Friday, February 10, 2012

The Real Purpose of Ultrasounds

As technology has gotten better and parents have become ever the more reliant on planning everything about a new baby's arrival; the role of ultrasounds in pregnancy has evolved.  There are now photo studios cropping up here and there for walk ins or casual appointments of 3D's so you can see which parent the little turkey favors, a first home movie of sorts to keep in the baby book for the future.  But these are all missing the point, it doesn't matter whether or not you're trying to pick out pink or blue crib bedding, or which outfits to get on the registry.

The real reason behind those grainy ultrasounds when they were first introduced was to make sure that the baby cooking in Mommy's tummy was HEALTHY.  Is the growth on track?  Does the umbilical cord look like it's developed correctly and giving all the nutrients it needs to the baby?  And how about those organs?  Is everything where it should be, look the way it's supposed to and doing it's job?  These ultrasounds are a window into a whole other world, into an entirely new life and we as society are losing perspective.

I'm young and naive (okay nix the young part) but I can say all these things about under-appreciating the value of the science behind that critical 20 week ultrasound because I am guilty of just that.  I didn't really consider what could be found on the screen or what wouldn't be there at all i.e. an entire left ventricle.  I was all about boy or girl, pink or blue, this crib bedding or that crib bedding - which stroller, yadda yadda yadda.  I missed the whole concept of the good that would come by this early screening.  That once Olivia's HLHS was diagnosed, we were given a precious gift to get a plan together, pick doctors, hospitals, everything that went into her care and nothing about what she would wear when she got home.

About half of all CHD's are still missed today during routine ultrasounds.  If you know someone that's pregnant or may become pregnant, talk with them about the importance of asking the right questions during the course of the ultrasound.  1 in 100 babies are diagnosed with a CHD, spread awareness....spread HOPE

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