I love my 54-inch HD TV. Vibrant colors, excellent pixel quality, fantastic sound and complete awesomeness.
Still . . . it cannot compare to my doctor’s black and white, poor quality, low-tech, 13-inch monitor on which my wife and I got the first glimpse of our growing baby.
That first ultrasound is the best show to watch, though you won’t find it on cable.
It is definitely the one episode no first time dad-to-be should miss – this is the moment pregnancy ceases to be an abstract concept, and you get to be part of your partner’s experience. By the time of your first doctor’s visit, she has already been carrying your child for a few weeks and may have already experienced the good, the bad, and the nausea… But for you, this will be the first of many great moments you will be able to experience with her.
Ultrasounds are far from HD quality. At first, you cannot quite make out what exactly you are looking at. But don’t worry, that won’t matter, because you’ll be amazed by anything you see. As your baby grows, it becomes easier to distinguish her/his body parts. During the ultrasound, your technician will look at your baby from different angles and measure her/his body parts and internal organs, including the brain and the heart.
Seeing the heart and brain for the first time is breathtaking. It’s a very surreal moment. If feels like the rest of the world fades away and you are caught in suspense waiting to see what the monitor will show next.
In this moment, you will have many thoughts running through your head, but the most important one, is that you are going to be a new father.
As the father, you don’t have much to do during the ultrasound, except watch, but you can still make yourself useful. A great way I found to do this was to ask questions about the ultrasound. And don’t worry – there are no dumb questions! To start, I just decided to ask the technician what she was looking for. I also asked about the development of our baby and how it would develop during each trimester. My questions were followed by some very interesting answers. Asking questions was a great idea and really helped to break the silence in the room. This can be very useful for parents, especially if it’s the first child.
If you are interested in knowing the baby’s gender, you will have to be patient and wait for the second or third ultrasound to find out. This was something my wife and I really wanted to know. We didn’t have a preference in gender, but we thought it could be useful in getting ready for the arrival of the baby.
I had read somewhere, that there was a slight chance that we could determine the baby’s sex at 13 weeks. I asked our technician if we could try and check, and I was told that it was too early for a definitive answer, but that she would try and look anyway. I guess the reading paid off, because we were able to make a 90% accurate guess, which was confirmed as the pregnancy progressed.
I will keep those of you who don’t already know in suspense for now. I don’t want to ruin the end of the story!
Your first ultrasound will be one of the most memorable moments in your life – especially as a new father. The most important thing is to remember to relax, have fun, and make sure your doctor prints out some pictures for you to add to your photo album.
What was your first ultrasound like?