Want Video & Pictures Of Your Baby's Ultrasound? Bring a DVD!
I must admit it seems like a strange thing to do, but I promise there is certainly a reason behind the odd request. I have been told by many of my “more seasoned” friends and colleagues, that when they had kids, sonograms were only preformed if there was a problem with the baby and it wasn’t common practice to receive actual photos of the baby to be like we do now. Times have certainly changed!
A few years ago, some folks were asked to bring in a VHS tape and they would simply record the video from the sonogram machine that was going into the TV for viewing. It’s a bit more involved now.. Many of the sonogram machines are basically computers running specialized software that allows the sonographer to take not only digital snapshots, but videos of your unborn child. Depending on the facility, they may actually put that data somewhere on a hospital server for your doctor to download, or in most cases they will simply put it on a DVD and send it over to your doctor’s office for evaluation and to add to your medical records.
If your facility does not do this, you can ask the technician if you can whip out your cellphone and take a few snapshots of the screen, but be sure to ask first. Not only is it polite, but many locations have rules against camera phones due to patient privacy issues. Don’t just whip out your iPhone and FaceTime your buddies while your Mrs. is getting the procedure done..
I was shocked to actually hear the specialist ask my wife if she brought a DVD with her so we could receive a copy as well. Unfortunately we didn’t and man was I super bummed. I asked if they had any extras that I could purchase, and although I’m sure there was a massive stockpile somewhere in the hospital that would even impress Bill Gates, I was politely told that they are unable to provide them to patients. I suppose that is understandable.. I was told that if I were to bring back a DVD+RW, they would actually provide a copy of the images and videos at no cost.
So after the appointment, the Mrs. and I immediately went to the big box store across the street, and wouldn’t you know it, they were all sold out of the smaller packs of DVD+RWs. Apparently a few other families had the same exact issue. I bought somewhere around a 10 pack or so, and quickly dashed back across the street so I would have our first real set of baby photos. By that time, they had already moved on to other patients, and were unable to make a copy for us that day, but we were advised that we could pick it up in a few days.
Believe it or not, it was actually ready for pickup when we were told and we’re delighted to have a few images to share with friends and family. Since I had a 10 pack of the DVD+RWs, I actually gave the remainder of the stock to the staff in case any other expectant fathers didn’t know to bring one. So either they went to helping other families avoid the issue all together, or the employees are busily making bootleg copies of Avatar, who knows. The point is to call ahead and see what type of digital media they use in their machines. DVD+R, -R, +RW, -RW, you don’t want to show up with the wrong type of disc, and you certainly want to leave with the pictures in hand. And if you have to get a multi pack, save a few for yourself in the event multiple sonograms are preformed, but get some karma points and donate a few to the hospital or Dr.’s office if you can.
Did your technician wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Do they not want to provide anything to you at all for a souvenir? As you may or may not know, you technically have a right to a copy of your medical records. The catch is though, they don’t have to provide them to you right on the spot. This includes all images and videos that have been taken. So that means that you can officially request a copy of the records, but it can be a bit of a pain to go through the Dr.’s or Hospital’s Medical Records Department. Depending on the office they are usually available within 72 hours. There may also be an expense.. Oh and one major hurdle, they aren’t technically your records.. They belong to your baby’s mother, so she would technically have to request them.