The day had finally arrived – P and I were going to see our little baby properly for the first time at our 12 week scan, after which we would be free to tell the world the news we'd been keeping to ourselves for what seemed like forever.
We were feeling excited, but also a little bit nervous – what if the scan showed abnormalities? Sure, I had made it past the all important 12 week milestone, where the risk or miscarriage is vastly reduced, but what would we do if there were problems with the foetus?
The night before, we stayed up late talking about how we would react if the scan revealed that the baby had Down's Syndrome (medically known as trisomy 21) through the measurement of the fat pad at the back of the foetus' neck, usually performed at this early scan. I was pretty ambivalent, unsure about my feelings toward knowingly carrying a disabled child, but P was already quite clear about what he felt was best for us and after discussing it honestly, we both agreed on our position, should the situation present itself.
The next day, actually seeing our baby in detail, moving freely around the placenta was very special. On this occasion, the scan was performed internally by the stenographer to enable a clearer view – something the nurse only told me was going to happen as I lay down – I wasn't that thrilled about it but it turned out not to be uncomfortable at all, and I ceased to care anyway as soon as the little one appeared on screen. As the stenographer needed to examine each of the developing limbs and organs in detail, measuring things like the size of the heart chambers and counting the fingers and toes, we stared, fascinated for the entire examination, barely hearing what she was telling us, except to breathe a big sigh of relief upon hearing that the baby appeared all normal and the right size for its age.
The next exciting step was sharing our news with everyone who didn't already know, proudly emailing those first scan pictures to all and sundry. We were very surprised and extremely touched by the reactions and good wishes of everyone we told. I really feel now that the word is out that something special is happening to me and I realise how lucky we are to be surrounded by a very supportive and loving circle of family and friends – something I'm sure we will need more and more as time goes on.
How did you feel, seeing your baby for the first time at your scan? Did you have any worries about the outcome?