The ultrasound, an option for those expecting and around week 20 gestation, is not something you can have done in Fernie. I had no idea. You either drive to Cranbrook for the standard ultrasound experience or to Calgary for the 3D or standard ultrasound extravaganza. We decided to stay close and go to Cranbrook. About 4 weeks ahead of time we received a little piece in the mail about when our upcoming ultrasound is and what to do to prepare.
Ultrasound In Cranbrook
(I have no idea what happens in calgary)
1. To get pictures from your ultrasound – you know those weird profile black and white shots that all look the same – you have to pay $8 for two pics, before your appointment. Who doesn’t want to take home the pictures!? I’m pretty sure everyone else I know in other areas of Canada gets free pictures…but they gotta try and make a buck when they can. Right?
2. It’s required that you take 2 glasses of water, 2 hours before your ultrasound, or you may be sent home and rescheduled. For those in Fernie, that means just before you head out you gotta get that water in you and deal with a one hour bumpy drive. (see my shpeel near the bottom)
3. You must arrive at the hospital 30 minutes before you need to be. This, theoretically, keeps everyone on schedule. You’ll also notice a little sheet pinned to the waiting room cork board that mentions any emergencies that require an ultrasound will bump you from your time slot. (another reason to read my shpeel)
4. The ultrasound takes about 45 minutes to an hour. You don’t change out of your clothes – they just ask you to unbutton your pants, lower them a little and put a towel over your clothes. The ultrasound technician is the first person in the world to see your baby. They don’t even let you see the live show on their little screen until the last 10 minutes when your partner/family is called in. You’re not supposed to ask questions about your little person because your doctor will be the one to relay all the information to you…so it’s a pretty quiet process. Seeing the little baby’s skeleton move around in your belly, if you’ve been having a hard time with the reality of the pregnancy, will certainly make everything seem much more real.
5. If you want to know the sex of the baby you must tell your doctor when deciding where to go so they can tell the Ultrasound Tech that you are allowed to find out. It’s a whole weird legal thing that I think is silly but mostly likely it just covers their ass. Legal fees can be expensive.
This ended up being longer than I expected – so I’ll get right to my shpeel : in order to make this process more comfortable, I would suggest NOT drinking 2 full glasses of water (especially if you’ve already had some that morning) because it could lead to a very uncomfortable, panicked and scary experience where you reach the point of peeing your pants if the nurse doesn’t let you please go to the washroom ASAP or else we’ll need clean up in aisle 4. It’s helpful to know they let me go pee TWICE before the actual ultrasound began and then another time half way through. I swear the hospital does it for the entertainment. Really, just one glass of water should do the job. I would think.
Gestation – the period during which an embryo develops (about 266 days in humans)
Ultrasound – using the reflections of high-frequency sound waves to construct an image of a body organ (a sonogram); commonly used to observe fetal growth or study bodily organs