We had our ’20 week’ NHS scan last week. Having already found out Bun’s gender a few weeks prior at our scan with Window to the Womb, I wasn’t as excited as I usually am at a 20 week scan.
To be honest, I haven’t been feeling as excited about scans in this pregnancy as I was in Busby and H-Bear’s pregnancies for obvious reasons. Part of me is trying to enjoy pregnancy, as this will be the final time I am pregnant… but the other part of me is just wishing for it to be December now so I can hold her in my arms and keep her safe on the outside.
Anyway, we arrived at the ultrasound department, only to find a note stuck on the door to say that ultrasounds on a Sunday are held at the Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU) and to head round there. This was the first hurdle of the day and I burst into tears. Returning to EPU is not something I ever wanted to do, and all of the memories of being told that our baby had stopped developing came flooding back.
All the appointment letter needed was a couple of lines to explain where Sunday scans are held, and the option to re-book the appointment if necessary. I can’t be the only Mother to have visited that department under extremely sad circumstances, and it really isn’t great for maternal mental health. Also, I remember feeling so dreadfully sad watching happy round bumps leaving the overflow ultrasound room while we waited for our scan at EPU last autumn, so it can be awful for both ends of the pregnancy spectrum.
I felt a bit braver after a cuddle and pep talk from Nick, and we headed round to EPU. We had to wait almost an hour for the scan because EPU emergencies are seen as priority (which is absolutely fine, but again – a line in the letter explaining this would have been great, as waiting for an hour with a full bladder is all kinds of torture… also a great test on ones pelvic floor strength).
The Sonographer was LOVELY. 35 weeks pregnant herself, she was extremely knowledgable and chatty, and talked us through the scan in great detail. Bun was being very awkward, tightly curled up with her hands on her face for most of the scan. Consequently, we were in the ultrasound room for an hour, while the Sonographer tried her best to see everything.
Towards the end of the scan she spotted something near Bun’s bladder which she couldn’t explain, so she called in another Sonographer for a second opinion… The second Sonographer didn’t know what it was either. Panic hit me, while I tried to smile through booking an appointment with the Consultant for the next day.
The 24 hour wait was excruciating, but thank goodness for the NHS and I feel so lucky that it was only a 24 hour wait!
We arrived for our appointment the next day, which was (thankfully) in the Ultrasound department and the Consultant uttered the words every waiting pregnant woman wants to hear: “I prefer to work with an empty bladder”.
Bun was still being a complete pickle, but the Consultant was incredible – coaxing her out by tickling her toes. She reassured us that there was nothing to be worried about – it could have been a wandering bowel the day before (who knew bowels could wander?) or it might be that I’d had a very small bleed which the baby had swallowed and that would highlight internal organs brightly on an ultrasound. She wasn’t worried, which was a huge relief – and she was able to confirm that Bun is most definitely a girl!
She apologised profusely that we’d had to come in, but I’m so happy the Sonographer had been overly cautious and that the Consultant was able to put our minds at rest. Plus we got to see Bun two days running, which was a huge bonus!