The one appointment that almost every pregnant woman actually looks forward to, is her 20 week ultrasound. The 20 week ultrasound is also known as the "anatomy scan," and it offers parents and physicians an up close and personal look at a baby's growth and development. It can be exciting and scary and nerve wracking all at the same time, and the thoughts every mom has during her 20 week ultrasound are typically confusing and unforgiving, causing what is usually unnecessary angst, especially if it's her first time.
20 week ultrasounds are typically a lot more interesting than the first ultrasound during pregnancy. They tend to last a lot longer, because their main purpose is to measure the growth and development of a baby's vital organs, and if your baby is cooperative, there's a good chance you could find out your baby's gender, too (if that's something you want to know). Though a lot of women go into the anatomy scan optimistic, and looking forward to seeing their babies, the 20 week ultrasound can be stressful sometimes, too, especially if you're not exactly sure what you're looking at.
If you're headed into your anatomy scan and you're wondering what to expect, here's 14 thoughts that go through every new mom's head during her 20 week ultrasound that could give you an accurate idea of what's in store. You're definitely not alone, your feelings are definitely valid and, eventually, the thoughts you have when you're looking at that black and white screen will be very, very normal.
"This Is So Exciting"
Going into a 20 week ultrasound can definitely put butterflies in your stomach. Getting to see the progress your baby has made is amazing, and watching them flip and kick in real time is better than anything you'll ever find on Netflix.
"Do I Want To Find Out The Gender?"
Some moms want their baby's gender to be a surprise that's unveiled to the entire family after they deliver them, but others (ahem, me) count down the days until that anatomy scan happens so that they can start picking names and decorating nurseries. Chrissy Teigen has admitted to actually choosing a female embryo before undergoing IVF so, there you have it; some people don't want to know, some people can't wait to know, and some people even get to choose. Isn't science amazing?
"I Get To See My Baby's Fingers And Toes"
Not just fingers and toes, mind you, but a heart and kidneys and brain and eyes and, ugh, all the other adorable parts.
"I Wonder If I'll Be Able To Tell Exactly How Adorable They Are Yet"
The thought of falling in love with a static image that sort of looks like an alien might seem strange to some, but not to a mom. That little static alien is your static alien, and damn if they aren't just the most perfect thing you've ever seen.
"OK, This Is Actually Sort Of Scary"
Anatomy scans are all fun and games until, well, they're never actually all fun and games. Though getting a peek at your baby and possibly finding out their gender is exciting, anatomy scans are serious business. Their purpose is to make sure that your baby is growing at the right pace, and that all of their organs are functioning properly and, well, sometimes they aren't, and that possibility can make you feel extremely nervous.
"Why Is The Tech Being So Quiet?"
Every woman questions their physician or midwife's or ultrasound technician's silence at some point. Usually, it's nothing to be concerned about because they're just focusing on what they're looking at. They can't be too chatty while also accurately examining your baby.
"OMG, Is Something Wrong?"
Too much silence can be terrifying. Seconds seem more like hours when you're waiting on your doctor to tell you what they're looking at, and if they've spotted something abnormal, and during those seconds, your mind will race to every single, possible and terrifying conclusion.
"Is The Head Supposed To Be That Big?"
In short: yes.
"That Heart Beat Is Music To My Ears"
Seeing and hearing your baby's heartbeat is one of the most amazing moments in a mother's life. Trying to fully grasp the magnitude of the life that's growing inside you is nearly impossible to fathom, but that heartbeat is one of the most reassuring and comforting sounds you will ever hear.
"I'm Just Going To Nod My Head And Pretend Like I Know What Organs Are Being Pointed To"
While your doctor or technician or midwife is speaking in medical terminology and pointing to one little static circle that's slightly darker than the other little static circle next to it, it's easy to get confused. Not everyone has taken medical terminology classes, and not every knows what our organs look like on the inside, especially via ultrasound. You're not alone if you're just nodding your head while someone is describing what he or she sees on your baby's ultrasound.
"Is My Baby Healthy?"
It can be difficult to get a clear answer pertaining to your baby's health when weeding through all that medical mumbo jumbo. Sometimes hundreds of words are used to give you one simple explanation of your baby's well-being, so don't be afraid to cut to the chase and just ask them. Additionally, if an ultrasound technician is doing the scan, they're legally not allowed to give you any potential diagnoses. Gulp.
"Is That A Penis?"
Even if you don't want to know your baby's gender, you don't really have much control over when or how your baby moves during their anatomy scan. They might flip themselves in the perfect position to reveal their gender, and when they do, it's hard not to question whether what you're looking at is an elbow or a penis.
"Seriously, What Are We Even Looking At?"
Unless you've been trained to understand what you're seeing on an ultrasound, your baby is going to look like an alien.
(Long Sigh Of Relief) "I Love That Little Alien Inside Of Me"
That little alien is your magnificent creation, and you love every little weird looking part of them, from the very moment you see them.