Ultrasound Results

ekwetzel 34weeks pregnant

34 Weeks Pregnant

Today Mr. Wetzel and I went in for our first ultrasound scan. Our baby is 34 weeks and a few days old. The results? Everything was normal.

For those of you who don’t know…

As I mentioned previously on the blog, we hadn’t planned on getting an ultrasound because we didn’t feel it was necessary for our situation. We weren’t scared of ultrasounds, and we didn’t have anything against them. We just didn’t think they were necessary given the fact that our pregnancy was progressing so normally.

At our last midwife visit, my belly measured 2 cm too big, and Amy Gordon (our midwife) recommended that we get an ultrasound as a precautionary measure. She was concerned that there was too much amniotic fluid and that the fluid was causing my belly to get big. On her recommendation, we decided to go for it.

The details from the ultrasound…

ultrasound face profile

Baby Wetzel's profile. (What a cute baby nose!)

As it turns out, there is nothing wrong. There is exactly the right amount of amniotic fluid. The baby is 5 pounds 4 ounces, in the 49th percentile for weight. The heart rate was normal and healthy. Baby is positioned well for birth. The ultrasound tech just kept saying “normal,” “normal,” “average,” “normal,” “healthy” to describe everything.

When the M.D. that Amy referred us to, Dr. McMahon, came in to go over the ultrasound results and answer any questions we had, I really appreciated it that she cared about our perspective and decisions to avoid ultrasounds up until this point. She supported our decision to use a midwife, and said that she loves midwifes. Dr. McMahon made a point of asking us if our views and desires had been respected up until that point. I was so happy to be referred to someone with medical expertise that was open-minded, supportive and wanted to be informed by our opinions and decisions as the parents.

As we went over the ultrasound pictures, Dr. McMahon was exuberant about our little one. At one point, she said, “I know you didn’t want an ultrasound at first, but I might as well tell you: your baby is perfect.” That seemed to be her favorite word to describe the baby: perfect. She used it over a dozen times.

heart rate third trimester

Baby Wetzel's heart rate measured at 133 bpm. Typically, durring an examination, our baby won't stop moving and has a heartrate between 150 and 160 bpm (which is in the healthy range). I was amused that our little bugger was so still all throughout the ultrasound scan.

She answered the questions about amniotic fluid right away, and then went on to tell us about our baby’s other features. While she was examining the baby’s heart, we had a sweet exchange:
McMahon, “Your baby’s heart is very strong. It’s perfect, just like everything else.” She looked at me and saw I was neither surprised nor relieved. “But you already knew that as the Mama, didn’t you?”
I said, “I already knew I was going to love the baby’s heart no matter how perfect or imperfect it was.”
McMahon sat back and smiled, as if she rarely if ever heard a patient respond this way. “I really appreciate your attitude,” she said. “We really do end up loving whatever God gives us, don’t we.”


An ultrasound is a neutral thing, neither good nor bad. It’s how we use it that assigns meaning to it.

right foot third trimester

Baby's right foot.

I’m glad Mr. Wetzel and I decided to get an ultrasound, because I believe it was the responsible thing to do in our situation. But, if we never have a red flag in a pregnancy again, this will be our last ultrasound. We’re not afraid of ultrasounds. They are useful in certain situations. We just don’t believe they are necessary unless we have warning signs that merit the consideration of medical testing. I suppose our overall attitude could be summarized thus: “If it ain’t broke, don’t test it.”

If we were able to bless Dr. McMahon with our attitude and our expressions of unconditional love to our baby, then I am grateful to have had the chance to do so.

Just because we have “a perfect baby,” Mr. Wetzel and I are under no delusions that parenting will be easy or that our child will actually be perfect (if such a thing really exists). We are grateful that our child is healthy, but we don’t expect perfection from our little one. We expect our baby to be exactly what he or she is: a baby. A person. Someone who learns, grows, makes mistakes and has difficulties to overcome.

profile 34 weeks pregnant

Profile: Mama Wetzel & her Baby.

The ultrasound today didn’t change anything for us; however, I think it showed us a reflection of who we are. We never cared about results. We do the best we can to care for our baby, and we lean into each other, as well as our community, for support along the way. We seek relationship, not statistics and confirmation of normality. In life, we want to set the examples for our child of unconditional love, intentional joy and deep faith. And we started a long time ago.

By ekwetzel

6 Responses to Ultrasound Results

  1. JD February 28, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    Bravo! Now go eat some strawberries and put your feet up!

  2. Suzie March 1, 2011 at 1:51 am #

    Congratulations on your perfect baby 🙂 your attitude towards ultrasounds is one I’m totally behind. Because of placenta complications, we have ultrasounds tri-weekly and have done since 5 weeks, but aside from this to ensure baby (and I) remain healthy, we have agreed to no other tests. As you, I believe that Allah will keep this baby safe and help him grow; and if we’re blessed with a baby that is slightly less than ‘perfect’, we’ll still be blessed. Because he’s our baby and we love him with our hearts & soul before he’s even here. That said, actually seeing your baby growing inside is an amazing experience and I’m happy for you that you saw Baby W & came away reassured x

  3. Nikki March 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    Yay! I’m very happy to hear that all was normal. 🙂 And how wonderful to have encountered a doctor who is so pro-midwife. All I ever hear is horror stories from women’s encounters with doctors, in regards to their attitudes and opinions about midwives. So this is a great story to hear. I believe, firmly, in the power of a positive outlook – your experience in pregnancy is what you make it. And your baby is gorgeous!!

  4. Britany Stuckey March 2, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    Oh, Erin! I cried reading your blog. How wonderful that you guys are trusting God with HIS creation!! I am very happy for you guys & cannot wait to see the little bundle of joy!!! <3

  5. Cameron April 17, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    I talked to a lady yesterday who’s a Bradley Method instructor. I said it was interesting to me that while I would have expected to have to travel further in to Northern Virginia to have a more natural birth experience, it was actually the opposite of what I expected–I could have a more natural experience out here in the boondocks (as DC people think of it out here) than I could in the city, where there’s a higher incidence of c-sections. She told me that the rate of c-sections was much higher in low-income and high-income areas, and lower in middle-income areas. She also said that Oregon & Washington help bring down the national average for c-sections, because they have about 17%, while states like Nevada and New York have like 60% section rates. WOW, I couldn’t believe it! I wish I still lived in the PacNW, but hopefully I can still create an experience here that’s best for us.


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