I thought I might share my story just for interest and perspective.
I was exactly the same way in my last pregnancy: I wanted no more ultrasounds after the 12 week nuchal scan. I did not like the question mark over their 100% safety. I did not like bothering my baby. I was happy for the sex to be a surprise.
So I didn't have any more scans. I went on and had a very happy pregnancy.
I also substituted the doppler for the 'pinard' thing the midwife listens through.
Then at 32 weeks my midwife said I felt small, and said I should go for an ultrasound to check everything's ok.
That's where I discovered my baby was not going to live due to bilateral renal agenesis (BRA) a rare condition where the kidneys never formed.
Most women would discover this at their 20 week scan.
This is not meant to be a scaremongering story by any means. I don't regret the choices I made at all.
I am glad I did not have the 20 week scan, because I'd be in the same position as I was at 32 weeks - only - with further to go.
I carried my baby to term, best choice I ever made, and waited for labour to start naturally at 43 weeks, finding out the sex of my little boy at birth who was stillborn.
I mention my story simply to illustrate how my attitude has changed - but not from fear necessarily, or from feeling I did something wrong last time. Not at all.
Scans wouldn't have changed my baby's fate in my case, just the timings. Plus, the condition is so rare.
But in my new pregnancy now, I am happy to have more scans - in our case, at both 16 and 20 weeks to check renal system is developing.
(If, god forbid, it happened again - I think I have the spiritual strength and experience to know the 'right' way for me, and that would be carrying to term.)
And I want to find out the sex. My baby was referred to as 'it' for too long during that last 12 week period of carrying him to term.
My fears of our unborn being prematurely pink/blue gendered by relatives is least of my concerns now. ;-)
I feel as though the ambiguity of 100% ultrasound safety is not my major priority as it might have once been.
Most all women get ultrasounds, such a commonplace practise has not proven to have any adverse outcome and that satisfies me now. I have bigger fish to fry.
What I get in return - assurance of my baby's health - is far too great an opportunity to miss.
Plus, I really appreciate how ultrasound gives you a physical image of your baby in an experience that often feels so mysterious.
It motivates me to eat better, makes it feel more real (especially in the stages before you feel movement) and where I once considered that a luxury on the mother's part, I actually think it has benefits sheerly from that motivation of reminding you of the little person in there, dependent on your eating and wellbeing.
Of course, ultrasounds often give false info and wrong diagnoses. And can cause unnecessary anxiety and upset. But I see that as part and parcel of human error of the advantage of this modern technology, and would advocate that time, thoroughness and due caution is considered before anything is diagnosed or decided on behalf of the baby.
For me, it was a blessing. It gave me forewarning that my baby was not going to live.
I imagine sometimes having gone into labour without ever getting that 32 week scan. The shock nightmare of my baby not being alive. Wondering if I could have been my fault for homebirthing. And living in sheer panic for days and days until the autopsy results came back.
That is what women before ultrasound would have had to endure in my situation, so in that respect, despite my holistic pro-nature disposition on most things, I am so utterly thankful to modern technology for giving me such precise information about my baby and enabling me to make necessary preparation, and to begin my process of preliminary grieving.
Also, even though my last baby's condition was unpreventable and there was nothing to be done, I do consider that in other conditions, sometimes there are things you can do to help them.
What would I feel right now if I'd known that I could have helped my baby? The loss I went through was hard enough without adding my guilt into the equation.
Of course, the condition my baby had is VERY RARE, but, there are also many rare conditions. Who knows what's in store for any of us.
It must be considered here that my baby's condition led to outward clues that instigated the need for a scan (small for dates, and midwife could feel the absence of fluid). But some conditions might not give away such signs.
Yes, I believe we need to live in confidence not fear.
But for me, the pros of ultrasound far outweigh the cons, or vague suspicions. To put it into perspective, I could not tolerate the tiny 1% miscarriage risk in having something like amniocentesis, but with ultrasound when used sparingly and responsibly, there is no evidence substantial enough to convince me I am putting my little one in danger in any direct way.
At the least, I hope my perspective can maybe ease up the tension any of you ladies feel when you do get a scan or doppler.
Modern science is a funny thing. We need just the right amount according to our needs. Whilst I am so grateful for the 32 week scan, I rejected the hospital's suggestions on termination and birthing procedure. I birthed naturally at home (which seemed to kick up a fuss in the local medical community.) But I also knew I could go into hospital if I needed it. Seems as though it's misleading to try be black-and-white or sternly of one belief. This whole life seems to be about getting the right balance of everything!
Mother to angel son E.G.L., our first child diagnosed with bilateral renal agenesis (classic Potters syndrome, no kidneys) at 32 weeks, carried to 43 weeks & stillborn at home Dec 2013. He continues to teach me lessons of love every single day. Pregnant with our expectant rainbow due April 2015!
Last edited by clovebucket; 10-21-2014 at 08:43 AM.