The 20 week scan was probably the most magical moment during my entire pregnancy. We knew we wanted to know the gender and had been told that the NHS 20 week scan is mainly checking all the organs are forming properly so if they can't clearly see the gender, they don't waste time trying to get the baby to move so that they can see whether it's a girl or a boy as it's the least of their concerns. With that being said, we paid for a Gender scan at the local ultrasound place just incase the NHS scan couldn't clearly see.
The NHS scan we spent the first half having no idea what was on the screen as they zoom in on the organs and spend an indepth amount of time checking the brain, kidneys, stomach etc etc. They change the colour of the screen and check the umbilical cord that shows that blood is pumping to the baby - it was similar looking to a string of DNA and was red and blue (or green and red - I can't remember). And then they show you the cute parts. We got photos of his feet, his huge legs and a few side shots of his profile, including a strange one of his mouth open so we saw his jaw parting!
The NHS scan we asked to know the sex but to have it written down on a piece of paper and had already booked and paid for the private scan so asked them to do the same, just to double check! The lady that performed our NHS scan we were chatting to and said that we had been warned this NHS scan was very straight forward and for a medical purpose entirely and she said that it was and that she much more enjoyed her part-time job doing private scans as it's less strict. To my surprise, it was the same lady that performed the private scan! She confirmed that she saw exactly the same sex as she did on the first scan at the hospital. Thinking about it now, I'm not sure what we would have done at our gender reveal if one scan said girl and one scan said boy! We were really lucky as all of Oscar's scans came out really clear and we were able to get some amazing photos!
When I was sat in the waiting room for the private scan, as Luke was at work I was on my own, I was asked to fill out a form and at the bottom it said if I wanted it on a disc, USB, extra photos, frames etc etc. The woman on the reception desk told me I didn't have to decide that now and I could once I'd been in there.
The difference between the NHS scan and the private scan was crazy. The NHS scan took about 10 minutes, we were in and out. The private scan I was in there for about half an hour. I think 20 weeks is the perfect age to have a scan as the baby is small enough to have room to flip about but big enough to see facial features and make out body parts really clearly. I never, ever imagined that he was flipping around in my stomach that much. It was really, really magical. At this point I had had a few kicks in my pregnancy so putting two and two together that the legs on the screen were those that were kicking me! At the end of the scan I was so amazed by what I had seen I asked for it on DVD as it was so special - and I was told I had to say when I went in so that she could hit record!!!! I was so gutted, the woman at the desk said I could decide after if I wanted a hard copy of anything.
The photos that I got afterwards too were much bigger and she said she had no limit on how many she could print so I got about 20, whereas the NHS scan was 5 for £10, three of which were the same photo. The private scan was £40 so considering I was in there for half an hour and got 20 photos twice the size of the NHS photos I would definitely say it was worth the money, I just wish I had got the DVD! (Ah well, I will get one on the next baby!)
It's definitely a much less nerve wracking scan, the 12 week scan you have the possibility of bad news but the 20 week scan you're able to relax a bit more. We decided we didn't want to do a 4D scan as to know the sex of the baby but to also know what the baby looked like, we both felt didn't really leave much to surprise for the big day. We were happy enough seeing just the side profile of him. Despite the Nurse saying that for an ultrasound to have any effect on a baby it would have to stay on the same spot for over an hour, but all scans move about and are never longer than half an hour, I was still dubious about a 4D scan because to me it seemed so much more invasive being able to make out that much detail from inside your body. I know they wouldn't let you have it done if there was any risk to the baby, but personally I didn't like the idea of it.
We have two frames of both scans in Oscar's Nursery that I love, it brings back so many memories of being so excited and not knowing what was to come. Looking at the photos now, his side profile is exactly the same as the scan photos.
This photo creeps me out!! If you can't quite make it out... the black circle is his right eye and it's almost as if he is giving a thumbs up to the camera, then there is a black mark for his nose and mouth.