If I’ve heard anything this pregnancy more than “This baby is going to change your life for the better”, and “Nah dude, your life is over”, it’s “When I was pregnant, we didn’t even have ultrasounds!”
Apparently this means that my generation was born in the late Mesozoic Era, because these days, ultrasounds happen more frequently than me getting up at night to empty my bladder (last night’s count was five, by the way).
By the time my son is born, I will have had five ultrasounds–including the latest elected one–in 3D.
It may shock you to hear that at 31 (gross, I’m 31), I am not the first woman of my generation to produce a child. As a result, I’m already very familiar with this technology. Patented in 1987, 3D ultrasounds have become more and more popular mostly in the last decade, with private clinics popping up everywhere, charging (mostly) first-time parents (and up to six guests!) an arm and a leg for half an hour of 3D womb watching.
However, not everyone chooses to have a 3D ultrasound, and for good reason.
The going rate for these sessions can range anywhere from $150-$250 for up to 30 minutes of three dimensional fetus voyeurism, with “extras” (DVD recordings, printed photos and kitschy keepsakes) that can easily add up to at least half of that total.
Also, 3D images of an unborn baby may not be for everyone.
Truthfully, before this whole knocked-up business, 3D ultrasounds kind of weirded me out. Let’s be honest–it is kind of weird. These children aren’t even born yet, and here we are, piled into a cozy room filled with couches and big screen TVs, clambering to see its parts like it’s some sort of bizarre creature on display at the circus.
Why can’t we wait a couple more months and see the real thing?
I’m chalking it up to our culture of want–our generation’s desire to have everything now. Instant gratification. Technology in the palm of our hand.
But technology is far from perfect. The 3D ultrasound is a fantastic example of this. Sure, it’s certainly more detailed than your standard black-and-white sonogram, but it’s not quite live (you’ll have to pay 4D prices for that!), the colour is a little off-putting, and images often appear distorted.
Here’s an example of my son with a giant hole in his face.
And here’s his spot-on impression of Jabba the Hutt.
But at the end of the day–and here’s the part where I get cliché and sentimental so bear with me–I’m grateful for the experience.
Not only was I able to share the first images of my son with close friends and family members, I also got to see him in stunning detail for the first time.
Sure, not every picture was a winner.
Yes, my wallet–already stretched way too thin in preparation for his arrival–is a little lighter today.
But he’s got 10 perfect fingers and toes. He’s starting to get a little chubby. He already has hair (which really puts my ongoing, irrational fear of having a bald baby to rest), and he’s definitely still a boy.
Most importantly, he has my nose. And I see my dad in every little facial expression he makes.
So if you still think all of that is totally creepy, remember that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West got a 3D printout of their fetus in utero, so go suck an egg.