Our 3D Ultrasound Experience

Our 20-week ultrasound way back in June (which feels like ages ago) was a wonderful and memorable thing: not only did our baby get a clean bill of health, but we also got to find out her gender and see her in more detail than ever before. However, it also came with a bittersweet realization when the doctor informed us that it would most likely be the last ultrasound before delivery.

I’ll admit that I’d gotten a little spoiled in this regard. Through the early stages of the pregnancy, it seemed like they were doing routine ultrasounds at every other appointment, and I just loved seeing the baby and how she was growing. It was a little sad to know that this would be the last one.

But I’d heard of places that did elective 3D ultrasounds, and since there were a number of these located around Chicago, I began researching them a few weeks ago. While many seemed to be pushing fancy, expensive packages — teddy bears with a recording of your baby’s heartbeat, 3D postcards, web hosting for photos and videos of your ultrasound, etc. — it seemed like a basic 3D ultrasound session would be really, really neat.

Just to be safe, though, I asked my doctor whether that sort of thing would be a good idea, and she actually recommended against it — not because it’s in any way harmful or dangerous, but because she didn’t think it was worth the money. Apparently the quality of the images you get isn’t always the best, and she’d actually had patients come in after their 3D ultrasounds all distraught, frantically wondering why their baby was so deformed.

While slightly discouraging, this advice didn’t completely dissuade us from trying a 3D ultrasound, although I think it meant we went in with lower expectations than we would have otherwise. We ended up selecting a place called First Peek Ultrasound since they seemed to offer the best packages for the price, plus their location was convenient to get to by public transportation. And since they recommended doing it at 28-32 weeks for the best results, we ended up going in last Thursday, at 31 weeks.

After arriving for our appointment and settling into a dark ultrasound room with a giant TV on one wall, we found out right away that Baby Hart is a little gymnast: apparently she’s sitting comfortably in a breech position with her feet up by her forehead. It turned out to be pretty difficult to see her face, since either her arms or legs kept getting in the way, but here’s one of the few clear-ish shots we were able to get:

One of the few unobstructed shots of Baby Hart's face.

And here’s another one that better illustrates the position she was in — that’s a foot on the left side up by her forehead, and she appears to be adorably sucking her thumb:

Baby's foot way up by her forehead.

She also yawned a bunch of times during the session. You know that contagious effect when you see someone else yawn, and you end up yawning too? At one point Baby Hart had all three of us — me, Joe, and the ultrasound tech — yawning at once.

Baby's yawning!

Before the session was over, we also asked that they double-check the gender, and they confirmed what we’d been told at the 20-week ultrasound: Baby Hart is definitely a girl. They even gave us this balloon:

"It's a GIRL!"

So we can probably stop worrying about the whole mistaken-gender thing, since at this point two completely different ultrasound technicians have come to the same conclusion.

On our way out, we briefly talked to another couple waiting for their appointment, and found out that they were back for their 3rd attempt — the first two tries, their baby had his arms folded so tightly over his face that they couldn’t see anything at all. So even though Baby Hart’s position wasn’t 100% ideal for taking lots of clear 3D pictures, at least we were lucky enough to be able to get some.

To see more pictures from our 3D ultrasound (including some that didn’t turn out as well as these), check out this photoset I created on Flickr.


  1. Omg!!! She is adorable!!! I wish they had that technology back in the day when my kids were born. Amy is almost 9, and I don’t believe it even existed then. It makes even more excited to see her!

  2. What a changed world! I remember dad having a hard time selling ultrasound equipment, because the docs were afraid of lawsuits; now it seems there are Ultrasound Olan Mills out there, LOL. Lovely little girl, she is, I can hardly wait to meet her in person!

  3. These pix are sort of addictive, there’s just enough distortion for my imagination to start seeing toys in there with her, LOL! Honestly, does anyone else see the bathtub duck on the bottom left in her “foot by head, thumb-sucking” shot?

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