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You could see her face, and the major aspect that was, that was the indication of what was wrong was the thickening at the back of the neck in this instance, which, when you're looking at a fetus is, you know, sort of half a centimetre thicker or not is completely immaterial to me, and would look like a completely normal neck, but from the point of view of the consultant was severely abnormal.
Actually you could tell from the brain development as he scanned up through the chambers of the brain, that one quarter of the brain, one chamber was not evident.
So I suppose from that aspect, mind you having not been told that or sitting there, I wouldn't have thought necessarily that was odd. But it was very evident. And that was scanning up from the above the head, then you were coming up through the child's head, so you were seeing the chambers in the brain, sort of it was evident in all four chambers of the brain, then suddenly one chamber was empty.
So we decided that, to have the scan and we went along I think early in the week for that, and spent quite a lot of time with the consultant after that.
From early pregnancy to the anomaly scan, ultrasounds check that your baby is Taking place between 8 and 14 weeks, the early pregnancy scan, or dating. All pregnant women in England are offered an ultrasound scan at around 8 to 14 weeks of pregnancy. Your midwife or doctor will book you a dating scan appointment. Find out more about what happens during a pregnancy ultrasound scan. A dating scan is an ultrasound scan to determine how many weeks pregnant you pregnancy, you may be offered to have an morphology scan (anomaly scan).
How was that scan different from the dating scan? Can you describe the difference between the scan at this later stage in a pregnancy? Is it the same scan or is it the same equipment?
I think it's the same - in fact I think it was probably the same room, same consultant - and [sighs] I suppose it felt upsetting because at the dating scan you're full of hope and this scan we knew wasn't going to be good, we knew it was maybe the last time we would see the baby moving around. And it's like, I really wanted to see it and I didn't, and it was As you felt that, you know, it was probably going to show lots of problems and it just wasn't what we wanted, but at the same time we needed to sort of see it and, we needed to prove it I suppose.
I felt I needed proof of what was wrong before I take such a huge decision and that I couldn't do it based on what someone had written on, on the paper. And what did you see on the second scan? The baby was very, very small. It wasn't measuring at all the right measurements for the age - there was a heart defect, the limbs were sort of distorted, the arms were, you know - you could see that the arms were very sort of contracted, the hands were contracted.
There was an extra digit on one of the hands.What is Anatomy / Anomaly Scan?
Again the legs were quite twisted, they said that the baby's sternum was very short - things weren't in proportion you know - the head was quite large, the neck was very thick, there wasn't really like a neck as such And she said that, you know, as the, if the baby did develop further there would probably be other problems with internal organs that weren't really that visible at that stage.
So and you could see the exomphalus, this little pouch, which was obviously just the intestines where they are. And there [sighs] was a very dark patch over one, where the eye socket was, and they didn't know it, in the Edward's babies sometimes the eyes don't develop properly, or it might have been bleeding, they weren't very sure.
Ending a pregnancy for fetal abnormality
So it was, there was very, very little movement from the baby because I remembered first time round by that stage, you know, that the baby was quite big and it moved around a lot at a later scan. And this baby sort of floated, and occasionally there was a slight movement, but it was very you could almost see that he was really poorly just from looking at the screen. Did you, how did that scan make you feel? I felt more informed, and I felt that that was what I needed in my head to see you know, that I've got to accept now that this, all these things are real on the screen and this was really my baby that's suffering all these things [sighs], but I was sad as well.
Hugely upset that to think that the baby was so poorly.
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And I, and, I felt the weight of deciding what to do about it. And at the end of the day however much we talked about it - that it was going to be the two of us to make the decision and me to actually you know, go through it and decide that that was what was going to happen for him - and I just, I didn't want to do it.
But you know I knew we had, we had to make a decision that was right for the baby as well. And that it, if he was born Impact of the week and later specialist scans Many parents were shocked by findings from the week and later scans. Some people had underestimated how serious any abnormality found at this stage could be for the baby. Several women had taken young children with them to the week scan because they expected to see 'nice pictures of the baby'. Where we were living then at the time you only had a scan at 20 weeks.
So at 20 weeks I went for my scan with my husband, with my daughter, to get our photographs. And it was Christmas Eve and at the time I didn't think, the sonographer did spend a little bit of time scanning us and queried my dates several times and then explained that she couldn't quite see the baby's heart properly and would we come back in a couple of days?
At the time the same thing had, exactly the same thing had happened to my friend a month before, and her scan was absolutely fine. So when that happened to us I really didn't worry, I thought, you know, it was literally the baby was in awkward position, they couldn't see the heart and that was why. So we went back the day after Boxing Day, the 27th, and the consultant greeted us, which made my alarm bells go, and she started scanning us and I think her lines were, 'What concerns me about this baby is that they've got a diaphragmatic hernia, which has meant that part of the stomach of the baby was in its chest cavity.
Could she possibly have something that's not been detected?
Which she reassured us that she'd be absolutely fine, this was a one-off. After that I got, I, it was about in, inhang on a minute, I got pregnant again, slightly unexpectedly. And I went for, I went for a normal week scan, at my local hospital and everything, they said everything was fine, there was no problem.
So I sort of went home quite, fairly kind of happy and I, at, at this point I hadn't any idea things could go wrong anyway. So I was a bit ignorant of the kind of things, you know, what the scans were really doing - maybe it was, a bit na've I think. And then, so I went to my next scan, which was the week abnormality scan, and we took our first child with us, I think he was 17 months old at the time.
And that, that was when things where it started going a bit wrong. I mean the lady who was scanning was very quiet for a long time. I did think it was a bit strange that she wasn't talking, and then she sort of said, 'Oh, I think there's a problem.
I think there might be a problem'. And she sort of got up and walked out of the room and called someone in. And they, sort of two of them were looking at the scan machine and then they sort of switched everything off and said, 'Oh, I think we have, might have a problem'. And they took me into another room. I think I don't I couldn't really believe what they were saying.
And they took me to another room and they explained that the baby had what they thought was ventriculomegaly or something. I didn't really know what that was. They sort of drew some diagrams, and they said, 'But we need to refer you to a specialist to confirm the diagnosis'.
And, so they sent me home at that stage because they said the specialist wasn't available till the following day, which was awful. I found It would have been nice to see someone straight away because I was in such shock.
So we went home really and I sort of had to think about it all night. I didn't sleep that night I don't think. And the next day we went back to the hospital and we had another scan with a specialist, and he confirmed it was a condition called holoprosencephaly, which I'd never heard of any of these words before, they were just such long words.
And I'd been on the internet looking up all sorts of things and everything was so negative, it was very depressing, because I thought, 'Well, maybe they've made a mistake, or maybe it's something they can fix, I don't know'.
Others said they were shocked because all the early diagnostic tests e. It was the end of January, very end - about the 29th - I'd gone into, I'd gone into 5 months by then. I think I was about 20 weeks cos they, the hospital I think did the 12 and the 20, that was their standard thing and, yeah, so I got the 20 weeks one. And again, you know, you read all the books and it tells you 'this is the diagnostics', but after a while you don't hear that inside your head any more Do you want me to turn off?
No, no, no, I'm fine - because everything's perfect. You've had a scan, you've had the blood tests, you've been good. And everybody knows and everything is right. And so this one can't tell you anything, it's pictures, you're going, you're going to see your baby, you're going to get pictures. After the triple test you stop thinking, you stop thinking that anything can go wrong. And, it does not occur to you in the slightest. The only thing you're thinking now is the birth, and what if something goes wrong in the birth?
Your mind has closed to the possibility that there could be anything wrong. You've had, you've had your Down's Syndrome check and that's okay. You've had your, you know, you've had your triple test and everything was fine. This one cannot show you anything, that's what's inside your mind.
I can feel my child kick, it responds when he shouts at football - I mean literally, this baby used to dance around whenever he'd like scream at a goal - and there cannot be anything wrong with this child because it's part of us already.
It's part of our family. And nothing prepares you at all.
Dating and anomaly scan
You know there's always that bit on the bottom of the thing, 'These are diagnostics, do not bring other children,' - blah, blah, blah. I mean, you just, you're just overwhelmed, it's so much fun. We're going to go and see them. Many people were deeply affected by their experiences of the week and subsequent specialist scans.
Many described how sonographers and doctors were very restrained and didn't speak at all until they had analysed all the baby's details.
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If you arrive late, we may not be able to scan you and may have to reschedule your appointment. The dating scan and detailed anomaly scan are offered to all. Are scans safe? As far as we know, the early pregnancy dating scan and the fetal anomaly scan we offer are safe for mother and baby. The 18 week fetal anomaly scan is a watershed in most pregnancies because for All women are offered a dating scan, and an 20 week fetal anomaly.
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Find out about ultrasound baby scans, including the dating scan and anomaly scan, to check for abnormalities in the baby during pregnancy. The anomaly scan, also sometimes called the anatomy scan, 20 week ultrasound , or level 2 ultrasound, is a pregnancy ultrasound performed between 18– The 18+0 to 20+6 week fetal anomaly ultrasound scan. 18+0 to .. practicalities of a solution to combining dating and screening requirements at the early.
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Pregnant women should not be offered routine screening for bacterial vaginosis because the evidence suggests that the identification and treatment of asymptomatic bacterial vaginosis does not lower the risk of preterm birth and other adverse reproductive outcomes.
The available evidence does not support routine cytomegalovirus screening in pregnant women and it should not be offered. Pregnant women should not be offered routine screening for hepatitis C virus because there is insufficient evidence to support its clinical and cost effectiveness. Pregnant women should not be offered routine antenatal screening for group B streptococcus because evidence of its clinical and cost effectiveness remains uncertain.
Routine antenatal serological screening for toxoplasmosis should not be offered because the risks of screening may outweigh the potential benefits. Although there is a great deal of material published on alternative screening methods for pre-eclampsia, none of these has satisfactory sensitivity and specificity, and therefore they are not recommended.