Anna’s pregnancy diary: Week 12 – The scan

goodtoknow’s Food and Diets Editor Anna is pregnant, so we’ve asked her to keep a diary of her pregnancy, telling you all the good bits and bad bits and asking for your help and comments.

This week, Anna has her 12-week scan

Hurry up! I’m absolutely desperate for the loo. I can’t think of a single other thing than how much I need to go. All worries have temporarily left my head and I’m obsessed with how long it’ll be until I can rush off to the ladies.

I’ve had to drink half a litre of water before my 12-week scan so the sonographer can get a good look at the baby and now I’m sitting in the waiting room, praying to be called quickly before I actually burst.

Before I had the ‘need the toilet’ situation to occupy my brain, I was so nervous. I hardly slept at all last night. I just hope this baby is alright.

I’ve read far too many scary things about the 12-week scan… and the scariest is that you get there and find the foetus has died (a missed miscarriage). I can completely understand why some women want to go in with eyes shut and fingers in their ears until someone tells them the baby’s alive and well and it’s OK to look.

I know it’s normal to worry but I should also be reassured by the fact that the vast majority of the 12-week scans are absolutely fine and don’t show up anything bad at all.

Anyway, back to the waiting room. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m rubbish at drinking water. In fact, one of my office nicknames is ‘the camel’ because I seem to be able to survive on hardly any liquid at all. Which is probably why I’m suffering so much now – my system hasn’t seen so much water in a long time, if ever.

Finally I’m called. We go into the darkened room and are greeted by a lovely, friendly lady. In the waiting room I spotted a male sonographer and I’m sure he’s very good and perfectly OK, but I just wanted one of the female ones, I don’t know why, I just think I’d feel more comfortable with a woman.

I lay down on the bed, she puts some warm gel on my belly and gets to work. Suddenly on the screen is a wriggly, wriggly, wriggly baby. It literally takes a millisecond for me to know that the baby’s alive and well and my nerves and obsession with the toilet are replaced by amazement and joy.

‘You’ve got a very wriggly baby,’ laughs the sonographer as she tries to get some measurements. These are part of the triple test I’m having to find out the risk of having a baby with Down’s Syndrome, and I’m having a blood test straight after too.

My husband’s very good at being able to see all the body parts the sonographer is pointing out to us, but I have to confess I spent quite a lot of time staring at a fuzzy blur and being amazed that anyone can recognise anything in there. She prints out some pictures for us, tells us everything is looking good, and off we go, grinning from ear to ear.

When we get home I stare at the pictures for ages. Eventually I say, ‘But Rob, the baby hasn’t got any arms or legs!’ He looks at me with utter despair and replies, ‘I can categorically say that I saw two arms and two legs. The baby’s fine.’ Phew. What a relief.

Coming up: Triple test results – Risk of Down’s Syndrome
– Previously: Anna’s cravings and suffering from headaches
Read Anna’s diary from the beginning
More about week 12 of pregnancy

More help and advice

Tests during pregnancy – what to have
All you need to know about scans
Help in the first trimester
Having problems conceiving? Find out more