Although on a scan it might look as though the baby is resting on her back, the fluid in the amniotic sac means that she is floating in a near weightless environment and can easily move into any position within the uterus.
You and your partner have reached an exciting milestone. You'll have your first ultrasound around now and see your baby; this may help you feel closer to her. For many men, seeing the baby on the scan may be the first time the pregnancy becomes a reality.
At this scan, your baby's length will be measured (see You are 11 Weeks and 2 Days) and this will be used to figure out her age. Up until about 12 weeks of pregnancy, all babies grow at around the same rate so irrespective of whether you and your partner are tall or short, at this time your baby will be the same size as others at this stage of development.
Figuring out your due date (see When will your baby be born?) using the first day of your period, isn't always accurate, especially if your menstrual cycle is long or irregular. The dating scan can give a more accurate expected date of delivery, but it by no means tells you for certain-very few babies arrive on their actual due date.
As a dad-to-be, going to your first scan will be a time of great excitement, but you may be anxious too. It's normal for you and your partner to wonder if your baby is okay and be desperate to hear that all is well.
The first scan may seem quite technical since it is used to detect your baby's heartbeat and take some measurements, but it's also very emotional. In reality, the first scan gives you the first look at this new life. It lets you see your baby moving around, with legs kicking and arms flailing, even though your partner can't feel these movements yet.
Perhaps, as a man, the biggest shock of the scan is the fact that it confronts you for the first time with the physical evidence that your baby really exists. Your partner is likely to be more used to the idea of pregnancy, because she's carrying the baby, but the scan will make the pregnancy much more real to you, and you may be surprised at how emotional you feel.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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