Pregnancy Ultrasound #8

Today is 23 weeks, 3 days, and this morning we had the 24-week ultrasound. After all of the drama we went through with our old OB (see previous posts 1, 2), we were both really looking forward to this scan. Actually, in reference to the OB drama, Molly recently got to meet the new OB and see the babies on a very quick ultrasound scan at a last-minute appointment she had last week (for nothing major, everything’s fine, and I didn’t go to that appointment). Molly really likes the new OB, and I’m definitely looking forward to meeting her next week.

So while Molly saw the babies last week, this would be the first time I would see them since our 20-week OB appointment (where the ultrasound was ever so brief) so really since the 20-week scan at the very beginning of this month. For the previous 20-week scan, we had a lot of trouble scheduling it so we ended up having to drive quite a ways to a radiology facility that had an available appointment. For today’s scan, we went to the hospital that is closer to our house (though not the hospital where the birth will take place). I envisioned today’s appointment would be similar to the 12-week and 20-week scan appointments, with a very nice ultrasound tech who kind, warm, and showed us neat views on the screen. Well that was quite the opposite of what happened.

Now I’ve had a lot of medical care in my adult years, and I can honestly say that I’ve never ever been around someone with such poor bedside manner as the ultrasound tech we had this morning. Not even our old OB that was that bad! I’m sorry, there’s absolutely no reason to speak to my wife like you’re a drill sargent giving orders to troops. I understand that I’m probably a bit more protective of Molly these days. And I also understand that as a tech, you need to position the ultrasound probe in certain ways to get the right views and all. But the comfort and security of your patient should always be a priority. When a patient begins to show universal signs of anxiety and being upset due to your complete lack of sensitivity and the fact you have her lying upside-down so she can barely breathe because her giant belly is squishing her lungs, when she then needs to sit up momentarily don’t you think maybe you should stop taking your measurements and ask if she’d like to take a quick break? No, no, you just go on probing away like nothing’s wrong. Don’t worry, I’ll look around for tissues to dry her tears myself. Don’t ask how she’s doing. Don’t let us take away five extra minutes of your precious break. We’ll just sit here and have a panic attack and cry while you do your job. Which, oh that’s right, includes having an acceptable bedside manner, which you are clearly failing at.

It sounds like I’m being dramatic, but really that’s what happened and how she made us (or at least me) feel. The ultrasound techs we had for our 12-week and 20-week scans were great, and if we have any kind of control over it, we won’t be going back to this location at the risk of getting today’s tech again. There was just no reason for any of it to have happened the way it did this morning. In Molly’s words about the tech’s demeanor: “Did your dog just die? Because you’re making me feel like mine just did.”

Throughout the whole ordeal, the tech was taking measurements and such. I didn’t see many of them, because I was trying to focus on supporting Molly and helping her to calm down. Of the few measurements I was able to see, both babies are measuring normally – between 23.5 and 24.5 weeks. Yay! I assume we’ll get the final word from our new OB next week.

As we left, the tech said that radiology would be calling to schedule the next scan with them in 4-5 weeks. There’s no way we’re going back to that location unless we can find out that particular tech’s name and specifically ask not to be put with her. We’d rather drive completely out of our way and go to a different radiology facility than the one we went to today and risk getting her again. It’s quite unfortunate, because I was so looking forward to today’s scan – and this tech completely ruined the whole experience. Except the part of actually seeing the babies…nothing can ruin that. I certainly don’t mean to overshadow our joy of seeing the babies with the challenges we had with the ultrasound tech. She also wasn’t going to give us any photo printouts, but I asked if we could have one of their feet and heads together and she hesitantly complied:

Twins (heads together):

Twins (feet together):

So cute! We’re hoping to do a 3D ultrasound sometime in the next couple of weeks so I’ll be sure to post photos from that as well!

Update (2/8/11):
I was able to obtain printouts of the ultrasound report, which includes measurements for both babies, in case anyone is interested.

Baby A

  • Heart rate: 144 beats/min
  • Biparietal diameter: 6.2 cm
  • Head circumference: 21.8 cm
  • Abdominal circumference: 18.5 cm
  • Femur length: 4.2 cm
  • Overall measuring 24 weeks exactly

Baby B

  • Heart rate: 150 beats/min
  • Biparietal diameter: 5.8 cm
  • Head circumference: 21.1 cm
  • Abdominal circumference: 18.7 cm
  • Femur length: 4.0 cm
  • Overall measuring 23 weeks, 2 days

Based on the charts, that means Baby A weighs about 1.48 lbs , and Baby B weighs about 1.35 lbs!

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