Goodbye Wine Bottle, Hello Baby Bottle
You’re on the hunt for an Early Pregnancy Scan or “Dating Scan” which means one thing: you just found out recently that you’re pregnant! Congratulations to you and commiserations to your local shopkeeper from whom you buy wine.
If this is a planned pregnancy then you might have had the “are we ready?” chat with your partner, decided you’re as ready as you’ll ever be and agreed to start trying. You may have Googled “how to get pregnant on purpose” if this is your first baby. Maybe you even downloaded an app which tells you which days you’re likely to be ovulating and sends you a notification to say the egg may be on its merry way. Side note: these notifications can pop up at the worst possible times, so avoid showing your boss your holiday snaps around the middle of your menstrual cycle.
If this is a surprise pregnancy then you may not have had the luxury of preparation. The possibility of pregnancy first popped into your head when you realised that Aunt Flo was late for her monthly visit. You wait and wait, but she never shows. Time to take action, you venture into the pharmacy to locate the “Family Planning” section, there has been no planning, but you go along with it. Once you have your pregnancy test, a new lipstick, mascara and bronzer (your impulse buying is really out of control, we only needed one thing) you were ready to head home to pee on the stick. And what a momentous urination that turned out to be.
It’s an unwritten rule that during the first trimester of your pregnancy is revealed strictly on a need-to-know basis. We’ll often choose to tell one or two of the people closest to us, they are our chosen accomplices in trying to avoid rousing the suspicions of others. Their duties include: holding your hair back during morning/noon/night/forever sickness, reassuring you after you watched your tenth episode of One Born Every Minute, and “accidentally” knocking over the G&T someone bought for you, swiftly replacing it with a 7up while you try to act tipsy. Keeping the secret can really test your creativity and imagination, let us know the weirdest thing you’ve done to avoid revealing your teeny tiny womb-lodger over on our Ultrascan’s Mums Facebook group.
The end of your first trimester is marked by your first public hospital appointment, this is usually when expectant mothers decide to make their news public knowledge – usually through an announcement on Facebook and a flood of “congrats xx” replies from everyone you’ve ever met. This presents itself as a big transition, your secret little buddy has been brought into the limelight, they don’t know that the world now awaits their arrival, and they have no idea a nude photo of them just went up on Facebook for the world to see. Mam, you’re sooo embarrassing.
Activate Mammy Mode
Now that you’ve revealed your parental status to the world you can really settle into your role as an expectant mother. For many of us, this means spending countless hours on the internet asking endless questions to determine if your pregnancy is “normal”. It’s also a good way to feel connected to your baby, almost like checking on them by using Google to decipher their subtle messages.
The quest to get to know our unborn baby can lead many of us to the question of “how big is my baby?” which endeavours to give you some perspective by comparing your baby’s size to various objects you’re already familiar with. Did you know an 8-week old fetus is the same size as an iPhone app icon?! The most tried and tested method of comparison is definitely the fruit and vegetables, bringing you all the way from poppy seed to jackfruit. Every baby is different but it’s helpful for your mental image of your baby, plus it’s fun to exclaim to everyone that it’s “Papaya Week”!
Unless you’re a horticulturist some comparisons may leave you with more questions for Google such as “How big is an acorn squash” and “what is a durian?”
We’ve made this handy guide so you can see which table at the Farmer’s Market you belong at this week:
Getting a Dating Scan
You’ve done some calculations and have some idea of when your baby may be due to arrive, but you can’t really be sure. You think it could be Green Olive Week but what if it’s only Blueberry Week?! This is why you get an Early Pregnancy Scan (Dating Scan) to tell you how far along you are.
At UltraScan, our Early Pregnancy Scans are extremely accurate compared to public hospital dating scans due to our sophisticated technology and the fact that the baby is moving around much less when they are so tiny. The further along you are, the more difficult it is to get accurate measurements to determine gestational age. Some public hospital estimations carried out after the first trimester can be incorrect by up to 2 weeks!
This scan also lets you hear your baby’s heartbeat, check how they’re doing so far and see if there are multiple fetuses – do you have one bun in the oven or a whole batch?
An Early Pregnancy Scan in our private facility can be performed between 8 and 14 weeks, so you could see your baby much earlier than your scheduled public hospital appointment. Why wait until Lemon Week when you can see your baby on Raspberry Week?! You’ll even have all of your scan pictures sent to your phone through email or Whatsapp so you can peek at them whenever you feel the need for some extra encouragement on your journey through pregnancy.
Asking For Help
Pregnancy can be an emotional rollercoaster. Instagram may lead us to believe that pregnancy is all roses and sunshine with influencers posting super glam photos of their pregnancy journey. Remember that everyone is still human, regardless of how many followers they have. They still get constipated, they still get haemorrhoids, they still get swollen feet that they carefully crop out of their pictures. Do not feel discouraged by seemingly perfect pregnancies.
Everyone’s pregnancy is different, try not to compare your experience with anyone else’s. It may surprise you to know 20% of women experience depression while pregnant. This emotional turmoil is heightened by the nagging feeling that this should be one of the happiest times of your life. Your body is undertaking a huge transition which takes a toll on you physically and emotionally, do not hesitate to ask for help. The Rotunda Hospital has some great resources for a healthy pregnancy, they speak about the emotional struggles of pregnancy here.
If you’re worried about your mental health you can seek help from your GP, they can help you find the best course of action so you can get back to enjoying your pregnancy.
Enjoy The Journey
Once you decide to announce your pregnancy you can start bathing in the glow of special treatment. If anyone refuses your demands you can say “it’s not for me, it’s for the baby!” and who can say no to a little avocado-sized human? Take full advantage of the time you have while pregnant, whether you have children already or not, life is about to get a lot busier. Celebrate every pregnancy milestone and take time to reflect on the incredible job you’re doing. Spend as much time around friends and family as you can and involve them in your journey. Use social media in positive ways during pregnancy, like sharing progress with friends and family, and joining an online community like ours.
Share the burden with anyone who will listen, you’ll be surprised how many people who relate to your problems and how many are willing to help. They say it takes a village to raise a child, well it also takes a community to raise a mother’s spirit. Have a Baby Shower or Gender Reveal Party to give everyone the opportunity to gather around you and make great memories that you can all look back on for years to come. Invite 5 of your closest friends and family to a scan in the Ultrascan clinic to see your baby before they’re born, strengthening the bond between your loved ones and your baby. Take all opportunities to have fun so you can maximise the positive vibes to your baby.
We hope to see you and baby very soon in our beautiful clinic in Fashion City, Ballymount.