20-Week Heart Scan & Gender Reveal

20-Week Heart Scan & Gender Reveal

So we are pretty much at the halfway point of our pregnancy, which means we just had our 20-week scan. Unfortunately, it wasn’t your normal 20-week scan. Instead, we had to have a fetal heart scan due to earlier complications.

If you’re aware of our ‘baby no.2’ story so far then you will know that it hasn’t been plain sailing up to now. You can read our story here at Baby No. 2 ~ 12-Week Scan Complications

NIPT Results

Since writing that post we received our NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing) results, which basically gives us a more accurate assessment of the risk our child has of having a chromosome disorder.

I’m thrilled to say this result came back as being VERY LOW RISK. After expecting the worst, it was such a huge relief.

We were not out of the woods just yet. Our NT (Nuchal Translucency) reading is still considered abnormal at 4.2mm.

Babies with an abnormally high NT result are at an increased risk of not only having a chromosome disorder but also issues with organs such as the heart, kidneys & brain.

And for this reason, although our NIPT result was low risk, the FMU (fetal medicine unit) still wanted us to have a more in-depth 20-week anomaly scan than what we would normally have had. This is so they can really look at the vital organs & limbs to see if there are any potential problems we need to be aware of.

20-Week Anomaly & Heart Scan

As you can imagine, this 20-week scan, which took place last week, was still a big worry.

Thankfully my OH was able to join me for this one, following a Covid-19 test for us both a few days before.

We were called into the scan room where two ladies from the Fetal Medicine Unit waited for us. We were given their names and titles but for the life of me, I can’t remember what they were. I know both were not standard sonographers, but specialists midwives who work within the Fetal Medicine Unit.

Initially, the lady warned us to get comfortable as the scan would take a little longer than normal due to the additional checks they would be doing.

Once the cold jelly was applied to my stomach, she began.

What was involved in the Anomaly & Heart scan?

Starting off by checking what sort of position the baby was in, she went on to check if all the main organs, as well as the spinal cord and cord, were present and looked as they should. It took quite a while to find and inspect each one. For each organ she checked, she called out to the other lady who was at a computer inputting all the information as she went.

The lady asked if we wanted to know the sex. We both quickly replied, yes! It didn’t take her long to find the area she needed and she confirmed the sex of our baby. But for you reading, I’ll save this until last.

The heart!

Next, the lady checked the heart. Only the size of a thumbnail at this stage, this was one of my main concerns. The last thing I wanted to see was an issue with the heart.

As the baby was in an awkward position, she had to press down on my stomach with the scanner and jiggle it around to get baby moving. She eventually found the heart and thoroughly checked it from many different angles.

The lady explained the different sections of the heart to us and what she was looking for. She was looking for small breaks in the walls that separated each section. She also used this other type of imaging which uses red and blue colouring to indicate blood flow in and around the heart…

How clever is that! I was in awe and amazed and the amount of information they can gather from scanning an unborn baby. Today’s fetal medicine technology is truly astonishing. We are so lucky to have it available in this country on the NHS.

I was also impressed with how she explained everything she was doing along the way. She even apologized for going quiet, but our constantly moving baby was making her have to really concentrate to make sure she wasn’t missing anything. This comment only increased our faith and appreciation for the woman!

After confirming the heart looked great, she went on to check the baby’s brain, face, and straightness and size of the arms and legs.

On the larger side

The final thing was to take measurements. This is where she had a little giggle with the other lady when they both realised our baby had a big “pop” belly and rather a large head.

They also quickly confirmed this was absolutely fine and nothing to be concerned about. As our first child, our daughter was also on the higher end of the measurements scale, this was obviously how I seem to carry babies.

It was okay for them & my OH to have a giggle, but I’m the one who’s going to have to push that massive head out of a very small area!

The final result

I’m thrilled to say, the final result of the 20-week anomaly & heart scan is a great one. There were no obvious issues that suggested there was anything to be concerned about. It’s safe to say we couldn’t be happier. In fact, we are absolutely over the moon.

And what’s more, we got to see our little bundle wriggling around on the screen for a good 40minutes. Yes! That’s how long the scan took. They did warn it would be a longer scan. But the fact our little monkey wouldn’t stop moving made the lady’s job a little more difficult.

This whole experience was completely unexpected. But hopefully, we can now put it behind us and look forward to having a healthy baby.

“So, what’s the gender?” I hear you say…

Well, if you know our story you may know we already have a little girl. And this time, we are having a BOY!Β Β 

The fact that we know our baby is as healthy and active as it can be at this stage is good enough for us. But also knowing we have a little boy on the way to complete our family, is truly the icing on the cake.

 

For more information on fetal heart scans, take a look here… gosh.nhs.uk

About Author

Hi, I'm Alex, welcome to my little corner of the internet.
I'm here to share my journey to motherhood and beyond. You may not find structured advice from a 'Stepford housewife' style mum, but you will get honesty & realism from a regular mum just like you.
From IVF, women's health & being a redhead, to pregnancy, toddlerhood & life as a work-from-home mum, I've got it all.
So stay and take a look around, you never know what you might find.

(12) Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    Congratulations on your healthy boy. It’s always nerve-wracking when there’s a possibility of something being wrong with your unborn child. I’m happy that everything seems okay πŸ™‚

    All the best, Michelle (michellesclutterbox.com)

  2. Alice Spake says:

    Huge congratulations! Boys are so much fun! Sending love for a safe pregnancy xx

    1. One Clueless Mum says:

      Thank you! My little girl is really looking forward to having a little brother. 😊

  3. Ah wow, massive congratulations! It sounds like you got some amazing care from the team which is great. Especially in a time where everyone is feeling more stressed than usual. I can’t wait to follow your pregnancy journey!

    Rosie

    1. One Clueless Mum says:

      Aww thank you. They really were great! I’m lucky to live near a hospital that has everything under one roof.

  4. filippellia says:

    It really is incredible how much information they can gather when doing an ultra sound! So glad the woman giving it to you was pleasant as well! I’m sure that made the experience even better!

    1. One Clueless Mum says:

      Thank you. It really did make all the difference.

  5. simplyalexjean says:

    Congratulations!! Thank you for sharing your experiences with this appointment, and best wishes for the remainder of the pregnancy!

    1. One Clueless Mum says:

      Thank you! 😊

  6. A big big congratulation to you. I read the post you made about the 12 weeks scan thing but reading this did make me smile. I am super happy your little bundle of joy is doing just fine. From your posts, it does seem like you are being attended to by really nice people and that’s just splendid as some nurses and hospital workers could be really mean haha. I enjoyed reading this. xx

  7. Congratulations on the baby! It’s such a happy time to share and I am glad your baby boy is healthy, I can only imagine how stressful it might have been!
    I am so glad you had very great doctors around you, thank you for sharing x

    1. One Clueless Mum says:

      Thank you. It has been a stressful time but we’re so happy to finally be able to enjoy the pregnancy. Thanks for reading 😊

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