If you're anything like I was with my first pregnancy (and second, if I'm being honest), you're probably looking forward to your first ultrasound more than anything. It's an amazing experience, really, getting to hear that little heartbeat thump for the first time, and seeing the tiny spec of a human that will develop immensely over the next eight or nine months. It was at my first ultrasound that I truly felt the weight (figuratively, of course) of what was happening to me, and that's an amazing feeling. But despite all of the wonderful things, there are definitely things that seem scary about an ultrasound, but aren't necessarily something that needs to keep you up at night. Your bladder and over-active imagination are probably already doing that enough as it is.
Despite your concerns and fears, you most likely have nothing to fear. Although one of the goals of ultrasounds is to detect abnormalities, according to Fit Pregnancy most women have totally normal pregnancies. And even in the case that a technician finds something "wrong," the same article noted that "it often just suggests a slightly increased risk of a rare condition."
No matter what you're expecting from your very first "meeting," ultrasounds are an amazing experience that never gets old.
1. The Thought Of Seeing Your Baby Before It Looks Like A Baby
In the later ultrasounds, your baby will look much more "baby-like," but at your first visit, you'll probably think something along the lines of "that tiny speck is my future offspring?" According to Parents, at about eight or nine weeks, the baby starts to appear less like a speck and show more prominent body parts, but through the ultrasound screen, it will probably all be a little bit hard to make out.
2. The Gel. The Cold, Cold Gel
Unless you're a fan of freezing liquids being spread on your unsuspecting stomach, the gel will probably be the worst part of the entire ultrasound. It's just so, so cold.
3. Two Words: Transvaginal Ultrasound
According to American Pregnancy there are seven different types of ultrasounds, but the most common one is the "standard ultrasound" which is simply performed on your abdomen. In certain cases though, your provider may do a transvaginal ultrasounds (the mere mention of which can give many a pregnant mom anxiety,) which are performed, you guessed it, inside of your vagina.
It's really not as bad as you'd think though, and Healthline stated that many doctors prefer them to get a better reading of the heartbeat and other attributes of the baby.
4. The Fear Of The Unknown
When you're pregnant for the first time, everything is brand new and unexpected. The tendency to focus on everything we think can go wrong is enough to drive a mama — especially when it comes to an ultrasound.
5. Hearing The Heartbeat For The First Time
What is usually a super tender, exciting moment, can also be a bit intimidating. Besides sounding like a sped up version of a heartbeat soundtrack from a horror movie, hearing the heartbeat brings a sense of reality to what is going on inside of you, long before you notice you notice any physical change (besides morning sickness of course.)
6. Someone Else Poking And Prodding Around Your Belly (Or Elsewhere)
Regardless of where the tech is probing around, it's feels a bit like popping your personal space bubble. But, coming from a seasoned pregnancy pro, at some point, you come to realize there's no such thing as personal space when it comes to pregnancy, and the poking and prodding is inevitable.
7. Hearing That Something Is Abnormal
It's every mother's biggest fear to go into her first ultrasound and hear that there is an abnormality or cause for concern. According to Parents the first ultrasound is useful to OBGYN's to rule out ectopic pregnancies (which only happens to about one percent of pregnancies) and other chromosomal abnormalities like Down Syndrome and trisomy 18.
8. Wondering If This Strange Person Really Knows What They're Doing
Technically, yes they totally know what they're doing, but it's normal to be a little bit wary of the person analyzing your newly discovered soon-to-be child. "Are you sure that's the head?" and "That tiny little flutter is really an actual heartbeat?" are completely normal questions to have and chances are, ultrasound technicians are used to hearing them.
9. Realizing That You're Really Going To Be A Mother
For me anyway, my first ultrasound was when I first felt like a mom. It's early on, yes, and you can't even feel the baby's movements yet, but there's something about hearing that microscopic heartbeat and seeing the tiny spec on the screen that instills a fierce sense of love and protection right off the bat. It's a scary feeling, but an amazing one nonetheless.