The baby scans are without doubt one of the best moments parents to be will experience during the pregnancy. Seeing your unborn child moving and breathing is amazing. They may be incredible moments, but for future dads, the experience can be a daunting one. Hundreds of different thoughts run through your mind as you see your child up on the screen. Firstly, this is really happening, there’s definitely a human in there. Secondly, this human is going to be fully developed and ready to burst it’s way into the world in a few months. Am I ready for this? I don’t think anybody is ever ready for parenthood, but it’s an exciting thought that soon there will be an extra member of the family crawling around, shitting and snotting everywhere.
12 Week Scan
The 12 week scan is usually the most terrifying for everyone involved. As a man, it’s the point where you are still doubting that there is actually a child in there. There’s little or no bump showing and at the back of your mind you are still convinced that your partner is playing a cruel joke on you.
Your partner during this scan is required to have a full bladder so that the scan can work correctly. Asking a woman who pees like crazy to hold in a few litres of water in her bladder for a long period is never going to end well. My partner Amy did so well, until about 10 minutes before we were due to go in, and she surrended and had no choice but to relieve herself, before she pissed her pants. We went into the room, only for her to be told that her bladder was still too full and that she needed to go and pee again. How much water had this girl drunk?!
As expected, the scan was made extremely difficult by our child squirming and moving around like it was practising for Strictly Come Dancing. It took forever to get all the measurements that the nurses required. Half way through the scan, the nurse was having so much trouble she asked my partner to go and eat some sugary foods and do some wiggles and dances to make him move. Her face was a picture! I suggested that maybe she should do some twerks to get the baby to move. It didn’t go down well.
We came back and tried again, and there it was, clear to see on the screen, our first child. At this stage, there isn’t a lot to see apart from the basic outline of the head, arms and legs. It may not be much, but it’s a comforting feeling when you know that it’s not an alien with 5 arms, 6 legs and 3 heads.
It’s also a time where you find out just how many humans are in there. The sense of relief you feel when the nurse tells you that there’s just the one in there is immense. I think I would have had a breakdown if there was any more. Imagine having 2 or 3 babies at once! I don’t think I would have coped, and neither would my bank balance.
20 Week Scan
At this stage of the pregnancy, both man and woman have pretty much accepted the fact that they are having a baby, there’s no going back now. No returns or exchanges allowed. This scan will also be more exciting for most couples as this is the moment that you will find out the gender of your baby. I say most, some may decide that they are far too impatient to wait like the rest and book in for an early gender scan at 16 weeks. This is targeted directly at my partner, who insisted that 4 weeks was far too long to wait to find out the gender.
Parents who do not wish to know the gender until the birth should probably look away for the majority of the scan, just in case you see a flash of genitals! Which I can tell you from experience, does happen!
We knew that we would be having a boy, however the sonographer decided that she wanted to try and guess the gender from the scan. Easiest game ever! As soon as she found the little guy, we were presented with this…
Jesus son! You nearly took your mother’s eye out with that thing! I have a feeling that we have ourselves a little show off on our hands. Flashing his willy for the world to see, I honestly don’t know where he gets it from. After this picture, there were definitely no doubts about the gender. His mother has already said that when he’s older this scan picture will be pulled out the first time he brings a girl home. Poor kid! Doesn’t know what’s going to hit him when he’s older.
The serious part
As well as finding out the gender, this scan will also determine if there are any abnormalities or issues with the baby. This is a moment where you hold your breath as the sonographer takes the measurements. I think it is a fear that every parent goes through, that there might be something wrong with the baby. Thankfully for us, everything was normal. Baby was healthy and safe. From the looks of it, he had energy to burn! Doing somersaults and bouncing around like crazy, he was having a great time. He seemed to be using my partner’s womb as a bouncy castle. I’m convinced that he’s going to be either a professional footballer or a kick boxer.
The most amazing part of scan was seeing all the organs work. The technology that is used and the detail that they can show you is mindblowing. We were shown the heart beating and the four chambers. We could actually see the blood pumping around our baby! The sonographer pressed a button and we could see all the red patches which was the oxygenated blood and the blue patches which were deoxygenated. It’s moments like that that will never be forgotten. Moments that make you sit back and think ‘Wow! We have made that!’
I would love to hear about your scan stories. Maybe yours went completely differently to mine. Please share your funny moments or your embarrassing stories in the comments section below.