August 26, 2006
A few notes about sonograms for those of you who have never seen one live.
1. Normal sonograms are cross sections (imagine a slice of an apple) so you are looking at the outline... it's all fairly murky when you view them live until you see the beating heart. Usually the doctor will also include an audio monitor so you can hear the heartbeat. Seeing this is all fairly interesting in a cerebral sort of way until you see a turn of the head or the appearance of a hand. Then it gets dramatic, none of this can be captured by a still image. This sonogram was taken fairly early on so there isn't much definition. The baby is the size of a large avocado. Later on the outline of the features becomes much clearer.
2. Most hospitals don't let you take pictures (i did anyway).
3. The doctors give you little printouts... which are invariably illegible smudges. These printouts are on low quality thermal paper which fades, so scan them if you want to preserve the image...
4. There are now 3D sonograms, but the images they produce are a little creepy.