A Baby Boomer’s humorous look at newer innovations: the modern baby ultrasounds


Head of a fetus, aged 29 weeks, in a "3D ...

Head of a fetus, aged 29 weeks, in a “3D ultrasound” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Someone I vaguely know, posted a picture of their baby’s ultrasound on Facebook. This isn’t the first time this has happened. The ones that really creep me out are the three-dimensional pictures.  I think it’s very Science Fiction like, and kind of odd. Should you be looking at the kid before it comes out of the womb?  It seems like you’re invading the embryo’s privacy in some way.

It was bad enough when your parents showed you naked on a blanket. Now, they can show you actually developing.
It’s mind boggling to know that we  all start out looking like something from another dimension.   It’s one thing to be pregnant and know there’s something going on. It’s another thing to actually watch it. This whole process reminds me of a “Twilight Zone” episode.  (For all you baby boomers out there!)

Along with showing the parent’s monthly ultrasounds, the doctors also draw comparisons between pieces of fruit. The little embryos are compared to naval oranges, avocados, bananas, and a variety of foods.

Maybe it helps the parents get used to the idea of having a baby, and it is a good conceptual tool. What do we usually do with pieces of fruit? We eat them. Now, that’s creepy.

Baby boomers did experience this a little bit

When I’d go to the doctor every month, he would put me on the scale and take my urine to check out if I had some kind of disorder or other. I still hear my doctor saying, “you’re not eating for three are you?”   They did do one ultrasound per pregnancy. Once in a while it revealed the sex. In my case, it never revealed anything to me except the fetus was developing normally.  That was a reassuring thing to know.  It seemed like Science Fiction to me, even back then.  (I recently found one of these pictures, but I couldn’t remember which kid it was.)

I didn’t know whether any of my kids was a boy or girl before they arrived.  The only tooI I had in those days was the Drano test which really didn’t work. You mixed Drano with urine and it either turned blue or brown. Blue was a boy, and brown was a girl. My husband and I tried it each time and it was highly inaccurate. But it did bubble, make a sizzling noise and stink to high heaven.  You had to make sure you weren’t near it when it bubbled.

What’s next?
Twenty-four hour surveillance of all the potential baby’s movements which you can play for all your friends and relatives, and a soundtrack to go along with it? Maybe a prenatal beauty contest awards ceremony?

I do think all of this is really cool, but I’m wondering how necessary it all is. How much does the extra technology cost? Am I being overly skeptical?

What do you think?

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7 thoughts on “A Baby Boomer’s humorous look at newer innovations: the modern baby ultrasounds

  1. I never heard of the Drano test. I only had one ultra sound and I have 3 kids. I didn’t get a copy either.The way we told what sex we were having was by looking at the shape of the belly. I miss the days when we bet on the sex of the baby and had to wait for the birth.

  2. I never did the Drano test or had an ultrasound. The only fruit reference was when one of my kids was nearly a month overdue. The doctor did an X-ray (!) to see if the baby was really overdue, which could be harmful. He pronounced, “When the fruit is ready, it will fall from the tree.” That kid, now nearly 40 years old, still does things in his own sweet time. (He weighed 10.5 lbs, 23 1/2″ long and started smiling before he was a week old.)

    About the cost: Yes, I think we could save a lot of health care costs by fewer test and more, “Get up, get dressed and do something useful. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel.”

  3. Well I had heard of the Draino test but never tried it. I knew (at conception) the sex of the babies, and was correct, believe it or not. I did not have an ultrasound, but I do wish my that my midwife had not bailed on me during my 8th month. It made it very difficult to find a doctor.
    I do agree that the first time I saw the 3D ultrasound of one of the grandbabes, I was setback, to say the least. I do think it’s creepy too!
    Could you imagine a beauty contest for fetus’?? Please don’t give the reality TV gurus any ideas 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

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