This is a guide to all the clueless mamas (and daddies) out there who, like us, were completely taken unawares. Some might accuse, “you guys didn’t do proper family planning!” well, to that I would like to point out: some people take years to conceive and we didn’t want the stress of actively trying and being disappointed so our surprise is our little miracle…
Through mama groups and friendly advice, I was able to put this together! Let me know in the comments if I got anything wrong or if you think there’s something else I should add 🙂
The first scan!
Don’t pee before going for this scan because a full bladder will push your baby into full view of the ultrasound. This scan confirms that you are pregnant, checks to see how many eggs were fertilized, and also to rule out risks of ectopic pregnancies. The doctor will also be able to tell you how far along you are and give you an estimate on your due date. You will also be asked how you would like to proceed with the pregnancy.
I know abortion is a taboo topic but I personally believe that it is so much more responsible to terminate a pregnancy than to have a child and not giving it the care it deserves. If you are not ready to be a mother, I simply do not trust you to raise the future generation.
The eight-week heartbeat.
Some people might skip this but many new mothers or those who have had a miscarriage before will look forward to this date as they will be able to hear their baby’s heartbeat. It was during this scan that we were told that we should expect twins. Many doctors will not inform you of multiple pregnancies prior to this checkup due to the vanishing twin syndrome whereby one is absorbed by the other, so don’t be surprised (we know we were!)
Down syndrome screening
At your third month of pregnancy, you can check for the risk of down syndrome. This screening can only take place between 11 to 13 weeks, while the fluid behind the baby’s neck is still visible. The doctor will use that, along with other markers, to determine whether your child might have down syndrome or not. The other markers include heart valve functionality, nose bridge bone, heartbeat and one other thing I can’t quite remember (or find on Google)! I think it was the femur? Let me know in the comments if you’re a doctor or if you know what all the markers are.
Anomaly/Gender scan at five months!
Probably one of the most exciting scans for us because I wanted a boy and he wanted a girl so we were hoping for one of each. It was kinda annoying that many of our friends and family kept telling us that I was carrying boys and when it was confirmed… To be honest, I was bummed that I couldn’t laugh at them for being wrong and had to grudgingly agree that they were right all along.
But the point of this scan is not actually to check the gender, it’s to make sure that your baby is growing healthily and developing well. You can also have another detail scan to rule out down syndrome or cleft lip, but we skipped it because what’s the point? Nobody is going to terminate their pregnancy at five months unless there’s a life-threatening reason.
Thanks to technology, you can now see your baby’s face while it is still in the womb. It seemed frivolous to us, like seriously, you can’t wait another few months to see your baby? You’ll be seeing it day and night till your eyes pop out and you’ll get to see their faces till you’re old and grey. What’s the rush? There are those who will defend their decision by saying they wanted to check for cleft lip or heart disorders but unless your doctor explicitly shared their concerns with you, there is no real necessity.
All other scans in between or from this point onward is just to make sure your baby is developing well. Note that healthy singletons are often scanned once a month but as twins pose a higher risk, doctors would prefer to keep a closer eye and scan fortnightly instead.
T-minus one month! I’m