If you are one among those “over-enthusiastic, DIY & creative” parents who get immense pleasure by doing DIY stuffs for your baby, then, “Baby Room Painting & Decor” will surely be on your “Pregnancy To-Do” list!
P & I are so excited to create wonderful memories for our soon-to-be born baby boy and savor every moment of this wonderful journey. We had a spare decent sized room in our house, after examining it, realized it gets the perfect amount of sunlight, fresh air, is cozy, comfortable and best fit to be our baby’s room! We were thankful to our friends for lending a helping hand at this humongous project.
If your anomaly scan that is done between 18-20 weeks of pregnancy is normal, then, there will be no more scans further in your pregnancy, unless your OBGYN finds something unusual like – abnormal growth rate, or red bleeding. After the anomaly scan, all the doctor does is check your vitals and measure the bump.
We went in for our 26 weeks scan on May 27th,2015. The nurse took my vitals like height, weight, blood pressure and urine sample(to check for presence of sugar in urine. Please make sure that you avoid sweets and sugary stuff. Your urine should have 0 units of sugar). My OBGYN measured the size of my bump using a tape measure, by measuring the distance from my pelvis to top of the uterus (also called Fundal height). She said every centimeter represents each week. My bump measured 26 centimeters to represent 26 weeks of pregnancy! 🙂
Anomaly scan is a major scan which takes a closer look at your baby’s internal organs, development and the health of your uterus. It is a twenty minute scan which is performed between 18 weeks to 20 weeks of pregnancy. You can also get to know the baby’s gender during this scan, as the genitals will be clearly visible on the ultrasound.
On April 30th 2015, we went in for our Anomaly scan. Baby was hyper active and was moving around, bending and stretching, giving a tough time to the sonographer to get correct view and measurements. She also pointed that he was kicking vigorously on my bladder during the ultrasound.
She was able to check and measure the following in our baby:
1) Size and shape of his head and look for any abnormalities
2) Presence of four chambers in his heart- two antria and two ventricals; opening and closing of valves during each heartbeat; veins and arteries that carry blood to and from the baby’s heart.
4) Closer look at baby’s face to check for abnormalities like cleft lip.
5) Baby’s Kidneys- presence of two kidneys and free flow of urine through them
6) Baby’s spine – length and see if all bones align.
7) Baby’s hands and legs and count the number of digits.
8) She confirmed that it is a boy, by showing us his penis 🙂
On March 28th, 2015, (3 days after our “Elective Gender Scan”), our best friend couple threw us a “Gender Reveal Party” to announce the baby’s gender in the presence of our friends. It is a new creative way of revealing baby’s gender now-a-days. Some common ways include (1) Gender reveal cake (2) cookies (3) Cupcakes (4) Balloons (5) Spray paint (6) Pinata etc.
Our best friend couple designed a hand crafted “Question mark” pinata using cardboard. After our scan,we had handed over to them, the sealed envelop containing the scan picture. The party idea was that one of them will fill the pinata with blue shredded paper, if our scan picture was a boy; or fill it with pink shredded paper, if our scan picture was a girl.
One of my coworker who owns a bakery, offered to bake a “gender reveal cake” for me. So, I gave her a copy of sealed envelop containing our scan picture as well. The inner part of the cake was supposed to be Blue, if its a boy; or Pink, if its a girl.
Usually, “Gender scan” is performed in US at 20th week, along with the anomaly scan. But, some hospitals offer an “Elective Gender Scan” at 16 weeks. It costs $40 and our insurance did not cover it, but still we opted for it, because we were too excited to find out the gender of the baby! 🙂 Our scan was scheduled on March 25th,2015!
How is it performed?
The sonographer will perform a trans-abdominal ultrasound where she will look for presence of penis or clitoris (3 lines) between the baby’s legs. Some sonographers cannot control their excitement and will announce the result excitedly; but, however, if you plan to get the results in a sealed envelop (like we did), you should inform the sonographer beforehand.
Our best friends were throwing us a “gender reveal party”, so we asked for the results in the sealed envelop. 🙂 Our baby was co-operative and she could find out the results within seconds.
Nuchal Translucency sreening (NT Scan) – This is an optional scan which is recommended by Gynecologists in the US to test for presence of Down syndrome, chromosomal abnormalities or congenital problems in the baby. This is usually recommended between 11th -14th weeks of pregnancy. It is mandatory screening if mother is above 35 years of age.
This screening involves (1) Ultrasound – where they measure the thickness of baby’s neck. Since the baby’s neck is still transparent, they can check for presence of fluid at the back of the neck, which enlarges the clear space in babies with down syndrome. Normal recommended measurement is between 1mm-3mm. Anything measuring above 3mm is treated as indicator of Down syndrome and the risk range is assessed based on maternal age and is provided to the parents. (2) Blood work. The results from ultrasound and blood work is combined and the presence or absence of Down syndrome in the baby is determined. They perform another blood test between 16th – 21st week of pregnancy to confirm the results.
Even though NT Scan wasn’t mandatory for us, we opted for it and scheduled it on Feb 25th,2015. Fortunately, my ultrasound and blood work came back normal. My baby’s neck thickness measured 1.3 mm and was in normal range.
After returning back to US, we shortlisted few renowned Gynecologists and scheduled our first pregnancy scan in the US for Feb 4th,2015. Usually, in the US, your first pregnancy visit will involve a “Prenatal screening” to check for general heath of mother and the baby and also defect birth defects at early stages.
Our gynecologist scheduled us for “Prenatal screening” which involves blood work to test for the following:
Pap smear is also recommended along with testing for Chlamydia. All results were normal.
Fetus could be better seen by this time, with head and body as two huge round masses. The radiologist measured the heartbeat of 172 BPM and showed us the baby wiggling its hands and legs like a teddy bear and also the formation of kidneys and spine. It was fun to watch.
At this stage it is too early to determine the gender of the baby. However, interestingly, by now, the doctor can hear baby’s heartbeat using just a dopplar, sans the ultrasound.