March 29, 2023

4D Ultrasound and the First Smile

My life had taken a new turn since I knew that I was pregnant. Like any other expecting mother who has access to the world of internet, I used to track my baby’s development every week which happened to start every Tuesday. Somehow it gave me the strength to go through the pregnancy blues. 

 My anatomy scan was scheduled for 18th April 2016. The 20 week scan is very important for a number of reasons. By 20 weeks gestation age, most of the baby’s organs have been developed. And at this scan the doctor checks the size and development of vital organs according to the gestation age. By this procedure it is easy for them to recognise defects. Also, by 20 weeks the foetal sex can be determined. Of course this is not advised in India. I was part of a few birth clubs and saw many 3D images of babies at 20 weeks. This made me super excited for my own scan. 

 The day this scan was scheduled, my husband and I went to the hospital, both very anxious. The technician who performed the scan was quiet throughout the process. This didn’t help my anxiety and I was worried that something was wrong. In this span of time I remembered all the Gods that I could and prayed for the health of the tiny human inside me. On the screen in front of me, I could see the images of the parts he was moving the probe on, but it was impossible for me to make out what exactly I was seeing. I could figure out that the little one was quietly sleeping inside because I could not see any movement. After almost 20 minutes of moving the probe over my belly and noting the parameters, he finally broke his silence and declared that everything was normal and the baby was healthy and fine. A sigh of relief! The next thing that happened was unexpected.

He called my husband and moved both the screens towards us. Pointing out to a weird looking shape, he told me that was the baby’s face. We were seeing a 4D image! I could see what the tiny thing was doing inside me in real time. The technician told me to talk to my baby. I looked at the screen and said loudly “Hi baby!” And it smiled! Yes! The baby smiled! And my heart started beating 20 times faster. I started laughing and the baby was all of a sudden so active that it became difficult for the guy to snap an image. We still got a few good shots, especially of the SMILE. And again I wept happy tears.

 The reason the technician was so silent all the time was that he knew that as soon as the mother gets excited and chirpy, the baby becomes active and with all its movements it becomes difficult to do the scan properly. He did not show us the baby’s little body parts like we were expecting, but showing us the smile was worth it all. 

 If you are pregnant and reading this, do note how my emotions directly affected the baby’s. When I was lying there in a pensive mood, the baby hardly showed any kind of movement. And as soon as I was tension free and happy, it became happy and excited like me. We all go through lot of stress during our pregnancies, but this shows how important it is to be happy and relaxed. After that incident, I never let the stress affect me and my baby. Whenever I felt sad or anxious, I listened to music and calmed myself. Your heartbeat is the most important sound for the baby in the womb. When you are stressed, the heart beats frantically and that affects the baby’s emotions. The calm and rhythmic sound of the heart beat assures the baby that everything is alright !

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