The anomaly scan (20 week scan)

During my midwifery training we did learn about sonograms, but not how to do them. That’s a whole other training. When I see scan pictures it’s always of clients’ babies, or during a birth, to see the position of the baby (and in that case you don’t see much, since the baby is pretty big 😉 )

I did know that this was an important scan, where a lot of different things would be checked. We’d read all the information, and I was glad that we’d chosen to do the ‘boy or girl?’ moment at a different time, and not during the scan. We could concentrate completely on baby’s health, and then later there would be time for all the fun of preparing for the gender reveal party (the photos are done, by the way, so next week you’ll get a detailed blog all about that!). The strange thing is that since I found out I was pregnant I haven’t for one moment been worried that something would go wrong. I don’t know whether it’s naivety or just a positive feeling, but I wasn’t worried about the anomaly scan (known in the Netherlands as the 20-week scan) either, but it was exciting.

Two friends joined us, and we had told them what kind of scan it was, and that there was a possibility that they could find something ‘wrong’ with the baby, so they knew what to expect. We get our scans done at the ADRZ in Vlissingen (our midwifery practise doesn’t offer them), and we’ve had the same sonographer for all our scans. A familiar, friendly face! When you get pregnant by IVF or ICSI you are entitled to a detailed medical scan at an academic hospital, if you so choose. I’ve more than once seen people who have been told that their baby has some kind of ‘problem’, only to be told 3 weeks later that their baby is perfect, so I didn’t want to use this option. It would just mean more worrying about something that was possibly not even a problem. We were sure that if there was anything wrong, they’d be able to see it in Vlissingen too, and then you can always go to Rotterdam or Gent later if necessary.

Ok, that was the background, and now the day had dawned. Our appointment was early – 9:30am, so no time to get nervous! We first explained very clearly that we did not want to accidentally see the gender of our baby (more about that later), and then got started. Now I can honestly say: we had NO idea. No idea that they basically ‘slice’ the baby in your belly into many separate images, and then examine each ‘slice’ to see if everything is ok. EVERYTHING gets looked at and checked over. The sonographer was still busy checking the head, and Denny said, “I’m going to take a seat.” He suddenly realised how thorough the check was going to be, and needed to sit down. Sweetheart!

Every time something was measured and checked, my love grew a little more. When they took a close up picture of the nose and mouth, and I saw that the lips looked like my own (and like my niece, Jazlyn), I welled up for the first time. I suddenly realised (as if I hadn’t realised it before of course) that there was this tiny person growing inside me, and that was the moment I knew: no matter whether it’s a boy or a girl – I love my baby!

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We both found it to be such a special experience. We spent all day looking at the photos. Everything is where it’s supposed to be, all measurements were right on average. Baby weighs 325 grams, and is more than perfect.


What a great conclusion, and so lovely that this news wasn’t ‘overshadowed’ by news about the gender. It was a moment in which we realised how special it is that there is a little person growing in you, who looks completely healthy. Our healthy baby.

Tadaaaaaa here she is 🙂 (I immediately thought her ears were sticking out since my were before a surgeon looked at it ;-), but it’s something different. Pfew)

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A footstep. And yes including 5 toes.

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I thought this was so fascinating, the spine. It’s so clear!

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How did you -if you had one- experience your anomaly scan?