As this is the Sex issue, we couldn’t leave out the miraculous result of what having sex can sometimes lead to which is – having a baby. Karla Williams follows aspiring singer Chantelle Nwosu, 25, and her husband Chika Nwosu, 23, to a baby scan appointment where the couple see their baby in 4D.
Being pregnant can play havoc with any woman’s nerves. From the ever-present thoughts of ‘Am I eating the right things?’; ‘Where is the best place to have my baby?’; ‘Can I take this cold and flu medication?’ to the more profound concerns of life, like: ‘What type of person will my child be?’ ‘What kind of mother will I be?’ ‘What will my baby’s face look like?’
That said, the question of your baby’s face is no longer the object of one’s imagination, as 4D scanning from Baby Premier enables the mother (and father) to get a clear image of their unborn child. Using the latest 4D ultrasound machines, the scans generate real-time moving images and allows both parents to bond with the baby while still in the womb.
Having first launched in 2004 with only two locations, Baby Premier has now grown to over ten clinics across the UK with a further ten more clinics scheduled to open later this year. ‘4D Scans play a huge part in the bonding process for a couple and their families prior to the birth of their baby – especially for the father’, explains Jeanette Jones, clinical manager at Baby Premier. ‘Many fathers have often expressed that it makes everything that is happening feel much more real, as we can capture movements such as yawning, stretching, smiling, kicking and swallowing’.
Has the overall response from patients has been a positive one? ‘People are generally amazed by the facial expressions and what they can see their baby doing whilst still in the womb’, replies Jeanette. ‘Mothers are usually very excited to be able to see the movements of their baby they are feeling at the same time, but are also often surprised by how much their baby moves that they aren’t aware of.’
The event can be somewhat of a family affair, too, with uncles, cousins, brothers and aunties often coming along for the ride. ‘Many people bring grandparents with them to their scan as this is a lovely experience for them’, Jeanette says with a smile. ‘They’re often astonished by what you can see using ultrasound as they didn’t have this technology available when they had their children’.
But is the experience really as magical and as touching as it sounds, and are the images generated from 4D scanning a vast improvement on the hospital black and white ones? I decided to see for myself and accompanied young married couple Chantelle and Chika Nwosu to their 4D appointment. ‘It’s the fact that you could see the baby’s face and have a preview of what he would look like’ replies 25-year-old Chantelle when I asked her the reason for the having the scan done. ‘You are actually seeing what the baby would look like before he is actually here; he’s not in your arms. Also it was so clear; you could see his nose, his eyes, his mouth – everything!’
As Chantelle, Chika and I sit transfixed by the large flatscreen TV, beholding every movement of their baby boy as he lies nestled inside his mummy’s tummy; it’s difficult not to be impressed at the clarity and definition of his features. ‘He’s got your nose’, remarks Chantelle and then with a quick turn in Chika’s direction the whole room laughs in agreement. ‘And he’s got your mouth and lips’, 23-year-old Chika responds with a toothy grin.
I am keen to find out what it feels like from the father’s perspective, to finally get a glimpse of your unborn child while he’s still in the womb. ‘It’s an amazing feeling but it’s a little bit scary at the same time’, states the music producer from Northwood, London. Scary? Why is it scary? ‘While we were viewing the image at one point everyone was saying that the baby had my nose and so looking at the baby was a bit like looking in the mirror – that is the part that I think is a bit scary… I’m going to have to get used to that.’ And did the images help you bond with the baby? ‘Yeah, because I can actually put a face to the name – we already had a name for him.’
With prices starting at £95, I wonder if the scans are value for money, when in theory, you could simply wait until the baby is born to see what they will look like, ‘Some people like to leave things until the baby is born; they don’t want to know the sex or any details about the baby’, explains aspiring singer Chantelle. ‘If you are impatient like us, then yes, it is worth it. For people who want to know then it is definitely value for money – do it!’ And after what I witnessed today – I just might.
To book an appointment with Baby Premier or for more information on 4D scanning, as well as the vast range of other scans, please visit www.babypremier.co.uk
Words by Karla Williams