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Health & Fitness Baby 'gender reveal' scans leave sisters stunned when both results are wrong

14:20  03 august  2020
14:20  03 august  2020 Source:   belfastlive.co.uk

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Two sisters told they were expecting baby boys after private gender reveal scans, have been left stunned by news they are both carrying little girls.

Ann Cosby and Gillian Best attended a private clinic in Belfast together on July 5 for scans.

After paying £130, they each came away with sealed envelopes containing details of their babies’ gender and that evening held separate gender reveal parties with their families.

But now a month on, the women say their worlds have been turned upside down after NHS scans from the Royal Victoria Hospital state they are clearly expecting girls.

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Ann, 30, a cleaner from West Belfast, said she has been flooded with emotions of grief and loss despite knowing her baby remains healthy.

Her sister-in-law, Gillian, 33, said the special moment of sharing the gender of the tots has been turned into a farce because of the errors.

And now the women have been contacted by other mums who say they have experienced the same after paying for private scans in Northern Ireland.

Ann, who was 17 weeks pregnant at the private gender scan, explained: “I haven’t left the house since I got the news because every time someone talks to me about it, I’m in tears. My partner Stephen and I have two little girls so being told we were expecting a boy was just the best news.

“We started planning for our little boy, a brother for the girls and the whole family had been bonding with this wee boy. I was so excited I spent around £500 on blue boys’ clothes and baby gear.

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“Gillian has four boys and was delighted to get her fifth and so for the last month we’d all been bonding with these wee babies - they had become real people with their own gender and characteristics because of the scans, wee men we only had a few months to wait before we held them in our arms. So life was very happy for us all.

“But last week Gillian and I both went for our 20 week scans at the Royal Victoria Hospital and we were both told that we were both having girls. There was no doubt in the doctor’s minds. While we were there, a girl we met in the waiting room said the same thing had just happened to her. And we’ve since had messages from other women who’ve been through the same thing.

“We are both trying to concentrate on the fact that we’re lucky enough to be carrying healthy babies.

“But I could never have prepared for the emotional trauma I’m experiencing right now.

“I wish I’d never had that scan. I’ve been told I signed a form which states the clinic doesn’t guarantee their gender scans but I don’t remember reading it and I doubt if I’d had the scan if I'd thought it might not be accurate.

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In Britain, the unwritten rule of revealing you’re pregnant only after your 12-week scan has become That’s just completely wrong , and as a society we must change this issue and ensure that women are never Another reason is there still exists a taboo around baby loss. A miscarriage is the loss of a

“I went to try to get some reassurance because I’d suffered a bleed early in the pregnancy. The scan was fast and not much was said and I was given an envelope at the end of it.

“I gave the envelope to my aunt who’d bought balloons to fill with pink or blue confetti for the baby reveal and we gathered the family around us for the big moment.

“When the blue confetti burst into the air I was ecstatic and the planning for our son really started.

“But four weeks later I feel like my world has fallen apart. I came out of the RVH scan with a good report about a healthy baby but it wasn’t the son I’d been getting to know, the little boy I’d been bonding with. It was a little girl and she felt like someone entirely new.

“I tried to keep it together but my emotions just fell apart. I’ve been trying to concentrate on the fact that we’ve a healthy baby on the way but I feel like I’ve lost this little boy I was told I was expecting. I’d bonded with him, loved him, chatted with him and looked forward to holding him. Now I’ll never see him because in reality he only ever existed on paper.

“There are many women who only hope for a healthy baby and I’m one of them but I never thought I’d experience this pain and these feelings of loss and grief. I know I’m still having the same baby but I feel devastated and bereft at having to say goodbye to the son I was told I was expecting.”

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However, gender scans are generally available privately from 16 weeks. Prices vary, but often you will find deals on sites such as Groupon, and you Though most places will not perform a gender scan on you until 16 weeks, sometimes you can see what you are having sooner. If the baby is in the correct

I cringe when I think about the things I used to believe, both consciously and unconsciously, about the world. It is only recently, within the last 15 years or so, that I have been able to become an empathetic, compassionate, overall nice human being , and not We were stunned by what my sister was saying.

Ann and Gillian who attended Drumkeen Private Healthcare clinic in Belfast for their scans, contacted the company and have since been refunded their fees.

Drumkeen, offers a number of scans from six weeks in pregnancy, including their gender scan for £65.

Their website states: “Find out if you are having a son or daughter! A Gender Scan will give you the big news. Whilst your baby’s gender is decided at the very start of your pregnancy, baby is so small that we have to wait until 16 weeks for it to be clear on ultrasound – that’s why you have to wait a little while to come for your Gender Scan. A £25 non-refundable booking deposit is required. Available from 16-20 weeks. Scan and report.”

In their dating, early and reassurance scans they offer “internal scan, if required, for accurate results” but nowhere on their website do they state gender reveal scans are or are not accurate.

The firm also offers a service to have their baby’s heartbeat recorded onto one of Heart Beat Bears for £20.

Gillian, a mum-of-four boys, said: “We both know we’re lucky to be expecting health babies but we couldn’t have predicted the emotions we’ve gone through. From having a baby reveal that’s actually wrong to all the bonding and plans. It has been very upsetting.

"They cannot undo what they’ve done, they cannot stop us having planned for two little boys who just don’t exist and we have missed a month of bonding with these little girls.”

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A spokesman for the clinic said: “Staff at our clinic have apologised unreservedly for our part in this unfortunate situation and have made a full refund of the fees paid to us. I fully appreciate the emotional and practical turmoil which can accompany conflicting gender determinations.

“However, it is not as uncommon an occurrence as many may imagine. Statistics show that for gender scans undertaken at around 16 weeks, 5% to 10% may be incorrect due to the early stage of pregnancy.

“When women proceed to their 20 week scan, the sex parts of the foetus will be more developed and there is a greater degree of accuracy in the gender determination.

“When women attend Drumkeen Private Healthcare they sign an admission form which states that we do not guarantee gender determinations.

“Where a woman comes to us facing this situation, we will - in all cases and without asking for proof of any kind - make a full refund of any fees paid to us. We feel this is the appropriate thing to do.

“However, it is important for all to realise that when a woman attends for a gender scan there will always be an element of error possible.

“We use state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment for our ultrasound scans and employ staff who are fully qualified and experienced in obstetric ultrasound scanning. The member of staff conducting gender scans has over 10 years’ experience in this field.”

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