The 20 week ultrasound

20 week ultrasound


I had my 20 week ultrasound on Monday.  My appointment wasn’t until 1pm which meant the entire day was pretty much a right off. I spent the morning wandering the house looking for distractions, anything to take the edge off my anxiety. It literally felt like I wanted to crawl right out of my own skin.


I’m sure Rory was picking up on my mood because he was weird and clingy all morning too.


I felt utterly sick walking into the scan place. My heart was beating and my stomach churning as I lay on the table and tried to make the normal happy chit chat with the sonographer. I tried to play the role of the excited expectant Mum but it’s so hard when all of my being is just waiting for that first picture, to see the flickering of the heart.  And then after we saw it I tried to relax, but still couldn’t.


My mind kept jumping to the worst case scenario.  


She measured his head and had a look at his brain.  My mind asked ‘what if there is something wrong with his brain?!”


She looked at the four chambers of his heart. My mind jumped to ‘oh no, maybe she is taking so long because his heart isn’t beating properly.’


She looked at his spine for what felt like a decade, from every angle and position. I had to move left and right, back and forth while she tried to get the perfect image. My mind the whole time screaming at me ‘what is wrong, oh my god there is something wrong with his spine!’


Is this a normal response to having had so many negative ultrasound experiences?  I don’t know, I just know that’s where my brain went and it took all my restraint not to ask her every five seconds ‘is that ok. Is there something wrong?’


At one point I did actually ask her if there was a problem because she was concentrating so hard on what she was looking at, but she assured me it was just because she was trying to get the perfect picture.  In the end we decided she must be fairly new because she seemed more thorough and careful than any one I’ve ever had before.


We went home assuming it was ‘all good’, though after my experience with Orion I no longer assume that they’re going to tell you if there is something wrong at the ultrasound.  They kindly leave that good news for your doctor to deliver.


I had my follow up appointment with the obstetrician on Wednesday. She printed out the results and assured me it all looked normal.


I sighed with relief… until she followed it up with a little comment about it none of these tests being 100% certain, but that they’re ‘pretty good.’  I’m sure this comment was some sort of standard procedure that they’re meant to say for the minuscule percentage of mothers who do have problems arise after this 20 week check, for those whose babies are born with a problem that was missed.


I get this, but I still don’t want to hear it.  Before Orion I barely took any notice of statistics or the potential problems. I naively assumed that my babies would always be healthy.  Back then I thought – I was healthy, why wouldn’t my babies be?


Now it’s like my brain (and body) are on high alert for every potential risk.  I have to really fight the urge to assume that any small percentage of risk is a ‘sure thing’ for me now.  It’s like I default to thinking ‘yep of course, that will happen to us, because that will be my luck.’


It’s a thought pattern that I have to fight daily. I have a constant soundtrack of my own positive mantras to try and drown out the doubts and fears.  I wish I could say I am 100% confident in my ability to grow and birth another healthy baby, but sadly that’s just not true.  There are moments when I feel this as truth, but there are also many many moments where I have to work hard to control the anxiety that creeps in.


I think this is ok though. I feel the fear of potential loss daily, but I am working with it and I am still here. My baby is growing and is healthy and right in this moment, everything is perfect.


I guess I can’t ask for much more than that, can I?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *