To recap what I posted live on my Facebook page, we do not "do" elective ultrasounds.
During my pregnancies, I get two: one at 6 weeks for viability (because I have a history of miscarriage) and one at 18-20 weeks to check the anatomy. Because we choose home births, we want to make sure the spine and brain and kidneys are all functioning well. I know an ultrasound is not fail-proof, but it is a medical device that can be used diagnostically when appropriate.
*ACOG shares the stance that ultrasounds should not be used at every appointment just to look at the baby, but there should be a medical reason to use them because there is evidence that they are not 100% safe and there are risks of ultrasound use on a developing baby. (Read about a possible link to autism HERE and additional risks HERE)
I have to choose to weigh the risks and benefits of an ultrasound for each pregnancy. There are many babies born all around the world without anyone ever peering into the womb and ultrasound has only been around for the past 50 years or so.
My choice was based on a) emotionally needing to know that this pregnancy would be fine. b) knowing that home birth was still a safe option for me.
I have had friends that had babies born with birth defects that would have not been home-birth friendly and that did weigh on our choice.
I did not have a 8 week follow up ultrasound or the 12 week NT scan. In my opinion, those are elective because I have never lost a baby after seeing the heartbeat and I do not care to know about the results of the NT scan because I would never abort and would not want to go 8 months thinking my baby was defective. I trust God in everything.
My midwife uses a doppler to check heart tones for each visit. This also adds a risk because a doppler is an ultrasonic device. I can opt for a fetoscope which can work around 20 weeks and is 100% safe or I can just let my midwife know that I feel the baby and do not need to monitor heart tones. My midwives use dopplers during labor to monitor every 30 minutes or so the heartbeat, which is much safer than electronic fetal monitoring, just as effective, and easier on a laboring mom that wants to move around.
Again- benefits and risks.
As with any and every medical intervention or procedure, we women need to ask what the test is for, what does the process involve, what are the risks and what if we decide not to do it or are there alternatives.
Just because it is a routine test does not mean you have to have it done. Research! This is one of the reasons taking a Birth Boot Camp Class is so important, you want to know what is part of the pregnancy and birth process so you can make an informed decision for your own body and baby.
And now...for what you are reading ahead to see...
We took the kids with us to the ultrasound and from there went to HEB with the sealed envelope and large box to be filled with balloons.
It was so hard to wait, but we planned on surprising my Grandma with the reveal so she could be the first in the family to know.
We also did a Facebook Live video for everyone else (unfortunately, we used the Ipad and it is the wrong way-sorry)
Our son ran around the yard with the balloons yelling IT'S A BOY!!! Over and over and our 8 year old was slightly disappointed because she wanted pink and blue twins.
Here is the wonky video which you can't flip the right way on Live for some reason.
We will be a family of 6 soon, 2 girls and 2 boys. I am so amazed by how blessed we feel becoming a bigger family.
Keep following my pregnancy. I will be talking about our home birth set up and tools I use around the house.
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