Right, down to business. I'm settled in, after a pilates class and a pitta bread lunch, in my office (read: 'on my bed'!) to blog. So, to blog! Where shall I start? About the fact that I threatened to take legal action against the company building my new website this morning; they are taking a VERY long time and are VERY difficult to get hold of (all sorted now, I have apologised - typical me, mad one minute, apologetic the next), or about how bloody miserable the weather is and how I'd like to be back in the South of France or where? Well....as promised last post I think we shall get to the job in hand of our 3D/4D (static image/moving just to clarify the difference) scan experience.
This is part one because part two will follow shortly on from appointment two next Monday and guess why we have appointment two. Apart from the fact that Coocoon4D where we chose to go is extremely professional and asked us to come back in order to get more and better footage! Well, Baby Pregnantcitygirl is no film star or perhaps thats not true, Baby Pregnantcitygirl is a prima donna and didn't fancy working yesterday. No performing for the camera, not even for a pause mid scan for three dark chocolate digestives (yummm! and a good enough excuse for me to gobble-sugar and movement normally coax petulant child stars out of their cosy womb-induced slumber) nor a bumpy journey up and down the stairs at the posh Wimpole Street address that is http://www.cocoon4d3dbabyscans.co.uk/ .
We chose Cocoon4d because for a similar cost to its competitors in the babyscan universe, they have a USP. This USP is an 'edited' DVD. Not only is it edited, but ours is being edited by Peter Demetris, MD and TV director for over 20 years for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, the list goes on. The designer scanning suite ( huge flat screen TV, comfortable seating for 3+ guests) has played host to numerous TV programmes probably the most well-known of late being 'Inside the Human Body ', the fascinating BBC documentary. This is no shrinking violet of a scanning suite but apart from the aesthetic, the funtional is just as important and the equipment is top-notch, the attitude and approach a friendly but medical one.
Most people go along for these scans just to see their baby and I have to admit to having the same motivation. However, as Peter and Celia (our very patient sonographer) both pointed out , their service, although providing beautiful 3D pictures and 4D films has a medical value and it is never overlooked. All their scans are done by highly qualified medical personnel and all their packages contain a comprehensive fetal growth scan and report, unlike some of their competition. After all it's no good getting cute photos and a great DVD to take home if they miss some anomaly with your baby. It's health is of course everyones primary concern but that can tend to get overlooked with these 'luxury' experiences that are available to us soon-to-be parents.
So, Celia did the growth scan, measuring all the important bits (Baby Pregnantcitygirl takes after Mummy as do all babies in the womb and is on the 'petite' side but healthy nontheless) explaining as she went ,took some footage from which we have some lovely images and after an hour or so at the clinic we were given a pack containing 2 colour photos from the scan, a photo frame (now taking pride of place on our mantlepiece), the growth report and some more scan photos and asked back for part two which we have booked for next week. Apparently this happens in roughly 40% of cases. Celia explained that to get clear images you need amniotic fluid around the baby and of course as few obstructions as possible. We manged the amniotic fluid fine but from there on in was an obstacle course; hands infront of face, head too low in the uterus (so nice pics of uterine wall!), placenta obstructing the face, you name it, we had it. You could be right in thinking that Baby Pregnantcitygirl is shy but I beg to differ!
Interestingly for those looking to have a scan like this to freeze or not (as the case may be) this time in memory, where you get to see your baby before it's born, (we saw ours opening and closing its mouth yesterday, amazing!) Celia told us that around the 28 week period is a good time to do it. I had read elsewhere that the later the better but this does not seem to be the case because as baby gets bigger and space tighter there is less amniotic fluid surrounding the baby which in turn creates a less clear image. They scan twins (they even had triplets there, the film of which we saw) even earlier for this reason. It's a tricky business and one that needs patience. So you can see why, once you get the finished product as a DVD that it warrants the editing. When you are lying there watching the flat screen TV as the scanning is being done the sonographer regularly switches back to the conventional, hospital staple of 2D ultrasound to re-align the probe thus mixing medical images with what you really want to see in a DVD; the 4D. The editing means that you get the best of the best and that it flows properly. Now, you try showing a DVD of your unborn baby to your friends! Let alone an unedited one. Although we haven't got the finished product yet, human nature dictates that even the closest and best of friends will not want to sit through your blow-by-blow scan appointment!
So, I think I've gone into enough detail! Drop me a comment if you have a any questions. It was a brilliant experience and a worthwhile one and we get the added bonus of doing it twice and saying 'hello' to Baby Pregnantcitygirl again in a weeks time for free! Maybe being a prima donna does get you places after all!