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How common is it to get bad news at 20 week scan?

(34 Posts)
weeblueberry Tue 11-Dec-12 20:12:49

I'm having a Weeblueberry Prescan Panic Attack[tm] wink

Seriously. Before every scan I get ridiculously frightened that this is the scan they're going to say it's all gone wrong. I wasn't so worried til I read a thread yesterday where someone mentioned they found out about a heart defect at 20 weeks and had to terminate. I know it sounds so silly but for the first few scans (early and 12 week) I was worried but I wasn't as attached to her as I am now. I can't imagine how I'd cope at this point being told something was wrong.

Sorry for the general blabbering. I'm just wondering how likely it is to get bad news at 20 weeks? I know it's an anomaly scan and that's what it's for...I just suppose I'd always (stupidly) thought anything major would have been picked up before now. sad

HauntedLittleLunatic Wed 12-Dec-12 22:41:43

I think what everyone is saying is that most likely outcome is that there are no problems at all.

Next most likely is that baby doesn't co-operate and they can't see some parts of anatomy and call you back 2 weeks later just because they couldn't see (i had this but because twin pregnancy I was due to be scanned 2 weeks later anyway).

Next most likely (but actually in the minority) they identify something which whilst not 100% healthy is treatable. You get extra care and monitoring as appropriate and baby is proactively treated. In some cases concerns in utero fix themselves sometimes needs treatment. Parents get a chance to emotionally adapt to news and plan.

The rarest scenario is that the baby is severely ill and choices will need to be made.

lljkk Thu 13-Dec-12 08:44:08

You missed one out there Haunted.

The 2nd most likely outcome is they identify something that concerns them but they can't be sure. So they talk about possible problems, call OP back for extra scan(s), talk about possible meaning of it, possible outcomes. Wheel out their experts. May even insist that OP be induced early.

And then in the end it is NOTHING. The problem never existed at all they just had a question mark. Because of an anatomical assymetry or the placenta moves out of the way after all or the baby is big enough after all. The cord has odd blood flow but baby is born fine, anyway. Etc.

I went thru this with 3 of 4 pregnancies and after first pregnancy I became completely laid back in every other pregnancy about "possible" problems.

havingastress Thu 13-Dec-12 08:54:36

Probably won't help you to say this but...

You'll worry (probably unnecessarily) about your 20 week scan and tell yourself that once you have a good scan you'll stop worrying..

But no. Then you worry that something will happen after that! As I gave birth I was worrying that the baby wouldn't make it out alive sad

Now she's here I'm worrying that she's suddenly going to stop breathing for no reason. sad

tbh, reading forums on here don't help, cos ppl post when something awful has happened. Think how many people have had no probs whatsoever with their scans/pregnancy but don't post!

Good luck for your scan smile Please try and relax and enjoy your pregnancy.

emeraldgirl1 Thu 13-Dec-12 08:59:42

weeblueberry - I had total panic before 20w scan, convinced myself something would be wrong. I think it's normal(ish!) to get very worried before the scans, they're your only contact with the baby at this point and it can feel very All Or Nothing I think. I have no idea of the statistics (I think some people have given them here, haven't had time to read the whole thread!) but I imagine the chances of something being wrong are tiny. Maybe just try to remember that statistics are well on your side!!
(also I find that major distraction works - even if it's zonking out in front of a crappy DVD or something in the evenings...)
But just try to remember that just because you are scared it doesn't mean there's anything wrong!!! Your brain is playing games with you...

lljkk Thu 13-Dec-12 09:07:12

That's true, one of my false scares was a growth scan at 34 weeks because fundal height seemed small at 33 weeks.
I was never slightest bit worried, but they sent me for a scan just in case.

AliceWChild Thu 13-Dec-12 10:21:03

Lljkk I think your scenario is a really important one. It was mine and knowing that it's possible is the tiny hope you can hold on to. And it happens. The thing I was coming on to say was to clarify in my earlier post, I said lots of people had a story about false scares. I wanted to clarify that's not the same as lots of people have false scares, they were often recounting other people's stories. Didn't mean to make it sound a likely outcome.

HauntedLittleLunatic Thu 13-Dec-12 10:43:04

Fair point. I was considering that as things that correct themselves, but you are absolutely right things correcting themselves and things not being a problem but which are flagged with a question mark are quite rightly distinct.

Good luck to.

weeblueberry Thu 13-Dec-12 11:36:27

Thanks everyone. I moaned about my worries to my DP last night who looked at me as if I had two heads. blush

We had a private gender scan at 17 weeks (two weeks ago) with a sonographer who normally does anomaly scans at the local hospital during the week. According to DP (I barely remember any of this...) she commented that she'd done such a thorough job looking at the wee one that the 20 week scan probably wasn't even necessary! He said she commented she could see 4 heart chambers, kidneys etc. Where the hell was I during this? hmm. Honestly though I was so taken aback by the fact she'd announced it was a girl that I probably wasn't paying as full attention as I should have been. DP noted that as a professional, had she seen anything that concerned her she'd have said. I wasn't sure about this because we were booked in for a gender scan, not an anomaly scan. But he insisted her duty of care would have made her inclined to mention it so we could go for a scan at the hospital.

Who knows eh? Just a week to go but given the conversation DP and I had last night I'm feeling a bit better about the whole thing. I also really appreciate everyone's reassurances here. smile

lovemybabyboy Thu 13-Dec-12 12:50:26

I know someone who got bad news at the 20wk scan and was advised to terminate the pregnancy as they said the baby would not survive outside of the womb. Her and her DH decided to continue with the pregnancy and now their child is nearly three and a half years old!!! The child does have medical problems but the parents are so glad they didn't follow the doctors advice!!!

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