I Paid for a 4D Ultrasound, Would You? (PHOTOS)

When I was pregnant with my first son, I was just starting to hear about 3D/4D ultrasounds and I couldn't wait to try it out. For those who aren't familiar, a 3D ultrasound uses fancy computer technology to render 2D into a 3D image, so in theory, you get a more comprehensive view of your growing fetus than those black and white Skeletor pictures. The 4th dimension is time, which means ... uh, let's see, I think it means the machine tunnels a wormhole into space and risks the very fabric of the universe via the classic time traveler's paradox.

Or it means motion is captured too. Something like that.

Anyway, I was so so SO excited to see what my baby looked like, and, well, here are the images:



Kinda ... creepy, right? The reason they look like there are missing chunks-o-baby is because the machine only captures 3D images in a small area, and anything outside the area is either not visible or appears as blurriness. Also, while the technician tried very hard for a good face shot, my baby's head was partially smashed against the placenta the whole time, so it was never possible to get a really clear eyes/nose/mouth image.

Not really the magically revealing pictures I was hoping for, although when I compare them to his baby photos, I think I can see the resemblance:

(What do you think? I've always been awful about identifying ultrasound parts or figuring out which parent a baby looks like, etc.)

Regardless of how the pictures turned out, I remember the process as being amazing, just like the regular ultrasounds only even more so. The baby was super active and we saw him making lots of faces and playing with the umbilical cord (also, disturbingly, gnawing on it. OMFG KID HELLO THAT IS YOUR LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEM). Also, we got a very clear shot of the, ah, twig and berries area, so we were extra confident there wouldn't be a big surprise during the birth.

It seems like these specialty elective ultrasounds have fallen out of favor in the last few years—I could be wrong, but it seems like more OB offices are offering a quick 3D peek during the standard prenatal diagnostic tests. I didn't even really consider one with my second son, figuring, I suppose, that I'd see him soon enough.

Still, I'm glad I did it the first time around, and I think it's a pretty special opportunity for those who are interested.

Have you had a 3D/4D ultrasound? Would you recommend it to other expecting moms?

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