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CBN.com Im here in Southern California, and Im going to a place called Fetal Photo. You know how a pregnant woman will go to a doctor's office and get an ultrasound for the baby? Well, you can now go to a place where all they do is focus on ultrasounds. Its no longer just those black-and-white grainy pictures where you can barely make-out the baby. You can now see the face of your baby.
Its interesting because Im excited to see the face of the baby, but theres another part where Im kind of nervous. I kind of want to save the mystery and awe for the time I hold the little baby in my hands. I dont know. Well kind of go with the flow and see what happens.
When I arrived at Fetal Photo, I had a lot of questions, so I met with the franchise owner, Valerie Christians.
I told Valerie, "Im six months pregnant now, 24-, 25 weeks. Girl, I dont know. I loose track. So, what can I expect to see?"
"You can see the whole baby," she told me.
"How realistic is this, in the sense of will this really look like my baby?" I asked.
"Most of the time we get really good images that are really high quality that are indicative of what the baby is going to look like," she said. "We see the parents features. Sometimes you can really see Mom and Dad. The images are sound waves not Polaroid, so we can do what we have without being very evasive."
I wanted to know, "Will these rays or ultrasounds hurt the baby?"
She reassured me, "No studies have been shown having any negative effect from ultrasound. Its a great tool in obstetrics. Doctors really swear by it. Weve been using it for about 35 years. These are sound waves, not X-rays. They are emitted and then listened to."
I definitely felt better after I talked with Valerie, but I still wanted to see someone else do it first.
Pam is in her eighth month and expecting her second child. As Dad, Charles, and Big Sister looked on, they got a glimpse of their little baby boy.
"Were going to start in the second dimension," Valerie explained. "They always really compliment each other. The second dimension is best for seeing heart and gender. The third dimension is best to see the surface of the baby, features, and position. The fourth dimension is 3-D over time."
Husband Charles was excited. "Its fun to watch. Im trying to look and see if this one looks like her," he said.
I asked Charles and Pam why they chose to come here instead of a regular doctor's office.
Pam said, "Our doctor's office doesnt have the technology. It isnt as advanced. The images are not nearly as clear, and 3-D is not even an option."
When I got of glimpse of Pam's baby, I thought he was the cutest thing. I told Pam and Charles, "He's smiling!"
Valerie explained how this technology has changed the way we view life.
"Certain studies show the benefits of showing an ultrasound, and weve definitely seen it here," said Valerie. "To see the baby act like a baby, the little fetus is doing things in there -- yawning, stretching, and rubbing the eyes -- they get so excited when they see this little life. Also for fathers, they can see the baby. The reality is there. Theyre excited. You can see the way they treat their wives is changing. Theres a real person in there, and we really need to take care of you. Its just kind of nice to see, and you hope that lasts through the whole pregnancy and after."
Ok, I have to admit. After seeing their little baby, I couldnt wait to see my little pumpkin pie!
"What Im going to do is start with a regular ultrasound," Valerie explained to me, "and then well switch over to 4-D. Were going to check out your babys positioning."
After seeing my baby on screen, I realized all those things that I was concerned about before -- like, will this take away the awe, and will this take away the mystery? -- it really hasnt. Its just a cool experience because I was able to see just enough to kind of ease my mind and pacify me, even bring me closer to the baby. I dont know if thats possible, but I kind of feel that way. But there are still elements of mystery that I wasnt able to see the baby fully, if that makes sense. He does have my husband's face, I think. Ah!'
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