Waiting to "See" Your Baby For the First Time Can Make You Feel Anxious
In the UK, the first scan for most moms-to-be is at 12 weeks, and even though most people don't find out they're pregnant until they're about five or six weeks along, the weeks leading up to that scan go by painfully slowly. It's the first time you see your baby and hear the heartbeat, and for many parents, it's when the whole thing becomes "real." I found myself falling into a spiral of statistics and risk factors as we inched towards week 12. I got massively impatient, and there were definitely moments when I wished I'd splurged on a private "reassurance" scan at an earlier date, just to ease the panic.
Stress isn't great for baby, so fellow UK moms, if you are anxious or concerned and you are lucky enough to have the means to pay for an early scan, by all means go for it. Don't feel guilty, or like you're being frivolous or impatient. When it comes to things worth spending money on, I think your baby and your mental health should be high on the list. However, do bear in mind that many of the places that offer these early scans do not give medical advice: you're seeing an ultrasound technician, not a doctor or midwife. I didn't have a reassurance scan, but I did have a private gender scan, and though the staff were great, the place was definitely set up more like a baby gift shop than a medical establishment. If your scan doesn't go according to plan, you could find yourself in a pretty horrible situation.