Saturday, July 16, 2011

Comments and Opinions

I received the comment below on my blog post from yesterday.  Instead of approving it to be shown only as a comment on my post I thought I would make it a whole post of it's own.  Just some back story, I know this person IRL.  He obviously reads my blog and has very strong opinions about how my husband and I have decided to take care of our pregnancy.  I have spoken to him in person a handful of times in my life and it was not about infertility or what Steve and I have gone through. 

Glad to hear everything is ok. Sounds like you were dehydrated. Granted, Gynaecology is merely a HOBBY of mine, you might want to consider cancelling your upcoming 4D ultrasound. In 2004, the FDA cautioned women to avoid "entertainment ultrasounds." In 2006 the National Academy of Sciences declared that ultrasounds should ONLY be used during pregnancy for necessary medical purposes (such as your unfortunate event on Thursday, counting limbs, determining fetal position, etc.). I feel obligated as a human to inform you that the American Medical Association ALSO OPPOSES routine ultrasound screening. Albeit their studies have only confirmed major brain & tissue damage in infant & fetal mice, one could imagine the damage it could do to a 3-4 lb. fetus's developing brain. I only wish to inform you, because (a) your upcoming 4D ultrasound appears to be your 6th or 7th ultrasound in 28 weeks, and (b) none of these bloggers who (presumably) read baby books have commented on this. I would suggest getting a new doctor -- or at least getting another doctor's opinion on getting a 4D ultrasound, at this stage in your pregnancy. Someone should ALSO remind you --- that THIS baby is coming, regardless of whether or not you get to see pictures of it in the womb. When your baby is a 5 y.o., these ultrasound pictures will be long forgotten.... But will the effects of the ultrasounds be gone as well?? I would hate to see a couple who has been through "so much," be uninformed or uneducated about such a potentially-hazardous procedure. I am obviously NOT a doctor, nor do I have ANY IDEA what you two have gone through in your pregnancy -- but I am capable of realizing that there is a possibility that NOBODY HAS INFORMED YOU (or the other people reading your blog) of the potential risks with having so many ultrasounds.

I was upset when I read this.  Mainly because of the tone and because of the choice words that were put into quotes.  My secondary hurt came from not wanting to harm my baby or that anyone would think that I would want to harm my baby.  We have been to many doctors while trying to find out why I was having trouble getting pregnant, staying pregnant, or why I had an ectopic pregnancy.  We trust the University of Iowa, the infertility specialists and the team that helped Steve and I to become pregnant.  I trust that they wouldn't suggest unnecessary ultrasounds and I also trust my current doctor immensely.  I can find just as many studies online that state that ultrasounds are safe but  after reading this comment Steve and I have decided to ask our doctor at my next appointment if we need another ultrasound or if we should go without. I don't have time to research every procedure my doctors recommend and I don't pretend to know the right thing to do in every situation- which is why I appreciate and welcome other people's opinions, but I would appreciate them being put more tactfully.

I started writing to get things out, to show the journey that Steve and are going through, and to share our experiences with other people.  I will be honest, comments like this make me want to stop writing my blog. But then I think about the friendships I have made and the support we have received and I don't want to give those things up.


  1. He does make a good point. Isn't one ultrasound at 20 weeks the norm unless something is wrong? There is a bit of a snarky tone to the comment, but that probably comes from how passionately he feels about it. And, yes, a guy has a right to be concerned about the welfare of the next generation. Before ultrasounds, they took x-rays then saw how disastrous that was to the baby's health...

  2. It's sound waves, not radiation, and- especially- after the journey we took to get to this point, we are not going to do something that could potentially hurt our babies. I'm wondering if some of the 3D/4D u/s are discouraged because it's not always medical professionals who are doing them... maybe some couples have gotten wrong information and that is why there is opposition from the medical world. "Uninformed or uneducated"- HA - I would say it's a safe bet that we probably know more about the reproductive system and pregnancy do's/don'ts than most! We have also trusted some of the best of the best experts to help us achieve pregnancy and those experts are not going to support any decision that would harm our growing babies. Ultrasounds have saved babies lives... and I'm grateful for the technology!

  3. Personally, I wouldn't trust anyone who starts off with the statement "gynecology is a hobby of mine..." How repulsive. I'm so sorry this man made you feel bad. My initial instinct is to say just disregard him. Trust your doctors and get informed opinions. Don't listen to silly, provocative comments like this. You do not deserve to be disrespected like he did. I wish you all the best for you next appointment, whether you choose to proceed with the 4D scan or not. :)

  4. I'd rather you trust someone with a medical degree than someone who thinks of gynecology as a "hobby". By the way, how can THAT be a Hobby? Reading about it, maybe. But I hope he does not actually ATTEMPT to practice it in his free time. I am sorry you had to read through that. You've already mentioned that you have informed yourself and that you have your doctor's support. You obviously do not need any amateurish advice from someone who does not even own a uterus.

  5. Yikes! That comment brings up mixed emotions. Your Dr. knows what he/she is doing I'm sure. You're being great parents and keeping an eye on her and staying intune with your body. If an ultrasound is what you planned on then an ultrasound is what you should have. If you don't (and your Dr. says it's ok) you'll ALWAYS remember why you didn't.
    LUV ur Cousin Sarah

  6. I am so sorry. Some people can be so insensitive. Comments like this are NOT what you need right now. I would ask your doctor and see what that say. I had a 3D Ultrasound with my daughter and my doctor said it was fine. I felt great about the fact that the woman who performers the ultrasounds is a licensed tech who works at a local hospital. She owns a shop where she does ultrasounds as keepsakes for parents. And as far as you not looking at the pictures again....Not true at all. We were given a CD of our ultrasounds put to soft music and probably 30 still photos. I still look at the photos often. Our children are inside of us for a short time and it is a memory we can look back on forever thanks to the CD & photos. Rest up and hope you are feeling well.

    I wonder what Kelly at Candid Confessions of a Southern Princess thinks about this. U/S is her profession and her husband is a doctor.

  7. I am so sorry that you had to see such an insensitive comment. No one has any right ot question what you are doing with your body, baby, or your pregnancy. I agree with you, this is one hard part of having a blog- people think that because you are open and honest, they can cross the line of appropriate/innapropriate. Bottom line, that comment was uncalled for and unnecessary. The only person's medical opinion that is important is your doctor.
    Know that your blog has helped so many people as well as you and your family during a really tough time- don't be afraid to walk away from it however (even if just for awhile) if it is too painful for you. True friendships and support will follow you, blog or no blog.
    Hope you have a better day today!

  8. Comments like that are hard to receive. I am surprised that you know him IRL! One of my best friends is a post-doc at the Mayo clinic in the ultrasound field, and she has advised me to avoid the 3D/4D ultrasounds because she said they are very loud (a ton of sound waves- way more than normal u/s's) for the baby and they aren't necessary... but that being said, that is a personal decision that we are making. (hug)

  9. Yowza! You trust your doctor and his practice, you know him and they know your situation. Anyone who would comment the way he did about your life obviously has no idea about infertility (or pregnancy after infertility) and what that entails. Sorry you had to read that. I'd be upset too :(

  10. Wow - that would be a tough comment to get - well intentioned or not, the tone is offensive and there are much more appropriate ways to have given a word of caution. I agree with most everyone else on here - if your dr. has given their approval for this u/s and it is something you and your husband want to do then you should do it. Don't let one person have such a negative impact - well intentioned or not. I have always thought that this is and should be a place for all of us to give and get support - comments like that are hurtful and do just the opposite of be supportive.

  11. Of course you trust your doctor, but asking about it can't hurt which I think is a good thing. In the end it's your decision and you need to do what feels best. I have no idea about these things but it's interesting to hear about different opinions.

  12. Please do not let one person, change your mind about sharing your journey with your blog.. It's amazing today how people think that they are smarter then doctors, although they just consider "gynecology a hobby."

    The only truth in his statement is that with today's day and age, we should question our doctors, and we should be our own advocate, everything else, NON SENSE! Rest at ease, as I'm having the pregnancy of 1,000 ultrasounds, and being monitored about every 4 weeks with U/S aside from the weekly ultrasounds from week 6-11. I know many, many women who are monitored via ultrasound for whatever reason and have perfectly healthy babies. This is not something that is a new technology. Hang in there, from what I've experienced, everyone is going to have an opinion, it's just that and unfortunately sometimes they chose to share it!

  13. OK...first of all...gynecology is a hobby of his? What does that even mean...I feel like I need to know! I agree with everyone else about the tone of his comment...not necessary.

    This is a pretty controversial topic. You really just have to make an informed decision. The problem is there is so much bogus information on the internet that it makes that hard to do. You need to rely on medical journals and studies that have been published in those journals NOT just random articles that can be found on the internet. One of the main things that has to be considered when looking at results of studies is the frequency of the ultrasound used. The frequency of diagnostic ultrasound (which is what is used on fetuses) can be very different from the frequency they might use on mice.

    As far as The American Medical Association opposing the use of ultrasound screenings....this is to be expected. No medical organization would say "Oh sure go ahead and use this medical test any time...every day if you want!"
    The AIUM (American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine) says this....“The AIUM advocates the responsible use of diagnostic ultrasound. The AIUM strongly discourages the non-medical use of ultrasound for psychosocial or entertainment purposes. The use of either two-dimensional (2D) or three dimensional (3D) ultrasound to only view the fetus, obtain a picture of the fetus or determine the fetal gender without a medical indication is inappropriate and contrary to responsible medical practice. Although there are no confirmed biological effects on patients caused by exposures from present diagnostic ultrasound instruments, the possibility exists that such biological effects may be identified in the future. Thus ultrasound should be used in a prudent manner to provide medical benefit to the patient.” I copied and pasted that from their website.

    I am going to have to break this up into a few different comments! Too long!

  14. Here is an article from a very well respected journal, The Lancet.
    Lancet. 2004 Dec 4-10;364(9450):2038-44.
    Effects of repeated prenatal ultrasound examinations on childhood outcome up to 8 years of age: follow-up of a randomised controlled trial.
    Newnham JP, Doherty DA, Kendall GE, Zubrick SR, Landau LL, Stanley FJ.
    School of Women's and Infants' Health, The University of Western Australia at King Edward Memorial Hospital, Subiaco, Western Australia 6008, Australia.
    Despite the widespread use of prenatal ultrasound studies, there are no published data from randomised controlled trials describing childhood outcomes that might be influenced by repeated ultrasound exposures. We previously undertook a randomised controlled trial to assess the effects of multiple studies on pregnancy and childhood outcomes and reported that those pregnancies allocated to receive multiple examinations had an unexplained and significant increase in the proportion of growth restricted newborns. Our aim was to investigate the possible effects of multiple prenatal ultrasound scans on growth and development in childhood. Here, we provide follow-up data of the childrens' development.

    Physical and developmental assessments were done on children whose pregnant mothers had been allocated at random to a protocol of five studies of ultrasound imaging and umbilical artery Doppler flow velocity waveform between 18 and 38 weeks' gestation (intensive group n=1490) or a single imaging study at 18 weeks' gestation (regular group n=1477). We used generalised logistic and linear regression models to assess the group differences in developmental and growth outcomes over time. Primary data analysis was done by intention-to-treat.

    Examinations were done at 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8 years of age on children born without congenital abnormalities and from singleton pregnancies (intensive group n=1362, regular group n=1352). The follow-up rate at 1 year was 85% (2310/2714) and at 8 years was 75% (2042/2714). By 1 year of age and thereafter, physical sizes were similar in the two groups. There were no significant differences indicating deleterious effects of multiple ultrasound studies at any age as measured by standard tests of childhood speech, language, behaviour, and neurological development.

    Exposure to multiple prenatal ultrasound examinations from 18 weeks' gestation onwards might be associated with a small effect on fetal growth but is followed in childhood by growth and measures of developmental outcome similar to those in children who had received a single prenatal scan.

    Here is the site where you can find this article

  15. All of that being said I think ultrasound should be used responsibly. There very well may be negative effects on the fetus but the chance of that is very small. The chances are probably higher in early pregnancy (first trimester) than in later pregnancy. Riding in a car while you are pregnant is risky, but we all do it. Now I’m not saying scanning our babies every day is safe, I would not advocate that. But I do think that peace of mind is worth a lot, especially for infertile girls like us!

    I have the ability to scan my little princess every day. Do I do it everyday? Absolutely not! I only take a little peek (2-3 minutes) about every other week or so.

    Oh, and am I going to get a 3d/4d ultrasound? Yes ma’am I am.....

    Sorry this comment is so long. I would have e-mailed you but I wanted your readers to be able to see this as well!

  16. If ultrasounds were soooooo dangerous, then why the heck does my doc, one of the top MFMs in the NATION use an u/s every time to check the heartbeat instead of a doppler?!?!? i completely trust my doc. PLUS, i have gotten 3 in depth u/s and will be getting growth scans every 2 weeks from here on out (24 weeks on). If this guy is basing his "facts" off one study, he needs to research a little more! I am sure doctors would discourage multiple u/s in ANY pregnancy if there was ANY harm possible to the baby....or they would come up with other options, but one of the previous commenters was right, it is sound waves NOT radiation, and sound waves do not hurt the baby.

  17. I've definitely read some articles cautioning, but I've read many more saying that there is no study proving any side effects. Talk to your doc about it, and then go with your gut. My midwife says that way too much about pregnancy is viewed in black & white terms instead of the appropriate shades of grey, and I think this is one of those situations. I wouldn't do the 3D unnecessarily, but then that is just my choice, and everyone should be respected for their own choices, as long as they are making informed ones.

    I suppose the commenter was just trying to help, but then he should not have have been so rude, condescending, and snarky about it. People take advice a little better when it's more obvious that it's coming from a place of concern and support rather than a know-it-all position from a person who claims gynecology as a hobby.

  18. I saw that comment and couldn't believe it. I really can't believe that you know this person.
    I think you are doing the right thing. You chose a doctor and you should just trust what they say.
    Sorry people are so rude.

  19. I am so sorry that you had to read that comment. I'm sure you were upset by it. Your "friend" must not realize, with his hobby, that undue stress is not good for a baby. I feel like he should know that. I agree with your other commenters--if you trust your doctor, talk to him/her and go from there. My doctor asked me if I was interested in the 3D/4D ultrasound, so it can't be that bad for the baby. I say, trust your motherly instincts. You are doing such a great job growing that little girl and don't let the opinions of someone with "gynecology as hobby" dissuade you from doing what is right for your family.
    If you feel like you need to take a break from blogging, please do, but know also that we (your readers) will miss reading about your baby girl!

  20. How does someone have "gynecology" as a hobby????? That sounds creepy!

    Your doctor has a degree and know what they are doing. They certainly wouldn't put your child at risk.

    So sorry for the comments that someone IRL would say.

  21. I wouldn't trust anyone that can't even spell gynecology. Usually we know how to spell our "hobbies". (Ick.)

    However, he is right about the studies. The problem with these and a lot of studies is that they are perceived vs. actual risk. In other words, they basically say, "we think that it might hurt something but can't prove it yet so avoid it". I have heard of babies who seemed bothered by both types of ultrasounds (2D and 3D) by jumping around, trying to get away, etc. Sometimes dopplers even affect the baby in the same way. Or there are babies like my now 2 year old, who slept through the entire 3D u/s! So, hard as it is, it is just something to discuss with your doctor and make your own decision. I certainly wouldn't stop the blog because of it. This is the first of MANY opinions that you will receive (online and off) about parenting. Sometimes you just let the "helpful advice" go in one ear and out the other.

  22. Oh, and my OB offers 3D ultrasounds. We'll be getting one with this baby, too.

  23. Hmm. I can see where people overuse ultrasounds... however his comment is weird/creepy and know-it-all since gynecology is his hobby (uh... can we say totally weird?)

    I asked at my ultrasound appt about the use of sound waves and she told me that the frequency is not where a baby can hear it.

    All things being equal, bring this comment with you to your next appt and ask your doctor. Your doctor is going to be more well informed than Joe-Schmoe-Internet will be.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  24. I trust more than anything that you and your husband would never do anything to put your little girl in danger. I think your doctors will advise you of any danger that there may be with additional ultrasounds, the doctors are the professionals here, OBGYN is not their hobby.

  25. Don't let that comment bring you down...I am getting a 4D ultrasound done in two weeks and although I have a friend who told me that there is no "proof" that ultrasounds don't harm the baby, I honestly don't think that scientists would allow doctors to use technology if there was any risk to mom or baby...Please keep sharing your journey! I love blogging to share my feelings too and for me, I don't tell my "real life" friends I have a blog for this very reason...I want to share without ever worrying about being judged or having someone be insensitive to me. Hang in there! You are going to be a great mom and I hope you will post a pic of that beautiful 4 D ultrasound! :-)


I would love to hear what you have to say!