As soon as I got a positive result on my pregnancy test, it felt like time went into slow motion. I was so excited, scared and overwhelmed, all at the same time, that I didn’t really know what to do with myself! I had heard all the nightmare stories about how crucial the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are, and was madly trying to stop myself from getting too excited until we knew our little apple seed was going to become a viable baby! The thought of waiting so long until our NHS scan filled me with dread, and I couldn’t wait to be able to see our baby on screen and hear it’s heartbeat. Only then would it feel real!
I therefore decided to investigate the option of an early scan, and came across Mums Clinic in Solihull.
Mums is ran by a team of specialist consultants and midwifes ‘dedicated to providing excellence and expertise in the area of pregnancy and gynaecology’. They offer early pregnancy scans from as early as 5 weeks (although this is largely to check the location of pregnancy for those who are at risk of ectopic). and they recommended that early viability scans could be done from 8 weeks at which point, I would hopefully be able to hear a heart beat and see my baby in the womb. The cost was £85 which at first reaction, I felt was reasonable based on the piece of mind it would give me. After having the scan, I can honestly say it was worth every penny.
We booked our scan at what I estimated would be 10 weeks into pregnancy, although it actually turned out to be dated slightly less than that. On booking via the phone number on the website, the receptionist was really helpful and told me everything that would happen on the day, before sending out a confirmation email with what to expect. Unlike the NHS scans, your bladder did not need to be full, as they are more concerned about you being comfortable during the process – as it happens I think most pregnant women need the toilet most of the time anyway – so it was never going to be completely empty!! 🙂
The clinic was really easy to find, just off the main Warwick road heading into Solihull, and there was ample free parking provided on site. Unlike a lot of hospital waiting rooms, the clinic had a really friendly and personal feel, and this really helped with my nerves whilst waiting to be called through. We arrived about 10 minutes early, so read some magazines and tried to distract ourselves in the waiting room! There were a couple of ladies already there. One had come in for a 4D scan, and bless her, her baby wasn’t playing ball! She had been asked to walk around the car park in order to try and wake her baby up, and come back in a few minutes later. Apparently that is quite common! I couldn’t stop myself from admiring her bump and being slightly envious – mine was still non existent, and I was longing to get to the stage where I could show it off! 🙂 Another lady had just completed her 20 week scan and was waiting for her DVD from reception – again bump envy started to arise, but not for long, as my name was called, and it was our turn to go through.
I remember being incredibly nervous, but they made me feel relaxed and at ease in no time. We were taken to a consulting room, where I was asked to lie down on the bed and expose my stomach. The lady introduced herself and told me that she was going to apply some cold gel to my stomach and then use the doppler to display the image of my baby on the screen. Unlike the NHS scans, Mums have the luxury of large monitor screens that are really close to you, so there was no squinting to see the resulting image! The monitor was similar to a 32″ TV screen you would have at home, and was right next to us and not on the wall – this was really great as we got to see every little detail.
I had heard that for some viability scans they are unable to find it using external abdominal methods, and therefore I was a little nervous about requiring an internal examination, but almost as soon as she touched my non existent bump, our baby appeared on screen!
Although tiny, you could clearly see the outline of a baby, including little stumpy hands and feet, and she then allowed us to listen to the heart beat – a truly amazing moment, with the beats being shown on a chart on screen. She then did some initial measurements from crown to rump, and told us our expected due date based on the current size. This dated our baby a little younger than expected – 9 weeks and 4 days, but the good news was that everything looked fine! She then asked me to cough and we watched our baby wriggle on screen, it was so funny to watch.
The scan itself lastest around 15 minutes, although I have to be honest and say that time absolutely flew by! My partner and I were both fairly dumbstruck, and I was so overwhelmed that I even forgot to wipe off the ultrasound gel and put my dress straight down! (Silly girl) – thankfully it didn’t stain, just felt a bit sticky!!
Included in the price of the scan, we were then given 4 images of our baby, all slightly different, that had been taken during the process. I couldn’t wait to send a copy of these to my mum, and my partner was texting images to all of his friends before we had even left the waiting room!
We returned to the waiting room where the receptionist was burning our DVD for us. This was a short video of what had happened during the scan, and was really great to be able to take this away and show family and friends. In early pregnancy, its sometimes easy to forget that there is really a baby in there, and watching this back every now and again really bought those feelings back to the forefront!
Overall I really enjoyed my Mums experience, and would definitely recommend it to anyone.
My pro’s and cons of the scan at Mums are outlined below:
– Early scanning option to reassure you before your NHS 12 week scan
– 4 photos included in the price (NHS charge £5 per picture)
– DVD to take away of your scan experience – to remember and show family and friends.
– Large TV screen and high quality images
– Friendly staff and non “hospital” feel to the experience.
– No long waiting times like at Hospital!
– I guess if money is tight £85 isn’t cheap, particularly when your 12 week scan may not be that far away. However, I personally would have spent more for the peace of mind this scan gave me.
Here is the picture of my baby at 9 weeks and 4 days. I think they are beautiful already! 🙂 xxx
For more info on Mums clinic and the services offered please see their website – http://mums.me.uk/