What to expect for your 12-week scan
The excitement of a first pregnancy scan! That’s exactly what our expectant mum has just experienced. Our ‘Diaries of an expectant mum’ series follows a real mum-to-be.
In the last blog, we wrote a post about the first trimester with the help of our mystery ‘mum-to-be.’
Traditionally most people wait until their first scan before announcing their pregnancy. So, we did not reveal who our mum-to-be was. However now…
Our ‘no longer a mystery’ mum-to-be (and not forgetting dad)
A massive thank you to our expectant parents. Meet Louise and James who have kindly volunteered to share their journey to parenthood.
How have you been feeling since we last spoke to you? What’s new?
Right now, sitting on my sofa, I feel relieved it is the weekend and happy wearing my comfy, baggy clothes. No, I feel pretty great actually. I am finding myself less tired in the evenings after work. I have taken advantage of this and got back into going to the gym; continuing with a spin class and a Zumba class every week. Both of my instructors know about me as it’s difficult to hide in my workout clothes. I have also started getting back into swimming at the weekend. This resulted in fewer headaches which I am extremely grateful for as they were really starting to bother me.
I am thankful to have never have suffered from any morning sickness. I have read that stops around this time so yay!
This past week, week 13 James (my husband) and I have noticed that the skin around my tummy is becoming stretched and thinner so have begun using bio oil twice a day after a best friend recommended it. (She has a girl aged 7 and is pregnant with her second, a boy and is due in June).
How were you feeling before your first scan? Was anything worrying you?
We both felt pretty nervous for some reason. We had an appointment booked for what seemed like ages and had looked forward to it for what felt like such a long time. When we woke up on the morning of, I felt almost as nervous as I did on my wedding day! As the morning of the appointment went by I was getting more and more excited and less worried.
Personally, I was just looking forward to having a professional confirm that there really is a baby in there. To know that all was well. As an adult and a woman, I can’t help but worry. It’s in my nature so I couldn’t help worrying that there wasn’t going to be anything in there. I know it sounds silly but I’ve heard of phantom pregnancies and that didn’t help.
What happened at your scan? What can a mum-to-be expect?
After our very first appointment at the hospital, I was expecting to wait for ages for our turn so I was very surprised that within 5 minutes my name was called. At that moment I looked at James, squeezed his hand and smiled, “this is it.”
We were welcomed and guided into a room by the sonographer. We entered the room and she invited me to lie down on the examination table/bed. While she was getting herself ready I looked around the room and noticed 2 big screens, one for her and one for us. At this point, my butterflies were growing and my hands were getting a little sweaty. I pulled up my top to my bra and folded it over. She smiled at me and began asking some questions such as my name, date of birth, how I am feeling. She asked if I had any concerns at this stage whilst she tucked a large paper towel into my leggings and pants and pulled them down to my bikini line. Eek good thing I trimmed the night before!
During the scan
She squeezed the gel onto my tummy which I was expecting to be cold but was actually not that bad. Using her ultrasound transducer or ‘probe’ she began to move it around my tummy. Within seconds a white peanut-shaped image appeared on the screen and James took my hand. Neither of us taking our eyes off the screen. As I am writing this I cannot help but tear up – damn hormones!
I couldn’t help but smile as I saw this tiny baby move around inside of me. It was very active and wouldn’t stop moving. As the sonographer continued to move the probe around she noticed I was wincing a little so she decided to stop. She looked at me and said all looks good, the baby has 4 limbs and is a good size. She suggested I empty my bladder as she could see it is very full. I was so relieved to hear her say this as I was desperate for a wee. Let me just add that the letter from the hospital instructs you to drink at least a litre before the appointment as it helps the baby to be clearer on screen.
Once I had returned I was back on the bed feeling much better. She applied some more gel and we continued. She took some measurements and asked about my calculated due date, she asked if we wanted photos which of course we did, so she printed some off. On the screen, we noticed the baby was curled up and not moving any more. She wiggled the probe against my tummy encouraging him/her to move which resulted in me giggling and the baby on the screen jiggling about! She asked me to turn over onto my left and asked me to cough a few times to try and get him/her moving. This went on for a few minutes before she asked me to turn onto my back. The sonographer suggested I go for a walk to see if I can get him/her moving again. So for the next 10 minutes, I continued drinking and walking around the hospital taking the stairs and walking in circles. When it was my turn to head back into the ultrasound room baby had begun moving a little more. She confirmed that I was 13 weeks after measuring parts of the baby and that my calculated due date hadn’t changed. After cleaning myself up, we collected our photos and went back to reception.
How did it feel seeing your baby for the first time?
It felt magical, truly amazing. It was comforting and a relief to see this little 9cm active baby alive and well! Obviously James and I felt very emotional during the scan but happy that we are going to become a family.
What next? When is your next appointment?
My next appointment is during week 16, with the midwife but thankfully that is at the local GP which is a short walk down the road. Not much was said about this appointment but looking forward to meeting a midwife and going through some more details and possibly a birthing plan and possibly discuss any more tests I need to have.
After that is the 20-week scan, back at the hospital and by then James and I need to agree on whether we are finding out the gender of our baby. I vote yes, James votes no…thankfully we have 7 weeks to make a decision. Also at this scan, the size will be checked and I am sure, more pee tests and blood tests.
How will/did you reveal your news officially?
The same day as the scan, before we got home we began sending photos and messages to family members and friends. All the important people know and we are glad we waited.
Any helpful tips at this stage?
As previously said my energy levels have changed and I definitely feel like I have more energy. I have also noticed I get out of breath more easily.
I have felt hungrier during the day so I am continuing with my 6 meals a day. When I’m hungry, I snack on fruit and cereal bars.
Have begun weighing myself Saturday mornings and recording it on my pregnancy app (Pregnancy+). I highly recommend this app (It was recommended to me). It has articles you can read and updates you weekly on the progress you and your baby are making. It has a section for your partner to read, baby name suggestions and so much more.
Pregnancy books to read
I love to read books and have started my own pregnancy library of books:
Bump to birthday book, mainly for me to record photographs, symptoms, how I am feeling, any cravings I have had, my weight and so on.
James and I have recorded in my diary all the dates of the antenatal classes which start in June.
What are you organising at the moment?
In May, there is a baby and toddler show we will go to in Bedfordshire. We are looking forward to meeting parenting experts, watching demonstrations and possibly even some shopping!
After mentioning our news to our friends, quite a few of them suggested going on one more holiday so we may look into that.
Thank you, Louise! Please keep us updated on your progress.
Of course, as newborn photographers, we like to advise of when the best time to book in for a newborn photography session. Once a mum-to-be has had her first scan, it is Ok to start looking for photographers. We have written some helpful posts that talk more about why it is important to book ahead.
If you are currently pregnant and would like to know more about our newborn photography, please get in touch
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