrasound tech who patted me on the shoulder and told me she would tell me how far along I was - when I told her up front I was x number of weeks. Excuse me? I think I know when I had my last period and when I had sex with my husband! Also was SO very uncomfortable from drinking all that water an hour before the exam. My body was SCREAMING in every way it could that drinking that much water but not peeing was bad for me. I was shaking, sweating, just feeling awful and wrong. And in the end, they told me my bladder was in the way and to pee a little (yeah, right) so they could see.

Second pregnancy, did not have any ultrasounds. Now I trust my body more and medical technology less. Plus I have read much about possible problems with ultrasounds. There was a time they used xrays to date pregnancies then figured out it harmed the babies. Maybe ultrasounds are not as obvious but harming somehow just the same? Will we someday discover that learning difficulties or something else is related to ultrasounds?

Also, if you think of all the women having babies in this country each year and all the money that is spent on ultrasounds that are really not necessary, it is sad and wasteful IMO. Put that money towards research for cancer or AIDS - or offer health insurance to the poor - or anything helpful or useful...

On the gender thing, it is fun to be surprised. We have been both times before and will be this time too. I have a friend who has done it once each way and she swears not knowing was better. There are tons of adorable gender neutral clothes and nursery items and toys and books. AND the stores will still sell you (or your friends and family) pink or blue things after the baby is out! Plus it gives you one more incentive when you are tired of pushing - just WHO has been in there for 9 months???

I would have one if my midwife thought it was necessary - if I was measuring way off, if I was bleeding, if we couldn't hear the heartbeat after a certain # of weeks, etc. I also understand ultrasound for those who have suffered a loss in a previous pregnancy - that is a different situation.

Someone posted that her ultrasound tech was peeved she had not had a previous ultrasound (when she was in later in pregnancy) - that is unreal to me! How dare they give you flack! So obviously in it for the money to have an attitude like that. I try to be open minded to others viewpoints but please! For some reason, that really hit me wrong.
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#20 of 20 Old 01-23-2003, 02:54 PM
 
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I go to I signed a consent form to have an ultrasound but when it came time to get my referral I refused it since it was not medically indicated. There is no reason for me to have one. I only signed the consent form because I wanted to ease the paperwork in case one was suggested. The midwives told me they offer an ultrasound referral to get customers since most women expect/demand an ultrasound during their pregnancies.

With my firstborn I had an HMO that did not pay for them unless medically necessary so I did not get one. I just told people my HMO doesn't pay for routine ones and my midwife says the baby and I are perfectly healthy and don't need one!

With my second and third I was again offered a routine ultrasound at 20 weeks. I had one with my second because I had the AFP test (the test came back suggesting my baby might hvae spina bifida) and it was recommended I have a follow up ultrasound. My daughter was perfect so the tests were fale positive.

I wanted to let you know you are not alone in not having an ultrasound although it does seem like every pregnant women has at least one or more!

BTW I never found out the sex for any of my babies.

Warmly,
Debra, expecting my fourth this late May/early June 2003!
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