Nuchal Scanning – My Rollercoaster Experience

My nuchal scanning experience was quite the emotional rollercoaster, but not for the reasons you might expect. It’s taken us nearly 3.5years to fall pregnant again (I have fertility issues) and we are absolutely over the moon but the early stages were not without worries. All women in the first trimester worry about something going wrong, it’s a sad fact of life that sometimes things don’t go to plan. Having miscarried before and due to my irregular cycles my GP suggested an early scan to check all was ok this time and to get a more accurate date. It took some doing but I managed to get a scan date for 26th May, and terrified everything had gone to pot again we trundled off.

I was pleased to find the radiographer was my specialist fertility nurse from my previous pregnancies, and she wasted no time in getting me up on the bed and starting the scan. I couldn’t look, my eyes were closed so tightly it hurt, my husband was sat so still. Quite harrowing to be honest. When the Radiographer asked how far I thought I was I whispered,

“7-8weeks” almost inaudibly and with such hope in my voice.
“Well you aren’t” she replied, and my heart sank, not again, but wait!
“You are 12 weeks and all looks fine”. I am not at all ashamed to say I cried like a baby and wasted no time after the scan in throwing my arms around her. The relief, excitement, the elation is hard to describe!


 As I wasn’t yet booked into the midwife, the Down Syndrome test, the nuchal fold measurements weren’t done there and then as it is procedure to book in with the midwife and discuss the tests, implications and to decide if you want to have the test. We did so a week later we were back, baby looked great and then I was sent off for the bloods which combined with the nuchal fold scan measurement, and some details about myself would give a risk factor which would give an indication of the risk of our child having DS. I was told that the results would come back in two weeks max by post if all well, but potential much sooner by phone if there was call for concern.

A week later, at 8am I found a phone message on my home answer phone from the previous afternoon,

“Mrs Cawood, this is a midwife from the hospital maternity day unit. We need to speak to you urgently, can you ring today before 5pm or we are open from 9am, but please get in touch asap”. My whole world fell apart. First off, I thought the tests had come back and there was a high risk of DS but the “Urgent” need to get in touch convinced me that it was something else, something life-threatening, that perhaps something had happened to the baby already, was I even pregnant anymore? I was in pieces. I couldn’t ring until after 9am and poor Kieran was thrown into preschool. It took 30 minutes to get in touch with someone who could help me (and it was the midwife who had left the message).

Midwife: Ah hello Mrs Cawood, thank you for getting in touch so quickly. There has been a problem with your bloods, a case of blood didn’t reach the testing unit in time as there had been a transit problem so the samples are now no good and will have to be done again.

I wailed, like a banshee, I could barely talk for hysterical sobs.

Me: “MISSING BLOODS? I thought something really serious had happened, something was wrong with my baby!”.

Midwife: It is serious, you are 13wk+6days today. Today is the last day we can take new bloods if you want to have the test redone.

Well, I got to the hospital, had the bloods done and came home, feeling very drained as you’d imagine. Surely a message like “There is nothing to worry about but there has been a mix-up” would have been adequate? As it happens I got a letter a week letter saying no further tests were required and my results/risk factor was 1:50000 which I’m told is a good and low result. I do have to say though that the majority of the worry I had whilst waiting for the second test to come back was fed by lack of knowledge of what the test results would determine, what the risk factors meant etc and this information I found from online sources. The nuchal scanning has only been done on-site at my local hospital for a few months, and I think the process needs streamlining a bit more. Certainly, more information of the ins and outs of the results etc should be available earlier on, either by the midwives or the hospital scanning.

Such a worrying time anyway- this extra worry didn’t help! Thankfully I am 18 weeks tomorrow and so far so good, as far as we know. Am I right to feel slightly let down by my care during my first trimester or am I being a bit precious? I don’t remember having the DS test when I was pregnant with Kieran, but would definitely remember worrying phone messages and such doubt.

Did you have the Nuchal scan done, and did you feel reassured that you were in full possession of the facts about the testing and results? I’m interested to hear about other people’s experiences. As the results were happy ones I should be able to forget about it all but it’s niggling me, and I’m not sure if its a remembrance of the awful morning of tears waiting to speak to a midwife
or the cloudy knowledge I had beforehand that has left me worried/unsettled.

Please do comment and forward on.


We are not amused! Pregnant and blooming – blooming frumpy!

A pregnant lady does not feel amused when she sits on her side of the sofa, and the beggar collapses!” I indignantly tweeted this morning. Even I can see the funny side (I didn’t fall, just went down with a little bump), but by heck my ego just took a huge bitch-slapping! Now if I was 35weeks on with sextuplets I’d feel less fat and frumpy but I’m not, I’ll be 18wk on Wednesday!!   
It may be the hormones blogging today but I just don’t care (virtual foot stamp!). We can send people into space, cure obscure diseases, clone things for goodness sakes- so why can’t someone somewhere invent something to make us pregnant ladies feel lovely, all the time. After all, it’s us superwomen who are ensuring the future of mankind through sprog-popping!

Well I won’t rant anymore, but this has brought to mind the problems I’ve had already with find suitable, stylish clothing that fits properly (therefore making me feel better dressed and less frumpy!). Being early-ish on still I didn’t expect to need different clothing yet but i have a huge bump, much bigger than I was at this stage with Kieran (not complaining really!), so my first purchase has had to be new jeans! I live in jeans, dark jeans, light jeans, funny looking tie-die jeans, so naturally I expected to be able to find a pair in maternity easy enough. Boy was I wrong! I am a comfortable size 18, 5ft 3, with very short legs and a longer body lol (gorgeous!) and I can’t tell you how many pairs of jeans i have tried on in stores or sent for and had to return. Nine times out of ten even the “short” jeans were too long! A lovely assistant in Dorothy Perkins did tell me even she found maternity trousers and jeans to be longer than usual when she was pregnant, and her legs came up to my neck (or near enough!). God bless twitter, as I had lots of people tweeting me with recommendations but only one had the right leg length, 27”, and that was Next. Now I wasn’t convinced they would fit as Next DO do shorter legs in maternity jeans but only if you are size 6-16 (sob) but I took the chance and thank goodness they are a winner!
A happy ending to my jean search story but this is ONE pair of jeans, which I wear pretty much every day so they’ll soon be washed into oblivion at a guess but I just haven’t the heart to keep looking for more clothing after weeks of previous trawling. I’m not abnormally shaped, just a short arse, so surely shouldn’t find it so difficult to find basic maternity items that fit well? To keep costs down I’ve been trying on tshirts a size bigger to accommodate bump & new kingsize boobs but these tend to hang off the shoulder or gape at the back, so what is a girl to do?

Ok, so this is a rant, but is it unreasonable to expect to be able to find reasonably priced maternity clothes, especially earlier on, when you are shorter or a larger size without wasting so much money paying for delivery, which you don’t get back when you return these items?
So, did you find it difficult to find maternity clothes, regardless of your size? Can any of you recommend cheaper brands, with reliable sizing? I’d love to hear from you if you can, and join in the hormonal rant if you can’t!