The Fetal Medicine Centre – Wellbeing Scan


This is a picture of a door on Harley Street that caught my eye on the way to the scan. It is *not* the door of the scanning centre and has no real relevance to my post, but y’know, you need a pic when you do a blog post, right?

I just wanted to do a quick update, for all the lovely people who’ve showed an interest in my midget bump’s story. Thank you so much for all your support and good wishes, I’ve been quite touched.

So, we went for our private scan at The Fetal Medicine Centre last night, just really to get some more answers. The sonographers at St George’s are wonderful, but you’re always hyper aware of all the other ladies waiting to see them and don’t want to take up too much of their time. So for me, really, the point of the private scan was more to be able to talk to someone at length about exactly what was going on, rather than just finding out another bunch of figures about Chip’s size.

After a bit of a wait (they were having issues with their systems), we were seen. I explained to the sonographer what we’d been told before and he spent a good half an hour thoroughly measuring Chip, as well as the various different blood flows to her and my uterus. The first bit of good news was that she had moved and her head was firmly down! I couldn’t believe it – after all these weeks!

Anyway, the upshot of the scan was that overall she’s still tiny – the 7th percentile – and still ‘small for gestational age’. However he was able to measure her head better this time than at my last scan, because of its position, and it’s measuring much more normally, around the 40th percentile. Only her tiny tummy, legs and weight are holding her back. So she’s got a big head, a titchy abdomen and no fat on her, basically.

He said she is a very small baby, but he could see no reason for it really. The blood flow from the umbilical cord was fine, as was the amount of amniotic fluid. She was wriggling about on the scan (she was rubbing her little fists into her eyes, which was very cute, but meant we couldn’t get a good picture of her face – sniff) which is also a good sign.

He said she looks perfectly healthy, just small. There was a moment of absurdity when he said ‘She might just be small because you are…’ and then looked at me (5ft 7) and Oli (6ft 3) and shrugged.

Interestingly, he also said that scans should never be done less than two weeks apart, because the margin for error on the machines is so great that measurements that close together can be unreliable. BUT – she had grown since last week’s scan, not by much, but by the same amount as before, meaning she was following the same growth pattern, which is good. It means her growth hasn’t slowed any further, by the looks of it at least. He said next week’s scan at the hospital will give us a better idea as we’ll be able to compare it to the one a fortnight before.

I asked him about the possibility of an early delivery and he said at the moment there’s no reason to think that would be necessary, and that they would only do that if her growth started to tail off on the chart, which would show she was deteriorating. So for now, I feel reassured.

It’s still upsetting to think she’s going to be tiny and vulnerable when she’s born, and part of me is still terrified there’s something chromosomal going on (he said this was unlikely as we’d had a very low risk result on this from our testing at week 12, but nothing is failsafe). Most likely, for some reason or another, my placenta isn’t working as well as it should be, but so long as they keep a close eye on it, they’ll be able to intervene if it starts to pack up completely.

Last night I actually slept properly for the first time in over a week – it was such a relief. I’m still nervous about everything and what the future holds, but I’m also feeling more positive, and I’m so pleased her head is the right size for her age. Hopefully the rest of her can catch up after she’s born. (Tiny) fingers and toes crossed!

(here’s her notes for anyone who’s interested in the technical stuff…)


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  • Reply
    July 11, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Hi Lotte,

    I’m a mum of two and have been following your blog with interest, especially during my early morning feeds with my new baby! I just wanted to try and offer some reassurance that titchy babies can thrive. My daughter was born at 41 weeks and was unexpectedly small – literally the smallest they measure on the charts and was deemed ‘low birth weight’. I’d always measured on the all side but nothing too alarming, especially given my diminutive size. When I left hospital with her I was so scared as she was so much smaller than my friends’ babies but I quickly got over the worry and whilst still petite, at 2.5 years’ old she’s very robust and has thrived and I’m sure Chip will too. All the best for the exciting new world that lies ahead of you and your family.

    • Charlotte Duckworth
      Charlotte Duckworth
      July 11, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      Aw thank you for your comment! I have read a lot online about little babies being quite feisty and determined to survive! So glad that all was well with your daughter 🙂

  • Reply
    Britta Gertsen
    July 15, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Sounds like reassuring news. I am so happy for you both.

  • Reply
    gary gill
    July 20, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Stumbled on your blog when I searched for IUGR. First of all, I hope everything turns out well for your baby and family.

    Thanks for writing on something very personal-reading your experience has helped me. Almost everything you said resonates. (Husband writing this) I find it helpful as my wife and I very recently found ourselves in a similar situation. It has been isolating, and this is only over the last 72 hours. Reading helps me deal with my worries and anxiety as I don’t want to put this on my wife.

    Again, thank you.

    It all started last Monday when she went for an ultrasound to assess her placenta (it had been low, around the 21 week mark) Once the report returned to the family doctor, she urgently referred us to BC Women’s and Children’s Hospital for another ultrasound. The baby did indeed show up small- IUGR. We were fortunate enough to have known the perinatologist through my wife’s work (nurse), and he managed to speak with us directly.

    Similar to you, the blood flow from the placenta was good, as was the amount of amniotic fluid. Plus, this kid has always been active, so number of movements in a 2 hour period have never been a concern. Just abdomen size was a bit behind. It was all a blurr- so I don’t recall the actual percentiles. I heard the word “moderate” being used.

    We had some genetic testing completed (SIPS) early on in the pregnancy, so we know there is little chance its the conditions which are screened for.

    More testing starting tomorrow and my wife is permanently off work. She has been a rock trough the last few days, which have been filled with anxiety.

    Hope everything goes well. I will continue to read along.

    Gary G
    Vancouver, BC

    • Charlotte Duckworth
      Charlotte Duckworth
      July 20, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment Gary and sorry to hear that you too have been dealing with this. It is the uncertainty that’s the worst bit because I do think a lot of it isn’t actually as bad as we might think, but yet hearing that things are anything other than 100% normal starts you fearing the worst.

      It’s great that the blood flow to the baby is good and your baby is moving a lot – these are definitely the most important factors, from my limited experience. I’m glad your wife is taking it easy too – I have been off work for a while now and resting a lot and having a lot of protein (and food in general!) which I do believe has contributed to my baby’s growth spurt over the past few days.

      Look forward to hearing how things turn out for you guys – do keep in touch! Wishing you lots of luck 🙂

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