The 12 week scan (usually between 8 and 14 weeks) is often the first time you will meet your baby if you haven’t had an early scan. There they are – an actual real life baby with arms and legs and everything.
It’s also the first official scan which will give you a final official due date! Before you will have been going off LMP (last menstrual period) which if, like me, you have periods that tend to be all over the shop will be mildly inaccurate. If this baby is a surprise you might also find you are further along or not as far along than you thought.
We were happy to say, everything checked out fine and here is our little baby.
You will also be given the option to have diagnostic testing (a blood test which you can have on the day) for your baby that will include screening for the Big Three – Down’s syndrome, Edwards Syndrome and Patau’s syndrome. They will also, if you wish, offer checks on the nuchal fluid levels at the back of the baby’s neck. This can be a marker for Down’s syndrome.
It is totally up to you if you wish to take up screening. If you do decide to agree to it you will get a letter which will tell you the statistical likelihood of any of the three outcomes. If they are of concern you will be rung and the option of further testing will be offered. It is understandable that this can be stressful and concerning. The likelihood is the outcome will be absolutely fine.
You’ll have the option while there to buy photos (£5 for one) from the machine in the waiting room to take home. I recommend buying the one. While it’s very exciting, I promise you you’ll only ever use one. It’s also worth making sure you have a baby sitters for any siblings as the sonographers need to concentrate and having small children running around can be distracting. You will also book your 20 week scan while you are there.
One last and final tip – if you’re parking at the JR make sure you leave a good hour to arrive and park. If you can book an early scan, do so. It’s MUCH easier to park before 9.30am or after 2pm. Leave a good few hours for the appointment as you can have a bit of a wait and most of all enjoy! It’s a really special and exciting thing for you and although it can be nerve wracking it’s also important to look forward and enjoy it!
Have you had your 12 week scan recently? Let me know how it went!