Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pregnancy Journal: The Ultrasound Conundrum









From 5 Minutes for Parenting

By Kelly

Can you help me with a scenario?

See, I have this really good friend who’s pregnant with her fourth baby. For all her other babies, she’s paid to have a second ultrasound, in addition to the ultrasound in the hospital paid for by her insurance.

It was a trend that started with her first baby, when she wanted confirmation that she was truly growing a baby girl. The results were so positive – the paid ultrasound doctor spent 90 minutes answering questions, going over every inch of the baby, taking countless pictures and even making a video of the whole thing – that she determined to do a second ultrasound for every baby forthwith.

Two years later, pregnant with her second baby, she returned to the same clinic to have a second ultrasound. She took home a baby boy – and another 45-minute video tape.

Her third child was born about four years later. By that time, ultrasound technology had advanced to the 3D/4D stage. Curious, she signed up for the new program, and was thrilled to watch baby number three – a girl – smile and brush her face and get the hiccups and yawn in full 3D glory. Once again, she took home countless pictures and a video DVD.

Now, she’s pregnant with her fourth. And to be honest, she’s doesn’t want to shell out $150 for yet another ultrasound video. She and her husband enjoyed the ultrasound at the hospital. They have faith they are having a boy.

But she’s concerned this will necessitate therapy for her fourth child someday, once he realizes his parents didn’t love him enough to make a in-womb video of his uniqueness.

What do you think she should do?

  1. She should focus on the child’s feelings, not her own, and spend the money to have one last ultrasound video made. After all, all the other kids have one. Don’t make the last child be a classic last child who only gets hand-me-downs and leftovers.

  2. She should forgo the video. After all, these things are done mostly for the sake of the parents, not the child. Do you know any child who’s ever pulled out their ultrasound video and said, “Mom, fast-forward to the part where they show you that bubble that’s my developing bladder. I really want to it show my friends.” No. I don't think so.

  3. She should make a copy of one of her other children’s ultrasound tapes and pass it off as the fourth baby in-utero. After all, all ultrasound videos look alike. Who would ever know?


Kelly is 29 weeks pregnant with fourth baby. Amazingly, her "friend is also 29 weeks pregnant with her fourth baby. Kelly blogs at Love Well. Her friend claims she doesn't have a blog, which is why we are sharing her conundrum for her on this forum.

67 comments:

  1. Well, because I Am the way I am, I've done a lot of research on ultrasounds and safety (Noah had too many) and so you could always spin it the other way and say you were taking extra precautions for this baby's safety and you only did the required ultrasound and no more. :)

    Just another option!

    PS DO NOT DO C. !! LOL !!

    Steph

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  2. A.

    You totally can't make kid #4 the odd one out.

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  3. B. Since she is having a boy he will never care and therefore not need therapy about something he doesn't care about. I might say different if she were having a girl. :) Our kids are going to look back on these grainy ultrasounds and laugh that we thought we could see anything.

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  4. What to do, what to do! :)

    Could you forgo the ultrasound, but do something else special and keepsake-y instead, something unique to this pregnancy? Maybe a belly cast, or a pregnancy photo session, or start a journal?

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  5. I say "GO FOR IT!!!"
    (a) You might regret it later.
    (b) I'm a cheapskate, but I also know that $150 can be piddled away quickly, right? How else could $150 be so dadgum precious?
    (c) I had my 3rd (covered) scan yesterday, and we talked about other stuff, and so I didn't get to confirm that I'm really gestating a girl...and it's killing me! Thankfully I'm scheduled for another one in 4 weeks. :o)
    (d) Go for it! :o)

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  6. I'm with Melissa. Every kid is different and they might as well learn that right away. Are you routinely pulling out the ultrasound videos for the others? Is it the sort of thing you picture watching at your son's wedding or with his girlfriends? Do you think grandchildren of #4 will be put out that they can't watch the video?

    Did your friend get an ultrasound picture at all? If so, that's probably enough of a keepsake for that stage in my opinion.

    I have to say that I find ultrasounds rather ho-hum now. I had seven (SEVEN!) ultrasounds, including an advanced one that lasted an hour and a half during my pregnancy and we didn't even keep pictures from all of them. We didn't exactly pay for them though...

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  7. i wouldnt do the ultrsound unless necessary...the kid wont care in my opinion...

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  8. I would go for it, but look for options other than paying the $150! I have some friends at work that got a second ultra sound for free by going to one of the technical schools that teaches that field. It was FREE! I can find out for you...

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  9. I love Melissa #1's suggestions. You're thinking this is your last pregnancy, so do something a little unique that will preserve the memory for you AND show that little boy how special he was to you! Best of both worlds!

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  10. Unless you have a family movie night where you sit the kids in front of the screen and watch Nightmare In Utero--Parts 1-3, I'd be surprised if the question ever comes up.

    If it does, I'd say we didn't need one for baby four because the rest of pre-natal care had advanced so far since baby three. Then get really graphic, wait for the loud "ick" and be assured the question will never come up again.

    Now here's the thing you really need to worry about: Baby four will get gifts from babies 1-3, so baby 1 got fewer gifts, which means nobody loves her as much as they love baby 4.

    Hey, anytime you want something silly to feel guilty about, just let me know. I've got millions of ideas on this one.

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  11. Ehh, save the money for something you'll get more use out of. When would it ever come up whether or not you got a 2nd u/s for all 4?

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  12. She should do the unltrasound.

    Baby #4 might be the one to take care of her in her old age and she doens't want any resentment.

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  13. Ha! I vote number 3.

    I keep telling myself, boys don't care about these things...

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  14. I don't even know where all of the pictures/videos of previous pregnancy ultrasounds are. I say don't worry about it.

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  15. Ahaha...oh option C. You make me laugh.

    I agree with the other commenter - it's a boy - he won't care about an ultrasound video. Really. He won't. (But this is so why we didn't pay for one of these with our first because we're cheapskates and didn't want to have to do it for subsequent children...haha).

    Option B is my pick.

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  16. I totally say B.

    He's a boy and he SO won't care. And if he does protest someday, you can pony up the $150 and give him cash instead ;)

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  17. I guess it is like pictures. My mom has a giant box of pictures of my oldest brother and it dwindles until you get down to me, the youngest. She has a large envelope full. And you know what? I don't really care! I love the ones she does have!

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  18. All I can do is laugh! Just do what YOU (er, I mean your friend) want to do! I don't think a boy will care too much - but if you'll feel bad or have regret or if you just really enjoy the process then go for it. The things we put ourselves through. Too funny. :)

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  19. Ok, here's the thing. As the youngest, I felt a very bitter "You WOULD!" boiling up from that place where I hide my disappointment about not getting Easter baskets after my brother went to college (even though I was 14, BUT HE GOT BASKETS IN HIGH SCHOOL!).

    But then the non-interventionist in me completely agrees with Steph on the danger of overdoing ultrasounds. (Ever wonder why babies always magically put their hands in front of their faces? Apparently it sounds like a very loud train going by. For 20 minutes. Eek.)

    So, I say forgo the ultrasound, put that $150 in a high-yield investment, and when kiddo is 5 and feeling totally.left.out, take him on a one-on-one trip with Mommy or Daddy.

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  20. I vote for B). And I like Michael's suggestion, of overdoing the info so nobody ever asks you anything about your pregnancy again!

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  21. If it's her fourth and last baby, I think SHE will regret not having the ultrasound.

    But I always tell my kids that loving them equally does not mean they get everything the same.

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  22. Ok, well, to an earlier commenter's point I only have sisters so I only know how girls feel. My younger sisters are in their 30's and bitter about stuff my parents did for my older sister and I and not for them. I find this insanely silly, but I am not them, so what do I know?
    Pray your children do not learn how to hold a grudge. Just something to keep in mind.

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  23. If the worst fairness issue that happens for that boy is he doesn't have an ultrasound video like the other kids, you're doing pretty well. Besides, did you do a public pregnancy journal for the other 3? Doesn't make sense to shell out $150 just to make it even.

    All this from the person who wants to BEG her doctor for many ultrasounds and is now suddenly considering scraping up $150 to have some done.

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  24. your youngest brother of 4March 3, 2010 at 8:21 AM

    in 28 years, i can guarantee you he won't care. in fact, you'll be lucky to hear from him once a week! ;-)

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  25. Oh heavens. It IS quite the conundrum.

    You know my crunchy self is with Steph and Allison on this, but that hasn't stopped me from having the regular 20 week ultrasounds w/my two. I'm awesome that way.

    I agree with Melissa (commenter #4) - do something unique and fun that you have never had done before. I would LOVE a belly cast. I regret not having one with each of my first two pregnancies.

    I'm no help.

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  26. While ultrasounds are on your brain at this stage in your life remember its only a phase. As your kids age you move on to new topics of discussion w/ your kids & peers. My kids have never seen their ultrasounds and I'm not sure if I will have them transferred to DVD.

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  27. I like comment #19's idea of putting the $150 in a high-yield investment :) A big lump of cash will surely quiet any of his complaints.

    And what a coincidence about your friend ;)

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  28. THe cheap-o in me is totally rooting for #3.
    PLUS, I agree with everyone else, I highly doubt he will care.

    So, tell your friend to spend the 150 on some nice clothes for summer when she isn't wearing mat clothes anymore:)

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  29. Commit to it. It's priceless and irreplaceable. If your, ahem, friend's 4th child ever cares, it'll be too late to say sorry =)

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  30. Just do it. Then save money somewhere else. Don't go to Target for a month :) (Is that possible? - I haven't tried anything that drastic before :) Actually, I did avoid Costco for several months because I spent too much there every time I went.

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  31. I say do it, simply because you have with all the others. Why? Because that's what we parents do, we give ALL of our children the same opportunities as the other, and really, these may be for us temporarily, but these videos are for our children some day. My kids get a kick out of seeing all of their baby pictures, sonograms & such. Besides, each subsequent time I've been pregnant I've witnessed how advanced the sonogram's have become. Amazingly clear, probably beyond even what you had done last.

    Think of it this way, too - some day your children will plan to be married. Some day your children will have their opportunity to put together a video for their wedding or something, that usually entails embarrassing baby pictures and the like. And each of your kids will have THIS to add to that. And when you see it? You're gonna cry, and be thankful you did it. Trust me.

    Just a thought ;)

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  32. These comments are hilarious!

    But, I am preggo with #2 and was wondering the same thing!

    Def check to see if you can get a cheapie done at an ultrasound school. When I worked at the hospital I lay on a table for 2 hrs and let students scan me...got some awesome pics and I was informed that my child had perfect anatomy..Does it get any better than that??

    But really...$150 sounds like big bucks...until you realize how quickly you could blow it on other things. I say SPLURGE! This is it. The last one. And yes, its a boy, so he may not care, but his WIFE (yep, you are gonna be the MIL one day!) may want to weep over those precious pics. As she makes fun of us and our ancient technology.

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  33. I'm not big on ultrasounds. Even though this is my first, we didn't even do the 20 wk one, I just don't think they are necessary so why mess with mother nature.

    That biases me towards B, plus I don't really think a boy will care. And my older brother's baby book is huge, mine is decent and my little brothers is non-existent. At the same time, as the older kids we were never allowed to eat sugary cereals or own video games while the baby gets to play his XBox while eating cocoa puffs. That is just life with siblings, things even out eventually.

    But since this is her last pregnancy, she should do something fun to commemorate it. Maybe have a friend help her take fun maternity shots, or do a belly cast, something like that.

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  34. I vote for the last one!
    Seriously, the kid will have baggage. Accept it, embrace it, it's unavoidable. Even if your "friend" gets the ultrasound, it'll be something else that "she" never even thought of! The kid will blame her for something she doesn't really think she did! So relax (er, tell "her" to relax) and spend the money on something else.

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  35. Oh, $150 is a lot. But I don't know, I would worry about #4 feeling left out too. I would lean toward doing it.

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  36. I just want to be comment number 36.

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  37. You can find anything on Ebay, right? Maybe someone is selling one of their ultrasound DVDs. You could buy that for a lot less than $150 and pass it off as him. . . just a suggestions. Ha!

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  38. Definitely B. My older children don't even look at their old ultrasound "pictures" on that smooth curled paper they used to use. But don't scrimp on the photos and videos after birth. You'll never hear the end of it

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  39. I'm with Stephanie. No more ultrasounds than necessary. Plus, B, because being a boy, he most likely won't care!

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  40. JUST NOW getting to catch up on all the comments. LOL.

    Steph

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  41. It's so interesting reading everyone's responses...

    Honestly I think it's likely not going to matter much to the boy. I got a 3D ultrasound of Sophia and I don't even know where I put it!!!

    Likely he'll never know and likely wouldn't care either... since he is a boy. LOL

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  42. [...] at 5 Minutes for Parenting, Kelly has posed a very interesting question in her post Pregnancy Journal: The Ultrasound [...]

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  43. The child is NOT going to be hurt if she doesn't get the ultrasound! My goodness. Just raise your kids to know that you do the best you can for them, and it's not always the same for every kid. Works for me!

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  44. b. Not everyone gets a trophy.

    If you are feeling so guilty about it at that point start putting 15.00 a year in a coffee can and when the kid is 10 say "Hey, we didn't want to shell out the 150.00 on some invitro pics of you hiccuping and your weenie, we thought you'd rather go to...(pull out the coffe can at this point and hand it to him) CHUCKY CHEESES"! Or sum such place a 10 year old at that point would like. Believe me, the other 3 will now be jealous at this point.
    But hopefully 150.00 will cover a trip for 6 to CC's. If not, well at least they'll probably still serve beer there and that will make it all go down a bit smoother for Dad at least.

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  45. I would so totally get the ultrasound for fear of making the child feel left out and also (just my opinion) b/c I would feel I wasn't acting as excited about or honoring the child in the same way - but.... that is only because I am completely neurotic!

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  46. Speaking from experience here.....babies #1-3 only got the required dr u/s since technology has come a long way in 20 years. Baby #4 got a regular u/s & a high end u/s because I hit that darn "advanced maternal age" thing-they did make a video tape of that one for me. Baby #5 also had dr u/s & a high end one, which they would no longer tape. Then we went for a 3D for all the kids to be in on the experience - lots of pictures & a dvd. Baby #6 had a dr u/s & a high end u/s, but nothing more. Do I think he'll care? Probably not, since it wasn't a big deal to us at this point. Not because we love him any less, but because the dr was confident in his health and so were we. Boys don't generally care about the mushy stuff. My oldest 2 don't even care that they have a baby book, us pics or regular pics for that matter - my daughter does. I say skip it and put the money somewhere else.

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  47. Take the money and start a college savings fund for him. Of course there goes the inequality thing again. But fair isn't always equal. We wouldn't want to have exactly all the same things as our siblings, right ?

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  48. My vote is for B. Just be sure to always take just as many pictures of baby #4 whenever he is born and growing.

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  49. Ugh... way way tough!! If it were ME, I'd do it. The guilt would eat me away and I'd feel way bad when it came time for "family movie night" and baby "D" didn't have a movie to share...

    SO TOUGH!!

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  50. I feel like my life centers around trying to be "fair and equal" with my twin daughters. But it's not my fault that Baby A cooperated and gave us a perfect profile shot but Baby B never did.

    I vote for B. It's a boy so he's not going to care as much anyway. Plus, as long as you treat him fairly when, you know, he's old enough to notice, then this little thing shouldn't be an issue. Besides, it's not like the first two kids are making a big deal out of Child #3 getting a 3D Ultrasound on a DVD and they only got VHS, right?

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  51. I vote against doing it. Ultrasounds carry risks and doing anymore that necessary is potentially harmful for the child. She could tell him she chose not to have one for his safety, that she learned more about them since the first three were done.

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  52. I believe the only choice is A. IMHO. There is NO way I would leave one of my kids without something when I'm gone. I picture my kids battling about who was loved the most (and in your friends scenario, WHY DID THEY ALL GET THESE GREAT MOVIES AND I DON'T HAVE ONE?) LOL Both #2 & #3 had 3D/4D ultrasounds done. I can HONESTLY tell my #1 the technology wasn't there for his. I look at at the amount of pictures and video I've taken between my 3. And although my DD is our Princess, I don't grab the video camera out nearly as much as I did with our firstborn. I say suck it up, fork out the money, and it's better safe than sorry. He may not care years from now, but I wouldn't want to take the risk that he WOULD care more than ... say one of the others. :)

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  53. Definitely A. I am the youngest child I know how it feels.

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  54. No, don't do it. It's for you, not them. They won't care! I don't like a lot of the 'helpful' technology out there anyway. I never found out what we were having. Having said that, I did rely on modern technology to conceive, via IVF, but then I left him alone to grow in peace and quiet. :)

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  55. Option D: Spend a fraction of the $150 to print up all the blog posts featuring this new babe in utero. It's gotten far more fame via your blogs than it ever will on a stinkin' DVD. Did your other kids get that much world-wide attention? I think not. And by the time it even cares, DVDs will be antiques, obsolete and they'll have to go to a garage sale to track down a DVD player. That time is coming. Save him the trouble... it's just not worth it.

    (I'm so after the fact... what DID you decide to do?)

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  56. I think A. Reason being is we can think and rethink what may come down the road but don't know and it isn't like this decision can be reversed at a later time if the last child ends up feeling slighted.

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  57. Melissa:mElissa O.March 9, 2010 at 1:44 AM

    I too am pregnant with my fourth and have a similar situation. We just don't have the money to get the 3d this time around. I totally understand the feeling. I feel bad that this baby won't have the same memories but I plan on (trying to at least) take just as many pictures as his siblings have.Hopefully that will make up for it somewhat

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  58. I am the youngest of six. I would vote no ultrasound. It's a tough economy right now. You have to balance the needs of the entire family. That $150 can do a lot of good for all your children - food, shelter, clothing. Even if you spend it on something that helps you stay sane, isn't your entire family blessed by that rather than a picture or DVD that will sit in a box and may never be used (or wanted if you do have a boy)?

    I think we get too caught up as parents on keeping everything equal between our kids. It wasn't equal between me and my siblings, and it's not totally equal between my own children. My parents never stressed over it, and as a result, neither did we kids.

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  59. I vote B. You can always let them know that they were so sure and excited about him that they didn't need a 2nd opinion. Life is not fair and definitely not equal but love knows no bounds and ultrasound is not love.

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  60. First of all, I love the way this is written! :)

    Secondly, I understand the thought pattern here and think she should do it for the child. I have a million photos (print & digital) and growing of my oldest who is now 18. I have 500,000 for my second child who is 6. The third (age 5) one is probably at about 400,000, but it probably wouldn't seem that way 'cause they're all on digital. The fourth (she's 2)? What pictures? There may be 10 printed, which makes me feel bad and wonder if she'll feel left out as she gets older. So, I've been trying to get that together before it's something that she'll give some thought to.

    It is expensive for the DVD, but if we think the child may have an issue with it then we should go with our initial instinct.

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  61. I think that you, I mean, she, should get one for the fourth. You, I mean, she don't want the child to feel left out. I'm big on trying to make things equal among my kids. They will face enough things in life that aren't equal. My son has a peanut allergy so he learned early on that he is "different". Even though his sister isn't allergic, at home I treat them the same. If my son can't have a candy bar, then my daughter doesn't either. When she's alone it's a different story.

    Anyway, I think that either way it will be fun for your, sorry, I mean her kids to compare the videos some day.

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  62. We bought the video for our first pregnancy but not for our 2nd. If they ask, I will just tell them it was for me and Daddy, this is how Daddy found out the sex BTW. I did think about this with #2 but decided to buy other things with the $$$. Your friend is in a worse position though because she did it for three children already, not just the first. So in this case, I'd either hide all the other videos from the kids or buck up the $$$.

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