13 weeks pregnant – Ultrasound scan day!

13 weeks pregnant - scan machine
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Finally, my very first pregnancy ultrasound scan day had arrived, and I was so excited. I couldn’t concentrate on work or anything for that matter because I was finally going to meet our baby after three months of wondering what s/he looked like.

It was another beautiful hot day, so I asked to leave early to get to my appointment on time. As I got to the hospital a niggling feeling started to rise at the back of my head. What if I wasn’t actually pregnant and I didn’t have a baby in my belly? What if I didn’t take enough folic acid and the baby developed Spina Bifida? What if the baby was deformed? Hubby had to tell me to calm down and advised that I only concentrate on the positive things as I hadn’t stopped worrying for 13 weeks. He was right, I am such a worrier sometimes.

When we got to the waiting room, there were so many other pregnant women waiting to be seen. A nurse took us into the ultrasound scan room where a woman, the sonographer, was waiting patiently for us. We had paid for a DVD and as many photos as we could get, so the sonographer placed a blank cd in the machine and hit the record button. She placed some warm jelly on my belly and started moving the transceiver around. We stared at the screen on the ultrasound machine, which was blank for a couple of seconds as she tried to find the right place on my belly then, all of a sudden, a little white silhouette of a baby came into view. Hubby and I stared at the screen dumbfounded. The silhouette looked like a proper baby.

The sonographer dug into my belly to find the right place to measure the back of the baby’s neck, who measured at just 6.8cm. S/he looked so peaceful in there, just resting away and probably enjoying a good sleep. The lady prodded at my belly some more to show us the spine, brain, heartbeat and all the limbs. Everything looked perfect. The baby had woken up now and was jabbing away at my uterus. From that moment on, hubby and I decided to call the little one, ‘Boxer’, and we were both sure it was a boy as well. It was such an emotional moment for us that we finally got to see Boxer. As we were staring gooey eyed at the screen, the sonographer advised us that she was going to check the uterine artery blood flow to our baby. When she finished she took some still pictures of Boxer before she handed the cd back to us. We were brimming with pride – we finally got to meet our Boxer. 

The blood test results had come back and I was measured at 1 in 15000 for Down’s Syndrome, and 1 in 25000 for heart defects which were low risk. I was so happy as I was really dreading having that amniocentesis, where they stick a needle in my bump. Phew! I thought I saw hubby shed a few tears before we left the hospital too and that caused me to want to well up as well, but I pulled it together and we left the hospital, clutching pictures of our unborn Boxer.

13 week scan of our little baby Boxer
13 week scan of our little baby Boxer

Hubby and I had a picnic in the park and talked about how we were going to raise the baby. We decided that we were going to save up as much as we could for a deposit on a house, and we figured that a car would be really useful too, as we would need to transport the baby round to certain places. That night, I couldn’t stop staring at pictures of Boxer. This was our baby. I never thought I could feel so much love for someone who hadn’t been born yet.

A fun fact – Your baby is now about 7.5cm long from crown to rump and weighs nearly 23 grams.

The science part

13 weeks pregnant - the science part

Your baby at 13 weeks

  • Your little one’s body is catching up with their head now
  • Your baby’s thyroid has begun to produce hormones need to regulate bodily functions
  • Your baby is producing white blood cells they will need to stay healthy once born
  • The ears are almost in the right position at the sides of the head
  • Your baby is nearly doubling in weight each week now!

Your pregnancy signs and symptoms

  • Welcome to the second trimester! Well done for surviving the first trimester.
  • You should be starting to get some respite from the morning sickness now. If not then not to worry, it won’t be long now
  • Your energy levels should also pick up a bit as well
  • You will start to notice your belly growing!
  • Have you started to experience vivid dreams during the second trimester?
  • You may still be craving your favourite foods
  • Are you starting to experience heartburn?
  • Your baby is still lacking in healthy fat to keep them warm, so their skin is transparent at the moment

Your next steps

  • Have you been able to hold off wearing maternity clothes? It may be time to start thinking about changing your attire to accommodate your growing bump.
  • Exercise is a great way to control your metabolism and stabilise your system. It can also help to prevent gestational diabetes
  • Take pictures of your growing bump – you will start to notice it grow now
  • Eat lots of protein to nourish your baby and strengthen those building blocks
  • Your baby can taste what you eat and may shape their food preferences later in life
  • You may want to start telling your friends and family now

Note:  These are just general ideas of how you and your baby are getting on. Don’t forget that every baby develops differently. If you are concerned about your baby’s development, please consult your doctor or midwife.

*Illustrations by Charlotte Watkins. 

If you have any questions about her work, please contact Charlotte via her website, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn*

Leyla Preston (595 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 7. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/