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Thursday, January 30th, 2014
I’ll be the first to admit I’m super-sappy, and I like to document everything. There are certain things I will cherish forever: the photo of the “+” pregnancy test, telling me I was going to have my son, Logan; the first outfit my husband and I bought for the baby when we found out we were having a boy; the hospital ID with Logan’s name on it. The list could go on and on. BUT even I think it’s creepy to have a lifelike fetus doll made in your baby’s likeness—from 3D and 4D ultrasound images.
The idea is that you can actually cradle your baby before he or she is born—which could sound like heaven for some mamas-to-be. But all I can think of are horror movies with crazy spinster ladies talking to themselves while rocking their imaginary babies to sleep.
3D Babies is the brainchild of husband and wife team Gerard and Katie Bessette, who thought families everywhere would want three dimensional replicas of their gestating fetuses. As Smithsonian.com reports, for $800 parents-to-be can order custom figurines of their 24-week baby, measuring eight inches. For those who prefer pocket-sized versions you can get a 4-inch sculpture for $400 or a 2-inch one for $200.
The way it works is parents submit one to five 3D and 4D ultrasound images of their baby and 3D Babies creates a digital image that captures the fetus’ one-of-a-kind facial features. Then the future mom and dad get to further tailor it by choosing a skin tone and the position of the baby—either tucked or in the fetal position with arms and legs raised, revealing the sex of the baby. Voila, then you have a keepsake to cherish long after your baby is born.
TELL US: Do you think it’s cool or kooky to have a life-size replica of your 24-week fetus?
Image via 3D Babies.
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Monday, October 21st, 2013
I know there’s no such thing as a miracle drug, but a new version of In Vitro Fertilization—dubbed the mini-IVF—sure sounds like a miracle procedure! It’s half the price of the usual IVF, with fewer doses required, and far less side effects. How cool is that?!
This new method of getting pregnant consists of a daily low-dose pill of the fertility drug Clomid—which helps kick-start egg production—for 10 to 12 days. During this time, ultrasounds are required every few days to check whether the eggs are developing healthily. Around 10 days later, once the eggs are large enough, they are removed with a 5-minute operation that is so minor it doesn’t even require general anesthesia.
According to a trial involving 520 women, which was showcased at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in Boston, success rates in women over 35 were a third higher compared with those undergoing conventional IVF, and women in their 40s were twice as likely to have a baby compared to if they had used the standard IVF. In women 35 and under, success rates are about the same for both IVF and mini-IVF procedures, but researchers say women in that age range still would benefit from using the mini-IVF because it is cheaper and has fewer side effects (it is said to not cause pregnant-like symptoms, including mood swings, nausea or headaches that usually come with IVF treatments).
The Daily Mail reports that “one of the main reasons women in their 30s and 40s have problems conceiving either naturally or with IVF is that they do not produce enough healthy eggs capable of developing into an embryo, and eventually into a fetus.” Well, high-dose fertility drugs used in conventional IVF actually worsen this problem. They increase a woman’s egg production, but they also appear to change the DNA of the eggs, which can sometimes leave them defective. The mini-IVF does not.
While more research may need to be done in this area, all signs are pointing to the mini-IVF being a better alternative for women seeking fertility help.
TELL US: Do you think the mini-IVF sounds too good to be true? Or is it about time researchers found a cheaper, easier, more effective alternative to the standard IVF procedure?
Image of woman getting an ultrasound courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
While it’s common for new moms to wear nameplates of their children’s names or the baby’s initials for earrings, something you may not have seen—until now—is ultrasound art. You no longer have to wait until your child is born for you to show the world you’re a proud mama! A new trend allows pregnant women to preserve their ultrasound photos as clothing, jewelry, and even artwork for themselves, their partners or for the grandparents-to-be.
Want your hubby to know what it’s like to have your baby in his belly—well, more like on his belly? Then check out a brand like Radiant Studios, which can print your ultrasound photos on T-shirts. If you’d rather wear your love around your neck, Eddy Stone Designs makes titanium dog-tag style keepsakes with your bun in the oven emblazoned on the front with the baby’s due date on the back. And if you’re looking for some nursery inspiration, why not make baby’s first photo—the ultrasound—into wall art, with a company like Koodle Kids? Can’t wait for baby’s first Christmas? Put that ultrasound image on a Christmas tree ornament.
Some people are going to love this idea (and are probably already ordering items before they even finish this post!), while others are going to hate it and either think it’s cheesy, or just another way to pull on your heart strings and lighten your wallet. But one thing I think we can all agree on is that when you’re pregnant, no matter how many ultrasounds you get, each one is as exciting as the first. You can’t wait to get another glimpse of your little peanut—to see how he or she is growing and developing. There’s nothing more thrilling!
TELL US: Would you wear your baby’s ultrasound, or turn it into art? Why or why not?
Image of the ultrasound courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
Kevin Jonas’ wife Danielle (both of E!’s Married to Jonas fame) proudly Tweeted her baby’s sonogram, pointing out, “Look at that cute nose!!!” Lucky her, because not all moms-to-be come away from their sonogram appointments feeling that way. I know I didn’t!
Danielle’s sweet tweet took me back to when I got my first ultrasound. I was so excited to get a glimpse of my little one. My husband and I were holding hands the entire time, completely ecstatic. The technician walked us through the process, pointing out the body parts: “Here’s the heart. See it beating? Here’s an arm, a foot, the head. Now let’s zoom in on the face.” When she did, I nearly fell off of the exam table!
My son’s face (of course, at that point I didn’t know whether I was having a boy or girl—it was too early to tell) was pressed up against my uterine wall. It was smushed and lumpy. I hate to say it (forgive me Logan!), but he looked way more creepy than cute! Think: Scream mask + Leatherface = horrifying, nightmare-inducing baby!
I felt awful and guilty for even thinking it. Shouldn’t a mom think her baby is cute no matter what?! But a few days later I was talking to a friend and telling her I had my first ultrasound, and she bluntly asked, “Did your baby look weird?” I let out a huge, “Yeeees!” and a sense of relief came over me. There, I said it!
It turns out that I’m not the only mother to ever think that her kid wasn’t darling via sonogram. In fact, not all moms think their babies are adorable once they’re born either (and that’s ok). Just to prepare you, not all babies are picture-perfect right out of the gate. They can come out looking really red, or even yellow, since it’s common for newborns to have a touch of jaundice. Some are born with acne, or their entire bodies are covered in thick hair called lanugo, which is especially common if your baby is born early. (We affectionately referred to Logan as Wolf Boy for the first few weeks because his back, upper arms and even his butt were furry, and his eyebrows morphed into his hairline and sideburns).
But within a few weeks (ok, months for some), the awkward phase disappears and you have the precious baby you’ve dreamed about—the perfect mixture of you and your honey.
TELL US: Did your sonogram scare you? Are you worried just a little that you’ll have an “ugly” baby?
Image via Danielle Jonas’ Instagram.
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