21 Weeks: Anatomy Scan Results

So much to tell the Internet! Maybe. I’ll leave that up to you. Maybe this will be boring because really, much of this post is documenting the results for myself. First, the US results.

Baby is normal. HR was 153. Baby is measuring at 15 oz, making the 55th percentile. Right smack in the average range. (I’m so happy for an average normal baby). Nothing of concern was found which was a huge relief for me and my anxiety.

I, on the other hand have what is called a marginal placental cord insertion. Normally, the umbilical cord attaches to the placenta in the middle. Mine is 1.3cm away from the edge. At first, it caused me to panic because I just kept thinking, Well that doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room, does it? As he showed the US picture, we saw the cord and where it was on the placenta.  Here is a picture I found that looks like it:

He told us this was a new thing they were looking at on US, within the last three years.

“So… could the cord possibly shift enough or something happens and it dislodges from the placenta?” I asked.

“No,” he told us, “That’s not a concern.” It’s that the placenta may not work as well at getting nutrients to the baby. He said that basically what can happen is if something affects the blood flow to the baby, the baby may not be getting the nutrients and could be smaller. He said he was going to measure me every visit and if I was measuring small, they would do an US. Otherwise he said he will do one at 32 weeks. At that time, if they saw baby was measuring small, they could deliver the baby then. If not, then we’re left to continue baking until I go into labor.

He gave an analogy of two trees. One is growing straight up and down. That’s the normal cord insertion in the middle of the placenta. The second tree is bent with the branches splayed out toward the sun, trying to get as much nutrients as possible. Both trees are healthy. But if a strong wind comes, it can make the bent tree fall over.

I’m so glad Chris was there. I mean, when you’re trying to take everything in, especially when it’s your own body and baby, there are things you miss. I asked the doctor if preterm labor was going to be a concern or could baby go until the due date and still be small?

So he explained again patiently that no, this marginal cord insertion is not in itself a concern. It’s a concern if I were to develop high BP, which could then affect the blood flow to the baby.  In other words, I have to have some other concerning thing happen to have it affect the cord insertion. Preterm labor would only be triggered if baby wasn’t growing well and getting distressed and therefore triggering the labor process to get out.

He explained that the research that prompted doctors to look for this abnormality was actually this thing called Velamentous insertion which means the cord is not even on the placenta, and instead of the cord all twisted up like it should be, its three vessels are attached to the membrane surrounding the baby and splay out to reach to the placenta. They are at risk for compression if the baby presses on them.

In other words, that’s much worse. Bottom line, he told us, you have a slight chance for something to go wrong only if there is another issue that comes.

So there was my long-winded explanation and part of it is to reassure myself that we’re still ok.

Want to see some pictures?

Even one with a tiny hand up by the face. Be still my heart.

A picture showing the spine.

A foot.

And fingers and thumb.

Apparently my baby liked hanging out in the frank breech position. Ass down. Feet and head up. Apparently that’s what’s comfortable in there.

This is one of my favorites. Baby is sticking a pointer finger up 🙂

The actual scan went great. We did have to look away fairly frequently while the sonographer was looking at the lower regions, like the kidneys and bladder since we didn’t want to know the sex right then. For the most part baby cooperated and was really active during the exam thanks to the orange juice I drank before we arrived. It was weird to feel baby inside me as I was watching the monitor and would see the movement at the same time. Baby also had hiccups which was adorable! And at one moment, we actually saw the baby do this flip inside me. So all the acrobatics was really reassuring. When the exam was done (two hours because baby stopped cooperating for the last three images she needed to get and I had to spend some time with my head reclined back and laying on either side, trying to get baby to change positions) we got an envelope of the DVD of images, as well as a bunch of copies of the pictures. She also gave us a secret envelope with a picture of the baby’s sex. That went to Chris so he could look at it and then go pick out a baby outfit.

As a reminder, we are sharing with my family this weekend so we won’t be announcing the sex until early next week. But I’m so grateful that overall the scan went well. That was a huge milestone to hit.

Baby has been moving like crazy this past week. It gets me every time. Every movement is just… oh I don’t even have a word for it. It’s amazing. It’s incredible.

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Megan Hazelett

I like the one with the pointer finger! My son (1st born) actually flipped us the bird in one of his ultrasounds! It was hilarious!


Im so glad everything went well overall and hopefully no issues at all going forward. Im gonna note that you said "her" up there. .wink wink. Not sure if you actually know the gender at this point or not though. Im so stinkin excited for you!!


Ha ha! Good catch! I started out saying her because it didn't really matter at that point, because I've been doing it the whole time, but then decided to make it all neutral going forward. 🙂 It's been so natural up to this point saying "her." 🙂


That's hilarious! I was hoping for one of those, but baby is too modest apparently 🙂


Lovely photos! I'm sorry about the less than stellar news about the umbilical cord. But knowledge is power and you are in good hands. Having faith that this baby will continue to rock out.


So exciting!! I was hoping for the gender reveal!!! EKKK!!
Btw, our surrogate had the exact same cord issue with one of the twins and it never impacted anything. Both boys were born a great birth weight and remain thick 🙂 Congrats mama!


Yayyyyy! So happy for a healthy baby!!! Can't wait to hear its gender!!

Melissa Long

Well I'm glad they don't think it's an issue, but that they will watch for it. I love these shots! So cute! I can't wait to hear what you're having!


Isn't it amazing how with the advances in medical technology that means they can also think of new ways to cause us anxiety?

Love the breech comment, now just hope he/she turns around nicely as I came out ass first and my mom never forgave me 🙂


So excited and happy for a healthy baby 🙂 I can't wait to hear the news!

Kate Payne

Hmmmm, even though you keep saying her I think baby is a boy. Just my thoughts though 🙂 🙂

Beth and Harrison

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Beth and Harrison

I had velamentous cord insertion with my IVF miracle girl, I had frequent growth ultrasounds and my daughter did well and was always between 40-50th percentile. Hope your little one continues to grow and thrive! I kinda liked the extra opportunities to see my girl on ultrasound! Glad things are going well!


I had velamentous cord insertion with Hazy!! Thank god we actually didn't find out until after she was born despite 2 late US…we would have been considered high risk and probably forced to have a c-section at 37 weeks! Instead I had the birth I always wanted, at home with a midwife and no interventions. I am beyond grateful she was born healthy and alive (very real risk of still born if your water breaks where the cord inserts into it) and we had no clue until afterward when the midwife looked at the placenta! I thought it was bizarre… Read more »


Sorry to hear that you have the marginal cord insertion. I know the doc said it's just something to watch, but we worry, right? Love the pics and can't wait for the reveal next week!


What are you having??? I'm dying to know! Is it a girl like you thought???


I'm glad to hear that the anatomy survey was normal, but it is so annoying not to have a completely normal, unremarkable scan. Fortunately, your placenta issue shouldn't be a major issue.