I had come into contact with a girl via my pregnancy community on Live Journal, who happened to live very close to me and had the ultrasound done as well for a very reasonable price. She recommended a place called Treasure Moments a few miles away from me. It turns out that her best friend is the ultrasound tech there which is I'm sure the reason the place came so highly recommended to me. I looked at their website and although it wasn't the best, I thought that they had a great portfolio of pictures and very reasonable pricing packages. They advertised a 100" theater screen, and a 'living room' like setting displaying pictures of comfy leather couches. They said you can bring a maximum of 15 people along to share the experience.
Saturday morning we wake up at the crack of dawn to get ready for the appointment. I originally told my boyfriend that we need to stop by Starbucks because 1) I was extremely tired and 2) I wanted to get some caffeine and sugar in me to get the baby moving. He decided we would go to a Starbucks close to the freeway instead of the one right by our house. Well, we get to the freeway when we realize that the Starbucks he was thinking of was no longer there and we now had no time to find another one. I was definitely irked, but tried to brush it off and stay positive.
We arrive in the area and start looking for the office building. As our surroundings become more and more seedy, I can't help but start to feel a little worried... Pretty soon we are in an industrial area filled with warehouses. I couldn't believe it when I saw the address we were looking for in a deserted alley filled with 1 room offices backed with a warehouse. We had my mom, older sister, nephew, MIL, FIL, BIL and SIL all meet us there and I could see them looking around curiously as well. We go into the 'lobby' and I'm immediately handed paperwork including a release form that says they basically don't guarantee anything and my signature was required.
Pretty soon we are called back into the ultrasound area and you can imagine my surprise when I realize their 'living room' setting was 10 plastic folding chairs and the 100" screen was really a projector image on a wall. The tech tells me to lay down on the table and puts the warming goo all over my belly. She immediately starts poking around and exclaims that both of Cayden's arms are in front of his face blocking her view. She starts taking pictures anyway of such exciting things as his legs and a close up of his scrotum. She's not letting the image stay in 3D allowing us to get a good look at all. I suggest that I lay on my side to try to get him to move so she can get better pictures. No luck. I get up a try to walk around, shake my belly a little, and even drink a disgusting can of Sunkist orange soda in hopes that the sugar will wake him up and get him moving. During this time, the tech completely leaves the room. She comes back in several minutes later to try again. I lay back down, am covered in more goo, and she starts looking again. Still no luck. He had moved one of his arms, but was still sucking on his fingers so she couldn't get a decent shot. After about 3 minutes, she says sorry, that's the best she can do and quickly escorts us back to the lobby.The session was supposed to be 15 minutes long (she probably tried to get shots for maybe 5 minutes of that) and was supposed to include 10 black and white pictures, and 15 colored pictures in 3D. We were also supposed to receive a DVD movie of the experience including the sound of his heartbeat (which she let us hear for a grand 5 seconds). The receptionist hands me my receipt ($85 down the drain...) along with an envelope containing a few black and white pictures, a screen shot of his measurements, and a screen shot of his heart beat (?). Included was also about 7 colored 3D pictures: 1 of his legs, 2 identical pictures of his scrotum, and a few decent face shots, with and without arms covering. Our movie turned out to be an old school VHS which we STILL haven't seen because WHO THE HELL HAS A VCR THESE DAYS?
In the end, I'm glad we got to see Cayden and get a brief glimpse of our son, but I would NOT wish this experience on anyone else. I thought I did my research, but after getting this done I found out that most places will let you come back free for a 2nd try if you don't get good shots, or spend some extra time getting shots if the baby isn't in a great position. Mine offered none of these things.
After the ultrasound, my boyfriend and I and all of our family went out to a big breakfast which was of course my favorite part of the day (I am OBSESSED with breakfast food!). Naturally, as soon as I sat down and got some food in me the baby started moving all around in my belly... Little punk!
After everyone went their own ways, we went to go talk to Cayden's future nanny/babysitter. Like I said, she's an old family friend and a SAHM to her 1 year old son. I wanted Mando to meet her and get comfortable with her, and as soon as we sat down I knew it was going to work out great. She is so laid back, has a great personality, and our parenting styles are pretty much identical. We talked about all the details and everything just fell into place. I feel so much more at ease now and I'm not dreading leaving my baby while I'm at work anymore. :)
I did unfortunately catch a cold sometime last week and it had been getting progressively worse each day. I saw my OB on Monday who recommended Tylenol Cold and a lot of rest. I took the day off yesterday and relaxed at home with some tea and medicine, and I feel a lot better. I'm back at work today and just looking forward to a 3-day weekend!
Our first glimpse of baby Cayden!